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 27 יסוד שבנצח Yesod SheBeNetzach

Foundation. Roots. Connection. Creation within Action. Eternity. Productivity. Endurance. Day-to-Day.                                            

I seem to be reliably drawn to the ideas that appear, at first glance, to be in opposition to each other. Roots. Action. It may seem that the idea of Roots might not support Action or motion of any sort. Roots hold us in place, right? Yes! Of course they do. They keep us from toppling over as we weather the various storms we inevitably encounter over the course of the Long Haul.

In singing, Netzach can be thought of as the Active phase of the energy cycle, during which we engage the breath and send the energetic signal up and out to Produce the sound.  Anyone that has studied singing even a little bit can tell you that without your Roots firmly planted, you’re in for trouble. Without those Roots, all sorts of muscles that have no business getting involved start trying to help out. It’s a little like the well meaning 4-year-old who wants to help do the dishes, but not as cute. Decidedly not Productive.

On a different note... A few years ago, a forest farmer friend of mine shared with me the most astonishing tidbit about Roots. I’m sure I write about this every year at some point because it’s so cool.    What she told me is that Roots are constantly reaching out and communicating with each other - different Root systems all around. They continually send and receive information, much like a collective nervous system. Regrettably, I never remember the name of the particular phenomenon that she told me about. If you’ve ever seen the movie Avatar, it’s kind of like that. If you haven’t, it’s worth putting up with some of the less savory stuff about the movie just to see the Roots doing their thing.

So, you can see that, in addition to being a stabilizing Foundation, Roots have an Active role in helping us gather the important information we need as we make our way through the Day-to-Day. 

May your Day be supported by strong Roots. May the Connections you make and keep serve to guide you on your way. 

Omer Day 28 מלכות שבנצח Malchut SheBeNetzach

Omer Day 26 הוד שבנצח Hod SheBeNetzach