Natalie and Maria are my favorite servers and buddies at my favorite Chinese restaurant in Haifa. They are both Russian olim or immigrants and students at our local university. I love to eat barvaz or duck and drink red wine at the Nof Hotel restaurant which is known throughout the world. They have great food and a wonderful view of the Baha'i Shrine.
Yes, we have a McDonald's and Pizza Hut nearby. I mentioned to my friends that I had just come from a Talmud class where the subject of significant numbers in Judaism was discussed. We met at their break to drink coffee and share our theories about significant numbers in Judaism; we all claim the number four as our favorite.
With the invention of writing, symbols were found to represent the numbers. Different methods of representing numeric symbols were invented, but the most common one was the division in groups of ten.
The numeric systems inventions vary across time and place, and there is no doubt that the properties of such a system can facilitate or impede the development of mathematical understanding. Chinese (and Asian languages based on ancient Chinese) are organized such that the numerical names are compatible with the traditional 10-base numeration system. So, spoken numbers correspond exactly to their written equivalent: the number15 is spoken as "ten five" and 57 as "five ten seven."
The following numbers hold a special significance in Judaism and often in other faiths and cultures:
The number one refers to the universal creator.
The number three:
The patriarchs of the Jewish people, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
The number of prayers recited daily
The number of shofar sounds
The Shlosha (three) Ragalim (Jewish festivals): Pesach, Shavuot, and Sukkot
The four matriarchs of the Jewish people Sarah (wife of Abraham, mother of Isaac), Rebecca (wife of Isaac, mother of Jacob and Esau) Rachel and Leah (wives of Jacob, mothers of several of his 13 children)
During the Pesach Seder: four cups of wine, four questions, and four sons of Judaism
Number of sides on the Dreidal is four.
The number 7 is the Divine number of completion the covenant of holiness and sanctification, and also all The general symbols for all association with G-d; the favorite religious number of Judaism, that was holy and sanctifying in purpose
The menorah in the Temple had seven lamps.
REMEMBER? The 7 years Jacob served for Rachel?
and the 7 more years after that, because of the switch on his wedding night?
REMEMBER? The 7 years of Good Harvest, followed by 7 years of famine?
The dreams of the Pharaoh about the seven (7) cows who ate seven (7) cows?
And his 2nd dream about the 7 ears of corn? Do you remember?
A full week of shiva is seven days; the term "shiva" refers to the seven-day period Number of days of Sukkot, Number of days of Pesach (Israel), Blessings in the Amidah of Shabbat, Yom Tov, and Musaf (except Rosh Hashanah) Number of aliyot on Shabbat.
The number forty is associated with:
In the story of Noah and the Great Flood, it rains for "forty days and forty nights" (Gen 7:4, 12, 17; 8:6)
Moses spends "forty days and forty nights" on Mount Sinai when receiving the Law from G-d (Exod 24:18; cf. Deut 9:9-25).
Moses spends another "forty days and forty nights" on the mountain, encountering G-d a second time (Exod 34:28; cf. Deut 10:10)
The Israelite spies scout out the Promised Land for forty days (Num 13:25, 34); but due to their lack of faith, G-d requires the Israelites to wander in the desert for forty years. Several great kings reign over Israel for forty years, including David (2 Sam 5:4; 1 Kgs 2:11; 1 Chron 29:27), Solomon (1 Kgs 11:42; 2 Chron 9:30), Jehoash (2 Kgs 12:1; aka Joash, 2 Chron 24:1).
Natalie, Maria, and I all love the number four due to its association with the Jewish holiday Passover. Pesach, or Passover in English, is one of the best known Jewish holidays, as much for its connection to Jewish redemption and the figure of Moses as for its ties with Christian history (the Last Supper was apparently a Passover Seder).