Lucky number 13.

Here’s a subtle cultural difference you don’t think about that often as a dual New York-Israel citizen.

In Israel – as in Judaism in general – 13 is a great number. It’s the number when a boy becomes a man, at least mitzvot-wise.

In Anglo culture – or is it Christian culture? European culture?  – the number 13 is not a reference to the Bar Mitzvah, but an unlucky number that must be avoided. For my American side, the number 13 conjures up thoughts of black cats and witches; pretty much Halloween.

I have heard of very old-school high-rise buildings in New York that were built to ‘skip’ the 13th level; who would want to live or work on such an unlucky floor?

That includes the office building where I work while I’m here in New York. Here’s the solution:

A little American ignorance never hurt anyone, eh?

To be fair, Israelis (and Jews) are plenty superstitious. It’s just not concerning the number 13.