Wednesday, May 7, 2014

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

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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