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Tag Archives: hitbodedut

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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…

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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