Tag Archives: joy


Dance with joy

May 22, 2014
Orit Esther Riter

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Rabbi Yisrael the Baal Shem Tov HaKadosh, the founder of the Chassidic movement, was once asked: “Why is it that Chassidim burst into song and dance at the slightest provocation? Is this the behavior of a healthy, sane individual?”

The Baal Shem Tov responded with a story:

Once, a musician came to town — a musician of great but unknown talent. He stood on a street corner and began to play.
Those who stopped to listen could not tear themselves away, and soon a large crowd stood enthralled by the glorious music whose equal they had never heard. Before long they were moving to its rhythm, and the entire street was transformed into a dancing mass of humanity.

A deaf man walking by wondered: Has the world gone mad? Why are the townspeople jumping up and down, waving their arms and turning in circles in middle of the street?

“Chassidim,” concluded the Baal Shem Tov, “are moved by the melody that issues forth from every creature in G-d’s creation. If this makes them appear mad to those with less sensitive ears, should they therefore cease to dance?”

The Baal Shem Tov taught that it is not enough to be happy only during times of tefillah, Torah learning and doing mitzvot.  Rather, Hashem is everywhere and can can be found in all happenings.  Therefore, all that occurs in our life, everything that we see, hear and experience presents us with an opportunity to know and serve Hashem.  It is impossible to go about any occurrence without connecting with HaKadosh Baruch Hu.  Consequently we should strive to be joyful always as this is the key to all of our avodah in this world.

Today’s daily dose is dedicated to the refuah shleimah of Daphna Devorah bat Rivka Baila.  May Hashem bless her with complete healing of the body and soul and be blessed with only revealed good in every aspect of her life, Amen.

Face beams

May 20, 2014
Orit Esther Riter

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We learn of the virtue of simcha in many places in the Torah. For instance:

“Sos Asis B’Hashem tagel nafshi b’Elokai (I will rejoice in Hashem, my soul will be joyful in Hashem)” (Yishayah 61:10)

We learn from the Navi that genuine happiness is brought upon a person who intimately connects to Hashem and calls Him Elokai (my Hashem). Living with such an intense bond enables him to live as though he has already been redeemed.

“Lev samaech yaiteev ge’ha… (A merry heart is good healing medicine…)” (Proverbs 17:22)
The Metzudat Dovid ztk”l explains that happiness restores the body like medicine, yet a broken spirit dries one’s mind and bones. Most of a person’s weaknesses come from emotional turmoil. When he comes to happiness, his face beams and serves as a remedy for his frailty.

Many studies show the impact that emotional health has on the physical body. Improvements in areas such as immune response, blood pressure and ability to ward off illness can be readily noticed. Nothing has such a direct effect to ruin health and waste life more than grief, worry and a bad temper- in case we needed to reinforce more reason to put on a smile 🙂

Today’s Daily Dose of Emuna is dedicated to Amit ben Oshrit a 10 year old boy who was injured in Meron.  He is in critical condition.  May Hashem shower him with rachamei Shamayim and may he merit a complete healing among all of Klal Yisrael who are sick and suffering b’karov, b’rachamim, Amen.

Clarity = Joy

May 19, 2014
Orit Esther Riter

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There is nothing like the experience of genuine, soul-uplifting joy!

Mystical teachings point that joy is closely linked to the sefira (Hashem’s manifestation) of binah (analytic understanding, the ability to connect the dots). In other words, it is virtually impossible to enjoy true simcha if we do not fully understand the point of why we are happy or why we are here.

Many may be surprised at this connection since we do not generally associate happiness with clarity. Yet, if we closely explore this thought we find that by its essence, the idea of fully grasping any concept entails the removal of all doubts and confusion. Consequently, when our mind and thoughts are clear, we are able to experience positive emotions such as calm and the ensuing happiness.

On a deeper level this bond involves attaching oneself to Hashem’s light, the source of all understanding. Whereas we may begin with parts and pieces, ends with unification and Oneness.

Some simple but practical ways to attain binah and hence joy:

1) Did you eat a delicious meal today? Thank Hashem – He sent it to you! And understand that it was clearly meant for you.

2) Did you bang your toe when you were walking? Thank Hashem – it is an atonement for sins and understand it was clearly good for you!

3) Did you understand something someone told you? Thank you Hashem – it is You who gave me knowledge and teaches us wisdom, and realize that Hashem wanted you to know this!

How is that for connecting the dots and experiencing true joy?!

Today’s Daily Dose of Emuna is sponsored for the refuah shleimah of Yehoshua Shlomo ben Sharon Pesha a young 12 year boy who has been fighting cancer for many years. His current cancer doctors after giving him chemo and stem cell treatment have advised the parents to take him home and make him comfortable because there is nothing more that can be done, r”l. Next month he is due to have his bar mitzvah. He is about to begin a very dangerous and experimental treatment at Sloan Kettering. Please daven that he merit a complete healing b’riut hanefesh v’briut haguf amongst all of those sick and suffering in Klal Yisrael b’karov, b’rachamim, Amen.

Spring back into joy

March 11, 2014
Orit Esther Riter

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When we experience sadness the underlying tone is that we feel we can run the world better than Borei Olam, c’v.  This occurs as a  result of the ego taking charge; this mindset is driven by arrogance.  Arrogance brings a person to the point where they do not accept their reality if it doesn’t agree to their terms.  The only antidote is emuna shleimah; trusting that only Hashem knows what is best.

It is vital to take a few steps back, catch ourselves in that moment and shift our way of thinking in order to save us from sinking into anguish.  When things do not run as we wish, there is a deep reason and purpose for it; one that serves our soul with the necessary nourishment it needs for its rectification.

The key element to solving our sadness is to inject into our hearts that Hashem loves us and is guiding all events for our ultimate best.  We should not become heartbroken even when strong feelings of discomfort and distress arise.  Our judgment is partial, limited and constricted.  It is based solely on what we see and feel; yet that does not tell the whole picture.

If it were possible to glimpse into the world of HaKadosh Baruch Hu we would be overwhelmed with the eternal compassion, kindness and love that He showers upon us at every given moment.  Continuously acknowledging this will sensitize our hearts and serve as a springboard from sadness to lasting joy.

Today’s daily dose of emuna is dedicated to the refuah shleimah of Tamar Miriam bat Sura Bina.  She is a 14 year old girl who has been in the hospital for 3 weeks with pancreatitis.  May Hashem send her a complete healing amongst all of Klal Yisrael who are sick and suffering b’karov, b’rachamim, Amen!

Gladden your heart

March 10, 2014
Orit Esther Riter

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There is a big cloud called sadness that envelops our hearts and disables us from enjoying the experience called life.  Hashem created the medicine to dissolve this heartbreak and console the anguished heart – pursue a life of meaning; of Torah and you will be happy.

“Pekudei Hashem Yisharim m’samchei lev (The edicts of Hashem are just, and gladden the heart )” (Tehillim 19:9).  The messages of Torah study are healing and restore one’s health with it’s Divine light.  Hashem’s ‘ways’ are straight and when we make the effort to learn them we remove from our midst all confusion and doubt, thus leaving us with a sense of tranquility and security.  Knowing what is expected of us and following the clear cut path presented in the Torah brings us joy.

By trusting that Hashem’s pathways are the best route to travel on and following His map we are freed from worry, stress and cloudiness of thought.  When our hearts are emptied of these negative weathering emotions it gets flooded with happiness, love of oneself and others.  A happy heart sees life differently, processes challenges in another light and views life as worth living and investing in.

Sefer HaMiddot teaches that sadness r”l brings upon a person suffering since it displays ‘complaining’ over one’s lot in life.  Discontentment over life’s events invites the Beit Din shel Ma’alah (the Heavenly court) to ‘open up’ a grievance case on our behalf to investigate if in fact we were short-changed in life.  Hashem is all merciful and is always in the ‘green’, therefore unfortunately the court will discover that we were in fact treated fairly and in fact should have been judged more sternly if not for Hashem’s endless compassion.

On the other hand, happiness sends the message that we are grateful and appreciative thus ‘encouraging’ Hashem to happily send more our way, B’H!

Today’s Daily Dose of Emuna is dedicated to the refuah shleimah of Natali bat Chaya Leah, a nine year old girl who is awaiting oncology test results. Please Hashem may they see only revealed good and may there be no more suffering in Klal Yisrael, amen.


Heavenly garb

March 5, 2014
Orit Esther Riter

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The Ba’al Shem Tov HaKadosh teaches that prayer celebrates our special relationship with Borei Olam.  We should strive to use this time to express to Hashem how grateful we are for the little and big things in life.

Words are garments for thoughts.  As we utter words of praise and thankfulness for the gifts in life we should envision ‘clothing’ Hashem with royal garb, so to speak, and others for that matter.  We choose the type of material, thread and design in accordance to the level of simcha and joy that we put into the words.  Imagine what amazing Heavenly clothes we can design by simply speaking and expressing ourselves joyfully.

The letters of the words in lashon Hakodesh, the holy tongue form an spiritual aura that light up our world and the Heavens above.  Joy infuses the words with such delight that we are able to bond to the Oneness of Borei Olam and create spiritual mountains.  The kavannah, intention should be to see our soul in the words we speak, thus attaching to the Shechinah Hakedosha.  As a result the Shechina, feminine manifestation of Hashem, will talk back to us through our words, forming a soul-union.

Why is simcha so vital in tefillah, thought and action?  Joy breaks the confines of this world and allows us to attach ourselves to the ‘intention’ of Hashem’s doing, as it were.  It breaks through the veils of concealment and allows us to connect everything back to it original source in Shamayim.  Thus the beauty of all happenings sprouts forth and we are enveloped with Hashem’s love, light and emuna.

Today’s Daily Dose of Emuna is dedicated to the refuah shleimah of Masha Miriam bat Devorah.  May Hashem send her a complete healing refuat hanefesh v’refuat haguf amongst all of Klal Yisrael who are sick and suffering b’karov, b’rachamim, Amen!




Happiness is purpose

March 4, 2014
Orit Esther Riter

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In continuation from yesterday’s emuna lesson on happiness, we learned that in order to sweeten judgments at their source we must in effect reveal Hashem’s light to the greatest extent possible.  At those moments when we rejoice here in this world, being that this world is a direct reflection of Shamayim, we infuse happiness in the worlds above.

One of the focal points in life is to internalize that we are in no small manner affecting supernal happenings through our actions.  Being happy is inherently in line with living life with purpose.  By contrast, when we go through life aimlessly with no direction and goal in mind, this leads to insecurity, confusion and a decrease in the value of life.

Therefore, we must remind ourselves that every thought, word and action has endless value and serves great importance in the ‘greater master plan’ of Hashem.  Expressing sincere joy within and without redeems the hidden holy sparks and hastens the geula, without any exaggeration.  Through joy, we celebrate our tafkid (mission) for which we have been chosen to fulfill in creation.  Each and every one of us makes a real difference!

Happiness is a very exalted level to strive for and therefore the yetzer hara will do anything it can to sabotage its pathway.  It is the sadness that comes as a result of the sin that the yetzer hara wishes us to wallow in.  When a person is miserable with themselves, they tend to give up serving Hashem, c’v. If we get to know our yetzer hara and become aware of its tactics, we will B’H guard ourselves from sadness.

Today’s daily dose of emuna is dedicated to the refuah shleimah of Zahava bat Juliet who is fighting a tough battle with cancer.  May Hashem give her the strength to overcome this Machala and gift her with a complete healing amongst all of Klal Yisrael who are sick and suffering b’karov, b’rachamim, Amen!


See beauty in the ugliness

March 3, 2014
Orit Esther Riter



Today’s daily dose of emuna is dedicated to the quick and complete recovery and healing of Faiga Zissel bat Zlota Tzipporah, a four year old who drowned in a bathtub on Thursday evening in Yerushalayim.  Her condition is extremely serious.  In the zechut of Chodesh Adar, in the zechut of all of the outpouring of tehillim and shmirat halashon that people from all around the world have taken upon themselves, may Faiga Zissel bat Zlota Tzipporah merit a refuah shleimah, refuat hanefesh v’refuat haguf amongst all of Klal Yisrael who are sick and suffering b’karov, b’rachamim, amen.

The Ba’al Shem Tov HaKadosh illuminates on the importance of living b’simcha and teaches that happiness is at the central core of every Jew’s life.  This teaching was not bounded only to those times where we engage in mitzvot and charitable deeds. It extends to every thought, deed and word that flows from any Jewish person at any time.  Being that Hashem is everywhere, k’vodo ma’aleh olam, we must find happiness everywhere and at all times.

Through simple contemplation of the enormous irreplaceable task given to the Jewish nation which is to co-create and rectify the world, we are lead to the main reason why we should live joyfully.    According to the AriZal life awards us with an immeasurable gift of returning the lost holy sparks back to their source on high, thus bringing harmony and realigning creation, as it were.

Difficulties, hardships and challenges in life simply speaking are times when Hashem’s light in constricted.  This light, an analogy of revealed good, is trapped within husks, klipot which awaits to be redeemed and returned back to its source (a deep complex Kabbalistic teaching on how creation began and unfolds by redeeming the holy sparks embedded in husks in creation).  Essentially it is just like redeeming a prisoner from its captives and returning him back home.  How is this done? Simply put: by seeing beauty in the ugliness of the world, by focusing on Hashem’s ‘good intentions’ behind all circumstances.

Reconnected to its source, more of Hashem’s light is revealed and Divine mercy shines more brightly bringing with it a sweetening of judgments. So much more to be learned… in tomorrow’s lesson.

I volunteer to serve You Hashem!

February 3, 2014
Orit Esther Riter

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How do we pursue happiness?  After all it is Adar and we all want to tap into the special gift of this month.  When we look at Tehillim perek kuf (100), Mizmor l’Todah we see that it was part of the service when the korban todah (a thanksgiving offering) was brought to the Beit HaMikdash.  Yet, this offering was voluntary.  Why was this korban not mandated?

Hashem instructs us on the many ways to conduct ourselves in our daily lives. However, when it comes to appreciation we are not commanded to express gratitude.  The reason is so that we may naturally develop our own sense of recognition and appreciation for all the goodness that Hashem bestows upon us. Hashem mandates that we fear and love Him, yet we are not given specific direction as to how to achieve these emotions, only guiding advice.  We are asked to develop these feelings and attain them as part of the scheme of ‘free will’.   This is one of the main reasons this perek is part of the morning tefillah – so that we internalize the message before we go about our daily activities.

This perek is written as a proclamation of thanks and a request for others to join in his singing words of appreciation.  You can ‘feel’ his jubilance in every expression and his desire to share it with others.  Sadness is contagious; but so is joy and we should therefore share and use it to uplift others.

We are taught a remarkable lesson by reading this perek daily. Serve Hashem with the same joyful enthusiasm as the one who offered a voluntary offering of thanks.  This broadcasts our tremendous love for Hashem emphasizing the fact that serving Him is not a burden, but something we wish to do voluntarily.

Today’s daily dose of emuna is dedicated to the refuah shleimah of Shimon ben Mindle who was hit by a car and is going to need long term intervention.  May he merit a complete healing amongst all of those in Klal Yisrael who are sick and suffering b’karov, b’rachamim, Amen.

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