Dear Gilberto,

You asked:
"Do you know where those other numbers come from? I think the only
number I've heard of was 10 because in Genesis when Abraham was
haggling with God to spare Sodom, God said that if there were 10
righteous men in Sodom he wouldn't have destroyed it."

Babylonian Talmud, tractate Hullin, 92a: "R. Yohanan said, 'There exist forty-five saints who sustain the world..."

Thirty-six became the standard enumeration of the tzaddikim from early medieval Kabbalistic sources on into modern Hasidic texts. On the thirty-six saints traditions, see Scholem's "The Tradition of the Thirty-six Hidden Just Men," in his _Messianic Idea in Judaism_, pp. 251-6. Paul Fenton has a paper exploring these traditions and comparing them with analogs in medieval Islamic texts: "The Hierarchy of Saints in Jewish and Islamic Mysticism," Journal of the Muhyiddin Ibn 'Arabi Society 10 (1991): 12-34.



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