I was traveling all day yesterday, which is no excuse, but that means I will cover two days of counting the omer: The 24th - Tiferet of Netzach, or Compassion in Endurance, and the 25th - Netzach of Netzach, or Endurance in Endurance. Remember that the primary attribute of the fourth week after Passover is Netzach, or Endurance.
First, we start with the blessing over the counting of the omer:
BA-RUCH A-TAH ADO-NAI E-LO-HE-NU ME-LECH HA-OLAM ASHER KID-E-SHA-NU BE-MITZ-VO-TAV VETZI-VA-NU AL SEFI-RAT HA-OMER.
Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments, and commanded us concerning the counting of the Omer.
Day 24 - Tiferet of Netzach, Compassion in Endurance: This theme invites us to reflect on our determination. If it is healthy, meaning it leads us to replace bad habits with good, then it should help us cultivate compassion for others. But our determination, and our egos, can interfere and compromise our ability to empathize with competitors, causing us to act disgracefully when successful. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in my own thoughts that I ignore the needs of the people around me, and I think this is universal.
As I was sitting in the airport on this day (Monday, April 27), lamenting my bad fortune as yet another flight was delayed several hours, news of the riots in Baltimore was playing on the TV at the boarding gate. Watching the drama unfold reminded me that complaining about inconveniences that are beyond my control is a privilege, and that there are serious issues affecting many communities that need our attention - people who need our compassion and healthy, positive determination.
Day 25 - Netzach of Netzach, Endurance in Endurance: This theme invites us to confront inconsistent, erratic, or unreliable behavior. This one is very important for me because I often find myself unwilling to commit to things. I make plans and then quietly let them pass unfulfilled, or make excuses about why I can't follow through with them. I have created an unhealthy capacity for endurance of negative habits. This just creates frustration and pain.
This theme is meant to challenge us to develop new, positive habits. Which is why, despite being very tired, I committed myself to writing a new post tonight. I spent a lot of time thinking about and talking about doing this. Now that I've committed to it, I want working on this to project to become a healthy, positive routine.