questions about numbers

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22
votes
8answers
1k views

Why the vast difference of opinion about the age of the Universe?

5770 and 13,000,000,000 is a big difference! I am looking for a good explanation to the difference opinion of the age of the universe. Please help me out!
9
votes
20answers
442 views

Shelosha - mi yodeya?

Who knows three? Please cite/link your sources, if possible. In about a day, I will: Upvote all interesting answers. Accept the best answer. Go on to the next number.
2
votes
1answer
744 views

How many prophets were there and who were they?

How many prophets are recognized by Judaism, and what were their names? I found a website that claims the number of prophets is 124000. Is this true? Are all of their speeches or writings ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

How many of the 613 Mitzvos can we do only in Israel?

There are many Mitzvos we can not do in today's generation. For example there are no Korbonos, no slaves, etc. Per the Chofetz Chaim, there are 77 positive Mitzvos and 194 negative Mitzvos which can ...
18
votes
4answers
3k views

Is there a list of Mitzvot and their corresponding body parts?

The Talmud (Makkot 23B)and the Zohar (1:170B - unverified English translation here) say that the 248 positive commandments correspond to the 248 limbs of the human body. (The Mishna (Ohalot 1:8) lists ...
8
votes
2answers
278 views

How could the numerals יה and יו be used irreverently?

I was told that in the sequence of numerals with Hebrew letters, the numbers 15 and 16 are rendered with טו and טז instead of יה and יו to prevent the tetragrammaton from being formed irreverently. ...
11
votes
21answers
509 views

Shiv'a - mi yodeya?

Who knows seven? (I mean really, who doesn't?) Please cite/link your sources, if possible. In about one business day, I will: Upvote all interesting answers. Accept the best answer. Go on to the ...
20
votes
2answers
280 views

Why the custom to switch around negative-sounding numbers, such as שד?

Often in sefarim we find that if the number of the siman spells out something negative, such as siman 304 which has a letter value of שד, we switch it around so it no longer reads as a "bad" word. ...
7
votes
2answers
370 views

Why when washing for bread do we splash twice?

Is there any particular reason the procedure for washing hands for bread includes pouring the water twice on each hand? Isn't once enough?
7
votes
6answers
218 views

Number of Candles at Lighting

How many candles should one light on Erev Shabbos and Yom Tov? And why that number?
0
votes
2answers
87 views

Is the number 6 considered evil in Judaism?

I have heard from some sources that the number six is/can be construed as an evil number in Judaism, and as such, it should be avoided. Is there truth to this? If so, what is the reasoning behind ...
18
votes
4answers
1k views

Why isn't the Kabbalistic doctrine of Sefirot considered Shittuf if the Christian Trinity is?

From the answers to this question it seems that most if not all Jewish sources treat Trinitarian Christianity (in particular, their doctrine of the Trinity) as either Shittuf or outright Avoda Zara, ...
13
votes
42answers
688 views

Meya - mi yodeya?

Who knows one hundred? Please cite/link your sources, if possible. At some point in the future, subject to holiday and user activity delay, I will: Upvote all interesting answers. Accept the best ...
3
votes
6answers
3k views

A natural explanation for the significance of the numbers 7 and 40

In the Jewish religious texts the numbers 7 and 40 seem to appear quite often and carry special significance. Some examples among many: God's creation lasts 7 days The Great Flood was from rain ...
2
votes
2answers
750 views

How many Kosher animals were in Noach's Ark?

How many animals total of each Kosher species were in the teivah during the flood?
17
votes
5answers
346 views

What is the nature of the numeral “ashtei-asar” (11)?

What is the nature of the numeral ashtei-asar (meaning 11) as in (BeMidbar 29:20, Parashat Pinchas): וּבַיּוֹם הַשְּׁלִישִׁי פָּרִים עַשְׁתֵּי-עָשָׂר What is the basic word? Is this using ...
14
votes
2answers
857 views

Which mitzvah is repeated the most times in the Chumash?

I have learned that not mixing milk and meat is mentioned 3 times in the chumash, and because of this we learn 3 different laws. I also found out today that the law "not to follow the ways of the ...
12
votes
3answers
447 views

What happened to the bechorim (first-borns)?

In the begining of sefer bamidbar, the males between 20 and 60 are counted and it says that there are over 600,000 of them. Theoretically each, or most, of these people should have had a first-born ...
12
votes
5answers
1k views

Why do some people wrap their Tefilin around their arms 8 times?

I have seen people who wrap the Tefilin 7 times around their arm and some that wrap it 8 times around their arm. Why do the people who wrap it 8 times do so?
10
votes
2answers
307 views

Were there more than seven prophetesses?

The Bavli, M'gila 14 amud 1, quotes: Forty-eight prophets and seven prophetesses prophesied for the Jews…. Further along on the page, it questions this: Were there no more? But it ...
4
votes
10answers
163 views

Shnayim Ve'esrim - mi yodeya?

Who knows twenty-two? Please cite/link your sources, if possible. After about one business day, I will: Upvote all interesting answers. Accept the best answer. Go on to the next number.
3
votes
6answers
129 views

Shemona Ve'arba'im Umatayim - mi yodeya?

Who knows two hundred forty-eight? Please cite/link your sources, if possible. At some point at least twenty-four hours from now, I will: Upvote all answers I consider relevant and interesting. ...
2
votes
11answers
319 views

Echad Ve'esrim - mi yodeya?

Who knows twenty-one? Please cite/link your sources, if possible. After about one business day, I will: Upvote all interesting answers. Accept the best answer. Go on to the next number.
1
vote
3answers
149 views

why do the festivals of sukkot and pesach last seven days

What is the reason for the festivals of sukkot and pesach lasting seven days. Is there a significance/reason to the number seven here?
16
votes
3answers
333 views

the aggadic concept of a finite number of words to speak

Is there any truth to the common claim that each person has a predetermined number of words that he can speak in his life? Source, please. If so, then how does it work? In particular (with sources or ...
11
votes
30answers
446 views

Shisha - mi yodeya?

Who knows six? Please cite/link your sources, if possible. In about one business day, I will: Upvote all interesting answers. Accept the best answer. Go on to the next number.
10
votes
2answers
414 views

What are the 30 Mitzvot for Bnei Noach?

What are the 30 Mitzvot (Commandments) that Bnei Noach have accepted (based on Hullin 92a)? שלשים מצות שקבלו עליהם בני נח.‏ Thirty commandments which Bnei Noach accepted upon themselves.
6
votes
5answers
248 views

Seven Brochos at a Wedding

I just read What do I need to make a Jewish Wedding. Is there a requirement for seven different people to say each of the seven Brochos, or can one say all of them?
4
votes
2answers
978 views

Minimum Number of Days before Hefsek Tahara: Sephardi vs. Ashkenazi

Why do Sepharadi keep a minimum of four days and Ashkenazi keep a minimum of 5 days before hefsek tahara? What is the underlying reason behind this difference?
6
votes
3answers
371 views

What is the halachic status of adult conjoined twins?

It is rare but possible for conjoined twins to remain alive and healthy into adulthood, such as is the case with Abby and Brittany Hensel. They have distinct sets of heads, hearts, and lungs. They ...
6
votes
12answers
172 views

Shnayim Ve'arba'im - mi yodeya?

Who knows forty-two? Please cite/link your sources, if possible. At some point in the next few days, I will: Upvote all interesting answers. Accept the best answer. Go on to the next number.
3
votes
1answer
289 views

How was Moses able to speak to at least 600,000 people?

The book of Exodus says that Israelites had 600,000 men of fighting age. And often it has paragraphs like this: Exodus 35:4 (JPS): And Moses spoke unto all the congregation of the children of ...
14
votes
17answers
460 views

Shelosh Meyot - mi yodeya?

Who knows three hundred? ?שלוש מאות - מי יודע In the spirit of the song "Echad - mi yodeya", please post interesting and significant Jewish facts about the number 300. Check out mi-yodeya-series ...
9
votes
2answers
154 views

Why not count 50 days of the omer instead of 49?

The verse in Vayikra (23:16) says: עד ממחרת השבת השביעית תספרו חמישים יום even unto the morrow after the seventh week shall ye number fifty days (OJPS, emphasis added) In my experience the ...
8
votes
12answers
178 views

Chamisha - mi yodeya?

Who knows five? Please cite/link your sources, if possible. In about a day, I will: Upvote all interesting answers. Accept the best answer. Go on to the next number.
8
votes
9answers
352 views

Echad - mi yodeya?

Who knows one? Please cite/link your sources, if possible. In about a day, I will: Upvote all interesting answers. Accept the best answer. Go on to the next number.
7
votes
2answers
180 views

Why celebrate Lag Ba'Omer on the 33rd according to the MaHaRIL?

There are several different opinions about when the students of Rabbi Akiva died, and which days we mourn for them. Sefer HaToda'ah quotes the Maharil, who says that the students of Rabbi Akiva died ...
7
votes
1answer
228 views

Criteria for the list of Nashim Kesheiros (Medrash Breishis Rabsi)

The Medrash Breishis Rabsi Parshas Chaya Sara 23:1 lists 22* Nashim Kesheiros. כ"ב נשים כשרות היו בעולם ואלו הן שרה, רבקה, רחל, לאה, סרח בת אשר, יוכבד, מרים, בתיה בת פרעה, דבורה, צללפונית אשת מנוח, ...
7
votes
29answers
458 views

Shiv'im - mi yodeya?

Who knows seventy? Please cite/link your sources, if possible. At some point in the next few days, I will: Upvote all interesting answers. Accept the best answer. Go on to the next number.
6
votes
3answers
199 views

Why were the Jews punished for 40 years if the spies were the ones who were there for 40 days?

Rashi (Bemidbar 13:25) implies that the Jews were in the Sinai Desert for 40 years in response to the spies being in the Land of Israel for 40 days. While the spies had 40 days worth of planning to ...
6
votes
1answer
129 views

Source for # times chai?

I often see donation requests with amounts in multiples of $18. I would like to know the source for giving charity of the numeric value of the Hebrew word chai (18) and its multiples.
6
votes
1answer
160 views

Why does the tribe of Gad have an unusual population count in Bamidbar 1?

When listing the census of the tribes in Bamidbar 1, only the tribe of Gad has the count 45,650 - I.e. - the count is not exactly on the hundreds as it is with all the other tribes. As the count was ...
6
votes
37answers
622 views

Arba'a - mi yodeya?

Who knows four? Please cite/link your sources, if possible. After Shabbat, I will: Upvote all interesting answers. Accept the best answer. Go on to the next number.
4
votes
4answers
127 views

“And it was evening, and it was morning, *one* day”?

Gen. 1:5: וַיְהִי עֶרֶב וַיְהִי בֹקֶר יוֹם אֶחָד And it was evening, and it was morning, one day Gen. 1:8: וַיְהִי עֶרֶב וַיְהִי בֹקֶר יוֹם שֵׁנִי and it was evening, and it was ...
4
votes
3answers
81 views

12 hours to the day, 12 hours to the night

Why is a day and night divided into 12 hours? Why not 10 hours? What is the significance of 12?
3
votes
3answers
566 views

Is the number triple-6 good, bad, or neutral in Judaism?

Is the number triple-6 good, bad, or neutral in Judaism? How about numeric variations and combinations such as 216? I know that 18 means 'life' due to Gematria calculations.
3
votes
3answers
161 views

Shemona Ushmonim Umatayim - mi yodeya?

Who knows two hundred eighty-eight? ?שמונה ושמונים ומאתים - מי יודע In the spirit of the song "Echad - mi yodeya", please post interesting and significant Jewish facts about the number 288. This ...
2
votes
0answers
116 views

Should a parent bless a child resting one hand or both?

When a parent gives the traditional blessing usually done on Shabbat evening should the parent place one hand on the head of the child or two?
2
votes
3answers
118 views

Shnayim Veshishim Umatayim - mi yodeya?

Who knows two hundred sixty-two (262)? Please cite/link your sources, if possible. At some point between twenty-four hours and a few days from now, I will: Vote up all interesting, relevant ...
2
votes
5answers
79 views

Shiv'a Asar Umeya - mi yodeya?

Who knows one hundred seventeen? Please cite/link your sources, if possible. At some point at least twenty-four hours from now, I will: Upvote all interesting answers. Accept the best answer. Go on ...