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Time is a gift. Hashem provided us with a system to mark the passage of time as a reminder to utilize this precious commodity well: a week is seven days, the shemittah cycle is seven years, and we find the mystical number seven recurring throughout Hashem’s creations in the natural world, in the lives of humans, and in the mitzvos of the Torah. Why did Hashem choose the number seven?
It’s Shabbos. Not for one day, but for an entire year, a year of uncertainty, a year of emunah. Four farmers’ wives share the experience of shemittah near the fields — the change of pace, the change of focus. It’s a Shabbos of the Land, and they greet it eagerly.
A dreamy wedding, seven days of sumptuous meals, and hours to get to know each other — and then a couple is thrust into the pressures and tensions of regular living. Women reflect back on that critical year of shanah rishonah, and share advice on marriage, housekeeping, in-laws, and more.
The days of shivah marched relentlessly forward, and somewhere through that blur of grief and consolation we realized that the date of Yanky’s death was seven years and two days after his accident at age four. Our strange conversation with the mekubal all those years ago came into startling relief. Seven years of life…seven extra years of life. And that changed everything.
The Shivas Haminim, the seven species with which the land of Eretz Yisrael is blessed, have always had significance for Jews. Recently, research has proven the startling health benefits of pomegranates. One Manchester-based housewife has created an empire of chesed from the glistening seeds of the rimon.
More than the Jews have kept Shabbos, Shabbos has kept the Jews. The seventh day of the week is our island and oasis, an iron-strong bond to our Creator. One woman wasn’t satisfied with sanctifying Shabbos on her own; she wanted to share the treasure with anyone who thirsted for it. Her initiative led to a Guinness World Record for the largest Shabbos meal ever recorded — illuminating thousands of hearts with its light.