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Triple Filter Test

April 14, 2015
Orit Esther Riter

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Triple Filter Test

Spiritual Story by Unknown

A great teaching perfect for this week’s Parsha:  Parshat Tazria/Metzora

In ancient Greece, Socrates was reputed to hold knowledge in high esteem. One day an acquaintance met the great philosopher and said, “Do you know what I just heard about your friend?”

“Hold on a minute,” Socrates replied. “Before you talk to me about my friend, it might be good idea to take a moment and filter what you’re going to say. That’s why I call it the triple filter test. The first filter is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?”

“Well, no,” the man said, “actually I just heard about it and…”

“All right,” said Socrates. “So you don’t really know if it’s true or not. Now, let’s try the second filter, the filter of Goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about my friend something good?”

“Umm, no, on the contrary…”

“So,” Socrates continued, “you want to tell me something bad about my friend, but you’re not certain it’s true. Doesn’t look like you’ll pass the test and you still haven’t gone through one filter left the filter of Usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about my friend going to be useful to me?”

“No, not really.”

“Well,” concluded Socrates, “if what you want to tell me is neither true, nor good, nor even useful, why tell it to me at all?”

Pure and Simple Emuna

December 29, 2014
Orit Esther Riter
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Today’s daily dose of emuna is dedicated to the refuah shleimah of Ayala bat Ruth the beautiful 10 year old girl badly burned this week when a Molotov was thrown at the car she was driving in. May Hashem shower her with a complete healing, refuat hanefesh v’refuat haguf among all of Klal Yisrael who are sick and suffering b’rachamim, b’karov, Amen. 

There is a great parable that illustrates the importance of trusting only in Hashem and none other.

There once was a man who became fatally ill. The doctors lost all hope yet the man sent for his Rav to advise him of a cure. The Rav advised that he take seven chickens and boil them for seven days to the point where it condenses the liquid to fit into a spoon.

As he poured the liquid into the spoon and was about to drink, a spider fell into it rendering it unfit to drink. His family was horror-struck and anticipated his death to come shortly after. Yet, he began to recover and in a few weeks was completely healed.

When he was asked how he recovered he said, “When I realized that I couldn’t drink the liquid and that all means of healing were taken from me, I turned to Hashem and cried from the depths of my heart to send me a complete healing. It is the true Healer Who healed me.” When we remove all faith placed with people, cures and solutions to ease our difficulties and in its place rely purely and simply on Hashem Yitborach, we merit His goodness.

Elevated emuna translates into action; our thoughts, speech and actions are profoundly affected by our emuna. Bitachon is the bridge between that which we know and that which we feel and eventually impacts that which we do. When we remove all faith in ‘natural means’ we essentially unclog the pipeline of Divine goodness and enable it to flow freely into our lives.

A Story on Positive Perspective

November 25, 2014
Orit Esther Riter

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I just wanted to send you a friendly reminder that today at 12:00 PM EST/ 7:00 PM Israel time,

I am going to share with you my very personal story about how my battle with MS and the one big secret to overcome every single challenge in life.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH MY VIDEO

WARNING: This is an unusual webinar… a ONE TIME ONLY EVENT! It is designed to give you tools to overcome challenges. With over 2000 people planning to join, the only way you can sneak in is by signing up now.

CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR SPOT You do NOT want to miss this… See you in a few hours!

Warm Wishes, Orit

P.S. They told me that we’ll probably hit capacity, so make sure to log in 10-15 minutes early!

CLICK HERE TO JOIN

A little girl walked daily to and from school. Though the weather that morning was questionable and clouds were forming, she made her daily trip to school. As the afternoon progressed, the winds whipped up, along with thunder and lightning.

The mother of the little girl felt concerned that her daughter would be frightened as she walked home from school, and she herself feared that the electrical storm might harm her child.

Following the roar of thunder, lightning, through the sky and full of concern, the mother quickly got in her car and drove along the route to her child’s school.

As she did so, she saw her little girl walking along, but at each flash of lightning, the child would stop, look up and smile. Another and another were to follow quickly, each with the little girl stopping, looking up and smiling.

Finally, the mother called over to her child and asked, “What are you doing?”

The child answered, smiling, “Hashem, just keeps taking pictures of me.”

Baruch Hashem!

October 30, 2014
Orit Esther Riter

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Today’s daily dose of emuna is dedicated to the refuah shleimah of Yehuda Yehoshua ben Rivka Ita Brenda who was shot point blank by terrorists yesterday by Arab motorists.  Please Hashem send this man a complete healing among all those who are sick and suffering in Beit Yisrael b’karov, b’rachamim, Amen!

Planning a US Speaking/Book tour in the coming months, B’H.  Please email if you are interested in helping plan a shiur in your community. Thank you.

One day the old water carrier passed by the study hall with his pails. Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov ztk’l (“Master of the Good Name”) often stood outside the front door and talked with his disciples. Whenever he saw the water carrier, he interrupted their conversation and would ask him, “Berel, my good man, how are you doing today?” The water carrier would usually offer a polite response, “Baruch Hashem, thank G‑d!” and continue on his way.

But one day the water carrier had a look of melancholy in his face. “Rebbe, it’s nice of you to ask a poor man, but how should I feel? Not good! No! Day in and day out I carry these heavy pails. My back hurts, I am getting older, you know . . . My boots are in tatters, but I have no money for new ones. My family is large. The burden is too much. My children need food, shoes and clothes, and . . . ach, it’s too much to even begin talking about . . . And those new houses at the end of the town want more and more water, and they are built up on the slope of the hill, and the water is so heavy, and I am so tired, so very tired . . .” And with a sigh he picked up his pails and walked away dragging his feet, with a twisted back and bent shoulders. He did not look back. The Baal Shem Tov said nothing.

A few days later the Baal Shem Tov again stood in front of the synagogue with his students when the water carrier passed by. “Berel, good to see you, how are you today?” The water carrier stood still. He beamed. “Baruch Hashem, Rebbe, I am doing fine. I have work, so I earn money to feed my family. I am blessed, because I have a large family, so many sweet children . . . I am happy that I can buy them food to eat and pay their teachers. And those new houses they recently built at the hill need a lot of water, that’s extra income for me. Baruch Hashem!Thank you for asking a simple man how he is doing. Baruch Hashem, G‑d is good to me!”

The Baal Shem Tov smiled and blessed him with some encouraging words. The water carrier lifted his heavy buckets and went joyfully on his way, and the water in his pails reflected the light of the sun.

The Baal Shem Tov’s disciples were puzzled. Why was the old water carrier so much happier all of a sudden, with his same pair of tattered boots and his same old pails of water?

The Master of the Good Name looked at his disciples and knew what they were thinking. “Did you hear what Berel just said?” he asked them. “He said Baruch Hashem, thank G‑d, because he knows that all blessings and everything else comes from G‑d. A few days ago he did not seem to remember that, he did not thank G‑d for his lot, so he was depressed. Even when things are difficult, there is always so much to be thankful for, so you praise and thank G‑d. You acknowledge that all you receive is from G‑d, and you feel better. Berel’s pails are as heavy today as they were a few days ago, and he is still poor, but his perspective has changed. Now he sees what is important and what is not, and he is very aware of the One who provides him with everything he has. As a result, he is happy and content.”

Four Days

October 29, 2014
Orit Esther Riter

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Today’s daily dose of emuna is dedicated l’iluy nishmat Elimelech ben Chaim Yehoshua HaKohen z”l.  May his neshama bask in the Divine radiance among all of the righteous souls who have departed from this world, Amen.

One day, a man who appeared obviously distraught and worn down, knocked at the door of the Chazon Ish. He told the Chazon Ish that he had felt ill for a few days, and eventually he had felt so ill that he was hospitalized. The doctors performed a battery of tests, and they found a virulent infection which had invaded his body. They sadly informed the man that he had only fours day to live; they did not have any medication that would be effective for this infection.

The man broke down sobbing as he finished his story, and the Chazon Ish soothed him and calmed him down. The Chazon Ish opened a Chumash Bereishis, and turned to the first pages of the parsha. He said to the man, “Look what Hashem created on the first day,” and the Chazon Ish began to recite all the things which Hashem created on the first day of creation. “Look what Hashem created on the second day,” and again the Chazon Ish read the pasukim, and listed one by one the things which were created on the second day. He continued with the third day, and the fourth day. “So, if the Creator of the World was able to create so many things in four days, don’t you believe that in four days He can create a medicine for you which will heal you completely?” The Chazon Ish encouraged the man not to give up hope, but rather he should daven for himself, and plead with Hashem that He heal him from his infection. He reminded him that the gates of Tefila are never locked, especially before the tefila of a sick person, which is tefila at a time of tzara.

The eyes of the man lit up at the Chazon Ish’s words. He began to daven fervently for himself, and since he was following the instructions of a holy man, a unbelievable miracle occurred. A new medicine was imported to Eretz Yisroel from America in the following days. This sick man was one of the first people that the medicine was tested on, and it became clear that the medicine was effective for the infection which was ravaging his body. Within a short time, the man was healed completely. (Barchi Nafshi)

Head in the Sink

October 28, 2014
Orit Esther Riter

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Today’s daily dose is dedicated L’iluy nishmat Chaim ben Esther z’l.  May his neshama bask in the Divine radiance among all of the righteous souls who have departed from this world, Amen.

Rav Avigdor Miller ztk’l was known for his emphasis on appreciating the wonder and beauty of nature and the vast wisdom of the world that Hashem created among a multitude of other qualities from which we can learn so much. This classic story epitomizes his constant focus on appreciation for Hashem.

Once, a grandchild visited Rav Miller at home and was puzzled to see his grandfather with his face in the sink. After a few minutes, Rav Miller stood up, and breathed deeply. “The air is so wonderful,” he said.

His grandchild said, “Why was your face in the water for so long that you couldn’t even breathe properly?” Rav Miller said, “On my way home, someone started talking to me and commented that lately, the air has been polluted. I didn’t want my appreciation of Hashem’s air to lessen, so I decided to deepen my appreciation of air. After depriving myself of air for just a short while, I now am even more thankful to Hashem for providing us with such wonderful air. (Rabbi Shmuel Brog)

Tehillim Saves

October 27, 2014
Orit Esther Riter

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Today’s daily dose is dedicated L’iluy nishmat my dear Step-Father Shlomo ben Joya and Micha-El z’l.  We miss him so much.  May his neshama bask in the Divine radiance among all of the righteous souls who have departed from this world, Amen.

This week we will tell stories.  Praising tsaddikim with stories is like praising Hashem.  Stories of the tsaddikim are stories describing Hashem’s personal intervention with this world; a meeting between Shamayim v’Aretz (Heaven and Earth). Tales of tsaddikim awaken our soul driving us to seek a closer relationship with Hashem.  After hearing stories of the righteous men and women of Ahm Yisrael, our hearts yearn with a fiery flame to devote ourselves to be a more perfect Eved Hashem (loyal Jew). These stories are likened to a prayer.

The Ba’al Shem Tov HaKadosh himself promised that reading stories about him showers us with yeshuot (spiritual assistance and help) in every area of life.  Each story stirs our hearts with a desire to do teshuva and this alone helps atone for our transgressions.  Here is a simple story to start our week of storytelling:

It happened once that the Ba’al Shem Tov ztk’l became aware of a Heavenly decree that a certain Jewish settlement would be destroyed.  He made a soul-ascent and saw that the decree was final and could not be changed.  On his return descent he was stopped by the brilliant light emanating from one of the different Heavenly palaces.

After investigating the source of this dazzling illumination he learned that it was a reward for a certain Jewish tailor who had memorized the entire sefer Tehillim and recited it five times a day as he worked.  The sparkling came from the letters of his Tehillim.

The Ba’al Shem Tov quickly made his way to the tailor and asked, “If you knew that by using your merit in the World-to Come you could save a Jewish community, would you do so?”  The tailor replied, “If I have a portion in the World-to-Come, I willingly give it as a gift to save that community.” That moment the decree was nullified. The humble goodness of ordinary man is highly valuable in Shamayim.

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