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Monthly Archives: December 2018

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Parenting with Emuna

December 19, 2018
Orit Esther Riter
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BS’D

Even though parenting (as discussed yesterday) is challenging and we are encouraged to approach our children with love and sensitivity, this does not suggest there is nothing that can be done; Torah, mitzvot and good deeds always brings merits and sweetens the difficulty, yet emuna is the most powerful weapon to use during these times.

Despite are desperate wish to fill our homes with Torah and kedusha nonetheless all is somehow, someway a part of Hashem’s plan to lead us to geula. Accepting the hardship while knowing Hashem is with us and helping us through it is an important defense tactic to get us through the most challenging times.

Feel and heal exercise of the day:

Think -> what are the ways this parenting challenge has enabled me to become more G-dly -> more understanding, loving, caring, patient, etc.

Today’s Parenting

December 18, 2018
Orit Esther Riter
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Rebbe Chaim m’Santz ztk’l expounds: Parenting our children during these times is compared to Akeidat Yitzchok. On one hand we’re committed to kavod Shamayim; bestowing honor to Hashem by performing an Akeidat Yitzchok.  On the other hand, “I don’t want to lose my son.”  The not-so-simple nor one-sided answer is to strive to ‘win’ our son back with a great deal of love, empathy and understanding.  These are great battles they are fighting and they need tremendous help in fighting the tumah of this world.

Their nefesh is enslaved by worldly temptations. Particularly if this occurs to a young teenage child we should understand they are not following their da’at, but are enveloped in physical enticement.  Essentially what we understand from this is, they did not ‘choose’ to weaken their connection with Torah but it is a tikkun (spiritual rectification) their soul needs to go through. Criticizing and putting them down will not help. Love and acceptance will.  We should strive to explain to them that we are in this battle; some on the front line and some in the camp… but every moment towards kedusha is beloved and treasured by Hashem.

Feel and heal exercise of the day:

Begin to relate to your child in a different matter today – through a level of understanding that he/she too is fighting their own battle and looking to win over the enemy. He/she is still fighting, the battle is not over.

Today’s Gog U’Magog

December 17, 2018
Orit Esther Riter
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BS’D

Rebbe Shimon Bar Yochai ztk’l teaches, “It is more difficult to contend with the bad culture (influence) inside one’s home than the war of Gog u’Magog.” The Chofetz Chaim ztk’l explains the comparison of the two – we will be fighting for our emuna at the end of days within and outside our homes.

Our battleground has moved into our homes in addition to the enemies outside.  We combat the outer influences that permeate our homes and seep into our walls; it has swept so many of our children away, r’l.  On one hand we must hold Hashem’s honor above it all, yet what to do with my child… my spouse? We are confronting a war with our own families.

Feel and heal exercise of the day:

Think to yourself -> where in your family life is there a situation that assumes the description of a ‘Gog u’Magog’.  Relate to it through the knowledge that it is part of the geulah process – a refining of who we are and an opportunity to win over your own inner enemies.

Are you talking to yourself?

December 11, 2018
Orit Esther Riter

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BS’D

The evil inclination understands the power of establishing a close-knit relationship with Hashem through hitbodedut. It will probably challenge us each time we attempt to seclude ourselves and open up our hearts. For instance, the yetzer hara may argue: “What do you need to talk about anyway? Don’t you feel awkward talking to the ‘air’?” Or he may just keep us so busy we do not feel we have the time to spare to undertake such a practice.

Yet, we can overcome these obstacles! We can fire up our ratzon (willpower) by reminding ourselves of the significance and effectiveness of hitbodedut. And when we show Hashem we are willing to do this avodah anyway, we will find that talking to Hashem in this way is uplifting. It reinforces through our actions and speech what our neshama, our soul always knows is true – that Hashem indeed is everywhere and with us always.

Feel and heal exercise of the day:

A good tactic to use against the inner voice that tries to dissuade us from doing something good is to say ‘I’m not going to listen to you, you’re just wasting your time!’ -> simple words that really work!

Forging a Good Relationship

December 10, 2018
Orit Esther Riter

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BS’D

Hitbodedut is simply defined as personal secluded one-on-one prayer between us and our Creator. According to psychological principles, the best road to a great relationship is communication. Hitbodedut is essentially communication, but a special form of communication used to forge a relationship with our Creator. Hitbodedut is an opportunity to talk over with Hashem our feelings of appreciation, our regrets, goals and our wishes.

However, speaking to Hashem is more challenging that one might think! Rebbe Nachman ztk’l teaches that due to the power and significance of hitbodedut we will face many obstacles to overcome in order to find the time to speak to Hashem in this way.

Feel & heal exercise of the day:

What is one thing that is weighing down on you. Gently talk it out and let it go -> to Hashem and to that person.

Deep Soulful Place

December 5, 2018
Orit Esther Riter

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BS’D

Each time we pour our hearts to Hashem – through words of gratitude, teshuva or requests – we ignite our soul and we heal our souls. As we enter our hitbodedut a remarkable process begins to occur – our inner soul’s craving and desire to fulfill our true life’s mission surfaces and the darkness, confusion and gloom consequently fades. It enables us to access that deep, soulful place inside of us that knows what is truly right and best for us, and thus to align our ratzon; our will with His Will.

Feel & heal exercise of the day 

Contemplate -> how did you feel before you began to ‘talk to Hashem in your own words’ for a few moments and after? Did you feel lighter.. filled with more clarity and hope?

A Different Channel

December 4, 2018
Orit Esther Riter

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BS’D

A question arises – how does hitbodedut differ in any significant way from our prescribed Tefillot of the siddur? The heavenly prosecutors blocking the ascension of our prayers know the spiritual channels through which our prescribed Tefillot rise.

In contrast, each time we do hitbodedut we create a different channel unknown to the prosecutors. Unlike prescribed prayers with which the prosecutors are familiar, prayer via hitbodedut is fresh at each moment uttered. It represents a heartfelt, soulful yearning full of deep ratzon that is pure and unique to each individual person. The prosecutors have no template for such an inimitable form of prayer and are taken by surprise.

Feel & heal exercise of the day 

Be spontaneous with you personal prayer today and whatever words come out, let them flow freely and openly.

 

New Pathways

December 3, 2018
Orit Esther Riter

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BS’D

Prayer is a Jew’s greatest weapon. Rebbe Nachman ztk’l teaches that each Tefilla is likened to ‘an organ of the Shechinah HaKedosha’ which helps build this world, transforming destruction into perfection’. There is a Midrash that teaches that Mashiach will take all of Klal Yisrael’s soulful prayers and arrange a weapon of mass destruction to fight our enemies forever.

However, Heavenly prosecutors stand ready to snatch our Tefillot, blocking them from ascending to the Heavenly realms. These prosecutors often arise due to our own transgressions. In order to overcome such blocks, we need to create new pathways. Rebbe Nachman teaches us an overlooked method of overcoming such impediments to our Tefillot called hitbodedut. This method of prayer was used by our Imahot and Avot. We can view hitbodedut as a form of ammunition that wards off negativity from our lives.

Feel & heal exercise of the day

Spend a few moments with Hashem talking to Him from your heart.

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