Tag Archives: Pesach

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Feeling Like a Slave?

April 13, 2016
Orit Esther Riter

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BS’D

Living in Mitzrayim is likened to living in a mute world with no voice, no opinion and no ability to express one’s identity. Essentially the Jewish people were under complete subjugation to the whim and will of the Egyptians. Emotionally this means totally alienation, loss of self-worth; a crumbling of the heart. The Jewish nation had succumbed to the fact that, ‘This is the way it will be and there is nothing we can do about it.’ In effect, the Egyptians choked the Jewish people to the point where they could no longer cry out for help.

Redemption is a state-of-mind. Seeing Hashem no matter how difficult life is removes us from that ‘narrow place’ called Mitzrayim and injects us with emuna that our voice matters. Emuna infuses us with strength and determination to exit out of those tight corners in life. We trust in Hashem that just as He redeemed us from Mitzrayim and was with us in our darkest hours, so too today.

The formation of the Ahm Yisrael began through the experience of Yitziat Mitzrayim; “Ani v’lo Saraf (It was I and not an angel (who redeemed you)”. Our cleaning wipes away the myth that it is anything else but Hashem! Hashem was personally involved in my redemption! As we clean we are to check, seek and search the areas in our lives that are covered in dust and shmutz and hide Hashem.

The most effective cleaning tool is not Sano or Mr. Clean… its tefillah. As we talk to Hashem we free our emotions and open our hearts to feeling Hashem’s presence. We proclaim that Hashem is ‘behind, around and within’ everything, even if we don’t clearly see it. Particularly through the act of talking to Hashem while preparing for Pesach we experience redemption, we let our voices be heard and we build our Jewish identity.

Let’s remember that next time our hands and feet begin to ache. Have a wonderful Chag Kasher v’Samaech.

Today’s daily dose of emuna is dedicated L’iluy nishmat my dear emuna soul-sister Chaya bat Baya a’h.  The latest “Chaya: A 40-Day Modesty Campaign” was then dedicated to Chaya’s refuah.  After a long and difficult 8-year battle with cancer, Chaya is now resting in Hashem’s arms.  She was a beautiful soul who taught me what it means to live with heartfelt unwavering emuna.  May her soul bask in the Divine radiance among all of the righteous who have departed from this world, Amen.

The Daily Dose of Emuna will return Rosh Chodesh Iyar IY’H or sooner with the geula shleimah and building of the Beit HaMikdash b’mheira, b’rachamim, Amen!

Palmolive Hands?

April 12, 2016
Orit Esther Riter

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BS’D

We are up to our elbows in bubbly soap… for this we should be happy?  Without preparation there can be no joy!  Let us focus our attention on what we are striving to clean and create.

What a great privilege to have been chosen to be G-d’s people and to have been granted the opportunity to stand in the company of angels.  With every scrub, brush and wipe we draw down Holy light into this world, our soul and into the souls of our families.  Imagine for a moment that you are preparing for a festive meal in Gan Eden; the Shechinah HaKedosha and Her majestic Heavenly Hosts are crowded around to hear the prayers recited at your Pesach seder table.

Every Jew can feel Hashem’s presence on Seder night and experience Heavenly delight.  What sweetness! Hashem saved each of us personally from the onset of the plagues; we were spared because Hashem made us a part of Himself, so to speak.  A special relationship began to develop since Hashem took us out of Mitzrayim; a unique feature of this bond remains alive in Yisrael until today.  We are a nation apart, divinely protected, distinct from the rest of the world.

Therefore the main aspect of preparing for Chag Pesach is to be b’Simcha; to praise Hashem for all the hidden and revealed goodness and miracles in our lives. We glorify Hashem and express our profound appreciation for this once-a-year-mitzvah in which we work to remove falsity on the inside through cleaning actions we perform on the outside.

Today’s daily dose of emuna is dedicated to the refuah shleimah of Yeremiah Yosef ben Shoshana, a 4 year old boy with retinoblastoma who recently had his remaining eye removed and is now being evaluated for a spread of the cancer to another area. His parents are asking others to daven for his complete recovery. They give permission for others to share his name on tehillim/davening lists. In the merit of the month of Nissan, the month of yeshuot and great miracles, may Hashem Yitborach shower Yeremiah Yosef ben Shoshana with a complete healing among all of Klal Yisrael who are sick and in pain b’karov, b’rachamim, Amen.

Uplifting Our Pesach

April 11, 2016
Daily Dose Of Emuna

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Free… Who’s Free?

April 11, 2016
Orit Esther Riter

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BS’D

Freedom from Mitzrayim refers to psychological freedom. In today’s world many are still enslaved; not physically in shackles and chains but mentally imprisoned. Often people find themselves bonded to certain beliefs and values unable to feel free to realize their greatest potential. Freedom is essentially the ability to live out one’s mission and potential clear of oppressive and dominating outside forces. Mental confusion and emotional instability are two major obstacles that keep us in our own ‘Mitzrayim’. Time and again we become confused why we are here causing frustration and negativity.

To this end we are instructed to remember our exodus from Egypt; since we are constantly in the process of ‘leaving’ Mitzrayim. The universal message embedded in Chag Pesach is that we are always leaving Egypt; fighting off oppressive external forces and seeking inner freedom. The Jewish people must live life knowing that they are not to be afraid or disturbed by life’s challenges and events; deep within they are to remember that Hashem is helping to free them from their emotional instability but reminding them that He is personally involved in their lives.

You may ask, ‘What does freedom feel like?’ Freedom is a sense of empowerment; living with the mindset that the Master of Creation has set no limits on who you can be and how much G-dliness you can achieve. Through witnessing the wondrous miracles of the exodus we were given emuna; a clear awareness that existence is filled with G-dliness and purpose. Our lives are continuously infused with Divine assistance that assists us every step of the way. That is true freedom.

Today’s Daily Dose of Emuna is sponsored L’iluy nishmat Olga Irene bat Shmuel Itzik, Mother to Meira Michal, Grandmother to Baruch Chaim, Yoel Yehuda and Gabrielle.  May her neshama bask in the Divine Radiance among all of the righteous who have departed from this world, Amen.

The Curtain Will Fall…

March 26, 2015
Orit Esther Riter

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BS’D

We read the Haggadah as a form of prayer, not as a historical story.  We should contemplate the events revealed back then and internalize the message – there is no such thing as coincidence or nature; it is all Hashem!  We cannot see the open miracles today but we are meant to yearn and pray for the time when Hashem’s Kingship will no longer be hidden.

No matter how difficult our personal experiences are, whatever we are going through, at the end Hashem will wipe them away and we will be left with a sweetness produced by the revelation as to why we had to go through what we did.  We will sing a great song and laugh over the illusion of exile as is written in Tehillim (126:2), “Az yimaleh schok peenu Ul’shonenu rina… (Then our mouth will be filled with laughter and our tongue with songs of joy…”) There is a veil that hides Hashem’s purity and virtue but when that curtain will fall the mystery will be gone and the truthful reality will set in.

And so at the seder although we still look at life through eyes of confusion we joyfully say Hallel HaGadol and praise Hashem.  It is written in the Gemara Eiruvin (65a), “Nichnas yayin yotzeh sod (Wine enters and secrets emerge”) – the four cups of wine open up the pathways to true da’at (intimate knowledge that bridges the mind and heart) and we are able to see Hashem through the illusion of exile.

We eat maror since Hashem wants us to internalize that life can be sprinkled with bitterness, but there is a comfort hinted at it as well. Indeed, the Emuna we attain on Pesach sweetens our life. How? We take the maror, the bitterness of life’s circumstances, and dip it into charoset.  What sweetens life?  Knowing that Hashem our Father is with us through it all, healing our neshamot and guiding our way.  That is light. That is a reason to sing!

Chag Kasher v’Samaech to all!  The Daily Dose of Emuna will be on break until after Pesach or until we meet in the women’s section of the Beit HaMikdash soon, Amen!  Looking forward to seeing you all there!

Pesach’s ultimate purpose, insights and segulot

April 8, 2014
Kayla Krauss
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5 comments

BS’D

To view the latest emuna shiur on the DAILY DOSE OF EMUNA YouTube Channel:  Freeing ourselves from emotional slavery PLUS seder insights:  

Click here

 

 “Lets really get rid of the chametz,  no more loshon hora, lets all work on our Peh Sach, think before you speak!”    
 

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Pesach is filled with many messages of light and hope, the main one being emuna shleimah (complete and pure faith). The goal of this chag is to see ourselves as part of the Exodus and to thus feel Hashems loving care.  Ideally, this will fortify us and create a meaningful, lasting relationship with Hashem.

Rav Avigdor Miller ztk’l teaches that the story of Mitzrayim is truly a model of the life of every Jewish soul. For instance, contemplating the course of Yosef HaTzaddik’s life, including the trials and tribulations that led him to become the viceroy of Egypt, allows us to witness the hand of Hashem guiding his affairs. There are so many ‘If Yosef had not’s’ and ‘He would have never’s’ that led him to be second in command over the largest country in the world at the time. If these events had not occurred, Yosef could not have made it to the top.  Though it seemed he befell serious misfortunes, all events of Yosef’s life were benevolent and purposeful.

Just as we can study the life span and circumstances of Yosef’s life, in the future we will apply this perspective to our own lives.  Chazal teach that in the World to Come, mankind will study and understand the meaning behind all events of our lives. Every minute event in our lives represents links that make up our Jewish path and together form our history. As Dovid HaMelech ztk’l writes in Tehillim (145:17) ‘Hashem is just is all of His ways and kind in all of His deeds’.  We need to trust that all will be clear in due time.

We begin to eat matzah at the Pesach seder. Considered the poor man’s bread, matzah humbles us and reminds us of our former condition as slaves and how Hashem overturned nature in order to redeem His beloved children. This should fill our hearts with an outpouring of gratitude and happiness at the recollection of His abundant care.

Though there were numerous ways Hashem could have brought about our redemption He ‘chose’ to arrange the events in such a manner that His hand would be undoubtedly apparent.  In his mercy, He sought to assure the Jewish people that Hashem was with them and they were not alone.

In our Tefillah we mention Yetziat Mitzrayim numerous times a day to recognize and be grateful for Hashem’s kindnesses to each and every one of us. ”V’heegaditah l’vinchah bayom hahu la’mor ba’avur zeh asah Hashem li b’tzaitee(And you shall relate to your son on that day, saying: because of this that Hashem did for me when I went out of Egypt).”

The Gemara writes (Sanhedrin 37A), ‘Kol HaOlam lo nivrah ella bishvilee (All the world was created for my sake alone).  This belief should be echoed in our hearts every day, particularly when contemplating the exodus of Egypt, since each of us was there in spirit and was thus personally redeemed.  Each of us is a guest in Hashem’s world.  A good guest does not say, “Hashem doesn’t take the sun out just for me, the entire world enjoys its radiance, therefore what must I be thankful for!” Rather, a good guest feels that His host has troubled Himself specifically for him, even if others benefit from His hospitality.

Bedikat Chametz

We perform the ritual of bedikat chametz to the light of a single flickering candle.  The candle represents our spiritual essence, that which goes beyond rationale and logic. Often in this world, our inflated egos trap us and disable us from opening up, loving ourselves and others and growing.   While searching for the chometz, we can think of our true core and the chametz ‘hiding’ in us.  We can visualize isolating this ego part and imagine burning it the following morning along with the last pieces of chometz before Pesach. In contrast, eating, matzah frees us from this egocentricity and confinement.  Matzah gives us the strength to fight and be free.

 

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The Seder

Rabbi Simon Jacobson shlit’a of “The Meaningful Life Center” in NY teaches that the entire objective of the seder is to achieve transcendence.   The seder grants us the opportunity to break free from our fears, inhibitions and addictions.  

The purpose of the Seder night is to reawaken the feelings of slavery and then to transition us to freedom. Human beings often experience emotions most strongly via contrast.  By imagining ourselves in bondage and then being saved by Hashem, we are more able to feel in our hearts and thus acknowledge that we only have Hashem to rely upon. The true definition of freedom is recognizing that we are servants of an Omnipotent Being, that there is no one and nothing other than Hashem.  This is the definition of living with emuna shleimah.  This cements the understanding that we can therefore never be slaves to anyone or anything else.

Seeing ourselves in the story of the Hagaddah is immersing ourselves in history and in the past and future redemption. Every day of our lives we are required to come out of Mitzrayim, that is out of the constriction of our bodies and instead realize that we are G-dly.  This mindset expresses freedom, unlimited potential, endless abilities and immeasurable capacity to grow.  Hashem is infinite and limitless and therefore, when we attach ourselves to Him we are also limitless. Our identities expand and break free from the bonds of self and ego. We can recreate ourselves, our limits and our reality at any given time. Anything can happen at any time. The present moment is not static, it does not represent the future.

We do not have to live by rote or feel numb.  Rather we can see our life in this world from a grander perspective. Since every one of our actions, thoughts and speech changes the universe, being chosen to co-create with Hashem is thus a tremendous task.

The Seder table 

According to the AriZal, the three matzahs placed one on top of the other represent the three intellectual faculties: chochmah (wisdom or an initial spark when an idea ‘pops’ into our mind), binah (understanding or the process of unraveling the idea and analyzing it to grasp it in its entirety) and da’at (knowledge, or the resonating conclusion which brings us to act upon the initial thought).

The seder plate consists of ten items which are a reflection of our soul in its most ideal state.  The Arizal uncovers the hidden meaning behind each of the seder plate items. The AriZal advises us to place the seder plate on top of the matzah arrangement (set up from the head of the table). The Seder plate should be set up with the zeroa (shank bone) placed on the top right of the plate (chesed, kindness). On the left of the zeroa we should place the egg (gevurah, strength).We should place the maror (bitter herbs- tiferet, beauty) in the middle of the plate.  We should set the charoset (apple mix-netzach, eternity) on the right of the zeroa and set the karpas (hod-splendor) to the left of the charoset. Under the maror in the center set the chazeret (a sandwich of some of the elements eaten together) and represents yesod-foundation.  The plate itself represents malchut, kingship, which includes within it all of the ten sefirot.  Malchut is the means by which Hashem channels His creative force in this world and reveals Himself in this physical realm.

These elements on the Seder plate also symbolize different middot and emotions.  A Torah observant Jew is called to the holy task of disciplining his emotions.  We are expected to use self-discipline to channel our emotions to ensure that we act out of wisdom and not by impulse.  In order to achieve this lofty aim we must humble ourselves and internalize that our wisdom and the ability to act comes from Hashem.

Specifically, the zeroa is symbolic of an outstretched arm, compassion, a giving nature to love and care for others.  The egg represents discipline which is vital to regulate kindness and love, which must have boundaries in order to be effective. The maror invokes empathy, our ability to feel compassion for another one’s pain and suffering. The charoset reminds us the importance of endurance; to be strong and fortify our emuna. The hard labor, the difficulties that we undergo, should build up our strength and assist us to grow through every challenge. The karpas grows in the lowly earth and teaches us the importance of remaining humble. Finally, the chazeret is the bonding force that brings these middot together, eaten in the sandwich at the seder. In order to experience genuine and lasting emotional and spiritual freedom we must unite with those we love and with Hashem. 

In its entirety the seder plate represents kingship; selflessness. Royalty comes as a result of being related to those of royal heritage- we are a light onto nations, a holy nation. The epitome of healthy self-confidence is knowing where we come from and the G-dly power that lies within us awaiting to be redeemed.

 

Special Segulot to keep in mind beginning Shabbat HaGadol (Shabbat immediately before Pesach – Apr. 12, 2019), throughout Pesach until the last day of Pesach:

•          Shabbot Hagadol:  the Shabbot before Pesach:  prepare stories on yitzias mitzrayim.  It injects life into the upcoming seder and makes it real for our children.  Try to relate a story each referring to marror, matzah and PesachMarror: anything that talks of our ability to do something above our own means, with great strength. Matzah:  the strength to cope with the circumstances that are handed down to us.  How?  Through connecting to Hashem and drawing strength from our relationship with Him.  Pesach: anything that talks about our geula, our redemption, B’H.

•          Before lighting Shabbos candles on Shabbot Hagadol accept upon yourself a small mitzvah; i.e. netilat yadayim next to the bed, birkat hamazon with kavannah (special intent) from a siddur, etc..  This opens a small pathway where decrees and judgments that might be c’v hovering over can pass over us.

•          During bedikat chametz, it is a time where all of our transgressions are collected and wiped away.  It is just like kol nidrei of Yom Kippur.  Whoever does the bedikah properly, without talking from start to finish and with full sincerity, will be shown the root of his soul’s rectification.  This will come to him in the form of the first thought that enters his mind right after he completes the bedikah and before he extinguishes the candle.  During the bedikah it is an auspicious time to pray. For instance while checking your bedroom: “Hashem, may I be blessed with Shalom bayit, marital peace, love and light in our home”.  While checking your children’s rooms pray that each one will be blessed with….

•          Write down on 10 separate little pieces of paper 10 negative character traits (middot) that you want to get rid yourself of: fear, worries, bitterness, anxiety, anger, stinginess, depression, stubborness, etc. and/or financial debts.  When you burn your chametz throw them into the fire together with the 10 pieces of bread collected from bedikat chametz, the lulav from Succot and, the wicks from Chanukah/Shabbot candles.  The fire cleanses us and cancels out decrees.  You can also throw into the fire anything you would like to cancel; i.e. your apartment rental agreement (so that you can own an apartment and not have to rent!), bad medical test results, debt collector notes or anything else that you would like to have burnt away… Do not throw into the fire names of people you would like to get rid of, ha ha!

•          While preparing the seder plate talk to Hashem and pray to Him:

–           Marror: Hashem may it be Your will that we will be surrounded by sweetness

–           Egg: may it be Your will that we will have wonderful simchas to celebrate

–           Zaroa: save me with Your kind hand from harm

–           Charoset: sweeten the sorrows and sadness

•          While preparing the table, ask for parnassa.

•          There is a segula to say the special tefillah of Rebbi Shimshon M’Astropoli ztk’l on erev Pesach which is found in the Pesach siddur.  Those that say this special prayer will be saved from 10 harsh decrees this year, r”l.

•          During Kiddush at the seder the Chofetz Chaim ztk’l brings down that all of your deceased relatives come to hear Kiddush with you.  Feel their closeness and presence.  This is a special time to ask for your soulmate.

•          First cup of wine represents Sarah Imeinu, second cup represents Rivkah, third cup represents Rachel Imeinu ask for parnassa and fourth cup represents Leah.

•          While eating the celery think about the hatred that still lies within our own nation.  Sinas chinam (baseless hatred) was the main cause that lead our nation into slavery, because of Yoseph’s brothers’ hatred and jealousy.

•          מה נשתנה: during this time ask Hashem for something that has gone unanswered in the past.  Beseech Hashem’s blessing in a way of a story not a request, “Hashem why is this night different from other nights??  I thought that this night I would have be married, I would have…..  I sway from place to place and nothing has changed.”

•          יחץ: ask Hashem to complete that which is missing in your life

•          Say the hagaddah out loud and each word; this repairs the lashon hara that we’ve spoken.

•          רחצה: we ask Hashem that we and our daughters should serve Him with purity and keep all of the laws of purity/ taharat hamishpacha.

•          Matzah: it is the bread of refuah.  We ask Hashem to heal us mentally and physically.  “Hashem please remove any sickness within me.”

•          מרור כורך: we ask Hashem to surround our bitterness with sweetness.  Even though we feel bitterness through trials and tribulations, “Hashem allow me to feel your everlasting kindness and good.”

•          צפון:  we ask, “Hashem please grant me presents that I never imagined I will ever receive…” Specify.

•          ברך: “May it be Your will Hashem that I should always have the zechut to thank you and recognize all of the good that you do for me.  Just as I request from you parnassa, may I merit to thank you in the same way that I ask you to give me.”

•          חצות הלילה, chatzot halayla, usually around 12:41 am on the evening of the seder and also on the last evening of Pesach.  These are very special times, where the gates of heaven are open and many bad decrees can be annulled and prayers can be answered more readily.

Try to sing שיר השירים at this time it is a time of great love and connection to Hashem.   On the last day of Pesach, at this time pray for shidduchim, parnassa, and health from sickness.  They are likened to kriat yam suf (the opening of the Sea of Reeds) this is the exact time when Hashem split the sea.

(Check back during Pesach for more insights into the last days of Pesach and segulot, that will be added to this page)

•          נרצה: we ask from Hashem that we should always be happy and that He should always be happy with us as He is tonight.

•          Before eating the afikoman, the one who hands out the pieces of the afikoman should ask before handing it out to each one at the table,  ‘What would you like’ and then bless them with their request and everyone should answer Amen. This is a Chassidic custom that was practiced by Reb Carlebach ztk’l.

•          When mentioning the plagues and dipping the finger into the wine and dropping it into a separate bowl, think about how you are emptying out all of the plagues from within you and throwing them away.

•          At the seder while we sing our praises to Hashem, He is sitting with us, the gates of heaven are opened and Hashem ‘comes down’ so to speak to be with us.

•          Don’t forget those who aren’t with their families ie; Yonatan Halevi Pollard ben Malkah, Shalom Mordechai Rubashkin ben Rivkah, and others who are still in prison or sick in hospitals and l’havdil the Fogel family that were slaughtered by Arabs, Daniel Arie Viflic z’l ben Tamar and Yitzchok, the Sandler family massacred in Toulose France, the Saeur family who perished in a fire, our brethren that were injured in the past by terrorists (amongst them Odelya Nechama bat Michal, who is still in a coma) and soldiers that were injured in past wars or died, those who are elderly and alone, those that are not in teshuva and don’t celebrate the chag, those who are widowed, those who are single, waiting to get pregnant, etc..

•          During the seder mention a miracle that happened to you in your life, this will ‘encourages’ more miracles to happen in your life.

•          Don’t forget to break off and keep a tiny piece of the afikoman, wrap it up well in foil and then in a bag and place it somewhere in your home where no one will touch it all year long to protect your home and a small piece in your wallet/purse for parnassa.

•          Also don’t forget to keep some matzah from the seder for Pesach sheini, which comes out on יד’ אייר.  There is a special segula to eat matza from the seder on this day.

•          Also keep some matzah in a plastic bag in the freezer to eat on Rosh Hashanah, B’H, this year at the Rosh Hashanah seder.  It annuls harsh decrees c’v hanging over us in the beginning of the year.

May it be your will Hashem that this will be the last Pesach celebrated as a nation separated by darkness, confusion and suffering and that we will truly come together as Your bride and greet You in Yerushalayim in Your palace, b’mheira, b’rachamim, Amen!

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It’s Never Too Early to Teach Your Children Emuna!

“GIVE YOUR CHILD A BEAUTIFUL PICTURE BOOK THIS PESACH”

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Exile and redemption

April 3, 2014
Orit Esther Riter

2 comments

BS’D

The court date for Nissan ben Malka has been postponed until after Pesach. Please continue to daven for him and I will continue to update.  Tizku’ l’mitzvot.

Today’s Daily Dose of Emuna is dedicated to the immediate release of Yonatan Halevi Pollard ben Malka.  May HaKadosh Baruch Hu enable his release without any trade-offs and bring him home safe, sound and in complete health to the welcoming arms of Klal Yisrael, Amen!

Every day we encounter a variety of trials and tribulations; this is likened to living in exile.  So long as we view these challenges from a confined perspective, not relating them to a higher purpose, we live on foreign soil, so to speak.  Exile is defined as being forced to live away from one’s familiar surroundings; seeing life through restricted ‘eyeglasses’ in like living in exile.

Familiarity brings with it easiness of mind, an envelopment of tranquility.  This comes as a result of being in one’s natural environment.  A Jew’s natural habitat is his place of truth – his soul.  We experience a state of exile every time we encounter conflict between that which we know (all that Hashem does is for the best) and that which we feel (‘I am in such pain.  How can this be good?’). Redemption comes when we return to familiar grounds; the place we know to be true and safe – our soul.

The voice of our soul speaks to us the following: ‘Hashem is good and loves you. He is looking out for your ultimate best’; listening to it frees us from our state of exile.  When reminded of the truth we already knew yet forgot, we are comforted.  These words echo emet (truth), a place we have been to before we came down to this world.

Attaching ourselves to Hashem at moments of hardship redeems us from our exile; we leave our Mitzrayim and enter our Eretz Yisrael.  Seeing Hashem in everything frees us of internal conflict and enables us to return to familiar surroundings.  Inside we know it to be true. Emuna is just that – an inner feeling that vibrates Hashem’s truth.

Our redemption lies right there inside of us.  We just need to return to our inner abode called home.

The Daily Dose of Emuna is going on Pesach break for a couple of weeks.  I too must prepare my internal and external surroundings for the upcoming redemption, B’H.

 I wish everyone a Chag Kasher v’Samaech.  May we each be freed from anything that holds us back from living a life filled with meaning, fulfilling our individual missions and shining our true G-dly light.

The Daily Dose of Emuna website is filled with shiurim, articles and past emuna lessons that can help bring us closer to the geula, IY’H.  I also recommend www.G-dDirectTorah.com which offers a beautiful selection of articles and videos relating to Pesach and emuna. 

B’H I hope to work on a special Pesach page on the website www.DailyDoseOfEmuna.com with insights and segulot in the coming days.  I will send an email notifying the readers when it is up and running. 

Looking forward to dancing with you in the women’s section of the Beit HaMikdash b’mheira, b’rachamim ub’simcha, Amen!

Soul language

April 2, 2014
Orit Esther Riter

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BS’D

Today’s Daily Dose of Emuna is dedicated to the hatzlocha of Nissan ben Malka who is scheduled to have a court hearing today to be released from prison.  I have been B’H dedicating chesed projects in his merit for his safe arrival home and end to his terrible ordeal of being in jail for 3+ years on charges that were not justified.  Please daven for his release.  I will update later B’H with good news, amen.

We live in a generation where we long for practical advice on how to live with Hashem.  Pesach, the holiday of redemption, teaches that through a pure and holy mouth, words that are spoken from our inner point of truth (aka our G-dly soul), is the way.

Prayers that emanate from our soul, words spoken of yearning to connect with Hashem and fulfill His will, are essentially the language of the soul.   They are intimately bonded to our craving to reach our point of greatness and complete the mission which we were sent to fulfill when we came into this lowly world.  Not only does this lead to clarity of mind, thought and action, but it sweetens personal and collective judgments.

Hashem wants only our ultimate best.  Therefore, He will do whatever it takes to shift our paths to where we must travel and for which we are here.  There is a midrash that teaches that Hashem does not want His children to come to Him after 120 and complain with words of, “Why didn’t you ‘wake me up’ and show me that I was living without purpose?”  Hence, Borei Olam does everything possible, keeping with the world’s design of free will, to veer us from our erred path.

The immediate affect of conversing with our Creator and expressing our innermost desire and struggles is one achieved by the known service called therapy.  Actually this is appropriately called ‘self-therapy’, a chance to engage in honest soul searching that in due time rewards us with bountiful emuna.

The month of Nissan

April 1, 2014
Orit Esther Riter

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BS’D

Today’s Daily Dose of Emuna is dedicated to the personal and collective redemption of Ahm Yisrael.  May this month bring with it blessings of freedom from all difficulties, suffering and hardships; an everlasting release from bondage from all experiences that seemingly appear ‘bad’, and may they be openly revealed to expose Hashem’s loving kindness and compassion for all to witness, Amen!

Today is Rosh Chodesh Nissan, a month that celebrates the Jewish nation’s path to freedom.  When we left Egypt, we ascended to a lofty status.  We were chosen, handpicked, to become Hashem’s people.  In effect, from this point on, we officially were taken under Hashem’s ‘wings’ and guided solely by Borei Olam, no longer subject to natural law.  In Chodesh Nissan, we were elevated to a higher existence – one based on hashgacha pratit (Divine providence). We were no longer subjugated to serve man and were freed to serve our higher selves and the Divine mission- to form an intimate bond with our Creator.

One of the ways we experience freedom particularly this month is through the power of renewal.  Pesach ushers in the spring season and with it flowering buds and greener pastures.  The blossoming surroundings reveal that which was in potential and hidden until now; a pathway likened to redemption. Redemption is revelation – geula (redemption) is rooted in the Hebrew word gi-lui (revelation).  When potential is uncovered and revealed, essentially it is redeemed and freed.

The same is true in regard to our relationship with Hashem.  As we approach Hashem and ‘invite’ Him into our lives, we basically uncover the façade that hides His presence thus revealing His intimate involvement in our lives. Fundamentally, when we chose to see all happenings as being from Hashem and not cause-and-effect or ‘nature’, His guidance becomes crystal clear and undoubtedly will become more known to us in time.

Each one of us can experience a personal redemption by utilizing the freedom Hashem gives to us to see Him in every aspect of our lives.  The geula is in the air.  Just breathe it in and feel free!

I highly suggest signing onto the daily chizuk at Emunadaily@gmail.com.  These are short (4-5 minute) daily audio clips given by Rabbi Ashear. They are filled with stories of Divine providence and easy emuna learning.  Yesterday’s was particularly powerful, here is the link:  https://app.box.com/s/wfjicu53yp9q6vrw8ccr.  Pass it on to others!


The fortress surrounding emuna

March 31, 2014
Orit Esther Riter

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BS’D

At one point in the Torah Moshe Rabbeinu bitterly complains to HaKadosh Baruch Hu and states, “… Did I give birth to them (Ahm Yisrael), that You say to me, ‘Carry them (Ahm Yisrael) in your bosom as the nurse (oman) carries the suckling.  From where have I meat to give to this entire nation?” (Bamidbar 11:12). The root word of oman is the same as for emuna.

Just as the mother’s milk is vital in the growth of her infant, so too does emuna play an exceptionally important role in the life of a Jew.  The newborn needs to be nurtured and tended to constantly in order to develop into a healthy individual.  Similarly, the Jewish soul must be supported through thoughts, words and acts of emuna to vitalize the body with strength to live and assist the soul to fulfill its mission.

However in the above described incident Moshe feels that he can no longer care for the Jewish people and nurture their emuna.  Why did he meet ‘ends rope’ when he was asked to provide meat for Ahm Yisrael? After all this wasn’t the first time he was pressed with complaints from them.

This instance though was different since it depicted a nation who simply wished for meat to satisfy their physical cravings and not for existential purposes.  This imparts a serious problem since here Ahm Yisrael pursued their material lusts severed from spiritual intent.  A person can never completely gratify his bodily desires as taught in Kohelet, “A man does not die having fulfilled half of his lusts.”  One lust leads to another one and so forth to no end.

We learn an essential lesson from this – emuna cannot be cultivated if we overexert ourselves in material pursuits.  The drive for constant material gain is persistently met with dissatisfaction and complaints; a fortress barrier that prevents emuna from growing.  A person who walks around frustrated at not being able to fulfill all they want will not be able to live with emuna.

Today’s Daily Dose of Emuna is dedicated to the refuah shleimah of Neshama Tehilla bat Chana. Link to log of all previous updates: http://www.iraheller.com/NeshamaTehila.htmlLink to YouTube clip of ‘My Little One’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O6mx3J1PwPI. May Hashem send Neshama Tehilla bat Chana a complete healing refuat hanefesh v’refuat haguf amongst all of Klal Yisrael who are sick and suffering b’karov, b’rachamim, Amen!

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