Last night at my weekly writers group an individual read an essay on a life-crisis that happened at age 33. She said that some people have life crises in their forties and call them mid-life, others have them in their 20s and call them quarter-life, but hers didn’t fit nicely in either one.
Another individual pointed out that 33 is a very mystical number. Supposedly the age when someone named Jesus died. (A religious figure important to some people). And three is a mystical number for many religions. (With roots probably in the concept of the family – mother/father/child)
About to turn 35, I did some quick mental math. I was severed from my workplace of 10 years in February of 2002. 1 month after I turned 33. And I didn’t start my current job until March of 2003. You could say I had a little life-crisis of my own that year.
Doing a little research I come up with these interesting facts:
The “Tree of the Sephiroth” of the Kabbalah has 33 elements, including the whole of it and its constituent parts.
The number 33 in Hebrew is Gimmel-Lamed (In Hebrew letters are used for numbers, Gimmel (or G) is the third letter, and means ‘3’. However, instead of using Gimmel-Gimmel for 33, there are numbers that mean 10 20 30 etc. 30 is Lamed (L). The word “Gal” was used in the Psalms in the manner of “asking God to reveal the secrets of the Torah,” and thus the number 33 signifies “entry into the mystery” or “the secret levels of creation.” and “the end of suffering.”
Lag B’Omer occurs thirty-three days after the start of Passover. Its name also comes from the Hebrew letters lamed and gimmel, just reversed. The Omer period signifies a stage of the year in Biblical times, during which the harvest of grain was ritually counted and offerings made. Lag B’Omer is the thirty-third day of the omer count. It is this day that most Jewish people recognize as the end of the mourning period of the Omer. [Two events took place in Jewish history which led to the celebration of Lag B’Omer. On the 33rd day of the Omer, Rabbi Akiva’s students stopped dying, and Rabbi Akiva started to reveal the light of the Torah to new students, including Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai. Also on the 33rd day of the Omer, Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, the author of the central work of Kabbalah called the Zohar, died. His death is a celebration because on the day of his death he revealed the light of the Torah to his students.]
King David reigned in Jerusalem for 33 years.
Some say that the Biblical Eden existed on Earth at the location “between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in the Middle-East.” The place referred to is likely the place where they come closest together, which is at 33.30ï¿½N latitude.
Of course, I don’t believe in any of this numerology nonsense. (But I do consider it significant that I was severed from that job on Victor Hugo’s 200th birthday.)