Tag Archives: hitbodedut

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Are you talking to yourself?

December 11, 2018
Orit Esther Riter

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BS’D

The evil inclination understands the power of establishing a close-knit relationship with Hashem through hitbodedut. It will probably challenge us each time we attempt to seclude ourselves and open up our hearts. For instance, the yetzer hara may argue: “What do you need to talk about anyway? Don’t you feel awkward talking to the ‘air’?” Or he may just keep us so busy we do not feel we have the time to spare to undertake such a practice.

Yet, we can overcome these obstacles! We can fire up our ratzon (willpower) by reminding ourselves of the significance and effectiveness of hitbodedut. And when we show Hashem we are willing to do this avodah anyway, we will find that talking to Hashem in this way is uplifting. It reinforces through our actions and speech what our neshama, our soul always knows is true – that Hashem indeed is everywhere and with us always.

Feel and heal exercise of the day:

A good tactic to use against the inner voice that tries to dissuade us from doing something good is to say ‘I’m not going to listen to you, you’re just wasting your time!’ -> simple words that really work!

Forging a Good Relationship

December 10, 2018
Orit Esther Riter

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BS’D

Hitbodedut is simply defined as personal secluded one-on-one prayer between us and our Creator. According to psychological principles, the best road to a great relationship is communication. Hitbodedut is essentially communication, but a special form of communication used to forge a relationship with our Creator. Hitbodedut is an opportunity to talk over with Hashem our feelings of appreciation, our regrets, goals and our wishes.

However, speaking to Hashem is more challenging that one might think! Rebbe Nachman ztk’l teaches that due to the power and significance of hitbodedut we will face many obstacles to overcome in order to find the time to speak to Hashem in this way.

Feel & heal exercise of the day:

What is one thing that is weighing down on you. Gently talk it out and let it go -> to Hashem and to that person.

Deep Soulful Place

December 5, 2018
Orit Esther Riter

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BS’D

Each time we pour our hearts to Hashem – through words of gratitude, teshuva or requests – we ignite our soul and we heal our souls. As we enter our hitbodedut a remarkable process begins to occur – our inner soul’s craving and desire to fulfill our true life’s mission surfaces and the darkness, confusion and gloom consequently fades. It enables us to access that deep, soulful place inside of us that knows what is truly right and best for us, and thus to align our ratzon; our will with His Will.

Feel & heal exercise of the day 

Contemplate -> how did you feel before you began to ‘talk to Hashem in your own words’ for a few moments and after? Did you feel lighter.. filled with more clarity and hope?

A Different Channel

December 4, 2018
Orit Esther Riter

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BS’D

A question arises – how does hitbodedut differ in any significant way from our prescribed Tefillot of the siddur? The heavenly prosecutors blocking the ascension of our prayers know the spiritual channels through which our prescribed Tefillot rise.

In contrast, each time we do hitbodedut we create a different channel unknown to the prosecutors. Unlike prescribed prayers with which the prosecutors are familiar, prayer via hitbodedut is fresh at each moment uttered. It represents a heartfelt, soulful yearning full of deep ratzon that is pure and unique to each individual person. The prosecutors have no template for such an inimitable form of prayer and are taken by surprise.

Feel & heal exercise of the day 

Be spontaneous with you personal prayer today and whatever words come out, let them flow freely and openly.

 

New Pathways

December 3, 2018
Orit Esther Riter

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BS’D

Prayer is a Jew’s greatest weapon. Rebbe Nachman ztk’l teaches that each Tefilla is likened to ‘an organ of the Shechinah HaKedosha’ which helps build this world, transforming destruction into perfection’. There is a Midrash that teaches that Mashiach will take all of Klal Yisrael’s soulful prayers and arrange a weapon of mass destruction to fight our enemies forever.

However, Heavenly prosecutors stand ready to snatch our Tefillot, blocking them from ascending to the Heavenly realms. These prosecutors often arise due to our own transgressions. In order to overcome such blocks, we need to create new pathways. Rebbe Nachman teaches us an overlooked method of overcoming such impediments to our Tefillot called hitbodedut. This method of prayer was used by our Imahot and Avot. We can view hitbodedut as a form of ammunition that wards off negativity from our lives.

Feel & heal exercise of the day

Spend a few moments with Hashem talking to Him from your heart.

The Hearts Laser Beam

November 12, 2018
Orit Esther Riter

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BS’D

Singing or humming holy music or niggunim during hitbodedut is an excellent way of opening our hearts. Such music may awaken hidden feelings or forgotten memories and may inspire a connection to Hashem. Alternatively, we can choose a certain passuk or verse from Chazal and repeatedly recite it with intense concentration. The holy words act as a laser beam, piercing our heart with emotion. For instance, repeating “Ribbono Shel Olam” or “Avinu Malkenu” over and over again may enhance our emotional bond with our Creator.

Feel and heal exercise of the day:

Put on a niggun, any niggun, hug yourself and gently sway back and forth while closing your eyes. Feel your heart elevate and soul sour beyond the room -> feel the closeness of Hashem in your life.

Torah Therapy

December 20, 2016
Orit Esther Riter

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BS’D

Hitbodedut is a well-known practice from the times of Avraham Avinu ztk’l. Hitbodedut is derived from the root word boded (alone) and differs from that of the siddur. It is certainly not intended to replace the structured prayer given to us by Anshei Knesset HaGedola (Sages of Yisrael), but to complement it.

Isn’t it just a Breslover Chassidic custom? Although hitbodedut has taken a more ‘popular’ stand through the Chassidic movement our forefathers have always practiced it. We give voice to our innermost desires, emotional turmoil, spiritual yearning, materialistic needs, teshuva, and of course express our gratitude for the endless gifts – those we notice and the infinite gifts that go unnoticed.

Hitbodedut is a spontaneous form of tefilla since it is not read from a pre-written text. The central theme of this tefilla is to bridge the distance between us and Hashem, particularly due to the busy rat race of life. Amazingly our emuna will strengthen, clarity of thought will enter our mind and inner serenity will start to set in.

In a nutshell hitbodedut is Torah therapy. It is a healing session with the One who knows us best.

Your Time

December 19, 2016
Orit Esther Riter

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BS’D

Hitbodedut = private secluded one-on-one ‘talk’ with HaKadosh Baruch Hu – here we let go of our doubts, fear and confusion. It is a time to sing, dance, cry, laugh or even remain silent through quiet contemplation.

Ideally one should practice hitbodedut during the evening times when the world has slowed down its pace. At night, businesses are closed and the materialistic pull on life is loosened. Men can find their connection to the Borei Olam through walking the fields and surrounded by nature. Women can reach lofty heights by just sitting on their porch, yard or in their home.

At first, it may not come easy to just open up a conversation with Hashem. It is a good idea to warm up by offering words of heartfelt thanks to Hashem for all of the gifts that He has given you individually and to the nation of Israel collectively.

Feel free to go into detail over some of the things and events that you are particularly grateful for like the washing machine that works, water that comes from the faucet, car, roof over your head, food, check that didn’t bounce, eyes that can see, people that make you smile, zechut to do mitzvot and teshuva, etc. As we step out of the humdrum routine of life and settle our mind we begin to notice the endless list of reasons we need to be thankful for yet may have not noticed before. After voicing our appreciation the ‘buried’ issues will surface and your heart will stir with yearning and closeness to Hashem.

Not Due to Our Might

December 14, 2016
Orit Esther Riter

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BS’D

Hitbodedut is not reserved only for tzaddikim and Rabbeim.  It is for the run-of-the-mill me and you.

Solitary tefilla, hitbodedut, was common practice for our Patriarchs who roamed the fields and desert and recited passukim of tehillim, praise and teshuva before Hashem. The time used for hitbodedut was and still is seen as private time with the Borei Olam: just you and Hashem.

A main purpose for some is to heal their broken hearts.  For others, it is to break their hearts; greatly enough it serves both drives.  When life rips the joy out of us, we become brokenhearted. Our spiritual hishtadlut at this point is to run into Hashem’s waiting embrace and take refuge.  This occurs instantly as we pour out our feelings to our Creator who loves us and wants us to recognize His love.  He sits, as it were, and waits for us to meet Him during hitbodedut.  There we are safe and not judged; only comforted.

Yet some people are packed with pride and need their hitbodedut to break their hearts and melt their egos.  Upon contemplating the awesomeness of Hashem and His ability to change personal and world-wide events in the blink of an eye, they experience their smallness.  Not just tininess but vulnerability to the uncertainty of life.   For them, this is the place where their ego gets tempered and disciplined.

Hitbodedut can never go wrong.  Whatever we need to let go of or add into our lives will come during our private hour with Hashem. What a gift!

Today’s daily dose of emuna is dedicated to the refuah shleimah of Naomi Miriam bas Roysa Shpetl. May Hashem send her a complete healing b’riut hanfesh v’b’riut haguf among all of Klal Yisrael who are in need of refuot, yeshuot v’nechamot, Amen.

What Greatness!

December 13, 2016
Orit Esther Riter

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BS’D

Reb Noson ztk’l, the foremost disciple of Reb Nachman ztk’l describes the greatness of hitbodedut: “Try to picture the high priest as he entered the holy of holies at the one time of year that was permitted, Yom Kippur. In describing his appearance, the high priest looked like “one who sits in solitude to pray before Hashem.” “Imagine,” said Reb Noson, “the high priest entering the holy of holies is likened to the person who sits and pours out his heart before Hashem”. Through hitbodedut we can as it were, enter the holy of Holies each and every day!

In particular, during those times when we are in pain and feel alienated we should return to the warmth of HaKadosh Baruch Hu. When our heart is most bitter and confused we are in the position to be closest to Hashem. “Karov Hashem l’nishbari lev… (Hashem is near those with broken hearts…)” writes Dovid HaMelech in tehillim (34:19).  It is precisely when our spirits are crushed and filled with sorrow that we receive comfort and insight as a response to our crying out for our specific needs.

This is the consoling path of hitbodedut and teshuva.  It is simple to enter this pathway; go to a place where you will be undisturbed, talk in your own language and in your own words, and just pour your heart out one on one – just you and Borei Olam.  This is the path of the tzaddikim.  This is our path to teshuva.

This world is filled with illusions; the most ‘real’ to us is the idea that Hashem is far from us. Hitbodedut breaks this false impression. Hashem is here and wants us to come back.  The Ba’al Shem Tov HaKadosh teaches hitbodedut causes us to wipe away the illusions and see the hidden truth of life; how close Hashem really is!

 

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