Tag Archives: happiness

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Don’t lose sight

March 21, 2017
Orit Esther Riter

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BS’D

When we aspire to spread goodness onto others, act selflessly and go beyond our natural tendencies we shine our Divine light onto this world.  The greatest challenge we face is that our G-dly soul is mostly hidden underneath many layers of animalistic and egotistic drives.  Life challenges us to discover the hidden roses amongst the weeds; to find our G-dly souls among selfish desires.

By default our thoughts, speech and actions originate from our animal soul; in other words we are naturally drawn to self-centeredness.  Material indulgence is decked with ‘booby-traps’ that draw us to fulfill our animalistic drives, a.k.a ego.  In short, all motivating factors that originate from self-absorption are not divinely inspired and interfere with our G-dly mission.

Excessive focus on our egos leaves us short sighted of our grand task in life; to get to know who we really are, a spark of G-dliness.  We are here to work on perfecting ourselves and refine our character traits; to steer away from our ‘natural selfish tendencies’ we were born with.  Let us not lose track of this tremendous challenge and sense of accomplishment followed after a job well-done.

Two Worlds

March 20, 2017
Orit Esther Riter

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BS’D

The Rebbe of Kotzk said:  “If a person is truly aware that Hashem created the world, then all earthly things appear to be of negligible value.  If one were truly convinced of the uniqueness of his mission in life his behavior would be radically different and he would put great effort into discovering that mission and fulfilling it.  The extent of our efforts to accumulate earthly things indicates the value we ascribe to materialism.  The very first words of the Torah hint at the basis for a spiritual life, “And the earth (and everything associated with it i.e. material goals) was barren and desolate.” (Bereishis 1:2)  From the onset of the Torah we are already being taught what our goals in life should be – to attach our soul to Hashem; anything else is meaningless and empty.

Our goal in life should be to synchronize our will with Hashem’s will so that we may eternally bound ourselves to Him.  Pursuit of this lofty goal essentially nourishes our soul and contributes to a healthy well-rounded life enveloped in meaning and happiness.  Fundamentally, this is the basis of performing all mitzvot.

When the soul descends to this world it is placed in a coarse materialistic package called the body.  This environment creates a thick barrier which obstructs the soul from being able to sense attachment to Hashem.  Basically you can call the body a spiritual sewer, yet it is in this most challenging space that the soul can fulfill the goal of attaching itself to doing Hashem’s will through free-will.

Hashem ‘craves’ for us (a.k.a. the soul) to become one with Him.  The success in doing so is solely dependent on our will.  Our will is developed through recognizing and strengthening our deep love for Him; the more we love Hashem the more we will desire to become one with Him.

Happiness = Purpose

June 28, 2016
Orit Esther Riter

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BS’D

Studies show that man continuously searches for meaning and is left saddened if left living without a clear goal. To this end happiness = purpose. Hashem created us with purpose; a soul that persistently wishes to rise above challenges, grow and ascend to great heights.

The soul does not find her place in this world; she demands that a bond be forged between Hashem and every part of this lowly world.  In the event that this demand is left unmet, she radiates uneasiness, unhappiness and haunts us to no end.  Therefore it is vital to repeatedly remind ourselves why we are here thereby creating balance and harmony while experiencing trials and tribulations.  As we reiterate to ourselves there is greater meaning ‘right here and now’ we are filled with inner peace.  Although we may still struggle to pay this months’ rent, we connect the limited reality to an eternal reality.

The purpose of life is not happiness – it is living with purpose, which eventually creates inner joy.  As the Torah guides us through the weeds and gardens of life, we are at peace; we know we are traveling with the ‘Best Tour Guide’.  However if we ignore the soul’s voice as she screams in pain that time is passing without substance, meaning or stronger connection to Hashem, we run the risk of cutting off our G-dly connection and feeling empty.

We are not lost; we are not subject to happen-chance.  We are here for a purpose; knowing this is the strongest foundation to build a life of happiness.

A Higher Purpose

February 1, 2016
Orit Esther Riter

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BS’D

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.

Happiness is in the Knowing

March 2, 2015
Orit Esther Riter

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BS’D

Today’s daily dose of emuna is dedicated to the refuah shleimah of Avraham Amikam ben Margalit Bracha. May Hashem shower him with a complete healing among all of Klal Yisrael who are sick and suffering b’karov, b’rachamim, Amen.

Thank you all for your beautiful tefillot and concern over my daughter Shani for the past month+.  She gave birth to a happy pappy baby girl named Yiscah, this past week. Mommy and baby are healthy. Hodu L’Hashem ki Tov!

Happiness is the result of knowing that Hashem is everywhere. Not only is He everywhere but all that He does is good. Therefore the Torah writes over and over again “To serve Hashem with gladness”, since knowing that we are being taken care embraces a person with true joy.

Happiness naturally flows when we live a life of gratitude. It is developed through the constant act of verbally speaking words of appreciation to Hashem all day, every day. The soul experiences happiness not due to a particular act or achievement rather from faithfully serving Hashem and doing what should be done all the while feeling Hashem’s intimate presence and loving embrace.

Therefore happiness comes with doing what is necessary to become the best that we can be. Torah teaches that joy is independent of whether the road traveled is easy or difficult, but has to do with trusting that Hashem who brought us to this place sustains and oversees us on the way to its end.

Knowing what life is all about; staying focused on the end goal enables the Jew to reach a state of happiness, live a life where there is no sadness. Life is about doing the will of Hashem. Life is about hope. The Jewish heart should not fall into despair since if it lives out the will of Hashem even though the difficulties may not be understood, its goodness will eventually shine their true colors.

Take Me Where I Need to go

February 26, 2015
Orit Esther Riter

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BS’D

Today, 7th of Adar, is the yahrtzeit of Moshe Rabbeinu ztk’l.  What a zechut it is to be part of Ahm Yisrael, a nation founded on Divine intervention and miracles, led by so many righteous leaders.  Most certainly this is a reason to jump for joy and constantly smile, knowing how much Hashem loves us.  May Moshe Rabbeinu serve as an advocate on behalf of Klal Yisrael and hasten the final redemption b’mheira b’rachamim, Amen.

The Ba’al Shem Tov HaKadosh teaches that nothing is more harmful to the soul then living a life empty of joy. A baby is born with an innate tendency towards happiness. In time their perception of life changes and they view the world negatively since life has a way of ‘disappointing’ people over time.

What is the source of this disappointment? It may arise from setting goals, materialistic or spiritual, that aren’t attainable which leads to a general feeling of failure. Yet we must emphasize once again the importance of perception when it comes to reaching a state of happiness. The founding principle of happiness originates from the understanding that one’s worth is not based on personal pleasure; only from the delight infused from living a life of G-dly purpose.

When our hearts feed us the message, “I need more, I want more,” genuine lasting joy becomes unreachable. Selfish desires are never satisfied; the body always wants more. However, knowing that all is from Hashem and is intended to fulfill the purpose we were created for, makes us happy. In this way, a person feels she has absolutely everything she needs at every given moment; if she needed more, she would have more.

Joy is firmly linked to how we see things; that is in our hands. Often we cannot change the circumstances in our lives, but we can always change how we accept and live with it. When we go through life with a clear vision of fulfilling our purpose, we won’t be disappointed with what life serves us. Setbacks are indicators of detours in the road. Hashem with His Infinite wisdom kindly places them to align us back to where we need to go. Just say, “Hashem take me where I need to go” and you’ll never be disappointed.

Happy?

February 4, 2014
Orit Esther Riter

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BS’D

It is the duty of loyal servants to address the King with a happy disposition. A ‘Happy Hashem’ should be served by happy people!  Joyful singing should be part of our regular routine; to approach HaKadosh Baruch Hu with delightful tefillot filled with gratitude and praise.   What a privilege to have been chosen and continuously be guided by Him; just as a shepherd tends to his sheep.

As long as we view our lives as being led by a Kel ma’leh rachamim (merciful G-d), we are obligated to give immense thanks for the noticed, and mostly unnoticed yeshuot,  that constantly envelop us.  If we don’t express happiness in our lives, it is as though we aren’t satisfied and happy with our lot and expect more from Hashem, c”v.

A few symptoms that indicate that a person is suffering from an unhappy heart:

1)      He acts out of habit, without meaning, which causes a disconnection and ultimately leads to spiritual and emotional depression.

2)     He feels as though he is ‘doing Hashem a favor’ and views the mitzvot as burdensome.

3)     Eventually he can c”v lose interest in performing mitzvot altogether and become arrogant and negligent in serving Hashem.

Happiness is the only medicine that serves to prevent spiritual and emotional distress.  It wards off the negativity that destroys not only our outlook on life but our relationship with Hashem.  Living life with a sense of entitlement and expectation destroys happiness at its core. Let us be mindful to dismiss these thoughts as soon as they enter our minds.

Today’s daily dose of emuna is dedicated to the refuah shleimah of Chaya bat Beya who is undergoing important tests today.  B’H may the doctors deliver a clean slate of health and may all signs of illness leave her just as soon as they came.  May Chaya bat Beya merit a complete healing b’riut hanefesh v’b’riut haguf amongst all of Klal Yisrael who are sick and suffering b’karov, b’rachamim, Amen.

A happy person

January 21, 2014
Orit Esther Riter

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BS’D

A special request came my way via close friends of ours in Monsey, NY.  A 22-year-old boy, Yehuda from Yerushalayim, is getting married B’H on the 5th of Adar A’.  He is the oldest of 11 children, father is a Sofer Stam, family is extremely poor, and their home is maxed in mortgage funds. Please, if there is anything that anyone can contribute to assist this amazing talmid, it is desperately needed. Pass it on. You can contact his uncle in Monsey Yaron Yehuda at email:  Yaron2802@gmail.com.  Tizku’ l’mitzvot.

Filling our lives with mindfulness that Hashem is with us, intimately involved in every thought, deed and word, embraces us with complete joy.  There is nothing as sweet and pleasant as meriting a warm hug by Hashem after we experience His personal involvement in our lives.

One of the main emotional states that stop us from sensing this closeness is sadness. When our hearts are twisted and embittered, even in the very hour that Hashem is helping us, we will not be able to feel His nearness.  Our minds become constricted and hearts turn dull, deadening all emotions.

Depression numbs the heart and mind causing it to become disoriented through life’s travels.  A downtrodden mindset cannot relate or internalize goodness of any sort.  A practical solution to combat this state is to strengthen our mindfulness and awareness of life’s gifts at those intervals when we are inspired and on a spiritual high.  This timeframe leaves in its tracks a state of expanded consciousness which stays aflame even after the moment passes.  It injects us with lasting joy and strengthens our mind to actively fight sadness whenever it arises.

Once we accustom ourselves to being joyful, people will be drawn to us like magnets.  Being that almost everyone is packed with sorrow and confusion, when they spot a person with a delightful glow, they yearn to ‘rub elbows’ and learn from their ways.   This is proof of how much the world covets the image of a happy person and wishes to live so.

Today’s Daily Dose of Emuna is dedicated to the refuah shleimah of Hadas Shimrit bat Chaya, a young woman who is suffering from a fatal brain tumor. May she merit a complete healing, b’riut hanefesh v’b’riut haguf, amongst all those in Klal Yisrael who are sick and suffering b’karov, b’rachamim, Amen!

If  you wish to sponsor and dedicate a daily emuna lesson please contact oritriter@gmail.com.  Suggested minimum donation is $18.00 and is considered 100% ma’aser money going towards Torah and emuna learning. 

What does it mean to be happy?

January 20, 2014
Orit Esther Riter

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BS’D

What does is mean to be happy?  It is the genuine form of redemption.  We don’t have to wait until Mashiach comes.  If we live a life of joy then we are surrounded by Mashiach’s light already now!

Joy is a type of ammunition we pull out every time life throws us a curve ball. Where does this joy originate from? When we clearly see the truthful reality that Hashem, no one else but Him, is always by our side.  This burns away any feeling of happenstance, unluckiness, self-pity and disappointment.  We must constantly remind ourselves that everything serves a higher purpose, nothing ‘just happens.’ It didn’t just ‘happen’ to rain, or ‘out of nowhere’ you saw…

The AriZal proclaimed before his disciples that he reached his high level of holiness as a result of focusing on joy before fulfilling any mitzvah.   The key point here is ‘focus’ and ‘concentrate’ on how special life is.  It takes effort to be happy, but it is our choice and within everyone’s command.

Dwelling on the past or being anxious over the future disables us from living in the moment. We are repeatedly taught in Torah, “If you will listen to His voice today…”, “…and these words that I command you today…”,  “And you shall know today and settle in your heart that Hashem is G-d… there is no other.” Think about right now.  We only live one moment since we have no control over what lies in the future. If we bring the past into our lives it infects our present life.

Being happy is directly linked to seeing purpose in everything.  Hence, where there is meaning, there is clarity, light and gladdening of the heart!  This is where we find Hashem!

Today’s daily dose is sponsored and dedicated to the refuah shleimah of Sara Gittel bas Chana Roiza.  May the doctor be a good shaliach and deliver a clean slate of health for Sara Gittel bas Chana Roiza amongst all of Klal Yisrael, Amen!

If you wish to sponsor and dedicate a daily emuna lesson for a minimum suggested contribution of $18 please contact oritriter@gmail.com.  All money is considered 100% ma’aser and goes toward Torah and emuna learning.

 

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