COUNTING THE OMER – This prayer is traditionally recited between sundown and sunrise of each day.
Day 4: Netzach she b’Chesed
The Blessing (Day 4):
Baruch atah Adonai elohaynu melech ha’olam asher kidshanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu al sephirat ha’omer.
Blessed are you, G-D, Source of Lovingkindness, You make us holy through your mitzvot, commanding us to count the Omer.
Ha yom arba’a yomim l’Omer.
Today is the fourth day of the Omer.
Week One – Chesed (Lovingkindness, Compassion, Grace)
Day Four- Netzach she b’Chesed (Persistence/Endurance within Lovingkindness) – RIGHT HIP to RIGHT SHOULDER
Netzach is endurance; the fortitude and patience to follow through on our passions. Rabbi Min Kantrowitz has said that Netzach is divine fuel, the endurance that helps compassion to flow: a kind of spiritual oil that smooths the rough places. Today we focus on celebrating the steadfastness of G-D’s flow of loving energy. Today we contemplate the enduring power of compassion and commit ourselves to using it wisely.
Emotional endurance is needed to express Lovingkindness in the world, especially in demanding and difficult situations. We need at times to recognize that it is not our own emotional needs that may be satisfied in a specific moment. Instead, we are being given the Endurance to allow Lovingkindness to flow out of us.
There are times when you wish to be able to give fully with Chesed, with tenderness and consideration of others, yet the reality is that this can sometimes be exhausting. Just as Gevurah teaches us to utilize strength and discernment to influence the amount of Chesed we give to others, so too does Netzach influence our experience; when we wish to give compassion and caring, yet our emotional, physical and/or spiritual exhaustion seems to be keeping us from completing that desire. This can often happen when the immediacy of a situation has worn off and the long-haul aspect is in place. Although there are plenty of COVID-19 examples I could use, I’m going to go with another type of example to show what I mean.
When a social justice issue comes to the surface for someone, usually due to a sudden awareness to a problem from first-hand experience or maybe a moving news article, the first days/weeks/months may be strongly influenced by a free-flowing Chesed, compassion, that is enough to spur you to action in some way. You may get very involved, read up on the subject to learn more, advocate to lawmakers, participate in marches, and so on. But this is difficult for most of us to sustain, no matter how much we may care about the cause. It’s the exhaustion that sets in as well as the pull from other factors that usually cause most of us to fall away from something that we feel strongly about. This is when Netzach, persistence and endurance come to full force to influence our Chesed, our compassion. Our resolve to persevere helps us to continue to get/stay involved, to make the phone calls to educate others on the cause, to work with lovingkindness to make the change.
As a meditative practice, take a few deep breaths and take a moment to think of something important to you that you have let fall away due to exhaustion, negativity or reluctance to continue to fight. Dig deep within yourself for that extra measure of Netzach, of endurance, to flow through you and join with Chesed so you may continue what you truly want to achieve with compassion and caring in the universe. We all get exhausted; we all lose sight of that which is very important to us – but it is never truly gone. Sometimes we just need to be open to the awareness of our need for a little extra resolve to get back to the important things in our lives.