Who knows a quarter?

?רביע - מי יודע

In the spirit of the song "Echad - mi yodeya", please post interesting and significant Jewish facts about the number 0.25.

Lazy gematria may be worthy of discission, but perhaps not of a full-fledged answer. [This may not apply in the conventional sense, but, e.g., saying x is a quarter of y is just not keeping in the spirit. However, there maybe be examples that the Arizal, Baal Haturim, etc., mention and they are perfect for comments.]

Check out for the previous three hundred fifty entries in this ongoing series.

Please include sources for your information wherever possible, as with all other answers on this site.

  • 1
    do you want to post the question mi yodea 1/500 ? Jul 20, 2020 at 20:09
  • 6
    Revi’i means fourth as an ordinal. You’re looking for revi’it or reva’ or revia’ meaning a fourth part
    – Joel K
    Jul 20, 2020 at 20:26
  • 1
    How far are you pushing this? There's a Tosfos which discusses the specific fraction 2/25; will you go through all of the fractions which in reduced form can be written as 1/n for some natural number n, before moving on to the 2/n fractions?
    – DonielF
    Jul 21, 2020 at 20:57

14 Answers 14


A quarter (reviit) of a log is a measure frequently found in halacha, particulrly for drinking such as wine. In most (all?) cases a cup of blessing must hold a reviit. Similarly, the cup used for washing one's hands must hold a reviit.


The Sof Zman Kriyas Shema in the morning is (three hours) or a quarter of the day.


Yechezkel (chs. 45 and 48) describes the future redivision of Eretz Yisrael, and the area within it that will be allotted for the Beis Hamikdash, the dwellings of the Kohanim and Leviim, and the city of Jerusalem. The total area is 25000 rods (each of 6 amos) square. He then says (48:20):

כָּל־הַתְּרוּמָ֗ה חֲמִשָּׁ֤ה וְעֶשְׂרִים֙ אֶ֔לֶף בַּחֲמִשָּׁ֥ה וְעֶשְׂרִ֖ים אָ֑לֶף רְבִיעִ֗ית תָּרִ֙ימוּ֙ אֶת־תְּרוּמַ֣ת הַקֹּ֔דֶשׁ אֶל־אֲחֻזַּ֖ת הָעִֽיר׃

The entire reserve, 25,000 square, you shall set aside as the sacred reserve plus the city property.

So the word רביעית seems to mean "square," and most of the commentaries understand it that way. Malbim, though, explains that it means "a quarter":

ר''ל לפ''ז החלק שהרימו מן הרצועה הכוללת אל אחוזת העיר היה חלק רביעית מן הרצועה שנשארה, כי הרצועה שנשארה היתה עשרים אלף שהרביעית ממנה חמשה אלף:

In other words, it comes out that the part of this larger area allotted for the city property is a quarter of the remaining area, since the remaining area is 20000 [× 25000], and a quarter of that is 5000 [× 25000, which is the area allotted to the city property in vv. 15-18].


Shulchan Aruch, Choshen Mishpot 236:1 speaks about a non-Jew who is oppressing a Jew by threat of death unless he redeems himself with either his field or house, and only upon doing so, will the non-Jew leave him alone. If this gentile then seeks to sell the property, the oppressed Jew takes precedence over anyone else to buy it back if he can. If however the Jew lacks the funds to buy it back or the property remains in the possession of the non-Jew for the duration of a year, any new buyer must give back to the oppressed Jew a quarter of the property (or a third of the money)


The Gemoro in Rosh Hashono 31b writes:

ואידך דתני' גר שנתגייר בזמן הזה צריך שיפריש רובע לקינו אמר רשב"א כבר נמנה עליה רבן יוחנן וביטלה מפני התקלה

And the other, as it is taught in a baraisa: A convert who converts nowadays is required to set aside a quarter-shekel for his nest, i.e., his pair of doves. By Torah law a convert must bring two burnt-offerings of birds, in addition to his immersion and circumcision. After the destruction, it was instituted that he must set aside the value of two young pigeons in anticipation of the rebuilding of the Temple. Rabbi Shimon ben Elazar said: Rabban Yoḥanan ben Zakkai already assembled a majority who voted and rescinded the ordinance due to a potential mishap. If a convert is obligated to set aside money, someone might unwittingly use this money, thereby violating the prohibition against misuse of consecrated property. (Translation & notation from Sefaria)

  • It might be good to add (so as not to be misleading) the next line of the Gemara, that this law was abrogated by R. Yochanan ben Zakkai.
    – Meir
    Jul 21, 2020 at 21:29

Bava Metzia 4:8:

חֲמִשָּׁה חֻמְשִׁין הֵן. הָאוֹכֵל תְּרוּמָה, וּתְרוּמַת מַעֲשֵׂר, וּתְרוּמַת מַעֲשֵׂר שֶׁל דְּמַאי, וְהַחַלָּה, וְהַבִּכּוּרִים מוֹסִיף חֹמֶשׁ. וְהַפּוֹדֶה נֶטַע רְבָעִי וּמַעֲשֵׂר שֵׁנִי שֶׁלּוֹ, מוֹסִיף חֹמֶשׁ. הַפּוֹדֶה אֶת הֶקְדֵּשׁוֹ, מוֹסִיף חֹמֶשׁ. הַנֶּהֱנֶה בְשָׁוֶה פְרוּטָה מִן הַהֶקְדֵּשׁ, מוֹסִיף חֹמֶשׁ. וְהַגּוֹזֵל אֶת חֲבֵרוֹ שָׁוֶה פְרוּטָה וְנִשְׁבַּע לוֹ, מוֹסִיף חֹמֶשׁ:‏

There are five cases in which one must add a fifth:

  • One who eats terumah, or the terumah taken from the tithe, or the terumah from a tithe taken from doubtfully tithed produce, or dough offering, or first fruits, must add a fifth [to the value of the principal when he makes restitution].
  • One that redeems [the fruit of] a fourth year plant, or his second tithe, must add a fifth.
  • One that redeems that which he dedicated [to the Temple] must add a fifth.
  • One that derives a perutah’s worth of benefit from that which belongs to the sanctuary must add a fifth [when he makes restitution].
  • One who steals that which is worth a perutah from his fellow must add a fifth [when he makes restitution].

As explained by R. Yoshiah in Bava Metzia 54a (whom the halacha follows in this matter) this 'fifth' is calculated 'from without' (חומש מלבר) so that the total of (principal + 'fifth') is five times the value of the 'fifth'.

In other words, the 'fifth' under discussion is what we would generally refer to as one quarter of the value of the principal.


Here you have 1, 1/2, 1/3 and 1/4:

And in our days, when it is common to lease a bath house for a year, a half-year, a third, or a quarter, as a field (is leased), it is permitted to rent a bath house to a gentile. [Bartenura on Mishnah Avodah Zarah 1:9]

  • The mishnah itself doesn't say this; it's in the commentary of Bartenura there.
    – Meir
    Jul 20, 2020 at 20:33
  • Indeed. Thanks. Jul 20, 2020 at 20:48

According to some mefarshim, Bilaam declared that no one can even count a fourth of Klal Yisrael (Bamidbar 23:10):

מִ֤י מָנָה֙ עֲפַ֣ר יַעֲקֹ֔ב וּמִסְפָּ֖ר אֶת־רֹ֣בַע יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל תָּמֹ֤ת נַפְשִׁי֙ מ֣וֹת יְשָׁרִ֔ים וּתְהִ֥י אַחֲרִיתִ֖י כָּמֹֽהוּ׃

Rashi brings one approach like this. It's stated a bit clearer in the commentary of the Bechor Shor (as one explanation):

ויש לפרש רובע לשון רביעית לפי שראה ישראל שוכנים לארבע דגלים אמר אפי' הרביעית אין אדם יכול לספור:


The Gemoro in Nazir 38a writes:

א"ר אבהו א"ר אלעזר כל רביעיות שבתורה אין היתר מצטרף לאיסור חוץ מרביעית שבנזיר שהרי אמרה תורה משרת

Rabbi Abbahu said that Rabbi Elazar said: With regard to every halakha that is in the Torah that involves a quarter-log, a permitted substance does not combine with a forbidden substance to complete this measure, apart from the quarter-log of a nazirite. In the case of a nazirite, permitted liquid combines with wine to render him liable, as the Torah stated: “Soaked” (Numbers 6:3). (Sefaria translation and notation)


4 animals mentioned in the Torah that have only one Siman of Tahara and are thus Non-Kosher. (Leviticus 11:4, Deuteronomy 14:7). Only 1 out of 4 of the non kosher animals with only one sign of Kashrus, has a split hoof yet does not chew its cud.

וְאֶת-הַחֲזִיר כִּי-מַפְרִיס פַּרְסָה הוּא, וְלֹא גֵרָה


Reva (רבע), one of the five kings of Midian killed by Am Yisrael (Bamidbar 31:8).


God’s daily schedule is divided into quarters:

Yet Rab Judah said in the name of Rab: ‘The day consists of twelve hours; during the first three hours the Holy One, blessed be He, is occupying Himself with the Torah, during the second three He sits in judgment on the whole world, and when He sees that the world is so guilty as to deserve destruction, He transfers Himself from the seat of Justice to the seat of Mercy; during the third quarter, He is feeding the whole world, from the horned buffalo to the brood of vermin; during the fourth quarter He is sporting with the leviathan, as it is said, There is leviathan, whom Thou hast formed to sport therewith’?

(Avodah Zarah 3b, Soncino translation)


If a 1/4th of a cup of wine consists of sediments (שמרי יין) and 3/4 is water, one may say a bracha borey pri hagafen on it. S.A. 204:5


Name of a trope or Taam for the Torah and Haftarah reading. The Sefardic name of it is Revi'a whereas according to the Ashkenaze tradition its name is Revii

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