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Wednesday, May 7, 2008

4th Week of the Omer

WEEK 4 – “NETZACH” – Eternal and Endurance

During the fourth week of the Omer, we examine and refine the emotional attribute of endurance known as ‘Netzach’. ‘Netzach’ means endurance and for ever as in everlasting. It includes fortitude and ambition and is a combination of determination and tenacity. It is a balance of patience, persistence and raw guts. Endurance is also being reliable and accountable, which establishes security and commitment.

Without endurance, any good endeavor or intention has no chance of success. Endurance means to be alive, to be driven by what counts and having a zest for life. It is a readiness to fight for what you believe in, to go all the way. This requires endurance that is closely monitored and used in a healthy and productive manner.

Day 22: “Chesed of Netzach” Loving-kindness in Endurance
For anything to endure it needs o be loved. A neutral or indifferent attitude will reflect in a marginal commitment. If you have difficulty making commitments, examine how much you love and enjoy the object that requires your commitment. Do I love my work? My family? My choices? Or endurance to be effective it needs to be caring and loving. Does my endurance cause me to be, or seem to be, inflexible? Does my drive and determination cause me to be controlling? Am I too demanding? Do others (my employees, friends, children) cooperate with me out of sheer force of my will and drive, or out of love?

Exercise for the day: When fighting for something you believe in, pause for a moment to ensure that it accomplished in a loving manner.

Day 23: “Gevurah of Netzach” – Discipline in Endurance
Examine the discipline of your endurance. Endurance must be directed toward productive goals and expressed in a constructive manner. Is my endurance and determination focused to help cultivate good habits and break bad ones? Or is it the other way around? Does my endurance come from strnght or weakness? Does it come out of deep conviction or out defensiveness? Do I use my endurance against itself by being tenacious in my lack of determination?

Exercise for the day: Break on bad habit today

Day 24:”Tiferet of Netzach” – Compassion in Endurance
Healthy endurance, directed to develop good qualities and modify bad ones, will always be compassionate. The compassion of endurance reflects a most beautiful quality of endurance: an enduring commitment to help another grow spiritually. Endurance without compassion is misguided and selfish. Endurance needs to be more than just love to those who deserve it but also compassion to the less fortunate. Does my determination compromise my compassion for others? Am I able to rise above my ego and empathize for others? Am I able to rise above my ego and empathize with my competitors> Am I gracious in victory as well as in defeat?

Exercise for the day: Take the time to listen to someone that would normally test your patience.

Day 25: “ Netzach of Netzach” – Endurance in Endurance
Everyone has willpower and determination. We have the capacity to endure much more than we can imagine and to prevail under the most trying circumstances. The life stories of the holocaust survivors bare witness to this.

Ask yourself: Is my behavior erratic? Am I inconsistent and unreliable? Since I have will and determination, why am I so mercurial? AM I afraid of accessing my endurance and committing? Do I fear being trapped by my commitment? If yes, why? Is it a reaction to some past trauma? Instead of cultivating endurance in healthy areas, have I developed a capacity for endurance of unhealthy experiences? Do I enjoy more pain than pleasure? Do I underestimate my capacity to endure?

Exercise for the day: Commit yourself to developing a new good habit.

Day 26: “Hod of Netzach” – Humility or honor in Endurance
Yielding, a result of humility is an essential element of enduring. Standing fast or being stubborn can sometimes be a formula for destruction. The oak tree, lacks the ability to bend in a hurricane is uprooted. The reed, which yields to the wind survives the most fierce of storms without a problem. The key is knowing when to yield. We need to yield out of strength and not as a result of fear. Why am I so often afraid to yield?

Endurance is fueled by inner strength. The honor in endurance is the humble recognition and acknowledgement that the capacity to endure and prevail comes from the soul – nefesh – that YHVH gave to each and every one of us. This humility does not compromise the drive of endurance; on the contrary it intensifies it, because human endurance can go only so far and endure only so much, whereas that which comes from the Divine souls is limitless.

Do I attribute my success solely to my own strength and determination or do I give the glory to the Father? Am I convinced that I am all powerful due to my level of endurance or do I submit to the will and grace of the Father? Do I acknowledge the source of my strength in time when things seem so bleak? Do we give thanks in times of plentiful provision or do we only cry out when we are in need?

Exercise for the day: To ensure the endurance of your new resolution, bond with it immediately. This can be assured by promptly actualizing your resolution in some constructive deed or committing yourself to another.

Day 27: “Yesod of Netzach” – Bonding in Endurance
Bonding is an essential part of endurance. It expresses your unwavering commitment to the person or experience you are bonding with, a commitment so powerful that you will endure all to preserve it. Endurance without bonding will not endure.

Exercise for the day: To ensure the endurance of your new resolution, bond with it immediately. This can be assured by promptly actualizing your resolution in some constructive deed or committing yourself to another.

Day 28: “Malchut of Netzach” – the Nobility in Endurance
Sovereignty is the cornerstone of endurance. Endurance that encompasses the previous six qualities is indeed a tribute and testimony to the majesty of the creation of the human spirit. Is my endurance dignified? Does it bring out the best in me? Does it bring out the best in those around me? When faced with hardships do I behave with the majesty that Yeshua did? Do I walk with my head up, confident in knowing who I am in Messiah or do I cower and shrivel up in fear?

Exercise for the day: Fight for a dignified cause

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