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Day 22: Chesed b’Netzach

This week, we dip into poetry for the week of Netzach, the Divine attribute of endurance, perseverance, and fortitude. This week's reflections were written by Lois Rosenthal, a member of Temple Tifereth Israel in Winthrop, where she teaches Hebrew School and tutors b’nai mitzvah students. Lois is also a member of the CREW Poets chapter of the MA State Poetry Society. She is retired from Santa Clara University, where she held an academic position in chemistry.


As we journey through the week with Lois, may we gain trust in our ability to endure and to persevere, with kindness, with strength, and with dignity.


Rabbi Katy Allen

CHESED and NETZACH

Kindness Endures

by Lois Rosenthal

Every act of kindness

Reflects the essence of G-d

The way the moon

Reflects the light of the sun.

Each exchange of kindness

Endows both giver and receiver

With an inner ray of light.

They remember this

And long to experience it again.

A recipient of kindness

Is inclined to treat another so

And thus learn how strongly

The inner ray pulses with the offering.

One who has given kindness

Will later, though perhaps reluctantly,

Come to accept a kindness

And experience a different quality of light.

And so it is that acts of kindness

Generate further acts of kindness.

Chesed can expand and fill the earth

And, like the sun and the moon,

Light our way forever.

Something To Think About

Acting with kindness is not always so easy. We each have our own needs, resentments, reactions, anger, etc that can color or even control our every interaction. Plus we have an image to maintain and limitations on understanding each other. A lot can be learned about kindness by paying attention to people’s interactions.

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Rabbi Katy Z. Allen is the founder and leader of Ma'yan Tikvah - A Wellspring of Hope, a congregation without walls that meets outdoors all year long. She is the co-convener and President pro-tem of the Boston-area Jewish Climate Action Network, and the founder of the One Earth Collaborative, a program of Open Spirit in Framingham, MA.
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