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 number blossoms with lazy gematria possibility.

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

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

3 Answers 3


I Chronicles 25:7 288 singers in the Temple


288 "sparks of holiness" were embedded in the primordial World of Tohu that Hashem originally created, which then "broke apart" and scattered these sparks throughout the subsequent World of Tikkun in which we live. Our job is to reclaim these by using our own and the world's resources for holy purposes.

(Etz Chaim, shaar 18, and from there throughout Kabbalistic and Chassidic literature)

  • Yes, and I have always been curious about why 288 and what this number represents. Jan 10, 2012 at 16:47
  • 1
    @Adam: Etz Chaim there provides the details. In brief, there are four "expansions" of Hashem's four-lettered Name, known by their numerical values as ע"ב, ס"ג, ב"ן, מ"ה; each of them produced some of these sparks - respectively, 72, 73, 71 and 72 - totaling 288. (Earlier he also says that this is hinted at in the word מרחפת (Gen. 1:2), which can be rearranged into רפ"ח מת, "dead 288.")
    – Alex
    Jan 11, 2012 at 16:55

Various sources say that Britain took 288 refugees from the St. Louis (although others say 287).


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