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Who knows one hundred three?

Please cite/link your sources, if possible. At some point at least twenty-four hours from now, I will:

  • Upvote all interesting answers.

  • Accept the best answer.

  • *Go on to the next number.

5 Answers 5

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Yeravam (the first king of the Ten Tribes, a brilliant Torah scholar but a wicked person) knew how to explain each concept in the Book of Vayikra in 103 different ways.

(Appropriately enough, this statement appears in the Gemara Sanhedrin on page 103 b.)

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  • That's a slam dunk, Alex!
    – Dave
    Oct 13, 2010 at 21:18
  • 1
    Checkmark for slam dunk. "Shelosha umeya - peirushei malka."
    – Isaac Moses
    Oct 14, 2010 at 20:12
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The last two dynasties that governed Israel prior to the Second Temple's destruction maintained their rule for 103 years (Avodah Zara 9a): The Chashmonaim from 140 BCE to 36 BCE, and the Herodians from 36 BCE to 68 CE.

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  • Honorable mention for being an honorable mench. Your answer's pretty good, too.
    – Isaac Moses
    Oct 14, 2010 at 20:12
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Off to the west of the main Altar's ramp stood a silver table upon which the Kohanim would set out the ninety-three vessels used in the daily service. These ninety-three vessels were actually three sets of thirty-one vessels, since the Temple kept on hand two backup copies of each of its vessels in case one should become tamei or otherwise unusable. The following is a list of the thirty-one vessels (as recorded in the sefer Ezras Kohanim):

  1. Issaron measuring cup (for dry goods)
  2. Half-issaron measuring cup (for dry goods)
  3. Half-hin measuring cup (for liquid goods)
  4. Third-hin measuring cup (for liquid goods)
  5. Quarter-hin measuring cup (for liquid goods)
  6. Lug measuring cup (for liquid goods)
  7. Half-lug measuring cup (for liquid goods)
  8. Quarter-lug measuring cup (for liquid goods)
  9. Slaughtering knife
  10. Meat knife
  11. Knife for trimming fat
  12. Cleaver
  13. Mizrak, a cone-shaped vessel for receiving the blood of sacrifices
  14. Golden cup used to water the lamb for the Tamid-offering prior to its slaughter
  15. Teni, a golden basket used to collect ashes from the Golden Altar
  16. Kuz, a cup to collect unused oil from the Menorah
  17. Bezach, a large, golden spoon used to bring innards to the Altar
  18. Golden spoon of the Incense
  19. Cover for the Incense spoon
  20. Bezach for the Incense
  21. Silver machatah, a shovel used in the Incense service to collect coals from the Outer Altar
  22. Golden machatah, a shovel to carry the coals (transferred from the silver shovel) into the Sanctuary
  23. Pesachter, a large, multipurpose container
  24. Magrephah, a shovel-like vessel designed to make a loud clatter when dropped
  25. Bowl for mixing Minchah-offerings
  26. Bowl to hold the oil for Minchah-offerings
  27. Machavas, frying pan for certain Minchah-offerings
  28. Marcheshes, pot for certain Minchah-offerings
  29. Mazleig, tool for adjusting the wicks of the Menorah
  30. Machatah, tool for cleaning the lamps of the Menorah
  31. Alas, a ladle for transferring liquids”

See The Original Second Temple by Yoav Elan.

In addition to these 93 utensils were ten vessels:

  • The Menorahchesed;

  • The Table – gevurah;

  • The Altar - tiferet with its connection to malchut;

  • The Basin and Jug or Laver - netzach and hod;

  • The Ark – bina;

  • The Curtain – chochmah;

  • The cherubs on the Ark – keter; &

  • All in its Weight/shekelmalchut.

See Likkutei Sichos, Vol. XXI, Vayakhel-Pekudei.

Thus it would appear that there is a total of 103 vessels and utensils in the Temple.

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David said one hundred and three chapters, and he did not say Halleluya in any of them until he saw the downfall of the wicked. (Berachos 9b)

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Mincha = 103

Avimelech = 103

Nechama = 103

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