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. Glory. Balance. Harmony within Endurance. Perseverence. Eternity. Horizon. Leadership. Victory. Day-to-Day. Long-Haul. 

It was something over 15 years ago that the thought came to me, “There is no replacement for longevity in relationships.” I was in Chicago for a long weekend. I visited two friends there, who did not have any connection with each other. I spent the first two nights with my friend J, whom I had known for maybe 2 or 3 years. After our second night together, I took the El across town to spend my last evening with my friend H, whom I had known since I was 2 years old. 

On my way to her place, somehow my purse got separated from my body, and I didn’t realize it until I got off the train. It’s not that someone had taken it off of my person. Nobody but me had done that. It drove away with the train, never to be seen again (by me, anyway). Needless to say, I was distraught. It had everything - cash, ID (I had to board a plane the next day), credit card, ATM card, goodness knows what else. A kind gentleman, seeing my distress, tried to help me find an attendant and gave me $20. He told me he had a daughter about my age. 

I made way way to H’s house, and there was nowhere in the world I would have rather been, and no one in the world I would have rather seen at that moment, even though we hadn’t been in very regular touch and hadn’t seen each other in several years. Nonetheless, she was home for me. This person was (is still) so deeply embedded in my soul over the Long-Haul of my life in a way that my newer friend, with whom I spoke on a regular basis at that time, was not. 

I’ve now been married very nearly 15 years to my wonderful wife. She is home. I can see her facial expressions and hear the tone of her voice in the simplest of text messages exchanged in the midst of a busy work day. I have a friend - A - whom I’ve known since elementary school. I hardly ever see her or exchange words with her, but when we do manage to get together in our home town when we both happen to be drifting through, it’s like no time has passed.

I am aware this is starting to sound like “Make new friends, but keep the old...” I would never want to quantify the value of a relationship in the way that this song suggests (at least on the surface). My wife was, after all, once a new friend. My beloved parents were once brand new entities to me. I spent time with a newer friend this weekend, whom I’m positive will one day be an old friend. But tonight as I breathe in the energy of Tiferet SheBeNetzach, the Beauty of these Enduring relationships is what rises right to the surface for me.

What Beauty lies in your Enduring efforts of any sort? Where can you see the Glory in your Day-to-Day? Take a moment and enjoy. 

Omer Day 25 נצח שבנצח Netzach SheBeNetzach

Omer Day 23 גבורה שבנצח Gevurah SheBeNetzach