Who knows fifty-four?

Please cite/link your sources, if possible. At some point in the next few days, I will:

  • Upvote all interesting answers.

  • Accept the best answer.

  • Go on to the next number.


4 Answers 4


54 parshios in the Torah (Count 'em)


$54 is "triple chai." Due to inflation, people have been saying that a "chai" donation ($18) isn't what it used to be; in some shuls, you tend to hear more pledges for double or triple chai, or "chayim" ($68). Or at least that was back before the current economic downturn, so never mind ...


54 are the years that the Jewish People studied the laws of Terumah and Maaser before actually being able to put them into practice. (Kiddushin 40b)

  • 2
    And, by definition, 54 years from yetzias mitzrayim until k'vishas Ha-aretz
    – YDK
    Jun 25, 2010 at 3:55
  • 1
    Actually, until the end of kibush vechilluk (since each of those stages lasted seven years).
    – Alex
    Jun 25, 2010 at 20:28

An opinion in Mechilta Beshalach says that the Jews ate the Manna for 54 years:

אחרים אומרין ארבע וחמשים שנה אכלו ישראל את המן ארבעים שנה במדבר ושבע של כבוש ושבע של חלוק שנ' עד בואם אל ארץ נושבת מה ת"ל ארץ נושבת מלמד שארבע עשרה שנה אכלו ישראל את המן אחר מיתתו של משה

Others say that Israel ate the manna for fifty-four years: Forty years in the Wilderness, seven of conquest, and seven of allocation. As it says, "Until their arrival at a settled land." What does "a settled land" indicate? It indicates that for fourteen years, Israel at the manna after Moses' death.

Mi Yodeya community translation

  • Woah! What does that opinion do with Yehoshua' 5: 12, which says explicitly that the manna stopped right after the first Pesach after the Israelites crossed the Jordan?
    – Isaac Moses
    May 15, 2017 at 19:53
  • @IsaacMoses - The Possuk explicitly says את המן אכלו ארבעים שנה May 15, 2017 at 19:57
  • OK, so that's two explicit pesukim this Mechilta seems to dispute. What's up with that?
    – Isaac Moses
    May 16, 2017 at 14:40
  • 2
    @IsaacMoses: I think this is ripe for a question. May 16, 2017 at 14:46

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