By: Yehudah ben Shomeyr
And when you look up to the sky and see the sun, the moon and the stars--all the heavenly array--do not be enticed into bowing down to them and worshiping things the Lord your God has apportioned to all the nations under heaven.
When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord, and because of these detestable practices the Lord your God will drive out those nations before you. You must be blameless before the Lord your God. The nations you will dispossess listen to those who practice sorcery or divination. But as for you, the Lord your God has not permitted you to do so.
I have never had a problem with the number 13. Actually I have found 13 to be a very agreeable number. As I can recall most Friday the 13th’s I remember have been good and pleasant ones. I fear not the number 13, I embrace it, as the Torah commands us not to heed or fear the things others do. Matter of fact, whenever I was involved in sports teams I purposely chose the number 13 because I knew no one else wanted it.
The number 13 has found a favorable spot in Judaism. Here are some examples of the number 13.
· There are Rambam’s 13 Principles of Faith, sort of Jewish version of the Apostles Creed.
· Rabbi Ishmael came up with 13 Rules of Interpretation, when it comes to the Scriptures.
· In Kabbalah there is something that is called the 13 Perfections of the Beard, referring to attributes of God.
· And of course there are 13 tribes, with the addition of Yosef’s (Joseph’s) sons Efrayim (Ephraim) and Manasseh brings the total tribes to thirteen not just twelve. Often Levi is not counted among the tribes because they have are the priestly tribe and have no inheritance in the Land. God Himself is their inheritance (Num. 18).
· There are six hundred and 13 Commandments in the Torah.
· 13 is: 12 Talmidim (Disciples) and the Rabbi Yeshua the Messiah.
· In a Hebraic leap year Adar II would be the 13th month.
· 13 is the age of a boy’s Bar Mitzvah.
I am sure there are more Judaic allusions to the number 13 that I have overlooked or have not listed.
13, embrace it!