Tag Archives: Shechinah


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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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.

Exile of the Shechinah ~ Part IIII

July 10, 2015
Orit Esther Riter
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Klal Yisrael is lost.  Mama Rachel cries over her children who have been dispersed amongst the nations and sent into exile.  We have lost our connection to our real purpose in life. Even though many have returned to the land of Israel, we are still broken hearted since so many still do not recognize the intimate bond we share with Torah and mitzvot.

Although we were lost without Eretz Yisrael; we have been found and returned as a broken nation. The tears shed by Mama Rachel are soothed by the promise (Yirmiyahu (31:15), “…v’Shavu banim l’gvulam (Her children will return to its borders)”.  The Jewish nation shall yet return to the ways of their forefathers as the RamBam ztk’l explains at the end of days we will all do teshuva; no one will be left behind.

The Shechinah is pained by her children since the entire reason for creation was to share Her light with us.  When the Jewish nation strays from Hashem’s path we cause a darkening of the entire world. The Divine light wishes to dwell in every Jewish heart and when She does not find a place in our hearts, she unfortunately is ‘forced’ into hiding causing a loss of light.

From here we see the great importance and value each of us holds in keeping a life of Torah and mitzvot. It is in our hands to ‘give strength’ to Hashem to lighten up the world with revealed goodness.  We learn this from the passukim, “Hashem oz l’Amo yiten (Hashem will give strength to His nation)” and “Tzur yiladcha teshi (Ha’azinu 32:18) (You forgot the mighty rock Who bore you; you forgot the G-d Who delivered you).”

Tzur is HaKadosh Baruch Hu who gave birth to us and anointed us to be His holy children.  When we attach ourselves to Hashem and rely on Him as a child leans on her loving parent, we essentially give Hashem the koach to shine His Divine goodness onto this world and fight off our enemies.  

Exile of the Shechinah ~ Part III

July 8, 2015
Orit Esther Riter
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Today’s daily dose of emuna is dedicated to the immediate refuah shleimah of Ahavah Emunah bat Chava Etta.  May we all scream on high to invoke rachamei Shamayim for this special neshama, a mother of five young children, who is diagnosed with the machala, r’l.  May Ahavah Emunah bat Chava Etta merit a complete healing among all of Ahm Yisrael who are sick and suffering, b’karov, b’rachamim, Amen.

If our eyes could only see the pain and suffering of the Shechinah we would not be able to stand it. All of creation bears witness to the heart wrenching cries of the Shechinah. Each rock and tree, river and mountain top, ocean and plant hear the daily wails of the Shechinah waiting to unite with Her children.

All that is in our hands to do, we must do. This is the time to cry a river of tears over the fate of the Shechinah and Klal Yisrael. If not now, then when? Let us picture hearing the voices of thousands upon thousands of holy camps of angels weeping over the sorrow of the Shechinah. Should this not stir our hearts to cry?

Mourning the Beit HaMikdash is meant to remind us all that is missing in our lives. It should cause us to realize that we are living life broken-hearted even if we don’t realize we are incomplete. Envision seeing your mother wrapped in sackcloth and covered in ashes crying over you; screeching and weeping (Yeshayahu 2:1), “Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth, for Hashem has spoken; Children I have raised and exalted, yet they have rebelled against Me.”

If we only knew how much Hashem loves us. He ‘wanders’ with us in our exile from place to place, never leaving our side.

Exile of the Shechinah ~ Part II

July 7, 2015
Orit Esther Riter
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The Shechinah in simplistic terms refers to the Divine light that Hashem created by drawing down other holy lights from the upper realms.  Although we cannot fully grasp the essence of what this means the Sages explain that Hashem ‘desires’ that a part of this light shine onto this world and dwell with Klal Yisrael and the Beit HaMikdash.

It is Hashem’s ‘will’ that this light accompany Ahm Yisrael wherever we go in our exile.  This becomes more evident when taking a closer look at the word Shechinah and extracting from it the word shochen, to dwell.   Just as the clouds block the rays of continuous sunshine (the clouds parallel our sins) so too our transgressions separate the Shechinah who shines Divine radiance unto us but is blocked.

Essentially it is through the light of the Shechinah that all bracha comes down to this world.  Do we realize this? How many of us truly pray for the Shechinah to be redeemed?  The Shechinah HaKedosha is solely ‘dependent’ on the actions of Klal Yisrael.  Our thoughts, speech and deeds directly impact Her honor and glory.

Particularly at this time where the Jewish people are vilified we find Hashem’s presence hidden the most.   However never forget -the greater the evil doing to Klal Yisrael the more the Shechinah suffers along with us.  This message is taught to us through the verse in Sefer Zechariah (2:8), “Hashem proclaims concerning the nations plundering you: Those who strike you, strike the pupil of my eye.”  In other words, when Ahm Yisrael suffers the Shechinah is immersed in indescribable pain along with us.

Exile of the Shechinah ~ Part I

July 6, 2015
Orit Esther Riter
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Going into the three weeks it is very important to try to better understand the concept behind galut haShechinah haKedosha. What does it mean to ‘lift the Shechinah from ashes’? It is a deep and mysterious concept however in the most simplistic terms Chazal explain that we are to take whatever action needed to lessen the pain of the Shechinah.

We are taught that the Shechinah is with Ahm Yisrael in their exile as is written, ‘Bçhol tzaratam lo tzar’ and Ímo Anochi B’tzara’. We cannot fathom the idea of the Shechinah being in sorrow; it is only the righteous who are able to ‘feel’ the pain as they constantly cleave to Hashem in all of their ways.

Every mitzvah we do carries with it the opportunity to ‘lift the Shechinah up’ and lessen Her pain. Each moment that we refine our character traits and go beyond our natural tendencies we give nachat ruach to Hashem. Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai ztk’l teaches, ‘Oy to those who did not find themselves able to at that time (the time before Mashiach) contribute to the end of the Shechinah’s exile.’

By contrast the Rav says, ‘Happy is the one who took part in removing the Shechinah from exile for he will bask in the light of the Kings joy.’

The Shechinah – Part III

January 29, 2015
Orit Esther Riter



Today’s daily dose of emuna is dedicated to the refuah shleimah of Jessica bat Annie.  May Hashem shower her with a complete healing among all of those in Klal Yisrael who are sick and suffering b’karov, b’rachamim, Amen.

As we have been learning the past few emuna posts, the soul in essence is an agent of Hashem in charge of redeeming sparks.  Every Jew experiences difficulty in fulfilling this lofty task as it is easy to succumb to the blindness of this world and ‘forget’ our purpose.  The darkness of this world tremendously impairs our spiritual vision and distances us from our essence.  Yet, we are not alone. The Shechinah HaKedosha is ‘dragged’ into this darkness as we attempt to elevate the physical since we often stumble into the darkness in the process.

The Jew’s essence is the Shechinah; subsequently wherever we go, She goes.  Our life’s pathway takes the Shechinah with us; our destiny is intertwined with Hers.  Therefore when the Sages teach us that the Shechinah is troubled by our troubles we clearly see here how true this is.  Yet She is willing to lower Herself into the lowest of the lows in order to partner with us in our mission of tikkun olam.

Tikkun Olam, rectification of this world, can only take place while dwelling within this world.  We are earthly agents on a Divine mission that can occur only on earth. For that reason we are meant to live in this world and repair from within; another words this world must remain a world however is in dire need of Divine light and awareness.

Our mission becomes increasingly challenging as our time expires here on earth; the holy sparks become harder to find and redeem.   In effect, they refuse to be extracted as the darkness (impure shells holding the Divine light) itself fights back to keep hold of its captives (holy sparks).

We certainly have our work cut out for us, yet the real ‘Take Home Lesson’ is to never forget that with every descent, every challenge and hardship, Hashem truly is with us, fighting our battles and cheering us along with fluffy pom-poms!

The Shechinah – Part II

January 28, 2015
Orit Esther Riter

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Today’s daily dose of emuna is dedicated to the refuah shleimah of Levi Gershon ben Chana Pesha a young man recently diagnosed with lung cancer. Please Hashem shower this young man with a complete healing refuat hanefesh v’refuat haguf among all of Klal Yisarel who are sick and suffering b’mheira, b’rachamim, Amen.

The Shechinah, the spark of G-dliness that is injected into every Jew is in exile in order to redeem the holy sparks out of their coarse physicality.  This process is called birur and tikkun.  Birur is a process of sorting holy from unholy; it is essentially finding value in what appears to be full of waste.  Yet this can only occur when we transcend our lower self and act on cue with our Divine higher self.   How so?  Surrendering our own personal desires enables us to see through the ‘mud’ and recognize the ‘treasure’ within.

The second part of the process is tikkun.  This step entails connecting the holy spark to its proper place.  An amazing phenomenon occurs at this stage; the outer shell illuminates as a result of the intense light glowing from within.  In effect, the outer impure shell of darkness is transformed into light and the casing itself is elevated into a G-dly artifact.

Any time we find ourselves in certain places or forced to endure specific circumstances we must know that we have been lead to the vicinity to those holy sparks that personally belong to our soul’s rectification.  For example if we have been offered a certain healing remedy, been advised to visit a certain person or visit a certain location, we should know that we have been summoned to it to fulfill our G-dly task in this world of redeeming those particular holy sparks.

An important lesson that we must always remember, predominantly in our generation of difficult nisyonot, is: the greater the challenge, the greater the holy spark to redeem.

The Shechinah – Part I

January 27, 2015
Orit Esther Riter

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The Shechinah is the female manifestation of Hashem.  The word Shechinah is derived from the word Shochen, to dwell within.  The Shechinah is the presence of Hashem that lives amidst the Jewish people. To better understand the concept of how She ‘constricts Herself’ to dwell with us and the idea behind the Shechinah’s exile according to the Torah’s mystical teachings, we must go a bit back, way back to the start of creation.

Before the world as we know it was created a state of Tohu, was shaped.  This formation is the source of every passion that has the potential to destroy; and so it did.  The state of Tohu brought about the shattering of the vessels which initially held the Divine light.  As a result these ‘holy sparks’ as they are called were scattered to all corners of our world; the highest sparks fell to the lowliest places, namely our world.

Our task is to redeem these holy sparks and return them back to their source through Torah study, mitzvot and tefillah.  The Shechinah descends within this world to help us rescue these holy sparks from their shells of darkness.  This is undoubtedly a most complex and intriguing topic which cannot be explained in its full depth. Yet it is important to delve into the fundamental learning of this teaching in order to better understand the idea of the exile of the Shechinah and its tremendous impact on our lives.  It is here where we can capture and feed ourselves with continuous emuna strength.

Thus the upcoming daily doses will help strengthen our emuna by familiarizing ourselves with the teaching in the Babylonian Talmud, Ta’anit 16a, where the Sages point out “B’chol Tzaratan Lo Tzar (In all of their sorrows, He is troubled).”

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