Tag Archives: soul

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Breaking down the Walls

June 26, 2018
Orit Esther Riter
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The walls of Jerusalem were breached on the 17th of Tammuz which led to a series of horrific events. One of which was that the Kohanim were unable to continue to bring the offering “Tamid” due to the shortage of sheep. Another that the Roman general Apostomos burned a Torah scroll setting a precedent of burning more Jewish books for centuries to come. In addition, an idolatrous image was placed in the Sanctuary of the Holy Temple. All of this led to the ultimate destruction of the Second Temple three weeks later on the 9th of Av.  It is brought down by our wise Sages, that for every year the Third Temple isn’t rebuilt it is as if the Temple was destroyed during that generation.

The Temple is described as the meeting place of Heaven on earth; literally a place where every human being could walk into and just ‘know’ with every fiber of their being that there is no other existence but G-d.  In current times we need to break down many of the walls that separate us from G-d and look through the cracks of the broken concrete to find a glimmer of His presence. How much we have lost and how much we need to yearn and pray for the Heavenly chambers to be rebuilt here on earth once again. We must break down the borders that separate one Jew from another and reside in the same place in one another’s heart.

May we all merit to utilize the 17th of Tammuz to do a personal and thorough soul seach and pray with all of our hearts that G-d redeem us speedily and with abundant mercy.

Just a Little Light

June 14, 2017
Orit Esther Riter
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The core work of the soul is to develop her ratzon (desire to attach to her spiritual source).  The fiery desire of the soul is described as a burning flame lifting herself up and seeking to bond with her eternal root. While doing so she touches other souls and ignites them without detracting from herself.

Indeed the main work of the soul is to shine light onto shadows and penetrate darkness. For that she needs tremendous power; the driving force being her ratzon (her inner desire & longing) to illuminate. Without the existence of darkness light would go unnoticed and unappreciated.

Since she originates from the higher realms she is awarded with the ability to fight her way through all sorts of blackness. Through holding tight to Hashem, the giver of light, no matter what challenges come her way, she is fed boundless light. What keeps her grip tight?  Her ratzon to light up and spread goodness onto others.

The soul is named a candle since this is her essential nature; to fortify her desire each day anew, no matter how difficult it is. The stronger her will the greater the light she is given and stronger her impact on dispelling darkness.

Intertwine

June 7, 2017
Orit Esther Riter
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We search long and hard for the pathway towards Shalom; inner wholesomeness filled with love and acceptance. Yet Shalom implies peace within oneself and among the Jewish people. Within each of us lives inner conflicts as we yearn for inner harmony. The uniting factor is to find Hashem in everything.

In order to love another we must love ourselves. The Ba’al Shem Tov HaKadosh teaches that love of the Jewish people is identical to the love of Hashem. Being that we all carry a part of Hashem we are an extension of G-dliness and should love that part in another unconditionally.

We continuously seek to sustain our soul with love, understanding, acceptance, sympathy and other forms of positive validation. Yet when we run low and those around us cannot provide us with it we should ‘bypass’ (literally do spiritual bypass surgery) and run to Hashem for nourishment.

Love is a gift through which we bind one to another. We were taught the beautiful lesson of love when our soul lived on high. We witnessed how fire and water and other opposing forces lived in peace to sanctify Hashem’s name through complete self-sacrifice.

Jewish souls are intertwined with one another; in each soul there a component of every other soul. Therefore we are commanded to love one another to the fullest extent; the power of brotherly then multiplies and creates a world of love.

Carving of the Soul

June 5, 2017
Orit Esther Riter
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BS’D

Emuna originates from the heavenly sphere where the upper lights and creative forces originate. Our soul was carved from this lofty place and directly experienced immense G-dly light. The desire to connect back to this light is the only wish known to the soul; it is the purpose of her existence.

The neshama ‘remembers’ the delight she once knew. However when the soul enters the body her yearning gets mixed up with the body’s lowly desires and gets misplaced and overridden by the body’s needs. It is so easy to forget since the voice of the soul is distant and quiet and the sound of the body is loud and overpowering. Yet it is vital to connect the two and have them work in sync to fulfill their joint mission.

Emuna is that bridge that connects body and soul; it is the knowledge that worldly physical experiences are rooted in Heaven and intended to build the soul. Seeing worldly happenings through the eyes of the soul, through emuna eyes, creates an entirely new reality, a new pair of lenses.

If we were to see the spiritual core in every living thing physical reality would appear as nothingness. The physical world’s existence is maintained by spiritual forces and exists as a result of them. The ultimate reward awaits the soul that bounds herself to Hashem through thought, speech and action by breaking the walls of physicality and illusion and bringing her back to her days of old before she left the Heavenly realms.

Shining Beams

March 22, 2017
Orit Esther Riter

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When the soul departs from the world above and descends into a person’s body it immediately senses great distance from the warmth and love of Hashem.  However this emptiness drives a person to yearn to reunite; the greater the longing the stronger a person’s determination to rejoin.

The soul constantly yearns; her yearning is felt by us as emptiness. Her consolation comes through our involvement in mitzvot; this is how we nourish the soul and ease her pain.  Yet so many mitzvot are material by nature. Then how does the soul benefit?

All creation consists of matter and energy; material and spiritual (which is all energy but that is a subject for discussion another time). The Ba’al Shem Tov HaKadosh teaches that Hashem is found in everything and everything has Hashem in it.  Material existence is made up of G-dly sparks (nitzotzot kedusha) that enable the object to exist.

The soul is nourished via the G-dly core implanted in all physical creation.  A ray of Hashem’s light is found in all material and the soul derives comfort and pleasure when ‘fed’ this illumination.

When the opportunity arises for us to do a mitzvah let’s visualize a shining beam of G-dly light permeating our soul.  Eternal joy and inner completion is felt by her. Something to think about next time you study Torah and do mitzvot.

Awaken the Desire

September 14, 2016
Orit Esther Riter
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Doing mitzvot are like connectors which bond us to Hashem, thus nourishing and consoling her. Dovid HaMelech writes (Tehillim 63:2), “…Tzama Lecha Nafshi; Kama Lecha Besari… (My soul thirsts for You; my flesh longs for You). Although our soul experiences endless craving we may not be aware of it at all times. Singing and doing mitzvot b’simcha awaken her desire and makes us aware she exists.

Singing our prayers is a great way to stir our hearts; shira itself is a service of joy. The mystical teachings explain that zemer (song) relates to zemer aritzim, cutting down tyrants.  These oppressors separate us from Hashem. Song tears down these persecutors thereby uplifting our emotions.  During the month of Elul, love is in the air.  By singing we as though, take Hashems hand and bring Him back into our life.

What powerful feelings of love stir our heart; we go from self-centered to G-d-centered.  We step away from the way ‘we’ see and think and get a glimpse of the way Hashem ‘sees and thinks’.  When we strip away the façade of the body we can hear our soul.  What does she say?  “I rely only on You Hashem. I anoint You as King, You are the Only One True Source to existence.”

Every moment of temporal life then can be saturated with eternal potential and significance.

Today’s daily dose of emuna is dedicated to the refuah shleimah of Lynn Matiya Tzivia. May Hashem bless her with a complete healing b’riut hanefesh v’b’iut haguf among all of Klal Yisrael who are sick and suffering b’karov, b’rachamim, Amen.

 

The Craving Soul

September 13, 2016
Orit Esther Riter
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This month is filled with bracha. What is a blessing? Rashi explains a bracha simply: getting a lot when you do a little. We merit great abundance without having to invest a lot of time and effort. This is the power of Elul.

Unfortunately many of us don’t open up the gift called Chodesh Elul. We hide from ourselves and from Hashem. Adam and Chava also tried to hide from Hashem. How can we imagine hiding from ‘Eyes’ that see it all? We can’t. Admitting our mistakes and feeling the pain of embarrassment is part and parcel with the atonement process.

Let us not assume that the teshuva process is a one-time event. It is a gradual process. Development and self-growth occurs in stages and requires patience. It is an up-and-down process, no instant change. We are not expected to finish it, but to start. Teshuva is based on one founding principle; ratzon, a heartfelt desire to make the wrong right. In fact Rebbe Natan ztk’l the foremost disciple of Rebbe Nachman ztk’l teaches the entire reason the soul comes down into this world is for her to crave and seek Hashem and His Torah. The farther away from the object of love, the greater one’s desire to have it.

In this world our soul achieves wholeness through her ratzon to unite back with Hashem. Our longing to bond with Hashem is what opens the pipeline of bracha this month.

Today’s daily dose of emuna is dedicated to the complete refuah of Dov Nechemya HaCohen ben Rachel Chaya Sara a beautiful young man who has been battling a horrible spout of cancer for so long.  May Hashem send him a complete healing, b’riut hanefesh v’b’riut haguf among all Klal Yisrael who are sick and suffering b’rachamim, b’karov, Amen.

The Heavenly Toolbox

June 29, 2016
Orit Esther Riter

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Hashem placed our souls in this world and provided us with a toolbox. This toolbox is filled with emuna, strength, acceptance and clarity. It is also packed with warm memories we experienced in the upper realms before coming down to this world.  We use these tools to build our higher selves.

There is endless value in every step we take to elevate this world and infuse it with G-dliness; aka emuna.  Distress in life is caused mainly due to our desire to assert our will over Hashem’s will.  The root of all dissatisfaction and anguish is when our plan clashes with G-ds. Essentially the problem is rooted in our ego and arrogance to be in control.

The outcome of attempting to live independent of ratzon Hashem is a living a life we are not meant to live; we have separated from being the person we are supposed to be.  The Children of Israel are equivalent to the five books of the Torah.  In the event we disconnect from Torah named the tree of life, we in effect miss out on living.  This is a common pitfall for people who lose sight of the goal of life and focus only on personal gain.

Creation was intended as a means to earn a share with Hashem for eternity.  We must stay focused on the end goal; otherwise we run the risk of severing our lifeline, our vitality.  We should dig into our toolbox of Torah knowledge and tefillah on a consistent basis in order to identify with the bigger picture.

The mitzvot are the physical expressions of our emuna, of our G-dliness. If we attempt to act against G-d we attempt to be our own god.  Yet this is counterfeit pleasure and will not lead to lasting happiness.  We cannot chose to live without G-d since He is the only true reality; we exist within G-d and G-d is manifest through us. Living a life of Torah and mitzvot in essence comes naturally since our life force wishes to remain just that; connected to life. This can only be achieved by connecting to our soul’s root, by digging into that toolbox filled with goodies and reminders.  The tools provided enable us to build a beautiful life here in this world and B’H in the World to Come.

I will be taking a long break through the Summer to finish writing the second ‘Turnaround’ book named ‘Turnaround Your Health’ – A working emuna guide with insights on ailments and illness plus spiritual and practical exercises. 

For sponsorship opportunities and dedications please write OritRiter@gmail.com. Weekly Shabbat audios will continue to be posted. B’H looking forward to meeting many of you on my upcoming Summer Emuna tour.  

With warm emuna hugs, Orit Esther

 

Our Inner Core

June 22, 2016
Orit Esther Riter

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The Nefesh Elokit is literally a ‘piece of G-d’ and cannot be blemished.  The soul’s ‘ailments’ are caused due to her endless yearning to fulfill her task and stay connected to Hashem. The nefesh is perfect; she is entirely G-dly and needs only to work through the medium of the body to use it to spread G-dliness in the world.  Through refining the selfish and animalistic nature of the material world she accomplishes her unique task.

Before the nefesh descends she is shown her entire life; complete with the distractions and false enticements. She takes an oath to be righteous; she will always remain loyal to her desire to improve and refine this corporal world. She is allotted all of the necessary tools she needs to survive spiritually.  She is given these tools in installments throughout her life as she needs them and earns them (by means of tefillah, Torah study and good deeds).  The soul is equipped with emotions and intellect all focused on doing Hashem’s will.  However as the soul merges with the physical body, who also comes with her dose of intellect and feelings, she finds herself fighting with another force.

The Zohar brings down the 613 mitzvot are essentially 613 channels through which the soul attains eternal elevation.  If the soul does not completely finish its mission it must return once again. Gilgul (reincarnation) in gematria (numerology) = 72 = chesed (compassion, kindness); the soul gains eternal elevation through reincarnation since it places her in a higher place to bask in the Divine radiance.

The Jewish people have the merit to carry this G-dly spark, the nefesh. Our inner core is perfect and unique to us. B’H may we value and apply it to make this world a better place.

The soul speaks…

January 22, 2014
Orit Esther Riter
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BS’D

Maintaining a joyful outlook on life is hinged on two important factors: expanding our consciousness (in other words, going through life mindful as discussed in yesterday’s emuna email lesson) and paying close attention to our feelings by softening our hearts, which we will talk about today.

We all have concerns on one level or another. Delving into those issues with vivid imagery causes our hearts to swell with emotions.  Worrying and becoming anxious over them melts our hearts.  This is a prime opportunity to direct our feelings towards Hashem in passionate tefillah when our hearts are filled with emotions and our spirit is awakened.

All feelings originate from the soul, even those that are ‘dressed’ in worldly matters.  They communicate the soul’s needs.  Tehillim teaches, ‘Lift your eyes to the mountains’.  The soul says – Remember you have no one to rely on but Hashem.

Our feelings in life serve one purpose; to connect us to our soul, thus to Hashem.  For example, when we feel confused and unsettled, we should pour out our hearts and have faith in Hashem’s strength to get us through.  By contrast, when we are joyful and our soul is jubilant, we should express tremendous gratitude for Hashem’s endless kindness.

Our emotions are powerful and ‘loud’ in order to wake us up. Hearing the voice of our soul, our feelings, causes us to live life mindfully.  If we feed it physical pleasures we are not sustaining it with the correct ‘food’.  We must take notice of what is happening within and without as this is how Hashem ‘talks’ to us.

Today’s Dose of Emuna is sponsored and dedicated to the refuah shleimah of Miriam Bracha bat Sarah who is 21 years old.  She came down with pneumonia and the Asian flu and is currently unresponsive and on a respirator. 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 Dose of Emuna lesson for someone please contact oritriter@gmail.com.  Suggested minimum contribution is only $18.00 and is 100% ma’aser money going towards Torah and emuna learning.

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