Saturday, March 30, 2013

Counting the Omer with Visual Journaling - Day 4

Today's quality is Endurance and Persistence within Lovingkindness, or Netzach within Chesed.  Because it is also Shabbat, I used a spiral stamp inside the large yellow-gold circle of Chesed.  In 2011 I wrote "I could never grok Netzach.  Maybe I'll finally get some clue from counting the Omer this year..."

I still find Netzach elusive, but I got a glimpse of it from last night's historic 5th night of Passover Seder for Food Justice.

Yes, there were actually tomatoes on the seder plates at each table!  We learned about the Coalition of Immokalee Workers' Fair Food Program, and the sub-poverty wages, denial of overtime pay, benefits, or right to organize, and the sexual harassment and threats of physical violence to farmworkers in the fields - a form of modern day slavery.

The endurance of the farmworkers in their daily lives and the persistence of their fight for justice and fairness, along with their supporters from the faith communities, students and others, is surely Netzachdik. It's non-violent approach is within a wider value of Chesed, Love.

I'm old enough to remember Cesar Chavez and the rise of the United Farm Workers. Back in those days I stood by the door of a supermarket handing out leaflets run off on a mimeograph machine (what's that!), asking people not to buy grapes.  Last night I learned from a young college student about her time in Florida participating in a two week walk, of fifteen miles each day, with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers.

I am struck by the persistence of the struggle for justice and social change over time.  Much has been achieved, and there is so much more that still needs to be addressed.  Netzach:  Endurance and Persistance within Love!

Because Netzach falls on Shabbat this year, (as it did in 2011,) it will be the guiding quality and presence for the next six Shabbats.  May that give us extra strength and clarity, patience and persistence, for whatever each of us is called to do.

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