Friday, June 13, 2014

Friday 13th: Bad Karma or a Happy Wedding Anniversary?

First why is Friday the 13th a bad luck day? To understand you need to return to the period of the Crusades. The Knights Templar, the fighting monks of the Catholic Church, were charged by the Vatican with protecting pilgrims on their way to the Holy Land. The Templars were created from the first knights to enter Jerusalem during the original Crusade of 1099. They took their name from the Temple Mount, where the Holy Temple stood.

To this extent the Templars also became one of the wealthiest and powerful groups in Europe during this period. One of the businesses that they ran was to become Europe's wealthiest bankers. Their financial acumen basically challenged the authority of not only the Church itself, but all the monarchs in Europe. Meanwhile, it was on a Friday, April 13th in the year 1308, that king of France took his revenge on the Templars. He arrested them on charges of heresy at their main stronghold in France. A sham trial was held, the leaders were tortured by the Inquisition. They were found guilty of everything from holding black masses, to sodomy, to other heresies and perversions. The Knights Templar was destroyed. Their lands and monies confiscated by the French crown. Meanwhile, the Catholic Church refrained from intervening, except to disband the Templars. Recently the Church released ancient papers showing that they had found the Templars not-guilty of the charges.

Anyway, I'm not Catholic, but Jewish. Historically, its important to remember that the Knights Templar persecuted Jews. On their way to the Holy Land, crusader knights would slaughter entire Jewish communities throughout Europe. In fact, the original crusaders, when they entered Jerusalem, the first thing they did was to round up all the Jews (men, women and children) into the Great Synagogue, bar the door and burn the building  down. It is actually estimated that 6 million Jews were murdered during the period of the Crusades at the hands of crusaders. (That number is eerily prominent throughout Jewish history) Meanwhile, it is important to note that the European attitude towards Jews during the Middle Ages was the Knights Templar's view. They exemplified the societies in which they lived.  (To those that think the Holocaust was an anomaly in European attitudes towards Jews needs to think again.) In fact, sadly it seems, if you look at Europe today, antisemitism is back in full force and growing.

Honestly I really don't care about Friday the 13th. It holds no mystery, no bad luck, no evil omens of any kind for me.  I fact, in some way, I think Friday 13th bespeaks some really interesting karma.

(Sis says I need to get over history. But in truth, history is history and you need to remember who you
are and where you come from. Those who forget history are condemned to repeat it.)

Actually, on a truly happy note, I was married on the 13th day in the month of June. So invariably, as today, my Wedding Anniversary falls on a Friday the 13th. Happily married now for 32 years, this is a good day for me. So no black cats, broken mirrors or  spilled salt worries for me. Champagne, chocolate cake and someone else making dinner is in the works. I call that wonderfully lucky.


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