netzach shebbe yesod 5779
by Tzvi Schnee
Today is thirty-nine days, five weeks and four days of the Omer.
The emotional correspondents of the day are netzach (endurance) within yesod (foundation). Building a foundation in life requires a persistent endeavor. It is through netzach that goals may be brought to fruition. The quality of endurance, constant effort despite the challenges in life, gives us the tenacity to achieve our dreams. Moreover, building any kind of foundation in life, a family, a vocation, or even an actual building requires channeling one’s ideas into a realized dream. To dream is not enough; rather, to accomplish one’s dreams, in the actual sense, is to draw on the quality of netzach.
In my own life, I have had many dreams; yet, as is written, “A man’s heart deviseth his way; but the L-RD directeth his steps” (Proverbs 16:9, JPS 1917 Tanach). Additionally, I have let some dreams go, in favor of the dream that was actually closer to my heart. This does not negate the value of the dreams that I have pursued; instead, the steps that I have taken to achieve those dreams are still a part of my life from which I receive benefit. Sometimes the stepping stones of one dream lead to another.
The pursuit of Torah – learning – in and of itself, needs to be complemented by righteous deeds and work. Through constant effort, studying Torah – the foundation of Judaism – should lead to the performance of mitzvot (righteous deeds). “He whose works exceed his wisdom, his wisdom shall endure; but he whose wisdom exceeds his works, his wisdom will not endure” (Pirkei Avos 3:12, traditional text). Additionally, “Excellent is the study of Torah combined with some worldly pursuit, for the effort demanded by them both makes sin to be forgotten. All study of Torah without work must at length be futile, and leads to sin” (Pikei Avos 2:2, ibid). A strong foundation in life must be a practical one, pursued with diligence, and grounded in reality.
disclaimer – I do not claim to be an authority on the sefirot, otherwise known as the middot (character traits). There are established authorities on the subject. The little knowledge that I have could be contained on one of their fingernails. Yet, I endeavor to apply what I know, while learning more along the way. What I share in this series of my blog, during the counting of the Omer, are only my personal findings. Thank you for bearing with me. Shalom.