questions about numbers

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19
votes
7answers
815 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!
19
votes
2answers
256 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. ...
16
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
273 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 ...
15
votes
8answers
542 views

Why is “Shalom Aleichem” always plural?

Why do we say Shalom Alaichem to one person if Alaichem is plural? Is it saying you and all of the Jews? Is that why it's plural?
15
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
474 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
209 views

Lechem Mishneh by the Third Shabbos Meal

Is one required to have Lechem Mishneh by the Third Shabbos Meal?
13
votes
17answers
418 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 ...
13
votes
7answers
1k views

Pomegranate = 613 seeds?

Has anyone ever counted the seeds of a pomegranate? Is it true that each pomegranate has 613 seeds?
13
votes
2answers
305 views

Am I allowed to count people?

Where did the practice of not counting people come from? People count not-one, not-two, not-three etc. What is wrong with counting one, two, three etc? This is often found when counting to see if ...
13
votes
3answers
558 views

Can someone have more than one potential soulmate simultaneously?

I have been told from several different people that it is possible for one person to have multiple Besherts (divinely intended marriage partners, soulmates if you will) to choose from. He may only ...
13
votes
2answers
153 views

How long did Chava (Eve) live?

The Torah tells us that Adam HaRishon lived for 930 years. Is there a source that tells us for how long Chava (Eve) lived? I have been unable to find any source that discusses how old Chava was when ...
12
votes
5answers
231 views

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

What is the nature of the numeral ashtei-asar (meaning 11) as in וּבַיּוֹם הַשְּׁלִישִׁי פָּרִים עַשְׁתֵּי-עָשָׂר (Pinchas 29:20): What is the basic word? Is this using semichus, as in ashtaim of ...
12
votes
3answers
394 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
2answers
205 views

The 500 men killed in Shushan, and the 500 Jews who killed Amaleki

Is there a source to connect (mystically, or otherwise) those enemies of the Jews (presumably Amaleki) killed in Megillas Esther 9:12 with the 500 men from the tribe of Shimon who killed out the ...
11
votes
5answers
700 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?
11
votes
3answers
220 views

What's the reason for the opinion that one must wash their hands thrice before eating bread?

Some sects of Ashkenazim (mostly Litvish) wash their hands only twice, while some Sephardim and some Hasidim wash three times. Based on this answer I know that the first splash gets rid of the ...
10
votes
28answers
375 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
42answers
618 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 ...
10
votes
20answers
403 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
163 views

Are T're Asar split at all?

We generally consider T're Asar as one book (as is evident from Bava Basra 14:2). Are there any ways in which we officially treat it as twelve? (Possible ways I can think of that we might are: having ...
10
votes
3answers
202 views

How did Avrohom learn that nine doesn't work?

The Midrash says (Bereshis Rabbah 49:13 quoted in Rashi Genesis 18:32) that Abraham stopped asking HaShem to save Sodom in the merit of less than 10 people because Noah and his family who were 8 ...
10
votes
2answers
293 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.
10
votes
2answers
359 views

When saying the Mi SheBerach prayer for a sick amputee, do you say “for his 248 limbs”?

The standard text of the Mi She-Berach prayer for the sick asks that G-d send healing "to his 248 limbs and 365 sinews." What if someone, G-d forbid, lost a foot a few years ago; and now prayers are ...
10
votes
2answers
395 views

What rabbinic/Judaic scholar has the lowest Erdős number? [closed]

From Wikipedia: The Erdős number describes the "collaborative distance" between a person and mathematician Paul Erdős, as measured by authorship of mathematical papers. ... Due to the very high ...
10
votes
0answers
90 views

Why do we write the number 16 as tet + zayin? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How could the numerals יה and יו be used irreverently? I understand that we write the number 15 as tet vav as opposed to yud hey to avoid writing the shem Hashem, but ...
9
votes
1answer
147 views

A year with eight Sh'minis is plenteous?

I've heard an idea that a year (like 5772) in which parashas Sh'mini is read eight times[1] is a particularly auspicious one: the wording of the maxim is something like "sh'mona Sh'mini sh'mena" ([a ...
8
votes
19answers
218 views

Asara - mi yodeya?

Who knows ten? Please cite/link your sources, if possible. At some point on Chol Hamo'ed, I will: Upvote all interesting answers. Accept the best answer. Go on to the next number.
8
votes
20answers
351 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.
8
votes
12answers
164 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
2answers
232 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. ...
8
votes
3answers
150 views

Esav is coming with 400 men - is there a significance to the 400 men?

In Parshas Vayishlach Eisav comes to meet Yaakov with 400 men. Is there a significance to the amount of men that were with Eisav?
8
votes
1answer
206 views

Halachic significance of the plurality of Jews living in Israel

I once heard that if Israel has the largest Jewish population, it has a significant effect on certain Halachot. What are the criteria for this, and what halachot are affected? (Shmita is the one most ...
8
votes
2answers
889 views

How do you know when to make Chacham Harazim if you can't count Jews?

As I understand it, "Chacham harazim" is the bracha we make upon seeing an assembly of more than 600,000 Jews. I'm not clear on the exact detail of this law/tradition, but I also know we are not ...
8
votes
1answer
325 views

Differences between RaMbaM and RaMbaN's mitzvah count

I know both of the Rambam and Ramban listed all 613 mitzvos, and they differ in some (I think like 16ish?) What are the ones upon which they differ? If possible please include why they differ in ...
8
votes
2answers
615 views

The blessing for 600,000 Jews

The Gemara (Berakhot 58b) mentions that upon seeing 600,000 Jews one says the blessing "Baruch...Chacham HaRazim" (Who knows all secrets), and this is halacha (Sh.A. O.C. 224:5). Does any know of any ...
8
votes
4answers
107 views

Sefiras Haomer Counting

When we count the Sefiras Haomer, why do we count up and not down?
7
votes
29answers
404 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.
7
votes
6answers
172 views

Number of Candles at Lighting

How many candles should one light on Erev Shabbos and Yom Tov? And why that number?
7
votes
4answers
117 views

Arba'a Ve'esrim Ushlosh Meyot - mi yodeya?

Who knows three hundred twenty-four? ?ארבעה ועשרים ושלוש מאות - מי יודע The traditional Passover song "Echad - mi yodeya" implies a possible presupposition that there is a Jewish significance to be ...
7
votes
1answer
159 views

Why is the hard limit for the size of a beis din 71 members?

When a beis din is undecided (e.g. when adjudicating monetary cases or Dinei Nefashos), judges can be added until the beis din reaches a maximum size of 71. Why is a beis din's maximum size 71? Why ...
7
votes
2answers
293 views

Saying 100 Berachoth in a day

What is the source for the idea that one should say 100 Berachoth in a day, and how serious of an obligation is this? Is it mandatory, is it laudatory, or is it merely a nice idea?
7
votes
2answers
315 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
1answer
516 views

How Many Stones to Place on a Grave?

When visiting a gravesite, my Jewish relatives always place small stones on the gravestone as a showing of respect for the dead. They typically place one stone on the gravestone, but I find myself ...
7
votes
2answers
93 views

How large is a typical contemporary hagada commentary?

In a contemporary published hagada with commentary, how many total words does the commentary typically comprise? (For comparison, "Hagada - Mi Yodeya?", in its current form, weighs in at about 14,000 ...
7
votes
3answers
90 views

Why were there 8 kings of Edom?

Is there any symbolism or other explanation as to why there were specifically eight kings of Edom who ruled before any king in Yisrael did, like it says in Bereshis 36 (31-39)?
7
votes
2answers
119 views

42 camps and 42 non-refuge Levite cities (Masei)

What is the significance of the numerical correspondence between the 42 camps or waypoints mentioned in the recounting of the forty years of wandering (Bamidbar 33) and the fact that 42 of the 48 ...
7
votes
1answer
228 views

Counting Sheloshim for a chol hamoed death

How long is the shloshim observed for a death which occurs during chol hamoed Pesach? Does one observe a full thirty days started from the funeral or is it shortened because of the chag?
7
votes
1answer
144 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 ...