Sefirot HaOmer 5779
netzach shebbe malchus 5779
(victory within sovereignty)
Today is forty-six days, six weeks and and four days of the counting of the Omer.
Netzach, most commonly associated with “victory” may also be reckoned as success and accomplishment. In combination with malchus (sovereignty, autonomy, self-worth), one topic that might be relevant is the relation of success to autonomy. For example, what is the effect of success on the autonomy of an individual? My assumption is that success in any endeavor would strengthen one’s sense of autonomy. Accomplishments are akin to gemstones in the crown of a king, each one sparkling in its place. Another metaphor, a crown of laurels, received by those who are honored. Yet, there is a saying, that it is not wise to rest on one’s laurels.
A better way to symbolize accomplishments is like fruit on a tree. Metaphorically speaking, according to scripture, man is likened to a tree. In like manner that a tree is able to bear fruit, man, through his mitzvot (good deeds) may also bear fruit. Unlike gemstones on the crown of a king which serve to elevate his status, fruits on a tree may be partaken of by all who enter the orchard. Therefore, following the metaphor, accomplishments that benefit others are more like fruits on a tree. The yield of fruit is seasonal, and may be continually renewed year after year. When a man bears fruit according to his endeavors in this life, this reflects on his efficacy.
I do not mean to challenge conceptions of success that some may have; however, I do not believe that true success can be measured by the standards of the world. Therefore, I prefer not to speak about “success” as an abstract attainment, as if it is a level that one reaches, or a pinnacle that one stands upon. I am more inclined to speak about success in terms of individual accomplishments. The various tasks that any person performs in life become accomplishments once they are achieved. A substantial amount of good deeds done for the sake of others will bear fruit in the lives of the recipients. In this sense, any measure of overall success would be dependent upon how much good we have done in this world. Yet, these “fruits” are the natural result of our best qualities; they are not gemstones that would contribute to our sense of vainglory.
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.