Tag Archives: Galut

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20/20 Vision

July 26, 2017
Orit Esther Riter
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The basic tenet of emuna is taught in Megillat Eicha (3:38), “From Shamayim does not emerge evil…” Evil does not have a hold on existence; all that comes from Hashem is either revealed or hidden good but still it is all good. Correct spiritual vision involves piercing the surface of all that we see and look beneath. Indeed this is one of life’s greatest challenges.

There is a higher truth and a greater good that we are meant to see and experience. Truthful vision is born out of emuna; trusting there is goodness hiding inside the seemingly bad. Indeed this is the pathway from exile to redemption, lifting the veil of reality and revealing the loving-kindness of Hashem’s handiwork.

So long as we are in exile, we live a broken existence. Our greatest challenge is to trust there is wholesomeness ‘behind the scenes.’ Hashem ‘left’ the world unfinished so we may co-partner in the creative process and improve the world and ourselves. If we see the world as ‘bad’ it is because we are in the middle of an existing reality not yet complete. We cannot take one element and discard the rest but should remember that we are on the way to completing the picture.

Hashem’s intentions are pure and wholesome when they leave Shamayim. He leaves a part of creation unfinished for us to uplift and repair. In doing so, we perfect our vision and bring about our own redemption.

Crown of Existence

July 24, 2017
Orit Esther Riter
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There is an underlying universal message in all that happens in this world; one nation, one heart with one desire. We all lack something – the basis of all pain is that we are in exile away from home and apart from our truthful selves. The greatest suffering is ignorance; we remain oblivious to that which we truly desire. What do we really want? Happiness and pleasure.

The crown of existence hovers above our head and connects us to the endless source of Hashem’s light, Ohr Ein Sof. The Kabbalists call this our keter (crown); a link the infinite source of existence. Hidden in the crown are the jewels of creation; G-dly delight in its purest form. Hashem’s ‘wish’ for us is that we live with this lofty crown securely on our head at all times. However many of us love to shop the world and change the décor, jewels and color of our crown. Unfortunately, we often seek other pleasures and abandon our royal garb disregarding her inherent G-dly value.

Consequently, Hashem send us reminders of our lofty status in the form of rebuke. Hashem wishes to shower us with delight in its highest form; attachment to Him the source of all pleasure and happiness. Mi Bara Kol Ayleh – Who created all this? The answer is found in our crown. However unless we desire to wear our Heavenly garments we cannot experience true delight in this world and often may mistake fake alternatives for the real thing.

May today’s daily dose of emuna serve as an iluy nishmat for Yosef, Chaya and Elad Solomon HY’D who were brutally taken from this world this past Shabbat. May their souls bask in the Divine radiance with their royal crown of existence among all the righteous who have departed from this world, Amen.

You Are Here

July 3, 2017
Orit Esther Riter
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“Conceal shall I conceal My face on that day” (Sefer Devarim, 31:18). Galut (the Exile) is a twofold concealment, wherein the concealment itself is concealed. The Ba’al Shem Tov HaKadosh teaches that so great is this concealment, that one is not even aware of the concealment; one may even come to think of the darkness as light. How does it feel to be in exile? Alienation – a feeling of division between Ahm Yisrael and Hashem. So great is the separation that we don’t even sense that He is with us.

Therefore the exile is an exile of the mind in addition to the body. There is a great sense of abandonment and isolation as though the nation of Israel is left on their own. However, the very name of Yisrael implies Yashar Kel, straight with Hashem; we are always bonded with our Creator.
The exile will continue to grow until we reach the point where our heartfelt crying is so powerful and broadcasts the message, “We can’t live without You Hashem. We need Your revealed presence back in our midst.” Such is the spiritual level we should strive to attain, particularly when tragedies occurץ

Although Hashem is ‘hiding’, hiding implies that He is here, but that we can’t see Him. Hashem is here…always with us.

A Great Jewish Nation

December 16, 2015
Orit Esther Riter

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Today’s daily dose of emuna is dedicated to the refuah shleimah of Gittel Pesha bat Baila Perel. May Hashem shower her with complete healing among all of Klal Yisrael who are in need of refuot, yeshuot and nechamot, b’karov, b’rachamim, Amen.

While setting off to Be’er Sheva in this week’s Parsha Vayigash Ya’akov Avinu expresses his fear to Hashem. He looks for reassurance from Him while going down into exile.  Why?

The Netivot Shalom, the Slonimer Rebbe ztk’l explains that it is not physical suffering that causes Yaakov distress; rather he is afraid that Hashem will not be there with the nation of Israel.  Hashem’s response indeed comforts Ya’akov as He says, “Don’t be afraid of going to Mitzrayim because I will make you a great nation there.”  The emphasis is on the word there.

The Ba’al Shem Tov HaKadosh brings down it is precisely because of the oppressive conditions experienced in exile that make the Jewish people into a great nation. It is under the harsh conditions of exile that we clarify our vision and become more mindful of our purpose. Who can be more compassionate than those who have been oppressed?  The driving factor that moves the Jewish people to work for justice in the world is spelled out in Torah; to perfect creation and bring G-dly light into a dark world. We are strengthened by the conditions of exile to fulfill our holy task.

Furthermore Hashem was, is and will always be with us as is written in Yeshayahu (63:9), ‘All their suffering is for Him suffering.’ The nation of Israel is able to endure the harshest of conditions only because we are nourished by the Shechinah HaKedosha who is with us in our exile as is written, “I am going down with you to Mitzrayim.” No matter how difficult, Hashem can be found there.

Yaakov Remained Alone…

November 24, 2015
Orit Esther Riter

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Today’s daily dose of emuna is dedicated to the refuah shleimah of Sarala Ginsberg who just fell into a coma and the doctors are saying she has 48 hours to live. Please please daven for her. She’s just 17 years old. Her name is Alter Sarah Chaya bas Leah Avigayil.  May Hashem send her a complete healing among all of Klal Yisrael who are sick and suffering b’karov, b’rachamim, Amen.

The Jewish people will go through 4 exiles: Babylonian, Median, Greek and Roman.  We are currently in the last exile, the Roman exile. How do we know who today’s Romans are?  The Gemara in Masechet Gittin teaches the wicked Titus destroyed the second Beit HaMikdash and sent us into our current exile.  Eisav married an Ishmaelite; Titus descended from this marriage (some say even a reincarnation of Eisav). Consequently Eisav, Edom and Rome are one in the same, with a mix of Ishmaelites in there as well.

Chazal teaches Rome refers to any nation representing Christian culture. Eisav hates Yaakov; this is a halachah.  Rebbi Shimon Bar Yochai ztk’l further explains Christianity is founded on Jewish hatred; they continuously fight against the Jewish people.

We read in this week’s parsha,”Yaakov remained alone, and a man wrestled with him until the break of day.” [32:25].The children of Yaakov, continue to fight with Eisav nations until daybreak (until the light of Mashiach illuminates the world).  Rav Shimshon Rafael Hirsch ztk’l and others view the confrontation between Esav’s angel and Yaakov as a metaphor for Jewish history. The passuk continues, “Yaakov was left alone”.  The Jewish people regularly find themselves helpless and abandoned to face persecution at the hands of our enemies.  Sound familiar?

This in spite of the fact that then and now Yaakov acted in self-defense.  Yaakov survived the battle and moved forward in life while the angel disappeared.  The Jewish people will survive, even if injured and oppressed, weary and alone.  Yet, the pages of history testify that their enemies have disappeared and will be removed forever when Mashiach comes to redeem us. B’H, b’karov, b’rachamim, Amen.

Humility Connects

September 2, 2015
Orit Esther Riter

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Today daily dose of emuna is dedicated to the refuah shleimah of Mazel Devorah bas Baila Faiygah, a young mother recently diagnosed with leukemia r’l. May Hashem shower her with a complete recovery among all of Klal Yisrael who are sick and suffering b’karov, b’rachamim, Amen.

The month of Elul is filled with pearls of wisdom on how to refine one’s attributes; strive to become more G-dly.  As we slowly edge towards Rosh Hashanah we should feel a greater bond with Hashem then at the onset of this month.  This comes as a result of lessening one’s arrogance.   As we entreat Hashem and beseech His endless compassion for a New Year filled with abundance of blessings, we realize how vulnerable and dependent we are on Him.

Humility is the channel through which G-dly blessing flows.  We have nothing of our own; all we have is a gift intended to be put in good use while completing our holy task in this world.  Humility is evident when one is purely dependent on Hashem.  If at any point we feel we are owed, we feel there is a merit that we are entitled to ‘cash in’ on; we have lost the virtue of humbleness.  When a person feels his account of merits is empty (when in fact we are in minus), arrogance is driven away and genuine teshuva is more easily reachable.

The teshuva process is immensely strengthened through humility.  By reinforcing this important middah, we appreciate the gift of life and clearly comprehend its Heavenly source.  The trait of humility contributes to positive interpersonal relationships with ourselves, others and certainly with Hashem.  Humility connects whereas arrogance separates.  Developing our sense of humility ennobles and empowers us to grow and achieve great spiritual heights.

Your Personal Geula – Part II

September 1, 2015
Orit Esther Riter

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Today daily dose of emuna is dedicated to the refuah shleimah of Chaya Malka bat Batsheva who is 18 years old and suddenly fell into a coma r’l. May Hashem shower her with a complete recovery among all of Klal Yisrael who are sick and suffering b’karov, b’rachamim, Amen.

It is crucial that Ahm Yisrael continuously reassure themselves of the upcoming geula.  It may appear distant and even incomprehensible; yet layer by layer, piece by piece it is unfolding.  The following list barely touches the surface of how the inconceivable unfailingly becomes part of Jewish history. Tracing back over time we can see the same pattern repeat itself till today.

Logic is not part of the Jewish lexicon; only Emuna in the G-dly masterplan which often is unthinkable and unexpected.  “Az Yimaleh s’chok peenu” (Tehillim 126:2) – at the end of days the Jewish people will rejoice over the unimaginable ending, thegeula shleimah, B’H.

•    Who would have thought that Avraham and Sarah give birth at the advanced age of close to 100?
•    Who would have believed that Yaakov Avinu become rich after crossing the Yarden only with his staff?
•    Who would have imagined that Moshe, a baby tossed into the Nile River in a flimsy basket, become the ultimate redeemer of Klal Yisrael?
•    Who would have thought that Ruth, a convertee’, would merit bringing forth a royal dynasty of kings?
•    Who would have imagined that Dovid, a brother rejected, scorned and despised, become king until the end of days?
•    Who would have believed that Ahm Yisrael be saved in spite of the harsh decree of the evil Haman?

Does your personal geula seem impossible after taking a glimpse of Jewish history? With that in mind, let’s run to do teshuva with a full heart and not limit Hashem’s ability to ‘turn around’ our lives.  When we take the first step towards self-fulfillment and seek to become the conduit of Divine light as we are truly meant to be, we can B’H merit the unbelievable becoming believable in our personal lives too!

On the rivers of Babylon …

July 17, 2015
Orit Esther Riter
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Today the 29th of Tammuz is the yahrzeit of Rashi HaKadosh.  May his merit protect Klal Yisrael and serve as an advocate on high, Amen.

Chazal teach us to pray with heartfelt intent that Hashem soon rebuild the Beit HaMikdash and hasten the geula.  Why does Chazal find the need to emphasize that we ask for the redemption?  Shouldn’t it be a given that every Jew pray for it to happen?  Unfortunately to many it is not at the top of their request list.

When we find ourselves in the midst of our ‘personal sorrows’ we tend to forget about anything else.  There is a Torah teaching that says, “The last of ones problems make a person forget the first of his problems.”  The current  issues at hand such as looming war, financial strain, marital strife, health and other mounting issues unfortunately take up so much of our brain space that we don’t seem to ‘remember’ the root cause of all difficulty; galut.

Many think, “How can I focus my mind on mourning Yerushalayim and the Beit HaMikdash when there are so many hardships I must cope with right now?” Yet if we delve deeply into this idea we will discover that we are experiencing the ‘symptoms’ associated with exile.  As we put our minds and hearts into praying for solutions to personal sorrows we ought to keep in mind that they are offshoots of the real pain at hand.  We are not in our ‘true place’ physically, emotionally and spiritually and therefore we are experiencing confusion and pain.

Klal Yisrael is living in a plague of darkness; restless over the present and terrified over the future.  “Al Naharot Bavel Shahm Yashavnu… (On the rivers of Babylon there we sat ….)” we sat and wondered, ‘what will be?’  “Gam Bachinu b’Zochreinu et Tzion (Also we cried when we remembered Tzion {the destruction and devastation of Tzion})”.  The Chatam Sofer ztk’l writes we were consumed by thoughts over our own devastation, yet we still remembered why they occur; the long and bitter exile and the destruction of Tzion.  So too today we must connect all pain and suffering to our exile.

 

Today’s daily dose of emuna is dedicated to the refuel shleimah of Tal Talya bat Rivka and the newborn baby Meir Chaim Ben Tal Talya. This wonderful young woman (34), mother of three, is in critical need of our prayers right now.
She has stage IV cancer and is intensive care. We need to storm the heavens with our prayers so this decree is obliterated completely and she can go back to caring for her family.  2.5 weeks ago, she discovered the disease had riddled her intestines, after being admitted to the hospital for what they thought was dehydration. She was 28 weeks pregnant. A successful albeit complicated surgery was performed, with baby in utero, to remove the whole large intestine. 2 weeks later, the staples got undone and the infection began to swell her stomach. This infection meant an emergency C-section delivery on Sunday, July 5th, 2015. What should have been a momentous, happy celebration, was just news taken in stride, along with further reports of Tal’s critical condition. The wife is being intubated and sedated in order to flush the toxins out of her system and has not seen her new baby yet. The stomach has been left open in a sterile condition for five days now in order to allow the doctors to clean it out daily.
The baby is premature by 2 months, and is currently in NICU. He is on antibiotics and is also fighting for his life at this stage. These are horrible yissurim for a beautiful young mother to go through. She is a model citizen, and a very loving mother, and a holy Jew. Her two children at home, are being taken care of by neighbors and friends and family, while the father runs between his wife, his newborn, and hospitals, trying to find the best care for her.
Please don’t ignore this email. It is not for donations, it is not for anything other than the words that come out of your mouth. This link:http://tehilimyahad.com/mr. jsp?r=PBnJ0S7RGU is special because it tracks the amount of tehillim that is read for this one specific case. It shows how many people read, and how many donated their good deeds for the full recovery of this woman. I update Tal’s family and her husband with the incredible amount of prayers said so far (20 books finished in five days since I posted the link) and it gives him so much hope in a time of bleak darkness and constant worry, not knowing what will be with his wife.
Please take the time to say even one perek. The more the merrier. And please pass it along to just one person, but the one person who you know will read for Tal.

Bringing the Shechinah into our lives

July 14, 2015
Orit Esther Riter
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BS’D

Today’s daily dose of emuna is dedicated to the yeshua for Pinchas ben Bassya Yehudit. May Hashem shower him with all of the goodness and clarity that he needs, Amen.

The Shechinah sustains life ~ she is the soul of the world.  As we immerse ourselves in a life of Torah and mitzvot we enhance the outpouring of love between the Shechinah and HaKadosh Baruch Hu.  This in turn injects our lives with life force and revealed goodness.  It is only through Torah learning and attachment to Torah principles that we ‘bring’ the Shechinah into our lives.  HaKadosh Baruch Hu so to speak ‘”shares” the Shechinah with His beloved nation in order to comfort and guide us through this confusing world.

What can we do to make the Shechinah feel welcomed?  It is written in the Talmud, “Rabbi Yossi teaches the Shechinah dwells only in a place of wholeness and not in a place of lacking, not in a place of sadness but only in a place of happiness and joy.”Although during Bein HaMeitzrim we are to diminish our happiness and use this time to reflect on our losses; we are not instructed to remove all joy from our midst.

Joy does not require that we laugh or necessarily smile.  Genuine joy comes from living a life of purpose; connecting all instances and experiences to the ultimate reason for existence. At this time we should contemplate the unbearable pain and hardships born from this long anguish-filled exile and acknowledge that we have drifted from our true and holy essence.  We need to ‘return’ to our purpose; we need to turn-on our emuna.

Enhancing Unity

July 13, 2015
Orit Esther Riter
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Today’s daily dose of emuna lesson is dedicated to the immediate recovery and refuah shleimah of Esti Rappaport, her husband Misha and their four children who were involved in a major accident last night on Route 17 in the US.  Parents are in critical condition. May Hashem shower them among all of Klal Yisrael who are sick and suffering with a complete refuah shleimah b’karov,b’rachamim, Amen.

As we know the next two weeks are din (judgment); let us explore what we can do in honor of the Shechinah. As we go about our lives, performing mitzvot it is of great importance to focus our intent on uniting the Shechinah back to HaKadosh Baruch Hu. The mystical teachings bring down that there is a disconnection in Shamayim between the male and female aspects of Hashem which disrupts our ability to maintain peace down below.

The Shechinah is with us in exile; She watches over the Jewish people everywhere we go. Whether we are at sea or treading on desert sand, through joy and sadness, She is hovering over Ahm Yisrael sharing our pain and suffering. She ‘yearns’ to see us happy and settled once again in our homeland; the way back is adorned with sincere Torah learning and Tefillot.

By strengthening our emuna we create a great stir above and create Oneness and unity. Essentially living a life of emuna proclaims, ‘All is One and all comes from One’ (the fundamental message of the Shema Yisrael). This proclamation binds the fragmented reality and enjoins it back to its source. Here we have the opportunity to co-partner with the Shechinah and escort Her back to Her beloved.

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