Photo Credit: Jewish Press

I couldn’t have gotten a more perfect word for this round, as my sister Chaiy (Yes, that’s spelled correctly) recently got married to a marvelous young man named Yehonatan, and I’m hijacking this part of the column to wish them a hearty mazel tov! To life! To life! L’chaim! Puns intended!

Do you know when the word “chai” appears in the Torah for the first time? If asked, most people would say “Ooh! Ooh! I know! “Vayehi ha’adam l’nefesh chai”! (And the man became a living spirit.) These people would be wrong, as a Mandela Effect is in play. It actually says “chaya” at the end of the pasuk.


The word “chai” actually initially appears in the second parsha in the Torah, Parshas Noach 11:12, when discussing the age Arpachshad lived to before begetting Shelach.

The final appearance of “chai” in the Torah is in the second-to-last parsha, in Parshas Ha’azinu, 32:40, where Hashem states “Anochi chai l’olam.” I live forever.

Guess how many times the word “chai” appears in the Torah? That’s right, 42, which, as we (should) know, is Life, the Universe, and Everything. IYKYK.

Isn’t that just perfect? You bet your life. Ah har.

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Martin Bodek is an avid marathoner, Daf Yomi participant, Wordler, vexillologist, halvah aficionado, author of parody haggadot (you may have some), and a sit-down comedian.