Who knows three?
Please cite/link your sources, if possible. In about a day, I will:
Upvote all interesting answers.
Accept the best answer.
Go on to the next number.
Mi Yodeya is a question and answer site for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more. It only takes a minute to sign up.Sign up to join this community
The number of years required to establish a chazaka on a piece of property.
Men (or women) required for a zimmun.
Hours waited between meat and dairy in the German tradition.
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).
Number of times one has to ask forgiveness from a friend for wrongdoing.
Three are the questions at the Seder (as presented in all the old manuscripts of the Mishna such as this one).
Three are the explanations given by Rabban Gamliel of the symbols at Seder.
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) "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.
R’ Kruspedai is mentioned three times in Shas:
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.
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.
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.)
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)
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.
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)