Who knows twenty-eight?

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.


8 Answers 8


28 years in the מחזור גדול, the long solar cycle, which is used for saying ברכת החמה


28 are the "times" listed in Koheles (Ecclesiastes) 3:2-8: "there is a time to be born and a time to die," etc.

  • 1
    And hence the words in the core of Kaddish.
    – Shalom
    Apr 30, 2010 at 17:53
  • True, and now that you mention it, I think I've also seen someone who relates it to the 28-year cycle that Jeremy mentioned.
    – Alex
    Apr 30, 2010 at 18:08
  • 1
    @Shalom: Could you expalin the Kohelet/Kaddish connection?
    – Chanoch
    May 3, 2010 at 20:55

A couple of Beis Hamikdash-related ones:*

  • 28 amos (and four tefachim) was the length and width of the top of the Altar, in the second Beis Hamikdash (Rambam, Hil. Beis Habechirah 2:7), and it will be the same in the third Beis Hamikdash (may it be built soon!)

  • 28 amos was also the length and width of the base of the Altar, in the first Beis Hamikdash. (Middos 3:1, R' Yose)

  • 28 golden half-tubes (menakiyos) were used to hold up the 12 loaves of Lechem Hapanim ("showbread," or as they translate it in the Gutnick Chumash, "multi-surface bread") and allow air to circulate between them. (Rambam, ibid. 3:14)

  • 28-ply threads (six plies each of blue wool, purple wool, crimson wool, and linen, and four plies of gold) were used to weave the Kohen Gadol's efod (apron) and choshen (breastplate). (Rambam, Hil. Klei Hamikdash 9:5)

* Knowing how fond Isaac is of those. :)

  • You realize, of course, that while engaging my interest makes your answer more likely to win, saying that you're doing so makes it less likely. (Not that you're hurting for rep points, in any case.)
    – Isaac Moses
    Apr 30, 2010 at 18:42
  • Kicking myself for not thinking of the ply-threads; that one's in Rashi on Chumash. Alex, are you using Bar-Ilan for these? That's how I'd do it if I took this more seriously ...
    – Shalom
    Apr 30, 2010 at 18:50
  • I use Tanach Plus, actually. But I try to stick to things that I already knew of (and just need to refresh my memory); it wouldn't really be fair to use it to get rep points for things that I never learned before.
    – Alex
    Apr 30, 2010 at 21:30
  • Isaac - so this really is like the business world, huh? You have to express interest without showing that you're expressing interest. :)
    – Alex
    Apr 30, 2010 at 21:32
  • It's perfectly fair to get rep points for sharing knowledge with the community and the world, whether it's new to you or not.
    – Isaac Moses
    May 2, 2010 at 2:22

The letters in יהא שמה רבא מברך לעלם ולעלמי עלמיא. It's also the number of words from יהא שמה until דאמירן בעלמא. Both are gematria of כח (strength), so the Ashkenazi minhag is that the communal response is 28 letters long, and the Sephardi minhag is that the communal response is 28 words long. The 28 word restriction is why לעלא מן כל becomes לעלא לעלא מכל in the Ashkenazi minhag during the 10 days of teshuva.


28 is the length of each tapestry sewn together to cover the Mishkan, in Amot (cubits). This was enough to cover the top of the Mishkan and drape down over most of the two sides.

Rabbi Kaplan says something about this being the maximum size for a weavable tapestry. I think he means that they could make two 28 x 4s and sew them together, but not make a 28 x 8. Probably because 4 cubits is the average person's height (and therefore armspan), so it would be hard with a traditional loom to work with something wider.


28 Iyyar is the day we got the Temple Mount back.


28 is the total perakim in the fingers of two hands.


28 are the mishnayos in Uktzin

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .