What is Netzach?
The fourth quality (middah) is Netzach, which is the quality of endurance, of the determination to commit to the completion of a goal, to be driven, to take responsibility seriously.. The first three weeks we met Chesed/Unconditional Love and Gevurah/Discernment or Judgment and Tiferet/Balance. With Netzach, we establish the grit to reach our goals, which is the only way we have to bring Chesed, Gevurah, Tiferet, and all other values into our world.
Other translations of Chesed are:
So what? How does it relate to me?
Foundational to meaningful relationships in our lives is commitment, which is Netzach. The quality is the determination that powers us through the rough patches and motivates us to keep returning to our loved one, to “keep on keepin’ on.”
Netzach is essential to a meaningful life, driven to our goals, motivated by values that give shape to our daily actions. This ambition drives us to work through challenges, to mature beyond our current state, to manifest personal aspects that are heretofore latent.
Due to the potency of Netzach, it is essential to ensure our values are right, our goals are righteous. Judaism provides us with a received tradition of hundreds of generations determining how to best live a meaningful life. Such traditions provide a buffer against the temptation to simply adopt the values popular at any given moment, to ensure our values are good, “to turn away from evil and do good.”
The covenant is for a very specific purpose, to bring forth “the good and the right” (Gen. 18). Netzach is the internal drive to keep pushing towards the good, to set aside all the appetites that tempt us to leave our values–money, lust, anger, power.
Netzach practice for the week:
- In what ways am I committed to my values?
- Have I thought through my values and checked them with my tradition, or simply adopted what is trending?
- What values am I really prepared to sacrifice for?