Monthly Archives: December 2003

33 -more numerology

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 33.30�N 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.)

Sex and the Constitution

An added footnote:

Conservatives like to rail against the Supreme Court for legislating in cases such as the recent Sodomy case. They insist the word ‘Sex’ isn’t in the constitution so sex is something that should be left to the states. Just as they insist ‘privacy’ isn’t in the constitution, and they trace this ‘decline’ back to Roe v Wade. Ann Coulter’s most recent screed

They seem to forget entirely about that pesky little 19th century Supreme Court case that upheld a federal law banning polygamy. I believe that was the first Supreme Court case involving privacy and sex. It was in 1879, almost a 100 years before Roe v Wade.


As Utah Polygamist, Tom Green defends himself by using the Supreme Court’s recent decision on Sodomy, Conservatives cry, “I Told You So.”

What they miss is a crucial difference between Sodomy and Polygamy. Adult Consent. Tom Green is accused of child rape in that one of his wives was 13 years old. Polygamy has been used n the past to lock women into marriages.

On the otherhand, monogamous marriages also were used that way at one time. There are still major religions that frown upon divorce. Theoretically, one can imagine civil polygamies with modern laws in place that protect all parties. And I have no problem with such a scenario.

But when the Right continues with their fearmongering suggesting that bestiality, and the removal of the ‘age of consent’ is next, I don’t see how that follows. Consent was a major factor in the Supreme Court’s decision on Sodomy. It will probably play a major factor in a potential case on polygamy. (And they could go either way – looking at the history of polygamy as historically opposed to mutual consent, or forward looking to suggest the history of the practice doesn’t mandate how it will be used in the future).

It is impossible, and always will be impossible, to get an animal’s consent to bestiality. Bestiality is animal abuse. Ironically, prior to last summer, Bestiality was legal in the state of Missouri, Ashcroft’s former state, and Homosexuality was illegal. Bestiality is still legal. It’s still open-season on non-consenting animals.

Despite individual state disputes over what the age of consent should be – the existence of an age of consent is not in dispute. And there is no reason to fear the Supreme Court would contradict state laws protecting the safety of children.

In related news…

Over in Pennsylvania a custody judge’s decision not to allow a father to speak to his daughter about the concept of polygamy until she’s 18 is being challenged on Free Speech grounds.

This does appear a little overbroad. I know I read Heinlein’s novels before age 18. I wonder what the courts would do if this father just handed his daughter a copy of Time Enough for Love.

And on the other extreme, over in Singapore a politician suggests single mothers would benefit more from polygamy than from becoming computer literate.

I’m not trying to suggest this guy is correct in any way, shape, or form. However, it has been argued that what the US economy needs is a return to the “Extended Family.” Most families are no longer able to survive on one salary, and with both parents working — if there are two parents — there’s no one home to care for the children. This does cause problems. In another day and age there might have been an aunt, uncle, or grandparent at home to care for the children. Polygamy could restore the benefits of the extended family.