Feeling Like a Slave?


Feeling Like a Slave?

April 13, 2016
Orit Esther Riter

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Living in Mitzrayim is likened to living in a mute world with no voice, no opinion and no ability to express one’s identity. Essentially the Jewish people were under complete subjugation to the whim and will of the Egyptians. Emotionally this means totally alienation, loss of self-worth; a crumbling of the heart. The Jewish nation had succumbed to the fact that, ‘This is the way it will be and there is nothing we can do about it.’ In effect, the Egyptians choked the Jewish people to the point where they could no longer cry out for help.

Redemption is a state-of-mind. Seeing Hashem no matter how difficult life is removes us from that ‘narrow place’ called Mitzrayim and injects us with emuna that our voice matters. Emuna infuses us with strength and determination to exit out of those tight corners in life. We trust in Hashem that just as He redeemed us from Mitzrayim and was with us in our darkest hours, so too today.

The formation of the Ahm Yisrael began through the experience of Yitziat Mitzrayim; “Ani v’lo Saraf (It was I and not an angel (who redeemed you)”. Our cleaning wipes away the myth that it is anything else but Hashem! Hashem was personally involved in my redemption! As we clean we are to check, seek and search the areas in our lives that are covered in dust and shmutz and hide Hashem.

The most effective cleaning tool is not Sano or Mr. Clean… its tefillah. As we talk to Hashem we free our emotions and open our hearts to feeling Hashem’s presence. We proclaim that Hashem is ‘behind, around and within’ everything, even if we don’t clearly see it. Particularly through the act of talking to Hashem while preparing for Pesach we experience redemption, we let our voices be heard and we build our Jewish identity.

Let’s remember that next time our hands and feet begin to ache. Have a wonderful Chag Kasher v’Samaech.

Today’s daily dose of emuna is dedicated L’iluy nishmat my dear emuna soul-sister Chaya bat Baya a’h.  The latest “Chaya: A 40-Day Modesty Campaign” was then dedicated to Chaya’s refuah.  After a long and difficult 8-year battle with cancer, Chaya is now resting in Hashem’s arms.  She was a beautiful soul who taught me what it means to live with heartfelt unwavering emuna.  May her soul bask in the Divine radiance among all of the righteous who have departed from this world, Amen.

The Daily Dose of Emuna will return Rosh Chodesh Iyar IY’H or sooner with the geula shleimah and building of the Beit HaMikdash b’mheira, b’rachamim, Amen!


Palmolive Hands?

April 12, 2016
Orit Esther Riter

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We are up to our elbows in bubbly soap… for this we should be happy?  Without preparation there can be no joy!  Let us focus our attention on what we are striving to clean and create.

What a great privilege to have been chosen to be G-d’s people and to have been granted the opportunity to stand in the company of angels.  With every scrub, brush and wipe we draw down Holy light into this world, our soul and into the souls of our families.  Imagine for a moment that you are preparing for a festive meal in Gan Eden; the Shechinah HaKedosha and Her majestic Heavenly Hosts are crowded around to hear the prayers recited at your Pesach seder table.

Every Jew can feel Hashem’s presence on Seder night and experience Heavenly delight.  What sweetness! Hashem saved each of us personally from the onset of the plagues; we were spared because Hashem made us a part of Himself, so to speak.  A special relationship began to develop since Hashem took us out of Mitzrayim; a unique feature of this bond remains alive in Yisrael until today.  We are a nation apart, divinely protected, distinct from the rest of the world.

Therefore the main aspect of preparing for Chag Pesach is to be b’Simcha; to praise Hashem for all the hidden and revealed goodness and miracles in our lives. We glorify Hashem and express our profound appreciation for this once-a-year-mitzvah in which we work to remove falsity on the inside through cleaning actions we perform on the outside.

Today’s daily dose of emuna is dedicated to the refuah shleimah of Yeremiah Yosef ben Shoshana, a 4 year old boy with retinoblastoma who recently had his remaining eye removed and is now being evaluated for a spread of the cancer to another area. His parents are asking others to daven for his complete recovery. They give permission for others to share his name on tehillim/davening lists. In the merit of the month of Nissan, the month of yeshuot and great miracles, may Hashem Yitborach shower Yeremiah Yosef ben Shoshana with a complete healing among all of Klal Yisrael who are sick and in pain b’karov, b’rachamim, Amen.


Free… Who’s Free?

April 11, 2016
Orit Esther Riter

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Freedom from Mitzrayim refers to psychological freedom. In today’s world many are still enslaved; not physically in shackles and chains but mentally imprisoned. Often people find themselves bonded to certain beliefs and values unable to feel free to realize their greatest potential. Freedom is essentially the ability to live out one’s mission and potential clear of oppressive and dominating outside forces. Mental confusion and emotional instability are two major obstacles that keep us in our own ‘Mitzrayim’. Time and again we become confused why we are here causing frustration and negativity.

To this end we are instructed to remember our exodus from Egypt; since we are constantly in the process of ‘leaving’ Mitzrayim. The universal message embedded in Chag Pesach is that we are always leaving Egypt; fighting off oppressive external forces and seeking inner freedom. The Jewish people must live life knowing that they are not to be afraid or disturbed by life’s challenges and events; deep within they are to remember that Hashem is helping to free them from their emotional instability but reminding them that He is personally involved in their lives.

You may ask, ‘What does freedom feel like?’ Freedom is a sense of empowerment; living with the mindset that the Master of Creation has set no limits on who you can be and how much G-dliness you can achieve. Through witnessing the wondrous miracles of the exodus we were given emuna; a clear awareness that existence is filled with G-dliness and purpose. Our lives are continuously infused with Divine assistance that assists us every step of the way. That is true freedom.

Today’s Daily Dose of Emuna is sponsored L’iluy nishmat Olga Irene bat Shmuel Itzik, Mother to Meira Michal, Grandmother to Baruch Chaim, Yoel Yehuda and Gabrielle.  May her neshama bask in the Divine Radiance among all of the righteous who have departed from this world, Amen.


Day 40 ~ Global Gratitude Revolution

April 8, 2016
Daily Dose Of Emuna
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DAY 40!! Let this be a launch!

Wow! Wow! Wow!

We’ve arrived at day 40 of our 40 Days of Gratitude journey! Kol Hakavod (loosely translated as, “way to go”) to everyone!

I am grateful for each one of you that is reading this, working to cultivate gratitude in your own personal world, and contributing to the collective energy of gratitude in the world around us. In Jewish wisdom, a human being is called a little world. What we do creates ripples in the cosmos. Our actions, our words, and even our thoughts make an impact on the world around us – practically, energetically, and spiritually.

I am grateful for this journey we’ve embarked on together.

And this is only the beginning.

In Judaism, 40 is the number that signifies birth and renewal. Just as there are 40 weeks in a pregnancy, and 40 years of wandering in the desert before entering Eretz Yisrael – 40 is an end of something which gives birth to something new.

So let this be a launching pad for each one of us. Let’s continue flexing and building our gratitude muscles – even after these 40 days.

Make for yourself a “gratitude chevrusa” (aka a gratitude buddy/learning partner). This could be a friend you can call for 2 minutes a day to share with one another something you are each grateful for – or for those days you are struggling for gratitude – someone who can help give you back your gratitude glasses.

Use the ideas here that resonated with you. Practice gratitude – find things to be grateful for. Do it in your thinking. Talk about it with a friend. Make it part of your family culture. Start a gratitude journal or a gratitude jar. Get into the practice of sharing little miracle stories with your family over the dinner table or with your best friend when you meet for coffee. Take 2 minutes at the beginning or the end of your day to actively think of the little and big blessings in your life for which you are grateful.

Let us each continue to cultivate gratitude in our own lives. Let’s create a gratitude revolution by changing the way our eyes choose to see – by continuing to refocus our eyes to see the world with miracle eyes. Let us try to tune in to see the miracles blossoming for us, and around us, all the time. And let us each work to inspire ourselves in a way that also creates a ripple and inspires others around us.

Stay in touch! Let us know how it is going. We would love your feedback about this initiative – how it was for you, what was helpful, what you would have changed. And keep your eyes open for our next 40 Days of Gratitude campaign.

Email us at: Orit Riter: oritriter@gmail.com

Individually and collectively we can make a revolution!

PS. Someone recently commented that they assumed gratitude came easy to me – given all these ideas I am sharing and writing and trying to incorporate into my life. Just as an FYI, I work on this and struggle with this. I have hard days and cranky moments. Which is why, even more so, this is something I am working on. At the times when I feel expanded consciousness and it’s easy to see the blessings – fantastic. And at those times I am stuck in constricted consciousness, then I fight for the gratitude. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I don’t. But just remember – especially at those harder times – it’s the effort that matters much more than the outcome!

For no particular reason say ‘Thank you Aba, I love You and thank you for giving me life!’


Day 39 ~ Global Gratitude Revolution

April 7, 2016
Daily Dose Of Emuna
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Increasing gratitude is useful because:

  • It’s an instant mood booster and feels great in the moment
  • You’re likely to feel closer to friends and family
  • You’re likely to enjoy your life more
  • It’s good for your physical health
  • It’s easier to cope with tough times
  • Good things in life don’t stick in our heads as easily as bad events

This last point is really important. When bad things happen, we don’t really forget it, and people can spend a lot of energy thinking about what makes them unhappy. But, if you make an effort to increase how often you experience gratitude, it can balance out some of the negative stuff.

That doesn’t mean:

  • You ignore/forget the problems that you have; or
  • That the things wrong with your life are unimportant

It just means that good memories will also stick in your mind, so make the effort to think about them as much as possible.

For no particular reason say ‘Thank you Aba, I love You and thank you for giving me life!’



Day 38 ~ Global Gratitude Revolution

April 6, 2016
Daily Dose Of Emuna
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Gratitude helps you to be happier with what you have rather than striving for some vague happiness in the future. As you might have guessed, I think gratitude is a pretty amazing strength, one that will make you more resilient and happier the more you use it. I’m sure you can imagine that it’s highly unusual to find someone who is both negative and grateful. They are like oil and water. Really work on appreciating what you have and see what happens. I am certain that you will see wonders.

For no particular reason say ‘Thank you Aba, I love You and thank You for giving me life!’

gratitude (1)

Day 37 ~ Global Gratitude Revolution

April 5, 2016
Daily Dose Of Emuna
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We are so wired to be wary and negative, so socially acceptable to complain. One of the main reasons gratitude can be difficult to see is that we don’t stop long enough to notice things.

Entrenched negativity is another reason people fail to be grateful. Breaking the habit of being mindless or negative can be difficult and needs a fair amount of training to help recognize the special moments when you could feel gratitude. But the results are worth it.

Opening my eyes to gratitude really does shift something in me. It makes me so much more aware of what is wonderful in my life. It’s changed me from being a fault finder to a merit finder. What about you?

Here is a shiur with great insights on the importance of living a life of gratitude and the meaning of the tefilla Nishmat Kol Chai: CLICK HERE

For no particular reason say ‘Thank you Aba, I love You and thank you for giving me life!’


Day 36 ~ Global Gratitude Revolution

April 4, 2016
Daily Dose Of Emuna
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Gratitude is the foundation of strength

When you feel gratitude, a lot of other strengths can be built on top. For instance, the ability to love and be loved would be difficult, if not impossible, without gratitude. Perspective is a strength that is reinforced by using gratitude. You might be down on your luck with everything working against you, but a bit of gratitude can show you that a lot of other people are worse off than you. Faith and spirituality just don’t hit the mark without gratitude. If you are feeling a little flat and wonder what’s missing in your life, try a little gratitude and see what happens.

For no particular reason say ‘Thank you Aba, I love You and thank you for giving me life!’

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