I am not a professional math guy, contrasted with my friend Ron. I just dabble. As an example to take the sting out of Big birthdays ending in Zero (most recently for me the Big-6-0), I prefer highlighting prime ages, of which I’ve had 16 so far and another four should be coming during my life expectancy.

My two friends Tracy and Michelle both turned 30 recently and I had the opportunity to explain the magic of 30: 29 and 31 are prime. Two prime ages surrounding an age usually dreaded. And this year I turned 60 having solace that 59 and 61 are prime. It is tempting to imagine that this might happen for ages divisible by 30. Alas 90 only works with 89.

Simple enough, but Tracy asked whether I had any prime ages in a prime year? And so I went to work on that. I have never turned a prime age in a prime year. (My friend Ron points out this is self-evident because I was born in an odd year, thanks Ron!) But I have been a prime age during three prime years (for me the magic window is January 1 through August 28): age 41 in 1993, age 47 in 1999 and age 59 earlier this year 2011. Won’t happen again in my lifetime.

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Um, you might point out that you never turned a prime age in a prime year because prime years are odd, or have been for over 2000 years and will be forevermore, whereas you turn an even age every odd year, having been born in an odd year. Thus, you had only one crack at turning a prime age (2) in a prime year, and that didn’t work out so well. We even-birth-year folks have better luck.

I have to say, I love positive integers as much as the next guy, but I find this whole numerology thing a bit mystifying.

Um, you might point out that you never turned a prime age in a prime year because prime years are odd, or have been for over 2000 years and will be forevermore, whereas you turn an even age every odd year, having been born in an odd year. Thus, you had only one crack at turning a prime age (2) in a prime year, and that didn’t work out so well. We even-birth-year folks have better luck.

I have to say, I love positive integers as much as the next guy, but I find this whole numerology thing a bit mystifying.

Um, I ought to have done the odd-even thing! And will do that for the folk that don’t read comments.

Numerology though? Hard to study Torah without it… And truthfully you now know your double prime ages now?

I look forward to my next prime year. This year has been one of my personal best.

Maybe that’s why my Torah studies haven’t been going too well lately.