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Tuesday  ~ 10 Tamuz, 5770  ~  June 22, 2010

In Today's Issue
  • Seven Announcements/Points of Interest
  • Poem of the Day: With Him I Can
  • Testimonial of the Day: Where is My Burden?
  • Daily Dose of Dov: An Entirely Different Track


Seven Announcements/Points of Interest


1) The Forum Should be Faster Now (Click the link to learn why).


2) We're Looking for a new FILTER GABAI (Click the link to learn more).


3) Do you travel a lot? See this thread for some tips. Exchange ideas and solutions for how to stay strong.


4) Dov has recently launched a virtual SA group on the forum and by phone. If you want to join, see the "10 Agreements" over here.


Agreement #6 speaks about talking to Hashem for 5 minutes each day. Someone in Dov's group wrote today:


"Talking to Hashem is great. I got into the subway today, and I had a choice of either worrying where to look or just putting my face in my hands and talking to Hashem the whole ride. It was a wonderful experience."


5) Last week I had the unique opportunity to join a 12-Step workshop with Harvey, one of the founders of SA (Sexaholics Anonymous)... He's sober for 26 years from a raging sex addiction that was completely out of control. Download here a PDF of notes I took from his talk. Most of my notes were shared in four different Chizuk e-mails last week. We got a good response from those e-mails. One guy wrote:


"Hey Guard, Just wanted to let you know that these chizuk e-mails containing wisdom from Harvey were so amazing and insightful. They are truly inspiring and helpful to me. I am going back and re-reading them. Thank you so much for all that you do. You are a true Oihev Yisroel. May Hashem Grant you your heart's desires for the good!"


6) Yesterday upon reaching Chizuk e-mail #800, we added the last 50 chizuk e-mails to our archives on our website. See the top of this page for access to all 800 previous Chizuk e-mails. (This page contains the last 50 e-mails.)


7) Someone asked Elya, moderator of the Thursday night phone conference:


"Would you please send me something to help when I'm driving home from work and being pulled to distractions from the side of the road?"


Elya sent him "The Swish Pattern" Technique. Click here to download it.



Poem of the Day


With Him, I Can


By Ano-nymous


The thoughts are relentless. They give me no rest.
Why have I this struggle? Why have I this test?
A master blueprint, a master plan.
So far beyond the thoughts of man.
For this I am here, and I will do it well.
Never mind heaven, and never mind hell.
Alone I am helpless, this is beyond man.
But the one who fashioned it, with Him, I can.



Testimonial of the Day


Where is My Burden?


"TeshuvahIlaah" writes:


Day 33 coming up. I have so far steered completely away from p__ & m__. Thankfully, lust is not an issue and I haven't entertained it with my eyes or mind. All in all it's been a very useful experience. My hope is that things progress, more and more and more. 

How incredible is this site? It is beyond description. I thank all of you for simply being here. A special thank you goes to the administrators of this site, all those who provide so much good to every visitor on this site. People come here to heal. They come here to beg G-d for mercy. To beg G-d for help. They come here to cry out from deep within, beginning an amazing return to life. This is a remarkably holy place. 

A funny thing happened to me today. I was reading Tikkun HaKlali on the bus ride home. I got off two stops past my stop; it was the only way to wrap up my reading without interruption. As I walked off the bus, I felt different. I felt better. Not a "joyous" better, but a "not under the gun" better. It just felt like a normal day, my burdens not weighing me down. I thought, Hey! Where is my burden? I know it's here some place! I looked for it but couldn't find it.



Daily Dose of Dov

Dov is sober in SA for over 13 years. See his story here.

Join Dov's Virtual SA Group Here.


An Entirely Different Track


"Struggling&StrivingBT" writes:


So, like all, becoming a Bal Teshuvah has by no means been easy, and I'm by no means there yet. One of the hardest parts has been in the area of "self gratification". While intellectually, I understand what is so bad about wasting seed, I sometime have trouble attaching my heart to the idea. I feel like a hypocrite; how can I know it's wrong but do it anyway, how can I daven and keep the mitzvot and avoid all these other prohibitions, but this one thing I can't stop?  Then, in not wanting to deal with the weight of my actions or fall to despair, I try to look it as lighter or ignore it, and so I can't even make since Teshuva for it. Does anyone have any advice on attaching ones heart to the belief that this is wrong?  


Dov Responds:


Supposing you finally got the true idea of how horrible the aveiro of zera levatola is, clearly in your mind. And it also became so real to you, that you'd say it's now in your heart. It sounds like you are convinced it'd stop you. Or that, at the least, you are saying that it'd help you a great deal to stop, even if you'd still have some struggle. So far, am I on track? 

You may be right. But I don't have experience with success that way. I tried, and can point you in the same direction I took to get some of the tremendous guilt and disgust that I thought would finally speak to me... OK. I'll spare you.  But I fully respect anyone who goes that way, as long as they succeed.

There may be another way completely for you to gain freedom. The 12 Steps do not look at the folly of sin at all (except in the very first step), and are an entirely different track than what it seems to me that you are describing. The Steps don't sound very religious to many. And they essentially are not about religion. They are about our receptiveness to religion as a force of growth in our lives.  

They are about cultivating integrity, self-honesty, maturity, and G-d-centeredness. The people who live them, all seem to say they got some of these things from working them, along with the ability to remain sober one day at a time.

But it seems that so far, your focus on the evil of looking (and I agree that it surely is evil!) has only brought you to attend even more to the lust objects! So. We all know that wishing it away just makes us think about it even more, which is the Problem to begin with! No chidush there.

I'm just plugging what works for me today. There are many who go very different ways and get better, so I suggest you search recovery in some way, then settle down (with help of friends in recovery) and do it.


Do it like we all did the addictive behavior: daily without fail, with "tzniyus" (we hid it or did whatever else we needed to do in order to preserve it!), honestly (we acted out very personally and earnestly), and sparing no expense or trouble. 

You are already very lucky to be here! Hatzlocha!!

Wednesday  ~ 11 Tamuz, 5770  ~  June 23, 2010

In Today's Issue
  • Anecdote of the Day: Self Discipline
  • Testimonial of the Day: "Kidoshim Tihiyu; It's who we are"
  • Daily Dose of Dov: Is our problem a "Lack of Simcha"?


Anecdote of the Day


Self Discipline



Rav Elchonon Wasserman zt"l Hy"d, On His Yahrtzeit, Today


Rav Elchonon Wasserman practiced Shivisi HaShem L'Negdi Tamid ("I always envisioned G-d before me"). For that reason, he absolutely never laughed or smiled. Or perhaps it was in mourning over the destruction of the Bais Hamikdash: "Then (at its rebuilding) your mouths will be filled with laughter," but not until then. The only exceptions were when a mitzvah called for rejoicing, such as at a wedding; also, when he would quote the Chofetz Chaim, his face would relax into a slight smile. As part of this severe self-discipline, he would never slip a hand into his pockets. During the most biting cold of winter, his hands - red and frozen - would be gripping his coat buttons.



Testimonial of the Day


"Kedoshim tihiyu; It's who we are"


"Shmiras" writes:


Be'H I will complete my second year of no porn / zera livatala very soon. To me, shmiras habris is the most important thing in the world. My first year's tactic was to read GYE and other material as much as I could. This past year, I decided to just not think about it at all, because thinking about not thinking about this kinda stuff still leaves it in your head. It did work in a lot of ways, and it did wonders for keri too, but since I am not constantly reiterating the importance, I've been feeling the need to be mitchezek recently and so I hope to start posting more on this forum.


Lev tahor b'rah lee elohim. The words and tune repeat themselves in my head and on my lips as I read and reread through the postings on this site. So many Yidden, so many truly pious Jews, hanging on for dear life, begging for a chance to move on.


It's been a huge struggle for all of us, hasn't it? Is there anyone out there that can understand each unique place all of us come from that leads us to where it does, while we struggle to tear ourselves away? It seems we've tried so hard. This upward slope, ridden with pitfalls. Pushing through the rough terrain, we have those times that we see the meadows. But much of it is spent in the darkened forests of a world which threatens to drag us in... to destroy us at the very core of what make us Jews.


Kedoshim t'hiyu. It's who we are. But built in, is the Yetzer Hara! What does he truly want? I believe R' Tzadok Hakohen writes a song of the Yetzer Hara. It is his job to take us away from our true potential, from who we can be. But silently, the Yetzer Hara himself hopes that we will win over him. Even as he turns his power on us and we fall to his wiles... All that time, he is silently rooting for us to beat him.


Lev tahor. That's the goal here. It's what we all want. And yet, as we promise ourselves and Hashem, day in and day out, we attain levels, and sometimes there are slips... falls... r"l... But in all of us, all the while, our hearts are crying and screaming to Hashem that we just want Him. TATTEH, IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK??? Can it be that Hashem will turn us down, when all we are doing is requesting His presence, requesting His closeness, His embrace?


It is a gift we've been given, to even have the will to combat it in the first place - in today's world. What does Hashem want? He wants the same thing... "asei ritzono kirtzonecha - make His Will like your will". We've done just that. Our wills are in congruence with each other. We want to find Hashem, and Hashem wants us to find Him. Through the struggle, through the temptation... in the darkness... through the tfillah... we find Him.  All we can do is keep asking Hashem: "Al tashlichayni milfanecha... v'ruach kadshecha al tikach mimeni". Al tikach? Don't take it away? Where is it? We have it. We must have Hashem's ruach hakodesh, being that we are asking Him not to remove it. It is with us. It always has been. It's who we are. And no matter what, we can't let anything tell us otherwise. We just have to keep asking for what we want. Because merely by asking for closeness, we are already attaining that closeness.


Let's ask again... together... right now.


- Shmiras

"Leap - and the net will appear"



Daily Dose of Dov

Dov is sober in SA for over 13 years. See his story here.

Join Dov's Virtual SA Group Here.


Is our problem a "Lack of Simcha"?


A profound piece from Dov


Everybody contributes their own perspective on deep and broad things such as what living with Simcha means, and whether our root problem is the lack of Simcha or whether it is really something else.

I'm also here to share my chelek for the benefit of whoever wants it. What I have discovered is the following: 

Yes, living with Simcha is what Hashem wants, and what we want. Yes, living with Simcha does not necessarily mean dancing and feeling great while r"l dying, losing a loved one, or losing our sobriety. Rav Twersky pointed out to me (in his nice book "Let Us Make Man") that to him, accepting suffering b'simcha simply means accepting it rather than running from it. That will only happen if we accept that it must be for the best, that it has a purpose. It's a totally different experience than just knowing that everything is for the best and is for a purpose. (Knowing without accepting is not enough). Being a huge talmid chochom may have no impact on my acceptance, at all.
For example, the calm we felt as children witnessing our mothers or fathers (especially when we misbehaved), will often speak louder to us in this than the Torah ever will. We internalized that it's "ok" even when things didn't go their way. And conversely, if they freaked out when things did not go their way (and "things" may include: me, other people, their business, life, or health, etc.), I may have learned that "it's just horrible when things do not go my way!" So all the "information" about Hashem, Torah, and emunah, will likely be irrelevant if my heart feels that the way things are really "supposed" to work is my way. 

If you agree at all so far, you may be wondering what hope there is. In other words, "how do we change our hearts"? 

Put simply, working the 12 Steps in a chevra of real people actually changed my heart. I came to feel differently about G-d, about myself, and about other people through working the steps with my sponsor (another addict). 

But I cannot give all the credit to that, for the other two factors were: Hashem, of course, and surprisingly, my Lust (l'havdil)!

B"H, my Lust drove me to see and do things differently - cuz I had to get away from it, and still do. I took some direction, worked the steps, and apparently Hashem made (and still makes) the actual changes within me happen, in order to stay sober. Not to be a better oveid Hashem, mind you, but for me to stay sober. "Al kein yoreh (from a loshon of "forcefully throwing" - as in "oh yaroh yi'yareh" by har Sinai) chatoim (that's me) ba'derech." In the end, am I doing Hashem's Will any better? It sure seems that way to me.

And so it may be as far as "living with simcha" is concerned: Working or focusing directly on "living with Simcha" may be a giant waste of time for many of us. It was for me. Just like working directly on living without the tyranny of Lust. A total waste of time... look at my track record.

On the other hand, when my actual attitude toward Hashem, toward myself, and toward other people truly changed a bit (through working - not reading - the steps, in my case), I finally got some of the Simcha, and finally got some of the freedom from Lust. 

So, maybe our entire problem is our lack of Simcha! But to me, the nature of the problem is not always relevant. As Rav Twerski says: knowing I have a broken leg will not heal the leg. It's only what I need to do about it that matters. So, some here may be more inclined to respond by fixing it ourselves, i.e: "being more besimcha". I choose to respond by not concerning myself with simcha (or with "beating" lust), at all! Instead, I learn to accept the truth about myself, Hashem, and other people. As a result, everything in my life is getting better - on His timetable.

Thursday  ~ 12 Tamuz, 5770  ~  June 24, 2010

In Today's Issue
  • Filter Tip of the Day: WebChaver - Don't Go it Alone!
  • Anecdote of the Day: The King and the Pauper
  • Daily Dose of Dov 1: Giving Up, not Giving In
  • Daily Dose of Dov 2: Teshuvah = Hashem's Will for Me Today


Filter Tip of the Day - Don't Go it Alone!

Do you have accountability software installed yet? Don't trust yourself. Filters can be broken, loopholes can always be found. When lust attacks, an addict will find a way to get his "FIX". Only Accountability software may stop us in such times. Make sure someone you respect (or fear) is watching!! There's no excuse not to install WebChaver. It's only $3.95 a month and it will send reports of your browsing history to anyone of your choice. It only takes a few minutes to sign up. Do it.

As Rav Yochanan Ben Zakai blessed his students, "May your fear of heaven be equal to your fear of man". And his students asked him: "Rebbe, is that all?". And he answered: "Halevai!".

The truth of Rav Yochanan Ben Zakai's blessing is pointedly illustrated by this story of Rav Amram Raban Shel Chassidim (Kidushin 81/a):

Some women who had been taken captive were redeemed and brought to Nehardai. They were kept in the attic of Rav Amram the Chasid and the ladder was removed. At night, a beam of light reflected off one of the women, revealing her beauty. Rav Amram was seized with lust and he moved the ladder (which normally needed 10 people to move it) and began to ascend. As he was halfway up, he screamed "There is a fire in Rav Amram's house!" and the Rabanan flocked to his house. After they saw that there was no fire they said to him "You embarrassed us (with your behavior)!". Answered Rav Amram: "It is better to suffer embarrassment in this world than in the next".

We may ask, if Rav Amram had so much Fear of Heaven that he was determined enough to call out "Fire!", why couldn't he just have stopped himself? The answer is, that Rav Amram knew that unless other human beings would be introduced into the equation, he was powerless to stop himself from the power of the lust. This amazing story shows us the immense value of "human" accountability.

Is there anyone among us who will say he is stronger than Rav Amram? We are faced with these desires every day, in the privacy of our homes and only a mouse-click away! We must have accountability to succeed in breaking the addiction. If the fact that Hashem watching him was still too "abstract" to stop even Reb Amram Chasid from the power of lust, it is surely too abstract to stop us when we are faced with lust.

Install WEBCHAVER today. Don't wait for the next fall Chas Ve'shalom!



Anecdote of the Day


The King and the Pauper


By "7Up"

We are far from perfect. We sin, we fall, we fail. 


And we come to HKBH with requests for life, health, zivugim, etc. and when we are ready to show what we are giving in exchange, we open our palm and discover - nothing!

What do we have to 'pay' for these gifts? 

Our palm lies open, and empty. 

We lower our eyes in embarrassment. We are asking for a free handout. 

But we don't back down.


A poor man approached the king, asking for his daughter in marriage, open access to his treasure house, his palace etc. And in exchange for the kings most precious treasures he offers... nothing. What chutzpah!


The next man comes to the king. He also requests the princess, wealth, and access to all good the king can offer. In exchange, he brings a wagon loaded with gold; all ready to buy what he wants. Aha! Now here's a real mentch!

But wait! The King shocks the world by choosing... the pauper!

Turning to the rich man, he says: "I am the richest and most powerful in the world. I own everything. Nothing you give me comes close to what I have already. Do you really think that your paltry gold coins are enough to buy you anything I own?? What do I need your money for? You can not "buy" me."

To the pauper he explains: "You understood that nothing you have can ever compare with what I am, and what I have. You came empty handed and asked me to bestow good. And when I asked what you were offering in exchange for all these gifts, you answered honestly:"

So we say to Hashem:

"My king; I have nothing and I am nothing compared to you. But one thing I CAN do for the king. I can take these gifts, and I can show them to the world. And I will tell everyone I meet who gave them to me, and I will sing your praises and try make the world understand what a kind and caring king you are to your loyal followers. Not only do I not deserve the kings good, but quite the opposite; I deserve to be punished for all the times I accidentally failed you! Yet you treat me with kindness anyway. I have no way to ever repay you for all you give me, king. But I can promise to always try."


We can't ever deserve HKBH's chesed. 
Hashem doesn't expect us too, as He knows it's impossible. 
All He asks is that:

  • We ask humbly,
  • Appreciate it once He gives,
  • And tell the world Who gave it.
Because He loves us. Unconditionally.


Daily Dose of Dov

Dov is sober in SA for over 13 years. See his story here.

Join Dov's Virtual SA Group Here.


Giving Up, not Giving In


When we talk about "surrender" in the first step, it doesn't mean "falling", at all.

Those who surrender do not act out. They never do. It makes one free of the lust because we get out of Hashem's way and allow Him - yes, allow Him - to remove it. At least temporarily. It is in surrendering that we let go of the lust "opportunity". The surrender (or "giving up") is of two things simultaneously:

1 - the lust opportunity


2 - the need to overcome the overwhelming desire.

Those who think that "giving up" has anything whatsoever to do with giving in to the temptation have never done it themselves yet, and have not yet tasted this derech of recovery. 




Teshuva = Hashem's Will for Me Today


The very phrases "Hayom al l'vovecha" and "asher Anochi metzaveh es'chem Hayom" in kriyas sh'ma are both darshened by chazal to mean that His proclamation here is new - today is the first day we have heard of it! Now, to me, this is precisely living one day at a time. It is an approach to life in kriyas sh'ma itself. It reminds me each time I say it that Hashem is concerned with how I do today. Not yesterday, nor tomorrow. Teshuva is only relevant inasmuch as it affects today's avodah. Hashem asks for one day at a time - should we ask for more?

Still, there are times that the way we understand teshuva doesn't work. It weighs us down in today's avodah. That is when I need to say, "I guess I do not understand teshuvah right now". Instead, I need to do what works right now so that I do Hashem's Will for me now. It usually turns out that what I thought was teshuvah, was really tikkun, a later part of the teshuva process that is poorly understood and often jumped into by all us guilty types to relieve the terrible burden of guilt we carry. Quite idiotic in my case. And as Chovos Hal'vavos says (right at the start of sha'ar hateshuvah), the definition of Teshuvah is behaving correctly right now even though I have screwed up badly in the past. It is not about fixing anything. Hashem fixes, or helps me fix. 

In the middle-ages, yidden were motivated to behave better by remembering that malochim or worms would bust their eyeballs if they looked at lust objects; that zera l'vatola was murder of doros, etc... I have not met anyone with a long-term lust problem who actually got better by focusing on that alone. But I have met many who learned how damaged they were, and accepted that they need to treat themselves differently than they thought, because they have an allergy to lust and are hard-wired to feel that it is truly in their best interest to use schmutz or masturbate. (After all, that is exactly what it means when we feel inside that we absolutely need it, right now... isn't it? And we have all felt that way, no? That we needed it... that's why we "fall", R"l.)

Friday  ~ 13 Tamuz, 5770  ~  June 25, 2010
Erev Shabbos Parshas Balak

In Today's Issue
  • Parsha Talk - Balak: Big Mouth, Big Eyes
  • Testimonial of the Day: Ain Ben Chorin Ela Mi Sh'Osek ba'Torah
  • Attitude Tip of the Day: What We Are Really Seeking
  • Daily Dose of Dov 1: What Recovery is About
  • Daily Dose of Dov 2: Feeling Clean is an Afterthought


Parsha Talk: Balak


Big Mouth, Big Eyes

By "Bardichev"


This week's Parsha contains the lesson of what happens to the ultimate baal taavah (pleasure seeker).

Chazal teach us that Bilaam's Power was with his mouth.

Another thing Chazal tell us is that Bilaam had an "ayin rah - an evil eye".

What was the significance of these two evil things?

Bilaam was the head of the koach hatumah - the forces of impurity.
What was his power?his mouth

Bilaam had a powerful mouth. Very powerful. His mouth was an Atom
Bomb - a weapon of mass destruction. He had the power to rip out all of
klal yisroel with his evil mouth.

Another power he had was his evil eye. He had the power to make an ayin hara.

Instead of using these powers in a constructive manner, he was perverted and
evil. He thought these were his powers.

Came Hashem and showed him.

Aha, big mouth!! Look, a donkey has a koach hadibur - power of speech.

A powerful eye? Ha!! Look, your donkey has sees a malach and you didn't!!

What's the lesson?


We take our G-d given talents and blessings; some are Handsome, some are
smart, others are charming, some are kind.

We think that this is our doing. Therefore we DESERVE something.

Instead of being humble and serving Hashem extra, to repay him for the
extra kindness, we become perverted. We say we deserve more. We want
more. I can never be happy or satisfied.

This leads us to self destructive behaviors.

Hey BIG EYES and BIG MOUTH, take a lesson from a donkey!!

Good Shabbos




Testimonial of the Day


Ain Ben Chorin Ela Mi She'Osek Ba'Torah


By "Shnook" (a Teenager)


You know how they say that the Torah's restrictions free a person?

Well by working on myself to overcome this addiction, I am really starting to feel it down to my bones and tummy.

It's like, now that I don't come home, collapse on my bed, open my laptop and 'do my thing', I am so much freer.

Let me explain:
By setting boundaries, restricting myself, I can do so much more.
I am no longer wasting hour after hour gazing blankly at a screen.
I am doing stuff; calling people I haven't spoken to in forever, writing emails, letters, cute notes for my siblings.
I am stopping on the street to shmooze with people, cuz why rush home, right?
I am cleaning up and reorganizing everything.
I'm putting together puzzles, hanging out with my siblings, taking my siblings and neighbor's kids on outings
Even my writing I enjoy more, because I'm not just 'trying to get it over with'...

My life is so much richer and exciting and fulfilling now that I don't let myself 'do whatever I want'

That's what it means, "keeping the Torah so that you can be free" - it means you can have the best life that is possible for you.


Not being a slave to our desires, opens us up to true freedom.



Attitude Tip of the Day

What We Are Really Seeking

If you travel a lot, share your thoughts and tips on this thread.

Someone who was traveling in China sent us an e-mail that he was feeling weak and had began to slip in the area of Shmiras Ainayim. He was worried that it might lead to a fall. Here is our reply:

Such times are truly a test, and through them you can reach tremendous growth. Hashem is with you in China, just as He is always. Remember what Dov always says, "no situation can be bad enough that a little lusting won't make it even worse"... The things we are looking for in lust are really a subconscious need for love, warmth, comfort, security, etc... And we need to keep reminding ourselves that we WON'T find it in lust! Our minds make us think that we will, this is the chemical make up of our nature, but it is an illusion. As a matter of fact, the more we pursue the lust, the LESS security, warmth and comfort we will find. Once we open the door to these behaviors, we become slaves to our basest desires and we become filled with insecurity and a deep subconscious fear that we will be out of control. And this leads only to a viscous cycle of needing more lust to calm those fears, and it never ends.

Instead, we need to remember that all that we are looking for in the lust can be found only in Hashem. With Him lies true love, pleasure, security, warmth and all that we seek in lust - but will never find. You may have seen things already that you wish you hadn't, but what you saw doesn't define you. Like Chazal say, Im Paga Becha Menuval Zeh... You aren't the Menuval, He is. But he wants you to think that YOU are dirty, so he can get you to fall.


The only real and meaningful question for you to ask yourself now is, "what is Hashem's will for me TODAY?"

Ask Hashem to give you sobriety and sanity just for today. He will.


Daily Dose of Dov

Dov is sober in SA for over 13 years. See his story here.

Join Dov's Virtual SA Group Here.

What Recovery is About


Recovery, as far as I know, is not about improving ourselves at all, it is about getting the heck out of G-d's way and allowing Him to fix us. Those are not words, it is subtle but totally different mindset. 

And as far as stopping "once and for all", it's on Hashem's timetable, not ours. Whether I use lust tomorrow or not is none of my business at all. Only today. Also, not just words, but a true state of being. Hashem seems to work in increments - and we are often not aware that we are improving at all, but discover it in retrospect.

All I know is that I cannot expect an iota of change if I am still doing the same things. I gotta try something else. 



Feeling Clean is an Afterthought


Someone wrote:

Bh I'm still clean, but I don't feel clean. I have practically not been nichshal in two weeks, even in shmiras haynayim. Of the hundreds of opportunities to look and see things in the street, I only sneaked a peak five times in two weeks. Amazing, but I still don't feel clean.


Dov Responds:


Two weeks? Take your time, chaver. 


I heard an alkie say that his problem was never drinking - it was sobriety! Living without alcohol was unbearable.

Are you saying that living without using lust is uncomfortable? If so, don't worry: everyone I know who ever got sober felt that way at one time or another, and most acted out as a result. They got the sense knocked back into their heads after going through that cycle a few times. I never had to, b"H. I just watched them doing it for me!

There is more to do with you, and He's going to do it, don't worry - it will get interesting, I promise!

To me, the feeling of cleanliness is a fringe benefit. It was actually the last thing I ever expected when I came to recovery. What I was really after was just staying alive and keeping my G-d. Oh, and also "my" wife, children, parents, friends, job, and community.

Feeling clean was a (worthy) afterthought, at best.

Sunday  ~ 15 Tamuz, 5770  ~  June 27, 2010

In Today's Issue

In Honor of the Yartzeit of the Ohr Hachayim Hakadosh
we present the:

TaPHSiC Method.

Click here to download a PDF of this method (same as this e-mail).


"The Physical & Spiritual Combo" Method

TaPhSiC Method ("Tafsik" means "Stop!" in Hebrew)


A powerful method for Frum addicts


We all want to stop. Whenever we think of the "big picture", both spiritually and physically, we realize that sooner or later we HAVE to stop. But we often feel like two different people. We ask ourselves, do I have Yiras Shamayim or don't I? What repercussions will it take to finally stop me? Do I have any hope?


Here is a method that has worked well with many Frum addicts, in helping them stop these destructive behaviors completely. It may not work for high-level addicts or for people with very little Yiras Shamayim, but for most frum addicts this method has worked wonders, and it has freed many people from the obsession.


So how does it work?




Part 1

What Doesn't Stop Us?


The first thing we need to do is to face the truth about ourselves.


 "Abstract" spiritual repercussions don't generally stop me, even though I believe:

-          This is one of the most serious aveiros.

-          I am destroying my soul.

-          I am creating other destructive souls.

-          I am losing Siyyata Di'shmaya in all of my life (as the pasuk says, "ki yireh becha ervas davar veshav me'acharecha").

-          I am cutting off my connection with Hashem.

-          I am desensitizing myself to spirituality.

-          I am making it ever harder to do Teshuvah.

-          It is making me feel like a hypocrite in all other Mitzvos I do.

-          I am destroying the "Yesod - foundation", of my entire spiritual structure.

-          My kids can likely 'sense' that I am not sincere in my Yiddishkeit, overall.

-          These behaviors may likely spiral into worse aveiros.

-          I am/will likely end up cutting myself off from the World to Come.

-          Moshiach may come soon, and how will I face him?


In spite of the above, my Yiras Shamayim will generally NOT stop me from:

-          Looking at porn

-          Masturbating

-          Even if I make a shavuah to stop/avoid it, I'll end up breaking it sooner or later; the desires are just too powerful.

Don't feel bad that your Yiras Shamayim is not strong enough to stop you. It doesn't mean you don't have any. When Rav Yochanan Ben Zakai blessed his students before he died he said, "May your fear of heaven be equal to your fear of man". And his students asked him: "Rebbe, is that all?". And he answered: "Halevai!".

And even Rav Amram Raban Shel Chassidim (Kidushin 81/a) wasn't able to stop himself when faced head-on with lust, without resorting to drastic measures. And as the Ohr Hachayim Hakadosh - whose Yartzeit is today - writes in Parshas Acharei Mos 18:2, that the addictive nature of these behaviors is so strong that without special "G-dly Strength", it is practically impossible for someone who has started these behaviors to stop, regardless of how much Yiras Shamayim they may have. (For a translation of that Ohr Hachayim in English click here to download a PDF file.)

The physical "SHORT TERM" repercussions don't stop me either, even though:

-          It makes me depressed.

-          I lose time from work.

-          I lose sleep.

-          I lose money.

-          I lose a close connection with my wife.

-          I feel distant from my children.

-          I don't have time for anyone but "me".

-          My whole life revolves around my next "fix".

-          I feel like a slave to my desires.


The physical "LONG TERM" repercussions don't stop me, even though:

-          My behaviors may be found out.

-          I can lose my good name.

-          I can lose my job.

-          I can lose my marriage.

-          I can lose my children.

-          My children may have a hard time with Shidduchim.

-          My children may need therapy one day for the trauma they may go through.

-          My behaviors will likely get worse.

-          I can end up in jail.

-          I can catch diseases.

-          I can end up suicidal or dead.




Part 2

What Would Stop Us?


Now that we have faced the truth about ourselves we need to ask: What physical and spiritual repercussions WOULD stop us?


Spiritually speaking, what WOULD stop me?

-          I would not be Mechalel Shabbos to view porn, no matter how bad I wanted it. I would be able to wait 24 hours.

-          If the only way to get porn in the coming 24 hours was by eating a Ham sandwich first, I probably would hold out and not do it for 24 hours.

-          After I finish fully giving in to my desires, I don't want to throw the rest of my Yiddishkeit away. I feel bad about it and I really do want to "come back" to Hashem. If I had a choice to push a "stop these aveiros forever" button, I would press it then.


What does this all show me? That I still do have a holy spark within me, and that my Yiras Shamayim is still existent. It may not be enough to stop me in general, but it is strong enough to make me want to get rid of these behaviors AFTER the act. And even before the act, it is strong enough to enable me to hold out for a while - when the spiritual repercussions are BIG (like Chillul Shabbos or eating Treif). What we can see from this is that there ARE spiritual repercussions that would stop us, if they were only BIG enough - and/or when we're not under the spell of lust.


Now let's look at the physical side of the coin. What WOULD stop me?

-          If I was about to act out and someone walked in to the room, would I continue?

-          If every time I acted out, I would become racked with pain, would I continue?

-          If there was an electronic eye following me, and every time I acted out, my wife or Rebbe would find out right away, would I continue?

-          If every time I acted out I would feel sick and I would have to take a bus to the hospital, stay there for 2 hours, and get a shot to return me to normal, would I continue?


What does this all show me? That there ARE physical repercussions that would stop me, if only they were BIG enough.


To sum up: Although the "normal" physical and spiritual repercussions, both short term and long term, are not enough to stop me, there still do exist spiritual and physical repercussions that WOULD stop me, if they were big enough and immediate enough.




Part 3

Finding the Perfect Formula


So all we have to do now is find the perfect formula; a combination of spiritual and physical repercussions that ARE big enough to stop us.


On the spiritual side, we have seen that AFTER the fact (when the desires have been quieted), we are much more willing to do what it takes to stop the NEXT occurrence. And we have also seen that we are able to hold out better when the spiritual repercussions are BIGGER.


So let's try this:


If we made a Shavuah in the name of Hashem (and actually pronounce Hashem's name) that AFTER we act out (on our bottom line behaviors) we will do x,y or z - would we keep this Shavuah?


I believe we all would. After all, it is AFTER the acting out. The desires have already been silenced and we feel bad. We don't want to throw away the rest of our Yiddishkeit. We would NEVER be Mechalel Shabbos now just because we acted out 5 minutes ago. So would we not keep a Shavuah that we made in the name of Hashem? Will we transgress one of the 10 commandments "Lo sisah es Shem Hashem Elokecha lashav - Do not swear in G-d's name in vain"? Surely we will try very hard to keep our Shavuah.


(Note: Normally making vows is frowned upon by our sages as with someone playing with fire, but when it comes to girding oneself from sexual temptation we find that making vows is praised by the Torah and by Chaz"al. As the Pasuk says "Nishbati Va'akayeima, lishmor Mishpatei Tzidkecha - I have vowed and will uphold it, to guard your righteous laws". And also it says "Nishba Lehora Velo Yamir - Oseh eileh lo Yimot Le'olam - He who swears to prevent bad and does not nullify... he will never falter". And Chaza"l also say that Bo'az swore to guard himself from transgressing when Ruth came to him in the silo at night, as it says "Chai Hashem, Shichvi ad haboker - "In the name of G-d, lay here until morning".)


So now we need to address the PHYSICAL side of the equation. What will we make the Shavuah to do?


It has to be something hard and painful. Not too hard that we would be willing to even trample on Hashem's name c"v, but hard enough to make us not want to act out next time. Something we know will hurt, but something we know we can - and will - keep.


Some examples might be: "Shvuah bisheim Ado-nai - for one week, that if I masturbate, then within the following 24 hours, I will:

-          tell my wife.

-          tell my Rebbe.

-          take a bus to the kever of a tzadik and stay there for 2 hours before coming home.

-          fast for 24 hours.

-          give 'x' (a painful) amount of money to Tzedaka. (This doesn't always work well for everyone).


At first, these Shavu'os should be for short periods of time (like the example above - i.e. one week). If we see that this is working well, we can extend the Shavuah for longer periods of time. If we see that the deterrent turns out not to be strong enough for us, we might need to find something a little more painful.


It's a delicate balance, but with careful thought and siyatta dishmaya, most Frum addicts can find the formula that really works for them, over time. And once we have found it, we will know. There will be a sudden feeling of joy - a tremendous new freedom in our lives. We will feel like we have literally been freed from the self-imposed "prison" that we have been living in for so many years!




WARNING: Although TaPHSiC method is very powerful, finding the perfect formula is delicate and DANGEROUS business. If we vow to do something too painful, we run the risk that we'll break our vow, which besides for the serious sin, can lead to deterioration since the person can chas veshalom feel that if he has transgressed this terrible sin, there's no hope for him anyway!. On the other hand, if it's not painful enough, there's always the risk of continued falls. Feel free to send your Shavuah ideas to us before making them, for advice.




NOTES: The TaPHSiC method is like putting an electrified fence at the edge of a cliff. If you come close to the edge, you will be "shocked" and back away. However, it goes without saying that if someone continues to walk alongside the edge of the cliff, the repeated shocks will start becoming very painful. At some point, he may just turn the electricity in the wires off, which will lead to a fall soon after. Or at some point, even the electricity won't help and he'll stumble and fall through the fence.


Therefore, in conjunction with this powerful method, it is vital to put up other fences as well; fences that will keep us far away from the "edge of the cliff". This means installing a good filter. And on top of that filter, we need to install an "Accountability system" as well, such as eBlaster or Webchaver which sends reports of our internet usage to someone we would be ashamed to disappoint. This makes the "physical repercussions" all the more real, and keeps us far from even trying to find loop-holes in our filter.


We also need to learn to keep busy and to replace our acting out with alternative fulfillment, such as finding hobbies that interest us, spiritual discovery and growth, and reconnecting with life more; with our wives, kids, family, friends and community. (See our Kosher Isle for some great ideas on hobbies, activities and spiritual growth.)


Also, for some "higher-level" addicts, the withdrawal symptoms can become excruciating. Therefore, it is advisable to have a support system in place before trying the TaPHSiC method; either a therapist or a live SA group where we can share our pain in withdrawal, or even a good friend (from the forum perhaps) who we can call and "talk it out" with when times get tough.


Also, for some addicts, living suddenly without the "drug" we have come to rely on can lead to serious depression or a deep feeling of inner void. A psychiatrist can evaluate us and subscribe temporary medication that can take "the edge" off these feelings. For example, there are SSRI medications today that have almost no side effects and can be taken for just a year or so, until we are more balanced and more used to living life without our "drug".


The bottom line is, that although this method is like putting a strong electric fence at the edge of the cliff to stop us when all else fails, we need to continue to use the many tools of the GYE handbook to keep ourselves safely away from the edge.

Monday  ~ 16 Tamuz, 5770  ~  June 28, 2010

In Today's Issue
  • Announcement: The GuardYourEyes Parlor Meeting - Please Help.
  • An E-Mail from Rabbi Twerski: "Daas Torah?"
  • Announcing a New Hot-line in Israel: Feeling Stuck? Call Yechezkel.
  • Strengthening our Walls: The Fast of the 17th of Tammuz
  • Attitude Tip of the Day: We Won't Blow Up
  • Quote of the Day: By "Shan"
  • Medical Tip of the Day: SSRI Medication
  • Daily Dose of Dov: We Must Replace the Lust




The GuardYourEyes Parlor Meeting


We Need Your Help!

The third birthday of GuardYourEyes is coming up next week. B"H, we have helped around 1,000 Yidden into recovery from lust addiction. But our success is still just a drop in the ocean. There are tens of thousands of Yidden who struggle with these issues, and many of them don't even know about our work. Also, we don't have the framework in place to accommodate such amounts of people yet. All our work to date has been done with almost no resources. The time has come to take our work to the next level. To do this, we need to raise a few hundred thousand dollars. (Ask us for our 'Expansion Proposal').


On our recent trip to the U.S, we received a commitment from one wealthy balhabayis for 50K, on condition that we raise another 150K on our own (because he knows that 50k alone won't get us to where we need to go).


We set a date for a parlor meeting in Elul at the house of a well known Gevir in Brooklyn. Rabbi/Dr. Avraham Twerski, Rabbi Aharon Feldman and Reb Chaim Dovid Zweibel (Executive director of Agudas Yisrael) will be speaking there IY"H.


Rabbosai, We have the pan and the fire but... we don't have the eggs!


We need your help with some ideas of wealthy religious philanthropists in the New York area (even if you don't have their contact info). The idea is to get about 15 balabatim who can give about 10k each, to come to the parlor meeting. Please help us help Klal Yisrael!


Thank you and Tizke Lemitzvos.


An E-Mail from Rabbi Twerski


Rabbi Twerski wrote me the other day:


A guy calls me today, whether I endorse GuardYourEyes, and I said Yes. Then he asked if their derech was "Daas Torah." I said, "How come you didn't call me to ask whether watching pornography was Daas Torah?"

Meschugena world





I sent this on to Dov who responded:


Pure Geshmak! He knows how to hit the nail squarely on the head, B"H.

If the actual issue for us was halacha and the Ratzon Hashem, then we'd never have gotten into such trouble in the first place! There is obviously something else wrong with us than just 'bad bechira'.


The flip side of this is: Suicide is ossur. And for me, acting out now would likely be suicide. But to maintain that halacha is the main motivation for me not to do it, is just plain absurd and dishonest. Nu, B"H yom, yom!  


Announcing a New Hotline in Israel:


Feeling stuck?

Call Yechezkel for advice on how to get started/move forward:




Feel free to call from the U.S as well

(during Israel hours, which is 7 hours ahead of the U.S)


From the U.S dial: 972-52-3828777


Strengthening Our Walls


Tomorrow is the fast of the 17th of Tammuz which commemorates the breaching of the walls of Jerusalem, leading to the subsequent fall of the Beis Hamikdash.


What behaviors breach our walls and lead to subsequent falls?





Well the "TaPHSiC Method" is one way. If you didn't read about this method in yesterday's Chizuk e-mail, you can read it on this page of our website or download it as a PDF over here.


In the zechus of strengthening our own personal walls, may we merit to see the rebuilding of the Beis Hamikdash speedily in our days!


Attitude Tip of the Day


We Won't Blow Up


By Eye.nonymous


Yesterday as I walked out of my building, there was this lady who lives across the street walking towards her car. I think she's attractive and it's hard not to keep an eye out for her. This, my Yetzer Hara would say, was a prime opportunity. BUT then this little voice came into my head, "Just because she's there doesn't mean you have to look at her." Funny, I never really thought of that before. It made it seem kinda' easy not to look... Sort of like when I first read in the GYE guidebook that "we're not going to blow up if we don't ma*** regularly".



Quote of the Day


By "Shan"


No man can move a thing without G-d decreeing it Up There... and what am I doing when I fall? Essentially forcing G-d to allow me to sin... like he is doing it for me... I am making him sin for me... Ouch Ouch... Bad.



Medical Tip of the Day


SSRI Medication


We received an e-mail from someone:


I am married for 11 years with 6 children. I have not acted out "live", but I am addicted to internet porn and have sought out chat rooms and porn for hours on end. Thank G-d I found your website. I am so grateful. What a blessing. I have recently started SSRI for sexual compulsions, which have really taken the edge off my addiction. 


We asked him for more details on the medication and he responded:


I first heard of SSRI's (Zoloft) being used to treat sex addiction from a former sex addict who said that he had used it successfully. 


I recently felt so out of control and very depressed, so I scheduled an office visit with my regular physician. I asked my physician if he could prescribe Zoloft, knowing it could help my depression as well as treat my ADHD, and most importantly, the compulsive sexual behavior. (Although I did not mention the sexual compulsion because I was embarrassed, and I could not find a psychiatrist in my small town accepting patients.)


He started me out on 100mg which helped, but I wanted to be more aggressive and requested an increase to 200mg. I read from many online sources that 200mg is not an uncommon dose to treat sex addictions. When searching the internet, I found a link to a treatment chart on your site, which is how I found GuardYourEyes. 


So far (one month later) it has worked even better in treating my ADHD, which I believe plays a role in my compulsions and focus issues. Over the past month I have fallen only a handful of times. Prior to Zoloft I would fall many times daily. I have had the most success since the dose was increased to 200mg. Tomorrow I will be clean for one full week, which is amazing to me.


Thanks to G-d!! I am so grateful. And thank G-d again for your website! 



Daily Dose of Dov

Dov is sober in SA for over 13 years. See his story here.

Join Dov's Virtual SA Group Here.


We Must Replace the Lust

If whatever I was using lust for is not replaced with something as effective as lust was, I will be left stranded and feel even worse than before.

And that is where the Steps come in: the steps (spelled-out in the 12th, if we haven't yet figured it out by then) are specifically aimed at develop my relationship with Hashem to the level that it completely fills in what's missing in my life. Sound crazy? It should. Well, it's no crazier than using magazines, schmutz and sex with self (masturbation) to do it!! Especially since that always makes us nuts and leaves us in even more self-centered stupidity than before...

In the meantime, there are eitzos that come from the first 3 steps, like:


- Gratitude lists.


- Clearly and directly asking Hashem to "please really give me whatever it is that I am really looking for in this desire right now to stare at that woman, look at that schmutz, mast..., etc - Please let me find it in You! (eventually)".


- Calling a safe friend up and clearly admit exactly what it is that I secretly plan to do... (uncomfortable? Good. We are only as sick as our secrets, they say).


- Having a chevra to openly declare the truth about (and to remember) my tendencies, (this is indispensable to me).


These all stem from the first three steps, and knowing other folks who use these tools somehow makes it easier for us to actually start using them ourselves.

Tuesday  ~ 17 Tamuz, 5770  ~  June 29, 2010
Fast of Shiva Asar B'Tammuz

In Today's Issue
  • Shiur of the Day: The Proper Outlook on Vacation
  • Tip of the Day: Home without a Filter? Be Honest.
  • Strengthening our Walls - Part 2: The Fast of the 17th of Tammuz
  • Torah Thought of the Day: Only With Him
  • Link of the Day: You All Know Me
  • Daily Dose of Dov: Should I Join SA?

Shiur of the Day


The Proper Outlook on Vacation


For many of us, vacation-time has already started. Here's a 20 minute Shiur on Vacation from Rav Aharon Feldman Shlita.


Download It Here


"Kedusha" sent us this shiur and wrote:


The Rosh Yeshiva's message can be applied to some of the challenges we face. How so? For one thing, vacations, especially in the summer, are often a time of Nisyonos. However, if we strive to maintain a Torah perspective on what vacations are really for, we are far less likely to be Nichshal.



Tip of the Day


Home without a Filter? Be Honest.


"I am 22 years old and have struggled with being shomer habris ever since I can remember. I am going to be living at home for the summer where there is unfiltered internet access. I already am slipping more. I do not feel comfortable asking my parents to install a filter. I've gone a month or two clean in the past, but not more. I feel bad now, but a day or two after a fall, I always push the thoughts of how bad it is out of my head."




We responded:


Have your parents listen to this shiur from Rav Yosef Viener - and then ask them! :-)



Elya, moderator of the Thursday night Conference Call, responded:


I recently received a private email from a 17 year old living at home who had put hundreds of dollars on his parents credit card talking on sex phone lines. He was in Israel at the time, and when he got home to the US his parents asked him about it. He told them he knew nothing about it. 

He wrote asking me if he should continue to lie or tell his parents the truth. I told him that life was short and if he truly wanted to get into Shidduchim and start his life off right, he couldn't live a lie the rest of his life. I told him exactly what to say to his parents - to tell them the truth. He wrote me after Shabbos and said he told his parents and they were very happy he did. If you Chas V'Sholom had a serious illness, would you hide it from your parents? 

This disease can kill us if we let it go too far. If your parents have the password and you don't, they can use the internet unfiltered and you'll have it filtered. It's as simple as that. All you have to say is you don't want the opportunity of pushing the wrong button and seeing those sites, so you'd like their help. If they say, NO, then maybe you need to put the password on for THEM . Seriously if you truly want to stop, take the first step.


Join Elya's Phone Conference this Thursday Night!


Strengthening Our Walls - Part 2

Today is the fast of the 17th of Tammuz which commemorates the breaching of the walls of Jerusalem, leading to the subsequent fall of the Beis Hamikdash.


What behaviors breach our walls and lead to subsequent falls?



The WebChaver system can also be used on your cellphone or PDA (at no additional cost) running Windows Mobile 6 as well as on the iPhone and iPod Touch.


WebChaver currently can be used for cellphones and PDAs running Windows Mobile 6 as well as iPhones and Ipod Touch. There is no additional cost to use the PDA software. The app for other platforms is still under development. We will notify our users when support for other platforms (ie. Blackberry and Android) become available.

To determine if your device is running Windows Mobile 6 and for installation instructions, please click here.

For information on mobile devices that run Windows Mobile 6, please click here. 

For information on using WebChaver on your iPhone or iPod Touch, please click here.



Torah Thought of the Day


Only With Him


By "Yosef Hatzadik"


Taanis Tzibbor - Krias HaTorah:


"Im na matzasi chein be'einecha - yeileich na Hashem bekirbeinu"


If I am to give you pleasure with the eyes (ten lo mishelo, she'ata v'shelach shelo), it can only be if you are with me. I cannot do it by myself. Ilimalei Hakodosh Boruch Hu ozer lo lo yachol lo! We have to give it over to Hashem!


Link of the Day


You All Know Me


A very inspiring post on the forum by "Shmiras", an older Bochur who is clean for almost two years now with the help of GuardYourEyes and his own hard work.


Daily Dose of Dov

Dov is sober in SA for over 13 years. See his story here.

Join Dov's Virtual SA Group Here.


Should I Join SA?


My only issues are masturbation and pornography. I never acted out live. Should I join an SA group?


Dov Responds:


"The only requirement for membership is a sincere desire to stop lusting" - White Book, page something-or-other (amud beis)  

The question I'd ask is: "Is it overkill to go to SA meetings?" And I'd say it depends on one thing: Is what you are doing now working, or not? If it is, why go? And if it isn't, why not? That's my feeling. For anyone to say "you must go" they have to be nuts, crazy, or just plain insane, or think they are G-d or something like G-d... fortunately, I am just goofy!


Are you sure that there are no down sides?


There are some who say that people are exposed to far worse types of acting out when they go to meetings (I say they'll figure it all out eventually anyway); that they are exposed to Christian ideas in the 12 steps (I say they are all Jewish); that the meetings are often in churches - which is either ossur or somehow influences members to believe in avodah zarah (I say it's better than being another frum yid in the newspaper getting caught five years hence in "shady behaviors" and/or getting divorced - and not ossur anyway); that they can't possibly learn about Hashem from goyim (they'd rather learn about Hashem only from frum guys who learn in the beis midrash during the day and go to prostitutes at night, than from goyim who do it, apparently), and other issues. I just say, "phooey"... (somehow in a respectful way :-)

Wednesday  ~ 18 Tamuz, 5770  ~  June 30, 2010

In Today's Issue
  • MP3 Link of the Day: Joe & Charlie 12-Step Work Shop
  • Attitude Tip of the Day: BS'D - B'siyata D'shmaya
  • Torah Thought of the Day: What a Different Life We Would Have
  • Battle Communication: The Big Picture
  • Daily Dose of Dov: The 12-Steps are for those with NO HOPE

MP3 Links of the Day


Joe & Charlie 12-Step Work Shop

Hundreds of thousands in AA have also found "Joe and Charlie's Big Book Study" very meaningful. Many believe that Joe and Charlie are the single best introduction you can get to the original program of the Big Book. (The link above is a word-for-word transcript of the recordings available here in mp3).


Download a Zip of all 35 MP3 Files Here



Attitude Tip of the Day

BS'D - B'Siyata D'Shmaya



I haven't posted much over the past months. After I made that one time fall after 21 days on the 90 day chart, I felt like a nobody. I kept falling and things got progressively worse over time R"L.


Then I started reading the AA-book and now I really realize I am not in charge, but p***graphy is in charge of me. I feel terrible. I don't know what to do with myself anymore. True I didn't even finish "Bills story yet, but I need some sore felt chizuk. I feel like I am in the gutter, I am being controlled by what really seems to be my rotzon for Taavah.  How will I ever get out?



Elya, moderator of the Thursday night Conference Call, responded:


You started your post with BS'D. That's how you're going to get out. When you surrender and give up that you can control fighting this addiction yourself, you'll begin to get better with His help.  


This means not isolating and going to meetings or making calls to a sponsor or friend on GYE. It means reading the Handbook over and over again, every night until you can stop the behaviors for one day. Then the next and the next. Forget the 90 day chart. One day at a time, from now on.


Join the phone groups. Read what people say who go to the groups. Yes they still struggle but they have hope and friends to fall back on and discuss their stories.



Join Elya's Phone Conference this Thursday Night!


Torah Thought of the Day


What a Different Life We Would Have


"Haleivi76" writes:


I wanted to share something with you. It has put in a nutshell what I have been thinking about for some days now, and I hope it can help us all:

I learnt a little with my Rebbi last night and we were reading a chapter from the Steiplers Sefer 'Chayei Olam'. It was all about a man's Taivos in this world and why he can never be satisfied; no matter how much he has, he wants more. This is the same whether his taivos are for money, food, or any other physical pleasures. The Steipler asks the question, why are we built in such a way as to have these incredibly strong taivos? Surely it would be better if we did not have them and therefore be more able to resist temptation. The answer given is that HASHEM gives us some wonderful character traits; love, desire, passion etc. But as we have bechira, it is entirely our choice as to how we use them. HASHEM wants us to use them to serve Him and to love Him. This is why the taivos can be so strong; because as strong as they are, that is how passionately we should be seeking to serve Him. If we choose to use them to pursue material, physical desires, they will be just as strong, but because of the nature of man and the world we live in, they will NEVER EVER be satisfied, as a man will always be left wanting more. 

If only we could use the passion to chase HASHEM as we chase these shtusim, and that we should never be satisfied - no matter how much of HASHEM we have in our lives, what a different life we would have!



Battle Communication

The Big Picture


By "MyLastStop"


Even though I had a fall today, I had a lot of wins over lusting in the last couple of days and I'm proud of myself for that. I feel happy with myself and comfortable on my path to get this lusting out of my life.  

I don't feel this big disappointment for starting all over. When I first started these 90 day counts a few months back, falling was a huge let-down and a reason to be depressed. Now I am more mature and have the big picture and long term goal in mind. I am enrolled in SA, I have the reading material, and I'm posting on this site regularly. I feel like I am on the road to recovery, and I am excited about it. I will not be so stupid to believe that I will just sail straight into sobriety for ever. Of course I will fall along the way. But I do feel I am getting stronger at the core.

I firmly believe that the Yetzer Hara gets more out of getting you depressed after the aveira, than doing the aveira itself.

I said tikun haklali today, so hopefully all the damage to all the upper worlds was rectified already. And I already did M hundreds of times, so why should I let he yetzer Hara fool me that I should start feeling all terrible about this one? What about all the other ones I couldn't care less about?

On the other hand, being depressed about it and letting it ruin my day, and ruining my davenings and my confidence, etc.  that's a fresh new accomplishment for the Yetzer Hara.  Now he has ammo to make me sin all day, and even for the next couple of days, until I come up with new resolve to start fighting with zeal again.


In my SA meeting there was a 60 year old who just joined 2 months ago. If I don't stop it, it will never stop on its own. Imagine going through my entire life, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80 years old - and never stopping to lust; never getting past it. What a pathetic and sad life that would be; always being obsessed with it, going through the guilt cycles, etc. And imagine being free. I want to be free.



Daily Dose of Dov

Dov is sober in SA for over 13 years. See his story here.

Join Dov's Virtual SA Group Here.

The 12 steps are for those who have NO HOPE

(even WITH the steps!)


"Helpless" Posts:


Deep Breathe.... Here we go:

I am torn. Torn to pieces. Shreds. Threads. What is there to do? Another spiral downward. Another dip in the sea of death. Yet another cry from my knees. I don't know what to do anymore. I honestly feel hopeless. Helpless. Almost on the brink of just wanting to give up this battle and just let life takes me where it wants. 

I tell myself I am not strong enough. I don't have the will or mind power. And I truly don't. When was the last time this really affected me? When was the last time I cried over this? Life is a cycle. If I want to change myself I need to find the biggest hammer in the world and smash this cycle to bits and pieces. After doing well for a while, I feel like I've fallen all the way back to worse than pre-GYE.


I don't really ever ask for help so this calling out to you guys is the truth.

Thank you all.


Dov Responds:


There is a story I heard about R' Yisroel Salanter, though others have quoted it about someone else: 

A yiddle was told he'd be davening for the amud at Reb Yisroel's shul that Yomin Noro'im, and said: "Rebbi, this is ridiculous! I am not a person to do this: I don't sing well enough, I don't have enough real kavonoh, and I have aveiros, besides!" 

Reb Yisroel answered (and I am starting to cry now while typing this): "What, do you think we really need someone up there who thinks that he can sing well enough, has good kavonoh and has no aveiros!?"

To me, that story is like a bolt of thunder and lightning. The steps are not really for the guy who wants to improve his life, the guy who feels he needs to be stronger, nor for the guy who thinks that if he just tries these eitzos, he'll make it! They are for the guy who has no hope whatsoever - even with the steps! It's impossible! There is no way he can make it! But he has no way out (cuz suicide is not what he wants to do, for whatever reason)!

B"H! For him there is an accepting and loving Hashem waiting, and the steps helped many people find that open hand of Hashem and get the gift of a new life, if they admit the truth about themselves see there is no way out, and begin to give themselves over to the care of Hashem.

It's indeed not for the guy who thinks he can make it - it's for the guy who sees that he can't. 

You are a very lucky person. Let go of yourself and get the help you need and trust in the impossible. Gevalt, it isn't easy. But in the end, what choice do we have?

Thursday  ~ 19 Tamuz, 5770  ~  July 1, 2010

In Today's Issue
  • 12-Step Tip of the Day: Lust Addiction vs. Alcohol Addiction
  • Poem of the Day: The Monster in My Closet
  • Q & A of the Day: Do I have to tell my date?
  • Daily Dose of Dov: "No Masturbation" Days


12-Step Tip of the Day


Lust Addiction vs. Alcohol Addiction

Someone asks on the Forum:


To lust is something very normal, we just over do it. So why are we carbon copying AA and saying "don't lust"? In the SA book, it even mentions complete abstinence. Why? We aren't allergic to lust in a physical way. We just have to learn not to let lust control us. So why all this talk of "the first drink"? To me, this sounds like telling an overeater to stop eating. If our issue really starts after the first drink, then the twelve steps won't help us at all.


Elya Responds:


All "S" groups use the Big Book of AA as their guide. There are two types of addictions, physical addictions (drugs and alcohol) and process addictions (sex, gambling, food, work). We parallel the first drink in AA to the first look of porn or the first look of lust. Who says lust is very normal? We just overdo it. Addicts overdo it. Some people could care less about looking at porn or other women. But we have a mission to fill up an emptiness inside us. Some people do this with alcohol, drugs, sex, gambling, food or work. Pick your poison. And because of this, we can exchange books. The principles of powerlessness, prayer, resentments, viduy (5th step), working on our midos, working with others, are all globally applicable.  I can show you each step and its corresponding issue in both the Rambam and in Shaarei Teshuva. 

We're not saying you cannot have and enjoy sex, as long as it is with your spouse. But just like overeating and drinkingtoo much whiskey will make you fat and drunk and sick, engaging in lust for an addict will progress into more exotic and dangerous situations, if you keep feeding the lust. Also when we substitute being with our wives in true mutual intimacy for lust, it is no different. The lust chemicals take over our brains and we're drunk once again.




Join Elya's Phone Conference TONIGHT!


Poem of the Day


The Monster in My Closet


By "Shnook"


When I was little, there was a monster in my closet.
It huddled there in the dark, breathing.
I could hear it. I knew it was there, 
but no one spoke about it.
So I closed my eyes,
tried to ignore it
and prayed for it to go away.

One day, a as a teenager,
I peeked at the monster in the closet.
It was so little, cute and fuzzy.
It smiled at me and I thought 'he's kind of nice!"
He told me he was my friend
and we could go to wonderful places together if I let it out.
So... I did

But with each passing day,
the monster grew uglier and uglier.
Until I realized it was not my friend at all.
I was right the first time - it was a monster,
and it was so scary and so big .
It controlled me.
It was my master and I, its slave.

I prayed the sun wouldn't set 
I prayed night wouldn't fall
I hated this monster.
And I hated myself more for ever befriending it.

But now I realize,
this monster in my closet,
indeed ugly and dark,
but peering closely I can see
it is made up only of shadows....
Its form is my belief it exists; that's what gives it substance. 
The monster feeds off of my imagination, and therein lies its power.

So I'm going to shut the door,
close my eyes,
and start to LIVE.



Q & A of the Day


Do I have to tell my date?


A few weeks ago, we received an e-mail from a Bochur on the forum:


I am dating seriously, and I know that this has been talked about on the forum and Dr. Twerski thinks you should share your addiction with your prospective marriage partner, but I am wondering, if I seem to be stable when I stay on top of myself, and I plan to do the 12 steps and take safe guards to prevent myself from falling, do I have to share this with my date?


We replied:


can only share what Rabbi Twerski replied to someone who asked him this question:


There is an adage, "You're only as sick as your secrets." Revealing information that may ruin a shidduch is understandably very difficult, but keeping it secret creates a constant anxiety and a barrier to mutual trust and sincere communication. Marriages have enough problems without adding secrets.

In the case of alcohol or drug addiction, we generally tell people to avoid even getting into a relationship before one year of solid recovery and with the approval of one's sponsor.

But there are many variables. How long was the addiction? Does the person still have urges?

Whenever one decides to tell, one should say, "I must tell you something about myself, but it is with "Bal Tomar." You must promise not to tell it to anyone else.


(See this page for the whole story)


If she is the right one, she will accept to marry you anyway. What can I say? This is not easy, but may Hashem give you the wisdom and strength to do what needs to be done.


Recently, we received the following e-mail from this Bochur:


Last night I told her about my struggles. I was too embarrassed to say it straight out, so I sent her a text. She asked me about my struggle in great detail, how long I have been struggling online, detail of what I had seen, if I had ever been in contact with real people (no), how long I have been clean, what I plan to do in the future to protect myself, etc. In all, we talked about it for around three hours and in the end she said she is ok with my struggles and she feels bad for me and for all the pain I have been through.


Thanks again.


Daily Dose of Dov

Dov is sober in SA for over 13 years. See his story here.

Join Dov's Virtual SA Group Here.

"No Masturbation" Days


"SouthafricanJEW" (a Bochur) writes to Dov:


I can't stop masturbating completely, so I'm using a gradual approach. For now I chose "no masturbation days" so I can start cutting down. I feel a deep desire and longing for the day when I am strong enough for every day to be "no masturbation days". But I wonder if I should feel guilty when I masturbate on a day that is not allocated as such a day? I really need to know, because I am starting to feel guilty  about not feeling guilty.


Dov Responds:


Dear sweet SouthafricanJEW, 

Please forgive me, but I will say what my sponsor and mentors said to me maybe a hundred times when I asked stuff just like this: "You are thinking way too much. Stop it, OK? :-)

Now, this is a very annoying thing for me to hear, until I admit that: 

1 - I am not really as smart as all that anyway; 

2 - that should I actually figure-out the answer to these types of question, there is no evidence at all that I'd successfully put the answer into any consistent practice anyway;

3 - in general, I need more action and less thinking. 

OK. So, here are some more annoying things for you, since you seem to have taken that last one so well :-)

The reason every day is a "no masturbation day" for me is not because I am strong at all. It's a miracle. Hashem helps me not to have the nisayon at all most of the time. It is in the stupid little nisyonos that I need to work to surrender - I give up! I can't beat even this stupid little desire to stare at my pretty coworker down the hall or to follow the woman's face in the car driving next to mine, or to look into that newspaper at the last article about a teacher who ran off with her student - all very toxic stuff for me... I can't afford to look at them at all because I will definitely eventually go from there to the next level - even though in my present state of mind I could never imaging myself going to the "next level down"... but I know that shockingly, my state of mind will radically change because I have this illness and that is what happens. I won't be fooled again, be"H. 

Does this make sense to you? That is where I am holding. It is not a madreiga at all... but if it was, I wouldn't concern myself with it. Figuring out my madreiga is always so poisonous for me that it's just like lusting - I can't afford it, so be"H I don't do it. I befeirush ask Him to help me, and I keep realistic. That way, the battlelines - if there are any at all - are always way, way back from what you'd call "the danger zone". But for me, I need to recognize and admit that the "little stuff" is the only danger zone, now. Or I am toast, for sure. 

And BTW, "not looking" because it is an aveiro only causes me to guilt about it more, which guarantees failure later on - I know that cuz it always did! I do not focus on the issura for me - it is sakanta and therefore way more serious than issura, as the gemara states. This lust garbage ruins my life and will kill me. The main issue is the sakanta, not the issura, for me (b"H).

Two more thingies. Choosing "no mast.. days" puts little me way deep into the driver's seat. Too much for me to handle at all. An ikkar of recovery is that I do not run it. I work it, but do not run it. 

And finally, whenever people use the term "the long run", I want to ask them what they mean by that. To me, "the long run" only exists in hindsight. I try not to fool myself that I have a shaychus to it, at all. I fooled myself long enough into working on "the long run"! Not any more. In fact, there is no way I can actually do anything for tomorrow. All I can really do today is: live today as right as I can with Hashem's help. That is the only insurance "tomorrow" will ever have, period. That's why, tempting as it may be while davening each day, I do not ask for Hashem to keep me sober for any time longer than this very day. And it's been a bunch of years, thank-G-d... in the long run. 

Sof davar, we do not really quit forever. What is "forever", anyway? We just give up right now, and openly depend on the G-d who created heaven and earth to keep us sober today without asking about tomorrow. Cheshbonos rabim never helped me at all, certainly not binasi (my understanding).

Friday  ~ 20 Tamuz, 5770  ~  July 2, 2010

In Today's Issue
  • Parsha Talk - Pinchas: It's Pikuach Nefesh!
  • Testimonial of the Day: The Screen is Lifting
  • Daily Dose of Dov: Let Go and Let the Purple Bunny (??!)

Parsha Talk: Pinchas

It's Pikuach Nefesh!

 From by Rabbi M. Kamenetzky

After Bila'am's failed efforts to curse the Jewish people, he devised another ploy. He advised the nations of Midian and Moav to lure the Jews to sin through salacious activities. Midian complied wholeheartedly, offering its daughters as conspirators in the profanity. The scheme worked. The Jews cavorted with Midianite women, and the wrath of Hashem was aroused. A plague ensued and thousands of Jews died.

In this week's portion, Hashem commands his people to administer justice. "Make the Midianites your enemies and attack them!" For they antagonized you through their conspiracy that they conspired against you in the matter of Peor, and in the matter of Cozbi, daughter of a leader of Midian, their sister, who was slain on the day of the plague, in the matter of Peor" (Numbers 25:17-18). Eventually Jews go to war with Midian.

The issue that may confront the modern thinker is simple. War? Over what? They were not fighting over land. There was no dispute over oil or natural resources. Why such vehemence to the point of physical attack over the incident at Peor? Why call for such physical retribution for an act that caused spiritual sedition through secular seduction?

Rabbi Eliezer Sorotzkin of Lev L'Achim related the following story: In November 1938, before the onset of World War II, some Jewish children had the opportunity to escape from Nazi Germany and resettle in England through what became known as kindertransport. Unfortunately, their were not enough religious families able to accept these children and other families who were willing to take them were not willing to raise the children with Jewish traditions. The Chief Rabbi of London, Rabbi Yechezkel Abramski, embarked on a frantic campaign to secure funding to ensure that every child would be placed in a proper Jewish environment.

Rabbi Abramski called one wealthy Jewish industrialist and begged him for a donation sizable enough to ensure that the children would be raised in proper Jewish environment. "It is pikuach nefesh!" cried Rabbi Abramski.

At that point, the tycoon became incensed. "Rabbi," he said, "Please do not use that term flippantly. I know what pikuach nefesh is. Pikuach nefesh means a matter of life and death! When I was young, my parents were very observant. When my baby sister was young, she was very sick. We had to call the doctor, but it was on Shabbos. My father was very conscientious of the sanctity of Shabbos. He would never desecrate Shabbos. But our rabbi told us that since this is a matter of life and death, we were allowed to desecrate the Shabbos! He called it pikuach nefesh. Rabbi Abramski," the man implored, "with all due respect. The children are already here in England. They are safe from the Nazis. The only issue is where to place them. How they are raised is not pikuach nefesh!" With that, the man politely bade farewell and hung up the phone.

That Friday evening, the wealthy man was sitting at dinner, when the telephone rang incessantly. Finally, the man got up from his meal and answered the phone.

As he listened to the voice on the other end of the line, his face went pallid.

"This is Abramski. Please. I would not call on the Sabbath if I did not think this was pikuach nefesh. Again, I implore you. We need the funds to ensure that these children will be raised as Jews."

Needless to say, the man responded immediately to the appeal.

We understand matters of life and death, justice and injustice, war and peace, in corporeal terms. It is difficult to view spirituality in those terms as well.

The Torah teaches us that our enemies are not merely those who threaten our physical existence, but those who threaten our spiritual existence as well. Throughout the generations, we faced those who would annihilate us physically and others who would be just as happy to see us disappear as Jews.

What our enemies were unable to do to the Jewish people with bullets and gas, they have succeeded in doing with assimilation and spiritual attrition.

The decadent and immoral society that we live in today is also out to destroy us. We must recognize this struggle as Pikuach Nefesh and take a lesson from this week's Parsha to wage WAR against the shmutz in our own personal lives.


Click here for another nice dvar Torah from on the Parsha that relates to our struggles.



Testimonial of the Day


The Screen is Lifting


Eye.Nonymous writes:


I noticed a while ago that I suffer from an undercurrent of tension that often led me to act out. But thanks to the insights I got through this forum, and especially thanks to Duvid Chaim's group, I think a lot of this tension is gone. The fears and resentments that caused them are much less.


And, I had a great talk with one of the guys from Duvid Chaim's group. We confronted one of my biggest fears -- my feeling of hopelessness in finding a parnasa.  He gave me a whole new attitude; something I can work with and feel good about, no matter what.  So, this helped a lot too.


So lately I've been walking down the street, feeling the urge to look at the women on the street.  Then I was thinking, "I don't need this - I'm content with life."  It's like, if you don't have a headache, why take pain killers?


It's a big realization. It's not that my whole life has been transformed - but this realization comes along a couple of times here and there throughout the day. It's definitely a good start.


That undercurrent of tension is turning into an undercurrent of contentment.


Regarding "control."  I had a talk with my wife about something. I realized that there's another type of control - trying to control THE PAST! In short, we made a big mistake with something, and it's been eating us up. BUT, it's in the past! WE MADE A MISTAKE. Just accept it and move on. Just make the most out of things today.


It may take us a while to fully integrate this, but it's an important realization.


A catalyst for some of these realization was a shiur I was listening to by Rav Moshe Aharon Stern. He was talking about how a lot of problems come because we don't have satisfaction in our life - from our davening and from our learning, for example. During shacharis I was thinking, here I am in the middle of tachanun, which is supposed to be a really powerful prayer, and I'm just rattling off the words. WHY DON'T I PUT SOME FEELING INTO IT! This is something I can choose to do! So I tried it. Again, this is another one of those awareness's that come and go, and go more than it comes, but it's a new thing I can start working on.


And, it has further applications. The other morning I had something quick to do on the computer for work. I could have gone back and forth to the computer during breakfast and finished it. BUT, I wouldn't be fully present with my wife for breakfast-- not physically, mentally, or emotionally. SO I decided that I WANTED TO PUT MY HEART INTO WHAT I WAS DOING; time with my wife. I left the computer work for later on in the day.


I'm feeling like there's been this screen between myself and others, even though I'm in the same room. Through GYE and Dovid Chaim's calls, I feel like this screen is lifting. Somehow, everything seems more vivid. People and LIFE seems more real.




Duvid Chaim's Group will be starting a new cycle some time this month, G-d willing. We'll announce the details when we get them. Get ready for the voyage of the D.C Freedom Flotilla!



Daily Dose of Dov

Dov is sober in SA for over 13 years. See his story here.

Join Dov's Virtual SA Group Here.


Let Go and Let Purple Bunny (??!)


How can I go to these SA groups when most of the guys there are thinking of their higher power as Yushka? Let's say there were people who believed god was a 12 foot purple bunny that can do magic, turn cool aid into whiskey and walk on water, would that work as their "Higher Power" too?


Dov Responds:


Now, wait a purple cotton-tailed-pickin'-minute!

Among the compunctions I have heard from some people about 12-step meetings is the incomprehensibility that "a yid - a talmid chochom yet" - might go to learn about G-d from a bunch of heathens. (The fact that the yid - a talmid chochom yet - might be engaging daily in sex with self, massage parlors, exposure, schmutz-by-the-hour-on-the-internet when "no one" is watching, lying to the spouse and everyone else for alibis, etc... that doesn't disqualify him as "a yid - a talmid chochom yet"... nu. Hah. To me, that's really purple-bunny-rabbit-thinking! Of course I did that for years, too!)

The meetings are not exclusive to our coreligionists. They will treat goyim and yiddin as equals. Catholics and Mormons (who each believe the other is going to hell), yiddin and atheists, Republicans and Communists (Oops! I meant Democrats, sorry!), Muslims and Moslems (?)... all are under a common denominator: humans powerless to win al derech ha-teva. They teach each other how to let go of their own power and admit they are not G-d and neither is the woman, man, or body-part that they were always revering! Then they give members the room to pick their own G-d and help them become an emloyee of that Higher Power, putting their will and lives in It's care, not theirs. All along, not asking them exactly how they define "G-d"! The only issue faced in the Program is that I am not G-d and neither is alcohol, heroin, Lust, Crack, anger, fear, or anything else that is destructive to me. 

Technically, the meetings are secular. Spiritual but not religious. If you look up the definition of secular, you will see AA/SA, as I experienced it. It doesn't teach us anything at all, about G-d. Nothing. It teaches us about ourselves, and that's apparently enough to let G-d in. Boruch Hashem, I found recovery in a secular program. There was room for a frum yid, and I can share it with anybody! And I do!

And remember: don't think so much! :-)

Sunday  ~ 22 Tamuz, 5770  ~  July 4, 2010

In Today's Issue
  • Happy Birthday GYE: The Yartzeit of the Karliner and the 4th of July
  • Anecdote of the Day: Kedusha = Restriction
  • Testimonial of the Day: Shmiras Ainayim on the Plane
  • Daily Dose of Dov: What do you mean "I am thinking too much"?


What do the 3rd Birthday of Guard Your Eyes,

the Yartzeit of Rav Shlomo of Karlin

and the 4th of July all have in common?


The Zohar (in Chelek Beis, pg 78b) writes that Yakov Avinu took the months of Nissan and Iyar for himself (hence Yetziyas Mitzrayim, Kabbalas Hatorah), and Eisav took the months of Tammuz and Av for himself (and hence, the 17th of Tammuz and Tisha Be'av), but only the first 9 days of Av belong to him. The month of Tammuz belongs to Esav. Yaakov Avinu davened for Hashem to save him from "the hand of my brother, the hand of Esav". Esav's power over Yaakov stems either from "the hand of Esav" - when he tries to destroy us by force, or from the "hand of my brother" when he tries to influence Yaakov to do whatever he pleases and enjoy the pleasures of this world. Today, on July 4th, Esav celebrates the holiday of "Freedom"; the same freedom that allows for the complete lack of restrictions in today's society.

The Beis Ahron of Karlin at the end of Parshas Pinchas brings a Medrash that says that the months of Tammuz, Av and Elul have no Regalim in them. That is why Hashem gave us three Regalim in the month of Tishrei, as if to "pay us back". The Beis Ahron writes that the 3 weeks are a very high time. These 3 weeks symbolize the 3 upper worlds (Ga"r or Gimmle Rishonos; Keser, chachma and Bina), and according to Kabbala, these three worlds are above time and space. That is why, says the Beis Ahron, the 3 weeks are a time when Hashem is so "hidden". Not because it is a "dark" time, but rather because the world cannot be "Sovel" (tolerate) the great light of this period of the year. But when Moshiach comes, he writes, these three weeks will be revealed and they will become great Yomim Tovim. And the Beis Ahron ends by saying that that is why we usually read Parshas Pinchas during the three weeks, because Pinchas has all the Regalim in it.


The Yartzeit of Rav Shlomo Karliner is today, on the 22cd Tamuz. He was killed al Kiddush Hashem by a Russian Cossack, and Tzadikim said he was the bechina of Moshiach Ben Yosef. Yosef was born and died in the month of Tammuz. This is because the Koach of yosef will one day over power Esav as the Pasuk says "and the house of Yosef will be a flame and the house of Eisav will be like straw". Yosef's flame of Kedusha will devour and eradicate the power of Eisav from the world. But before Moshiach comes, Esav's Koach seems to overpower Yosef during the three weeks, and Yosef needs to "die" (be mistalek) in order to combat Esav. We all know that the death of Moshiach Ben Yosef is an integral part of the Ge'ulah. Only after Moshiach ben Yosef dies can Moshiach Ben David reveal himself.

The website was launched on the 22cd of Tamuz - exactly three years ago. Our community is part of the light of Yosef that shines forth after the holy bechina of Yosef seems to have been "killed" - kaviyachol - by Esav and all his impurities. Our network is perhaps a harbinger of the Ge'ulah, the fulfillment of what the holy Ohr Hachayim Hakadosh writes (Shemos 3:8), that before Moshiach comes the Yidden will be subjected to the 50th level of impurity (i.e. the death of Yosef - Kaviyachol), yet they will find the strength to enter into the mouth of the Satan and remove that which he had swallowed from his very mouth. ("Le'hotzi Bo'loi Mi'piv", i.e. using the power of the internet, the Satan's very tool, to bring out the sparks of Kedusha that had fallen prey to the 50th level of Tumah). By re-inspiring Klal Yisrael with the power of Kedusha (which is the power of "restriction" -  as Chazal say, "wherever you find a geder Erva, you find Kedusha"), we are fighting the power of Esav in our generation; the power of "Freedom" = lack of restrictions.

Tzadikim say, that although the 3 weeks is generally a bad time to start anything new, the day of Rav Shlomo's Yartzeit is a day when it is davka mesugal to start something new, and to make a personal RENEWAL. It seems to me that it is no coincidence that Esav's Holiday of Freedom, the Yartzeit of Rav Shlomo of Karlin (bechinas Yosef Hatzadik) and the 3rd Birthday of GuardYourEyes all fall out on the same day!


Rabbosai, just like this network was launched on this day, I ask all of those in our community of Hashem's "front-line soldiers", to take this power of renewal and the power of Kedusha - restriction, and to renew the light of Yosef, davka now when Hashem is Hidden from us the most and the power of Esav seems to be at its peak.

(For a slightly different and more elaborate version of this d'var Torah, see Chizuk e-mail #528 on this page, written on GYE's 2cd Birthday.)



Anecdote of the Day


Kedusha = Restriction


By "Kedusha"


Yesterday, I saw a tremendously important insight from Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, ZT"L, which I would like to share:


Source: Chiku Mamtakim, volume II p. 121 (translated from the original Hebrew) (emphasis added).


A group of Kollel Avreichim approached Rav Shlomo Zalman with a sincere request: "We yearn to rise to great heights in Avodas Hashem, to become close to the Ribbono Shel Olam and to perform His Mitzvos on the highest level.  However, we don't know where to begin - in which Mitzvos should we be extra careful and stringent?"


Rav Shlomo Zalman responded: "Why look for stringencies?  There is no need for that.  The main thing is to accept upon yourself to fulfill the Halacha on a Lechatchila level."


The Avreichim agreed to take that upon themselves, but were not satisfied. They continued to request Rav Shlomo Zalman's guidance as to how they can be extra careful in matters of Halacha and create a close relationship with the Ribbono Shel Olam.


Since it meant so much to them, Rav Shlomo Zalman acceded to their request and gave them the following advice: "All the Chumros and Hidurim are not worth a single minor Hidur in matters of Kedusha and Tzeniyus.  In matters of Kedusha and Tzeniyus, every small Hidur is immeasurable, it raises up, sanctifies, and brings a person close to his Creator, as Chazal say: 'Wherever you find safeguards against ervah, you find Kedusha.'  For someone whose Neshama is thirsty for Ruchniyus, the place to begin and the area that is most important is Kedusha and Tzeniyus."



Testimonial of the Day


Shmiras Ainayim on the Plane


By "Kosher" from the Traveling Thread


This past Thursday, I was flying back home from the "Out-of-town" city I was visiting, and unfortunately the person sitting next to me on the plane was a woman who was obviously not makpid on Rabbi Falk's standard of tznius (she was wearing what some people generously refer to as "summer attire"). It was not practical for me to change my seat, but B"H I managed to keep my eyes where they belonged. The first half of the trip I kept my eyes closed/slept and for the second, I put my sefer by the window and looked out the window/learned.

I credit much of my success to the inspiration picked up from the Oilam on the forum and I want to thank everyone for it.


Daily Dose of Dov

Dov is sober in SA for over 13 years. See his story here.

Join Dov's Virtual SA Group Here.

What do you mean "I am thinking too much"?


Dear Dov, you often say, "You are thinking way too much, stop it". First of all, I think this is a very dangerous statement, in and of itself. Second, generally our emotions are controlled by our thinking, if we like it or not, so you may as well say you are "feeling way too much, stop it", I have a feeling of guilt, I need to find out what thinking is causing this and work through it, otherwise how can I get rid of the feeling?


OK. I'm not one to confidently identify 'addictive' thinking, but though I agree that how we think profoundly affects our emotions, I find it hard to believe that most addicts are really in touch with the way they are thinking nearly as much as they think they are! My butt has been (figuratively) kicked for me enough times by un-blinded people that I have come to admit my own weakness at seeing what is really motivating me. That was a skill I am learning but took time and the rustic, simple honesty of step-work. The main advantage of my program buddies was not their wisdom, rather it was that they are just not me. 

I have also met honest, sweet guys who come to their first meeting, (usually give some heartfelt sage counsel to all the regular attendees there!) and finally say, "wow, I have finally found where I belong!" They often come back for one more meeting, maybe, and say they've "got it now"...sometimes coming back in tatters after an arrest or divorce. I am talking about b'nei Torah, here, too. I do not think they are just liars. I believe that like I can be, they are apparently blind to whats cooking with them; to their own motivations and true goals. Perhaps they'd rather remain a bit comfortable and keep their drug. Who knows? 

Finally, I have seen that it was my own very best thinking that got me as screwed up as I became. Not anyone else's. Particularly prior to using the first seven steps, I see my own deep thinking and analysis as having been quite harmful to me. In the program we do take a long hard look at what our attitudes are and how misguided our thinking may be. But we generally do it with a sponsor or group. To do this on our own is where the entire problem is in the first place! It's a big pride pill, as far as I am concerned. 

So in many many cases, program people I know advocate taking the energy we are expending on trying to pridefully change ourselves by "figuring it all out and then fixing it" (a common lust/preoccupation of most people I know of who are still acting out - especially me, for years) and instead, putting that same energy (and time) into simply taking the actions of love toward our families, communities, and selves. Ultimately, that thinking was yet another self-absorbed and self-centered exercise that only made me more self-absorbed and self-centered. Not a good idea for an addict, who already uses sex-with-self and  self-pleasuring as his tool to cope with life's pains! Enough is sometimes enough.

For example, a few years ago (after a year or two in recovery), whenever my wife would surprisingly find me mopping or sweeping the entire house floor, she'd say, "so what are you angry about now, dov?", with a funny smile. She had discovered that when I'd get furious (usually at her), I had learned to react first by doing stuff for her without expectation of any reciprocation from her. Just shut up and give. That would often soften my pride, get a bit healthy, and help me see that our relationship was indeed precious to me. It helped open my heart a bit. I would then be more able to look at what my part in the problem was (working my 4th step with Hashem's help), ask Hashem to save me from the problem (my pride, fear, anger, etc.)(6&7), and then make my amends with the wife (9). 

Our relationship is far from perfect, but it is very good. And it isn't because I "worked on myself". If anything it's because I stopped
working on myself and started working for (not on!) others, instead. Whew!

You are truly concerned about discouraging thinking. I agree that this may be a dangerous derech if we are in Cuba or a religious cult where someone else is vying for our conscience or to control us. Then I'd say "look out!"

But this secular spiritual group, with no leader, and no profit, asks for no commitment from it's members and presses no religious agenda. It's only purpose is in helping each other get sober - even without using the steps if some choose! If anyone feels endangered by that, let them joyfully go elsewhere!

Hence the emphasis on the not thinking so much. But by all means, if thinking is working for you, go right ahead!

Monday  ~ 23 Tamuz, 5770  ~  July 5, 2010

In Today's Issue
  • Battle Communication: Leaving Planet Lust
  • Attitude Tip of the Day: Changing the One Thing I don't Want To
  • Daily Dose of Dov: Yetzer Hara & Teshuvah vs. Addiction and Recovery


Battle Communication


Leaving Planet Lust


"Aaron" welcomes a newcomer with advice:


Your story reminds me of my own as well as so many others here on GYE.  It's scary how easy it is to get hooked and how difficult it is to extricate yourself later. But if you learn one thing only here, know that it is possible to break free. You do not have to be a slave to lust. This was a huge revelation for me since I convinced myself that my actions were "normal". That popular culture was simply more in tune with my reality, and that if a radio sex therapist said masturbation was part of life, that was probably true, and seforim that said otherwise were simply out of touch. Of course, she also said that affairs were part of life too... but I chose to disagree with that because luckily I didn't have any, so in THAT area I could be "frum". Little did I realize it was all rationalization. If I'd had an affair, it would have immediately become "normal" too. My actions dictated my values... instead of the reverse!

Although breaking free is possible, it's not easy and it takes time. Unfortunately, our brains have been wired for lust as a result of many years of training. It isn't easy to erase those pathways and see the world correctly. But with work and time, it will gradually improve.  

In my experience, one of the most significant side effects of this addiction is that you live in an alternate reality and not in the "real world". Your actions may be real but your emotions are disconnected from them.  In your mind, you're somewhere else, on Planet Lust. The goal of recovery is to re-connect your mind and your body. To bring your mind back from its endless and pointless lust-soaked fantasies so that it's focused on whatever you're ACTUALLY doing.



Attitude Tip of the Day


Changing the One Thing I Don't Want To

"Jooboy" writes:


Here is something to help you think about when you get jealous on the street.  Having a beautiful wife does not solve our problem. I find my wife very beautiful and very attractive. I would rather be with her than anyone else, but it doesn't help my porn addiction one bit. Porn for me is no different than cocaine for a drug addict.  It makes me forget my pain (only during; after it hurts worse than before) and takes me away from whatever is going on at the moment. Street lust is no different. Lust is not about fulfilling a normal need, it is about wanting what you don't have. But as soon as you get that something, lust hast to move on to the next thing.


Classical addictive thinking is that everything would be better if just I had... a wife, no wife, a different wife, etc.


As an addict I don't naturally enjoy 'the moment'. I want something outside of me to change first and then I'll be happy. For me, recovery means accepting everything around me - and changing over the one thing that I real don't want to change: ME.



Daily Dose of Dov

Dov is sober in SA for over 13 years. See his story here.

Join Dov's Virtual SA Group Here.


Yetzer Hara & Teshuvah vs. Addiction & Recovery

Someone asks:


I know that the first thing that will get me out of this is wanting to. And I just don't want to badly enough. I'm so furious at myself. Why don't I want to recover?? What's wrong with me?


Dov Responds:


Boruch Hashem I am sober today, a fact that is more important to me that my life and anything else in my life. As my wife told me about ten years ago, the day I got sober is far more precious to her than the day we got married. Nu. She is not an addict and does not really understand that it is one day at a time - sobriety is not and never really is an "event" - it doesn't "happen" nor "start" - I am sober by Hashem's grace TODAY, and only because I allow Him to help me. I possess the power to stop G-d's help from working for me, at any time... But at least my wife understands that if I am not sober I basically have nothing, and nobody has me either. I do not have my life and family, and they do not have me. So it is certainly the single most precious element in my life. Maybe more precious than breathing, and I am not waxing poetic, at all. 

Most of the addicts that I have met - whether successfully in recovery or not, have a powerful and obvious drive for kedusha and for perfectionism in kedusha and spirituality. Many spend their early years acting out in the confused state of trying to get both simultaneously. You know, the youngsters in NCSY who are belting out "gam ki eileych..." in tears (together) quite sincerely - and then later that night are getting sexual with each other. I was there, too. It is a painful place to be.

It's important to understand though, that people who have discovered sexual pleasures and do not want to stop, are not necessarily addicts. I personally believe that addiction is not a state of doing aveiros over and over just because you want to cuz it feels so good. Rather, I experience addiction as primarily the experience of repeating a pleasureful behavior even though you do not want to - but fighting it as hard as you can and using tricks etc, to quit - yet still ending up messing up every (or almost every) time. The typical slut, therefore, is quite possibly not and addict, at all. 

Many people are under the knee-jerk impression that if they are driven to do aveiros they must be an addict.  To me that means that they are automatically equating "the Yetzer Hara" with "addiction". This is simply inaccurate. The YH is certainly powerful and may very well have something to do with the start of this addiction. The weakness we all possess for sexuality is certainly exploited by the YH for Hashem's good plan. There are certainly parallels between T'shuvah and recovery... but they are not the same. In fact, I came to GYE in the first place for one reason only: to let people who are addicts discover that they are more 'ill' than they are 'bad', and that success has not - and likely will not - come out of further struggle and 'inspiration'. And that if they are truly addicts, they have an allergy of the body to lust and a mental illness, as well. And that they may possess a twisted perspective on G-d Himself... and on people, too, of course. And that they do not need T'shuva at all right now, but to learn how to stop and how to live without their lust and sexual dependence today... right now. Typically, once anyone starts to get sober and becomes serious about their recovery, all this becomes very obvious to them.  

In other words, as far as I am concerned, there is no glory at all in frumly insisting that this battle is for kedusha and Hashem's sake. Yeah, certainly my sobriety is a kiddush Hashem and His Will is better done through a sober me than through a drunk, insane, and destructive me. But the path to this point cannot often be on the glorious and pretty path of traditional T'shuvah. Addiction is an illness much more than it is a moral struggle, and it needs strong medicine rather than very, very good intentions. Framing it as a struggle with my YH would have led me to my death. I have no doubt about that, and mean it literally.

Derech Eretz - sanity - the ability to function on this earth - comes before Torah. And just because it leads to and enables Torah-living, does not make it "Torah" any more than math is Torah because it allows one to understand some sugyos in gmorah P'sahchim and Succah.  The very fact that for so many of us, our addiction developed within the context of our developing frumkeit itself, means that our frumkeit is obviously infected. Oy larasha, oy l'shchayno! It is not yiddishkeit or Hashem that is not working', but is we who are broken. And we took our yiddishkeit down with us! Insisting upon using it to recover is silly. Ein kateigor na'aseh san'eigor. We need help of a fellowship and a Power Greater than ourselves. Hashem can help us - we cannot. All our mental and spiritual power is exactly what got us here in the first place - and is the only thing that will keep us in this mess! This is what the 3rd step is about. Abandonment to Hashem. Like in the Sh'ma.

I have tried to explain here why I believe that the actual work to achieve sobriety, freedom, and stopping the insanity and self-destruction (and destruction of our families and communities) is the realm of recovery, and not the realm of Torah-learning and Tshuvah. At least for an addict like me. As for me, my Torah and Yiddishkeit is built on my sanity, which is ever-increasing as my recovery deepens. I would not have it any other way. To those who refuse to allow this perspective into their lives and feel they need to fight the good fight their own way based on their own perceptions of whatever... I respectfully and honestly say, "good luck". 

I hope this is helpful, as you are asking a good question when you ask "what is wrong with me?" I just hope that I have helped you frame it in a useful way, rather than your seeming self-condemning way. There is likely something wrong with you - not with yiddishkeit, and your problem may have little to do with yiddishkeit in the first place, as I hope I have explained. 

I sincerely wish you Hatzlocha and all the help you need. I honestly believe that anyone can make it. Anyone.

Tuesday  ~ 24 Tamuz, 5770  ~  July 6, 2010

In Today's Issue
  • Tip of the Day: Yetzer Hara, do you love me or not?
  • Testimonial of the Day: Aaron writes...
  • Battle Communication: Shooting on the Street
  • Daily Dose of Dov: Fighting the 700lb gorilla was not working for me


Tip of the Day


Yetzer Hara, do you love me or not?


"Briut" Wrote:


You know, there may be different approaches for different people. Some people like to fight the Yetzer Hara with fire. That stopped working for me after a while, because I got exhausted at the prospect that I'd always be fighting.

Instead, I've been a little sneakier lately. I speak quietly and lovingly, almost whispering, to the enemy: "Dear YH: I've known you for SO long. You've been a constant companion. And I've always listened to you IN THE PAST when you say that your way is the right way for me. <chaval> But right now, I need to have a day without you. Just a short break to take care of some other business.

"If you REALLY love me, and REALLY have my best interests at heart like you've always said, then you'll OF COURSE give me a day's break. Feel free to come around tomorrow, because you know I've always been happy to see you <snicker>, but I'll feel so much better if you'll go away for a day. You DO still love me, don't you?"

<check, and checkmate, as they'd say in chess>

He's cornered. He's got to go away for the day. If he returns, I can remind him that he promised. Then, if he sticks around, it shows that he never really loved me in the first place, so he's GOT to leave me alone for the day.

So far, one day at a time, that's been working better for me than battling an enemy far more wily than me.


Just a thought.... Different approaches work for different people!



Testimonial of the Day


Aaron, who is clean for 2 years, wrote me an e-mail today:


B"H I'm doing better than ever. Slowly, staying sober and working on living right, I'm discovering a REAL PERSON underneath the exterior shell.  I never knew he existed, I was always just "different". But B"H, no more. I am now like everyone else.

Of course, that comes with challenges. While other people have been aware and in touch with their real selves for many years, and have worked on good ways to channel their natural reactions, for me, it's all brand new.  Although I now react (with anger, irritation, happiness, appreciation, etc) like a "regular person", I don't know how to channel it. I'm an adult, but in some ways I'm immature.

Now for the mea culpa. I went with my family to a hotel and came out with them to the outdoor pool. Big mistake. But I went back in, never to go back out. My wife is so sweet and clueless, and I tell her, and she gets it and says "no problem, I'm proud of you", but it's really all up to me.



Battle Communication


Shooting on the Street


By "Halevi"


Attitudes dictate actions and then actions can drag the attitudes down with them, but it all starts with the way you frame it in your mind. I have found that if I spend a minute before I leave the office focusing on the fact that I am going to encounter all the denizens of hell between the office door and my home, it really helps to keep a control over my eyes. Sure I probably look REALLY odd walking down the street with my eyes on the floor, sometimes when the 'traffic' on the pavement is too heavy, even looking down has its problems and I find I have to dive out of the way, but what would you do if someone was shooting at you in the street, would you not dive? I see it as the Y"H is spitting out his 'bullets' at me in female form and it is my job to avoid them if I want to stay alive.

Some may find this analogy amusing - but whatever works right?

Be strong - just for today Rabboisai, JUST FOR TODAY.



Daily Dose of Dov

Dov is sober in SA for over 13 years. See his story here.

Join Dov's Virtual SA Group Here.

Fighting the 700lb gorilla was not working for me


The heiliger Divrei Chayim (or maybe it was the Sfas Emess) said: "Enlightened folks don't desire freedom so that they can do whatever they like whenever they want - like empty-headed fools, but rather so that they can actually succeed at fighting for Kvod Shomayim in this life, each in their own way!"

Instead of focusing on me valiantly fighting for Kvod Shomayim by not acting out, with His help I will focus on being a decent yid! In the meantime, I'll take whatever daily "medications" I need to cuz of my illness and I just want to live without giving lust the time of day. I trust that attitude to bring about way more Kvod Shomayim in the end, anyway!


Getting in the ring to fight the 700lb gorilla was not working for me. By making my goal to be a decent (not perfect, just decent) husband, father, ben Torah, recovery friend and community member, I hope to lack the time to get too distracted from real life, at all.


But I can't do that without a miracle, so: Please save me today from delusions of grandeur and help me put my load down on Your wagon that's carrying me anyway!


Upcoming Trip & Apology

We are traveling early next week to give a presentation to the Gedolim about our work on GYE. We hope to get their backing - through Torah Umesorah, which wants to send our handbooks and 'Prevention Tips for Parents' to all of the schools in their network.

As a result of this upcoming trip and the need to prepare the materials for these hundreds of schools and tens of thousands of parents, we are extremely busy. We apologize, but it looks like we may be sporadic in sending the Chizuk e-mails until we return on Sunday, July 18th.

Meanwhile, please make sure to read every day from he archives of 800 "Breaking Free" chizuk e-mails sent out in the past years, and 400 Shemiras Ainayim Chizuk e-mails as well. You can access the archives by clicking on the numbers 1 - 800, and 1 - 400 at the top of this page.

You are all pioneers in the GYE revolution. Keep each other strong on the forum as well!
Sunday  ~ 7 Av, 5770  ~  July 19, 2010

In Today's Issue
  • The Trip: Our Presentation to the Gedolim
  • Attitude Tip of the Day: How Much More Must be in Store!
  • Daily Dose of Dov: Who do we REALLY believe in?


The Guard Your Eyes Presentation to the

Va'ad Roshei HaYeshivos of Torah U'Messorah


As we announced in the Chizuk e-mail of July 8th, me and my partner were just on a trip to talk about our work before the Gedolim and to try to get their Haskama to send out our materials to the Torah Umesorah school network (almost 700 schools in the U.S). I apologize for the lapse in Chizuk e-mails of the past 10 days or so. It was simply not possible to prepare them. (We plan one day on having an automated Chizuk e-mail system, so that it will no longer be dependent on me :-)

Here are some notes from our talk at the Sullivan-County Day-school in Monticello on July 15 2010, the 4th of Av 5770 before the Va'ad Roshei HaYeshivos (who are mainly the same members of the Mo'etzes Gedolei HaTorah of Agudas Yisrael).

The following Gedolim were present. Click here to download a picture of the Gedolim during the talk (Rav Malkiel Kotler is looking at the handbook).

  • The Noviminsker Rebbe

  • Rav Aharon Shechter

  • Rav Dovid Feinstein

  • Rav Aharon Feldman (on Skype video, we could hear and see each other)

  • Rav Aryeh Malkiel Kotler

  • Rav Avraham Chaim Levin

The following Gedolim were supposed to be there but unfortunately couldn't make it:

  • Rav Shmuel Kaminetsky

  • Rav Dovid Haris

  • Rav Hillel David

After I was introduced by Rav Dovid Najowitz (head of Torah Umesorah), Rav Aharon Feldman requested to make an introduction about Guard Your Eyes to the other Gedolim who were present. He spoke for about 2.5 minutes about our work. Here is a rough (incomplete) transcript of Rav Aharon Feldman's introduction:


I actually spent an hour with Yaakov... He came down to Baltimore and showed me video presentation of what he's doing... And I was very, very impressed.


Based on (various?) statistics, the work that he does, and the amount of people that he reaches... (It's?) the only site, the only way of reaching people that are addicted to these kind of inappropriate materials that are found on the internet... and I know personally many, many cases that... yungerlite... there was a rebbe in cheder who confessed to me that he is addicted to the internet...


This is the ONLY method, Guard Your Eyes, which gives like a 12-Step guide to members, gives them support, gives them a buddy, gives them the ability to cope with the fact that ... they have friends(?), ... It helps them, gives them charts which show them how many days they stayed clean . A man came to me from Guard Your Eyes in Baltimore and said he wants to make a Kiddush because he's a year clean from watching internet (shmutz)...


It's a tremendous ... effective thing, a very, very important thing, wherever we turn there's shmutz... in every possible area you see. And this is the only area that's doing something about it. And I gave them a Haskama... and I'm helping them with other things a little bit. And it's something that we all should support...


As I started talking, my partner handed out the following material to each of the Rabbanim present (click the links below to download the material):

In the beginning of my talk, I played for the Gedolim two MP3 audio clips, one from Rabbi Twerski (1.5 min) and one from Rav Veiner (1 min) to emphasize the terrible destruction that the internet is causing today. Then I described some of our tools and solutions for about 12 minutes, until I was held up by the Noviminsker Rebbe who wanted to ask some questions... From then on, there were questions and answers, and different points were brought up amongst the participants. At the end of the discussion, the Noviminsker Rebbe said:


"Vus ihr tut is heiliger arbit (what you are doing is holy work), because unfortunately a large segment of our society is already gechapt, arein gefallen in grub arein, (caught, fell into the hole) and you're trying to save them, you're trying to help them..."


In the course of the discussion, Rav Feldman made it clear that the Gedolim can no longer prohibit the use of the internet anymore. One can hardly do anything today without the internet and it is a "gezeira she'ain hatzibur yecholim la'amod bo" (a decree that the population can not stand by). However, the bottom line of what came out of the discussion is that the Mo'etzes Gedolei HaTorah want to make a Kol Korei that it is assur to use the internet without strong filters and/or reporting software. As soon as that letter comes out, they would then agree to send our material and offer our services to the schools (hopefully in time for the new school year). They would encourage the schools to send out our Prevention Tips for Parents to the entire parent body of every school, and they would encourage the Menahalim and Mechanchim in the schools to read The Guard Your Eyes Handbook to be well equipped for how to deal with students who are struggling in these areas, whether they may be 12, 15 or 18 years old.


At the end of the talk, I mentioned that we are trying to build the framework to help and accommodate tens of thousands of Jews who struggle in these areas, and I asked the Gedolim for their backing and help.


May Hashem reward our efforts with success, and may we be zoche to 've'hiskadashtem ve'hi'yisem kedoshim".


Attitude Tip of the Day

How Much More Must be in Store!

In the course of our trip, we had to ride the subway a few times, go through airports and drive through Manhattan. You can imagine the Shmiras Ainayim struggles in those places in mid-summer!

A thought occurred to me that helped me in these areas. Wherever I turned, there were "pleasures" beckoning to me. And the more powerful the pleasures beckoned, the more I said to myself as I turned away, "if there is so much pleasure around us that Hashem doesn't want us to have, imagine how much pleasure Hashem must have in store for us that he does want us to have!"

In other words, Hashem is Tov U'meitiv. He created the world for our benefit, to bestow His good upon us. And if He doesn't want us to have the pleasures that we see all around us, then obviously He has something MUCH BETTER in store for us! So instead of fighting the Yetzer Hara by biting our teeth and turning away (while cursing in our hearts), we can rejoice each time we see something that pulls us. Because the greater the pleasures around us appear, the greater the pleasures Hashem must have in store for us must be!!

So next time we turn away from that strong pull, we can smile to ourselves and say - "wow, if that was such a strong pull and such a strong pleasure that I can't have, then SURELY there must be something SO MUCH GREATER in store for me, if I only run after Hashem instead!"


Daily Dose of Dov

Dov is sober in SA for over 13 years. See his story here.

Join Dov's Virtual SA Group Here.

Who do we REALLY believe in?

Someone asks Dov:

The second step says: "We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity". Isn't that obvious for a frum Yid?

Dov Replies:

Sorry. It's not so simple. Take lust, for example. Do you believe in lust - or do you believe in Hashem? You will say "I believe in Hashem." And I agree. But I think you may discover that you believe in Lust, too. Why? Let's see what we do with lust: We see a pretty woman's image on the street, on paper, on the web or in our minds... We follow it - try to get as close as we can safely get to it, right? Sounds a bit like acharei Hashem teileichun? We often pay attention to the pretty women we work with more than we do to the unattractive ones. We expect something from them. We apparently trust that they can give us something that we need. That she can satisfy some need of ours. Sound like kavei el Hashem - ... lo ayachel - tzuri atoh? A healthy yid looks toward Hashem to fulfill all his needs and trusts in Him exclusively. He's got whatever we need and is our 'go-to' one for everything. (Look at the Chinuch on "Lo sachanifu" - it speaks to this, if I remember correctly.) 

And when we use lust we typically hide from eyn kol by going lifnai v'lifnim and are amazed by our total focus on our quarry - especially in the act itself. Sounds like clearing the mind and having kavonoh to me - only to the wrong "higher power". There is misplaced bitachon and dependence there - but still bitachon, indeed. We often tried to escape lust by changing this or that, moving, never using that website, forgetting or swearing off that phone number or woman... but it followed us! Really, we followed it.... Anah mipanecha evrach? So many guys complain bitterly, "it's all over the place - everywhere I turn there's schmutz!" I say that they are looking for it. Period. Yes, it's all over the place, but paying all the attention they do to it makes it so much more noticeable. Why? Because it is still precious to them. (Ouch).

Tuesday  ~ 9 Av, 5770  ~  July 21, 2010
Tisha Be'Av

In Today's Issue
  • Announcement: Bringing Back the Shechina
  • Tisha Be'Av 1: Yes, We Can!
  • Tisha Be'Av 2: Today; From Destruction to Change
  • Tisha Be'Av 3: Hashem's Wrath


Bringing Back the Shechina
Duvid Chaim Launching Two New 12-Step Groups
As we know, we are mourning the destruction of our Temple. And we also know that G-d expressed some level of mercy in destroying the Temple, which is a building and not destroying the Jewish People.
And that it is our mission in this generation, to re-build the Temple through our merits. And our merits are earned by bringing ourselves closer to Hashem and His ways. When we elevate our Neshamos, then we will merit the return of the Temple and the Shechina.
So too, with our SA addiction - We have destroyed our Temple - our BODIES. Our addiction gives power and a voice to our bodies.

Yet, even in our own wrecked bodies still lives a precious Neshama.
And that it is our mission and our struggle; to give our Neshamos a bigger Voice than our bodies.

THE 12 STEP Program helps us work on our EGOs, find humility and Deveikus with Hashem.
And when we "enlarge our Spiritual Life" and give Power to our G-dlly Neshamas, then we will truly bring back the Shechina.

Next week, we begin a new cycle of the 12-Step groups. There will be a morning group and a noon group, to make it more convenient for everyone. Let us make a decision today, to give our Neshamos a louder voice than our bodies!

Have a easy and meaningful fast,
Duvid Chaim


Yes, We CAN!


When the spies came back and declared "we can't" inherit the land of Israel, the entire nation wept that night in their tents. And Hashem declared that "since you cried on this night for nothing, you will cry on this night for generations". The crying for generations that we cry, is the mourning over what we always said "we can't" do.

This notion of "we can't", is the source of all mourning. It is the source of all physical and spiritual failures. Hashem is behind us. There is NOTHING we can't do. But we are intimidated and afraid to try hard enough. We don't believe in ourselves and in Hashem enough. And that is what causes us to fail again and again. That is the root cause of all destruction.

So on this Tisha Be'Av, while we mourn the times we thought "we can't", let us focus our mourning into a powerful resolution for the future: "YES, WE CAN". Yes, it seems that the addiction is so much stronger than us, just as the fortified cities and giants appeared to be much stronger than the Jewish people's military capabilities in the desert. But if Hashem is with us, if Hashem is behind us, WE CAN DO ANYTHING.
This idea was taken from the following video clip from

Today; From Destruction to Change


By "Shnook"

This is a poem I wrote about us, all of us on the GYE forum who have made a decision, held our noses and taken the terrifying plunge. Sometimes we think "let's be real here, what's the likelihood we'll ever manage to put this behind us?". Well, with that attitude we definitely won't.

Sometimes you've just got to be crazy and stubborn, stick with it, and then look back and smile cuz you realize Hashem helped you do it.



Here I am standing
my foot poised to fall,
which side I don't know
for I stand on a wall.
The choice that I make
can be mine to keep,
it starts with a step
yes, it starts with a leap.

Inside me's a whisper
a comfort so cruel -
Where are your senses?
please don't be a fool,
do you really believe
that you could ever change,
so quick and so sudden
you must be deranged,
really you're dreaming,
don't act when you feel,
stop being dramatic
it's time to get real.

but then there is me
who peers out from inside,
who's tired of waiting
who's ready to fly,
and it's one decision
that if I could keep,
could make me so high
and could make me so deep.
With a smile I think and
it cuts like a knife...

Today could be the first day
of the rest of my life.

Hashem's Wrath

In our "Practical Tips" section on our site (at the very bottom of the page), we present a tip called "The Last Resort" for someone who is about to stumble. We offer an alternative to viewing pictures of flesh that will turn one "on", namely by showing pictures of flesh that will turn one "off". One of those pages contain terrible pictures from the Holocaust. On Tisha Be'av it may be appropriate to remember this tip, and also to watch & listen to the horrifying interview with a former Treblinka SS Guard that can be found at the top of that page.
How can we desire sinful flesh ever again after seeing these pictures and hearing this interview? After we see how futile and fleeting life is? And most of all - after seeing the fury of Hashem's wrath up close.

Although our site and forum generally take a very positive and encouraging tone, and although Hashem loves us dearly and deals with us with so much patience, Tisha Be'av is a day to remember that when we do not do what is asked of us, when we do not ultimately take the steps necessary to fulfill Hashem's will and do Teshuvah, Hashem's wrath and punishment are severe indeed

Wednesday  ~ 10 Av, 5770  ~  July 22, 2010

In Today's Issue
  • Announcement: Duvid Chaim Launching Two 12-Step Groups
  • Testimonial of the Day: Real Friends
  • Battle Communication: There is a Third Way
  • Daily Dose of Dov: His Mission is to Kill Us



Duvid Chaim Launching Two 12-Step Groups

on Monday, July 26 (Tu be'Av)




Join Duvid Chaim's upcoming FREEDOM FLOTILLA with the launch of two simultaneous 12-Step groups this coming Monday, July 26 (Tu be'Av)!


Click here for more details


Not one, but Two Ships - are launching this time!

You will now have a choice of two groups:

  • For the early birds - there is the Steve/Dov/Michael group with its daily call at 8:30 am EST.
  • For the Lunch & Learners - there is Duvid Chaim's usual NOON time ESTgroup.

Both groups will be on the same page, so you can come on board one or both, or switch times to your convenience.


Looking FORWARD,

Duvid Chaim



Testimonial of the Day


Real Friends

"Shmendrick", an anonymous Rabbi who has been posting on our forum for the last few months writes:


If I went to some convention of Orthodox Jews and asked what them "Tell me, what kind of people would you expect to find among a group of people that are admittedly out of control in their lusts, who all have spent hundreds if not thousands of hours watching pornography, masturbating, some of whom have even had extra-marital affairs and lust for all sorts of unmentionable things -- would you want to associate with any of them?"


I am sure that I would not get a very positive response.

But I must tell you, in all my Rabbinic glory, that I am so very deeply proud, honored, grateful and speechlessly humbled to be in your presence. You are an amazing group of people who are so spiritually aware, deeply caring and loving -- I could not ask for better and more precious friends.

I look forward to some time when we can meet each other in person, and cry and laugh on each other's shoulders as we express our very heartfelt appreciation for each other.

Thank you so very much

Your friend, 




Battle Communication


There is a Third Way


Aaron writes:


The facts don't change for an addict in recovery. The addiction is STILL much stronger and, as far as I know, always will be. The only way out is never to let the addiction in the drivers seat. Keep the real you in charge, as much as it may hurt. And it does hurt... and you may wonder why you should put up with the pain when the balm is so readily available? Why live in a state of pain, lack of fulfillment, boredom, lethargy, irritation, etc. etc.  It's so easy to make it all go away!!  The only answer I've found, is when you realize that in the long run (and medium run too), the pain of acting out is MUCH WORSE. It's what they call hitting rock bottom. Until you're convinced, with absolute certainty, that they pain of acting out is worse than the pain of living, that it will kill you and ruin your life, then it's hard to let the real you stay in charge.

This all sounds pretty depressing. I'm essentially saying that you have to pick the lesser of two evils - the choice is between pain on one hand, and more pain on the other.  Pretty bleak. 


BUT - and this part has to be take on faith in the beginning - there is a third way. There is a way of fulfillment. Happiness.  Productivity.  Healthy relationships. Kedusha V'taharah. It just takes time to get there. For me most of the time, the only defense I have is the knowledge that acting out is worse than the pain I'm experiencing now. But every once in a while, I get a taste of why it's all worthwhile. What REAL living is all about. And it's a lot sweeter than lust. It's positive and eternal, not fleeting and damaging. It's why we're here.



Daily Dose of Dov

Dov is sober in SA for over 13 years. See his story here.

Join Dov's Virtual SA Group Here.

His Mission is to Kill Us


In Chizuk e-mail #814, Dov wrote that we addicts often treat the addiction as we are supposed to treat our relationship with Hashem... For example, as the Pasuk says in Tehhilim, "Lo Ayacheil" - we "hope" to the addiction to provide our needs in the same way we are supposed to hope to Hashem - who is the real provider of all our needs. Dov continues with this theme:


Where I quote 'lo ayacheil', with respect to the problem, the way it actually works in real life is that many folks sacrifice chunks of their life - their spirituality, their relationships, their families, and jobs. So, in a twisted and very sad sort of way, the first part of that posuk also applies: Hein yikteleini - lo ayacheil. It is twisted, but the reality is this: 'Even though my addiction is killing me (and I often wish I would just quit), I see that I still run after it at great personal sacrifice!' 

It is so precious for me to see that it is really true for me. As the Nesivos Shalom writes, the mission of the YH is not strictly to make me do aveiros - it is to kill me. That is, to destroy every aspect of my life, relationships, parnosah, self-concept... not 'just' spirituality.  

And addiction is parallel to that - it is about destroying everything. Sometimes even for those attached to us, like our friends and families.

But strangely, that is the addiction's very undoing! Just like the Melech Zokein Uk'sil - the very success of the Soton leads to his own failure and destruction. In the case of an addict, life becomes progressively uncomfortable until eventually we each need to choose between extreme pain - and recovery. By the Chessed of Hashem, I chose life. May I only chose life today. 

Tov v'yoshor Hashem - Hashem is so very Good! Al kein yoreh chato'im baderech - For he throws down (as in "yara bayom" by the yam Suf, and "yaroh yi'yareh" by Sinai) the sinners onto The Path (of correction). The problem I had forced me into recovery - the refuah is before the makkah. Indeed, it is the makkah itself! 

May Hashem help us convert the makkah into the refuah sooner, rather than later, by admitting the truth about ourselves and getting out of His way. That takes some work. And as far as I am concerned, that is the message of the 12 steps.

Thursday  ~ 11 Av, 5770  ~  July 22, 2010

In Today's Issue
  • Zikui Harabbim at its Best
  • Announcement: Duvid Chaim's Groups + Beautiful Testimonial
  • Testimonial of the Day: Mazal Tov to "ClearEyes"
  • Daily Dose of Dov: It's a Fight for Survival, Nothing Else.


Zikui Harabbim at its Best

In our presentation to the Gedolim last week, we described our "Prevention Tips for Parents" that Torah Umesorah hopes to send out to nearly 700 schools in the U.S, hopefully reaching over 100,000 parents.


Click here to download the PDF file called "Prevention Tips for Parents"

(For this link and the others below, you can download by Right-Clicking and choosing "Save Target/Link As")


Meanwhile, someone took the initiative and sent these prevention tips to the Menahel of their 17 year old son's Yeshiva, in South Bend Indiana. A short time later, they received their son's report card by mail, along with the prevention tips and a letter from the Yeshiva encouraging each parent to pay careful attention to these tips in order to make sure that their child doesn't lose all they had gained in Yeshiva over the summer vacation.


Click here to see the letter from the Yeshiva to the parents.


And then someone sent our prevention tips to the "Where What When" magazine, which is a Frum monthly publication in the Baltimore-Washington area - with a readership of about 40,000. And believe it or not, the magazine published a 6 page article containing our tips (in the August edition, just out today)!


Click here to download the WWW article (a scan in PDF format).


So what will YOU do with our prevention tips? Imagine the tremendous Zikui Harabbim you could have if you get these guidelines published in local publications, or send them to your children's schools or Yeshivos! (Ask us for the Word version of the prevention tips, if changes need to be made).


Also, in the same issue of "Where What When", that same person placed a paid full page color-ad about our network.


Click here to download the flier that was printed in the WWW.


Can you gather the courage to disseminate our flier as well? You can either post copies of it on bulletin boards (preferably in color), or leave multiple copies where they will be seen (here, black & white might be more cost efficient), or  run the ad in local publications (making sure to request a non-profit discount). Imagine how many people could be helped!


The Chovos Halevavos (Shar Ahavas Hashem, Perek 6) writes:


"And you should know, my brother, that the merit of the believer, even should he reach the utmost completion in fixing his soul for blessed G-d, and even should he be close to the angels in their good traits and praiseworthy actions, and in the efforts they expend in their service of their creator, and in their pure love for Him, still do not reach the merits of someone who guides people onto the good path and steers the wicked to Divine service. For his merits are doubled in relation to their merits, for all days and all times".


Imagine the merits you will accumulate if others are helped through you!




Duvid Chaim Launching Two 12-Step Groups

on Monday, July 26 (Tu be'Av)


Click here for more details


Here's a beautiful testimonial from one of Duvid Chaim's Talmidim; a letter written to Duvid Chaim after the last cycle finished:

R' Duvid Chaim,


First, thank you. Second, thank you. And of course, third... and onwards.


And as you said, the program is not about lust. As a byproduct of getting rid of resentments and fears, lust disappears. I am certainly not cured, but I can sense that the promises of the program are coming true. I have a new sense of awareness of the immediacy of life around me, the beauty of connecting to people and Hashem's world in a real and new sense, a sense of calm and serenity that I have not experienced before. A new level of patience and connection with my wife and kids, understanding and tolerance, that allows me to be happy even in the face of turmoil. Don't get me wrong -- I am not always "holding" there, but from where I was before to now is truly incredible.


Re: the lusting, first let me say that despite my 12 year "sobriety" I could never figure out how to stop the onslaught of illicit thoughts that would rush in to my brain as I closed my eyes on my pillow at night; my "pacifier" to put me to sleep. Somehow those thoughts have all but diminished, for the first time ever, which is a complete miracle. And when they do try to infiltrate, I have so far been successful for the most part (not always, and yes, I daven that the miracle should continue) to allow them to go "in one ear and... out the other." I attribute this solely to siyata d'Shamaya, perhaps because of my hishtadlus in joining the program, perhaps because G-d knows that I am trying to get closer to Him sincerely, perhaps for some other reason that I am probably not aware of. Also, my craving to see improper things on Blackberry has diminished greatly, and, bli ayn hara, I daven that it should not return. Also, when I avert my eyes from things I should not see, it is not as painful as it used to be; in fact I get an inner simcha when I am successful to be able to focus away from what I remind myself is counterfeit joy and turn my attention to true joy. Also, I am taking new joy in my wife, no longer focused on my resentfulness of her overweight, and am learning to love her deeply and truly. What could be better? Not a religious life - a SPIRITUAL life. Simple, obvious, yet only finally beginning to be completely accessible now.

R' Duvid Chaim, your name bespeaks your purpose: you give CHAIM through your loving, blunt, caring presentation of the program to withered souls who crave the reviving waters of true simcha and chesed. I am making it my purpose and my mission to become a person who "gets out of my head" and starts living for others and for Hashem. May He give you, the Chevra, me and all of Klal Yisroel the continued siyata shemaya to gain a true refuah and connect truly to Him alone. Thank you - todah - I am modeh to you from the bottom of my heart.



Testimonial of the Day


Mazal Tov to "ClearEyes"

A big Mazal Tov to "ClearEyes" who reached one full year clean through our network. May Hashem help him go Mechayil El Choyil!


(See e-mail #607 on this page for some great posts from Cleareyes, upon reaching 90 days clean.)


Cleareyes wrote me an e-mail now:


Hello Reb Guard Shlita,


From the bottom of my heart, thank you for the tremendous work you have done and are continuing to do. May Hashem continue to bless you with much success in all areas of yours and guardyoureyes growth.


July 19th will be my 365th day clean, making Tes Av my first anniversary. May you continue help rebuild the foundation of each broken Yid. You have surely brought the Beis Hamikdosh closer.


I could not have done it without you all.




Daily Dose of Dov

Dov is sober in SA for over 13 years. See his story here.

Join Dov's Virtual SA Group Here.

It's a Fight for Survival, Nothing Else.


The business of seeing my struggle as all focused on becoming the kind of person who would never have a strong desire to act out again, has nothing - and I mean nothing to do with recovery. Granted, a person who takes his recovery seriously will eventually be mostly free of lust. But the goal for me is not to become a kodosh. It is simply to not act out. To not use lust. Becoming a kodosh is a very nice - and likely - side-effect of long-term sobriety. But survival as a healthy and useful human being is by far the main object. At least, for me. 

And there are two huge drawbacks to keeping kedusha in our sights as our goal (at least for me): 

1- My root problem was never that I lacked kedusha - it certainly was result of my acting out, but not the problem itself. My problem was that I was nuts and addicted. Adding kedusha was never, ever the solution - it only made my problem worse - like trying to put a wood-fire out with lots of newspaper, or maybe even with gasoline.

2- Judging that my problem is a kedusha/lack of kedusha problem is actually a way to save face, It's my pride. It allows me to view myself as 'fighting the good fight'... Really there is no glamor in the struggle for sobriety; it is a fight for survival, to have a real life rather than a living lie... a living death. Fooling myself that my struggle is for 'kedusha' perverts reality and makes it impossible to actually improve because I view the simple, inglorious work I really need to do as beneath my dignity.

#2 is perhaps one of the most important things I had to accept, and I believe that the pride that makes some folks vilify (or at least avoid) the 12-Step program is one of the most common reasons that so many end up as road kill.

Friday  ~ 12 Av, 5770  ~  July 23, 2010

In Today's Issue
  • Parsha Talk - Va'eschanan: "Am Chacham Ve'Navon"
  • Links of the Day: The Dangers of FaceBook
  • Torah Thought of the Day: When His Love is Strongest
  • Announcement: Don't forget to sign up for Duvid Chaim's Group
  • Daily Dose of Dov: Perhaps our only chance to get our very own G-d


Parsha Talk: Va'eschanan


"Am Chacham Ve'Navon"


By "N.B"

I was doing shnayim mikreh and I encountered unkelus' translation of eloheyhem. The passuk says that Hashem inflicted punishment on Egypt's elohim. Unkelos translates it as "Ta'vusehon", which comes from the word "Ta'us" or mistake. The gods of Egypt were false gods, or items in which they placed a false belief. But unkolus's word reminded me of the word "Ta'avah" too,  so in my mind, I envisioned understanding the translation of eloheihem as "their lusts", and I was thinking of how Dov explained, that when we lust after the image of a woman, what we are actually doing is placing our salvation in a false image, or, in other words, worshiping Egypt's elohim. And the common denominator is that we are living a false life. Hashem wants us to live a true and real life, to be a "am chacham venavon," and when we worship idols or pursue our lusts we are living a false fantasy fairy tale life, which is not why we are here and which is why such action is abhorred by Hashem.  Hashem put us here for a reason, and instead of living here, we have created a virtual alternate twilight galaxy in which we live. In a sense, we reject Hashem's creation and what Hashem has given us, and choose to pursue our own creation.



Links of the Day


The Dangers of FaceBook


Rabbi Zecharia Wallerstein talks to teen-age girls about the dangers of FaceBook and other social networking sites. (And along the lines of what N.B wrote above, he tells them to stop living in the fake world and start living in the real world!)


Part 1  (9 minutes)

 Part 2 (10 minutes)



Torah Thought of the Day


When His Love is Strongest


By "An honest mouse"


Rav Chaim Shmulevitz brings a ritvoh in Yuma (54b). The gemorah says, that when the non-Jews entered the kodesh hakodoshim to destroy the bais hamikdosh, they found the keruvim embracing each other and they made fun of the Jews. The ritvoh asks, that it says in bava basra (91a) that the keruvim faced each other only when the Jews did Hashem's will, to show there was a closeness between Hashem and us, but when we didn't, they faced apart. So how come during the churban when we clearly weren't doing Hashem's will, they were facing together?


Rav Chaim says that this is because rebuke can only be done through love. We see this with Sedom as well, that when Hashem came to destroy them, the Shechina was around and Lot's family were warned not to look at it. When Hashem is making things hard for us and testing us, that's when His love for us is strongest, that's when He is closest. In other words, we have to train ourselves to see Hashem behind all the temptation, because it's really Him who's doing it all in the 1st place, to give us a chance to reach greater heights. And when we feel the pain of the addiction the strongest, perhaps that is when He is closest to us.





Don't Forget to Sign Up!

Duvid Chaim Launching Two 12-Step Groups

on Monday, July 26 (Tu be'Av)


Click here for more details


To sign up, contact Duvid Chaim here


Daily Dose of Dov

Dov is sober in SA for over 13 years. See his story here.

Join Dov's Virtual SA Group Here.

 "Perhaps our only chance to get our very own G-d"

The first 3 Steps of the 12-Steps state:

1. We admitted we were powerless over lust--that our lives had become unmanageable.

2. We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

3. We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

Someone writes to Dov about Step 3:


Dov Responds:

Maybe the reason it all falls apart is because another god can come to our rescue. WE cannot even touch the 3rd step without taking steps 1 & 2 as best we can. 

One caveat again: This is not a matter of apikorsus! I believe that an addict is no more an apikoress than anyone else can be. How many non-addicts have their emunah really put to the test on a daily basis as we do? I wonder. Every addict I have met is striving for something he or she can't seem to reach. We are a rather unsatisfied lot.

Whether it's a demand for perfectionism, a need for deep spirituality, or the pain of comparing ourselves to others and feeling like a worthless piece of garbage as a result... I believe we are doomed to be either extremely spiritual and always growing toward perfection - or to be drugging with something very intoxicating - like lust, when it doesn't quite work the way we expected it would. 

For whatever reason, I see it as Rav Noach zt"l would tell the cycler who fell off a cliff and landed safely cushioned between two boulders. The fellow told him that since he had that miracle, he needs no yeshivah nor Torah to teach him about G-d any more. Rav Noach responded: But why did you fall off the cliff in the first place? Do you see G-d only as 'Superman' coming to rescue you as needed? It seems He wanted your attention. 

That is what I come away from being an addict with: For some reason, the Creator of Heaven and Earth wanted my attention. Rachmona leeba bo'ei. He was not satisfied with me having a superficial relationship with Him. And it was bashert that I become an addict and have to find Himby way of depravity and insanity. I am not touching on bechirah issue - the fact is that I am an addict, and at some point I became hopeless. And He was and is the only One who can really save me... lo ayacheil! Ein od milvado! Many other people apparently are able to learn that through mitzvos - I could only learn it through aveiros. Sorry, that is just the way it was.




Our compulsive use of lust is a mental, spiritual, and emotional illness that is expressed in step 1. If we truly recognize what kind of deep trouble we are in, then steps 2 & 3 become necessary. If they are not indispensable, we need to go back to step 1.


Steps 4 - 7 are about everything else screwy about us - not the addiction. 

We often seem to see our problem as only a lusting problem - as though if only we'd have the compulsive sexual acting out removed from us, we'd be fine. Take it or leave it, but that is not how any sober addict I know sees the 12 step recovery  program. Besides, it's wasting Rav Noach's whole approach ...this may be our only shot at getting a real G-d of our very own, for a change. How many frum people do you know who you know to have a vibrant relationship with Hashem and really feel and act like Hashem is their very Best Friend? Certainly you know from yourself that being a frum person is no guarantee of that relationship - just look at ourselves! If we'd be that close with Hashem, then why did we worship porn stars and their body parts for so long? ... and in secret ... and even though we knew He didn't want us to do it? Something, actually, probably a few things, are not right with us. We need some help. 

Our compulsive acting out with lust, alcohol, gambling, whatever - is a symptom of our unhealthiness - not the other way around. 

Please consider looking into the 12 & 12 (by AA) on steps 4, 5, 6, & 7 on this. A sober alcoholic in recovery changes from a person who is obsessed with stopping his drinking - which he is unable to do without a miracle anyway - into a person whose mission in life is letting go of his selfish self-centeredness, crippling pride and fear and other mishegas'n - in order to be truly useful to others, Hashem, and himself ...for a change.

Sunday  ~ 14 Av, 5770  ~  July 25, 2010

In Today's Issue
  • Announcement: Tomorrow is the Big Launch!
  • Quote of the Day: "ve'amru, rak am chacham ve'navon"
  • Anecdote of the Day: Small Deeds, Big Rewards
  • Daily Dose of Dov: Self-Knowledge vs. Self-Honesty


Tomorrow is the BIG LAUNCH!


Have you tried to stop countless times, but still can't?


Are you concerned about privacy and anonymity, but you know that you would benefit by working a 12 Step Program?


Are you finding it too difficult to make a face-to-face SA meeting?


Do you want to be part of a fellowship of a group of men who share your struggle?


GuardYourEyes is proud to offer two 12 Step Big Book Study groups, run by Duvid Chaim and his trusted Talmidim. The two groups will be simultaneous, morning and noon, four times a week.


The Big Book Study groups use the traditional and proven format used by millions of 12 Step sponsors and sponsees who have, with G-d's help, found recovery and freedom from their addiction.

Tomorrow, Monday, July 26, Tu be'Av



Click here for more details


To sign up, contact Duvid Chaim here



Quote of the Day

"ve'amru, rak am chacham ve'navon"


An Indian non-Jew wrote to the filter gabai:


I am very disheartened by pornography availability on internet. All our sages in India like Buddha, Mahavira, Guru Nanak, etc suggested us to avoid a provocative environment in the first 12 years of celibacy practice (which is considered the first stage of spirituality to get final Self-Realization in Indian spiritual tradition) and unfortunately, being a software engineer, I had to remain in touch with internet. Every 1-2 months (and once after 6 months), my celibacy practice got broken due to pornography. If not for the pornography on internet, I would have right now crossed 6 years of unbroken celibacy practice. What a mess this internet pornography is making out of everyone!


Net Nanny has got very high ranking in last few years and it costs just $24 per year - which is just $2 per month. If we can pay $50 per month for electricity, I do not find it outrageous to pay $2 per month for getting a service which can make my life free from the degrading influence of porn. 


I will make your e-mail as admin for my filter.


Thank you for providing this valuable service.



Anecdote of the Day


Small Deeds, Big Rewards


A Story sent to us by "Zemirosshabbos" From a blog called Tikkun

My wife and I had a newly-wed couple over as guests for the Friday night meal this past Shabbos. We knew the husband, who had grown up in my wife's neighborhood and went to the same shul as my father-in-law; and older bachur, this man just got married at age 32. His wife is a convert from the Philippines, and while we were at shul, she and my wife were shmoozing, and the conversation came around to the subject of why she converted.

The story she told my wife is beautiful, and I believe that we have an obligation to spread the story around, for the valuable lessons inherent in it.

She grew up in a very religious Catholic home, where the catechism of the Trinity confused her greatly. One elder told her to "Pray to the Father", another told her "Pray to the Son", and yet another told her to "pray to the Holy Ghost". She was in dire straits, because she really wanted to pray - but she didn't know who she should pray to!

Realizing that the faith she had been brought up with didn't have the answers she sought, she began looking into other religions that were prevalent in her country. Islam had no sway over her; Buddhism didn't interest her at all...


She felt lost, and the constant pressure from her peers and family - who were convinced she had "the Devil" in her - began to feel overwhelming. As soon as she was able to move, after graduating from school, she headed for the United States.

What a culture shock! The relative reservedness of the Philippines left her unprepared for what she encountered after moving to Bayonne, New Jersey. Suddenly, random people would stop her on the street and begin conversing with her; strange men would make advances, attempting to get her phone number, take her out for a coffee, and the like. The freedom, the provocatively loose atmosphere seemed to saturate everything American, and it took serious adjustment.

One hot day, she was walking back to her apartment. On the way, she passed a young man dressed very strangely: he was wearing a black jacket and hat, and he had these funny strings hanging out of his pants. As the passed each other, she expected him - like so many other men in the past - to stop her, or get a good look at her in her very revealing clothes. To her astonishment, he averted his eyes, looking down to the ground as he hurriedly passed her.

She couldn't believe it! To be sure, she turned around to see if he would maybe turn back after they had passed each other and sneak a peek, but as far as she could tell, he kept going on his way without stopping.

In a place where everyone is looking to satisfy their urges, could such a thing be possible? Who was that boy? Upon returning to her apartment, her roommate informed her that the boy she had seen on the street was a Jew. Until that point, she had never seen a Jew, didn't know what a Jew was or looked like, knew nothing about Jews at all.


What she did know was that she would have to find out more about these "Jews" and their intriguing ways.

She began to ask around, and meet with Jewish folks and amass as much information as possible. What she discovered was a world of dedication, integrity, sincerity, and consistent commitment. She was hooked, and she began the long arduous process to convert to Judaism. Now, thank God, she is married, and beginning to build a Jewish home in the wonderful tradition of her adoptive forebears.

We simply do not appreciate the impact the slightest gesture, the smallest action, can make. I have no doubt that this Yeshiva boy does not know what he did, what an impression he made. And yet, when he gets "up there" (after 120, God willing), he is going to be presented with the myriads of z'chusim (merits) that will come about from every commandment and good deed faithfully fulfilled by this woman and her family, and he will receive credit for each one!

One act of shmiras einayim (guarding the eyes) led a woman searching for God in the right direction. How many times are we presented with choices on how to behave, and we have no idea who is watching? It's a very important lesson for all of us to internalize, and may we all act properly at all times, whether or not anyone is watching!



Daily Dose of Dov

Dov is sober in SA for over 13 years. See his story here.

 Self-Knowledge vs. Self-Honesty

The 12-Steps typically shy away from engaging much in deep analysis of what our deep motivations are in our acting out. To me, such study is likely to be mental 'self pleasuring' (sorry for being crass) and often just another righteous attempt at being independent of G-d, again... just like we were while were acting out. During early recovery I believe it is particularly silly and even toxic. 

Over the years, I have seen many people give up recovery completely just to satisfy their desire/need to hang onto (what I believe their pride considers) "their right to do only what they understand," and to be able to take credit for their recovery. 

As far as I am concerned, the various 'self-help routines' promoted out there might work fine for many people - but not for me. So that's what I share.

And I see the work behind the 2nd and 4th steps as very different than such analysis. As Bill wrote in AA (where he introduces the steps), "we discovered that self-knowledge was not the key to recovery" (I paraphrase) - rather, it is self-acceptance and self-honesty that we needed. And the depth of the knowledge is irrelevant. It is the simple acceptance of the unadulterated truth about ourselves that is the only thing that matters, for it helps us give up and become dependent upon Hashem, for a change.

So why the self-analysis in step 2 and 4?

Because it is not analysis and understanding that we are after, it is honesty and facts. While it may seem semantics to some, it works for me, while the old way did not. In the 'good old days' my 24/7 inner occupation was self-understanding - learning maseches "me" - so that I could beat this thing... really so that I could finally control it rather than to be truly rid of it. It was always supposed to have been my buddy. I always craved having the power to use it without it using me. That was my true goal. When you boil it down, I still just wanted to lust - but without paying the price. Like my many attempts at enjoying masturbation - without actually spilling seed, 'chalilah'. Oops! Too far... That way never ever worked. It was all about finally figuring it all out. It was playing a game and lying to myself. It was just another sick part of my addiction, nothing more. 

Nowadays, rather than trying to figure everything out, I need to simply face facts about myself and about reality. I am told by recovery people that admitting the truth about myself and my situation will open the door to getting better. I am a sick person getting better. 

We need to accept that there are sick values, attitudes, and thought processes that are driving our addictive behaviors. Everyone I have met who is in successful recovery, admits more and more that they are sick - meaning that they come to see that their thinking and attitudes are perverted. Addiction demystified. OK, maybe it must remain a bit mysterious - we do not really gain control over ourselves just because we understand how sick we are. Rather, accepting the true extent and manifestations of our own ill-ness helps us do one precious thing: give up on our own ability to beat it. To rely totally on Hashem to enable us to succeed. Much as we are supposed to in parnossah.

As long as it was just an aveiro that we did, it was a 'pet project' of ours - and we failed miserably. But once it became a disease, we saw that we were the problem, not the girls in skimpy dresses, nor the yetzer hara, nor anything else. We need fixing, and we need it badly.

We had - and have work to do.

Monday  ~ 15 Av, 5770  ~  July 26, 2010
Tu Be'Av

In Today's Issue
  • Testimonial of the Day: "I was living in a box"
  • Tip of the Day: Anonymous & Free Phone Calls
  • Daily Dose of Dov: The Inner Wiring of an Addict


Testimonial of the Day


"I was living in a box"

Yosef wrote:


I can't believe it has been one month. It seems like yesterday that I installed a filter and turned away from that world.

A big thanks to everybody in this community, you have helped me in such a big way.

My world used to be a rollercoaster ride. GYE has changed that by giving me the skills and the support that have enabled me to go clean.

My Y'H' is trying a new tactic, to convince me that I am "cured", and tried to tell me it wasn't so bad, but I must not forget that I used to abuse myself daily, that I used to push people away that stole my alone time. I was living inside a box. I was destroying myself. 

I still battle with images inside my head and with some fantasies, but something that really works for me is "Alert, Avert, Affirm" (see "The 3 Second Rule" in Chizuk e-mail #637 on this page). Distance and Distraction are great tools too.

I feel like new person - I have emotions I never used before, my heart is open like it never was before.

A big motivator for me has been my wife. If it wasn't for her, I don't think I would have had any reason to go clean.

For those of you that aren't married, you can have the same motivator. Your wife is out there, you just haven't met her yet. You can start loving her neshamah and doing things for her, even if you haven't seen her face yet. This will bring you together more than anything else ever can (especially in honor of Tu be'Av today!)

Thank you Hashem, my wife and everyone in this group. I hope I never let you down.


Tip of the Day


Anonymous & Free Phone Calls


Sent to us by "BecomeHoly"


If you just joined Duvid Chaim's group (which started a new cycle today) and are looking for free long-distance calls within the U.S, or if you want to chat with a fellow struggling member but are afraid that your phone number may be identified, or even if you simply don't have a private line to speak on, 'Google Voice' can solve all your problems!


1) Google provides a FREE and ANONYMOUS phone #. This number can be forwarded to ANYWHERE IN THE US and can be forwarded simultaneously to up to 4 numbers. 


2) Google allows you to call anywhere in the US for FREE as follows:


a) If you have free local calling, you can call your Google Voice # and then use it as a calling card to call anywhere in the US for free.


b) If you only have free incoming calls, you can logon to your Google Voice account, and then put in the # you wish to reach. Google will then call YOU first, and then call the person you wish to reach. This means you will always be receiving incoming calls.


3) If you need a private line, Google Voice can be forwarded to computer phones. Both and provide free computer phones that Google can forward to. All you need is a microphone and headphones (or a headset - I like this one) and you will have a private line to use.


To sign up for Google Voice visit


If you need any help setting this up, feel free to get in touch with for more information.


Enjoy :-)



Daily Dose of Dov

Dov is sober in SA for over 13 years. See his story here.


The Inner Wiring of an Addict


Someone asks Dov:


I am trying to understand the psychological factors in sexual acting out. I am, as far as I am aware, a popular, respected and emotionally balanced person. I grew up in an emotionally stable home and environment, and I cannot recall anything specific which might have affected me negatively. There does not seem to be any "deep" cause for an addiction, nor do I do such terrible things. I mean, don't all sexually healthy men "enjoy" looking at women, and have "pleasure" from masturbation? So why am I different? Why do I have to accept that I am sick and that I am an addict? Won't I be able to learn to control this at some point?


Dov Responds:


I believe that we cannot think ourselves into right living - we can only live ourselves into right thinking. Therefore, I put very little value on your figuring out why you - an intelligent, generally mature and good-hearted frum man - do some stupid, immature, and amazingly self-absorbed selfish things... and repeatedly... and apparently cannot stop. Wrapping my head around my problem is the first poison and the most ridiculous 'lock on the door to integrity' that I have ever knew. So I got rid of it, by surrendering to the reality that I - a masters-educated and 6th-year+ beis medrash guy (and father of three) - had indispensable lessons to learn from a man who probably couldn't read the NY Times and has what I consider a primitive understanding of G-d... but is SOBER and in recovery. 

The years I spent reading article after article in Jewish Psych Journals (etc) about "The Yetzer Hora and Freud's Id" and rummaging through teshuvos about sexual hashkofah and learning the Yesod Yosef (as the kitzur suggests) - all to try to package my problem in a sensible (and perhaps controllable) package... availed me nothing but more years of acting out my lust, and more damage and lying. It sounds to me that this is basically what is behind your question.

Has it helped you stop, at all? If not, I'd consider setting your brain aside and just following directions of those who came before you to sobriety. If it has, then why are you asking?

I, too, came from a home with two happily married parents who loved me and did all they could for me, didn't molest me, gave me good schooling, and am a generally popular and functional guy. So? 

I 'found myself' doing things in a progressively damaging, cyclical and reliable pattern. I had a habit that forced me to hide and lie and eventually there were many things that I was sure I'd take to the grave. Things I'd done that my kids (and wife) would never believe I had done. No, I had not gone to prostitutes... but imagine the shock at having my kids actually watch a video of me, with my wide-eyed, hand-shaking sneakiness as I open the 'People Magazine' or Newspaper at work, peruse it for the target story or images, eventually to sneak into the bathroom nonchalantly - trying to hide my heated anticipation - and masturbate to the fantasies in my mind... the totally self-absorbed and childlike excitement... imagine them watching me do all that and really know it all... the look on my face all the way through, and the lying as I cover up my tracks. Talk about g'neivas da'as.

Is this 'normal'? Perhaps. But do I hate it? Yes. That is all that matters. Why am I doing things that I hate? I guess it is because they make me feel so good. But, then why do I keep doing them even though they make me feel so miserable that I cry about it sometimes and eventually come to a place like GYE - or in my case, to a room full of recovering perverts in SA? My acting out would always bother me terribly - but quitting was always temporary. 

The point I am trying to make is that just because there is no apparent severe abnormality in my background nor in my psyche, I can still be a real screwball. OK, there are many addicts with rough backgrounds... true. But I have discovered that it is not the outward things we experienced that made us as sick as we are - it is the inner response we perceived that did the job our parents could not do. They did not make us sick - we did. Our nature did. There are probably as many addicts who have brothers who are addicts, as there are who have brothers who are not addicts... same parents. Rabbonim who have six kids who are awesome ("next gedolim!") - and then there is that one son who smokes, gets arrested a few times, and is mechalel Shabbos r"l... What do we say? "They grew up in a horrible home"? I don't buy that. I do buy that this child had inner wiring that interpreted stuff in a way that made life hurt too much. Frumkeit, as beautiful as it is - just could not patch up our pain, or confusion, or fear. It was no match for fantasy-enriched orgasm in my case - and apparently in yours, as well.

So what do we do now? Point to the all the alcoholics who were beaten as children? My point is that while we had a normal looking outer life, inside, we were being beaten. Inside, we interpreted things as being darker than they really were - until the bright light of warm and luscious fantasy blew it all away. And we were hooked. It gave us something that Hashem did not. Later, we discovered that our wives could not give it to us either. Right? And we kept doing it. 

And we will keep on doing it till the price gets too great to afford. 

I bless you that such a time will come speedily and in our days. Why not set the cheshboinos aside and consider the first step right now? Im lo acshav - eimosai?

Tuesday  ~ 16 Av, 5770  ~  July 27, 2010

In Today's Issue
  • Testimonial of the Day: Newfound Strength
  • Attitude Tip of the Day: "There's a lot better stuff going on elsewhere"
  • Daily Dose of Dov: The more real with people, the more real with G-d.


Testimonial of the Day


Newfound Strength

"CantDoItAlone" wrote:


After years of struggles and frustrations, I searched shmiras einayim online and found an article on Aish and saw some guy referring to GYE. I came to this site and was shocked. It hit me that I am not a loser and I am not the only one dealing with this. I immediately felt liberated and felt like I could use everything I learned in therapy because I can do it, and it's not just me in this battle alone. Because of that, I wanted to thank everyone here on this website. You guys have given me a newfound strength and I don't know how to thank you enough. Hopefully, I will be able to hold on to this feeling. I really don't know if I could ever express enough gratitude for everyone here being open and honest with who they are. It really just changed my life. I wish I could help you guys as much as you have helped me.



Attitude Tip of the Day


"There's a lot better stuff going on elsewhere"


"Shmiras" writes:


Guarding your eyes starts internally with guarding your mind. Triggers only harm us if we haven't trained our minds to do what we want. Just as triggers trained us one way, we can reprogram and train our minds to react in a different way. Sometimes it doesn't seem that complicated. Sure, seeing something sets you off, but what the switch actually does is for ME to decide. Personally, I'm going to insist to my own brain that seeing someone doesn't have to mean anything it to me. It's all about perception. So there is a human being that looks a certain way in front of me. Now what? It's irrelevant to me. Am I going to react, keep looking and/or let my mind get carried away? No. I choose instead to be in charge, to turn to Hashem, to focus on anything else, to not dwell on it. Our brains don't know much besides for what we tell it, and I'm telling mine that there's a lot better stuff going on elsewhere. And I'm not even kidding myself, it's absolutely true.


Daily Dose of Dov

Dov is sober in SA for over 13 years. See his story here.

The more real with people, the more real with G-d.


Here is some communication that someone had with Dov recently.

(VNBDI stands for "Very Nice, But Desperate Individual")

VNBDI: I need help

Dov: So do I. What's the deal, chaver?

VNBDI: I spent a lot of time on the internet, now I'm home and am going crazy obsessed. I can't imagine why the guy with that pretty wife I looked at before is not the luckiest guy in the world.

Dov: First of all, we pay a price for what we ingest. This is an important uncomfortable truth we all need to accept, eventually. There is no escape from paying some real (sometimes very heavy) price for feeding the addiction. Sometimes it is the scenes and images that we craved and replayed for pleasure, but are now stuck replaying them in our heads like mental vomit, even though we do not want them any more because they are getting in the way of what we really need to accomplish to function and be useful; sometimes the price is the hiding and lying that we carry home with us - it separates us from those around us and makes us also feel less than, too... Whatever it is, you are now stuck - at least for a while. They will eventually leach out of your brain and the shame and internal isolation will abate. But it hurts for a while.

Second, the obsession is part of the disease. I am just curious, in a friendly sort of way: do  you accept that you are just like an alcoholic in this obsession thing? They obsess about getting drunk... do you feel the same?

VNBDI: Yes, by now I think I do accept it very much.


It's very, very painful, I can't imagine living any longer without that skinny women...


I think I have come to accept step one, realizing I am getting nowhere after all these years.


Is it bad that the only part of the fellowship I feel is really helping me is the reaching out to others for help? It always seems to weaken the obsession. Even now, what I thought a few minutes ago was inevitable acting out, it seems like I may manage just because I found the guts to IM you.

Dov: The reaching out to others for help is (I think) ALWAYS the ONLY part of the program that really "works", in the beginning. It takes time to develop any real integrity - integrity means the inner ability to have some accountability to YOURSELF. That self-accountability was worn down and pulverized every time we snuck away to watch porn and violate everything we know is wrong for us and destructive to our trust and relationships. So basically, our addictive behavior has been ripping out our inner integrity for years. It is time to have G-d restore it to us. To get it back, it takes one thing: Sharing with other real live people. So a phone group is good, a real person is better - in person, and hence the minhag of meetings for addicts, etc.

VNBDI: Well, I really appreciate your weakening my obsession tonight. I feel guilty using you without being able to return the favor.

Dov: When have you ever returned the favor to Hashem after using Him? I am in good company. Nobody can really 'return the favor', and giving is its own reward. Schar Mitzvah - mitvzah!


VNBDI: Can't I just learn to reach out when I need it? Forget everything else, this works so stick with it.

Dov: Agreed! And I will reach out when I need it too! A touch of humility feels nice!

VNBDI: It's a serious question. Maybe I don't need steps, character defects and everything else. I just need a buddy whom I can call when I feel weak.


Dov: That's fine. But the steps - at their lowest and most pragmatic level - are here to solve a problem you will have: All people die. No person can be truly depended upon. Al tivtechu bindivim - b'ven odom sh'ein lo s'shuah... etc.

VNBDI: Makes sense, but I feel that reaching out to Hashem doesn't helps me, I've cried my heart out to him, didn't work.


Dov: You will learn how to be open and honest with G-d by practicing being open and honest with with PEOPLE - you will learn how to trust G-d by trusting PEOPLE... But eventually there will not be people there for you - it is inevitable. You will hide mentally or physically where people cannot get to you, or will be in a place where no one can come to help... you will then need G-d. I understand that your crying to Hashem has not helped in the past but I have a painful suggestion to make about that.

VNBDI: Namely?


Dov: I believe that the QUALITY of our emunah (relationship with Hashem) is not as fine as we think it is. We hide so much from PEOPLE, - yet do not hide it from Hashem! We tell ourselves that this is because He already knows it all and is inside us, so there is no hiding... then we go again and act out - hiding every little dirty detail from people. C'mon.... this is a game, and it is silly. Our honesty with Hashem will finally become what it really needs to be ONLY after we open up to people! People first - THEN Hashem will start to have some REAL meaning to us.


How does this sit with you? Are you - have you been - open with people about the dirt? I mean really open - in person, not just on the virtual venue....


VNBDI: Not really, it's the hardest part for me. I am getting better, though, if that means anything. It used to be everything, now I at least can call someone or email someone.


Dov: That is exactly my point. I know the torture of being 'found out'. Even in a group of perverts, I still sometimes want to hide the truth about what I want to do or have done. But it is shame that spites myself and I need to get over it or I will not get better. So I encourage you to keep plugging away and emailing whenever you feel you are straying into dangerous territory - eventually you will be able to call someone on the phone. The more real the openness gets with other people, the more effective your prayers to Hashem will be.


VNBDI: I accept that. I hope I can reach it. Thank you very much. I will let you go now, hopefully I will gain some serenity one day. Good night, thanks again.

Wednesday  ~ 17 Av, 5770  ~  July 28, 2010

In Today's Issue
  • Anecdote of the Day: The Tattoo of Addiction
  • Poem of the Day: Two Tattoos
  • Article of the Day: Same  Snake, Different Package
  • Daily Dose of Dov: The 12 Steps are All Teffilah


Anecdote of the Day


The Tattoo of Addiction

"LevTahor" wrote:


Recently, when I was in the mikveh, I noticed another Yid, an ehrlich chasidishe married fellow, who, to my great surprise, had tattoos on his body, not something I would have ever known in my encounters with him outside the mikveh, clearly. 

Now, I had known this fellow was a baal-teshuva, but seeing the tattoos sort of jolted me, but then I told myself it's obvious he did this before he was even frum, a tinok shenishba, and instead of being stunned it was then I began to appreciate the greatness of this fellow.....

It would seem that the tattoos will always be there on his body, though it has absolutely no bearing on him now or who he is today. He doesn't need to feel like he has to cover his entire body until the actual immersion in the mikveh so no one will see it, because he is confident and knows he was a different person when he had that done, even though to the physical eye it seems the tattoos are very much part of him since they're on his body.

I was thinking this might apply to us. The aveiros and lusting we have done will always be there in the distance, the yetzer hara will not give up its struggle to try and get us to resume these aveiros, so in that sense they are always "there", though we know they too do NOT define us even remotely, for in our essence, we have a Godly soul, a cheilek Eloka! We were different people when we did that stuff, because that's not really us.



Poem of the Day


Two Tattoos

A True Story

By Bardichev













Article of the Day


Same Snake, Different Package


Click here

For a cute article about today's nisyonos of the internet, from Bina Magazine

a high quality, popular magazine aimed at frum women.


Daily Dose of Dov

Dov is sober in SA for over 13 years. See his story here.


The 12 Steps are all Teffilah


Someone asks Dov:


I had a question. What do you think about tefillah? Where does asking Hashem to cure us come in to the process of recovery? I assume you would still say that we should do/need the 12 steps... But why isn't Torah and tefilla and remorse good enough?


Dov Replies:


There is nothing else in the 12 steps but tefillah.


The work of the 1st step is one thing: Do I need G-d, or not? If I do, then it means that I cannot make it without Him - period.

1. We admitted we were powerless over lust--that our lives had become unmanageable.

If that is where really believe I am, then the question now becomes: If I have been unable to beat this problem and only a Power Greater than myself could have ever helped me, then why have I been going it alone for all these years even though I needed Him!? Is there another Higher Power in my life? Have I been trying to use something else (like Lust, or my dependent relationships) as my ineffective Higher Power? There must have been some kind of blockage or trick... So the 2nd step is doing whatever I need to do in order to make that relationship a real one, for a change.

2. We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

Obviously if I have been a frum yid - and yet still had this problem - my relationship with G-d was not really as real as I thought it was. It must have been sorely lacking (all the crying and Teshuvah notwithstanding)... Something big and basic must have been missing.

So the 2nd step is actually the ikkar mitzvah of the first two dibros (of the aseres hadibros) themselves and nothing less. In fact, it may be the only real shot most of us may ever get at getting real emunah, i.e. an emunah that actually works. 

A belief in G-d may be adequate for normal people - but it is not nearly enough for an addict. I need to live with my very own G-d, Who I can use on a regular basis in real life. A "living" G-d rather than just One in a book... even 'just' in the Torah.

So I ask you: exactly what is the nature of tefillah without real emunah in my life? 

To me, the entire mitzvah of tefillah swings on Who you are talking to - how real the communication is. Anyone can say the words. If I say an al hamichya, for example, while nodding to someone else in response to a question, or while fiddling with my sefer... am I acting like I am talking to someone? I don't think so.


Now I'm not saying we need 100% pure emunah in order to be a good yid. Rather, I think that Yiddishkeit has all these brachos and tefillos through the day so that we will have a shot at practicing creating a relationship with Hashem. The relationship is not the prerequisite for tefillah - it is the result of it. Let's not squander the tool given to us now.


The third step is practicing having a partnership with Hashem in which He is in charge of all outcomes and we are his agents... and having fun with it, too.

3. We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

To be a partner, we need to ask Him for His guidance every day - and many times each day... The way we live has to be an open and living relationship with Him, and for me, that means talking to Him very frequently. 


Then we get to the fourth step, and without getting into it all now, that will mean a good bit of asking Him for help to do the work correctly.


4. We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.


And the asking for help keeps continuing and getting more and more natural...

Thursday  ~ 18 Av, 5770  ~  July 29, 2010

In Today's Issue
  • Announcement 1: Zeva's Group Starting New Cycle
  • Announcement 2: The New and Improved GYE Handbook
  • Sayings of the Day: The A.A. Paradoxes
  • Daily Dose of Dov 1: That's What Addicts Do
  • Daily Dose of Dov 2: With Hashem, the hopeless can succeed too!

Announcement 1

Zeva Citronnenbaum's Group
Starting New Cycle in August

Click here for more info on Zeva's Group

Yehudah writes:

If you're a regular at "Guard Your Eyes" then you probably enjoy the chizuk that is given on a daily basis.  A big part of this is the opportunity to connect to others who are in the same plight as yourself. Feeling understood is a part of any therapeutic process.    

Fortunately, there is another option for those who don't just want to feel understood, but also work on skills that will actually empower them to fight the great disease of addition. I have gone through more then 2 cycles with Zeva's group now. She is an expert in the field of sexual additions and understands the underlying factors that bring someone to become an addict.  Anyone who is serious about helping themselves should commit once a week to her group for one hour.  Very practical skills are learned which can help you deal with other areas in life besides addition.  For example, relationship skills (through the works of Patrick Carnes and DBT skills) are a big part of helping someone back into recovery.    

There is really nothing to lose.  For a nominal $20 x10 fee you can be on your way back to recovery.


Announcement 2

The New and Improved GYE Handbook

In preparation for our talk on behalf of Torah Umesorah before the Gedolim, we combined our two handbooks into one and made many important edits and additions. We encourage everyone to download the new and improved "Guard Your Eyes" Handbook.

Click here to download

(Right-Click and choose"Save Target/Link As")

"The GYE Handbook is to religious lust addicts what the Big Book is to alcoholics"

                                                                                             - Ahron

You can print out the handbook and read it at your leisure. If reading the whole handbook seems too daunting a task, sign up to our "GYE Handbook" Chizuk e-mail, where you'll receive a short excerpt from the handbook each day! (To sign up, press "update profile/e-mail address" at the bottom of this e-mail)


Sayings of the Day

The A.A Paradoxes

- From weakness comes strength.

- We give it away to keep it. 

- We suffer to get well. 

- We surrender to win. 

- We die to live. 

- From darkness comes light. 

- From dependence we found independence.

Daily Dose of Dov

Dov is sober in SA for over 13 years. See his story here.


Dov talks about the first step:


"We admitted we were powerless over lust--that our lives had become unmanageable."


That's What Addicts Do

I may have walked away from juicy situations a few times, but the basic and inescapable fact for me is that I have a pattern and it spirals downward. Nothing I have done has arrested it. Looking at my case in a clear way, reminds me how ridiculous it is for me to expect that "I'll do better now - with the knowledge I have gained here, or there..." The steamroller will eventually come by and my butt will be vegetation again....

The nuance of the 1st step written and shared, is that it brings some people to the conclusion that there is no evidence that they will ever "get better". Even given more time and more effort. For me - I'm not speaking for you - the idea that "I should have not abused my sexuality so," might not be as relevant as the fact that it was done, "again and again". When I ask myself "how is it possible that I could do that?," or, "what's wrong with me that I feel I gotta have/do that?" The answer I am comfortable giving myself eventually became, "because I am an addict, and that is what addicts do." In fact, it is the most valuable response. The deep stuff is nice, but never got me free. Accepting the fact that I lost against lust allows me to finally really get dependent on G-d for a change - it changes the playing field so I get out of His way.



With Hashem, the hopeless can succeed too!


A fellow working his 1st step wrote Dov:

I already did the whole writing. It is beautiful and very sick. I now know I am a hopeless case.

Dov Responds:

 is what they really mean when they say, "Hashem is kol yochol and can help you do anything." This is what bitachon was made for. The message we used to get from "Hashem will help you fight the YH," was "I should be able to stop cuz I am a frum yid and want to stop!" Then we screamed, "so, why isn't it working?!" 

The problem was that it was too early for the bitachon! That was a time for mesiras nefesh, rather than for bitachon. (Ask Haran who jumped into the fire after Avraham and got burnt, he'll tell you all about misplaced 'bitachon in' Hashem and will admit that it is really just an escape from facing the truth about ourselves... he died for it).

Now is finally your time for bitachon. And all the recovering people who have come before you testify that, "just because we are hopeless, does not mean that we cannot succeed! In fact, as long as we know and do not forget where the power really comes from, we can and will live fantastic lives!" Just see it through. We can get our sanity back.


Apparently we cannot keep it, though. We need to get it back from Him every day as a gift, dependent on our relationship with Him. People all over the place are getting His help.

Consider reading the second step and consider the possibility that "He can help me out as long as I don't put my trust in the wrong places intentionally."


We've got a problem. But there is a solution.

Friday  ~ 19 Av, 5770  ~  July 30, 2010
Erev Shabbos Parshas Eikev

In Today's Issue
  • Parsha Talk 1 - Eikev: Dependent on Him More than the Animals
  • Parsha Talk 2 - Eikev: Are you with Me or with Her?
  • Tips of the Day: Sober for over a year
  • Daily Dose of Dov: How much more are you willing to take?

Parsha Talk 1: Eikev


Dependent on Him More than the Animals

"V'nashal Hasem Elokecha ess hagoyim ha'el m'at m'at, lo suchal kalosam maheir pen tirbeh alechah chayas hasadeh. (7:22) - And Hashem will wipe out the goyim from before you slowly but surely, but you cannot destroy them quickly, lest the animals of the field increase upon thee".


I always wondered about this. After all, if Hashem can bring the 10 plagues on Egypt and split the sea, why can't he wipe out the goyim in Eretz Yisrael in one fell swoop? Is Hashem really worried about the increase of the animals? Is that something harder to deal with then getting rid of these great nations?


It occurred to me that maybe there is a far deeper meaning here. All the creations of the world have a connection to Hashem based on their needs. The more someone "needs" Hashem, the more connection they have with him. Hashem told the snake after the sin of the Etz Hada'as "and you shall eat the dust of the earth all the days of your life", and Rashi explains that Hashem wanted no connection with the snake and therefore gave him his food wherever he goes. However, the other animals of the field need to ask Hashem for food every day, as it says in Tehillim "Livakesh Mikel Ochlam" - "they ask from Hashem their food".


Now Hashem wanted human beings to have even more connection with him than the animals, and therefore humans don't have a natural way to get food like the animals do, but rather are dependant on owning land, toiling the soil, rainfall, and on a good crop and harvest. In last week's Parsha, one of the praises mentioned of Eretz Yisrael is "Limtar Hashamayim Tishteh Mayim" - "From the heavens you will drink water", and the Pasuk goes on to say - "not like Eretz Mitzrayim which drinks like a watered garden from the Nile". But why is that a praise? It would seem that Mitzrayim is more fortunate than Israel! The answer is that Hashem wants more of a connection with us than he wants with the Egyptiams. To them he gave them the Nile river so that they don't need rain fall at all and don't need Hashem at all. However, Eretz Yisrael drinks from the heavens, and like it says; "the eyes of Hashem are on the land [of Israel] from the beginning of the year until the end". Eretz Yisrael needs special divine intervention for water, and the praise of this is that the Jewish people living there are always dependant on Hashem for rainfall and therefore remain strongly connected with him. After all, like it says in last weeks Parsha, "and you will receive buildings that you didn't build, wells which you didn't dig, vineyards that you didn't plant, etc..." and the Yidden will have everything they need in Eretz Yisrael. If they weren't dependant on Hashem at least for rainfall, they would no longer need him and quickly forget him.


The same applies with our enemies. And that is why it says in this weeks Parsha that although Hashem will wipe out the goyim from before us slowly but surely, still, he will not destroy them fast - "lest the animals of the field increase upon thee". What this perhaps means is, that if Hashem would wipe out our enemies all at once, we would no longer feel a need to depend on him. The words "lest the animals of the field increase upon thee" mean to hint perhaps, that if Hashem would destroy our enemies fast then even the animals of the field would "increase" over us, meaning that the animals would have even more of a connection with Hashem than we would.


And that is why Hashem has given us the Yetzer Hara as well. He wants a connection with us! He wants us to know that we need him, and that without his constant help, we are lost. And that is also why Hashem doesn't destroy the Yetzer Hara in one fell swoop once a person decides to do Teshuvah. Instead, each time we think we got rid of him, he keeps coming back again and again. Only "slowly but surely" does Hashem wipe him out from before us. For if Hashem would get rid of the Yetzer Hara all at once, we wouldn't need him any more and we wouldn't feel dependant on him. And this "connection" that we have to Hashem through our struggles with the Yetzer Hara, is even more important to Hashem than the falls that we have as a result of Him not removing the Yetzer Hara altogether as soon as we want to do Teshuvah.


To sum it all up: The most important thing to Hashem is not our progress in destroying the Yetzer Hara, but rather our dependency on him, and our constant knowledge that we need Hashem every day anew to help us break free of our #1 enemy.



Parsha Talk 2: Eikev


Are you with Me of with Her?


By Honestmouse

'lema'an anoischo lenasoischo loda'as es asher bilvovcho lishmor mitsvoisov im loi'  ' (8:2) order to afflict you so as to test you, to know what is in your heart, whether you would observe His commandments or not'.

Hashem's tests in the midbar where in order to test klal yisroel, to bring out what was truly in their heart. Unfortunately, nowadays, in so many areas of avodas Hashem, so many of us are lacking in sincerity, out heart is not in the right place even if we are doing the right thing, it could be chesed or davening etc...

Hashem's nisyonos for us are to test what's really in our heart, is it true and genuine or is it only lip service. Instead of needing afflictions to bring out our deepest, genuine desires for good, if we would only fill our hearts with good and train ourselves to genuinely try to connect to Hashem and do His will all the time - even on a desert island - it would already be obvious where our hearts lay and we wouldn't need wake up calls all the time.

Perhaps every time we see a trigger, Hashem is asking us 'are you with Me, or are you with her?' If we would live with Him all the time, perhaps we wouldn't need to be asked this question...



Tips of the Day


Sober for over a year


By "Jooboy"


I have been sexually sober for over a year and have not purposely viewed pornography of any kind in over something like 7 months. The usual progression for me usually starts on the street and goes to internet news sites, which then goes to lust type of news, and from there it's a pretty quick trip to the real garbage and emotional and spiritual devastation. Not a pretty sight.

Eventually I saw how powerless I was over this cycle and joined SA which has been the most transforming emotional experience of my life. Having a fellowship of friends to turn to for support when the going gets rough is invaluable.

Although my wife and I are currently doing very well in our marriage, boruch Hashem, she feels that she currently needs space in the area of sex and it is very challenging for me.  

What has helped me not only get through this, but grow in the process, is:

1) Journaling my feelings as needed, sometimes daily basis.

2) Meditation for at least 5-10 minutes in the morning.

3) Prayer - for freedom from lust, humility to accept God's will as expressed through those around me, especially my wife and children.

4) Surrender of any expectation of sex - EVER.  Of course I don't really think this will last forever, I know that is not what my wife wants. But for myself, I have to be OK without it.

5) Vigilant custody of my eyes on the street.  I have taken to removing my glasses when walking about NYC where there is really a lot of flesh on display all the time - it is working wonders.

6) Reading and re-reading and re-reading again the book "The Garden of Peace" - AMAZING!!! This book has been a real game changer for me. You can get it from Feldheim Publishers and I would strongly encourage you to read it.



Daily Dose of Dov

Dov is sober in SA for over 13 years. See his story here.


How much more are you willing to take?


Someone wrote:


I don't care about my life. I just fell hard again. I could have called out for help......I CHOSE to fall all the way because it feels much better. If you're gonna fall, might as well fall all the way..... I give him so many chances and he takes the stupidest choice. What a dumb human..... I assure you, that of anyone on the forum, I am probably THE MOST MESSED UP..... Get a life! Geta life! Getalife! Getalife - you stupid idiot. Stop worshipping your pen**. I am dead.


Dov Responds:


That was beautiful, and, of course, I can't say I actually have pity for you, for I have been there by my own hand, as well. 

"Chose to fall"? I seriously doubt you there. But hey - I can afford to be brutally honest with you now because with such self-loathing how could I possibly insult you? Hah. 

Should you actually muster up all his "courage" and "strength" not to fall, I venture to ask: "would you still fall flat on your face, eventually?" Is this a negative attitude? I think not. I was convinced that I was the worst of the worst, too - but have a great life now, nonetheless. The hopelessness of finding real help was nonsense. So in my own case, the whole self-pity thing is pure BS. It's just another way we try to protect our right to keep acting out with lust - "we can't do any better cuz we suck"... it's a lie. With help, we can. On the condition that we give up insisting that we need to be the one's doing it. The folks who totally misunderstand the "I'm powerless over lust/alcohol/whatever" idea, totally miss the point and think that such an admission boils down to a "heter". Actually, it's quite the opposite, and in their hearts I believe they are just too chicken to accept that a real way out actually exists! The idea of actually saying goodbye to this crap scares the hell out of them. I know because it happened to me. A gripping fear of missing out on finally getting my lust fulfillment was always under my skin....

So, if you really feel that badly about yourself and about "worshiping your penis", if you really are disgusted by the person you think you see in the mirror, then I'd say, "Hey - might as well give up on your ego and "self-respect" all the way (as I had to) and meet with other penis-temple drop-outs - who don't act out anymore!


Instead of just saying  it, actually treat yourself as "THE MOST MESSED UP" around, and get your butt to a meeting - or whatever else you believe might help. That is, unless you really can hate yourself a bit more. In that case, take your sweet time! I did!

If you really think you are worse than the rest of us on the forum, then I say forgo the ego-protection of virtuality on the forum - and go to either an SA meeting nearest you, or whatever other help your heart tells you is out there, today. Throw away the fear and the squeamish shame that may have been holding you back from your medicine. Whatever recovery tool you are protecting yourself from, it's high time you gave up and got to it, man. How much more are you willing to take? 


Sunday  ~ 21 Av, 5770  ~  August 1, 2010

In Today's Issue
  • Testimonial of the Day: Bringing Out the Good in Past Sins
  • Quote of the Day: Free Choice
  • Sayings of the Day: From A.A
  • Daily Dose of Dov: Natural Consequences Teach Best


Testimonial of the Day


Bringing Out the Good in Past Sins


By "Holy Yid"


Today is the first anniversary of my joining this site. It truly has been of the most dramatic years of my life. I have changed how I look at this struggle, how I look at myself and how I act. I now know that I am not a monster or a terrible person, rather I am a normal healthy good Jew who got caught in something I did not know how to deal with. Maybe if I would have had the proper hadracha I would not be here, but there is another way to look at this. There is a concept in Chasidus that Hashem, in His Infinite Wisdom, causes all sins to happen, and we, those who sinned unwillingly - so to speak (this idea is very kabbalistic and Rav Dessler warns about not letting Kabbalistic teachings weaken our fear of sin), are supposed to use them as a vehicle to better ourselves. When we use them as a source of motivation to improve ourselves, in that area and in general, we have brought out the good in the sin, and the Divine Intention in causing us to sin is revealed. Now that sin is a source of merit for us, for it was an impetus in our growth, and we are better people.


With this thought in mind, I can say I have started to reveal the Divine Intention in my years of sinning. They were the groundwork for me to improve as a person and really learn about and live a life of kedusha. I have also had the chance to have a very minor part in spreading the message of this site, the hope, redemption and meaning that is possible. It is possible that my pain and sins where intended to enable me to help others avoid this path and make the world a holier place.  

Thank you Guard and all the others, who have helped me till here and will help in the future.



Quote of the Day


Free Choice


Quote from SA, White Book, page 26


I see now that in all my religious striving and psychotherapy I was waiting for the miracle to happen first, that I should somehow be zapped or "fixed," unable ever to fall or be tempted again. I thought that if a person just had the right religious belief, he was automatically "a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." That all thought of lust would be removed, much as a tumor would be excised by a surgeon. The "religious solution" was one of the subtlest strategies in my arsenal of denial.


I didn't realize that the essence of being human is to have free choice. God doesn't want to remove from me the possibility of falling; he wants me to have the freedom to choose not to fall. I'd been praying self-righteously all along, "Please God, take it away!" not realizing my inner heart was piteously whining, ". . . so I won't have to give it up." There was belief in God without surrender. That belief availed nothing! I had never died to lust.


Sayings of the Day


From A.A


A winner is a loser who keeps trying.

I don't always know what God's will is for me, but I always know what it's not.

God loves you and there's nothing you can do about it.

If God is your co-pilot, switch seats.

Don't go in your head alone. It's a dangerous neighborhood.

An ounce of prevention is worth a gallon of relapse.

My disease is doing pushups, getting stronger--just waiting for me to slip.

My best thinking got me here.

You can't speed up your recovery, but you sure can slow it down.

It don`t matter how your jackass got in a ditch, just get him out.

Don't act out between breaths.



Daily Dose of Dov

Dov is sober in SA for over 13 years. See his story here.


Natural Consequences Teach Best

If it were only masturbation (including the issur, spiritual/mental/interpersonal damage that it causes and its onesh as I understand them all in my heart) that I considered my big problem, I doubt I'd have ever stopped. I went on with it for years and cried my eyes out, ripped my ego to shreds with guilt and shame, fasted, mikvah'd and tikkun'd my brains out - all the while hiding and carefully guarding my dirty secret. I never actually gave it up and did what I really needed to stay quit until the problem became much more to me than "just" losing my olam haba, "more" than going to gehinnom, and "more" than being tied in a knot with fire burning at both its ends. Apparently, I had to come to see that I couldn't continue one more step in my double life, or I'd lose my G-d, my morality, and my entire world as I knew it. I liken myself in this prat to Iyov, who R"l lost all his kids, estate and stuff, but never cracked - that is, until he got tzora'as. The meforshim explain that when it finally touched his very body - what he identified with at the deepest personal level, he couldn't take it any more. 

Am I saying I had no emunah? That I really didn't take the onashim warned of in chazal seriously, etc..? Perhaps yes. I do not really know - nor do I care. Perhaps if I really believed it all b'chush, it'd worked more in my heart to stop me. But the pain of the lusting lifestyle is what stopped me - not the aveiro. 

And I am not alone: When the great Tanna RYB"Z (I think) was dying, he advised his students to learn how to have an awareness of Hashem's presence that is as powerful as the simple presence of a man in the room with them. They said, "That's it?". He answered:, "ummmm. Hellooo! Hal'vai they should be the same for (you) people!" (cynical dramatization added by me!) Now, perhaps I totally misinterpret this story and surely there is some m'forash that takes it out of the apparent p'shat. But it seems valid and plain to me. I actually expected myself to be greater in simple emunah than these great people! What unbridled ga'avah. In fact, it seems that my very pride itself was always my worst enemy: It always told me that I could really stop (a lie), and that I was therefore a loser for ever failing! 


Back to my point: In general,  in  my emotions - my heart - my reality - the seriousness of aveiros, per se', simply does not even come close to the shame of actually being caught or paying in an  immediate way for a mistake. And takanos and k'nasos are artificial, BTW. Natural consequences teach. 

I am not interested in whether this is a shanda - only in the functional truth. We need honesty.

I am sober today as a result of this derech, it seems, and my life (and family members' lives) has been improving in ways I'd never have even wished for, in every respect.


I have far to go, but every year is definitely far better than one before, which is kind of bizarre given what kind of goofball I am.

Monday  ~ 22 Av, 5770  ~  August 2, 2010

In Today's Issue
  • Attitude Tip of the Day: "I did not create me"
  • Torah Tip of the Day: Without the waters of Torah, we can't put out the fire.
  • Battle Communication: Progress, not Perfection
  • Sayings of the Day: From the 12-Step groups
  • Daily Dose of Dov: Getting Busy with Living