Week 4: Netzach (Eternity, Endurance)
As we begin Counting the OmerFrom the second day of Passover until Shavuot, Jews count seven weeks – seven times seven days – to commemorate the period between the Exodus from Egypt and the Revelation at Sinai. When the Temple stood, a certain measure (omer) of barley was offered on the altar each day; today, we merely count out the days., each day’s quality intersects with Netzach, inviting us to contemplate various dimensions of eternity or endurance. We invited writers to reflect on each daily theme as part of Ritualwell’s annual Omer Fundraising Campaign. You may download a full PDF for this week at the bottom of this page. As you gather inspiration for your Omer journey, please take a moment to support Ritualwell so we can continue to offer you free, meaningful content all year long. Thank you!
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Artwork: Omer 2018
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Day 22: HesedLit. Kindness It is said in Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Fathers) that the world stands on three things: Torah (learning), Avodah (worship), and Gemilut Hasidim (acts of kindness). of Netzach
May your compassion-hesed at the heart of your being be a well that fuels your life. May it be the source of your actions in the world. May your lovingkindness be coupled with endurance-netzach, the wisdom that real change takes time and patience.
—Rabbi Jill Berkson Zimmerman
Day 23: Gevurah of Netzach
We ask for the strength to act for good,
The discipline to follow through on our commitments,
The determination to act for justice,
Even when we don’t see the results we long for.
May goodness and kindness pursue us all the days of our lives.
Let us dwell in the heart of the Mystery always. Psalm 23:6
—Rabbi YaelA female character in the Book of Judges who is instrumental in the Israelites' obtaining the victory that Deborah had prophesied. When she encountered the enemy king Sisera, Yael invites him into her tent. She feeds him milk to make him drowsy and, when he fell asleep, she murders him by driving a tent peg through his temple. Levy
Day 24: Tiferet of Netzach
eternity is in every glance
and every leaf
between nature and nurture
a search for truth
that pulls us out of our lower selves
no matter our feeling of smallness
every question and answer must begin
with bottomless compassion
that deepens and defies every measure
Day 25: Netzach of Netzach
What is eternity within eternity?
It is that centermost point,
where the dream of our ancestors meets the dream of our descendants:
—Rabbi Emily CohenPriest. Descendants of Aaron who served in the Temple in Jerusalem. Today, in the absence of a Temple, Jews continue to keep track of who is a Cohen. A Cohen is accorded certain privileges in synagogue and is forbidden from entering a graveyard or marrying a divorcee. Priesthood is patrilineal – if one’s father was a Cohen, then one is a Cohen.
Day 26 Hod of Netzach
Splendor with Persistence.
Let us pause here in these perilous times. Notice where we find ourselves. Alive and growing, reaching for life, rooted in eternity. Diverse, manifold. Single in purpose.
Day 27 Yesod of Netzach
I invite the blessings of SarahThe first matriarch, wife of Abraham, and mother of Isaac, whom she birthed at the age of 90. Sarah, in Rabbinic tradition, is considered holy, beautiful, and hospitable. Many prayers, particularly the Amidah (the central silent prayer), refer to God as Magen Avraham – protector of Abraham. Many Jews now add: pokehd or ezrat Sarah – guardian or helper of Sarah. imeinu, barren foremother who birthed a great and enduring nation.
May her generative life-force flow through me, into a deep and abiding connection with the Eternal One.
Day 28: Malchut of Netzach
Rulers come and rulers go (praise G-d). Amidst all the tumult, what enduring values and principles will we turn to in order to govern ourselves?