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Tag Archives: Yom Kippur

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The Everlasting Bond

October 9, 2016
Orit Esther Riter
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BS’D

A Jewish King shares the heart and mind of the Jewish people.  In that vein as servants the Jewish people should feel connected to their king and ‘naturally’ desire to do what the king asks.   The Jewish King always has his people’s best interest in mind.

Being that Hashem is our King our minds should ‘think alike’ and our hearts should ‘feel’ the same.  This perfect alignment draws down abundant blessings onto us and the Klal.  In fact this is the concept of living with Mashiach; bringing into line our will with Hashem’s will. When the King rules His subjects must surrender to His governing. The collective soul-energy of one nation with one desire draws down immense Divine light into the world.

On Rosh Hashanah we surrender our soul to Hashem and accept Him as our King. During the ten days of teshuva we offer heartfelt prayers of regret over our sins; thereby giving our hearts to Hashem.  On Yom Kippur we surrender our body by giving up food, drink and bodily pleasure.

As a result of the avodah we did in Elul, over Rosh Hashanah and B’H will do during the ten days, we completely surrender all three levels of our soul and merit to break down all barriers that might have separated us from bonding with Hashem.

Today’s daily dose of emuna is dedicated L’iluy nishmat Chava bat Chana a’h. May her soul bask in the Divine radiance among all the righteous who have departed from this world, Amen.

It is very near …

October 2, 2014
Orit Esther Riter
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Today’s daily dose is dedicated to the refuah shleimah of Sarah bat Sarah. May Hashem shower her with complete healing amongst all of Klal Yisrael who are sick and suffering b’karov, b’rachamim, Amen.

How difficult is it to do teshuva? To some it may appear to be an unattainable goal. However, the Torah teaches in Parshat Nitzavim regarding teshuva, “Ki hamitzvah hazot, asher Anochi Mitzavcha hayom … v’lo reh’choka hee. Lo ba’Shamayim hee … ki karov elecha hadavar meod…” Teshuva is not beyond anyone’s reach. In fact it is near; ever so near to Klal Yisrael.

If it is so accessible then why do our Sages teach that we need 40 days to prepare for Yom Kippur? Rebbe Natan ztk’l explains that teshuva is easily accessible so long as we yearn for it. Every Jew is capable of stirring their heart with an intense yearning to return to Hashem. As a result teshuva is easily achieved. What begins as a fiery desire to seek truth and closeness to Hashem, ends in a cleansing of the heart and bonding to Hashem, the source of taharah (purity). In summary, it all begins and ends with the amount of desire we demonstrate to Hashem.

Building up desire in the heart begins in the mouth; with tefillah. Pleading and begging as a pauper to a point where it pains us to continue living with such great distance from Him, is precisely what determines how close we eventually will feel towards Hashem. The more pain over the detachment; the tighter our bond will be.

To encapsulate today’s daily dose of emuna in preparation for Yom Kippur: feel the pain caused by our current exile and Hashem’s concealment.  The greater the obstacles that stand in our way when striving for a closer bond with Hashem, the more painful it is. The more painful it is, the stronger our desire to come closer to Hashem. Therefore let us use our pain and suffering as a catalyst to beg Hashem to end this exile and embrace us with a speedily redemption – b’karov, b’rachamim, Amen!  

Let us remember, the source of all trials and tribulations stem from our being in galut. The Shechinah is suffering with us.  We are never alone even though we may feel at times we are.  Yom Kippur is the day of return. Please Hashem bring us back home.

G’mar Chatima Tova! May we all be inscribed and sealed for a good year filled with the miracles of redemption, Amen!

Genuine Teshuva

October 1, 2014
Orit Esther Riter
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Today’s daily dose of emuna is dedicated l’iluy nishmat Aharon ben Yitzchok z’l.  May his neshama bask in the Divine radiance amongst all of the tzaddikim who have departed from this world, Amen.

The process of teshuva (atonement) carves the path to return to ourselves. Change begins within; subsequently it permeates to those around us.  When one spoke of a wheel is upgraded, the entire wheel’s system spins with greater ease.

Change begins in our own mind.  It begins by asking the following: “Who am I and where am I heading?”  The word Shuva (return) is comprised from the letters shin, vav, beit and hay. When these letters are rearranged in different order it spells Busha (embarrassment).  Genuine teshuva requires a dose of embarrassment; otherwise it is not complete.  It is important to feel embarrassed over our thoughts, speech and actions since this further implants within the subconscious not to repeat them again.

Long impacting teshuva demands brutal honesty when answering the above mentioned questions.  We cannot lie to ourselves and blame others while praying for change.  We can always change ourselves.  In fact we are the only ones we are required to change.  If we truly desire to elevate our lives spiritually now is the time to yearn, seek and beg for it.

Pray with simple words and meaning; as long as it is sincere.  Ask for clarity of thought and Heavenly assistance to fulfill your Divine mission and shine with purity.  Beseech Hashem’s help to accept everything in life with a full heart, no complaints and Emuna shleimah. Hashem ‘Loves’ the tefillot of the ‘broken hearted’ who wish to cleave to Him.

Hashem’s Mikveh

September 30, 2014
Orit Esther Riter
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Today’s daily dose is dedicated l’iluy nishmat Chava bas Efraim Shabsai, a’h.  May her neshama be elevated by the learning of today amongst all of the tzaddikim who have departed from this world, Amen.

Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz shlit’a makes a beautiful point of the gift of Yom Kippur.  Rabbi Akiva ztk’l is known to say, “Ashreichem Yisroel, lifnei mi atem metaharin umi metaher es’chem, Avichem sheba’Shomayim” (Yoma 8:9).  Yom Kippur is a day where our sins against Hashem are forgiven.  Yet, without the Beit HaMikdash how are we ‘dipped’ into a Mikveh? Hashem Himself, so to speak, serves as the agent of purification. This teaches us a profound lesson as to the extent of how much Hashem loves His beloved children.

Unfortunately we do not have our Holy Beit HaMikdash standing in this world to help us atone for our transgressions and sacrifices cannot be brought to bring us closer to Hashem. Yom Kippur, however restores us just the same.

It is vital to mentally prepare ourselves for this powerful immersion. On Yom Kippur we are each dipped into Hashem’s ‘Personal Mikveh.’  The words of Rabbi Akiva stand today to console us.  No matter how deep we may have sunk, Hashem is here with us to see us through our darkness and enlighten our life’s path.

The Maharal ztk’l explains that the taharah (spiritual purity) that comes as a result of Yom Kippur is the natural effect of what follows when one cleaves to Hashem.  Anytime we completely attach ourselves to Hashem, it is impossible for a sin to remain attached to us since Hashem is the source of all taharah. When there are no barriers between us and Hashem – all transgressions naturally dissolve and are stripped away.

Another astounding insight for us to anticipate as we approach the last of the ten days of repentance! Yom Kippur and the enveloping kedusha it creates, and even as the day ends its effect is left with us. Thank you so much Hashem!

The Cry Within

September 29, 2014
Orit Esther Riter
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BS’D

Today’s Daily Dose is dedicated to the refuah shleimah of Reuven Pesach ben Henya. He is undergoing a medical procedure today. May Hashem send the doctor to be a good shaliach for his complete recovery, Amen.

The sounding of the shofar is the weeping of the soul that longs to attach itself back to its Holy origin. It is the cry of one whose separation is so agonizing it can no longer contain its piercing pain within.

Our destinies are being carved each moment of the coming days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Who will be at war, which will be for famine, who for life and who for death? We mourn our sins and the inability to live the life we should be living. We acknowledge that we have drifted from our life’s purpose and feel the loss in our current reality.

The embarrassment we face while we own up to our transgressions displays that we feel detached from the sin and know that it is not who we really are. We proclaim that we are holy and that we were taken ‘hostage’ by our yetzer hara and therefore did not live up to our spiritual obligations and standards. We wish to return; we completely and genuinely submit ourselves to doing Hashem’s will.

Only as a result of Hashem’s endless compassion and Rachamei Shamayim are we able to return. We are undeserving of such glorified treatment – we are in debt and have no leverage for making any special requests. Hashem in His infinite mercy grants us the opportunity to wipe our slates off and transcend our physical limitations in order to lessen the distance created by our transgressions.

The end result is affection, connection and closeness to our Divine source – a state of joy like no other.

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