As part of our #TorahForTheResistance series by young scholars and students of Judaism and rabbinics, we offer this Counting the Omer for activists. Read more about using the Omer for activists, see previous weeks’ questions, and find below this week’s reflections designed specifically activists.
About the Omer
Between Passover and Shavuot, our tradition offers us a practice called the Counting the Omer, or Sefirat Ha’Omer. The Jewish mystical tradition has imbued this time with deeper spiritual meaning by creating a system of ‘counting’ that can help us experience different aspects of the Divine. These aspects are represented by the Kabbalistic system of sefirot, a structure representing the ten emanations through which God is revealed to us.
As activists, Sefirat Ha’Omer is a spiritual opportunity to engage with this fundamental political tension: What is the world that we want to see? Where do we encounter that world and what work is to be done?
Week Four: Netzach/Endurance (May 2nd-8th)
Adding to last week’s experience of visioning, we also take the opportunity to cultivate the long view. This is the aspect of Netzach. This is a week to work on cultivating hope and resilience, that our vision is possible, that change is possible. We can ask ourselves:
How can I hold on to this vision amidst the slow work of getting there? How can I let myself be as ambitious as the time demands? What does it look like for me to let myself believe in something so far from our reality?
Netzach also means victory. This is the week to notice the wins in our work, and how far we have already come in achieving justice. It is also the week to cultivate a sense that our victory is inevitable.
Netzach is also about power. Whereas our political leadership understands power as dominance over others, we must cultivate a capacity to create and exercise power justly and with others to create the change we want to see. We need to ask ourselves:
How can we build collective power, and use it in line with our values to get what we want? On a more personal level, we can ask: What does it mean for me to be powerful as a leader?