# Why is a Day

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• #611683
Redleg
Participant

Why is a day twelve hours long? Why does a day have two twelve hour periods instead of ten hour periods? Why does a year have twelve months, not ten? Where do we get the idea of counting in dozens? Did someone in antiquity have six fingers on each hand and so learned how to count in base 12?

Doesn’t the Gemorah count in base 12? I recall a shtickel about dividing quantities of fruit in halves, thirds and quarters. It’s pretty hard to divide by three in base 10 but a snap in base 12.

#997166
popa_bar_abba
Participant

Because on a sundial, it has 12 markings.

#997167
Torah613Torah
Participant

Also, because there are 12 shevatim.

#997168
Redleg
Participant

PBA, that is the question. Why does a sundial have twelve marks,. not ten?

#997169
WIY
Member

Redleg

#997170
Redleg
Participant

WIY, I know but it’s more fun to see what the denizens of the coffee room come up with

#997171
akuperma
Participant

The length of the day, and the month, and the year, were designed by Ha-Shem.

For the most part the current calendar system was invented in ancient Mesopotamia and was already in use by the time of Avraham Aveinu. If you have a complaint, go to Iraq and dig up a Sumerian and argue with him.

#997172
☕ DaasYochid ☕
Participant

Why does a sundial have twelve marks,. not ten?

Because there are twelve hours in the day.

#997173
Chcham
Member

Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure the only reason we use base-ten now is because that’s what the Europeans adopted later on. The Babylonians and Sumerians used base-twelve, and the Mayans used base-twenty, so one of the most basic forms of math (calculating time)comes from an older civilization’s mathematical system that the Europeans later drew upon in establishing their own.

#997174
oomis
Participant

Hashem really determined the length of the day. We only discovered how to measure it, through observation of the changes in the sun that take place during the course of that day.

#997175
HaLeiVi
Participant

The Rambam says that the reason we use 12 is to be able to break it into thirds or fourths. This is the reason for the special number, 360.

Twelve hours of the day is based on astronomy and astrology (back from the days when they were one).

#997176
YW Moderator-42
Moderator

In Hebrew we count in base ten. After yud=10, we have kof=20, etc. Then kuf=100, etc.

#997177
☕ DaasYochid ☕
Participant

The Torah uses base ten – asarah, esrim, shloshim, etc.

#997178
oomis
Participant

“In Hebrew we count in base ten. After yud=10, we have kof=20, etc. Then kuf=100, etc.

Posted 20 hours ago #

DaasYochid

a singular mind

The Torah uses base ten – asarah, esrim, shloshim, etc. “

Excellent points!

#997179
HaLeiVi
Participant

A day is when you call it a day.

#997180
👑RebYidd23
Participant

Divisibility.

#997181
Participant

Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure the only reason we use base-ten now is because that’s what the Europeans adopted later on.

It was the French who tried making everything base ten. They were succesful in implementing the Metric system for many measurements but weren’t successful in implementing Decimal Time. At the time the English clockmakers were more advanced than the French ones. (This is the same reason that degrees of longitude are based on Greenwich and not Paris)

#997182
RR44
Participant

What did G-d say when he created light?

Let’s call it a day

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