Tag Archives: Hishtadlut


How Much Effort?

December 5, 2016
Orit Esther Riter

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When it comes to hishtadlut (invested effort) and emuna there is a noted difference in the amount of effort one should invest in material vs. spiritual pursuits.  Investing time in materialistic acquisitions should be limited.  However, when it comes to spiritual matters there is no end to the amount of hishtadlut one should extend; assuming it does not cause undue emotional pressure on oneself.

When asked ‘how much hishtadlut must we put in’ this generally indicates an inability to ‘Let Go and Let G-d’.  If we feel we are the ones bringing the results due to our effort then we’ve misplaced our emuna in the commandment of hishtadlut.  It is most important not to get emotionally attached to hishtadlut and remember that Hashem is doing everything and doesn’t ‘need’ our help in getting things done.

Hishtadlut is required to the point where Hashem’s intervention is hidden in the realm of nature and does not appear as a miracle.  Yet the amount of hishtadlut solely depends on the level of emuna we are on at that time.  If our emuna is strong we won’t feel the need to do a lot. However for those of us who are just beginning to build our emuna the more hishtadlut we may feel we need to do.

No huffing and puffing

June 10, 2014
Orit Esther Riter

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Today’s Daily Dose of Emuna is sponsored for the refuah shleimah of Chayala Rifka bas Shoshana Gila Chana and Shoshana Gila Chana bas Hinda.  This involves a kidney transplant, the daughter Chayala Rifkva bas Shoshana Gila (currently on dialysis is the recipient), and her mother (Shoshana Gila Chana bas Hinda please also daven for her) is the donor. IY”H the transplant will take place on June 10, 2014. Beginning on June 8, 2014, we hope to say the sefer Tehillim as many times as possible.  A joint Tehillim read, each one reads one chapter and together we complete the Sefer Tehillim.   Please go to the link below:



Let’s continue where we left off yesterday. So, how do we stop deluding ourselves into believing that our efforts affect the outcome when it comes to our material pursuits? How do we remember that the results are all from Hashem?

The Ba’ala Emuna (person who lives with emuna) should strive to constantly implant emuna ideas in his heart every moment of the day. For instance, if she is on the way to purchasing an item, she could remind herself that “I know that the item has already been chosen for me by Hashem. No matter what I do or think it won’t make an iota of a difference!”  With this mindset, she is less likely to search extensively or overdo her hishtadlut.

However, our yetzer hara might convince us that it is sensible to look for furniture at more than one place. Hashem wants us to live in this world according to its natural ways. It takes emuna to remember that Hashem decides whether our purchase is a bargain and the state of our finances on Rosh Hashana.

HaKadosh Baruch Hu “Tzaddik Yivchahn (tests the righteous ones)”. The pathway to ascend the spiritual ladder is littered with emuna tests. Even if we pass the first emuna test and do not overdo our hishtadlut, Hashem might test us in another way. For instance, if we just completed a purchase for a new table and chair set, we may then visit a friend who has also purchased a luxurious table set. We may innocently ask, “How much did you pay?” and hear that it was , “2,000 shekels….” . What! That is, the same amount that I paid for lesser quality!

Realizing we overpaid and lost a considerable sum of money, we may find ourselves huffing and puffing, distraught over the fact that we failed to find the same bargain. But our real failure is not monetary – it is a failure to have sufficiently imparted emuna into our hearts. We should have stayed calm and accepting, realizing that it is all from Hashem! In actuality, there is no reason for us to become frustrated over ‘losses or feel ‘cheated’. This is what was meant to be. We could have searched and searched until my eyes turned pink it would not have made a difference if Hashem willed the results to be any other way!

However, we must also constantly remind ourselves that we are not angels. Rather, we are all a work in progress. Often we may forget this lesson, or remember it after already ‘failing’ our emuna challenge. However, the more often we strengthen our emuna muscles each day by reminding ourselves that Hashem is in control, the quicker we will ‘bounce back’ without feeling distressed over the situation. This process raises us higher on our path to emuna shleimah (complete and total trust in Hashem!).

Written by the daughter of one of our readers… how beautiful!

R efuah shlema

E in Od Milvado

F ulfill what Hashem says

U should daven when you are sick

A pples don’t make you better

H ashem does!

Material and Spiritual Hishtadlut

June 9, 2014
Orit Esther Riter

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There is a notable difference between hishtadlut (making a concerted effort) towards spiritual pursuits and material aspirations. Let’s explore this.

In the sefer Chovot Halevavot in the chapter Gate of Trust we are taught that we are instructed to believe in Hashem’s Divine providence in both spiritual and material matters.   However there is a profound difference in the amount of effort we are to invest in both areas of life. When aspiring towards material goals there should be a limit on how much time and effort we are to invest in attaining them since the results are entirely in Hashem’s hands and are not dependent on how much we do.  Yet, in spiritual pursuits the desire and effort is within man’s free will – it is our choice how much time and effort we wish to invest in climbing the spiritual ladder.

For example, if I wish to purchase a table and chair set I am required to act within the realm of  ‘natural law’ which encourages me to look for a good deal and spend my money wisely.  However, my heart will ‘lie’ to me and ‘tell’ me that the more I research, the better deal I’ll get.  This comes as a result of the admixture of truth and lie that emerged from the sin of Adam Harishon.  We are constantly being fed that our efforts do in fact have an impact on the outcome.  This can be proven false by answering this simple question: “Does Hashem need our help to bring to fruition His Heavenly decrees?  Does He need us to look for a job in order to get us a job?”

We act according to the natural way of the world because this is what we are told to do to mask the miracle of Hashem’s intervention.  What is the limit on how much to invest in material pursuits? There are two guidelines:

1) Enough to ‘hide’ the miracle and create the appearance of natural doing

2) In accordance to our emuna. The more emuna, the less effort – the less emuna, the more effort.

Today’s Daily Dose of Emuna is dedicated to the refuah shleimah of Yaakov Yohonatan Levi ben Chaiya.  May Hashem shower him with rachamei Shamayim and he merit a complete healing b’riut hanefesh v’b’riut haguf amongst all of Klal Yisrael who are sick and suffering b’karov, b’rachamim, Amen.


Hishtadlut…push the train?

January 8, 2014
Orit Esther Riter
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Visit the Tu B’ Shvat page to learn more on the seder and segulas.  Listen to last year’s insightful shiur. 

There is a parnassa segula for this coming Shabbat Shira!  Share and comment on it!  We would love to hear from you.  Thank you Zahava for creating such an artistic page for all to enjoy!

Let us see through a parable what it means when Chazal teach us that our hishtadlut, exerted effort in this world does not affect the outcome of the activity which we engage in.

Per example; a person wakes up late one morning and rushes to the train station to see the train waiting on the platform.  He is in such a hurry to get to work on time that he decides to help the train move faster by pushing it.  The effort required of him to arrive to work on time lies solely in him reaching the train station and waiting for his train to come.  Pushing the train would not serve to help nor was asked from him.  This is an example of exerting too much unnecessary effort in earning one’s parnassa.

When we involve ourselves in the everyday world; work and invest the universally ‘accepted’ amount of time at work, we rectify Adam HaRishon’s sin, elevate ourselves spiritually and implant holy sparks and Divine blessing in all of our material endeavors.

Remember:  we must take part in a certain degree of effort, since this is decreed by Hashem for us to do.  Our hishtadlut opens the pipeline for the bracha to pour forth.  However, it is crucial to recall the idea that no matter how much time, strength, intelligence or talent we put into our work or any activity for that matter, it is all in Hashem’s hands…. Always!

Please daven for Calev Avraham ben Elisheva Rut- MISSING BOY ALERT!

 Caleb Jacoby, Calev Avraham ben Elisheva Rut, 16, an 11th grader at the Maimonides School, has not been heard from since around 12:30 p.m. yesterday.
Caleb Jacoby left his home yesterday at about 12:30pm. No one has heard or received electronic communication from him since that time.
He is the son of Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby.
Detectives from the Brookline, MA PD are actively engaged in searching for him. Police urge anybody with information about his whereabouts to contact them at 617-730-2222.
(YWN Headquarters – NYC)

– See more at: http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/news/headlines-breaking-stories/209346/family-friends-search-for-missing-jewish-teen-caleb-jacoby.html#sthash.r8ohxGYD.dpuf

Today’s daily dose of emuna is dedicated to the refuah shleimah of Yaakov Yohonatan Levi ben Chaya, may he merit a complete recovery amongst all those in Klal Yisrael who are sick and suffering b’karov, b’rachamim, Amen!
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