Pinny Arnon


Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Each of the seven weeks between Passover and Shavuos corresponds to a foundational spiritual quality, and we are currently in the week of Netzach/Victory. This will iy’H be a time of victory in all of our national and personal conflicts. But what is true Victory?

The seven week period from Passover to Shavuot is known as Sefiras HaOmer, and there is a mitzvah each day throughout this time to count the number of days and weeks that have passed since the Exodus. The counting marks our excited anticipation for the annual receiving of the Torah anew on Shavuot, but the mystics explain that we are also engaging in a 49 step process of self-refinement in order to ready ourselves for the sublime revelation that occurs each year at this time.

The soul is comprised of seven “middos” or emotional attributes, and each of the seven weeks represents another one of these qualities. Throughout each week, we focus on transforming its corresponding middah/attribute from the impurity that it acquires in exile to the purity that it reflects in its unencumbered essence. Of course, each of the seven weeks is comprised of seven days, and this is because each of the seven attributes is “inter-included” in each other so that there are seven aspects of each attribute (and therefore 49 days total). The seven middos are Chesed/lovingkindness, Gevurah/strength, Tiferes/Compassion, Netzach/Victory, Hod/humility, Yesod/Bonding, and Malchus/Sovereignty.

We are currently in the fourth week of the process, corresponding to the quality of Netzach/Victory. The exploration and rectification of each of the seven middos is a profound personal process every year, but this year, as war rages in Israel and conflict is erupting in both subtle and more explicit ways throughout the globe, the concept of Netzach/Victory takes on added significance. What does it mean to be victorious? How can one accomplish true victory? And is it possible to achieve a victory that will prevent the necessity to fight and defend oneself in the future?

The process of sefiras ha’omer forces us to address these questions, for each of the seven days of the week of Netzach prompts us to consider the concept of victory from another perspective. The first day of the week represents Chesed she’b’netzach/lovingkindness of victory, the necessity for one to be generous even as s/he pursues triumph. The second day is Gevurah she’b’netzach/strength of victory, focusing on the might that victory requires. On the third day, we work on Tiferes she’b’netzach/compassion of victory, which is our commitment to consider all consequences even as we fight for our very lives. Netzach she’b’netzach/victory of victory, on the fourth day, counsels us that we must be steadfast in our mission if we want to succeed. Yet on the fifth day, we meditate on the quality of Hod she’b’netzach/humility of victory, ever-mindful that we must not be driven by ego or self-serving concerns. On day six, the middah is Yesod she’b’netzach/Bonding of victory, which connects us to our infinite source and reminds us that we are fighting for a universal goal that must benefit and elevate all of God’s creation. And on the seventh day, we incorporate all of the previous six qualities with Malchus she’b’netzach/Sovereignty of victory, with which we work to actualize the dignity and majesty of every being so that we can all be victorious over the darkness that conceals our common Godly core.

In Torah, as we see, Victory is a complex and multi-faceted proposition. It does not connote the reckless and indiscriminate destruction of our foes. Yet it is simultaneously understood that there are those things that must be defended, and there is an appropriate time for strength and force. True victory can be accomplished only through careful consideration, meditation, and introspection. Yet none of this should preclude resolute and decisive action. Our ultimate goal is not dominion or suppression, but rather a communion that averts any conflict in the future. While military triumph is sometimes necessary to protect ourselves and our loved ones, our greatest victory will be the fulfillment of our mission to unite all of God’s children in the awareness that we are a single universal family, and in God’s true infinite oneness, we are all One.

Derived from Pnei Hashem, an introduction to the deepest depths of the human experience based on the esoteric teachings of Torah.

About the Author
Pinny Arnon is an award-winning writer in the secular world who was introduced to the wellsprings of Torah as a young adult. After decades of study and frequent interaction with some of the most renowned Rabbis of the generation, Arnon has been encouraged to focus his clear and incisive writing style on the explication of the inner depths of Torah.
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