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.

Omer Day 24 תפארת שבנצח Tiferet SheBeNetzach

Beauty. Splendor. Art. Balance. Harmony within Active Force. Endurance. Leadership. Day-to-Day.

Whether we know it or not, whether we like it or not, we all have an influence on those around us. We are all an Active Force in our own way. This day of Tiferet - Balance - within Netzach has me thinking about the importance of knowing that and how my actions, thoughts, words may affect those I encounter. Each sefirah can have a dark side. For instance, one translation of Netzach is Dominance. I'm very willing to admit that there may be times for Dominance, but wow, to be handled with extreme care. Let us say that for the Dominance idea of Netzach, I have a hard time envisioning a place of Balance within it. Seems to me (and anyone is welcome to correct me if you think I'm wrong!) that Dominance is an inherently unbalanced state.

When I think of other translations/interpretations of this middah (attribute), I can more easily see how they could be out of- or in Balance, or how they could be Splendidly Beautiful. I think of Leadership. A great leader has influence because they exude a light that causes people to want their Leadership. In my mind, a great leader gives generously while also exercising discretion in how they give of their Leadership. Chesed and Gevurah are at play. They find their Balance point in Tiferet in such a person.

I'm also drawn, once again, to the vocal model of the sefirot (see days 16 and 19 for more on this). Here, Netzach is the Activation of the breath/vital energy that combines with the Artistic Flow to find its Actualization (Malchut) as song/singing/audible spirit. Anyone with some experience knows that this Active Principle in singing has to be moderated in some way. If the vital energy/breath is forced out, floods out too quickly, or is held back and restricted, the results are - eh - not that great. That sounds like a good trick doesn't it? Let it flow, but not too fast, but don't hold back! (I did mention singers are all neurotic, didn't I?)

Today, may you be blessed with the Beauty of Balanced Influence in your relationships and encounters, that G8d's intentions of Good for each one may be fulfilled.


Omer Day 25 נצח שבנצח Netzach SheBeNetzach

Omer Day 23 גהורה שבנצח Gevurah SheBeNetzach