Is Friday the 13th bad luck in Jewish tradition?

The short answer is a resounding NO. You might even say 13 is an auspicious number in Judaism.

Gematria is the Jewish practice of assigning a numeric value to each letter in the alphabet. Through this method a word gains numbers and vis versa. For 13 you get the Hebrew word for “one” אחד. In English it is pronounced ehad. It represents oneness, the oneness of God and all creation.

We all know that a boy becomes bar mitzvah at age 13. One of my favorite 13’s is the Thirteen Attributes of God. You may recall that concept from the Passover game/song, Who Knows One.

A non-Jewish reason I love the number 13 is that it was historically considered a feminine number. In fact, that’s one of the things that got it into trouble to begin with.  As Christianity swept across Europe the indigenous female traditions were labeled witchcraft and the feminine number was associated with witches gathering in covens. I love herbalist remedies and other plant based methods used in the home for medicine, cleaning and more. So I mentally reinstate women as healers and the number 13 as healing.

There are other traditions and other reasons that folks have labeled 13 as bad luck. But I see it as a choice you can make – bad or blessed? You decide.

Feel free to enjoy your horror films as you like, but give a thought to the strong women who continue to hold the world a bit steadier.