Friday, February 13, 2015

Significance of 13 in Judaism

eTeacher Hebrew Blog

There is much confusion regarding the number 13. Why is it considered to be a good number in some places and a bad number in others?

According to Jewish tradition, the number 13 is a very significant one and considered to be a blessed number.

When a Jewish boy comes of age at 13 years old he has become a Bar Mitzvah and he is obligated to observe the commandments.

He is also recognized as having the same rights and responsibilities as an adult. A Jewish girl, celebrates her Bat Mitzvah when she turns 12.

The Maimonides states that the number 13 represents the number of principles of Jewish faith .

In addition, the foundations of Judaism are based on the original 13 Tribes of Israel: the 11 sons of Jacob and the 2 sons of Joseph.

According to the Talmud , the core of the Selichot prayers is the 13 Attributes of Mercy that G-d taught Moses .

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