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    Unlucky 13? – Ask the Rabbi

    Q. Is the number 13 unlucky for Jews?

    A. Jews have no problem with the number 13. The Christian world was responsible for the anti-13 syndrome, which still leads some bingo callers to say “13 – unlucky for some”.

    Jews never shared that superstition. For us 13 has a positive connotation. God has 13 attributes of mercy. Jewish tradition has 13 tenets of faith. There are 13 interpretive rules when studying the Torah. Echad, one, the symbol of God’s uniqueness, has three letters whose numerical values add up to 13. A boy reaches legal maturity at 13. Moses is said to have written 13 copies of the Torah.

    Echad Mi Yode’a, the Seder night “numbers” song, has 13 verses. There is even a theory that eating breakfast has 13 advantages. The number 13 also figures in the life story of many of the sages.

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