Tuesday, 1 January, 2013 - 3:19 am

The irrational fear of the number 13. Or is it?  As we now enter the year 2013, and we will be frequently reminded of this prime number, I figured it would be a good time to share the breathtaking view of this special number according to Kabbalah. 

The usual number of import is twelve. There are the twelve tribes who are the progenitors of the Jewish People, twelve months of the year, and a plethora of twelve imagery throughout the Torah. 

Kabbalistically, there are four letter in the Divine Name, three unique letters. Thus we have twelve permutations. The twelve permutations become translated spatially as a box, which has 12 vectors. Four lines of the square on top, four lines on the bottom square, and four lines that connect them. 

This is the first template for space as we know it - 3D. A similar expansion occurs with time as the 12 months of the year are generated. 

If twelve symbolizes a box, well then, thirteen is that which is outside the box. (Hey, I think I should coin that!) It is a symbol for that which transcends reality as we know it. It is through this transcendent element that we can draw the Divine unity into the dimensions of space and time. The Hebrew word for one is EChaD, spelled Alef – Chet – Dalet. The numeric value of “Echad” is thirteen. 

And finally, we have the most Divine sublime form of thirteen, and this is the “Thirteen attributes of mercy.” When a person falls away from the proper path, when one veers from the truth of their own inner core, one can arouse Divine mercy from the Source. These are the special attributes through which G-d shines His inner light upon our inner light to regenerate the bond between the finite human and the Infinite creator.

I hope I have cured your triskaidekaphobia.


With appreciation to Adam Singer.  May his father, Avraham HaKohein ben Goldy, have a refuah shleimah.

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