Rabbi Kaganoff discusses the prohibition of nichush (superstitious omens) and starts the discussion with the question

“May a frum builder skip the number 13 when naming the floors of a building?”

However, he does not explicitly answer the question. Consider that the clients of this builder, such as renters in an office building or clients in a hotel, would be reluctant to actually rent there. Would this indeed be nichush or would it be a legitimate (and mutar) business decision recognizing that others are superstitious.

An example of this line of reasoning is Yonasan and his armor bearer attacking the Pelishtim Shmuel I 14:8-10. Tosfos and the Ran (Chullin 95b) explain that Yonasan used the "omen" to reassure his armor bearer.

Bottom Line Conjures Up Realty's Fear Of 13

Based on records of buildings with Otis brand elevators, as many as 85 percent of the high rises in the world don't have a 13th floor, says Dilip Rangnekar, spokesman for the Farmington, CT-based elevator maker.

  • 1
    How is this different from throwing a die into a trash can? It will show some number but you aren't using it as a superstition. Unless you are concerned for Lifnei Iver? Maras Ayin?
    – Double AA
    Sep 16, 2016 at 14:50
  • With "but the question is according to those who explain it as nichush," are you intending to limit the scope of your question? If so, that's a major limitation, and it should be highlighted at the top and probably in the title as well.
    – Isaac Moses
    Sep 16, 2016 at 14:51
  • We have a Jewish version of this superstition. The number and the date written taf shin mem daled (tashmad - destroy) is written with the last two letters reversed. Sep 16, 2016 at 15:02
  • @DanF I put the question on his web site rabbikaganoff.com/contact-us/comment-page-1/#comment-15846 I also put the reference about actual buildings into the question. Sep 16, 2016 at 17:59
  • 1
    Why is this tagged hashkafa? Isnt it a halakhic question of darkhei emori?
    – mevaqesh
    Oct 11, 2016 at 15:53


You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .