Question: Why do we march with the Torah on the Simchas Torah holiday seven times and why does the bride walk around the groom seven times?
Answer: Good question! In general, we find many patterns of seven in the Torah. The root of all of them, as explained by the Maharal of Prague, is the fact that G-d created the world in six days and rested on the seventh, completing a ‘week’. As such, the totality of the physical world is defined in terms of six. There are six directions, North, South, East, West, up and down; and on a three dimensional plane there are six axes (going both directions in all three dimensions). Six represents the complete and total physical world.
The number seven represents the addition of the spiritual dimension to physical existence, which was added to the world with the addition of the Sabbath, the seventh day of creation upon which G-d rested. Just as the world was raised to the level of its ultimate purpose and meaning with the Sabbath, so to all patterns of seven.
When we celebrate the Torah with seven dances, we show that it is the purpose of our existence, the completion of everything physical. When a man marries, his wife circles him seven times showing that together they can achieve the purpose for which they were created, the spiritual bond that their physical relationship offers them.
It’s with this in mind that we celebrate the Sabbath every week. It’s a complete piece of existence, a spiritual day that makes every other day of our lives meaningful and worthwhile.