Question:

Shalom. I have a tradition that there are only 600,000 ‘souls’ in Klal Yisroel. If so, how do we reconcile this number with the current estimate of 14.2 million Jews, presently alive? I know that a husband and wife together are considered ‘1 soul’ and that children before Bar/Bat Mitzva age are not counted in the above, but even with that consideration, the numbers don’t seem to add up (in my humble opinion). Thank you.

Answer:

At Mt Sinai there were a few million people. (Only 600,000 men between the ages of 20-60), Even if it does say somewhere that there were only 600,000 souls, perhaps it means principal or major souls, and these souls we divided into minor souls?

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