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In Chinese tradition, the number 18, normally 十八 (shí bā), can also be read as 幺八 (yāo bā), which sounds like 要发 (yào fā), meaning that one is going to prosper. Thus, building floors numbered "18" are often very expensive in China
The Hebrew word for "life" is חי (chai), which has a numerical value of 18. Consequently, the custom has arisen in Jewish circles to give donations and monetary gifts in multiples of 18 as an expression of blessing for long life.