3

As was already noted before on MiYodeya,

  • the longest parasha (Naso) has 176 verses
  • the longest Psalm (119) has 176 verses
  • the longest tractate of Talmud Bavli (Bava Batra) ends on daf 176

Is there any significance to this coincidence?

(of course there is no coincidence, in Hebrew the letters for MiKReH, coincidence, also spell out Rak Me Hashem - only from God).

One very nice explanation I heard (and now found here and here) is that 176 equals 22 times 8. 22 is the number of letters in the Alef Bet (the complete Hebrew alphabet), 8 symbolizes "one beyond the natural" or "completeness beyond nature".

The product of two complete numbers is therefore the ultimate completeness and demonstrates completeness and perfection of Torah.

Are there other explanations or relevant sources?

  • 6
    Bava Batra only has 175 pages. (Not that the whims of the Romm brothers are actually at all significant.) – Double AA Jan 13 '16 at 5:24
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    IIRC Re'eh Shoftim KiTetze and KiTavo (ie the contents of the Brit beEretz Moav) have 176 combined Mitzvot as counted in the Chinuch. Go figure. – Double AA Jan 13 '16 at 5:25
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    So Kol Shekein it should be irrelevant. I hereby declare a function f which maps words in this comment to numbers in consecutively increasing order such that the final word maps to 176. Who cares? – Double AA Jan 13 '16 at 5:26
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    FYI, Bava Batra is considerably shorter than Berakhot, but while the former has innumerable tosafot, the latter has virtually none. – Shimon bM Jan 13 '16 at 6:15
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    Bava Basra isn't even really a mesechta; it is the "Final GateFirst Gate" (to translate the name) of what was originally Mes' Neziqin. As for whether or not there is such a thing as miqreh, see the Kuzari 5:20. In this translation, starting at "Effects are either of divine or of natural origin, either accidental or arbitrary." en.wikisource.org/wiki/Kitab_al_Khazari/Part_Five – Micha Berger Jan 13 '16 at 11:01

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