In 1899 Mark Twain joked that after reading in the Encyclopaedia Britannica that there was 250,000 Jews in America, he was compelled to write to its editor, claiming he knew, personally, more than 250,000 American Jews. He suggested 250,000 was a misprint for 25,000,000.
Jews, it seems, have an uncanny ability to precisely estimate the numbers of their murdered brethren. But their honesty on the number of Jews still alive is no better.
It transpires that Jews are commanded to keep their real numbers hidden.
From the Babylonian Talmud: Yoma 22b (Soncino edition)It is forbidden to count Israel even for [the purpose of fulfilling] a commandment ... Whosoever counts Israel, transgresses a [biblical] prohibition, as it is said: Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured. 6
(footnote) (6) Hosea II, 1. ‘Cannot be numbered’ is interpreted-and grammatically there is no solid objection as ‘should not, must not be numbered’, thus a positive statement becomes a prohibition. The assumption is justified that here again the ultimate basis of the prohibition is not this passage, but the passage is a peg on which to hang the idea. There are more obvious sources of the prohibition known to the disputants.