It's all about "Surrender", "Surrender",
"Surrender". G-d puts us through so much in our lives just so that
we learn to surrender to him, i.e. to realize that we can't do it
alone and that we need him for every step of the way. This is not
only a philosophy to help someone break free of an addiction, it is
true in everything in our lives. It applies to they way G-d has
dealt, and deals, with the Jewish people as a whole--throughout
history, from when we left Egypt until today in the State of Israel
where we are surrounded by enemies on all sides and still keep
thinking we can do without G-d (
here for a video about this idea). It applies to being
successful in earning a living, in finding a true life partner, in
being healed from disease, in having peace in life, and in
everything that we strive for. As long as we still think we can go
it alone, we will keep stumbling, falling and suffering. This is
because by thinking we can do it ourselves, we close ourselves to
G-d. Our vessel becomes full of the "self" and there's no room left
for G-d. The minute we start to "let go and let G-d" and acknowledge
to him that we can't do it on our own and we need his constant help,
we enable ourselves to become a vessel for G-d's infinite bounty,
and we will start to see success in all areas, from our jobs to
victory over the evil inclination!
There is a tremendous amount of spiritual
energy out there that Hashem is waiting to give to us, as long as we
try. Rabbi Nachman of Breslov would often quote a Zohar that
controlling one's desires and passions makes them the channel for
beracha, abundance and reward, to flow into the world. Practically,
what that means is that if you control yourself, Hashem will cause
beracha to flow into all that you do. You will begin to accomplish
more. Become more successful. You will begin to see an extra measure
of Syatah Di'Shemyah--help from Heaven--in all of your actions.
Let's talk about the moment after. Suddenly,
as if coming out of a trance, it's over. The addiction got what it
wanted, the bubble popped and we are left feeling totally gypped.
"What was there about that, that justified me letting it take over
my mind and cut me off from reality, from myself and from G-d?" we
ask ourselves. "Why do I let this insanity control me?!" The minute
it's over we can suddenly see clearly again. It is like being given
back the gift of sanity. Like someone who was drugged up and placed
in a crazy house, only to wake up the next morning and ask himself
what he is doing there!
R' Nachman gives a parable (and I don't remember the details exactly
- but you'll get the general idea). There was a country where all
the wheat crop was poisoned that year. Everyone in the country ate
from the wheat and became crazy. The doctors all said that the
craziness would last for a full year. The wise king, who had his own
wheat, did not become crazy. However, he decided that he too should
eat from the bad wheat that year so he would be like his subjects
and be able to understand and rule them. But the king wanted to
remember that he was really a wise ruler and that he would return to
his sanity after a year, so he made himself a special bracelet that
he wouldn't be able to remove. On the bracelet he wrote the words
"Remember you are not yourself this year".
The trick to protecting ourselves from the next time the insanity
returns, is to remember the way we feel afterwards, and to keep this
memory fresh in our minds so we don't fall into the trap again.
Perhaps we should even write ourselves a note about how we feel
afterwards, and carry it around to read next time we feel the
One should know that the principle aspect of a
Jew's holiness and purity is in sanctifying his eyes. The Torah
emphasizes this in the verse regarding Yehuda by asking, "Where is
the k'deisha?" While the word k'deisha has the meaning "harlot," it
can also be read in its meaning of "holiness," so that we read,
"Where is the holiness?" And the answer is "b'Anayim," which means
that the harlot was in the place called Anayim, but also that the
holiness of a Jew is in the Anayim - the eyes (Bereshit, 38:21).
In his book, "Kuntres
HaAvodah," Rebbe Sholom Dov Ber of Lubavitch, one of the early great
Rebbes of Chabad, writes the following:
"Everyone who is concerned about his soul, not to pollute it, G-d
forbid, should guard over his eyes. And if this is difficult for
him, he should endeavor to restrain himself with all of his strength
and might. He must take to heart that this matter is instrumental to
the wellbeing of his soul, and if he does not guard himself in this
matter, then all of his Divine service is accounted as nothing, and
all of his achievements are as naught, and his service of G-d will
fall lower and lower....
"Behold, there are people who are far from actually committing evil
deeds, G-d forbid, but their hearts pull them to look and stare (at
women.) They gaze with a seemingly cold detachment, and they do not
feel any immediate excitement when they look, but the reason for
their being attracted is because they experience an inner
pleasure... This gazing, even with seeming detachment, creates an
impression and a great stain on the psyche, which will not go away
without arousing some actual evil in its wake, G-d forbid....
"Thus, it is every man's duty to control himself and to guard over
the things he sees. In so doing, he will save himself from evil, and
his service of G-d will find favor. He will bring salvation to his
soul, and he will rise higher and higher." (Kuntres HaAvodah, Ch. 2.
For an English translation and commentary, see the book, "Love Like
Fire and Water," Moznaim Publishing Corp.)
The true strength of a
person's piety is demonstrated under the following circumstances: a
devout person does not cast off his piety even when people ridicule
him; whatever he does is for the sake of heaven; he does not look at
women. His piety is put to the test especially when he is in the
company of other men in a situation where women are usually
around-for example, in a wedding hall where women are dressed in
elegant gowns, and all are gazing at the women, and he does not
stare. For that, he will be rewarded with abundant good. Therefore,
when a man meets a woman, whether she is single or married, gentile
or Jewish, an adult or a minor, it is best for him to turn his face
aside and not to look at her. And so do we read in Job, "I made a
Covenant with my eyes not to gaze on a maiden" (Job 3 1: 1). The
verse "He shuts his eyes against looking at evil" (Isaiah 33:15)
refers to the person who does not look at women when they are doing
their washing.' When they wash their clothes, they lift their skirts
so as not to soil them and thus uncover their legs; and we know that
a woman's leg is a sexual excitement. And so said the Sage, "There
is no greater barrier to sexual arousal than closing one's eyes".
Sexual temptation is the main test in life. It is
sent as a challenge to refine us. When you are subjected to this
test it puts you in a type of "exile". You should cry out to G-d:
scream and cry out to Him over and over again, like a woman in labor
who cries out from the pain of her contractions. Seventy times she
cries out (Zohar III, 249b). You must do likewise and cry out to G-d
again and again until He takes pity and helps you to strengthen
yourself and break your desire. New ideas and new perceptions will
be born within you. The secrets of Torah, which before were guarded,
will now be unveiled for you. The greater the determination with
which you stand up to the trial, the greater the revelation you will
receive in Torah and devotion to G-d. You will be able to see the
seventy faces of the Torah.
Vision possesses such lofty
importance because the eyes are the windows to the "soul of the
soul." A blemish to the sense of vision, when the eyes gaze upon
some forbidden image, is grave indeed, as stressed by the verse in
the Book of Eichah, "My eye affects my soul because of all the
daughters of the city" (Eichah, 3:51). This means that what a man
sees can cause him to lose a portion of his holiness.
From the Forum at
I learned the hard way!
I have just finished a painful bout of prostate inflammation in my
bris that was the most painful experience of my life. Urinating was
a nightmare and sex was out of the question. The catheter they
inserted almost blew out my brains. I was in the hospital for a week
on antibiotics and I wouldn't wish the pain on my worst enemies. I
knew it came as a Divine punishment for my watching p-rn and for
doing things with my wife that I shouldn't have just to satisfy my
lust. I have decided to implement
the 12 Torah
Steps in my life. I have told my wife and Rabbi, and I am once
again going to minyanim at the shul instead of staying home to watch
porn. I hope my story will warn others so that they stop their bad
habits before they have to go through the hell that I have been
We all believe in "S'char Ve'onesh" (divine
reward and punishment). So here's a tip for staying strong and
guarding your eyes. Sometimes we tell a child that if he does a
Mitzvah he will get as much candy as he wants in the next world.
This isn't a lie because the reward will be much greater than this,
but the child can't relate to understanding the true pleasures of
the world to come. When we struggle with looking at things we
shouldn't, we are also acting like children. The only difference is
that our desires have matured into different "candies". Sometimes it
can help to talk to the Yetzer Hara in his own language so he will
understand. Next time you see something that pulls you to stray
after your eyes, tell yourself that as a reward for not looking, G-d
will allow you to have this very woman that you desire in the next
world. Now obviously, the reward in the next world will be much
greater than this. Chaza"l say that one minute in Olam Haba is
greater than all the pleasures of this world put together! But
sometimes this idea is too abstract for the Yetzer Hara to hear, and
that can make it hard to relate to. Instead, when you see a
beautiful woman or a picture of one, tell your Yetzer Hara; "you
know you won't get her anyway, you just crave to gaze at her beauty,
so I'll make a deal with you. Turn away now, and as a reward for
turning away just this once, you'll have her in the next world as
much as you want!". This truly isn't a lie here either. You are only
talking to the Yetzer Hara in his own language so he can relate to
the incredible reward that you WILL receive in the next world...
Besides, in the Kabbalistic sources, the holy Shchina is
sometimes nimshal (a parable to) a beautiful woman, and the
zivug (intercourse) of the neshamos (souls) in the
next world is a pleasure we can't even begin to imagine. Everything
on this world is a branch of the "root" in the upper worlds. If
sexual desire is the strongest of the pleasures of this world, then
the spiritual counterpart of this desire (it's divine root) will
also be the highest form of pleasure in the world to come. But only
those who repent and stay pure in this world will merit these divine
words of General George S. Patton.
"Better to fight for something than live for
don't measure a man's success by how high he climbs, but how high he
bounces when he hits bottom".
Taken From Tzvi Fishman's Arutz Sheva
There are many unfortunate consequences for a
Jew who follows after his eyes. Since many people look upon this
lightly, let me share a Kabbalistic secret to help impress the
gravity of this transgression in your minds. In the "Sefer Haredim,"
in the Gate of Reincarnation, it is written that a person who
habitually gazes at women to enjoy their beauty will be reincarnated
as an impure bird called the "Roah," which means "he saw."
Regarding this, the holy Torah giant and
Kabbalist, Rabbi Aharon Rota, writes: "If you think to say, my
brother, what is so bad about this? That if you will be reincarnated
in a bird, you can fly around freely to this place and that, what's
so terrible in that? But you should know, my brother, that to be
reincarnated in an impure thing, G-d forbid, is worse than the
terrible fires of Gehinom. Furthermore, unlike a reincarnation in
human form, when the person is unaware of his previous life, when a
person is reincarnated in an impure bird, he is conscious all of the
time that he was once a Jew with a pure and exalted soul, and that
now he is doomed to the life of an impure and foul-smelling bird –
how shameful and ignominious is his hell. All because he did not
safeguard his eyes from looking at improper things" ("Taharat
HaKodesh," Chapter on Guarding One's Eyes, Section 18).
But this isn't all, my friends. The next time
that you are tempted to take a second glance at an immodestly
dressed woman, or to click on an erotic site on the Internet,
remember that after the reincarnation in an impure bird, another
reincarnation is needed in a less impure beast, then another
reincarnation in a pure animal, each time experiencing the pain of
death and mental suffering involved, until the cycle is completed,
and only then does the person begin the time in Gehinom that has
been apportioned to him for his sins.
Is it worth it?
The Torah is called a "Covenant," (BRIT)
The Holy One, blessed be He is called "Covenant,"
The holy sign of circumcision is called the "Covenant"
(The holy Zohar III 73b).
TORAH = 611 = BRIT = 612
THE ONE WHO GUARDS THE COVENANT IS CONSIDERED AS IF HE HAD OBSERVED
ALL OF THE TORAH (ZOHAR HA KADOSH I, 197a)
If you can't stop looking at pretty women,
keep this in mind. From the smallest baby, to the prettiest woman,
to the old fat man down the street, human beings are all made out of
the same stuff; blood, veins, muscle tissue, guts and fat--all
covered over with a thin layer of skin. Keep that in mind and it
will help you turn away from looking at what you shouldn't. It will
also help you to be humble before G-d, for that is really all we
Learn how to bear
the mental pain of saying "No" to yourself.
Naturally, we go to what feels good and we stay away from pain. We
got that from cows. Animals don't understand that a painful
experience can be beneficial. Try and explain surgery to a cow. All
the cow understands is "Food", I go. "Pain", I go away.
humans were endowed with wisdom! Tell yourself, the pain I
feel when saying "no" is GOOD for me. The pain I feel is HEALING me,
and it is also fixing all that I have damaged in the past.
Here's something an x-addict wrote about pain on
Arutz Sheva Forum:
Many find themselves in destructive behavior when they feel
pain and don't see a way out. When I felt pain, I wanted a way
to avoid it ... which only took me further from reality.
It's OK to sit with pain ... it's better than the mind-numbing
behaviors that remove us from the world.
Thank G-d that we FEEL AGAIN! ... even if it's pain.
Be assured that you are making progress.
this interesting article from the English
Hamodia section called "Seeking Solutions". In this feature, readers
send in their questions and the renowned psychiatrist, author and
Torah Scholar Rabbi Avraham Twerski attempts to answer.
For more on internet addiction from Rabbi Twerski, click
One secret to success in overcoming the evil
inclination is to enjoy the challenge! Imagine you are
playing a video arcade game called "Life" and the enemy is called
"Temptation". If a test comes and you overcome it, you get points
and move to a higher level each time. Only there's one small thing
about this game, you are playing here for your ETERNITY! So, next
time you are faced with a test think to yourself;
"Oh yes, bring it on! I can do
Taken from the FAQ page of
Anybody with a normal sex drive
and no outlet for it will masturbate. Man or Woman! I once went
without masturbating for about a month…toward the end of that month
I thought I was going to rape someone. Even while studying Torah I
had the urge. The more you deny it
the more it affects you. All of that tension just builds up.
It's downright cruel to have a sexual drive and then seeing
beautiful women and having no outlet for it. Also, recent medical
studies that say frequent ejaculation prevents a build up of cancer
causing chemicals. Yes, it's good to masturbate believe it or not!
A non-religious man once told the
Brisker Rav that he doesn't believe in G-d because he has many
questions. The brisker Rav told him, "you don't have questions, you
So my friend, if these questions you ask are really "answers" to why
you aren't working on yourself, then there is no real hope for you.
But if you genuinely have questions in the hope of one day achieving
the purity that G-d asks of us, then you will be able to find
For starters, let me say that all scientific studies are irrelevant
to the Torah and to Chaza"l. This is for two reasons.
1) G-d made us, so he knows what is best for us. Chaza"l and the
Torah know better than scientists what is good for a person and what
2) Secondly, even if masturbating would be proven beyond doubt to be
good for your health, we Jews have been giving up our very lives for
G-d for thousands of years, all the more so should we be willing to
give up some obscure, vague and improbable health benefit, such as
getting rid of some cancer causing chemicals.
Also I beg to disagree with your assertion that the tension builds
up to an explosion point. Here are some very important words of
Chaza"l to remember: "There is a small organ in a man. When it
is well-fed, it is hungry. When it is starved, it is satiated".
The less you use it, the less you need it.
Please see as well this Q&A on the FAQ page of
"Why is masturbation bad, and how can G-d want
us not to do it, if it's something a person cannot control?"
From the Zochar Chai, Vayechi 377b
The sin of emitting semen in vain is encompassing and it damages the
mazal of the person at the level of DAAT. Because the one who sins
in this fashion, the image of G-d immediately runs away from him and
he becomes a beast, damaging with anger, pride and all evil traits,
a destroyer indeed, like one of the demons and even less than them,
and his Torah and his prayers are broken by the Kelipot…and as long
as he doesn't do Teshuva, he is like one who has no portion in the
G-d of Israel and it is forbidden to talk to him.
Learn to think "Who am I to want anything? We are not here for
pleasure. I am doing the work of the king every time I say "No".
What more can a Jew want in this world?
these lines of Bitul, R' Nachman offers a powerful
suggestion. Whenever you are feeling weak and about to break, go
into a room alone. Close your eyes, lie on the floor and put
yourself in a place of total Bitul (self annulment).
Repeat over and over again "I am nothing", "I am nothing".
For today's Chizuk e-mail, I point you to an
inspiring article written by Tzvi Fishman on his Arutz Sheva Blog:
The Best Hanukah Gift For Your Kids
Chankah is an opportune time to work on
sexual purity. Here are some excerpts from an Article by Tzvi
here for the full article).
At the center of the Greek plan to uproot the Torah from Israel was
their strategy to lure the Jews into sexual transgression. The
Jewish People's belief that G-d ruled over the physical world, as
well as the spiritual, was something that the hedonistic Hellenist
culture could not allow....
...Craving to be like the Greeks, the Jewish Hellenists stretched
their orlah [foreskins] back over the sign of their
Brit, in order to look like their masters. Enraptured by the
tantalizing synthesis of Greek intellectuality and unbridled
bohemianism, Jews abandoned the synagogue and study halls, adopted
Greek names, dressed up in Greek tunics, flocked to Greek theaters,
bathed in Greek spas, and drank alongside the "enlightened"
foreigners in their pornographic pubs....
...Mattityahu and his five sons rose up like
lions against the enemies of Israel and G-d. When the Greek governor
sent an officer to erect an altar in Modiin and force the Jews to
sacrifice upon it, Mattityahu rushed forward to slay him. The "Book
of the Maccabees" relates:
"Thus he showed his zeal for the Torah, as
Pinchas had done toward Zimri, son of Salu. Then Mattityahu
cried out in a loud voice in the town, saying, "Let everyone who
is zealous for the Torah and who guards the Brit [covenant -
sexual purity], follow me!"
In Mattityahu's very first cry to battle lies
the secret of Hanukah.... As Kohen Gadol [High Priest], he
was entrusted with guarding the sexual purity of the nation, as it
says regarding the Kohanim [Priests], "For they have
observed Your word and guarded your Brit" (Devarim, 33:10).
Zealousness for the Torah and guarding the Brit go hand in
hand. Thus Mattityahu's cry to war was, "Let everyone who is zealous
for the Torah and who guards the Brit, follow me!"
The Zohar teaches that as long as
Israel is free from sexual transgression no rival nation can rule
over them. "Rabbi Elazar said, As long as men remain attached to the
Brit and do not loose their sovereignty over it, there is
no nation nor language in the world that can do them harm" (Zohar,
This was the secret weapon of the Macabbees.
Repent to G-d every day. Admit your sins and
change your ways, as the Pasuk says "Modeh V'eozev Yerucham" - "He
who admits and desists will be shown mercy".
In the holy books it says that the secret of confession is as
follows: Every deed a person does creates a prosecuting angel. That
angel goes up to heaven and prosecutes the one who did the sin that
brought the angel into existence. However, when a person confesses
to G-d and admits that he is ashamed of his deed, the angel he
created loses it's power to prosecute the person and he is easily
forgiven. However, this only works with repentance, i.e. if the
person changes his ways. Otherwise, the angel will continue to
prosecute even stronger than before and point out to G-d that the
person who created him was lying when he confessed and said that he
feels bad for his sins.
From the Shaar ha'Tefillah by the Beer Mayim
"And it is not seemly and it is not proper for an intelligent person
to run after the filth and desire of this sort, for why is he called
man if not for having the spirit of man which ascends above and not
that of a beast that descends below to the earth, and every
intelligent person knows that it is proper for him to be different
from a horse and a dog in his desires".
We need to internalize that these desires are out
to destroy us, not to help us. He claims to be our best friend, but
he is our worst enemy. The evil
inclination's goal is that the value of our lives should be zero.
His job is to damage. To do this he was given permission to use
pleasure and illusionary "fulfillment" as a bluff to be able to
cause us damage. Otherwise, how could he possibly damage, we would
tell him to get lost! But we need to realize, it is like Arafat
offering us a piece of cake. We know he doesn't mean the cake, he
means to use the cake to damage us somehow. After all, isn't
it obvious that the evil inclination
wants your soul, not the pleasure? Otherwise, why is a thousand
times never enough?!
We need to keep reminding ourselves that it is an addiction,
a disease, an immaturity. That these are not-normal, non-healthy
desires. These false pleasures that he offers us, destroy our
relationship with our own selves--our own souls, not to mention our
precious family life. And the most harmful of all, they destroy our
relationship with G-d.
It is very important to remember these three,
very powerful sayings of Rebbe Nachman at all times.
"There is no such thing as "Yiush" (i.e. despair) in the
"As long as the candle is lit (i.e. one is still alive), one
can always correct".
"If you believe you can destroy, then you must believe that you can
Long ago, Rabbi Nachman of Breslov had recognized
Simcha as the key to success in fighting the evil inclination and
coming truly close to HaShem. In stressing the importance of Simcha
he went so far as saying that depression - the antithesis of Simcha
- constitutes "the main bite of the serpent (the Yetzer Harah)". How
far should a person struggle to remain steadfast and avoid
depression? The lesson is best illustrated by the following story
Rabbi Nachman told to his disciples:
"But what is the antidote for the person who feels so heavy, so
depressed, that no words of encouragement or advice have any
There was once a poor man who earned a living digging clay and
selling it. Once, while digging clay, he discovered a precious stone
which was obviously worth a great deal. Since he had no idea of it's
worth, he took it to an expert to tell him Its value. The expert
answered, "No one here will be able to afford such a stone. Go to
London, the capital, and there you will be able to sell it." The man
was so poor that he could not afford to make the journey. He sold
everything he had, and went from house to house, collecting funds
for the trip. Finally he had enough to take him as far as the sea.
He then went to board a ship, but he did not have any money. He went
to the ship's captain and showed him the jewel. The captain
immediately welcomed him aboard the ship with great honor, assuming
he was a very trustworthy person. He gave the poor man a special
first class cabin, and treated him like a wealthy personage. The
poor man's cabin had a view of the sea, and he sat there, constantly
looking at the diamond and rejoicing. He was especially particular
to do this during his meals, since eating in good spirits is highly
beneficial for digestion. Then one day, he sat down to eat, with the
diamond lying in front of him on the table where he could enjoy it.
Sifting there he dozed off. Meanwhile, the mess boy came and cleared
the table, shaking the tablecloth with it's crumbs and the diamond
into the sea. When he woke up and realized what had happened, he
almost went mad with grief. Besides, the captain was a ruthless man
who would not hesitate to kill him for his fare. Having no other
choice, he continued to act happy, as if nothing had happened. The
captain would usually speak to him a few hours every day, and on
this day, he put himself in good spirits, so that the captain was
not aware that anything was wrong. The captain said to him, "I want
to buy a large quantity of wheat and I will be able to Sell it in
London for a huge profit. But I am afraid that I will be accused of
stealing from the king's treasury. Therefore, I will arrange for the
wheat to be bought in your name. I will pay you well for your
trouble." The poor man agreed. But as soon as they arrived in London
the captain died. The entire shipload of wheat was in the poor man's
name and it was worth many times as much as the diamond.
Rabbi Nachman concluded, "The diamond did not belong to the poor
man, and the proof is that he did not keep it. The wheat, however,
did belong to him, and the proof is that he kept it. But he got what
he deserved only because he remained happy. *
It is up to each of us never to lose hope, and like the poor man in
the story to whom everything appeared lost, force oneself to be
happy. Even a faked, ungenuine, happiness, has the power to
transform our situation and lead us to genuine joy.
One guy writes on
"I have tried to stop over and over, but just can't seem to. I have
even gone like 3 or 4 months without porn, but always the desire
grows so strong that life seems too dull and worthless to live
without being able to indulge in the viewing of women... "
We would like to address this phenomenon, where life seems so dull
without the lust we are used to. This is a common emotional /
chemical response to the mind having grown so addicted to this
behavior. It is this aspect of the addiction which makes it so hard
to stop even though we know we are destroying ourselves every time
we give in. One helpful solution is
which takes off the edge of this feeling of "emptiness" when someone
is trying to stop.
Another solution is to fight this feeling with the mind. Use this
Some types of angler fish use a light on their head to attract prey
right into their mouth. The little fish has strayed into deep waters
and is cold, lonely and lost. Suddenly a little light appears. It
looks calm and soothing, it looks like the light at the end of the
tunnel. The fish is so attracted to the this light - he can't stop
himself - and WHAM, he's dinner!!
Those who have become addicted to this behavior have strayed into
deep waters. They have become troubled, lonely and depressed. When a
beautiful woman passes by, or when the lure of the girls on the
internet beckons, he feels he must have this fix for his troubles...
he feels desperate for the warmth, the lust... he just wants to let
go - the light is beckoning.... But, NO! STOP!!!! It's the evil one!
He wants to destroy you! It's all a trick! Don't fall for it, or
you're a gonner!
To truly be free of the insidious desires, we need to make a true
and final decision that we don't want these things anymore. When we
are standing in Shul on Rosh Hashana or Yom-Kippur, or when we are
meeting with a Rabbi we truly respect, is there anything we want
more in life than to be considered by G-d as an " Erlicher
Yid" (a G-d fearing Jew)? We do believe in G-d, we know the truth.
We want to be good. It's just that in the real world we keep
forgetting what we truly want. In our day to day lives, the desires
of this world fill our mind and make us forget who we are and what
we truly want to be.
We need to take a break once in a while and focus. We need to always
remember; "I really want to be an Erlicher Yid". We need to
tell ourselves once and for all, "I truly don't want these things
anymore, not now and not never!"
Let's go back to the ABC's and see what G-d wrote in the Torah about
the Yetzer Hara. When Kayin was not will to sacrifice to G-d as much
as Hevel was, G-d turned away from his offering. Kayin felt rejected
and so G-d said to him: "Why are you sad? If you will do better
you will be accepted, and if not, your sins will crouch for you on
the entrance of your grave (meaning, that when you die you will
be paid back for your sins). " Ve'elecha Teshukaso, Ve'ata
Timshal Bo' - "And the evil inclination's desire is to make you
stumble, and you shall rule over him".
The Zohar gives a parable of a king who wanted to test his son's
loyalty, so he paid for a prostitute to try to entice his son. The
prostitute will do her best to make the king's son stumble, but deep
down she really wants that the king's son should refuse her, for she
too is a servant of the king and wants the king to truly be happy.
It is helpful to remember this parable, and to realize that the
Yetzer Hara is also really a servant of Hashem. Deep down, he is
happy when you refuse his destructive seducing! Realize that life is
all a test of our loyalty, and of how much we are really willing to
sacrifice for G-d.
On Pesach we say "Bikesh Lavan La'akor es Hakol" - "Lavan
tried to destroy everything" (even more than Pharaoh). The question
is asked, where do we find in the scripture that Lavan tried to
destroy everything? The holy sefer, the "Ma'or Vashemesh" writes
that Lavan is symbolic of the evil inclination. When Yaakov first
started working for Lavan, Lavan said to him " Ach atzmi uvisari
ata" - "you are my own flesh and blood". Lavan tried to include
Yaakov in himself and thereby destroy him. The Me'or Vashemesh
explains that the way the Yetzer Hara succeeds in totally destroying
a person is by telling him "you are my own flesh and blood", in
other words, he tells a person "I am not an outsider trying to get
you to sin, rather I am you and you are me!".
A person falls the most when he says to himself "I can't change.
This is who I am". NO! This is not who you are! You are the
holy Yaakov. The Yetzer Hara is Lavan and he is telling you lies
that this is who you are!
Learning to view these insidious desires in third person, not as
yourself, is one of the most powerful tools in breaking free of the
addiction. Recognize that he, and not you, i.e. the yetzer hara--the
addiction, is trying to " La'akor es Hakol" - "to destroy
everything". When you separate yourself in your mind from these
harmful desires and view them instead as an outside enemy, you have
already made significant progress.
All the fascination we have for
sexual desire is satisfied in a few seconds. After that we feel sick
from it and don't even want it anymore. What a gyp! Is it
worth it for this to give away Hashem, with whom our fascination can
never be quenched, and with whom the more we experience, the more
joy, pleasure and fulfillment we feel, and will feel, for eternity?
Kids think that dolls look so human. They are fascinated with them
and have fun playing with them and imagine that the dolls are real.
We always have to remember this fact. All the fascination that we
have with sexual desire and with the beauty of women is fake. It is
satisfied in ten seconds, and after that, it vanishes like smoke.
It's so childish to let this fascination take us away from our
goals. When we let these things get to us, we are acting like little
children fascinated with dolls.
But still, sometimes we are swept along by the world, pushed along
by our worries and stress and we quickly forget who we are. We
forget how childish we are acting. We need something to wake up in
times like these. Try this: Accept upon yourself for three
days to give 25 cents to Tzedaka for every time you gaze at a women
with the intention of enjoying it. This can give you that little
extra push to hold back and realize how childish and immature it is
to act this way...
Today I would like to share with you the recovery story of a
non-Jew, who saw our site
www.guardureyes.com and send us his story to help inspire
After several correspondences and having read much of your
website I feel I can trust you.
At the age of 13 I accidentally discovered masturbation. At the time
it was more curiosity than anything else and was not really lust or
fueled by pornographic sexual fantasy. It was just a new sensation I
found to be very pleasurable and as such I refused to give it up
despite my conscience telling me something was wrong. Unfortunately,
I was too embarrassed to talk to my parents and friends about my
problem and instead practiced it in secret. In addition I hid any
signs of sexuality from my parents and friends, pretending that I
wasn't interested in girls (which would be normal in a teenager).
The habit quickly fastened itself on me and before long I was
absolutely and heavily addicted. Without knowing the cause I plunged
deeper and deeper into an abyss of misery, the cause of which I did
not know. From being a bright, healthy, confident, enthusiastic and
sociable boy I became nervous, listless, depressed and lacked
confidence. Slowly, over the years I changed, with my health, looks,
intelligence and friendships all fading. I used masturbation as an
anti-depressant, to relieve boredom and stress and as a sexual
Inwardly, I was in turmoil, with my spirit telling me something was
wrong with my life, yet I denied that I had a real problem and
suppressed these feelings. My bad habit continued until the age of
21 when I was at University. After eight years of self-abuse I had
become a complete physical wreck. My hair once thick, luxurious and
abundant had become thin and dried without any natural shine. My
eyes once bright and intelligent had become dull and shrunken. My
back stooped, my heart palpitated and I had night sweats. I lost my
appetite and became incontinent. I once wet myself after a walk.
My heart hurt after any prolonged exertion and my entire chest felt
like it had been hollowed out from the inside and was on the point
of collapse. I also remember I had never ending phlegm in my throat.
I also could not acquire an erection no matter what I saw or how
hard I tried for 5 consecutive months! I felt exhausted all the time
even when I had nothing all day and was just sitting at my desk.
These were just the physical symptoms.
By this time my memory and concentration had become extremely weak.
From being able to remember things by merely reading them once, I
now could not even recall something somebody had told me to do a
moment ago. I lacked all spontaneity and this had grave social
consequences; I could not hold a conversation for more than 5
minutes and found it almost impossible to talk to people. I never
had any ideas, and despite still attempting to read good books, I no
longer appreciated the beauty and wisdom in them. It was as if I was
a walking corpse with no life or spirit. My playing of the piano for
some reason was completely wooden with no emotion or intelligence of
interpretation. I was plagued by an extremely heavy depression and
my outlook on life was dark and devoid of hope. I felt full of
regret and I wanted to commit suicide. Masturbation had made me very
lazy and I wasted so much time without guilt or fear of the
consequences. Even when I tried to study it was if some invisible
force was impeding my progress. I could not find information I was
looking for in textbooks and felt as if I was plagued by confusion.
All my efforts came to nothing; it did not matter how hard I tried
everything I did failed. I believed that I was a total loser and was
completely useless and that there was no hope for me. I really did
want to die. Life held no attraction for me anymore- it seemed like
never ending pain and suffering.
I changed from University course to the other and failed in both
degrees. At school, I had originally planned to study medicine, but
I changed my mind to study maths instead because I thought that it
would be easy since there would be less to remember. It proved to be
the wrong decision. My mind was overshadowed with confusion when I
had to decide what career I should pursue. I feel that masturbation
had caused me to make many wrong decisions in my life due to a lack
of clarity of thought. I don't know why, but there were nice girls
at uni who liked me but I was too shy to ever ask them out or to let
them know I liked them as well. I never felt confident enough and
was always worrying about my unsuccessful studies. Now, I could no
longer deny that I had a HUGE problem. I told my mother that I had
been secretly masturbating three time a week for 8 years since the
age of 13. She was shocked to say the least! She told me I had to
stop and consulted a relative who is a Chinese doctor.
I didn't want to at first but somehow, the force of circumstances
impelled me to change. I just wanted what I thought was the easy way
out- suicide. The thought of resurrecting my life after so much
damage had been done, giving up masturbation and the uncertainty of
the future despite my best efforts filled me with fear and despair.
The task seemed too much and I did not want to recover if the price
was further suffering. Death seemed an answer to my pain- I thought
that when I was a dead it would be like I was asleep and I wouldn't
have any more problems. However, ironically my very cowardice proved
to be my salvation. I feared the pain of suicide so I realized I
actually was not going to kill myself. I then had to accept that
unless I stopped masturbating, even more suffering awaited me. I
made up my mind to break my habit.
This is now the second year I have broken free from my addiction to
masturbation. I have recovered my health, and without wanting to
sound vain but just to be honest, my looks and intelligence have
improved immensely. My local doctor did not even recognize me when I
went to the surgery; he thought I was some stranger! I retook my
failed year at University and passed and I am now in my final year
of degree after having wasted two years due to failed exams. I am no
longer filled with fear, confusion, depression and regret. Now I am
confident about myself and know I can succeed. Unexpected good
things seem to be happening to me which they never did before and
all these people who I never thought I would see again seem to be
coming back into my life (old friends, girls I liked, people I
I hope I have not bored you with my story. I wrote it so that you
could publish it on your site if you thought it might help other
Thank you for all your help. May your good work continue Rabbi and
the truth spread.
The Arizal explains that the "oneg"-
pleasure that one feels from a sexual transgression, turns into
"nega" - plague, by a rearrangement of the Hebrew letters.
The Arizal also teaches that every
time a man misuses his seed, he is handing a sword to his urge for
evil, who ascends with this sword to the man's soul root, and cuts
off from there a holy soul. He then makes out of it a powerful
klipah-husk, and as a result there comes a great darkness in all
the heavenly worlds. The Ari adds that it is in man's power to
elevate by means of his tears not only the souls that he himself
brings down, but also some of the souls that other men brought down
by succumbing to their physical passions. When a soul becomes
liberated and ascends on high, some her fellow-souls who are
enmeshed by the outside forces become envious of her, and break free
from their bonds out of the power of their longing, thus ascending
together with her."
(Shaar Hamitzvot, perashat Noach)
A fellow struggler writes on
I am not very educated in these things, but from my own experience
and struggles I can at least say: G-D is very true and frequently
helps you when you ask for the right things (in the right way)!
Every time you look at the sexual side of a woman, you do
something that brings you away from goodness again. It is important
to learn how to not look at women, and if you have to, only into the
eyes!! It is very, very, very hard (as I have learned), but it will
help you in many ways. Always look at the character of the people,
not the appearance. That is the right way
Although we are encouraged to be humble, this is only when we are
doing good deeds. This means that even when we think we have done
much good, we must always remember that no man has yet fulfilled his
obligations fully to G-d. However, when we go out into the street
and are faced with tests, we need to turn on our haughtiness
module. For this is what the attribute of haughtiness was
created for, as it is stated (about one of the ancient Jewish kings)
" Vayigbah Libo Bidarkei Hashem" - "and his
heart was aloof in the ways of G-d". In other words, we have
to realize how great each and every one of us is. With every deed we
do we can shake all the upper worlds, for good and for bad. Each and
everyone of us was created in the image of G-d. With one mistake,
one moment of weakness, we can be cut off from the source of life
itself, forever. And should you ask, "can one mistake really cut me
off forever"? Well, think about it. You're driving down a two way
highway and a big truck is coming towards you on the other lane.
Your not in imminent danger as long as you stay on your lane, but
one twist of the steering wheel in the wrong direction and it's all
over. So take your choices in life seriously. Hold on to G-d and
The whole world is running after happiness, for what more can a
person ask for in life? But what people don't know, or what they
choose to ignore, is the simple fact that true happiness only
comes from a real inner peace, and not from ANYTHING external. This
is hard for people to hear because this truth is much more "subtle"
than the happiness that the desires of this world promise us and
beckon to us with, saying "with us you will find happiness". We must
learn to close our eyes and ears to these counterfeit overtures and
remember that true happiness can never be found in external sources.
It must come from within.
Often, people just don't trust the power of Torah to save them from
the clutches of the Yetzer Hara. They try everything, the 12 steps,
meditations, psychotherapy, etc... but they won't sit down and learn
a blat of Gemara. My friends! Gemara is "sechel hayashar"
- "straight thinking". When a person thinks straight, all the
bilbulim and dimyonos (confusion and imaginary fantasies)
of the yetzer hara vanish! The Rebbe of Karlin used to say
that the best mussar sefer is a Blat of Gemara. The
power that the Torah has to cleanse us out is incredible. Like
Chaza"l say; "Hame'or Sheba Machziro Lemutav " - "the
light in it will return him to good".
So when you feel that darkness creep into your soul, when that
insidious void enters your heart and pulls you to gratify yourself
with artificial pleasures, take an English Artscroll Gemara instead,
go to the nearest Bet Medrash and spend 25 minutes uninterruptedly
in a blat Gemara. Sink your mind into the questions and
answers of Chaza"l, work out the intricacies of a Sugya, and
I promise - you will walk away feeling freer than ever!
"Ain ben Chorin Ela Mi She'osek Batorah" - "There is no free man
like he who delves in the Torah" .
One of our members, who happens not be be Jewish (but enjoys
Jewish teachings), shared some of the tips that helped him in his
journey to recovery. I bring you here part of his letter:
"To deal with pornography that is a more serious problem, bordering
on addiction, it is necessary to cut yourself off from any access
you have to porn. Whether it is cable television (and these days,
even network television), internet or a convenient outlet on the
way to work, we must make every effort to clear it from our lives
completely. This is difficult as we grow accustomed to having all
the conveniences, but if our problem is persistent, we will be
rewarded in this life and the next if we make the break completely
and as soon as possible. If we are not diligent in this area we will
continue to find ways to fall back into the same patterns we are
trying to break.
Another thing that could be helpful, and it relates to the above:
There are some whose difficulty with porn is so great that only the
"white-list" internet filters should be used. Sometimes the
"black-list" method merely provide surfers with a challenge to see
whether or not they can find porn. When you have the white-list
filter, you always know what you do and do not have access to. I
tried to find out what white-list filters were available. One of the
ones that offers this option is: bsafe. It looks like it is
an exceptional filter."
More from one of our members who shared with us some of the
tips that helped him in his journey to recovery: (If you have tips
that worked for you, send them to us please as well)
One of the only ways I have found to deal with the problem of
porn addiction is to have someone to talk with about the problem. I
believe we must have someone who we can be open with to share our
problem. When we do this on a regular (weekly at the least) basis,
we take the problem more seriously. They don't even need to be
someone dealing with the same problem. The times when I have felt
the most equipped to face the challenge the yetzer hara brings is
when I am able to keep the problem out in the open with someone
Just a note, be careful of making your wife the one you are open
with as she will probably have difficulty understanding the
Another struggler shares with us some of
There are (at least) three great
temptations the evil one tempts us with to make us view Internet
1) home alone, bored and with nothing to do
2) depressing *I am worth nothing, I can't do anything* feeling,
3) sitting alone before a computer screen with the Google search
engine opened up (without a filter on the computer).
If these are all added together it is for most of us a too great of
a job to resist the temptation. Therefore, we must, at all costs,
avoid the situation where all of these three can come together to
attack you with a horrendous force. Even one of them alone can
already give us a blow hard enough to send us straight back to
1) Find some nice and interesting occupation, e.g reading the Torah,
playing chess, reading GOOD literature etc. Sports also help!
2) Be HAPPY. Read a enjoyable book, think about nice things, treat
yourself with a fine lunch, enjoy the world and nature that HaShem,
may he be praised, has created, etc.
3) Get a filter and avoid being alone before a computer ! Best:
search the internet in the presence of a woman who will smash the
computer when you go astray!
Saturdays and Sundays (from my experiences) are most likely the
worst days for people like us: they are the days we have more time
than on other week-days. If possible, try avoid the whole computer
on those days!
The yetzer hara has a trick to get us to
sin. Sometimes he makes us believe that without us giving in to
these desires, our lives feel dark, void and empty.
A person could have the most fulfilling life. A wonderful wife,
beautiful children, a good job, a good spiritual environment, goals
and ambitions. His life is full and he is feeling happy. Suddenly,
for some reason, lewd thoughts enter his head, or a beautiful women
walks by. The yetzer hara can take way all his energy, ambitions and
fulfillment for a few seconds, or even sometimes a few minutes. He
suddenly feels a deep void, a neediness, and a darkness enters his
soul. Suddenly he feels that all he has in life is worthless. He
just wants to let go and stray after his eyes, pleasure himself, and
fall back into his old habits ands addictions.
How can this be? Does it make sense?! We must realize, all it really
is, is a trick of nature to get people to reproduce. It is animal
instinct. It is a chemical reaction. And that is why it is so
important to guard the eyes. Otherwise you are letting the
yetzer hara play his tricks on you again and again, until you
will ultimately fall for it.
But even if we saw what we saw. We must remember that it is a trick.
We are stronger than that. We won't give up true happiness
and long-term fulfillment for this silly chemical reaction. When
your mind goes into this state of neediness and darkness, tell
yourself that it's a lie that you are unhappy and needy. You really
ARE a happy and fulfilled person. It is only chemicals that are
telling you suddenly that you aren't happy and that you need these
things. Be strong for those few minutes. Don't give in, and
you will feel SO much happier later on.
Let this prayer always be on your lips,
especially when feeling weak: "Please G-d, I want to love you,
not women, not flesh and blood. For you are the true and
infinite source of all beauty, all love and all desire".
And as you say this prayer, take all the love and passion you feel
in your heart and channel it to G-d. There is nothing more
pleasing in G-d's eyes than this, and no more powerful way to
recover than this.
Someone who is addicted to por-nogrophy lives in
a perpetual cycle, that alternates between three basic states.
1) Void: A feeling of a deep void of "I need, need need".
Not a very happy state, to say the least.
2) Giving in: Letting go to "supposedly" fill the
3) Depression: A deep inner depression for feeling
powerless to break free of this viscous cycle, of living a double
life and living against one's own's beliefs and standards... These
feelings lead to another void, and so, back to state 1.
What a sad and pathetic existence such a man lives.
People need to know, it is possible to break free! It may
take some mental and spiritual surgery, but it is well worth it. We
have to be willing to let G-d take it away from us, as we pray "
Mal es livaveinu le'ahavah uleyira es shimecha" - "circumcise
our hearts to love and fear you". Sometimes these things
have become deeply ingrained in our sub-conscious, through the years
of abuse. We need to give it up and let G-d take away this aspect of
our lives that is destroying us from within. And if you make the
journey and break free, not only have you earned your place in the
world to come, but in this world too, none of the three depressing
states that we mentioned above will remain with you. Life will
suddenly take on new meaning and happiness.
We are now in the period known as Shovavim,
which is a unique and auspicious time to do Teshuvah. The word
Shovavim alludes to the verse "Shuvu Banim Shovavim"
which means "Return, wayward children!". The word Shovavim
is made up of the first letters of the weekly portions, in which
we read about the Jewish people breaking free of the bondage of
Mitzrayim. The exodus is mentioned no less than 50 times in the
Torah, and we are exhorted again and again by G-d to remember the
day we left Eygpt. This is because the saga of our exodus from Eygpt
is not just an historical antidote. Every one of us has a person
bondage. Our entire life's work is to break free from this bondage
and for each and every one of us to experience our own personal
There is so much to learn from the story of the exodus. It reflects
the exact nature of the strong grip that the evil one has on us, and
how only with miracles can we truly become free. In the coming
e-mails, we will try to explore a bit, some of the parallels between
the exodus of the Jewish people from Egypt and our own personal
struggles with "Mitzrayim", which comes from the word
"Meitzar", meaning "distress" and "oppression", and
which is also related to the word "Yetzer" meaning
"instinct, impulse and urge" - which is the very nature of the the
G-d Sent Moses to Pharaoh to take the Jews out of
Egypt. However, the first time that Moses speaks to him, Pharaoh
replies "I do not know your G-d, and I will not let them out".
Instead, Pharaoh makes the work even harder. Moses returns to G-d
and complains to him saying "ever since I came to Pharaoh to speak
in your name, it has become worse for this nation - and you haven't
saved them at all". G-d answers Moses, "Now you shall see what I
shall do to Pharaoh, for with a strong hand I will send them out,
and with a strong hand I shall banish them from this land".
What kind of answer was this to Moses? After all, Moses doesn't
understand why things had gotten worse ever since he came and spoke
in G-d's name. But instead of explaining to Moses why things got
worse, G-d seems to ignore the question and simply replies, "you
The Medrash explains that G-d was telling Moses that the Jews
themselves don't want to leave Egypt. G-d was telling Moses, "you
want to know why it's getting worse for the Jews? You shall see,
that even when it comes time for them to leave, I shall have to take
them out with a strong hand, with sticks I shall have to chase them,
and with a strong hand I will need to banish them from the land". In
other words, even AFTER it becomes worse, even after they "hit
bottom", I will still need to banish them from Mitzrayim by
force. And indeed, during the plague of darkness, it says in the
Medrash that many, many Jews died. These were Jews who didn't
want to leave the bondage of Egypt, even after it had gotten worse.
This narrative gives us a glimpse into the process of breaking free
from our own personal bondage. When we first start to fight our evil
inclination and we come to him in G-d's name, he says to us "Who is
G-d? I don't know G-d and I won't let you break free". Instead, it
often becomes even harder for the person. He can get depressed,
become more addicted, and things in life may start suddenly to fall
apart. Why is this? Exactly when we are trying to start the journey
to the "Promised Land" - is this G-d's help to us? The answer is,
G-d is speeding up the process for us. He wants to show us how
bitter it is to be a slave to the evil one. Sometimes, we need to
"hit bottom" before we can be ready to break free and start over.
And even then, we often need to be taken out with a "Strong Hand".
We can only be worthy of this miracle of Yetziat Mitzrayim
though, if we truly want to leave. Even if we are not always
acting consistently, we need to want deep in our hearts to break
free. We will need to cry out in pain from the bondage of our souls
to the Klippot (husks) of Mitzrayim. Never stop
praying, not even in the darkest moments. For it is precisely in
these dark moments that G-d hears us and remembers us, as it says
about the Jews in Egypt "and they sighed deeply from the hard
work and they cried out to G-d, and G-d heard their cries and
The same G-d that took us out of Egypt thousands of years ago, takes
each and every one of us on a similar personal journey in our
lifetime on this earth. And G-d is just as mighty today as he was
then. So put your trust in him and "let go and let G-d".
G-d said to Moses, I will take the Jews out
from "Sivlus Mitzrayim". The word "Sivlus" means to
"suffer" and "endure", but it also means to "tolerate" and
"bear". The Sfas Emes explains, that in order for G-d to take
the Jews out of Mitzrayim, they had to want to leave
Mitzrayim. But as long as they were willing to "tolerate" Mitzrayim
in their hearts, they wouldn't be able to leave. That is why G-d
first had to take them out of the "Sivlus Mitzrayim" -
"tolerating Mitzrayim", before he could take them out of Mitzrayim
The same applies to the journey that each and every one of us takes
in this world, to break free of our own personal Mitzrayim. As long
as we are still " Sovel" and willing to tolerate ourselves
being in the clutches of the Yetzer Hara, we won't be able to break
free. So before we can pray to G-d to help us break free, we need to
pray to G-d to take us out of being "Sovel" the Yetzer Hara. We need
to pray that he should make us truly want to break free. This
can happen in one of two ways. Either G-d puts it into our
hearts to hate the evil inside us until we can't tolerate it any
more, or, if we are not as worthy, G-d can make our lives fall apart
until we hit bottom and have no where to go from there but up.
Let us pray that we don't need to go down the latter path, and pray
instead that G-d put into our hearts a true disgust of the addiction
and the lusting.
Everything we are and everything we have, belongs
to G-d. So what can we, mere mortals, give back to G-d?
When we say no to our evil inclination, we are giving G-d something
back. As one X-addict wrote; "The only thing I feel I truly gave
G-d in my whole life was giving up this addiction. For this alone,
it was worth to come down to this world" .
If you think about it, there can be no greater sacrifice and gift to
G-d than saying "no" to desires that take us away from him. For
after all, even if someone gives a large donation to charity, or
even if he brings a sacrifice upon the alter, he is still, in
essence, giving back to G-d what really belongs to G-d anyway.
However, the desires that we have, as human beings, do not belong to
G-d. For G-d has no needs and desires, and he created our "desire to
receive" out of nothingness, so that ultimately we will be able to
receive from him all the good that he wants to give us. So by giving
up our "desire to receive" to G-d, we are giving up a part of our
own selves, and this is true sacrifice.
Excerpts from an article
called "Biblical Sexual Morality"
www.KosherTorah.com by Ariel Bar
Sexual "purity" plays a major role in the Torah concept of holiness.
following parasha Kedoshim opens with the words, "You shall be holy,
for I HaShem you
G-d am holy" (Lev 19:1). Rashi's commentary interprets the close
proximity of the
commandments forbidding Arayot and the commandment to be holy to
refer to one
another. In order to be holy, the Torah states, one must first
refrain from forbidden
One does not need to be a rocket scientist or Rabbi to realize that
sexual temptations are
often times over whelming. Indeed, according to the Talmud there is
even a secret set of
teachings surrounding the spiritual meaning of Arayot. Violations of
sexual unions are considered such a grievous sin that the
consequences of violation may
be universal and not just personal.
According to the Torah, the act of sexual intercourse is much more
than a mere coupling
of two human animal bodies. Just as human beings are composite
entities consisting of
both body and soul, so too does the act of sex contain both a
physical and spiritual
element. Indeed, throughout the Bible the act of sexual union is
referred to as "knowing"
one's partner. This act of knowing expresses an intimate connection
of the ultimate level
wherein which one's deeper most essence is revealed and shared.
Arayot on the other hand is described in another way. Arayot
(forbidden sexual unions)
are referred to as, "Galuei Irvah" (an uncovering of nakedness).
Here, there is no
knowing, there is only uncovering. The implication is that these
forbidden expressions of
sexuality are types of nakedness that need to be covered, i.e.,
Due to the dual physical-spiritual nature of the sexual act, all
sexual activity has spiritual
consequences. It is because of these spiritual consequences that
there exists a category of
forbidden sexual unions. Due to the dual potential inherent in
ordained these Laws for the sake of safeguarding our souls. Proper
enables us to touch the Divine. Forbidden sexual contact disconnects
the violator from
any connection to HaShem.