Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Most Possible Seudos

As this year comes to a close, here is a great little factoid I heard from the Rav's Friday night דרשה:
    This year, being a leap year, and since no יום טוב ever fell out on שבת we have a unique situation where we have the maximum number of סעודות you could possibly have in one year:
54 שבתות x 3 סעודות=162 סעודות
12 ימים טובים x 2 סעודות=24 סעודות
=186 סעודות
This hasn't happened since 1984!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Who is running the markets?

I just heard this and had to post it:
The fluctuation of the Dow Jones Industrial Average for the first three days of this week were as follows:
Monday: -634.76
Tuesday: +429.92
Wednesday: -519.83

If you take each number and add up the digits, each equals 26, the gematria of י-ה-ו-ה!

Friday, July 22, 2011

The least frequent הפטרות

This is really a calendar issue and has already been cross-posted in AstroTorah.
However, it does involve some statistics so it is applicable here, as well:

We just read the הפטרה of פרשת פינחס which is a pretty rare occurrence. However, it is not the most rare. The exact frequencies of each rare הפטרה are discussed here. The numbers are based on a chart of the frequency of each type of year found here.

However, there is one issue with the calculations. It assumes that whenever אחרי מות and קדושים are separate and קדושים is not a special פרשה, its הפטרה is read. However, as pointed out in R' Dovid Heber's שערי זמנים, this is not the custom, according to משנה ברורה. Rather, as long as the הפטרה of אחרי מות was not read for whatever reason, we read that in place of הפטרת קדושים. Therefore, the הפטרה of קדושים is only read when both אחרי מות and קדושים are not special פרשיות, thereby dropping the frequency under 6%! For more thorough details please see this excerpt from the ספר.