Basics in Kabbalah: Netzach

The Ten Sefirot: Divine Emanations

 Introduction

Keter
“Crown”

 
Binah
“Understanding”
  Chochmah
“Wisdom”
  Da’at
“Knowledge”
 
Gevurah
“Might”
  Chesed
“Loving-kindness”
  Tiferet
“Beauty”
 
Hod
“Splendour”
   Netzach
“Victory”
  Yesod
“Foundation”
 

Malchut
“Kingdom”
 

Netzach

Netzach is the seventh of the ten sefirot, and the fourth of the emotive attributes within Creation.

Netzach appears in the configuration of the sefirot along the right axis, directly beneath chesed, and corresponds in the tzelem Elokim to the right leg.

Netzach is associated in the soul with the power to overcome those obstacles which stand in the way of realizing one’s chesedaspiration to bestow goodness upon Creation. Insofar as the word netzach denotes both “victory” and “eternity,” it can be said that the ultimate victory of netzach is that over death itself, the final impediment to the pursuit of chesed.

Before killing Agag the King of Amalek, the prophet Samuel said: “and also the Netzach of Israel [God] shall not deceive and not regret for He is not a man who regrets” (Samuel 1 15:29). “To regret” means to change one’s mind. The sefirah of netzach stands firm forever and never regrets. Netzach is not a mortal (“not a man”) who fears death and is thereby likely “to regret” in the face of death.

Thus, the power of mesirut-nefesh, one’s readiness to sacrifice his life for God and the Torah, latent in every Jewish soul, finds its ultimate expression in the sefirah of netzach.

Netzach can also mean “to conduct” or “orchestrate” (as in the word which begins many of the Psalms of David, lamnatzeiach). Hence its consciousness is pragmatic by nature, as reflected in its correspondence to the right leg–which is the first limb of the supernal body to “touch ground.”

In the “lower union” of tiferet (the Divine groom) and malchut (the Divine bride), the union of emotion (the heart) and expression (the mouth)–“He [the groom] is in [enters into a state of consciousness of] netzach, and she [the bride] is in [enters into a state of consciousness of] hod.”

The experience of the groom, in the union with his bride, is one of netzach, a sense of eternal life and timelessness within the finite parameters of time itself.

The value of netzach, 148, reflects the manner in which it receives and implements the emotive desire of chesed. In Kabbalah, a word or concept reflects its meaning and presence to the level below it by means of “generating” its spelling. Let us exemplify this with regard to the word chesed. Chesed consists of three letters: chet (8), samech (60), dalet (4). It “generates” its spelling as:chet (8); chet samech (68); chet samech dalet (72) = 148 = netzach.

The spiritual state identified in Chassidut as corresponding to the sefirah of netzach is that of bitachon (confidence).

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