cat.jpgHappy Friday the 13th everyone! Hopefully you're not starting out your day reading this blog and now just realizing that your Friday which you'd waited all week to get here is cursed. I feel for you. I really do.

My husband had to get up at 6 AM all week and today was even earlier so I know today is shaping up to an ominous start. Perhaps that strange man with the possessed eyes who stood outside our car door when we parked in our usual alley spot last night in the rain and whose eyes burned a whole in my heart for nearly 5 seconds was a foreboding of sorts. I'm not all that entirely uncertain because I know my heart stopped for at least 10 seconds and that I'd gone past the point of fear into a realm I'd never experienced and which masked my inner trauma with a facade of stoic calm. For a second I realized what it must be to be a non-Jew and possess the ability to actually have control over full disclosure of emotion on my face at any given time.

But back to the 13th, veering away from possessed men that look like Bob from "Twin Peaks," and every lame horror movie that's premiering today. (including the one where Halle Berry does the rehashed role of a scared, yet bold sultry protagonist who fights the big bad male and is rightfully empowered at the end after she nunchucks him into an untimely death.)

Surprisingly enough fear of the big bad 13 isn't restricted to the cinema. The movies simply exploit this fear and do a fine job of it, I might add. I found this article which helps explain our global trepidation/unholy alliance with 13.

Examples of the fear of the number 13, also known as triskaidekaphobia, include:

  • Some aeroplanes having no 13th aisle
  • Over 80% of high-rise buildings not having a 13th floor
  • Italians omitting the number 13 from their national lottery
  • Hospitals and hotels often having no room number 13
  • Streets in Florence, Italy, where the number of a house between 12 and 14 being addressed as 12 and a half
  • Many cities in the US not having a 13th Street or a 13th Avenue
  • Socialites in France known as the quatorziens (fourteeners) who once made themselves available as 14th guests to keep a dinner party from an unlucky fate.
  • It has also been claimed that people with 13 letters in their names have the devil's luck, including Jack the Ripper, Theodore Bundy, Charles Manson, Jeffrey Dahmer and the Boston Strangler, Albert De Salvo.

    The original "Friday the 13th" is believed to be the day in October, 1307, when The Templars were arrested, tortured and subsequently burned at the stake for heresy. It was certainly an unlucky day for them...

    Having said all this I'd like to wish my mother-in-law a Yom Huledet Sameach (Happy Birthday) today. Besides, the day is over half over in Israel by now. That's gotta be the silver lining.

    ps Not sure what's going on with the font here, but I'll chalk it up to the number 13. It elicits the appropriate eerie effect anyhow.

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    beth

    11 Comments

    • It’s been many years since I’ve thought of Bob. In fact, I’d almost forgotten what he looks like. So naturally, I clicked the wikipedia link.

      I had a different husband back then, and the sleeping baby is now almost 18, but I’m once again sufficiently creeped out be feel fairly certain that I’ll be going to sleep tonight in a fully lit bedroom.

    • I was like 12 or 13 at the time “Twin Peaks” was on and banned from watching it, or advised NOT to in a nice way by my mom, but my brother and I would sneak down to watch it anyways. He was the instigator, as always. Anyways, then i’d be up all night with nightmares. I guess some things never change!!

    • “Some aeroplanes having no 13th aisle”. You mean we now have heavier than air airships that can fly under their own power? Gosh, that’s almost about when they changed the orthography here. Me, I think these airships will never be a successful ongoing concern. Really! Cheers, ‘VJ’

    • I was born on 6-13 so no problem with the number. I’m not superstitious, just conservastitious. Can anyone guess what shape challah I baked for this weekend. (Hint: my kids are at their grandparent’s). Let’s hope it works…

    • First time on ‘jewlicious.’
      Is nobody else bothered by the fact that not only is this article horribly edited its another dispicable display of how assimilated we’ve become – 13 ISNT AN UNLUCKY NUMBER FOR JEWS! What is this doing on a Jewish website?
      What a waste of time and energy for everybody.

    • J: It’s tongue in cheek. Look at the post above it. Very Jewy – its about parshat ha shavuah. Focus on the positive my holy brother.

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