Do the Sources make any collective judgments about twins? (Such as: Twins are a sign of this, twins portend that, etc.) I couldn't find anything about twins except mentioning multiple births when they happen.

The Torah gives us two sets of twins: Jacob/Esau and Peretz/Zerach. The Midrash postulates a lot of twins, mostly to answer questions such as: Who did the first men marry to perpetuate the species? Where did they find fellow Jews to marry? It tells us that Cain was born with a twin sister and Abel was born with two twin sisters. [Gen. R. 22:2] They each married their twin, and their fight was really over who would marry Abel’s other sister. [Gen. R. 22:7]

An example will illustrate what I am looking for. The Talmud makes many collective judgments on women: -On the positive side, it mentions their superior compassion (Megillah 14b), their charity (Taanit 23b), their faithfulness (Eruvin 21b), their piety (Sotah 11b), their understanding (Niddah 45b), and their primary role in educating their children and keeping their husbands from transgressing the Torah [Yevamot 63a].
-On the negative side, it mentions their predisposition to idle curiosity (Taharot 7:9), their propensity for excessive talk (Berachot 48b), their belief in superstitions (Sanhedrin 67a), and their weak will (Shabbat 33b).

Anything remotely similar for twins?

  • Possible interest - jewishweek.timesofisrael.com/the-mystery-of-twins
    – DanF
    Nov 7, 2018 at 22:27
  • Close voter: Care to explain how this is too broad, or dissimilar from any of our “What does Judaism say about X that it probably has something to say about?”-type questions?
    – DonielF
    Nov 7, 2018 at 22:36
  • @Maurice To aid in helping research, I highly recommend that you edit in references to Yaakov and Eisav being twins (Parshas Toldos, which, being this week’s parsha, I imagine was your motivation), as well as Peretz and Zerach (Parshas Vayeishev). For good measure, you might as well throw in a Gemini reference, being the zodiac that corresponds to Sivan.
    – DonielF
    Nov 7, 2018 at 22:38
  • possibly helpful to answer: medethics.org.il/website/index.php/he/research/… Nov 8, 2018 at 1:29
  • IIRC there's also a midrash that says each of Yaakov's sons had a twin sister born with them.
    – ezra
    Nov 8, 2018 at 4:18

1 Answer 1


[In another thread], we learn that Ephraim and Menashe were twins: "Seder Hadoros puts the births of both of them in the same year (2233), and also cites Nesiv Hayashar quoting Birkas Shmuel that they were indeed twins."

Since the Torah did not bother to inform us of this explicitly, perhaps we can conclude that Judaism does not teach there is anything special or noteworthy about twins. In the other two cases, the fact that they were twins was mentioned only to say that there was pre-birth interaction between the twins.

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