We start a new week of the cycle of counting the omer today. This week’s trait is Netzach, which is endurance or victory. Being on the right side of chart of the sefirot it represents an expansive force similar to chesed or love.
Netzach literally means “eternity.” Hence as a personality trait we interpret that as enduring, lasting. The same basic word though also means to win or overcome. Clearly winning often depends on having endurance. One of the reasons the British were able to emerge victorious in WWII was they had the tenacity and the endurance to hang on until America could get fully mobilized and help fight the war against the Nazis.
Last month I ran a full marathon, 42.2 km (26.1 miles), for the first time. For me that was personally a great lesson on endurance. It wasn’t even the marathon itself that took the great endurance, although it certainly took a lot. It was the months of training for the marathon ahead of time. Pushing myself to go out and train even when the weather was cold, or rainy, or otherwise unpleasant. Especially in a marathon, it becomes obvious that to win, you must go the distance. And most of the things we pursue in life – an education, a career, a family – are marathons, not sprints.
The first day of the week of netzach we look at the chesed, or love, aspects of netzach.
As you push yourself to stick with things – whether it’s school, a diet, an exercise program – are you able to do it in a loving way? Or do you become a source of aggravation to all around you when you are pushing yourself?
What about the object of your endurance? It’s much easier to stick with something such as exercise program if you’re doing something you love. Finding what you love about an activity can help you stick with it.
As mentioned above, netzach also means victory. Are you “loving” in victory? Are you a good winner?