Friday the 13th

Happy Friday the 13th

Triskaidekaphobia is a big word with a simple meaning.  It is the morbid fear of the number 13.  It comes from the Greek words tris (three), kai (and), and deka (ten), thus the meaning 13; and the Greek word, phobos, which means fear.  The fear of 13.  The superstitious will say the word triskaidekaphobia contains 17 letters minus the 4 Greek components equals 13.  So there you have evidence of it being an evil number!

This superstitious fear leads some people to avoid anything involving the number 13.  Many hotels and other high rise buildings will omit the number 13 when numbering their floors.  Some cities will avoid using the 13th in the numbering of streets and avenues.

There are some who avoid making investment decisions on a Friday the 13th.  An examination of the market will show there is less activity today than on a typical Friday.

The origin of this irrational fear is debatable.  Some say it goes back to the number of people at the Last Supper, being the 12 apostles and Christ.   Since the Crucifixion occurred on Friday maybe this explains the Friday, the 13th fear.

So what if we left out 13 in everything?  What if we avoided everything with the number 13?

What if we decided to leave out all the chapter 13’s of the Bible for instance?  Consider some of the things we would be losing.

Maybe the first one to come to mind is 1 Corinthians 13. This great chapter teaches us how love behaves.

The wonderful parable of the Sower, probably better referred to as the parable of the soils, is found in Matthew 13.

Jesus washes the feet of the disciples on Thursday evening before the Crucifixion in John 13.

Saul is referred to as Paul for the first time in Acts 13.

I certainly don’t want to lose these great chapters.

So while many people avoid mirrors and black cats today, I’d like to suggest the number 13 is not all bad.  In fact it is pretty special in many ways. 

Consider for example, 13 x 13 = 169. 

And reversing the numbers, 31 x 31 = 961.  Pretty neat, huh?  See 13 is actually a wonderful number.  Well a mathematician can embrace the lowly 13!

This entry was posted in reflection, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *