Who knows three?

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27 Answers 27

  1. The number of years required to establish a chazaka on a piece of property.

  2. Men (or women) required for a zimmun.

  3. Hours waited between meat and dairy in the German tradition.

  4. Ostensibly, the number of people in front of whom lashon hara can be told and it becomes repeatable (though the Chafetz Chaim points out that it is not really applicable).

  5. Number of times one has to ask forgiveness from a friend for wrongdoing.

  • Hello Ariel. Welcome to mi.yodeya and thank you for your numerous and varied answers. Please consider registering your account by clicking "Register" and reap all the utility and benefits of being a registered mi.yodeya user.
    – WAF
    Mar 18 '10 at 17:10
  • 1
    Why isn't the word 'zimmun' appropriate for females as well? The masculine of mezumenet is mezuman.
    – Double AA
    Aug 5 '12 at 6:30

Three are the partners in creating a child (man, women and G-d).

  • Kiddushin 30b, Niddah 31a
    – DonielF
    Apr 29 '18 at 16:41

On three things the world depends -- al ha-torah, v'al ha-avodah, v'al gimilut chasadim (Pirke Avot 1:2).

And the world is sustained by three things -- by truth, by justice, and by peace (Pirke Avot 1:18).


Three are the Bavas (in both Nezikin and Kelim).


Three are the questions at the Seder (as presented in all the old manuscripts of the Mishna such as this one).

  1. about the Korban Pesach (Why on this night do we only eat roasted meat?)
  2. about the Matza (Why on this night do we only eat Matza?)
  3. about the Maror (Why on this night do we dip vegetables a second time?)

Three are the explanations given by Rabban Gamliel of the symbols at Seder.

  1. about the Korban Pesach (Because God passed over our houses.)
  2. about the Matza (Because the Jews left too quickly.)
  3. about the Maror (Because the slavery was bitter.)
  • 1
    (Hint: Rabban Gamliel is answering the Mah Nishtanah.)
    – Double AA
    Jan 3 '13 at 8:49

יהרג ואל יעבר-Prohibitions that a Jew must die, rather than transgress: עבודה זרה- idol worship גילוי עריות- sexual immorality שפיכת דמים- murder


בתי מקדש- Temples of Holiness:

1st, built by Shlomo, lasted 410 years, 2928-3338

2nd, built by Zerubavel (Some say he was Nechemia Ben Chaclaya) (Renovated by Herod), lasted 420 years, 3408-3828

3rd- שיבנה במהרה בימינו- May it be built speedily in our times!


In the entire Chumash Braishis there are 3 Mitzvos

  • 1
    Two of which are repeated later, and one of which might be out of place...
    – DonielF
    Apr 29 '18 at 16:42

Three Patriarchs - Avraham, Yitzchok, Yaakov


A minimum shiur for a garment to become tamei -- shlosh al slosh (etzbaot) or shlosha al shlosha (tefachim). See perek bameh madlikin.


רגלים- Chagim on which men are obligated to be seen in the Bais Hamikdash:

פסח-Pesach שבועות-Shavuaos סוכות-Sukkos


Three sons of Noach: Shem, Chom, Yafes

  • 1
    I believe his name was Yefes.
    – Double AA
    Aug 5 '12 at 6:27

You have 3 days to make Havdalah. If you could not make Havdalah after Shabbath, you have until Tuesday evening (5th bullet point in the linked article).

  • 1
    3 days + 1.25 hours on Shabbat afternoon.
    – Double AA
    Aug 5 '12 at 6:28

Three are:

  • Sefiros are commonly split in threes:
    • Chochma, Binah, Daas (ChaBa"D)
    • Chesed, Gevurah, Tiferes (ChaGa"S)
    • Netzach, Hod (that's me!), Yesod (NeH"I)
    • Malchus (whatever, you can't have everything)
  • The children of Amram and Yocheved: Moshe, Aharon, and Miriam
  • Three are the festivals that have 8 days (in Chu"L): Pesach, Sukkos, Chanukah
  • Years until a boys first haircut.


  • The aliases of the Satan: Satan, Angel of Death, and Yetzer HaRa
  • Sukkos has 8 days in Chu"l? How do you figure, especially considering I'm going to go out on a limb and doubt you sit in the sukkah on Shemini Atzeres?
    – Double AA
    May 15 '12 at 4:30
  • @DoubleAA Many people group Shemini Atzeres in, even though it's technically a different holiday. See for example aish.com/h/su/dits/62549892.html If you still don't like that one, it's ok! There are still eight other reasons! :D May 15 '12 at 4:41
  • 1
    Btw, from Sefer Haminhagim (Chabad): "On Shemini Atzeres one recites Kiddush and also eats and drinks in the sukkah, both by night and by day" May 15 '12 at 5:09
  • 1
    @DoubleAA When the Lubavitcher Rebbe had his heart attack (during the night Hakafos of Shmini Atzeres 1977), he insisted that he had to do Kiddush in the Sukka and on wine (chabad.org/blogs/blog_cdo/aid/1128440/jewish/…) May 15 '12 at 6:20
  • 1
    @DoubleAA: indeed, the Baal Shem Tov is reported to not have sat in the sukkah on Shemini Atzeres. The practice today varies among different groups of chassidim; see Otzar Minhagei Chabad - Elul-Tishrei, pp. 347ff, for sources.
    – Alex
    May 15 '12 at 15:17

Three Matzos, Kohain, Levi, Yisroel


You can recite Kriyas Shema up to 3 hours in the day

  • ...LeShem Mitzvah.
    – Seth J
    Jan 3 '13 at 13:29

3 is the number of shevuos (oaths) that are d'oraisa:
(see: Rambam, Hilchos Shevuos 11:5, Shulchan Aruch Choshen Mishpat 87:7)

  • 1) "Modeh b'Miktzas"- "admitting to a portion" (while also denying liability for a portion)
    Reuvein claims Shimon owes him $200 and Shimon says he owes him $100- Shimon takes a shevuah re: the remaining $100. (see Ketubot 18b)

  • 2) "Eid Echad" "a singular witness"
    Reuvein says he didn't break Shimon's window, however Levi (a singular witness) brings contradictory testimony and says he did break the window. In order to counter this solitary witness and be exempt, Reuven must take a shevuah. (see Ketubot 87b)

  • 3) "Shevuas Hashomrim"- "oath of a bailee/watchman"
    Reuvein entrusted Shimon with an item. Shimon now claims that said item was lost, stolen, or died- Shimon is required to take a shevuah due to doubt, since Reuvein (the owner of the entrusted item) doesn't know if the watchman is making a true claim or not. (see Exodus 22:9-10)


Three are the days it takes to digest a KeZayith of Matzah. (Roughly)


And check this out - maybe Hillel was onto something (well, the Pasuk requires it, but Hillel made it cool):

(Excerpted from Dr. Harvey Babich Maror and Matzah Friday February 06, 2009 http://www.yutorah.org/lectures/lecture.cfm/731442)

Nutritionally, Romaine lettuce is a most healthy vegetable. The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) included Romaine lettuce in the list of dark green leafy vegetables that help fight cancer. The carotenoid pigments in Romaine lettuce act as antioxidants to scavenge free radicals, which possibly could damage DNA thereby transforming a normal cell into a malignant cell. In addition, Romaine lettuce is an excellent source of folate, vitamins K, A, and C, and dietary fiber. The high dietary fiber content of Romaine lettuce may explain the Talmud’s (Avodah Zarah 11a) statement that lettuce facilitates digestion by aiding the turning over of the ingested food. Possibly, this meant that the dietary fiber in lettuce provides the needed insoluble roughage to promote peristaltic contractions of the muscles of the small intestines to move the materials along the digestive tract.


Three sons of Levi, Gershon, Kehos, Merari


Three are the steps to a fuller you. I.e., the three Pilgrimage festivals (pesach, shavuot, succot).


3 are the days before Shabbos that one cannot go on a boat trip.


R’ Kruspedai is mentioned three times in Shas:

  1. Rosh Hashanah 16b:

    א"ר כרוספדאי א"ר יוחנן שלשה ספרים נפתחין בר"ה אחד של רשעים גמורין ואחד של צדיקים גמורין ואחד של בינוניים צדיקים גמורין נכתבין ונחתמין לאלתר לחיים רשעים גמורין נכתבין ונחתמין לאלתר למיתה בינוניים תלויין ועומדין מר"ה ועד יוה"כ זכו נכתבין לחיים לא זכו נכתבין למיתה

    Says R’ Kruspedai in the name of R’ Yochanan: Three books are opened on Rosh HaShanah - one for the completely wicked, one for the completely righteous, and one for those in between. The completely righteous are immediately written and sealed for for life; the completely wicked are immediately written and sealed for death. Those in between are healed in abeyance from Rosh HaShanah to Yom Kippur; if they merit, they are written for life, and if [c”v] they don’t merit, they are written for death.

  2. Sanhedrin 69a:

א"ר כרוספדאי כל ימיו של בן סורר ומורה אינו אלא ג' חדשים בלבד

Says R’ Kruspedai: All the days of a Ben Sorer U’Moreh are only 3 months alone.

  1. Kerisos 24a:

אמר רבי כרוספדאי אמר ר' יוחנן שור הנסקל שהוזמו עדיו כל המחזיק בו זכה בו

Says R’ Kruspedai in the name of R’ Yochanan: An ox that is to be stoned [which was made Hefker with Beis Din’s psak din - Rashi] whose [prosecuting] witnesses were made into Zomemim - anyone who takes the ox acquires it.

Further, the first two of these statements themselves involve threes: three books on Rosh HaShanah and three months that a Ben Sorer U’Moreh has to live.

(Close readers will notice that Niddah 46a quotes R’ Kruspedai in the context of the age of adulthood as well; however, closer readers will notice that in that context he is quoted as R’ Kruspedai berei d’Rebbi Shabsai - someone else entirely.)


Three are the three days and three nights the prophet Jonah spent inside the large fish. (Jonah 1:17)

  • When the wicked Balaam came to bless Israel, he should have given them seven blessings... instead he gave three:

How goodly are your tents Num. 24:5

Who has counted the dust of Yaakov. Ibid. 23:10

He has not beheld iniquity to Yaakov. Ibid. 23:21

[Encyclopedia of biblical personalities p.111 (Pesikta d'Rav Kahana 31:18)]

  • Moshe was 3 years old when he removed the crown from Pharoah's head. (Yalkut Shimoni, Shemos 166) E.B.P. p.109

  • Balaam possessed 3 qualities Moshe did not: 1) He knew who he was speaking to 2) knew when Hashem would speak to him 3) spoke to Hashem whenever he pleased (Bamidbar Rabbah 22:7)

  • All kissing is folly except for 3 types: 1) The kiss of high rank; 2) the kiss of reuniting those who have been apart; 3) and the kiss of separating (Bereshit Rabbah 70:12 to Bereshis 29:11)


Three is the number of Husbands who married Michal the daughter of Shaul.

1- ADRIEL HAMECHOLI - עדריאל המחולי

2 - Dovid Hamelech - דוד המלך

3 - Palti son of Layish - פלטי בן ליש


There are three shields, three carriages, three kneading troughs, three boxes, etc., etc., etc. (Kelim chapter 24).


Three had intercourse in Noach's ark and were punished - the dog, the raven and Cham.

Sanhedrin 108b

ת"ר שלשה שמשו בתיבה וכולם לקו כלב ועורב וחם כלב נקשר עורב רק חם לקה בעורו

The Sages taught: Three violated that directive and engaged in intercourse while in the ark, and all of them were punished for doing so. They are: The dog, and the raven, and Ham, son of Noah. The dog was punished in that it is bound; the raven was punished in that it spits, and Ham was afflicted in that his skin turned black.

(Sefaria translation and notation)

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