Friday, December 27, 2013

Significance of Thirteen in My Father's Life

Now, I'm not a superstitious person - and my Dad certainly wasn't either. However, over the course of the last week the number thirteen has kept popping up in conversation, and I had a hard time ignoring it. Now, of course I'm looking for the number thirteen anywhere I can in his life, and am oddly comforted by it. Here are the places I've found the number 13 throughout his life:

For thirteen years my father practiced law flawlessly.
My parents were married for thirteen years.
He was homeless for thirteen years.
He died on Friday the 13, 2013.

He was born in '49 (4+9 = 13).

He was buried in my mother's grave plot, which was purchased when she was 13 years old (when she almost died from serious brain trauma due to a horse accident).

There also just happened to be 13 people in this photo, which is odd because there were more than 13 people at the burial . . . but only these 13 wound up in the photo.

When he died on Friday the 13th, I  first I thought "Friday the 13th really IS unlucky."

Then, my sister did some digging and found that the number thirteen really isn't unlucky.

So, I did my reading.  I read about the biblical standpoint on thirteen, and I was comforted.

Abraham was 86 years old when Abraham tried to bring about God's promise of a son.
At 99 years old, God’s Promise became fulfilled with his Son, Isaac. 
There were 13 years between the Promise given and the Promise manifested.
After reading more on the FaithWriters  website talking about the biblical number thirteen, I found this great quote: 
"The number 13 promise is always presented in the presence of unfavorable circumstances, though in time, the circumstances will give way to the birth of the promise."

Some other interesting facts on the number thirteen: 

Twelve is the number of maximal differentiation. It is the number of lines that border a cube, and according to Chazal,[2] all of reality.

"In a cube, the fact that the twelve (lines) are all connected in the center is the thirteenth. Thirteen is the number that bonds multiplicity into oneness. For example: There are twelve tribes that are bonded into their father Israel (Yaaqov). Israel is the thirteenth.  There are twelve  The meaning of the number thirteen is the bonding of many into one." 

There were twelve disciples, bonded to their Savior - Jesus, the thirteenth. 

I also love that in Hebrew, the word love is represented by the number 13. 

HaShem (a Hebrew name for God) is Ahavah (Love)

The gematria of ahavah אהבה is thirteen:
א = 1
ה = 5
ב = 2
ה = 5
Total: 13

Promises fulfilled. Bonding of many into one. Love. 

This was who my father was, what his life stood for, what he was able to accomplish despite all his difficulties. I love that in this time of grieving, God has found a way to give us comfort, provide us with a reminder of His promise - of bonding us all into one with His infinite love. Above all, I love the reminder that my father's life was not meaningless, or pointless, but that throughout his life there was the hand of God playing out a grand reminder that would point to Him. 

Maybe I'm crazy. Maybe I'm 'seeing' things through my grief  - but its fine by me if it helps me, or anyone else I love get through it all. 

The next time you see the number thirteen, forget about it being unlucky. Remember God's promises. Remember how we are connected to him. Remember His promises.