Now, I should make it clear that I am not in favour of extrapolating anything from the numerical values of the letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Below I return to why that is. I see this specific case however as a good example of why this is so appealing to many.
Since there are no numbers in Hebrew the letters of the alphabet have been used to express numerical value. Although modern Hebrew uses the western adaption of the Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3 etc), the Hebrew alphabet is still used in religious contexts as giving numerical value. In one edition of the Hebrew bible in my possession, the chapter and verse numbers are indicated with Hebrew letters.
According to this system alef א is…
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