Saturday, January 21, 2017

God's Number Seven

In this study I would like to examine the meaning of the number seven. The mighty one Yha, seem to work a round the number seven as his lucky number to do his will among his people.

Seven In Creation

In the story of creation, found in Genesis, we find that the creation of the physical world was markedly formed with seven and its multiples. Even the time of creation is marked by seven.

In the creation story “God saw” is repeated seven times. Sefer Yetzira explains that these seven repetitions parallel the seven double letters – c d s f p r , (letters which can be pronounced hard or soft) and the seven days of the week.

The following is a list of the sevens and their multiples in the creation story of Bereshit (Genesis):

35 times God (Elohim) is found

7 times “On the Earth (Hebrew only)” is found.

21 times “Earth, earth, or land” are found.

7 times “heaven(s), sky (excluding “heavenly sky”)” are found.

7 times “Good” is found.

7 times “Water(s) (beneath the heavens)” are found.

7 times “flying, fly, or birds” are found.

7 times “crawls, walks, land animals” are found.

14 times “day or days” are found.


Shabbat is the seventh day of the week. This is no accident. Shabbat connects the six days of the week. All of the other days revolve around it. 

It serves as the center for the three days before it and the three days after it.

Even though the seventh appears to be the final element in a linear progression, it is actually the core around which everything else revolves.

When the Torah wishes to give a name to the first day of the week, it gives it a name that describes it’s relationship to Shabbat, “the first day of Shabbat”, “the second day of Shabbat”, etc.
 And so it goes for the other six days. The sixth day is called “Erev Shabbat”, the eve of the Sabbath. 

Thus Shabbat connects the six days of the week. (This chart illustrates how the days revolve around Shabbat.) 

Tuesday 3rd day
Monday 2nd day
Sunday 1st day
Shabbat 7th day
Friday 6th day
Thursday 5th day
Wednesday 4th day




Summer Solstice

Sartan – crab
Tammuz - O
Judah (Reuben)


Teomaim – twins
Sivan - N
Levi (Zebulon)

Aryeh – lion
Av - P
Issachar (Simeon)

Shaur – bull

Iyar - M

Simeon (Issachar)

Bethulah – virgin
Elul - Q
Zebulon (Gad)
Spring Equinox
Toleh – ram
Nisan - L
Reuben (Judah)

Fall Equinox
Meoznaim – scales
Tishrei - Y
Benjamin (Ephraim)

Dagim – fishes
Adar - \
Joseph (Naftali)

Aqurav – scorpion
Cheshvan - Z
Dan (Manasseh)

Deli– water bearer
Shevat - b
Asher (Asher)

Keshet – rainbow
Kislev - [
Naftali (Benjamin)




Winter Solstice

Ghedi – goat
Tevet - a
Gad (Dan)

God created dry land

Hashem created plants.
God separated waters above from waters below.
God created the heavens and earth and separated light from darkness.

God Rested.
God created animals.

God created men.
God created birds and fishes.
God created the sun, moon, and stars.
The brass laver
The Mishkan’s veil.
The Mishkan’s covering.
The world is finished and so is the Mishkan.
The cherubim.
The Menorah.
Year 3
Rishon was given to the Levites and Priests

And ani was given to the poor.

rishon & ani
Year 2
Rishon was given to the Levites and Priests

Sheni was taken to Jerusalem and eaten.

rishon & sheni
Year 1
Rishon was given to the Levites and Priests

Sheni was taken to Jerusalem and eaten.

rishon & sheni
Year 7
The tithe was not collected from agricultural products on the SEVENTH YEAR because the land was to lay fallow
Year 6
Rishon was given to the Levites and Priests

And ani was given to the poor.

rishon & ani
Year 5
Rishon was given to the Levites and Priests

Sheni was taken to Jerusalem and eaten.

rishon & sheni
Year 4
Rishon was given to the Levites and Priests

Sheni was taken to Jerusalem and eaten.

rishon & sheni
Darshan / Maggid
Sheliach Bet Din / Sheliach Tzibur
Baal Masorah / Masoret
Moreh / Meturgeman
Parnas / Shamash
Parnas / Shamash
Parnas / Shamash
It all hinges on the number seven.

The tribes and their months are taken from the Sefer Yetzira, by Aryeh Kaplan. Without parenthesis are according to Exodus. Those tribe with parenthesis are from Numbers.

Somethings To Do On The Sabbath....

The Sages teach us that there are five things that we should strive to accomplish on Shabbat:

Eat the best food of the week.

Engage in marital relations



Study Torah The Sages teach us that there are five things that we should strive to accomplish on Shabbat:
Eat the best food of the week.
Engage in marital relations
Study Torah

Each of these seven is used for connection:

Food connects the soul to the body. Sex connects two physical bodies. Rest allows us to connect with the six days of work.Prayer allows us to connect with HaShem. Torah study allows us to connect with a transcendent world.

Seven In The Body

The body, according to our Sages, is composed of seven major parts, namely: head, torso, right arm, left arm, right leg, left leg, and the Brit Mila (the organ of circumcision).

It is also obvious that there are seven openings in the head. Like the menorah, the head has three openings on either side of the centerline of the head, with the mouth in the center. 

The body is bounded by six sides, yet the spirit connects to, and animates, all of them.

Seven In Sound

Music speaks to the soul and to the body. When the music is done correctly it “moves” us. The Torah talks about how proper music can make an evil spirit depart:

1 Samuel 16:14-23

But the spirit of HaShem departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from HaShem troubled him. And Saul’s servants said unto him, Behold now, an evil spirit from God troubleth thee.

Let our lord now command thy servants, [which are] before thee, to seek out a man, who is a cunning player on an harp: and it shall come to pass, when the evil spirit from God is upon thee, that he shall play with his hand, and thou shalt be well.

And Saul said unto his servants, Provide me now a man that can play well, and bring him to me. Then answered one of the servants, and said, Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Beth-lehemite,that is cunning in playing, and a mighty valiant man, and a man of war, and prudent in matters, and a comely person, and HaShem is with him.

Wherefore Saul sent messengers unto Jesse, and said, Send me David thy son, which is with the sheep. And Jesse took an ass laden with bread, and a bottle of wine, and a kid, and sent them by David his son unto Saul.

And David came to Saul, and stood before him: and he loved him greatly; and he became his armor bearer. And Saul sent to Jesse, saying, Let David, I pray thee, stand before me; for he hath found favor in my sight.

And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.

Music that “moves” us is music which is based on a seven tone scale. The 1997 World Book Encyclopedia details this for us:

Seven In Light

The rainbow with its seven colors reflected the beauty and divinity of the seven commandments of the Children of Noah (Noachide):

Belief in G-d – do not worship idols

Respect G-d and praise Him – do not blaspheme His name.

Respect human life – do not murder.

Respect the family – do not commit immoral acts.

Respect for others’ rights and property – do not steal.

Respect all creatures - do not eat the flesh of an animal while it is still alive.

Creation of a judicial system – pursue justice.

The sign of the covenant was the rainbow and it would serve as a permanent symbol of Divine Benevolence.

It was the first time the rainbow had ever been seen in the world, although it had been created and readied for this moment at twilight after the sixth day of creation, between the time Adam transgressed and the Sabbath, when G-d rested from all He had made:

Avot Chapter 5 MISHNAH 6.





Miscellaneous Sevens

Pesikta deRab Kahana, Midrashic Homilies for Shabbat Parah Adumah: R. Hanan bar Pazzi interpreted the cited verse [The sayings of the Lord are pure sayings to apply to the pericope of the Red Cow, which contains seven times seven [references to matters of purification, thus:

seven times is the red cow mentioned

seven times the burning

seven times the sprinkling

seven times the laundering of garments

seven times the matter of uncleanness

seven times the matter of cleanness

seven times the matter of priests

And if someone should say to you that in fact they are lacking [in not mentioning the priests seven times,] say to him, “Moses and Aaron count.” Now the Lord said to Moses and to Aaron,

This is the statute of the law which the Lord has commanded.

Seven seas is an ancient term describing all the seas and oceans of the world. Many people believe the seven seas referred to are the Arctic, Antarctic, North and South Pacific, North and South Atlantic, and Indian oceans. 


1.               Shabbat is the 7th day of the week.
2.               There are 7 weeks in the counting of the Omer before Shavuot. (Leviticus 23:15)
3.               In Israel, there are 7 days of Passover and Succoth. (Leviticus 23:6, 34)
4.               Every 7th year, the land lays fallow during Shmita (Sabbatical year). (Leviticus 25:4)
5.               After 7 cycles of Shmita, we have a Jubilee year (Yovel). (Leviticus 25:8)
6.               When a close relative dies, we sit Shiva for 7 days.
7.               On Succoth we shake 7 species - 1 Lulav, 1 Etrog, 2 willows, and 3 myrtles.
8.               Yitro (Jethro), the first real convert to Judaism, had 7 different names, and 7 daughters (one who married Moses).
9.               Moses was born and died on the same day - the 7th of Adar.
10.            Our Succah huts are “visited” by 7 guests - Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Aaron, Joseph and David.
11.            The Menorah in the Temple had 7 branches.
12.            Achashverosh, King of Persia during the miracle of Purim, held a party for 7 days. (Esther 1:5)
13.            There are 7 holidays in the Jewish year: Yom Teruah, Yom HaKippurim, Succoth, Chanukah, Purim, Passover, and Shavuot.
14.            In addition to the 613 Commandments, the Sages added 7 more.
15.            There are 7 Noachide Laws pertaining to all humanity.
16.            At every Jewish wedding, 7 blessings are recited (Sheva Brachot).
17.            Each Shabbat, 7 people are called to the Torah reading (Aliyot).
18.            The first verse in the Torah contains 7 words (and 28 letters).
19.            Our Matriarch Leah had 7 children - six sons and one daughter.
20.            There were 7 days of preparation for the construction of the Tabernacle in the desert. (Leviticus 8:35)
21.            Traditionally, the bride circles the groom 7 times under the Chuppah (wedding canopy).
22.            We wind the Tefillin straps around the arm 7 times.
23.            Moses was the 7th generation after Abraham.
24.            Each plague in Egypt lasted 7 days.
25.            In Pharaoh’s dreams there were 7 cows and 7 stalks of grain. (Genesis 41)
26.            The Biblical contamination period typically lasts 7 days. (Leviticus 13:4)
27.            God created 7 levels of heaven. (Hence the expression, “I’m in 7th heaven!”)
28.            On Shabbat and holidays, we recite 7 blessings in the silent Amida.
29.            There are 7 special species of produce by which the Land of Israel is praised: wheat, barley, grapes, pomegranates, figs, olives, and dates. (Deut. 8:8)
30.            The world has 7 continents.
31.            The 7 weeks of the Omer correspond to the 7 “sefirot,” the 7 behavior traits in which we serve God: kindness, strength, beauty, triumph, splendor, foundation, and kingship.
32.            Noah sent the dove and the raven out of the Ark for 7 days to inspect the weather conditions. (Genesis 8:10)
33.            7 nations warred with Israel: Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Amorites, Perizzites, Jebusites, and Girgashites.
34.            On Yom Kippur, the High Priest sprinkled the blood in the Temple 7 times. (Leviticus 16)
35.            The Jewish New Year of Rosh HaShana occurs, surprisingly, in the 7th month -- Tishrei. (Leviticus 23:24)
36.            The Jewish calendar has a cycle of intercalation that contains 7 leap years during each 19-year period.
37.            There are 7 notes on the musical scale.
38.            A Kohen (priest) should participate in the burial of 7 relatives: father, mother, sister, brother, son, daughter, and spouse. (Leviticus 21:2)
39.            We dance 7 circles (Hakafot) on the holiday of Simchat Torah.
40.            The smallest allowable dimension of a Succah is 7 cubits by 7 cubits.
41.            The world has 7 seas.
42.            Joshua led the Jewish People around the walls of Jericho 7 times before the walls fell. (Joshua 6:15)
43.            Jacob worked for Laban for 7 years (twice) in order to marry his daughters. (Genesis 29:27)
44.            The Holy Temple contained 7 gates of entry.
45.            We recite 7 blessings every day before and after the “Shema” -- 3 in the morning and 4 at night.
46.            The Talmud lists 7 female prophets: Sarah, Miriam, Deborah, Hannah, Avigail, Chuldah, and Esther.
47.            A Jewish servant regains freedom after working for 7 years. (Exodus 21:2)
48.            We conclude our Yom HaKippurim prayers by proclaiming7 times, “The Lord is God!”
49.            A Jewish wedding is followed by 7 days of celebration (Sheva Brachot).


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