Why Is 18 Lucky In Judaism

The number 18 (Hebrew: שְׁמוֹנֶה-עָשָׂר) appears to have a special significance in Judaism. It is, for example, the numerical value of the Hebrew word for “life” (Hebrew: חַיִּים), and it is often related to good fortune, prosperity, and fertility.

In many families and communities, 18 is considered a significant benchmark and a cause for celebration. It is believed that the number 18 symbolizes the whole universe, since Hebrew letters can also be used to denote numbers, and the numerical value of the letters in which the word “universe” is written sums up to 18. It is also said that the number 18 is particularly lucky and brings good luck when used as a name or charm.

The significance of 18 in Jewish culture is thought to come from the ancient traditions of the Kabbalah, which is a mystical set of knowledge and teachings. According to the Kabbalah, 18 is the numerical value for the word for “chai”, the Hebrew word for “life”. This connection is made especially obvious when celebrating a birthday, as the custom is to give charity in increments of 18, symbolizing that the donor wishes the recipient a long and abundant life.

Additionally, the number 18 is directly related to the concept of Jewish eternity. The ancient Jewish philosopher Maimonides wrote that “the universe stands on 18 pillars” and modern Kabbalists interpret this to mean that 18 is the number associated with permanence, both in physical reality and spiritual reality.

Beyond the Kabbalah, the number 18 has an important role in other aspects of Jewish culture. In many synagogues, the ark in which the Torah scrolls are kept is opened with an action of 18 steps, symbolizing the ascension to a higher plane. The traditional blessing, Birkat Kohanim, pronounced on the Day of Atonement is said to have 18 letters. And, according to myth, Moses experienced a vision of God in the form of 18 fiery flames that emerged from his burning bush.

The number 18 also figures prominently in Jewish ritual and ritual law. 18 is the minimum age of majority for Jewish males, and the Sukkah—the open-sided hut in which one eats during the holiday of Sukkot—is traditionally built to be at least 18 handbreadths high. In many prayer books, passages are divided into sections of 18 verses, so that a reader can complete an entire section in one day.


The number 18 is seen as an ideal number from a Jewish perspective. It is used in many aspects of Jewish life, from prayer and ceremony to celebration and tradition, to promote harmony and well-being. Connected to the concept of life and eternity, 18 is a powerful symbol that transcends time and culture.


The number 18 is sometimes known as a symbolic representation of balance. The first nine digits of the number signify a certain type of linearity, and the second nine signify an entirely different kind of linearity. The first nine digits signify the “right-hand-side” of life, and symbolize things such as compassion and mercy, while the second nine signify the “left-hand-side” of life, and represent things such as justice and strength. When put together, 18 symbolizes balance and equilibrium.


In addition to its spiritual associations, the number 18 has numerological significance as well. The figure 1 when paired with 8 creates a powerful resonance which numerologists interpret as a representation of strong potential and potentiality. This potential grows exponentially when 18 is multiplied, or when 18 is combined with other numbers.


Ultimately, the number 18 has come to hold a deep symbolism in Jewish culture. From an ancient time, Jews have seen 18 as a powerful and auspicious symbol, and today, many Jews continue to associate 18 with luck, health, and abundance. As the number has taken on both spiritual and secular meaning, so has it also taken up emotional resonance, speaking to Jews of all kinds of life’s possibilities.

Josephine Beck is a passionate seeker of religious knowledge. She loves to explore the depths of faith and understanding, often asking questions that challenge traditional beliefs. Her goal is to learn more about the different interpretations of religion, as well as how they intersect with one another.

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