Let’s Talk About the Mystical Number 13

  • Friday 13 bar and bat mitzvahs lucky numbers peter callahan

    Happy Friday the 13th!  The first of three taking place in the year 2012, each spaced 13 weeks apart.  Crazy, right? Scary and/or superstitious for most, I prefer to regard Friday the 13th as a day filled with good luck rather than bad will.  I might be in the minority with that view, but looking back into history, you have to wonder at the origin of the symbolism. If the number 13 is truly bad luck, then why does it appear throughout history in such interesting, and seemingly mystical, ways?

    • The American Flag has 13 stripes that represent the original 13 colonies that then became the first 13 states.
    • In ancient Greece, Zeus was counted as the thirteenth and most powerful god.
    • There are 13 major joints in your body, 13 lunar cycles in a solar year, and the moon travels 13 degrees across the sky every day.
    • In the Jewish faith, 13 is the age when boys become a Bar Mitzvah and become obligated to observe the commandments. It’s an honor in the faith and a celebration of joy in the family.
    • The American dollar bill has 13’s throughout, including: 13 bars on the shield, 13 leaves on the olive branch, 13 fruits, 13 arrows, 13 stars above the eagle, 13 plums of feathers on each of the eagle’s wings, 13 steps on the Pyramid, 13 letters in “e pluribus unum” meaning “Out of many, one”, and 13 letters in “annuit coeptis” meaning “God has favored our undertaking”.

    With all these magical 13’s occurring this year, you’d better believe I’m going to block out the negative and continue to embrace the positive.  I prefer to regard the superstitions surrounding the number 13 as powerful, mystical and enlightening rather than fearful and evil in nature. And, if our 2012 event calendar filled with spectacular bar and bat mitzvahs tells us anything, the positive perception is working.

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    January 13th, 2012

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