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Who knows four?

Please cite/link your sources, if possible. After Shabbat, I will:

  • Upvote all interesting answers.

  • Accept the best answer.

  • Go on to the next number.

48 Answers 48

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There are four verses in Megillas Esther which the listeners read out loud.

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  • Machzor Vitri says this is אינו חובה ואינו מנהג אלא שמחת תינוקות – Double AA Jun 21 '17 at 22:22
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Four is number of angels, faces, wings and hands (on each angel) of Yechzkiel's vision

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Four are the cardinal directions:

  • East/Qedem (Shemot 27:13)
  • South/Negev (Bereshit 24:62)
  • North/Tzafon (Yeshayahu 14:13)
  • West/Yam (Bemidbar 34:60)
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Four are the corners of the Mizbeahh.

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There are 2 which are subdivided into FOUR ways to move something from a private domain to a public domain on Shabbos (Shabbos Mishna 1:1)

  • And two which are four remembrances of tumah, two which are four shevuos, and two which are four types of tzara'as (Shevuos 1:1, which also brings Yetzi'os HaShabbos). – DonielF Apr 14 '19 at 2:51
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4 exiles: בבל, פרס ומדי, יון. אדום.

These correspond to the letters of the word גשנה, which stands for גוף שכל נפש הכל.
גוף corresponds to גלות פרס ומדי.
שכל corresponds to גלות יון.
נפש corresponds to גלות בבל.
הכל corresponds to גלות אדום.

This is also connected to the 4 sides of the דריידל.

There are 4 sons of יבן (see 1 Chronicles 1:7 and Genesis 9:4)
There are 4 sons of חם (see 1 Chronicles 1:8 and Genesis 9:6)
There are 4 sons of ארם (see Genesis 9:23)
There are 4 sons of ראואל (see 1 Chronicles 1:37)
There are 4 sons of ראומה (see Genesis 22:24)

  • What about Golus Yishmo'eil? – ezra Mar 28 '18 at 23:04
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There are 4 types of creations: Domem (like stones), Tsomeach (plants), Chai (animals), and Medaber (humans).

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There are four tzitzit on tallit.

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Four is the lowest age of chinuch for standard mitzvos.

  • 3
    Can you cite a source? – msh210 Aug 6 '12 at 22:51
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Four are the number of ages at which Chazal recommend that one should get married, each one more optimal than the next:

Fourteen, Sixteen, Eighteen and Twenty.

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  • 1
    A citation would be great here. – Seth J Jan 5 '16 at 15:31
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There are four people called Chanoch in the Torah. Chanoch son of Kayin (Bereishis 4:17), Chanoch son of Yered (Bereishis 5:18), Chanoch son of Midyan (Bereishis 25:4), and Chanoch son of Re'uvein (Bereishis 46:9). As you can see, all four of these are found in Seifer Bereishis.

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Related: https://judaism.stackexchange.com/a/34936/

There are four things called “two which are four,” all of which are found in the first Mishnah of Shevuos. The below sources indicate other places where the teachings appear.

  • Carrying on Shabbos (Shabbos 1:1)
  • Colors of Tzara’as (Negaim 1:1)
  • Types of Shevuos (Shevuos 3:1)
  • Realizations of one’s status of tumah (...Nope, this one doesn’t show up elsewhere.)
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4- are the number of things required for a "תנאי" --halachik stipulation/ condition-- to be considered valid (see Rambam, Hilchos Ishus 6:1-2).

1) שיהיה כפול - The stipulation must be "twofold," with both a positive and negative statement

  • Example: if you do x then we're married, and if you don't do x then we're not married (see Kiddushin 61a)

2) שיהיה הן שלו קודם ללאו - The positive stipulation must be stated before the negative stipulation

3) שיהיה התנאי קודם למעשה - the stipulation must be mentioned before the action

  • Example: "I'll give you $100 if you climb Mount Everest" would be invalid, since the stipulation precedes the action (see Bava Metzia 94a)

4) שיהיה התנאי דבר שאפשר לקיימו - the stipulation made must be possible for one to fulfill

  • Example: stating "I'll do this on condition you go all the way to the heavens" is obviously not possible and would thus be in valid (see Bava Metzia 94a)
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Four categories of Korbanos, according to the Rambam (Maaseh Korbonos 1:2)

וכל הקרבנות בין של צבור בין של יחיד ארבעה מינין: עולה וחטאת ואשם ושלמים

All Korbanos - both communal and personal - are of four primary categories - Olah, Chatas, Asham and Shelamim.

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Sotah 42b - In reward for the four tears Orpah shed over her mother-in-law Naomi, she merited to bear four mighty men (Saph, Madon, Golyas & Yishbi Benov)

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4 sons referenced in the Haggadah: חכם, רשע, תם and שאינו יודע לשאול.

4 relationships with Hashem referenced in ידיד נפש: master-servant, romantic love, father-son, friendship.

4 types of worshippers referenced at the end of פסוקי דזמרה of Shabbos: ישרים, צדיקים, חסידים and קדושים.

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  • 4 sons was mentioned earlier. – DonielF Mar 29 '18 at 0:54
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Four...

-...commoners have no share in the World to Come: Balaam, Doeg, Ahithophel and Gehazi. (Sanhedrin 90a)

  • ...vessels Hashem knocked and found to be full of urine (worthless): Adam, Cain, Balaam, and Hezekiah. (Breshis Rabbah 19:11)

  • Biblical figures who vowed, 2 incurred loss (Yaakov and Jephtah) and the other 2 profitted (Hannah and Klal Israel) - Bereshit Rabbah 70:4

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Four is the number of the Chief-Archangels before the Divine Throne: Mikha'el, Rafa'el, Gavri'el and Uri'el.

In the Kabbalah, these Chief-Princes are set over the Four Elements: Mikha'el over Fire, Rafa'el over Air, Gavri'el over Water, and Uri'el over Earth.

Again they are set over the Four Seasons: Mikha'el over Summer, Rafa'el over Spring, Gavri'el over Winter, and Uri'el over Autumn.

Again they are also set over the Four types of Creatures: Mikha'el over Walking, Rafa'el over Flying, Gavri'el over Swimming, and Uri'el over Creeping.

These Four Great Malakhim also hold power and subjugation over the Four Demon Kings (who I will not name here).

These Holy Ones additionally are set over the Four Cardinal Directions: Mikha'el in the South, Rafa'el in the East, Gavri'el in the West, and Uri'el in the North.

Concerning the four letters of the Ineffable Name: Rafa'el connects to Yod, Mikha'el to Hei, Gavri'el to Vav, and Uri'el to Hei.

The name of the Great Archangel Rafa'el is also composed of four letters, over Wednesday the Fourth Day he is set.

The Great Archangel Mikha'el is also set over the Fourth Heaven: Ma'on. This is where the Heavenly Yerushalayim and Beit Ha'Miqdash reside.

The Holy One, blessed be he, also set these Heavenly Hosts over certain planets of our Galaxy: Mikha'el over the Sun and Mercury, Rafa'el over Mercury and the Sun, Gavri'el over the Moon and Stars, Uri'el over the Earth and Venus. (I should note that the other Archangel's also have planetary associations: Tzadqi'el over Jupiter, Caftsi'el over Saturn, Chamu'el and S..ama..el over Mars, Hani'el over Venus, Razi'el over the Zodiac and Saturn, The Chief-Prince Sandalfon over Earth, and The Chief-Prince Metatron over the Sun.)

Lastly it was also upon the Fourth Day of Creation, that Ha'Shem created the Sun, Moon, Stars and Planets. Of which he set his most Holy Angels over.

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