Who knows two hundred seventy-eight?

?שמנה ושבעים ומאתים - מי יודע

In the spirit of the song "Echad - mi yodeya", please post interesting and significant Jewish facts about the number 278.

The only lazy gematria I can think of here is that we have three of the five letters that can't take a dagesh.

Check out for the previous two hundred seventy-seven entries in this ongoing series.

2 Answers 2


In the Talmud, Sanhedrin 17b-18a, it speaks about how large a city needs to be to have a Sanhedrin. The opinion of the Rabbis is that the population of the city must be 278. There is some confusion in the source as to whether or not this is actually Rabbi Judah's answer, as the Rabbi also gives the opinion of 277. Some say the answer 277 is Rabbi Judah's and the other Rabbis say 278 while others say the reverse.


From the B’nai B’rith Messenger

Oct. 11, 1912

The Southern California Jewish Consumptive Relief Association was organized Saturday evening, September 28th;, at a meeting called by Mr. B. Flatte in the Blanchard Symphony Hall.

About forty men and women attended, a large number of them medical doctors, and proceeded to business, electing the following Board of Directors: Mr. B. Cohen, chairman; Dr. Z. Levin, Dr. M. Jacobson, Messrs. D. Bonoff, Geo. Iberson, J. Rosenkranz and A. Shapiro. Mr. A. Levy, 515 Bulmiller Bldg., was elected Secretary, and Mr. B. Flatte, Treasurer.

Two hundred and seventy-eight dollars in cash was raised at this meeting, and two beds, completely equipped, donated by Mr. and Mrs. D. Bonoff.

— quoted at http://home.earthlink.net/~nholdeneditor/City%20of%20Hope.htm

On a somewhat related note, some reports indicate there were 278 delegates to the fifth Zionist congress (1901).

  • 4
    Good find. Was this before or after Mr. B. Flatte's brief cantorial career? Nov 22, 2011 at 15:11

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