My question is about masturbation... Why is it bad, and how can G-d want us not to do it, if it's something a person cannot control? And isn't there a concept that G-d does not give a person a test he can not overcome? I strongly doubt there is any person-no matter how great, who can say that he never did it.
Comments to Josh from the webmaster of guardureyes.com
Chaza"l say, "The words of Torah cannot last through someone, unless he has first stumbled in them". It could be that almost all men at one time or another fell in this sin. When we are young, unmarried and not yet mature, it is difficult to be fully clean and in control. However this is G-d's plan. This has to happen for a person to be able to properly fight the evil inclination and to know what he is up against. Once a man knows what brings him to fall, he can start to avoid those things. He will come to realize how important guarding the eyes is-- something that until that point he may have not paid much attention to its importance. Because he has fallen in the past, he can know now what he needs to do to become a Tzaddik. If he had never been brought to fall, he would never become truly strong and truly holy. That is why Chaza"l say, "in the place where a Ba'al Teshuva stands, not even a perfect Tzaddik can stand".
Comments to Josh from Rabbi Mendy Chitrik:
A person CAN actually control himself. He can control his reading choices, he can control his eyes, and that will also control his desires.
The power that a man has in his sex drive is not just enjoyment--it is a great part of his spiritual connection with G-d. The power to procreate, to bring up yet another generation, is the greatest power G-d has bestowed upon a human being. By this power one connects to G-dliness, he becomes an integral part of the Creator Himself. That is why it is so prohibited-because one is wasting the power that G-d gave him. He throws away the connection of G-d in vain, similar to the biblical prohibition of uttering G-d's Name in vain.
Comments to Josh from tikunhabrit.com
Guess what kids...it's hard, it'll make you crazy, but I know many people who have made the change and stopped, and it's only a few month process.
Like anything, we humans are easily addicted to behaviors, the more we take, the more we need. (Editor's Note: Our sages said "There is a small organ in a man, if you feed it - it is hungry, if you starve it - it is satiated"). Cut it off completely, and though you will be unsteady for a little bit (like a smoker who recently quits) but afterwards you will feel like you just burned off a cancer of your soul.
It's a freeing experience and worth the trouble, and ANYONE can do it, believe me.
Josh: It's working... Ok, so it's a little embarrassing to talk about, but tip! The more it is talked about the more control I feel I have over a bad habit. I'm in that few month process now and I feel so strong doing it. And let no one say it is masculine to masturbate, because taking control (giving Hashem control) of your life is the most masculine thing a man can do. Someday my children will have great blessing because I handed my habit over to Hashem. Also remember that masturbation has the potential to lead into other sexual sins. And that is one of the factors that makes it so bad.
Someone wrote us his story. Here are some excerpts:
….I started on the path to rectification….in the first month or two the desires were huge, but I thought how far I had gone and just knew I had to keep going. So another month or two went by, and before I knew it, my desire to masturbate actually was curbed!!!! I thought about porn and attractive women less, I didn't seek out pictures or stimuli, I even found myself averting my eyes from scantily clad females… Earlier, I had trained myself to scan for attractive images to store in my mind, and now I had somehow trained myself NOT to seek these images around me. That part I hadn't even tried for so much. In time, I found that as much as I was still a normal sexually functioning male, (i.e. I was fully capable of arousal if I encountered images inadvertently or a steamy movie scene), I really lost the desire to act on that arousal or to touch it. Having trained myself to habitually NOT act on my arousal, I actually felt myself lose the desire to do so. I no longer wanted to masturbate… And I took note of the sexual nature of female students a lot less! I was somehow accustomed to not looking so much. Or looking in a way that even if I did, was not stored as a bring-up-later image in my memory banks. And online I might occasionally see enticing pictures, but I would never act on it. It became no longer a challenge.
So after several months straight of refraining from masturbation, indeed, my desire for masturbation decreased. This was like an exponential growth, whereby the longer I kept my streak alive, the easier it was to keep it going!
Thus when the sages say, as you repeat on your site, that "There is a small organ in a man, if you feed it - it is hungry, if you starve it - it is satiated", I KNOW THAT THEY ARE CORRECT!!! I've been through it! Maybe some of our great sages had to conquer this immense difficulty and I don't for a second doubt they had the willpower and righteousness to do so if necessary! But I am still awed by their wisdom. They are correct! Let no one claim to you otherwise. Let no chronic masturbator use his doubt of that saying as a pretext to disregard it, because it is indeed true....