Day 39

Week 6: The Middot and the Tzaddik

Day 39 – Netzach in the Tzaddik

Netzach is on the pro-active (right) side and focused on endurance. Like the commercial with the ‘Energizer Bunny,” who “keeps on keeping on.”

“One of the principle characteristics of the zaddik, therefore, is his going out to the people, to save them. He takes the initiative to heal the breach, not waiting for the people to act. … The zaddik must ‘arouse himself, as in the beginning of creation. It is he who must begin the labor of binding together what has been broken in order that the former harmony be restored … “His mission is to move between the righteous and the unighteous, ‘to turn many from sin, to change night into day. …  The zaddik strives to save the people whom he loves and goes seeking them.”
“The Zaddik,” Samuel Dresner pp. 148,150

As we saw in Week 2 when discussing Stephen Covey’s “7 Habits,” the 5th Habit, associated with Netzach, the fifth of the seven middot, is to, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” This is a key trait in the tzaddik:

“Concern is more than awareness of another’s existence. It means to care; to go out of oneself toward one’s fellow man to help him, to heal him, to raise him. … he must feel for another in order to be whole himself.”
“Chassidic Dimensions Volume 3,” Jacob Immanuel Schochet, p.92

This does not only apply to those in your ‘comfort zone.’ Though avoiding sin himself, the tzaddik is known for associating with sinners:

“The tzaddik is bit concerned only with those close to his ideals, with good and pious people. He will seek out the wicked and sinful to move them to teshuvah. … His charity, therefore, includes not only help for the materially poor and needy, but also the highest form of tzedakah: the spiritual charity of making the wicked meritorious. … the tzaddik will sometimes appear involved with mundane affairs … dealing with masses on their own level … Externally he appears to have lowered and degraded himself, to have stepped aside from his service to G-d. In truth however, he is and remains in a constant state of devekut (union with G-d) in all does.”
“Chassidic Dimensions Volume 3,” Jacob Immanuel Schochet, pp. 93,109

The tzaddik, by ‘lowering himself on behalf of others,’ will elevate them:

“Moreover, as he (the tzaddik) is the comprehensive soul of his generation, he can elevate all and everything that is rooted in his soul. By means of his own good deeds and service to G-d he can elevate even the souls of the wicked.”
“Chassidic Dimensions Volume 3,” Jacob Immanuel Schochet, p. 109