What is Seven? The Number Series

Seven; the omer, the menorah, the octave, the days of the week, etc.

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Now, we are in the midst of counting the Omer;  seven weeks multiplied by seven days.  Forty-nine days to count, to improve, to build one’s seven midos – character traits to reach the pinnacle of the 50th the day gave us the Torah.  What are the midos? There is Chesed – selfless kindness, the trait associated with Avroham.Geuvrah – restraint, the one who can fight his aitza hora – the evil inclination characterized by Yitzhak. Tiferes is symmetry, balance characterized by Yaacov who was the summation of Avroham and Yitzhak his grandfather and father. The fourth mida (and the week of the Omer) is Netzach meaning eternity.  To be able to see the long view and understanding everything is good even what seems bad for us.  This is Moshe who brought down to us the everlasting Torah.  Hod is beauty, an eternal beauty connected to hodiah – thankfulness. A person who is kind to everyone, polite and greets all with a smile and gratitude has hod. Yehoshua is hod. Yesod is the foundation. It is the foundation which connects kedusha the Holiness of Hashem into this temporal world. Yosef who fought his eitzah hora successfully is yasod. The seventh is malchuot royalty. Malchus is the combination of all the other midos and put into action.  Dovid HaMelech is Malchus.

There are seven days in the week in every calendar (at least that I know of). This is not necessarily logical. If the solar year would have chosen six days, not only would it have been an even number, every year would have the same date.  January first would always be Sunday, and the holidays would fall out the same day every year (that is the secular holidays based on the solar year, not Jewish holidays – those would still be late or early as some like to acknowledge them.   For us Jews, it would be a catastrophe. One week Shabbos would be on Saturday, the next Sunday, and etc. causing havoc in the workplace and confusion for the masses.  By having seven days already implies a notion of a day off – Shabbos (which didn’t always exist.) Once the Russians tried to abrogate the entire calendar and created a 10 day week – it didn’t last too long.  I have a feeling the vodka use got multiplied during that time. Even in the ancient world, there have been attempts of longer or shorter weeks, and yet it has always come back to the 7 day week – with a Shabbos set by its side – with no equal.

Seven also has personal significance for me.  It is the number of children I have and the name of my third daughter (Elisheva – nicknamed; Shevi, since she was born at the beginning of Shabbos and was the 7th night of Chanukah) and it represents the best day of the week, Shabbos.

Succos is seven days(with an extra day for Simchas Torah) as well as Pesach.  The Shabbos of the land is shmittah, where G-d commanded to rest the earth and go learn for a year every seven years.

In the Beis HaMakdash, the Temple stood the golden menorah – with seven branches  – the symbol of the Jewish people, which was lit every day by the Cohen gadol.

Seven represents completion.  An octave is 7 musical notes– do, re, mi, fa, so, la, ti, and topped off with do again. The rainbow has seven colors: Red – Orange – Yellow – Green – Blue – Indigo -Violet (ROY G BIV).

There are seven laws of Noah the 7 mitzvot non-Jews need to follow and are ultimately judged by:

  1. Thou shall not worship Idols
  2. Thou shall not Blaspheme
  3. Thou shall not murder
  4. Thou shall not have immoral relationships
  5. Thou shall not steal
  6. Thou shall Respect all Living Creatures
  7. Thou Shall Set up Courts of Law

There is the Seven Seas:

  1. the Arctic Ocean
  2. the North Atlantic Ocean
  3. the South Atlantic Ocean
  4. the Indian Ocean
  5. the North Pacific Ocean
  6. the South Pacific Ocean
  7. the Southern (or Antarctic) Ocean

The notion of 7th heaven which has its basis in Kaballah of the 7 sacred halls, steps, worlds one needs to climb to the Holy of Hollies.

In the ancient time there were the classic seven wonders:

  1. Great Pyramid of Giza
  2. Hanging Gardens of Babylon
  3. Statue of Zeus at Olympia
  4. Temple of Artemis at Ephesus
  5. Mausoleum at Halicarnassus
  6. Colossus of Rhodes
  7. Lighthouse of Alexandria

Only the Great Pyramid of Giza still exists.

The Group of 7 (G7) is a group consisting of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Seven is considered the number most connected to nature; the way of life. Eight goes into the supernatural, the number above nature – but that is the start of another blog.

Happy counting.

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