The Number 13

The spiritual significance of the number thirteen (13), relates to a transcendent dimension of G-dliness. This transcendence enables one to infuse spirituality within our material world. Twelve is the number of maximal differentiation. It is the number of lines that border a cube, and according to Chazal, all of reality. The fact that the twelve are all connected in the center is the thirteenth. Thirteen is the number that bonds multiplicity into oneness. The meaning of the number thirteen is the bonding of many into one.

HaShem is Thirteen The number thirteen is among the holiest of the numbers because it is closely associated with HaShem.

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 6:4 Hear, O Israel: HaShem our God, HaShem is one:

The above verse, from the Shema, tells us a very important relationship: HaShem (13) = Echad (Oneness) 

Our Sages teach us that shema literally means the gathering of many and making them into one. The appropriateness of this definition is brought into sharp distinction when we see that the goal of the shema is that HaShem should be one and His name One. To help us understand the relationship between HaShem and His oneness, HaShem gave us the Hebrew language. Part of this language is the fact that each letter not only has intrinsic meaning, but each letter also has a numeric value, as we learned in our study of the Hebrew letters. In the following chart, we can see that the numerical value of the Hebrew letters that form echad, whose meaning is one, is thirteen.

The gematria of echad – אחד is thirteen:

א = 1

ח = 8

ד = 4


Total: 13

Not only does echad=13, but the Hebrew word ahava (love) also has a numerical value of thirteen, as expressed verbally in the Nazarean Codicil:

1 Yochanan (John) 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not HaShem; for HaShem is love. 

Chazal teach that if two words have the same numeric value, then the essential meaning of the two words is the same. The above verse from the Nazarean Codicil gives us another very important relationship:

HaShem is Ahavah (Love)

The gematria of ahavah – אהבה is thirteen:

א = 1

ה = 5

ב = 2

ה = 5

Total: 13

Thus we learn that:

HaShem is echad (one)

Echad (one) is ahavah (love)

HaShem is ahavah (love)

It follows, therefore, that we become one with HaShem, when we love Him and we love what He has created. Love means unification with the object of our love, and unification with HaShem means a unified heart in belief and devotion.

Thus we see that HaShem equals thirteen. Therefore the meaning of thirteen is the oneness and love of HaShem.

The yod-י hay-ה vav-ו hay-ה (HaShem) name has a gematria of 2 X 13 = 26.




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