Who nose the power of your knows?

עז אפך - מי יודע?‏

King David, in Psalms 90:11, asks this question, implying that there is Jewish significance to the power of your nose.

Of course there is.

![Cartoon of a Jew with a big nose
"Antisemitic caricature shortly after the big bang at the stock exchange in Vienna", Geschichte Österreichs, 1873. Public Domain

But really, what, according to authentic sources in Judaism, is the power of your nose? King David wanted to know, and so do I. The more significant within Judaism and the more intrinsically dependent on nasal knowledge, the stronger the answer. Please include sources for your information wherever possible, as with all other answers on this site.

Nosy gematrias are fine, but not lazy ones.

This question is Purim Torah and is not intended to be taken completely seriously. See the Purim Torah policy.


5 Answers 5


Hashem NOSE leamo iitten is the source of this discussion. So the nose is necessary to make shalom as the end of the verse taught.

  • 1
    That's ŋoz (ngose, not nose) :) Mar 12, 2017 at 4:34
  • @Noach MiFrankfurt According to European sefaradom (Italy, Holland) you are right, they say th ע gn
    – kouty
    Mar 12, 2017 at 4:37
  • @NoachMiFrankfurt You're from Frankfurt. No one "nose" better than you!
    – DanF
    Mar 13, 2017 at 18:31

The nose is quite powerful! As is clear from Taanis 29a, whoever masters the nose is a prominent person, and becomes leader of the generation, as Rashi there comments:

בעל החוטם - בעל קומה וצורה ל"א גדול הדור

Master of the nose - a prominent person, the greatest of the generation

  • In many places in mishna the nose is important. if a man enter in reverse in bet hamenuga and the nose remains outside he is not unclean
    – kouty
    Mar 12, 2017 at 4:39

The shul I attended when growing up had a Shamash with a very nasal voice. He usually read the Torah. However, on Rosh Hshanna and Yom Kippur, he davened Shacharit

Those of us who are avid shul attenders are aware that Rosh Hashannah / Yom Kippur have a special nusach that is not used any other time of the year. The tune is different, etc.

My Shamash took that concept one step further. Because of his nasal voice, on Rosh Hashannah and Yom Kippur, he davened Nusach Ashkeshnoz.


The nose is necessary to smell besamim with.

It can also be used to figure when Torah shouldn't be learned due to odours.


Im far from an expert, but isn't Arich Anpin, "Long of Nose/Countenance" one of the Kabbalistic representations of HaShem, indicating Patience/Mercy? I'm sure someone around here has actual sources, showing that the longer the nose, the more merciful someone is, whether Divine or human.

A better example is from Shemot 34:6 where "erech apayim", literally "long nose(s)" has usually been translated as "slow to anger".

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