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Author Archives: Orit Esther Riter

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Keep the Blessings Coming

January 16, 2019
Orit Esther Riter

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BS’D

Expressing appreciation motivates us to continue to pray with anticipation that the ultimate good will be revealed. We all have friends, relatives and others who support and assist us; B’H we are not alone in this world. Thanking G-d for our loved ones keeps our blessings coming.

If we are stuck for something to thank G-d for, our Sages suggest that we visit a hospital or a cemetery. By comparing ourselves to others in the community who are less fortunate than us, we automatically feel appreciation for what G-d has blessed us. This process of contrasting ourselves with others may minimize the need for G-d to send us intense challenges in order to encourage us to appreciate the beauty of an ordinary day.

Feel and heal exercise of the day:

We can increase the magnitude of our blessings by ‘making them bigger’ than we previously perceived them to be. Take one blessing in your life and magnify its value, appreciate it more!

 

Shed the Layers

January 15, 2019
Orit Esther Riter

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BS’D

Our souls’ true desires are often covered over by the desires of our guf, body. Hitbodedut enables us to shed the layers of the body and some of the genuine desires of the soul begin to surface. For instance, we may begin to feel and access our desire to be righteous and not transgress, to be happy, to live with zest and strength, to increase our emuna, see good in all things and in everyone, a strengthening of self-worth and honor. Above all, this process enables us to truly feel G-d’s constant and intimate presence.

One highly beneficial part of hitbodedut is to utter words of gratitude. This demonstrates our contentment and our firm emuna that G-d does everything for the best and that He listens to our tefillot.

Feel and heal exercise of the day:

We are complex beings and as we travel through life we discover many aspects of ourselves we previously were unaware of. Enjoy the rediscovering of yourself as you get to know what lies beneath the layers.

Open Up

January 14, 2019
Orit Esther Riter

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BS’D

The process of pouring our heartfelt thoughts and feelings to G-d often enables us to feel cherished and uplifted. Rebbe Nachman explains that hitbodedut is meant to be a deep, intimate talk with our Creator in order to reach heart-felt issues that need to be addressed. Chiseling through the fortress surrounding our hearts requires a significant period of regular time to open up and acknowledge our feelings and emotions. He therefore advises us to do one hour of hitbodedut a day in order to reach this deep, penimi place, this deep place within.

One remarkable effect of hitbodedut is the ability to deeply connect to G-d in a close and personal way. This process illuminates our soul. Through emotional discourse – words of praise, appreciation, desire, will, lament, and honest reflection – we are able to bond with our Creator on the deepest level.

Feel and heal exercise of the day:

Gently close your eyes and see the fortress around your heart; we all have one. Whisper words to help open it and see how your heart begins to shine through your heart wall.  Make this part of your daily routine.

An hour?

January 9, 2019
Orit Esther Riter

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BS’D

Many question Rebbe Nachman’s teaching of the importance of one hour of hitbodedut. Some are concerned about the unrealistic nature of setting aside a whole hour dedicated to G-d every day. In actual fact, Rebbe Nachman writes, “… one hour or more…”! He teaches that we should ideally strive towards transforming our entire lives to one dynamic intimate conversation with Hashem.

Let’s begin with setting aside a consistent block of time to open our hearts and mouths to our Creator. Let’s choose an authentic length of time, no matter how short a time period, at the most convenient time of day Then, gradually, we can build up towards our “one hour per day” goal. And in order to succeed, we can pray to G-d to help us set aside this time to achieve our goal.

Feel and heal exercise of the day:

Imagine how much effort it would take to arrange for a talk with an important political figure. We have access 24/7 to THE ultimate Ruler of the world! Have a talk with Him for a few moments and tell Him what’s on your mind.

Talk it over

January 8, 2019
Orit Esther Riter
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BS’D

The Higher Heavenly court asks each of us an interesting question: “Did you appoint regular times for learning Torah?” One lesson we can extract from this question is the importance of regular, consistent practice as opposed to sporadic, albeit heartfelt prayers. Although it is a beneficial and admirable to ‘run’ to G-d and talk over our deepest emotions and concerns the long-term benefits of hitbodedut is achieved best via everyday ‘ordinary’ talk.

Every hitbodedut session is a personal encounter with our Creator. Practiced on a regular basis, hitbodedut forges a deep connection with G-d that cannot be severed easily. It is called “a lofty level greater than all” Rebbe Nachman ztk’l teaches. Consistency, routine and repetition work best, even at times when it appears there is nothing special to discuss.

Feel and heal exercise of the day:

Talk it over and speak it out… what’s on your mind today? Talk it out…

Challenges

January 7, 2019
Orit Esther Riter

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BS’D

Hashem deliberately creates a lacking or absence in our lives to encourage us to turn to Him and connect with Him; to remind us why we are here. This lack or need is put into our life out of His kindness and mercy, knowing that the maximum pleasure we can obtain in this world is by connecting with Him. It is our choice to connect on a regular basis or merely when we are lacking, the idea is to interact with life knowing G-d is with us always. The challenges are there to impel us in His direction.

Feel and heal exercise of the day:

Contemplate ‘G-d’s desire’ to want us, His creation, to have a relationship with Him. Through our trials and tribulations we are meant to reach out and remember that we are not alone!

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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BS’D

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!

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