Numerology can be fun. Let’s look at a few dates:
November 9th, 1938
September 11th, 2001
What do these dates have in common? Well, Americans and Europeans write their dates differently. Americans use Month/Date/Year, while the Europeans use Date/Month/Year. So September 11th is 9/11 in America. And November 9th is 9/11 in Europe.
So what happened on November 9th, 1938? That is the date of Germany’s pogrom where they broke the glass on many Jewish businesses. They called it Night of the Broken Glass (or Kristallnacht). (Some have argued we shouldn’t actually call it Kristallnacht, since that is the euphemism the Germans chose, and instead we should refer to it as what it was — a pogrom. Others argue over the decades the word has developed a connotation that cancels out any original euphemistic intent. Anyway, it is considered by historians as the beginning of the Holocaust.)
Now we approach this from a numerology perspective. November, literally means Ninth Month in Latin. This is because for the Romans, November was the 9th month. The year ended in February, which is why February is the shortest month, and has a day added to it every four years.
So November 9th, from the Roman perspective, would be 9/9. And September 11th would be 7/11 (or 11/7). Both total 18. Nine is considered by some to be an unlucky number. (18, however, is considered by Jewish mystics to refer to Life, since in ancient Hebrew numbers and letters were interchangeable – it would have been as if we used A to mean 1, and B to mean 2, etc. The tenth letter of the Hebrew alphabet is the Yod, and the eighth letter is a Chet. The number 18 is written Chet-Yod, which is pronounced ‘Chai’, and means ‘life.’)
If one does a little subtraction, one discovers 63 years passed between 1938 and 2001. And 63 is also a multiple of 9 (but not a multiple of 18).
On November 22, 1963 JFK was shot. (9+2+2 = 13, another traditionally unlucky number)
Some people might wonder, if September 11 is to be considered 7/11, is January 7th significant in any way? There are a couple possibilities. 1) It is the day Truman announced the development of the hydrogen bomb. That somehow seems appropriate. 2) In 1608 a fire destroyed Jamestown (historical, but it doesn’t feel as if it has the same resonance). 3) Some branches of Orthodox Christianity like to schedule their holidays according to the ancient Julian calendar. There are 13 days difference between the Julian and Gregorian calendars. Some people observe on January 7th what others observe on December 25.
This is all just something you may or may not want to think about as we approach the 65th anniversary of what I like to refer to as “The European 9/11”.
Update: On November 9th, 1799 Napoleon declared himself Dictator of France. France at the time was in the 8th year of their Revolutionary calendar — the date on that calendar was 18 Brumaire.