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31 votes
9 answers
3k views

Why the vast difference of opinion about the age of the Universe?

5770 and 13,000,000,000 is a big difference! I am looking for a good explanation for the different views of the age of the universe, [the Tanakh's view and astronomy's view.] Please help me out!
wayon's user avatar
  • 1,215
29 votes
4 answers
4k views

Why isn't the Kabbalistic doctrine of Sefirot considered Shittuf if the Christian Trinity is?

From the answers to this question it seems that most if not all Jewish sources treat Trinitarian Christianity (in particular, their doctrine of the Trinity) as either Shittuf or outright Avoda Zara, ...
Curiouser's user avatar
  • 7,931
29 votes
2 answers
667 views

How do we determine "population statistics" for population-dependent Halachot?

There appear to be several halachot that are based on "a majority of Israel". For example: Mishnah Berachot 54a: הרואה מקום שנעשו בו נסים לישראל אומר ברוך שעשה נסים לאבותינו במקום הזה IF ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 49.5k
25 votes
5 answers
8k views

Is there a list of Mitzvot and their corresponding body parts?

The Talmud (Makkot 23B)and the Zohar (1:170B - unverified English translation here) say that the 248 positive commandments correspond to the 248 limbs of the human body. (The Mishna (Ohalot 1:8) lists ...
Menachem's user avatar
  • 44.6k
23 votes
2 answers
379 views

Why the custom to switch around negative-sounding numbers, such as שד?

Often in sefarim we find that if the number of the siman spells out something negative, such as siman 304 which has a letter value of שד, we switch it around so it no longer reads as a "bad" word. ...
Baal Shemot Tovot's user avatar
22 votes
2 answers
515 views

Lechem Mishneh by the Third Shabbos Meal

Is one required to have Lechem Mishneh by the Third Shabbos Meal?
yydl's user avatar
  • 38.6k
21 votes
3 answers
28k views

Why do people keep saying 12 tribes of Israel when there are 13?

The Encyclopædia Britannica article “Twelve Tribes of Israel” says (emphasis added), Jacob’s first wife, Leah, bore him six sons: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun. Each was the ...
user4951's user avatar
  • 4,353
21 votes
5 answers
746 views

What is the nature of the numeral "ashtei-asar" (11)?

What is the nature of the numeral ashtei-asar (meaning 11) as in (BeMidbar 29:20, Parashat Pinchas): וּבַיּוֹם הַשְּׁלִישִׁי פָּרִים עַשְׁתֵּי-עָשָׂר What is the basic word? Is this using ...
YDK's user avatar
  • 28.2k
20 votes
3 answers
2k views

How long did Chava (Eve) live?

The Torah tells us that Adam HaRishon lived for 930 years. Is there a source that tells us for how long Chava (Eve) lived? I have been unable to find any source that discusses how old Chava was when ...
Gershon Gold's user avatar
19 votes
3 answers
6k views

How many of the 613 Mitzvos can we do only in Israel?

There are many Mitzvos we can not do in today's generation. For example there are no Korbonos, no slaves, etc. Per the Chofetz Chaim, there are 77 positive Mitzvos and 194 negative Mitzvos which can ...
Gershon Gold's user avatar
18 votes
9 answers
2k views

Why is "Shalom Aleichem" always plural?

Why do we say Shalom Alaichem to one person if Alaichem is plural? Is it saying you and all of the Jews? Is that why it's plural?
shlomo's user avatar
  • 3,097
18 votes
3 answers
961 views

the aggadic concept of a finite number of words to speak

Is there any truth to the common claim that each person has a predetermined number of words that he can speak in his life? Source, please. If so, then how does it work? In particular (with sources or ...
msh210's user avatar
  • 73.4k
16 votes
2 answers
2k views

Differences between RaMbaM and RaMbaN's mitzvah count

I know both the Rambam and Ramban listed all of the 613 mitzvos, and that they differ in some (I think like 16ish?) What are the ones upon which they differ? If possible please include why they differ ...
robev's user avatar
  • 19.8k
16 votes
3 answers
1k views

Why not count 50 days of the omer instead of 49?

The verse in Vayikra (23:16) says: עד ממחרת השבת השביעית תספרו חמישים יום even unto the morrow after the seventh week shall ye number fifty days (OJPS, emphasis added) In my experience the omer ...
DanF's user avatar
  • 70.6k
16 votes
2 answers
3k views

Which mitzvah is repeated the most times in the Chumash?

I have learned that not mixing milk and meat is mentioned 3 times in the chumash, and because of this we learn 3 different laws. I also found out today that the law "not to follow the ways of the ...
avi's user avatar
  • 19k
16 votes
3 answers
2k views

Can someone have more than one potential soulmate simultaneously?

I have been told from several different people that it is possible for one person to have multiple Besherts (divinely intended marriage partners, soulmates if you will) to choose from. He may only ...
Menachem's user avatar
  • 44.6k
15 votes
19 answers
745 views

Shelosh Meyot - mi yodeya?

Who knows three hundred? ?שלוש מאות - מי יודע In the spirit of the song "Echad - mi yodeya", please post interesting and significant Jewish facts about the number 300. Check out mi-yodeya-...
Isaac Moses's user avatar
  • 48.1k
15 votes
9 answers
4k views

Pomegranate = 613 seeds?

Has anyone ever counted the seeds of a pomegranate? Is it true that each pomegranate has 613 seeds?
Gershon Gold's user avatar
15 votes
3 answers
2k views

Why is every 3rd plague (of the 10 brought on Pharoah) unannounced?

It seems like Moshe warned Pharoah of every plague except the 3rd (lice), 6th (boils) and 9th (darkness). Why is that? Is there something special about these plagues?
DanF's user avatar
  • 70.6k
15 votes
2 answers
881 views

Am I allowed to count people?

Where did the practice of not counting people come from? People count not-one, not-two, not-three etc. What is wrong with counting one, two, three etc? This is often found when counting to see if ...
N123's user avatar
  • 2,883
14 votes
29 answers
940 views

Shelosha - mi yodeya?

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.
Isaac Moses's user avatar
  • 48.1k
14 votes
2 answers
3k views

1/60: why was the figure 60 chosen?

Many instances in the Talmud involve the number 60 as for instances: battel beshishim dreaming is 1/60th of prophecy sleeping is 1/60th of death Why was the number 60 chosen by the Sages and not 100 ...
Eli83's user avatar
  • 1,078
14 votes
4 answers
2k views

What is the halachic status of adult conjoined twins?

It is rare but possible for conjoined twins to remain alive and healthy into adulthood, such as is the case with Abby and Brittany Hensel. They have distinct sets of heads, hearts, and lungs. They ...
Premundane's user avatar
  • 4,501
13 votes
41 answers
847 views

Meya - mi yodeya?

Who knows one hundred? Please cite/link your sources, if possible. At some point in the future, subject to holiday and user activity delay, I will: Upvote all interesting answers. Accept the best ...
13 votes
4 answers
841 views

What happened to the bechorim (first-borns)?

In the begining of sefer bamidbar, the males between 20 and 60 are counted and it says that there are over 600,000 of them. Theoretically each, or most, of these people should have had a first-born ...
2345678876543's user avatar
13 votes
5 answers
271 views

Sefiras Haomer Counting Direction

When we count the Sefiras Haomer, why do we count up and not down?
SimchasTorah's user avatar
  • 33.3k
13 votes
3 answers
411 views

What's the reason for the opinion that one must wash their hands thrice before eating bread?

Some sects of Ashkenazim (mostly Litvish) wash their hands only twice, while some Sephardim and some Hasidim wash three times. Based on this answer I know that the first splash gets rid of the ...
Ani Yodea's user avatar
  • 13.2k
13 votes
2 answers
301 views

The 500 men killed in Shushan, and the 500 Jews who killed Amaleki

Is there a source to connect (mystically, or otherwise) those enemies of the Jews (presumably Amaleki) killed in Megillas Esther 9:12 with the 500 men from the tribe of Shimon who killed out the ...
none's user avatar
  • 3,968
12 votes
51 answers
1k views

Arba'a - mi yodeya?

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.
12 votes
33 answers
752 views

Shisha - mi yodeya?

Who knows six? Please cite/link your sources, if possible. In about one business day, I will: Upvote all interesting answers. Accept the best answer. Go on to the next number.
Isaac Moses's user avatar
  • 48.1k
12 votes
5 answers
5k views

Why do some people wrap their Tefilin around their arms 8 times?

I have seen people who wrap the Tefilin 7 times around their arm and some that wrap it 8 times around their arm. Why do the people who wrap it 8 times do so?
Gershon Gold's user avatar
12 votes
3 answers
405 views

י-ו as a name of Hashem

Sometimes the letters י-ו seem to serve as a name of Hashem. For example, many authors replace י-ו with טז in a numbering system, presumably so as to not write Hashem's name, similar to replacing י-ה ...
Y     e     z's user avatar
12 votes
0 answers
192 views

Why do we write the number 16 as tet + zayin? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How could the numerals יה and יו be used irreverently? I understand that we write the number 15 as tet vav as opposed to yud hey to avoid writing the shem Hashem, but what ...
ha'bayishan's user avatar
11 votes
29 answers
925 views

Shiv'a - mi yodeya?

Who knows seven? (I mean really, who doesn't?) Please cite/link your sources, if possible. In about one business day, I will: Upvote all interesting answers. Accept the best answer. Go on to the ...
Isaac Moses's user avatar
  • 48.1k
11 votes
29 answers
518 views

Chamisha - mi yodeya?

Who knows five? 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.
Isaac Moses's user avatar
  • 48.1k
11 votes
3 answers
2k views

What are the 30 Mitzvot for Bnei Noach?

What are the 30 Mitzvot (Commandments) that Bnei Noach have accepted (based on Hullin 92a)? שלשים מצות שקבלו עליהם בני נח.‏ Thirty commandments which Bnei Noach accepted upon themselves.
EhevuTov's user avatar
  • 1,348
11 votes
3 answers
343 views

How did Avrohom learn that nine doesn't work?

The Midrash says (Bereshis Rabbah 49:13 quoted in Rashi Genesis 18:32) that Abraham stopped asking HaShem to save Sodom in the merit of less than 10 people because Noah and his family who were 8 ...
Reb Chaim HaQoton's user avatar
11 votes
3 answers
854 views

Why when washing for bread do we splash twice?

Is there any particular reason the procedure for washing hands for bread includes pouring the water twice on each hand? Isn't once enough?
yydl's user avatar
  • 38.6k
11 votes
2 answers
513 views

Why are we so concerned about 1/2 of 1% (Golden Calf episode)

We just read (in Parshat Ki Tisa) that the Levites punished the 3,000 men who took part in the golden calf episode. But 3,000 is only 1/2 of 1% of the 600,000 Israelite men who left Egypt. Why is the ...
Yehuda W's user avatar
  • 8,247
11 votes
2 answers
550 views

Were there more than seven prophetesses?

The Bavli, M'gila 14 amud 1, quotes: Forty-eight prophets and seven prophetesses prophesied for the Jews…. Further along on the page, it questions this: Were there no more? But it says [...
msh210's user avatar
  • 73.4k
11 votes
2 answers
543 views

When saying the Mi SheBerach prayer for a sick amputee, do you say "for his 248 limbs"?

The standard text of the Mi She-Berach prayer for the sick asks that G-d send healing "to his 248 limbs and 365 sinews." What if someone, G-d forbid, lost a foot a few years ago; and now prayers are ...
Shalom's user avatar
  • 133k
11 votes
2 answers
576 views

What rabbinic/Judaic scholar has the lowest Erdős number? [closed]

From Wikipedia: The Erdős number describes the "collaborative distance" between a person and mathematician Paul Erdős, as measured by authorship of mathematical papers. ... Due to the very high ...
Shalom's user avatar
  • 133k
11 votes
3 answers
460 views

Source for 3 and only 3 Temples

Is Yirmiyahu 7:4 the source for the idea that there won't be a 4th Temple? If not, what is? ד אַל-תִּבְטְחוּ לָכֶם, אֶל-דִּבְרֵי הַשֶּׁקֶר לֵאמֹר: הֵיכַל יְהוָה הֵיכַל יְהוָה, הֵיכַל יְהוָה ...
avi's user avatar
  • 19k
11 votes
1 answer
4k views

Saying "HaMakom yenachem..." multiple times

Does one say "HaMakom yenachem..." each time one visits/leaves a shiva house or only once during the shiva period? I recall someone telling me one only says it once, but I cannot find any source for ...
Jake's user avatar
  • 191
10 votes
29 answers
462 views

Asara - mi yodeya?

Who knows ten? Please cite/link your sources, if possible. At some point on Chol Hamo'ed, I will: Upvote all interesting answers. Accept the best answer. Go on to the next number.
Isaac Moses's user avatar
  • 48.1k
10 votes
3 answers
769 views

Saying 100 Berachoth in a day

What is the source for the idea that one should say 100 Berachoth in a day, and how serious of an obligation is this? Is it mandatory, is it laudatory, or is it merely a nice idea?
Seth J's user avatar
  • 41.6k
10 votes
2 answers
577 views

Why does the tribe of Gad have an unusual population count in Bamidbar 1?

When listing the census of the tribes in Bamidbar 1, only the tribe of Gad has the count 45,650 - I.e. - the count is not exactly on the hundreds as it is with all the other tribes. As the count was ...
DanF's user avatar
  • 70.6k
10 votes
2 answers
240 views

Are T're Asar split at all?

We generally consider T're Asar as one book (as is evident from Bava Basra 14:2). Are there any ways in which we officially treat it as twelve? (Possible ways I can think of that we might are: having ...
msh210's user avatar
  • 73.4k
10 votes
2 answers
694 views

How could the numerals יה and יו be used irreverently?

I was told that in the sequence of numerals with Hebrew letters, the numbers 15 and 16 are rendered with טו and טז instead of יה and יו to prevent the tetragrammaton from being formed irreverently. ...
Peter Olson's user avatar
  • 1,713
10 votes
2 answers
266 views

Mi Yodeya the biggest number in Torah?

What is the biggest number found in Torah? Can be from any work at all, except maybe more recent contemporary works by popular Rabbis, such as R Kaplan or Dr. Schroeder, where they might bring in huge ...
Rabbi Kaii's user avatar
  • 10.5k

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