Who knows two hundred ninety-eight?

?שמונה ותשעים ומאתים - מי יודע

In the spirit of the song "Echad - mi yodeya", please post interesting and significant Jewish facts about the number 298.

I wash my hands of anything to do with lazy gematria on this one.

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

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

  • What's a lazy gematria? – Shmuel Brin Apr 26 '12 at 18:59
  • @ShmuelBrin, It's where you take simplest notation of the number in Hebrew letters, use those letters to form a word, and then, if you're really lazy, just submit the fact that this number is the gematria of that word as an answer. – Isaac Moses Apr 26 '12 at 19:04
  • like "Perach"?. – Shmuel Brin Apr 26 '12 at 19:08
  • @ShmuelBrin Indeed. – Isaac Moses Apr 26 '12 at 19:22
  • 1
    This is actually one of the rare three-letter Hebrew combinations where every permutation is a word (and therefore there are six "lazy gematrias"): חצר, חרץ, צרח, צחר, רחץ, רצח. – Alex May 3 '12 at 16:48

According to the Ein Ya'akov, exactly 298 Kohanim could grasp the edges of the Parochet (partition-curtain) of the Temple at once, so that they could all participate in ritually immersing it. This number is, according to the Ein Ya'akov, exaggerated slightly as 300 in Mishnayot Shekalim 8:5.

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According to Meyer Waxman, M'nachem de Lonzano's Derech Hachayim has 298 verses. (However, Wikipedia calls it "Derech Chayim" and says it has 315 verses. I haven't checked, myself, how many verses it has.)

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  • Wikipedia's source could be the author's magnum opus Shetei Yadot, in which he describes "Derech Chayim" as a "large poem of 315 verses." It's possible (just a guess) that an earlier version contained 298. – Isaac Moses May 3 '12 at 15:46

In 1481, 298 convicted heretics were burned at the stake in Seville, according to Frank B. Goodrich. His source seems to be Llorente [I guess this one], Añales de la Inquisicion, I, 44. (However, I don't know whether these were Jews, Moslems, others, or some combination from among those groups.)

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