hazzan Diana Brewer was ordained through the aleph ordination program. she leads prayer services regularly at the jewish community of amherst, and is on the staff of the davvenen leadership training institute.

Day 25 נצח שבנצח

Netzach SheBe Netzach. Endurance within Eternity. Eternity within Endurance.

I am developing a special fondness for the days like today, in which we combine a Sefirah with itself. It never ceases to amaze me, the way these prisms are as brilliant as any of the others that combine different Sefirot.

As you know, these terms each have many different interpretive translations. For today, I am choosing to focus on two: Endurance and Eternity. Depending on which I put first, the outcome is completely different!

Endurance within Eternity. As we pondered the other day, our lives are our own little microcosms of Eternity. Compared to actual Eternity, 70, 80, 90 years is nothing at all. But to us, it is the span of our lives, our very own personal forever. We must develop and maintain Endurance within our Eternities so that we can face whatever we need to face as we go along. We develop patterns of living that support our goals, and goals that support our patterns of living. We find ways to do this consistently. We develop skin thick enough to withstand the various "slings and arrows" that fly at us along the way. That thick skin is also a form of endurance.

Eternity within Endurance. Well, now that you put it that way... I've noticed that I have developed a particular feeling about the quality of Eternity when it is put in this position in the word order. This will be familiar to those who have been following these musings day by day. In this order, I imagine the vast spaciousness of Eternity. The Eternity that stretches far beyond however many decades I'll be blessed with in my own forever. The Eternity that began before it all began. The Eyn Sof.

From this angle, I experience a sense of relaxation around the various things that go into the Endurance of day-to-day living. There are so many things that must be done each day. The finite number of hours in any given day can feel like anywhere from a boundary of which I need to be mindful to a terrifying, inexorable force, coming to cut me off mid-task when the time rolls around to drop everything and pick up my daughter from school. When I remember to add the spaciousness of Eternity into the mix, when I perform the radical acts of moving more slowly, inserting little slices of space between activities, taking breaths, somehow the time opens up. I can do what needs to be done without that sense of impending doom, the rushing feeling that goes with the anxiety of "NOT ENOUGH TIME." That space can even make Endurance feel less like ENDURANCE and more like, well, just living life.

For this day, may we plan our life patterns to ensure our Endurance through the microcosm of human Eternity. May we invite the Divine Eternity of the Eyn Sof into our busy days.

For the abbreviated version, visit me on Twitter.

For a couple of different Omer counting guides try mishkan.org or chabad.org.

Day 26 הוד שבנצח

Day 24 תפרת שבנצח