By Rabbi Moshe Goodman, Kollel Ohr Shlomo, Hebron
The Importance of Seven
In this painting we see ten aspects of seven, while these ten can be grouped into five pairs: 1a. Seven leaves – that resemble flames – also notice seven types of fire/flames emerging where the verse is written, b. seven candles, 2a. people/angels blowing shofar above, b. hasidim below, 3a. Seven drops above, b. seven drops below, 4a. Seven purple trees, b. seven branches in each of the two green trees, 5a. Seven fruits in each tree, seven times the word “toda – thanks” appears – the reason we group toda with fruits is due to the fact that the Torah commands us to thank Hashem when eating from the fruit/produce of the Land (the word toda is found in different colors at the of the painting: one blue, one red, one yellow – this has significance Kabbalistically as aspects of kindness, judgment, and “middle path” respectively). The significance of these ten aspects of seven can be understood as a joining of the natural sanctity, associated with the number seven with the supernatural, associated with the number ten. Also this matter can be seen in the seven doves and three blue birds seen here, altogether ten birds. This follows the Kabbalistic teaching which groups the sefirot into two groups, one of three sefirot and the other comprised of seven. Ten is also seen in the Magen David as if growing like a tree – we see four flames in the trunk and six in the circle/branches corresponding to four upper sefirot, considered the “source”/”trunk” towards the six lower sefirot. The bridging between the natural and supernatural is achieved through thanksgiving to Hashem, the main theme of this painting. This parsha also describes how we are to thank Hashem for the “good Land” in the Birkat Hamazon. Hebron, Beacon of the Holy Land, teaches us how to appreciate this special Divine gift, the Holy Land, which is also seen in the background.
Dualism we see in 1. the magenei David, 2. along with green leaves within them, 3. the trees, 4. gazelles, 5. pomegranates, 6. yellow drops, 7. towns – seven dualisms altogether, again the favorite number in Torah and in Nachshon’s paintings.