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Who knows sixty-three?

Please cite/link your sources, if possible. At some point in the next few days, I will:

  • Upvote all interesting answers.

  • Accept the best answer.

  • Go on to the next number.

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2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted

63 are the number of tractates in the Mishnah.

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This assumes we count Nezikin's Bavas Kama,Metzia,Basra (first, middle, and last portions) as separate tractates, but Kelim as one large tractate (though the Tosefta really treats it as three pieces too -- oops, did I give away an answer for 65?). –  Shalom Jul 19 '10 at 14:35

1) The number of pages in Tractate Berachos (in the Vilna edition, at least).

2) Yaakov was 63 years old when he received the berachos from Yitzchak. (Megillah 17a)

3) The excess of a Se'ah Tzipporis over the Se'ah Midbaris is the volume of 63 eggs. [Se'ah Midbaris = 144 eggs; Se'ah Yerushalmis is 20% more, and Se'ah Tzipporis is 20% more than that, which equals approximately 207; and 207-144=63.] (Eruvin 83a)

4) There is a form of the Shem Hashem that has a gematria value of 63 (not that I understand anything about it...)

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And while Berachos is a medium-sized tractate page-wise, its actual Talmudic text is the longest of any tractate -- this due to page after page with lots of text and very little commentary. (As opposed to, um, ahem, Bava Basra -- thanks, Rashbam!) –  Shalom Jul 19 '10 at 11:58
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'Tain't so, actually. In Mechon Mamre's old MTR program (I'm using the Nisan 5762 edition), where they've got just the text of the Gemara with no commentaries, the files for Berachos total 379,667 bytes, those of Bava Basra 483,347. (Some of this is accounted for by the formatting, but that still doesn't make up all of the difference.) So Bava Basra is still longer. (Largest, by that standard, seems to be Shabbos - 620,200 bytes.) –  Alex Jul 19 '10 at 13:22
    
Woops, thank you. So much for my crowd-source-hearsay-and-rumors. It figures Shabbos would be longest; it's the longest tractate of Mishna (by chapters) for which we have a Babylonian Talmud, right? The next-longest Bavli is ... I'm seeing Sanhedrin. –  Shalom Jul 19 '10 at 14:31
    
Sanhedrin it is! –  Dave Jul 19 '10 at 14:39
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More on this topic: mi.yodeya.com/questions/2672/what-is-the-longest-masechta –  Dave Aug 27 '10 at 0:19

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