The Thirty-Six Righteous People

Question

My question is based on the idea that there is a number (72?) of hidden צדיקים that are in every generation. So, why do they keep hidden? Shouldn’t they be in the thick of society as Gedolim (great and righteous ones)?

, , 5 months

Answers

  1. Jewish tradition teaches that the world’s existence is dependent on there being thirty-six truly righteous people in each generation. They are called “Lamed-Vav” because the letter Lamed corresponds to the numerical value of thirty and the letter Vav corresponds to the number six. These
    thirty-six people are not known to us and we cannot even attempt to guess their identities. Why not? Because most of us are capable only of distinguishing that part of a person’s personality that a person wishes to reveal.

    Why do they wish to reveal their elevated righteousness? Because their task is to sustain the world through their righteousness. They are not to be distracted by the mantle of leadership, in order not to allow themselves to be drawn into ugly disagreements and discord that leadership often requires and engenders.

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team