Anger – Part II


Anger – Part II

February 9, 2016
Orit Esther Riter

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Anger can easily take over one’s mind and behavior. Rather than simply a trait to casually change, anger must be seen as dangerous, a trait we must try to uproot at its source. Why?

Nothing in the universe happens by chance. Every event is an extension of Hashem in the world and a reflection of His Will. Rebbe Shneur Zalman of Liadi ztk’l teaches the only reason a person loses his temper is because he fails to see Hashem in everything. Thus, essentially it is a lack of emuna that leads to anger.

Chazal compares anger to idol worship. Every person is made by Hashem in His image and has inside a tzelem Elokim mimal. Becoming angry at others reflects an act of rebellion towards Hashem by uprising against His creations. Becoming angry at events reflects a failure to see or remember that Hashem controls all events. Hashem orchestrates the events that upset us and causes us to experience a loss of control in order to test us.

When a person is angered, essentially he is serving another ‘god’ – himself and his own needs – as opposed to serving Hashem.  Anger is the strongest indicator of arrogance, which is why the Torah teaches, “I [Hashem] and he cannot live together in the same world”. 

Hashem is slow to anger and we are instructed to emulate His ways. Let us pay close attention: it does not say Hashem does not get angry, because He does! It is rather that He is SLOW to anger, and thus His anger is more deliberate and controlled, to teach us and help us avoid sin. King Shlomo teaches that we must train ourselves to be gentle-natured because “the words of the wise are heard with gentleness” (Kohelet (9:17). Torah therefore guides us to be patient, to be ‘bendable as a reed’, to work towards inner calm and to strive to be in self-control.

This training does not happen without a strong will and effort. It is a lifelong commitment to “remove anger from your heart and thereby put evil out of your flesh” (see Kohelet ,11:10). However, consistent training of our middot, Torah study and prayer may B”H help us to gradually move away from acting on impulse with anger to a more gentle and G-d-like response. We can fire up our will to overcome any angry outbursts by reminding ourselves that this training of our middot will benefit us not only in this world but more permanently and importantly in the World to Come.

Please share your comments, thoughts and questions in the comment section. Would love to hear from you.

A guy too angry with green shirts

Anger, Part I

February 8, 2016
Orit Esther Riter

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Who can say they haven’t fallen prey to anger?

In Sefer Iyov (18:4) anger is described as “Toref nafsho be’apo (One who destroys his soul in his anger)”. That is, a person’s soul is consumed by anger. A person whose anger rules him is out of control and does not realize himself what has come over him. He is temporarily insane.

Kabbalah compares anger to fire and rage to a volcano. The reasons why anger can erupt include:

  • An unfulfilled need to be loved and to love. When our love is violated or unrequited, even in perception, we can become angry.
  • Unfulfilled potential. Rebbe Nachman ztk’l teaches that unfulfilled potential boils over and turns into anger. A person is filled with latent energy; when unused it gets stored. As the storage reaches its maximum, it looks to empty itself. Its expression spills forth in the form of anger.
  • Self-focus. As a person lives only for himself, he has no tolerance for others and clashes in anger with many around him.
  • A lack of emuna. Mankind seeks a superficial feeling of control and independence. Emuna is knowing that we are continuously dependent on Hashem and His kindness.

However, anger is a normal human emotion. Many of our holy sages battled to control their anger and in turn became the tzaddikim we know and respect today. The question is what does the Torah teach that we do with our anger. Hit a pillow? Scream? The Torah teaches us not to ignore one’s tendency towards anger. However, we must systematically work to uproot it from our midst. The Vilna HaGaon ztk’l teaches that even if a person learns Torah all his life, if they haven’t worked to correct their negative traits they will still have nothing to show for themselves in the World to Come.

Today’s daily dose of emuna is dedicated l’iluy nishmat Hadar Cohen HY’D the 19 year old army police officer brutally murdered last week by terrorists. May Hashem avenge her blood and 

Please share your comments, thoughts and questions in the comment section.  Would love to hear from you.


המנה היומית של אמונה – הגיע הזמן לדבר עם ה’ יתברך

February 3, 2016
Orit Esther Riter
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מקיימים את התורה והמצוות בלי שמחה כתוצאה מהאכזבה וכעס שאנו מרגישים כלפי בורא עולם. הארי ז״ל מלמד ששמחה היא העיקר בעבודת ה׳. כשחיים חיים של אי שביעות רצון המצוות הופכות לעול. הקב״ה בוחן ליבות וכליות, אין נסתר מלפניו.

מובא בקבלה שהתרחקות מה׳ מביא דינים לעולם כי אנחנו לא כלי קיבול לשפע הרב שה’ מוריד לעולם. ילדים בטבעם שמחים ובטוחים שהוריהם ידאגו להם. אם נאמץ את ההנהגה הזאת ונזכור שה׳ לא עזב ולא יעזוב אותנו לעולם, אז נהיה כלי יציב וחזק ונחיה חיים מאושרים. המציאות היא שיש לנו עליות וירידות ברוחניות; העיקר לשמור על הקשר עם בורא עולם.

שלום בית אמיתי מבוסס על ידי קשר הדוק בין בני הזוג. עלינו לזכור תמיד שהקב״ה דואג לנו כל רגע ורגע, ואוהב אותנו, אין דבר נעלם ממנו. כל עוד יש לנו רגשות שליליות אין קשר עם בורא עולם. “ה׳ צילך”, איך שאנחנו מתיחסים לקב״ה, כך היחס שלו עלינו. תפילה, שיחה עם ה׳, מחזקת את הקשר. זהו יסוד חשוב מאד לגבי האמונה.


Thank You Hashem!

February 3, 2016
Orit Esther Riter




Attitude dictates everything.  Waking up with the words ‘Modeh Ani’ in the morning sets the tone for the entire day. We are geared into gratitude mode by saying ‘Thank You Hashem” from the moment we wake up. What is our attitude upon waking?  ‘Oy, another day!’ or ‘Yay, another day!

Saying ‘thank you’ binds us to the One we are thanking. However, it is difficult to live with gratitude if we are focused only on the negative. There are many people who face exactly the same challenges and yet are affected in vastly different ways. For instance, some unmarried women over child-bearing age are cheerful and accepting whereas others are despondent. And some Holocaust survivors became frum whereas others rejected Judasim. Why?

The way we perceive a situation depends to a large extent on our positive attitude, acceptance and gratitude. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Making peace with our reality is Basic Living 101. We cannot change what occurs to us but we can choose our attitude and reaction.

In Tehillim, David Hamelech writes “Pekudei Hashem yesharim misamchei lev (The laws of Hashem are just, and gladden the heart)” (Tehillim 19:9). Torah is a personal letter written to every Jew; since it echoes a different message to each of us at different stages in our lives. It is the map of life; our compass when we feel lost. We can feel reassured, grateful and content knowing that Hashem has left us with a personal note to read when we are in need of guidance.

But it is not just a matter of focusing on the good. We may also start to realize that since everything from Hashem is good, even situations which we presume are “bad” themselves are inherently good. In Purim we read: “Shoshanat Yaakov tzahala v’Samecha (The rose of Yaakov filled with joy)” A rose is a beautiful fragrant flower. But a rose only achieves its bloom and maintains its fragrance and beauty because it is connected to its stem. Without its stem, a rose simply wilts and dies. It is the stem which gives it life, allows it to bloom. Yet, at the same time as giving life, the stem of a rose is beset by many thorns. Perhaps the thorns can represent the challenges faced by the Jewish people, who gain strength from the many difficult, painful episodes in our history.

When we reflect on these thorny moments of pain, mistakes and even guilt, we can gain perspective and overcome the challenges. Then we can transform our attitude to the hardship, to grow more confident, to “blossom” and reach our full potential. We can realize that “what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger!” and celebrate these thorns as an inherent part of our stems. When we smell the sweet fragrant rose, we can also then be grateful and appreciate the thorns themselves.

Please share your comments, thoughts and questions in the comment section.  Would love to hear from you.


Emulating Hashem’s Constant Kindness

February 2, 2016
Orit Esther Riter

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This world is an expression of Hashem’s eternal and unconditional kindness. Hashem bestows amazing gifts to use in our avodat Hashem. He merely wants us to recognize that He is the source of everything.

However, human nature tends toward selfishness and greed. A major source of negative feelings of anger or frustration stem from erroneous feelings of self-entitlement. Rav Dessler ztk’l teaches, “When demand enters, love departs.” We must admit that we are not entitled to anything in life. We are all undeserving of the gifts Hashem constantly bestows on us, starting with our breath! We do not have rights to our health, job, family, talents or life.

Hakarat Hatov means to acknowledge and appreciate the good. This acknowledgement requires us to recognize our dependence on Hashem. Acknowledging Hashem’s eternal kindness and expressing hakarat hatov is fundamental to our happiness because it enables us to appreciate that all we have is a Divine gift. Once we realize this kindness, we can then emulate Hashem in His altruism and give to others.

Hashem deliberately orchestrates situations whereby we need others’ help in order to reduce our geiva (arrogance) and lower our egos. Rav Wolbe ztk’l teaches that someone doing us a favor represents Hashem’s recognition and response to the fact that we could not achieve that particular thing on our own.

Hashem ensures that we receive exactly what we need and what we are entitled to, whether we realize this or not. Instead of feeling deprived if anything we have is taken away, we can switch to feeling grateful for all the Divine gifts we do receive.  We can also strive to focus on giving. Giving equates with love, as the hav (הב) aspect of the word ahava indicates. This is a true recipe for contentment.

Today’s daily dose of emuna is dedicated to the refuah shleimah of Tamar bat Ayala. May Hashem grant her with a complete healing among all of Klal Yisrael who is sick and suffering b’karov, b’rachamim, Amen

Please share your comments, thoughts and questions in the comment section.  Would love to hear from you.


A Higher Purpose

February 1, 2016
Orit Esther Riter

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The scientific world regularly publishes studies demonstrating the importance of living life with purpose. Man desires meaning so having a purpose in life is equated with happiness.

Hashem created mankind with a higher purpose in mind.  Our soul, the Divine spark within each of us, unceasingly wishes to ascend and attain higher heights. Though our soul is quiet, it will not be satisfied with a lower role. In fact, feeling unsettled and dissatisfied in this world and in our life is often an indicator that the soul is signaling for us to advance higher.

In this age, we often erroneously assume that there is some endpoint that will make us happy. This mode of thinking affects our choices and our decision-making. However, happiness is not an end goal. Rather, it is the pursuit towards a meaningful end that should brighten our lives.Unless the goal is to achieve our true purpose, we will not receive an inner sense of wholeness and well being.

As a result, in order to achieve the pursuit of happiness we must understand who we are and what we are here in this world to accomplish. Armed with this understanding and the will to achieve this purpose, every moment can yield eternal investment and endless value. We should be constantly striving to be in a place, where we feel at peace, yet are motivated at the challenges we have set for ourselves.

The root to life’s discontentment is directly related to our desire to be in control and experience immediate reward. Our hidden ego agenda convinces us not submit to any great long-term plan but to one that will bring us immediate satisfaction. Yet, this plan is not in line with the Divine agenda. Acting with excessive control is an attempt to be like G-d and usually stems from a lack of emuna and recognition of G-d being in charge.  This will merely lead to counterfeit happiness, a happiness that will never genuinely last. Rather, creation is a means to earn a share with Hashem in eternity. By following the mitzvot we are sublimating our will to G-d’s will and thus revealing a physical expression of our emuna in His timeless plan.

Today’s daily dose of emuna is dedicated to the refuah shleimah of Chana Bracha bat Shoshana Rivka a three year old baby.  May Hashem send her a complete healing among all of Klal Yisrael who are sick and suffering, b’karov, b’rachamim, Amen!

Please share your comments, thoughts and questions in the comment section.  Would love to hear from you.


“המנה היומית של אמונה ~ “ואני תפילה

January 28, 2016
Orit Esther Riter
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כתוב בתהילים – ״ואני תפילה״; תפילה היא לב קיומנו. מודעות לקב״ה מתגשמת רק על ידי התפילה. אי אפשר לעשות כלום בלי הקב״ה. נדמה לנו שהקשר השיטחי מספיק אבל כל קשר מוצלח בנוי על שיחה תמידית.

בזמן התפילה חייבים להרגיש שאנחנו עומדים מול בורא עולם ממש. כמו שכתוב בספר שמות, ״בְּכָל הַמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר אַזְכִּיר אֶת שְׁמִי”. אין צורך להתפלל בקול גבוה כי הוא נמצא קרוב עלינו. דברו אתו על כל מה שיש בלב, אפילו שזה נראה לנו קטנוני, כי אז מרגישים כמה הקב״ה שולט על כל פרט בחיינו.

כשמדברים עם הקב״ה מעומק הלב המילים מחזקים את האמונה. כל זה מתקיים כשהלב נקי מכעס או טענות נגדו. חטא אדם הראשון והגרוש מגן עדן גרם לניתוק מהקב״ה. התפילה היא התיקון להקים יחסים חדשים עם ה׳, לחזור לגן עדן וקירבה עם הקב״ה.

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Easy Healthy Date Bites

January 28, 2016
Orit Esther Riter
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  • 500 grams of pitted dates
  • 1/4 cup natural nut butter ~ I used peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup ground coconut flakes
  • 3/4 cup roasted nuts
  • 2 tbsp. cocoa powder
  • pinch salt

Preparation instructions:

Process everything in a food processor until all the dates are chopped and blended thoroughly.  It will make balls in the processor.  Remove and roll out onto parchment paper into logs, you can sprinkle a little extra coconut before rolling.  It will make two logs.  Place in freezer.  Slice into circles, semi defrost to make slicing easier.  Keep in refrigerator, cover tightly.

Spiritual fulfillment when eating~

How should we feel after eating… filled or fulfilled? Do we eat to the point where we cannot ‘stuff ourselves’ with another bite?  If so, we can be certain that our stomachs are filled, yet we may not necessarily be fulfilled.

Fulfillment indicates contentment; a sense of inner satiation from the food we eat. Unfortunately many of us stop eating only after getting ‘physically full’, yet are left with unfulfilled desires that yearn to be fed. What is missing?  

Food provides nutrients on two fronts; physical and spiritual. Our body craves certain physical minerals and elements.  Our soul seeks Hashem’s G-dly spark embedded in the food item. Spiritually we are satiated only after we connect to Hashem’s presence in the food we eat. How?  

Aside from reciting the correct blessing with proper intent before eating we should relish in the pleasure Hashem provides us.  We should utter words of appreciation to Hashem for ‘spoiling’ us with amazing food.  Connecting to Hashem fulfills the soul and enables us to extract Hashem’s love and presence, so to speak from the food we consume.  

What is the missing ingredient in many ‘diets’?  Forgetting to ‘stuff’ our souls while we ‘fill’ our bodies. 


המנה היומית של אמונה ~ אמונה חושית

January 27, 2016
Orit Esther Riter
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הצעד הראשון להגיע לאמונה רגשית דורשת השקעה מצידנו. קיים מאבק תמידי בשביל שנרגיש את האמונה בקרבינו. התורה  מלמדת שהאמונה תמיד קיימת אצלנו בלב, כמו שכתוב בספר שמות, ״ ועשיתם לי מקדש ושכנתי בתוכם.״ אבל, אנחנו חייבים לחיות חיים קדושים בשביל להרגיש את הקב״ה

מפה אפשר להבין שמרגישים את הבורא יתברך כשאנחנו מרבים בקדושה. בשלב הזה של היתפתחות האמונה חייבים הסתכלות פנימי ולהיות כנים עם עצמינו. האם אנחנו באמת רודפים אחרי רוחניות . חייבים לשאול את עצמינו כמה חשובה התורה הקדושה בחיים שלי ואם אני מוכנה להיכנע לפני רבי ( אחרי שנודע לי שהוא יראי שמים אמיתי) ולעצת חכמים

כשמפנים מלבנו מידת הגאווה והתאווה, רק אז אפשר להרגיש את הקב״ה. פה טמון המפתח לאמונה רגשית. שיחה פשוטה עם הקב״ה מזינה את הנשמה שלנו. ״ ריבונו של עולם, אתה אבי, אני אוהבת אותך ואתה אוהב אותי. אני חסרת אונים, אין לי חיים בלעדיך, בבקשה, עזור לי

עוד עצה טובה, להכיר טובה לבורא עולם על כל דבר. לראות את ה׳ בכל, בעצים, במכונית שעובדת, בילדים הבריאים, והיכולת ללכת. החיים הם מתנה. עלינו להודות לקב״ה על כל נשימה ונשימה! הגיע הזמן לראות את החיים עם ראיה של אמונה. הקב״ה רוצה שיהיה לנו רק טוב. בשביל לחסוך כסף חייבים לצמצם בהוצאות. כך גם אצל הקב״ה, הכל מחושב ומכוון עבור הטוב הנצחי שלנו. תעריכו את ההשגחה הפרטית

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