4

Who knows thirty-six?

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.

11 Answers 11

7

36 are each generation's "special righteous people."

Sanhedrin 97b: "Said Abayey, in any given generation, the world never has less than 36 righteous who receive the Divine presence ... with a clear perception."

Interestingly, if you flip back one page and check Rashi (Sanhedrin 96b), he quotes from Chulin 92a: "There are 45 righteous people in whose merit the world is upheld."

Assuming the 36 are a subset of the 45, that means there are nine righteous people who don't perceive the Divine presence, yet their merit is needed to sustain the world. I wonder what those people are like.

In Hassidic lore there are 36 hidden righteous people ("lamed-vav tzadikim nistarim", or just "lamed-vavniks"). Does anyone know the first written source of this? I assume it's connected to the above Gemara.

I heard there's some organization in Israel that awards people with the "lamed-vavnik hidden righteous person medal." Don't ask me how that one works.

  • 1
    must be a secret ballot and also secret award – Jeremy May 12 '10 at 17:37
  • 1
    Checkmark for ... I'm not telling. – Isaac Moses May 13 '10 at 16:00
  • 1
    "checkmark" in anticipation of #45 ;) – Yirmeyahu May 14 '10 at 3:31
  • Thirty six righteous can be found in Succah 45b or Sanhedrin 97b. I hope this helps. – Daniel Ross Jun 16 at 7:17
7

36 hair follicles (a square, 6 x 6) is the minimum size for a tzaraas spot to have any halachic significance (Mishnah, Negaim 6:1).

5

36 months between leap-months (in most cases).

  • 1
    and similar, but unrelated: 37 months in the standard triennial cycle. (just in case I forget by tomorrow) – Jeremy May 12 '10 at 16:10
5

36 are the days it took Moshe to explain the Torah (in Eiver HaYardein) (Alef Shevat until Vav Adar)

Seder Olam Rabbah, Perek 10

http://hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=34253&hilite=a29d67a7-f6f0-410a-a112-184ef3432b7e&st=%d7%a4%d7%a8%d7%a7+%d7%99&pgnum=24

4

36 is the gematria of chay'im.

  • I think you mean either 68 or chayayim. – Isaac Moses May 12 '10 at 16:30
  • wouldn't chayayim be 46? (chet-yud-hay)*2 – Jeremy May 12 '10 at 16:49
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    I think he meant two "chais" = 2 x 18. Just because "chai" x 2 = "chaim", doesn't mean Gematria("chai") x 2 = Gematria("chaim") – Shalom May 12 '10 at 16:49
  • Shalom's gotta be right. That is exactly what I thought he meant in the first place. – Yahu May 12 '10 at 17:19
  • Yes, that's what I meant, but with a nice mix of functional form and English punctuation to make the point. – Isaac Moses May 12 '10 at 18:19
4

The gemora in Sotah 13a says that 36 crowns were hung on the coffin of Ya’akov by the kings of various nations.

4

36 = the total number of cases where capital punishment would be enforced.


Stoning (skilah) - 18

(Rambam, Hilchos Sanhedrin 15:10)

  • 1) a person who engages in relations with his mother
  • 2) with his father's wife
  • 3) his daughter-in-law
  • 4) a maiden who was consecrated
  • 5) a man involved in homosexual relations
  • 6) a man who sodomizes an animal
  • 7) a woman who has relations with an animal
  • 8) a blasphemer
  • 9) an idolater
  • 10) a person who gives his descendants to Molech
  • 11) a person who divines with an ov
  • 12) a person who divines with an yidoni
  • 13) a person who entices others to worship idols
  • 14) the people who lead a city to idol worship
  • 15) a sorcerer
  • 16) a person who desecrates the Sabbath
  • 17) a person who curses his father or his mother
  • 18) a wayward and rebellious son.

Burning (sreifah) (10)

(ibid, 15:11)

  • 1) a priest's daughter who commits adultery
  • 2) a person who has relations with his daughter
  • 3) with his daughter's daughter
  • 4) with his son's daughter
  • 5) with his wife's daughter
  • 6) with the daughter of his wife's daughter
  • 7) with the daughter of his wife's son
  • 8) with his mother-in-law
  • 9) with the mother of his mother-in-law
  • 10) with the mother of his father-in-law

Sword (hereg) - 2

(ibid, 15:12)

  • 1) murderer
  • 2) the inhabitants of a city enticed to idolatry

Strangulation (chenek) - 6

(ibid, 15:13)

  • 1) an adulterer
  • 2) a person who wounds his father or mother
  • 3) a person who kidnaps a fellow Jew
  • 4) a rebellious elder
  • 5) a false prophet
  • 6) a person who prophecies in the name of a false deity
3

36 full Tractates that have Gemarah on them.

http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=20137&st=%d7%a9%d7%a2%d7%a8+%d7%9b%d7%93&pgnum=84&hilite=0b4df3da-4613-45e2-9060-2510bf22d483

  • 2
    Plus half of Tamid. – Alex May 13 '10 at 19:32
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36 is the number of hours that Adam HaRishon was exposed to the light of creation which was hidden away (or haganuz) - 12 hours from the time he was created at noon of Friday until he sinned right before Shabbos, and 24 hours of Shabbos. (Rabbeinu Yehuda Ben Yakar on Ata Chonantanu).

3

36 is the number of candles an individual lights on Chanuka (excluding the shammos), which of course corresponds to the hours which Adam HaRishon experienced the Or Haganuz

1

36 chiyuvei kares (dont remember where the gemara is)

  • It's the first Mishna in the aptly named "kereitot" – Double AA Jun 16 at 3:54
  • thanks can you edit it in because i dont know how to put in hebrew lines – Asher Jun 16 at 3:58

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