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 25 נצח שבנצח Netzach SheBeNetzach

Eternity within Day-to-Day within Victory within Action within Sweat within Endurance within Eternity... 

Tuesday, May 14

I heard  a great quip about the Hebrew language along the way in the last few years, which seems to apply here. It goes like this: “In Hebrew, each word means what it means, the opposite of what it means, and the opposite of its opposite.” How very evident that can become on a day like this when a sefirah - a Divine attribute - is combined with itself. This should merit a call to the Department of Redundancy Department, right? Not at all! 

Each word holds so much, I almost don’t even need to pair any of the English words above to illustrate my thinking. Let’s look at Eternity all by itself for a moment. Looking from one angle, it speaks of spaciousness, of all-the-time-in-the-world, of endless possibility. Aaaaaahhhhh... From another angle it looks like a major drag. “Oy! We’ve been in this line for an Eternity! “ Waiting, waiting, waiting, nothing to do but wait...

But, wait! There’s more! Today we are told that there is Action within Eternity. We Step Forward with our Right Leg and do something to contribute to our course in the vast ocean of Eternity. We become Active participants in our destiny. We can emerge Victorious. As long as we are willing to put aside thoughts of Eternity (too big!) and focus on the Day-to-Day. There! That’s easier! Don’t Sweat it.

But, wait! I’ve got to put in some Sweat if I’m going to be Active. Fortunately, within the framework of Eternity, I don’t have to drench my shirt about it. Didn’t the tortoise teach us that “Slow and steady Wins the race”?

I read somewhere that we can do anything for 6 hours that would appall us if we had to keep it up for a lifetime. Today tells us that we can Endure for an Eternity, as long as we simply do our Day-to-Day Action. 

Friends, I do love a good paradox! 

May you feel Victorious in the Eternity that is this one day. 

Look to this day,

For it is life,
The very life of life.
In its brief course lie all
The realities and verities of existence,
The bliss of growth,
The splendor of action,
The glory of power—

For yesterday is but a dream,
And tomorrow is only a vision,
But today, well lived,
Makes every yesterday a dream of happiness
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.

Look well, therefore, to this day.

—Sanskrit proverb

Omer Day 26 הוד שבנצח Hod SheBeNetzach

Omer Day 24 תפארת שבנצח Tiferet SheBeNetzach