Counting the Omer Day 24: Tiferet of Netzach

Tiferet of NetzachTiferet of Netzach: Balance, harmony of endurance

Staying power, endurance is a really important trait. We don’t accomplish anything if we don’t have the endurance to finish things.

But sometimes we get carried away. We lose the balance in our pursuit of endurance.

I had a VERY powerful reminder of this a few weeks ago. I decided to push myself and try and do a long bike ride from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv, off road, in one day. 125km. Turned out to be a hot day, and the course was much more difficult than I thought it would be.

But I’m a tenacious guy. I’m not a quitter. I kept going. I pushed myself hard. I IMG_6818didn’t make it as far as Tel Aviv, but I did cover 90km off road in the heat over the course of about 11 hours. I was careful to drink a lot of water.

Despite drinking a lot of water however, I got myself out of balance. Literally out of balance: I seriously depleted my electrolytes. The next morning I felt horrible. Went to the emergency room. At one point my magnesium levels were so low that I was shaking uncontrollably. It was very scary – I thought I was going to go into convulsions or something.

The medical staff “restored my balance.” They pumped electrolytes back into my system. It took time though – it was about 18 hours after they started the electrolyte therapy before I felt OK again.

I was so focused on my “endurance,” on pushing myself, that I let myself get physically out of balance. I’ll never do that again!

That experience may have been a dramatic way to do it, but we can also let our endurance get out of whack in other ways. We can get so focused on accomplishing a goal that we neglect other things in our life that are important. It’s great to want to get that next promotion at work, or to be laser-focused on a goal such as writing a book, but if that focus and endurance causes a loss of balance – for example, neglecting family – the end result can turn out to be bad.

So cultivate your endurance, stick to things, get things done…but don’t lose your balance in the process!

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Barry Leff

Rabbi Barry (Baruch) Leff is a dual Israeli-American business executive, teacher, speaker and writer who divides his time between Israel and the US.

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