Bereishit: Why the world is built and preserved with 7 and 28
The very first verse of the Torah –
“Bereishit barah Elokim et hashamayim v’et haaretz,” – “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth,”
contains seven words and 28 letters. (Bereishit 1:1.)
Quite remarkably the opening verse of the ten commandments,
“Vayedaber Elokim et kol hadevarim haeileh leimor,” – “And God spoke all of these things saying,”
also has seven words and 28 letters. (Shemot 20:1.)
In Hebrew lettering, the number 28 is kaf chet (כח) which spells koach, meaning power. So therefore we find that these two verses of great importance reflect the power of Hashem: Hashem’s power in His act of Creation and Hashem’s power in His act of revelation. This indicates that Hashem created this world so that all of His creatures could appreciate His revelation and as a result live sacred and uplifted lives.
But that is not the whole story. When we recite Kaddish in the memory of somebody who sadly has passed away, we note that the key statement is when the community joins the mourner to exclaim,
“Yehei shemei rabbah mevorach leolam uleolmei olmayah,” – “May the great name of God be blessed forever and ever.”
And note that this ‘yehei shmei’ exclamation also has seven words and 28 letters.
So through Kaddish we recall how those who have passed away utilised their lives to appreciate the revelation of Hashem and to put every moment of life to practical and useful advantage. We read Bereishit at the beginning of a new cycle – at the commencement of a new year. May all of us during this coming year appreciate the creation of Hashem, celebrate his constant revelation to us and through all of our deeds, may the great name of Hashem be blessed forever and ever through the kiddush Hashem, the sanctification of His name, which we, please God, will achieve.