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Ask a Jew: Is there a Significance in a $36 Donation?

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Ask a Jew: Is there a Significance to a $36 Donation?

I notice during this giving season that many of my Jewish friends make financial donations in the amount of $36. Is there a significance in this number?

What questions do you have about Judaism? Submit them online, or fill out the form below. 

Commentary by Hyphen Parent | FāVS News

The Hebrew word for “Life” is “Chai.”  It’s not pronounced like tea, but rather closer to the English word, “Hi.” Hebrew letters have numerical values. The letters that make up Chai are equal to 10 and 8. So the number 18 is considered to be somewhat lucky, a celebration of life. 

We Jews will often give in multiples of 18 (18, 36, 54, 180, 360, etc.). Gifts for celebrations like a b’nei mitzvah or a wedding and things like donations to charities are often done in those amounts as a way to celebrate life and to wish good luck. 


The views expressed in this opinion column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of FāVS News. FāVS News values diverse perspectives and thoughtful analysis on matters of faith and spirituality.


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Hyphen Parent
Hyphen Parent
Dorothy-Ann Parent (better known as Hyphen) is a writer, a traditional Jew, a seeker of justice, a lover of stories and someone who’s best not left unattended in a bookshop or animal shelter.

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Walter A Hesford
Walter A Hesford
2 months ago

Thanks, Hyphen, for this interesting explanation. I myself often give $40 to charities, since in both the Hebrew and the Christian Bible, 40 often signifies “a lot”! Probably I should be giving more.

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