Guard Your Eyes

GuardUrEyes
A website for Jews struggling to maintain their moral purity in today's world
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1051.
Monday ~ 2 Tamuz, 5771 ~ July 4, 2011 

In Today's Issue 

  • Sayings: A Life Without Burdens    
  • Torah Thoughts: What Causes Hashem to Leave?     
  • The Mask in the Mirror: Excerpt 10 - Going to Any Length, Part 1         
  • Daily Dose of Dov: Give it Away to Get it Back   

 

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Category: Sayings 

 

A Life Without Burdens

 

By Dov

 

"A sober life is a life without burdens. Cuz lust is always a drag and always makes us miserable, no matter how much we feel we need it."

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Category: Torah  Thoughts 

 

What causes Hashem to Leave?

 

A member of the GYE community was very inspired after hearing a speech that attributed much of Klal Yisrael's Tzaros to breaches in Tzniyus and Kedusha, and which urged everyone to work on improving in these areas (chizuk e-mail #1049). He sent the speech to a family member, who posed the following question: There are 613 Mitzvos. Who are we to say that breaches of Tzniyus/Kedusha are what is causing all the Tzaros in Klal Yisrael? How are we to know the ways of Hashem with such certainty? 

 

The GYE member responded as follows:


This is more than just guesswork. The Torah sometimes tells us specifically that certain Aveiros produce certain results. In such cases, there is nothing wrong with assuming that the Torah means precisely what it says. Unlike most other Aveiros, Arayos is called a Tumah, which means that it separates us from the Ribbono Shel Olam (on that point, please listen to this speech by Rav Aharon Feldman - from 3:05-4:02). When we're, R"L, separated from the RBS"O, we don't have His protection. That means that, lo aleinu, we're more susceptible to illness and to other terrible Tzaros. See also Devarim 23, 15, which makes this precise point: that if Ervah can be seen among us, Hashem will turn away from us. Thus, the speaker did not say anything that is not firmly grounded in the Torah. Listen also to this 20 second audio clip from
Rav Yosef Viener, Rav of Kehillas Shaar Shamayim, Monsey.

 

Does this mean that every Tzara in Klal Yisrael is caused by breaches in Tzniyus and Kedusha? There's no need to go that far. But, it's clear that an Aveira that drives away the Shechinah can rightfully be blamed for much of the Tzaros of our People. (On a Kabbalistic level as well, Kedusha from Arayos, including a man's "personal holiness," is called Yesod, because it is the foundation of a person's spirituality. If a building's foundation is weak, it can collapse, even if the rest of the structure is strong. Accordingly, Tzniyus/Kedusha is not just one of the 613 Mitzvos, but is the foundation of the entire Torah).

 

This is not to say that other Mitzvos are unimportant, but that observance of Mitzvos related to Kedusha and Tzniyus are essential to keeping the Shechina in our midst, which will, b'Ezras Hashem, protect Klal Yisrael from all types of Tzaros.

 

This discussion should be a Zechus for Shalom Daniel ben Leah, B'soch She'ar Cholei Yisrael.

 

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The Mask in the Mirror

Excerpt 10

 

Here's an excerpt from an e-Book written by Elya K. called "The Mask in the Mirror". Elya is a U.S. Hotline Moderator, Sponsor and Group Leader for GYE for already 3 years. To purchase the e-Book from Elya for $3 click here.  

 

GOING TO ANY LENGTH (WILLINGNESS)

Part 1   

 

Dear Fellow Jew,

 

You now have an allergy to porn.  If you had a peanut allergy and you knew if you ate another peanut you would die, would you eat another peanut?

 

I know people who have killed themselves over this disease, been put in jail, and contracted all types of horrible diseases.  This is a progressive disease.  Once the images are no longer exciting enough, people go on to more dangerous; thrill seeking activities like participating with live people instead of simply looking.   If you don't stop now, you're headed for hell on earth.  

 

(One addict once wrote on the forum: "I almost died twice (maybe three times) while actively on the way to acting out. I have fallen totally asleep at the wheel due to late night 'cruising', completely lost control of my car on a wet road while on the way to acting out, and have found myself in the company of a person who was probably trying to kill me.")

 

Marriage will not solve this.  So many singles I speak to tell me they thought it would get better and they wouldn't need it anymore, but they only got worse.

 

You asked me for strong words.  If you're asking for advice, THROW AWAY THE IPOD or erase it and give it to someone else.  I know it is hard.  I knew a fellow who looked at X-rated movies for over 30 years. The day he stopped, he called me on the phone crying like a baby.  He told me the people on the screen were his "friends" and he couldn't leave them.  IS THAT CRAZY OR WHAT? But he was still in his addiction and couldn't think straight. Today he's sober for 3 years, thank G-d. 

 

If you want Hashem to help you and only HE can you must become a pure vessel which can accept HIS help.  If you're stuck in the mud, HE won't pull you out; you have to make the effort.  Throwing it out NOW is the effort, then your mind will clear up, you'll get back to your learning and Hashem will help you. 

 

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Daily Dose of Dov

Dov is sober in SA for 14 years. See his story here.

  

Give it Away to Get it Back  

 

The Gemara in Brachos brings a contradiction between two p'sukim: one says everything is Hashem's, the other says the earth is given to mankind. Nu? 

As you probably know, it answers: It all belongs to Hashem - until we make a b'racha. Once we say a b'racha, it is given to us. "v'ho'oretz nosan livnei odom" - it is ours!

I ask you: What was said in that b'racha that gave all this stuff to us? What is the power of the bracha that makes the switch?

It seems to me that all we say in a brocha is this: It's Yours, not mine. You made this fruit - Konei Shomayim vo'oretz - You made it, so it belongs to you.

That is why the brocha gives it to us. We remember that it is His, not ours. So we 'get' it. Do we ever really get it? Of course not. We are His, the food we eat is His, etc. But that is the way things work: if we give it away, we get it - as much as a person can ever get anything in this world...to use it on loan.

That is why the program suggests we need to give up to 'win'; lead with our weaknesses to stay 'strong'; and 'let go' to get free. And I believe it is one meaning (closest to the Chofetz Chayim's p'shat in it) of the Chazal, "ein divrei Torah miskaymin ella b'mi sh'meimis es atzmo aleyhem" - the only way to get Hashem and succeed in His Torah is to totally let go of our grasp on ourselves - our pride, fears, resentments...all that baggage we hold onto so tightly.   

 

1052.
Tuesday ~ 3 Tamuz, 5771 ~ July 5, 2011 

In Today's Issue 

  • Announcement: Rabbi Shais Taub Joining Us Tomorrow on DC's Call
  • 12-Step Attitude: Gratitude is a State of Being 
  • Testimonials, Torah Thoughts: Which pleasure do you choose?     
  • The Mask in the Mirror: Excerpt 11 - Going to Any Length, Part 2          
  • Daily Dose of Dov: Working the Steps    

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Announcement

 

Rabbi Shais Taub on Duvid Chaim's Call Tomorrow 

 

Wednesday, July 6, 12 PM Noon EST

 

Call in number: 760-569-6000

Participant Pin: 121318

 

As almost all of the chevra on Duvid Chaim's calls are Torah Yidden, we have over the years often struggled with understanding where and how the 12 Steps are rooted in Torah Hashkafah and can be found specifically in Chazal. Rabbi Shais Taub has masterfully woven such ideas in his book, "G-d of Our Understanding", which can be purchased at this link.

 

It is an honor and privilege to have Rabbi Shais Taub as a guest speaker on Duvid Chaim's call this Wednesday, where he will give us chizuk and share his perspective with us.

 

Some background:

 

Duvid Chaim leads an anonymous 12-Step SA Phone Conference, under the auspices of GuardYourEyes.com (see this page for more info). It is an in-depth Big Book study session 4 days per week. We have 3 parallel calls per day: Steve leads a morning call at 8:30, Duvid Chaim leads the original call from noon-1pm, and there's one in the evenings from 10:20pm-11:15pm lead by Shlomo. The 3 calls try to keep up the same pace with each other's reading through the text, so that if a member misses his regular call, he can pick up what he missed on another one. We currently have over 45 men currently on the daily calls (about 50/50 veterans to "newbies"). Our 'alumni" list has over 100 more. B"H, the calls have been very successful for many GYE members!

 

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Category: 12-Step Attitude  

 

Gratitude is a State of Being

 

Click here for a beautiful page about "Gratitude"

(that Duvid Chaim shared with his group recently).

 

An "Attitude of Gratitude" is one of the fundamental strategies for maintaining sobriety for the long-term, and it is one of the secrets of the success of the 12-Step program.

 

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Category: Testimonials, Torah Thoughts

 

Which pleasure do you choose?

 

By "Blind Beggar"

 

This is the second time in my life that I have gone 100 days without HZ"L.

 

The first time was before I came to GYE, when I read a sefer, "Veha'er Einaeinu" by Rabbi Yosef Goldschmit of Kiryat Sefer. The main point of his sefer is based on something that Rav Chaim Friedlander zatzal wrote.     

 

Rabbi Chaim Freidlander zatzal wrote a great eitza for guarding our eyes. (Look in Sifsei Chaim on Moados, Chelek Alef in the section Derech Shel Aliya.)

He says that if we give ourselves the choice of either enjoying the pleasure of looking at women or not giving ourselves the pleasure, we are in for a struggle: Enjoy or don't enjoy? A plate of ice cream or an empty plate? Instead, what we have to do is realize the positive benefits of guarding our eyes, the tremendous zechus and kedusha that we can gain from shmiras eynayim. If we do that, now we have a choice between one pleasure and another pleasure, between a plate of delicious treife ice cream which will eventually make us sick, or a geshmake seudas Shabbos with our families. That is a much easier choice to make.

 

I posted this in a special thread in the forum's Beis Medrash, and I encourage others to buy the sefer and join me in posting highlights in this thread.

 

Notes:

 

The sefer "Vhaer Eineinu" is distributed by some friends of the mechaber. In N.J call: 732-363-8033. In Brooklyn, call: 718-252-7480.

 

Our daily Shmiras Ainayim phone conference makes extensive use of the sefer "Vhaer Eineinu". Join the daily Shmiras Ainayim Phone Conference at 4:45, Mon-Thurs. Call in: (209) 647-1000, Participant PIN: 616701

 

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The Mask in the Mirror

Excerpt 11

 

Here's an excerpt from an e-Book written by Elya K. called "The Mask in the Mirror". Elya is a U.S. Hotline Moderator, Sponsor and Group Leader for GYE for already 3 years. To purchase the e-Book from Elya for $3 click here.  

 

GOING TO ANY LENGTH (WILLINGNESS)

Part 2    

 

"I'm so frum; I can't go to 12-Step meetings in a church....."

 

I know frum people who have been going to meetings in churches for over 10 years. They are still frum, and the people at the meetings actually respect them more as a frum Jew for wearing a kippa than when they don't wear a kippa. Rabbi Abraham Twersky, M.D.  says you can - and should - attend even in a church. Rav Shmuel Kaminetsky also paskens that one may join 12-Step meetings in a church, as long as it isn't in the main sanctuary. 

 

Let me get this straight, it's OK to be seen going into a strip club or XXX video store or masturbating at your computer, but now when you want to get better you can't go into a church?  The meetings will literally save your life.  It's pikuach nefesh.   It's also your "inner addict" speaking, telling you that you're too frum to go into a meeting.  The meetings are not in the sanctuary of the church, they're usually in a side classroom.

 

Twice a year there is a convention of frum Jews and their wives.  They all have this problem.  All of them go to SA meetings.  They all once said the same thing you did.  "I could never show my face in such a place."  These people COULD show their faces in strip joints, xxx video stores and in the arms of strange women, but when it came to getting better, they were just too frum to go to a meeting that would save their life! Now they realize the fallacy of that thinking. Today many of them have 3-4-10-20 years of sobriety from this disease because of meetings and having someone who understands to talk to.  It's that simple.

 

Hashem put you in this situation because that is your nisoyon (test) to overcome.  HE never gives us a challenge we cannot overcome.  But the more you continue acting-out, the further away from G-d you get and the further away from YOURSELF you get.  See, when we sin, we are really sinning against ourselves. 

 

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Daily Dose of Dov

Dov is sober in SA for 14 years. See his story here.

  

Working the Steps  

 

Is listening in and even participating in 12-step groups called 'working the steps'? I think not. A good mussar schmooze, maybe. A chizzuk, maybe.

If you water a field full of weeds very well...you'll get a ton of weeds! There needs to be a thorough and repetitive weeding process if you want the 'water' to help good stuff grow. And you need to plant the right kind of seeds, too.

Meetings and reading help plant the right seeds, maybe they do a bit of weeding, too. But the main cleaning process is done by working the steps. And that can't be done by just going to a meeting, on the phone, in person, or whatever. 

Until an addict actually writes his step-work and shares it with other addicts who are ahead of him in the steps (and sober) and starts to use them in his real life, he is like a person who wants desperately to learn how to drive. He reads the books about driving and watches a movie about driving. Then he gets into a car and figures he'll drive to his aunt in NY.... He will probably die....and he certainly won't get to NY.

The steps are the same. Working them cannot be done in the sincere imagination. Additionally, we can't take a break from real life 'to work them', either. They are only worked inside our real life with all its problems, worries, pains, and joys.

If you are an addict and anything like me, you probably do not need yet another really great mussar schmooze. You probably need some small changes, over time. Some patient, humble, real live work.

By all means do the phone groups, join the meetings. But I say, don't expect any change until you start to actually work the steps and stick with it for a while...and stay sober. Sobriety makes the steps actually work.
 

 

1053.
Wednesday ~ 4 Tamuz, 5771 ~ July 6, 2011 

In Today's Issue 

  • Announcement: Rabbi Shais Taub Joining Us Today on DC's Call
  • GYE News: Let's Paint the Town Red!  
  • Personal Victories, Member's Chizuk: My Chaver, Tatte & Coach      
  • The Mask in the Mirror: Excerpt 12 - True Happiness           
  • Daily Dose of Dov: My Business vs. His Business     

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Announcement

 

Rabbi Shais Taub on Duvid Chaim's Call TODAY  

 

Wednesday, July 6, 12 PM Noon EST

 

Call in number: 760-569-6000

Participant Pin: 121318

 

Even those who are not on Duvid Chaim's call are invited!

 

As Torah Yidden, we have over the years often struggled with understanding where and how the 12 Steps are rooted in Torah Hashkafah and can be found specifically in Chazal. Rabbi Shais Taub has masterfully woven such ideas in his book, "G-d of Our Understanding", which can be purchased at this link.

 

It is an honor and privilege to have Rabbi Shais Taub as a guest speaker on Duvid Chaim's call today, where he will give us chizuk and share his perspective with us.

 

Some background:

 

Duvid Chaim leads an anonymous 12-Step SA Phone Conference, under the auspices of GuardYourEyes.com (see this page for more info). It is an in-depth Big Book study session 4 days per week. We have 3 parallel calls per day: Steve leads a morning call at 8:30, Duvid Chaim leads the original call from noon-1pm, and there's one in the evenings from 10:20pm-11:15pm lead by Shlomo. The 3 calls try to keep up the same pace with each other's reading through the text, so that if a member misses his regular call, he can pick up what he missed on another one. We currently have over 45 men currently on the daily calls (about 50/50 veterans to "newbies"). Our 'alumni" list has over 100 more. B"H, the calls have been very successful for many GYE members!

 

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Let's Paint the Town Red!

 

"wannabehappy" posted on the forum:

 

I just want to share with everyone some statistics.

After Yeshiva World offered us a great deal (based on this letter that Rabbi Twerski wrote to Jewish websites), I pledged $225 a month to run the current GYE ad on www.theyeshivaworld.com indefinitely.

Guard thanked me and sent me the following screenshot.

 

I was blown away! We are getting over 150 hits a day just from that one ad alone. That comes out to over 10 hits for less than a dollar!

 

Who knows how many lives are being saved for every dollar?

I'd like to see this happen on more sites.


All we need is a budget of about $1000 dollars/month to really cover all the major Jewish websites. (GYE is sending Rabbi Twerski's letter to the websites to try and get the best deals we can - you can help with this too!)

Can anybody match my $225/month? Let's paint the town red!  

Or maybe we can get 8 holy members to donate $100 a month?

 

I know I feel tremendous gratitude towards this site, and I feel that giving to it reinforces in my mind how important it is to me to get rid of this sickness. I'm sure everyone here agrees!

 

You can PM me on the forum or write to Guard, or you can work out a deal with the site of your choice directly. 


And remember, every dollar you pledge is over 10 hits!

Tizku lemitzvot!

 

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Category: Personal Victories, Member's Chizuk 

 

My Chaver, Tatte & Coach 

 

A share from Yosef C. who is sober in SA for nearly 7 years 

 

When I am faced with a big test, I see it as a personal smile from G-d Himself telling me face to face with love, "I KNOW you have a yetzer hara, and I also know that YOU, YES YOU and ONLY YOU, can overcome it. This is something that all of heaven and any angel doesn't have the ability to do!"

I rejoice inside at such a close relationship with Hashem. A smile appears then, as I see my children next to me in my mind, and they view me caring for them, as I simultaneously see (for real) Hashem caring for me. I, as well as them, am 'alive' as a yid!

Hashem as a 'chaver/Tatte/coach smiles back to me as if saying.... "We're making a great life full of energy together! You've got plenty of teammates and a coach/Tatte who loves you and knows what a star player you are! Let's win this game! I'm taking full care of you, all the time!"

And when I feel this, I REALLY have to prove I want to be good...   Hashem just doesn't let up wanting to get love from me :)

 

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The Mask in the Mirror

Excerpt 12

 

Here's an excerpt from an e-Book written by Elya K. called "The Mask in the Mirror". Elya is a U.S. Hotline Moderator, Sponsor and Group Leader for GYE for already 3 years. To purchase the e-Book from Elya for $3 click here.  

 

True Happiness     

 

True happiness comes when we become givers not takers, when we give of ourselves to help others, INCLUDING OUR WIVES. Linking happiness to fulfilling every life pleasure is more like bondage to self.  The pleasure doesn't last.  Take 'vacation' for example.  You have a great time exhausting yourself on vacation looking at museums, beaches, grave sites, etc.  When you get home though, it is just another memory.  True happiness is spiritual happiness knowing you've helped someone overcome depression, sadness, addiction, anxiety, etc., knowing you've made a difference in the world and in someone's life. Yes, happiness is limiting yourself and your ego to help others.  PERIOD.

 

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Daily Dose of Dov

Dov is sober in SA for 14 years. See his story here.

  

My Business vs. His Business   

 

I haven't the luxury of being concerned at all with the afterlife, as I certainly never got sober because of yiras Shomayim, and - though the weight of guilt was devastating - it didn't hold a candle to my insanity. Though I certainly believe in consequences for aveiros, the fear of future pain of this world or of the next - never helped me quit. In my opinion, that is one of the things that shows me that I have a mental illness. It's plum crazy to risk a nice job, a marriage, my integrity, my relationships with my children, and my Olam Haba for a temporary adventure that always makes me thoroughly miserable.

While I may have hesitated or even desisted from doing a few lust-related aveiros a few dozen times over those terrible years - that has nothing at all to do with my sobriety. Acting out only 10% of the times I want to is still going to eventually ruin my life - totally. Eventually there will be nothing left...except for that lovely s'char for resisting 90% of the time.... Woopee. 

That is not avodas Hashem, as far as I am concerned.

And sobriety certainly has nothing to do with willpower, for when it comes to lust I have none. Although I am sober over 14 years, I have not gotten any stronger. It was a freebie from Hashem; it is a freebie, and - if I remain sober tomorrow - it will be a freebie. I do not deserve to be sober. 

So if He gives me no s'char at all for desisting from acting out for 60 years or so by the time I die, I will have no complaints.  For it wasn't mine, at all. Besides being a good man, a decent father and husband, and an eved Hashem, I am a recovering pervert, as my wife and many friends in SA know, and I hope to die a recovering pervert. And that is just the way I like it. 

What madreigah I am considered to be on by my Best Eternal Friend, whether I am looking forward to s'char, or onesh, and all other considerations that I am powerless over are out of my lexicon, thank-G-d. That's all His business now, and forever, not mine. All that stuff is just too confusing and self-absorbing for me and never did me a shred of good in the first place. It is all poison for me. Poison, poison, poison. And I sincerely believe that He wants me to ignore the 'accounting' part of my situation completely and leave it to Him, especially with respect to my lust. 

What is my business, is what I do with the sober life that He gives me today, and whether I treasure it.

 

1054.
Thursday ~ 5 Tamuz, 5771 ~ July 7, 2011 

In Today's Issue 

  • Announcement: Need Help With GYE in Hebrew  
  • Announcement 2: Looking for a Big Zechus? 
  • Practical Tips: Shifting the Desire       
  • The Mask in the Mirror: Excerpt 13 - Dear Jew...            
  • Daily Dose of Dov: Hashem As Superman?    
  • GYE News: Let's Paint the Town Red!

 

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Announcement

 

Need Help With GYE in Hebrew   

 

GYE will be launching soon a "thin" version of our Hebrew website at guardyoureyes.com/heb, which we will continue to develop in the next few months until it reaches "maturity". 

 

We will be advertising the new Hebrew site in a couple of weeks, and we expect a serious amount of Israeli newcomers.  

 

We need your help.  

 

We are looking for the following help:

 

1. Someone to lead a Duvid-Chaim-like phone conference for Israeli's in Hebrew.

 

2. Someone to administer/moderate the Hebrew Forum. 

 

3. Someone who can spend some time giving chizuk to newcomers on the Hebrew Forum.

 

4. Someone who can translate older chizuk e-mails into Hebrew.

 

If you feel you are able and willing to do any of these, please let us know

 

Helping others is the best way to deepen our recovery!

 

Thank you and Tizku Lemitzvos!

 

 

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Announcement 2    

 

Looking For Big Zechus?    

 

As a result of the article yesterday called "Let's Paint the Town Red" (see bottom for a repeat), someone asked us how much an ad campaign would cost on Arutz 7. I sent them Rabbi Twerski's letter and spoke with them by phone. They love what we're doing and they are willing to give us 50% off of regular advertising rates. For $250/month (instead of $500) they offered to do a nice campaign for us.

Our sponsor said he'd be willing to donate $125/month for the year - if we find one more partner.  

 

Who wants this tremendous zechus of saving lives?  

 

Contact us today! Tizke Lemitzvos. 

 

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Category: Practical Tips  

 

Shifting the Desire  

 

Jack, who is sober for 3 years on GYE, shares:  

 

I have a NEW trick. It doesn't work ALL the time, but at least it's something. Triggers make us want to do something, right? So, every time I'm triggered, I gently shift the desire from lust to learning a Mishna from the Mishnayos that lies on my desk. For that moment, it works. And once we're off the track of desire, it's help it to stay off.

 

B"H I feel so much more connected to THE source of ALL Happiness than before. My learning has tripled in both quantity and quality.

 

We responded:

 

This is a great idea, Jack, because after a while, the Yetzer Hara will leave you alone. After all, he doesn't want you learning Mishnayos each time he bothers you! :-)

 

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The Mask in the Mirror

Excerpt 13

 

Here's an excerpt from an e-Book written by Elya K. called "The Mask in the Mirror". Elya is a U.S. Hotline Moderator, Sponsor and Group Leader for GYE for already 3 years. To purchase the e-Book from Elya for $3 click here.  

  

Dear Fellow Jew,  

 

Thank you for having the courage to write and finally enter recovery.  The first step is admitting you are powerless over this and cannot stop. You have an addiction - a disease (dis-ease) of connection to G-d, other people and yourself; to fill up a hole in your soul which yearns to be filled up.  Now you're filling it up with other women, getting depressed but doing it all over again.  It's a cycle.  Act Out, Feel Bad, Act Out so you won't feel bad, and on and on.  

 

This is a progressive disease.  A person looks at porn and swears he'll never go past that, then ends up in strip joints and massage parlors, then prostitution, adultery, etc.   These consequences can be deadly; disease, infecting your wife, even suicide or death. That's why it's vital you get help.  There is help and hope.   

  • You can start with the anonymous phone meetings on http://GuardYourEyes.org
  • Or join a live 12 step group for lust addiction - SA (or Sex & Love Addiction - SLAA). 
  • You may need to go away to treatment if this continues, and it's worth it.
  • Go to the book store or shop online and get a copy of "Out of the Shadows" by Patrick Carnes.
  • Call the GYE hotline any evening or on weekends. 

To recover, you must figure out what is causing you to do all of these dangerous things.  Do you do them because you're angry, lonely, resentful, scared? These are things you should begin thinking about.  Think about your past and what prompted you to look at porn in the first place. What feelings are you trying to escape from?  Internet porn is so insidious that you can get addicted just because you looked for a few minutes.

 

To get better, you must stop acting out BECAUSE you cannot think clearly and rationally while you're in such a state.  So take it slow, and thank Hashem each day for keeping you sober today.  Don't worry about tomorrow, just today.  Say, today I'm not going to do this anymore.  The next time you have the urge (and you will) call the hotline, a sponsor or friend in the program and talk it out.  Any time of the day or night.

 

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Daily Dose of Dov

Dov is sober in SA for 14 years. See his story here.

  

Hashem As Superman?  

 

The problem with a 'superhero' view of Hashem was first shown to me by Rav Noach Weinberg, Rosh Yeshiva of Aish Hatorah:

 

Rav Noach zt"l told the story of a bike rider who visited Aish once and heard a talk about what yeshiva is about: getting a relationship with G-d. He confronted Rav Noach and told him that if that is all yeshiva is about, then he, of all people, does not need yeshiva! For he already knows G-d exists and that He is all-powerful. He then described a neis that occurred for him once while biking - a real outlandish miracle that saved his life from a long fall. He had no doubts about G-d's total supernatural power, now...

Rav Noach's response to him was this: "If G-d is that powerful, then why did He allow you to fall off the cliff in the first place? Is G-d like 'Superman' who, shocked to see a horrible accident about to occur, desperately 'rushes' in to 'save the day'? That's just plain ridiculous if He is all-powerful, no? So....Why did he make you fall in the first place? It seems the Almighty really wanted your attention! He must want you to go to yeshiva to learn how to know Him!"
 

 

Rav Noach knew how to 'go in for the kill', indeed.


The frum yid who sees a progressive, destructive, and insane addiction to lust as simply "a battle with the YH" may be relegating Hashem's role in the struggle to that of Superman: "Hashem has no plan here, I mean, it's bad, no? He is 'crying' when he sees me looking at porn, no? He'll do anything, just to not have me do that zera levatola!" - He just happens upon the poor yid and sees the guy is in a pickle, so He 'saves' him from the masturbation if the yid is 'good' enough/tries 'hard' enough... Gevald.

 

If I am really powerless, then I need Chessed, not s'char - I cannot 'deserve ' His help! That is why it is called, "Chessed". True, I need to be open to it, otherwise I'll throw it back every time...but it sure isn't based on my chastity!

....what about the cycle, the mental illness, the twisting of all my relationships and yiddishkeit into a knot with my lusting?! Nu. "You gotta believe" (hey, I'm a Mets-fan!). In other words, being that I am an addict, there is just no way that I could ever try hard enough - if there were, then I'd have quit years ago! So I need a gift. And I have to be ready to take it and keep it a gift.

To me, the other way - that if 'I only really try hard enough, I'll do it on my own' - is what the Torah calls "im tailchu imi keri"....(pun intended). It is taking G-d right out of the picture - and parroting the words, "I am doing it with Your help!", and it is just plain worthless.
 
Deeper: It's not about how the poor yid perceives the lust problem, or lust - it's about his entire perspective on his relationship with Hashem. To me, it is a childish understanding of G-d. But worse, it is the very understanding of Hashem that we used  in order to fertilize our addictive thinking during our teenage years when our problem (and often, our yiddishkeit) was developing! Thoughts like "He will definitely take revenge on me; I'll daven extra hard to escape the bad influence of my acting out; I'll be extra good to make up for it; I'll punish myself enough - so that He won't need to; and I am a hopeless rasha - human garbage," infected our developing yiddishkeit - and they do not go away easily. They became coping mechanisms for our acting out, itself. Pretty shocking, if you ask me.

All those dead ends made us miserable and desperate for the wrong things, like G-d's 'Favor'...kind of like a purely religious or philosophical struggle. It's really a cop-out, for all we really want is to escape paying any real price for our craziness. We do not absolutely need to stop till there is a real price to pay. 'Gehinnom' just doesn't cut it.

At their very best, these ways of thinking kept us, instead of Hashem, at the center of our lives and avodah. They caused us to need lust even more, because they made it possible to keep on going without paying any real price - whenever necessary, we just punished ourselves mercilessly with the whip of guilt... 

Our castrated way of using yiddishkeit made it impotent as a sobriety tool, because it was part of the cycle! It was part of the problem, not the solution.

The Alter of Slabodka (I think) said that we need to change to the point that we spit out our "mothers' milk" - meaning, the old, childish ways we understood Torah - and relate in a mature way to everything we ever learned.

For me, this is a kiyum of his idea, and we need S"D to do it right.

 

1055. ?
1056.
Sunday ~ 8 Tamuz, 5771 ~ July 10, 2011 

In Today's Issue 

  • Audio Links: Rabbi Shais Taub Last Week 
  • Announcing: YideoTube.com - Hosting now independently of Youtube
  • The Mask in the Mirror: Excerpt 14 - Dear Bochur...            
  • Daily Dose of Dov: When the Wife Feels Betrayed     
  • Announcement: Need Help With GYE in Hebrew  
  • Announcement 2: Looking for a Big Zechus?  
  • GYE News: Let's Paint the Town Red!

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Category: Audio Links

 

Download Here 

a recording of Rabbi Shais Taub on Duvid Chaim's call last week

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

 

As Torah Yidden, we have over the years often struggled with understanding where and how the 12 Steps are rooted in Torah Hashkafah and can be found specifically in Chazal. Rabbi Shais Taub has masterfully woven such ideas in his book, "G-d of Our Understanding", which can be purchased at this link.

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Announcing:  

 

YideoTube.com 

 

We all recognize those feelings of boredom, apathy and lethargy that often lead to browsing places we shouldn't, and which often leads to falls... B"H most guys on GYE have blocked YouTube with their filters, but where do we go when those feelings start to set in and we're looking for some entertainment in a Kosher way?

 

Good news. Yideotube is now hosting independent of Youtube!

 

Since 2009, YideoTube is providing a collection of quality screened entertaining videos for the Jewish community.  On their website of yideotube.com, visitors enjoy browsing videos of interest by the categories desired such as a religious service, education, or comedy.YideoTube thrives in bringing together the best videos available on the World Wide Web into one place.  To this point, YideoTube offers a collection of more than 10,000 videos with daily additions of new releases for over 20,000 daily-visitors.   

 

Some background: A few months ago we sent an e-mail to yideotube as follows:

 

Hi. I am the founder of guardyoureyes.org.

 

There's an article in the LA Times today that mentions our work. It also mentions YideoTube a number of times. You can see the article on-line over here.
 
It's great that you guys are providing a kosher video site for frum people, but here's the thing. Many of us set our filters to block YouTube for obvious reasons. The problem is, we can't view any of the videos on your site because they all come from YouTube. I'm sure many others in the frum community share this problem. 
 
Is there any way you guys could host your own videos? See this article from Matzav.com that talks about this very issue:  

 

If you guys resolve this issue, we could advertise your site in our "Kosher-Isle" and I'm sure your website would get a LOT MORE frum traffic if it wasn't dependent on YouTube.

 

B"H they sent us an e-mail last week that they have finally implemented what we requested.

 

Warning: Some of the videos on Yideotube have women in them that are not fully tzanuah, such as news reporters and women in the background of some scenes. However, this is in a very small percentage of the videos, and only for a few seconds... and the site is still a thousand times better than YouTube!

 

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The Mask in the Mirror

Excerpt 14

 

Here's an excerpt from an e-Book written by Elya K. called "The Mask in the Mirror". Elya is a U.S. Hotline Moderator, Sponsor and Group Leader for GYE for already 3 years. To purchase the e-Book from Elya for $3 click here.  

  

Dear Bochur,  

 

What we resist persists. When we overwhelm ourselves and tell ourselves we have to be clean for 90 days, it gives the pressure a lot of power. And if we're also addicted to failure, it's a sure sign we will act out. Instead, admit you are powerless over this addiction. By accepting reality, you will take the wind out of the sails of the addiction and be able to stay clean.

 

I recently received a private email from a 17 year old living at home. He had put hundreds of dollars on his parent's credit card talking on sex phone lines.   He was overseas at the time and when he got home 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 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. Make sure your parents put filters on the computers. 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.

 

What if you went out of town and didn't take your computer. Do you think you'd live through it?  People have lived for thousands of years without computers.I understand if you earn your livelihood on a computer, but if you don't there is really no excuse to spend every free minute for the rest of your life looking at a screen. Stay way from the computer if you don't need it. This is what it means... "going to any length to get and stay sober".

 

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Daily Dose of Dov

Dov is sober in SA for 14 years. See his story here.

  

When the Wife Feels Betrayed

 

Someone's wife found out about his addiction, she was upset about being betrayed and won't forgive him, and they are at an impasse. Dov writes to this man:

 

To heck with your addiction. 

This relationship issue that vexes you was, is, and needs to stay (for you) all about learning how to give your wife what it is that she lusts after - what she really wants from you. One day at a time. Asking her what she would like in a relationship with you just for today - instead of trying to 'fix' the past. Don't waste your time - she isn't interested in forgiving you, and she doesn't feel she needs to. For doing that would make her too vulnerable! 

Taking actions of love without expecting anything from her or the relationship in return - instead of trying to convince her (that's expecting her to forgive). Thinking about and davening for her each day - that is the derech. Taking the actions of love instead of trying to 'make' something. Just do. 

Do for the next month and see what the relationship produces, That is way beyond either of you to give. Do it for the next six months and you will discover a marriage liberated from the past, even though both of you are - and may individually still be - prisoners.

Don't do it for you, and don't do it for her. Do it for the marriage. There is a b'riyah that is neither of you, only both of you. It is the 'bosor echad' called "the marriage". It is choking now, and being ignored. "Divide and conquer!" is the motto of your disease, when it comes to marriage. 

Just do it. Do it and let Hashem take your lives where He Wills it to go. Don't hold any expectations besides that He will do a far, far better job that either of you have done till now. 

Will it work for you? Take it slow, buddy. We are all in the same big boat, in this challenge.

 

1057.
Monday ~ 9 Tamuz, 5771 ~ July 11, 2011 

In Today's Issue 

  • Announcement: Elya's Call Tonight
  • Quotes: From Rav Avigdor Miller    
  • Personal Victories: Powerful Example of TaPHSiC Method    
  • The Mask in the Mirror: Excerpt 15 - Poems & Letters 
  • Daily Dose of Dov: Chizkiyahu HaMelech Went to Sleep 

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Announcement   

 

Elya's phone conference will be starting 15 minutes late tonight.

 

Elya invites everyone to his Monday Night Phone Group at 9:15 p.m. EST.

 

712-429-0690    PIN  225356

 

Click here for more info on Elya's Call

 

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Category: Sayings  

 

Quotes from Rav Avigdor Miller

 

How does suffering improve a person?

 

"There's an endless well of greatness in mankind, only it slumbers within him. Vicissitudes are like salt that sweetens man.  Undergoing difficulties in life stirs this  greatness to the surface."

 

What is your job here?

 

"We are put into this world for a purpose, and it's summed up by the Mesilas Yesharim: "laavod v'laamol v'laamod b'nisayon"--to work and to toil and to withstand ordeals."

 

~~~~~~~~

 

Subscribe to the "Simcha Minute by Rabbi Miller" from SimchasHachaim.com by clicking here.

 

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Category: Personal Victories

 

Powerful Example of the TaPHSiC Method   

 

"CholentFresser" shared on the forum how the 'double-fence TaPHSiC method' works for him:

 

I made a commitment that if I wanted to look at shmutz online I would first do one of 4 things, (1) talk through how I'm feeling with my wife, (2) go for a 30 min run or exercise, or (3) learn Torah for 30 min, or (4) read about the holocaust for 30 min. Then I made a shvuah that if I did anyone of these 4 actions before looking, then I would only have to give $75 to Tzedakah. But if I did not do any of these 4 actions but just went right ahead and looked, I would have to give $750 to Tzedaka. I am unemployed now (so a lot of time on my hands), and so taking a $750 hit is just not possible for me right now. When the Yetzer Hara gets us in the moment, he makes us forget all consequences. With this method, it's just much harder to forget the consequences. B"H I haven't looked at any shmutz online since I made this commitment. It helps me a lot and I hope it can help you too.

 

Click here to download a PDF detailing and explaining the TaPHSiC method.

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

 

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The Mask in the Mirror

Excerpt 15

 

Here's an excerpt from an e-Book written by Elya K. called "The Mask in the Mirror". Elya is a U.S. Hotline Moderator, Sponsor and Group Leader for GYE for already 3 years. To purchase the e-Book from Elya for $3 click here.  

 

POEMS AND LETTERS

 

Goodbye to Addiction   

 

You protected me from conflict
You soothed my shattered self,
You were my friend when I was lonely,
And when boredom came to rest.

You were my friend when lovers refused me,
You always pleased me,
At first I blamed you on pure curiosity,
Then you got the better of me.
I couldn't get enough of you,
Now I'm getting rid of you!

Goodbye addiction, you meant so much to me,
When I escaped into my fantasy world to escape my fears and insecurities.
Being anonymous made me feel powerful, sly and invisible,
But deep inside, you ended up making me feel miserable.

I latched on to you to pass the time,
When I started new projects or just out of town,
I longed to connect to my fantasies and dreams,
And you always obliged by creating the scene.

Even in success you enveloped my life,
How could I be successful, it just didn't feel right.
With you at my side, I could feel powerful and in charge,
An excuse to procrastinate, to escape my wounded scars.

Now, as I think of all the time I've wasted,
All the real hopes and dreams that could and should have been,
I realize now that in a way you are a blessing in disguise,
Because in my desire to get rid of you,
I've come to appreciate my true self,
And to know that Hashem is really in charge,
And all I have to do is give HIM the power to destroy you.

 

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Daily Dose of Dov

Dov is sober in SA for 14 years. See his story here.

  

Chizkiyahu Hamelech Went to Sleep 

 

Someone asks Dov:

 

The Whitebook seems to imply that we have no control over ANY of our defects. One of the main points of our purpose in this world, as I see it, is to struggle through life working on our defects. Are they saying that this is not the case?

  

Dov Responds:

 

No, I agree with you - I do not accept that we are powerless over all our defects, and no, even Bill W himself would have told you, "No, you do not have to accept any of these things - take what you find actually works and you are welcome to leave the rest!" As it says at the end of AA: "This book is meant to be suggestive only". As far as the beginning of ch. 5 where it says we need to "let go absolutely", and "these are the steps we took" - is about recovery work in a general sense - we need to be totally serious about it, otherwise it will not work at all. It is not apparent to me that any of the steps say we are powerless over every aspect of ourselves. In fact, every single guy I have ever heard share in meetings that he is "powerless over everything" - is no longer sober! So I do not believe that is the Program's message.

Recovery is about responsibility. There is something for me to do, rather than laying back and letting this addiction kill me. No! I will get help and do the work! "These are the steps we took..."  And if G-d wills me to get better, then I will get better!" That, to me, is the basic message of the 12 steps.

Teshuvah is certainly guided by Hashem. He is the "Yoreh chato'im baderech". I believe that Hashem has a special way of guiding special people into the teshuvah they need - I put my Teshuvah in His hands as much as I put my life in His hands. In fact, exactly as much. The moment I take matters into my own hands, I will probably start trying to manufacture 'oso isha, oso makom', etc....gevalt. 

You know the medrash about the kings that Rav Dessler explains. Two were Dovid haMelech and Chizkiyah. I can't remember the others. Dovid haMelech could actually go into battle and swing his sword and guide his troops - and still know it was Hashem doing it all. The others could only watch the battle or daven in the palace, otherwise the increased participation would drive Hashem's role right out of the battle, in their hearts - it would seem to them that it was they who were beating the enemy. 

Chizkiyahu was lower. He could not even daven, lest he take a part in the battle in his heart and 'push Hashem out', in his heart. So he elected to go to sleep! Bye Sancheriv!

I see an addict's place like Chizkiyahu haMelech's. Now, c'mon...normal people do hishtadlus all the time and it's not a aveiro! What's chizkiyahu so hung up on? I see addicts as needing to put Hashem in that role specifically in the arena of their sobriety and recovery. Because we need to admit that all along when we were using our addiction, we were really taking G-d's place, weren't we?

We were saying, "my life isn't going the way it should. Hashem, You obviously do not really know what You are doing, so I'll do what needs to be done in order to pleasure myself! I need to manipulate others to treat me the way I want. I need, I need, I need. Life should be going this way, that way, etc."

Recovery is not a time for more of that. Now it is time that, of all people, we self-pleasurers need to step back. We have lost the right that normal people have of being 'Hashem's co-pilot' - especially in our response to our addiction. It is a luxury we have abused too often. It is poisonous now. 

The silver lining is that in recovery, the certain path to gaining luxuries - is by giving them up. In Tzedaka, what you give away is what you keep. Same in recovery. When we give up on demanding sex from our wives, they relax and start to be OK with sex. When we let go and stop trying to stop ourselves from thinking about lust, we actually begin to be free of it. When we relax and let go of all outcomes - stop trying to control our lives 'so that it all goes right' and instead start to learn how to depend on Hashem for a change, our lives actually get better and better.

"He who runs from kavod - kavod will chase him!" Same idea. But he needs to really surrender - as the Chofetz Chayim pointed out, he cannot be turning around to make sure that kavod is really chasing him! 

 

1058.
Tuesday ~ 10 Tamuz, 5771 ~ July 12, 2011 

In Today's Issue 

  • Anecdotes: The Cab Ride 
  • Serenity Songs: Rabbi Nachman's Niggun    
  • 12-Step Attitude: Complete Deflation     
  • The Mask in the Mirror: Excerpt 16 - Letter From Addiction  
  • Daily Dose of Dov: The Double-Edged Sword of the Disease 

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Category: Anecdotes 

 

The Cab Ride

   

The root of our spiritual illness is "self-centeredness". Living 'outwardly-focused' has tremendous benefits to us and those around us, often beyond what we can imagine. Click the link above for a beautiful true story that brings out this point.

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Category: Audio Links > Songs

 

Rabbi Nachman's Niggun

   

The addiction is wants to rob us of inner-peace and serenity. When feeling weak, play this beautiful song, close your eyes and breath deeply in and out.... (According to Breslov tradition, this niggun is said to be the niggun that is played in Shamayim when they accompany Tzadikim to Gan-Eden).

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Category: 12-Step Attitude

 

Complete Deflation

 

Shared by Peter (Pesach) in SA

 

I'd like to take a moment to share with you an idea about the first step which I feel is not expressed often enough in recovery.    

 

The original first step of the Oxford group was known as "complete deflation". The Big Book speaks over and over again that the beginning of this journey is the realization that we are completely defeated (on a physical plane), complete hopelessness and zero power in our lives.     

 

I think this is one of the ironies of the program and perhaps confusing to many people because it is not expressed - the fact that in order to commit to this program we MUST have a desire/willingness to stop, but then the first step is realizing at depth that the 'desire to stop' is absolutely useless... In other words, the baffling nature of this disease is the utter inability to leave it alone no matter the desire or necessity. Even the strongest desire to stop is of absolutely no avail, the addict has no mental defense against the first drink. Instead, his defense must come from a Higher Power.  

 

Bottom Line: Instead of channeling our desire to stop into 'leaving it alone', we need instead to channel it towards a desire to seek God/spiritual life, because only HE can remove the obsession to act out.

 

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The Mask in the Mirror

Excerpt 16

 

Here's an excerpt from an e-Book written by Elya K. called "The Mask in the Mirror". Elya is a U.S. Hotline Moderator, Sponsor and Group Leader for GYE for already 3 years. To purchase the e-Book from Elya for $3 click here.  

 

LETTER FROM ADDICTION 

 

I've come to visit once again. I love to see you suffer mentally physically spiritually and socially. I want to have you restless so you can never relax. I want you jumpy and nervous and anxious. I want to make you agitated and irritable so everything and everybody makes you uncomfortable. I want you to be depressed and confused so that you can't think clearly or positively. I want to make you hate everything and everybody-especially yourself. I want you to feel guilty and remorseful for the things you have done in the past that you'll never be able to let go. I want to make you angry and hateful toward the world for the way it is and the way you are. I want you to feel sorry for yourself and blame everything but your addiction for the way things are. I want you to be deceitful and untrustworthy, and to manipulate and con as many people as possible. I want to make you fearful and paranoid for no reason at all and I want you to wake up during all hours of the night screaming for me. You know you can't sleep without me; I'm even in your dreams.

 

I want to be the first thing you wake up to every morning and the last thing you touch before you black out. I would rather kill you, but I'll be happy enough if I can put you back in the hospital, another institution or jail. But you know that I'll still be waiting for you when you come out. I love to watch you slowly going insane. I love to see all the physical damage that I'm causing you. I can't help but sneer and chuckle when you shiver and shake, when you freeze and sweat at the same time, when you wake up with your sheets and blankets soaking wet.

 

It's amazing how much destruction I can do to your internal organs while at the same time, work on your brain, destroying it bit by bit. I deeply appreciate how much you sacrifice for me.

 

The countless good jobs you have sacrificed for me. All the fine friends that you deeply cared for-you gave them up for me. And what's more, for the ones you turned against yourself because of your inexcusable actions-I am more than grateful.

 

And especially your loved ones, your family, and the most important people in the world to you. You even threw them away for me. I cannot express in words, the gratitude I have for the loyalty you have for me. You sacrificed all these beautiful things in your life just to devote yourself completely to me. But do not despair my friend, for on me you can always depend. For after you have lost all these things, you can still depend on me to take even more. You can depend on me to keep you in living hell, to keep your mind, body and soul. FOR I WILL NOT BE SATISFIED UNTIL YOU ARE DEAD, MY FRIEND.

 

Faithfully yours,
 

Your addiction

 

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Daily Dose of Dov

Dov is sober in SA for 14 years. See his story here.

  

The Double Edged Sword of the Disease   

 

To someone who was clean for a while but doesn't understand why he is still so strongly pulled towards falling, Dov writes:

 

I beg of you to avoid the silliness of looking at staying sexually pure as an end in itself. Although it is playing with fire, stupid and deadly, do not fool yourself. Let's have a little humility here, folks. We are recovering perverts. In addiction, we naturally tend toward looking at women and schmutz and taking it all in hungrily, and using it with gusto. We are screwed up, in that respect. 

Bearing that in mind, I believe that being clean from porn or masturbation is a wonderful brocha that you do not deserve. Neither do I. 

Lechatchila I need to be careful to avoid any lusting at all, because I need to 'respect' my disease and take it dead seriously. But b'dieved, after a slip or fall, I wouldn't ask: "Ach, how can I do such foolish things!?" 

I'll tell you how we can do stupid stuff like that: We are addicts, and that's what addicts do! It's a double-edges sword, this disease-thing. It gives us the humility to be more careful without becoming kedoshim when we are granted success, and it gives us the humility to accept defeat when we screw up. 'Falling' is never the chiddush for you and me - sobriety is! Even for an addict who has been sober for twenty years or more!! 

And if that's just words, then I pity myself. I want you to know that if I am sober next year, I'll be a bit surprised....but when I remember Who is on my side, and how strong a gift He gave me with SA and Recovery, then I feel more at ease. But that's all a chiddush, not the failure - that's 'par' for the course, as far as I am concerned.

Of course, if you opt to join the "I have not acted out for a year now - so I am obviously (mostly) healed and no longer an 'addict' like I used to be" - chevra...well, then none of this will be yours.

What do you want? The stuff behind curtain #1, or curtain #2?

Go easy on yourself. It's amazing that you (and us) were brought this far, reb yid.

 

1059.
Wednesday ~ 11 Tamuz, 5771 ~ July 13, 2011

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May Our Hisorerus Be Li'Lui Nishmaso 

 

 

Hitting Bottom While Still on Top

 

We are all shaken up by the terrible tragedy in NY. How could someone who looked and acted so normal stoop to such a horrendous crime?

 

Steve from the morning 12-Step phone conference wrote:

 

"We spent some time on our call today speaking about the tragedy in Brooklyn, and trying to find messages that we on the call need to get from it. One veteran was using it to show how far down we could fall if we don't get help from our addiction."  

 

I sent Steve the following articles, to bring-home the point even stronger:  

 

A famous serial killer, Ted Bundy, blames addiction to inappropriate material on his actions:

 

In the Dobson interview before his execution, Bundy said that violent inappropriate material played a major role in his immoral crimes. According to Bundy, as a young boy he found outside the home again, in the local grocery store, in a local drug store, the inappropriate material... And from time to time he would come across even more inappropriate books.... Bundy said, "It happened in stages, gradually. My experience with inappropriate material generally, but particularly with inappropriate material that deals with violent immorality, is that once you become addicted to it, and I look at this as a kind of addiction, you look for more potent, more explicit, more graphic kinds of material. Like an addiction, you keep craving something which is harder and gives you a greater sense of excitement, until you reach the point where the pornography only goes so far - that jumping off point where you begin to think maybe actually doing it will give you that which is just beyond reading about it and looking at it.

 

And this is what Arthur Gary Bishop, another serial killer that killed five boys and was sentenced to death, wrote after his conviction:

 

Inappropriate material was a determining factor in my downfall. Certain bookstores offered graphic and explicit inappropriate materials. I purchased such books and used them to enhance my acting out fantasies... Finding and procuring lust materials became an obsession. For me, seeing inappropriate materials was lighting a fuse on a stick of dynamite. I became obsessed with immoral relationships.  I became stimulated and had to gratify my urges.  My conscience was desensitized and my appetite for lust entirely controlled my actions.

 

Steve wrote back:

 

"I feel very uncomfortable with the notion that all porn/lust addicts will become serial killers if they do not stop their "progressive disease" in it's tracks. There is a difference between being a sexaholic and a psychopath, and one doesn't necessarily lead to the other.

 

Then again, I remember hearing an interview with a recovered crack addict. He said that when he was overcome by his addiction "If you stood between me and my next hit, I WOULD kill you. No questions asked." But that is in the midst of a physical cycle of craving. Would we say that if left unchecked, my cycle of craving could lead me to such terrible things?"

 

Response to Steve: 

 

It is true that pedophilia and violence in sexual cases are often results of other "mental illnesses" that are not always directly related to lust addiction. Not all lust addicts will become pedophiles, and not all pedophiles got that way through lust addiction. However, fantasy is only a step away from action. And the more entrenched the addiction becomes, the closer the fantasy stage gets to the 'action stage'. Many sex and lust addicts have pedophilic fantasies. And the more they feed the addiction, the more the disease progresses, it demands more and more stimulation and the addict gets closer and closer to the "action" stage. And once a "terrible" action takes place, there is no telling where it can lead. As in the story in Brooklyn, it wasn't his addiction that killed the innocent child, it was his panicking that he'd be caught that led an otherwise "normal" person to commit such an horrific act of murder.

 

The Medrash says that someone who transgresses "eishes ish" transgresses on all of the Ten Commandments. The Medrash elaborates and explains how he transgresses each one of the dibros. When it comes to "Lo Tirtzach" the Medrash explains that an adulterer transgresses murder because in the midst of the act he is ready to kill or be killed, if caught.

 

Although these are extreme examples, one of the goals of GuardYourEyes is to help people "Hit bottom while still on top". We should not wait for the addiction to destroy our lives or other people's lives, c"v!

 

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This idea of hitting bottom while on top is discussed in beautiful clarity and detail in the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions:

 

In A.A.'s pioneering time, none but the most desperate cases could swallow and digest this unpalatable truth. Even these "last-gaspers" often had difficulty in realizing how hopeless they actually were. But a few did, and when these laid hold of A.A. principles with all the fervor with which the drowning seize life preservers, they almost invariably got well. That is why the first edition of the book "Alcoholics Anonymous," published when our membership was small, dealt with low-bottom cases only. Many less desperate alcoholics tried A.A., but did not succeed because they could not make the admission of hopelessness.

 

It is a tremendous satisfaction to record that in the following years this changed. Alcoholics who still had their health, their families, their jobs, and even two cars in the garage, began to recognize their alcoholism. As this trend grew, they were joined by young people who were scarcely more than potential alcoholics.  They were spared that last ten or fifteen years of literal hell the rest of us had gone through. Since Step One requires an admission that our lives have become unmanageable, how could people such as these take this Step?

 

It was obviously necessary to raise the bottom the rest of us had hit to the point where it would hit them. By going back in our own drinking histories, we could show that years before we realized it we were out of control, that our drinking even then was no mere habit, that it was indeed the beginning of a fatal progression. To the doubters we could say, "Perhaps you're not an alcoholic after all. Why don't you try some more controlled drinking, bearing in mind meanwhile what we have told you about alcoholism?" This attitude brought immediate and practical results. It was then discovered that when one alcoholic had planted in the mind of another the true nature of his malady, that person could never be the same again. Following every spree, he would say to himself, "Maybe those A.A.'s were right . . ." After a few such experiences, often years before the onset of extreme difficulties, he would return to us convinced. He had hit bottom as truly as any of us.

 
In light of the above, it is clear that anyone who sincerely wants to stop lusting and understands that they can't do it alone is a perfect candidate for serious recovery. As soon as we acknowledge in a deep way that we cannot succeed our our own, and we also understand where these behaviors will lead us, then we have hit bottom just as truly as any helpless addict.

 

So let us take our recovery deadly serious, and let nothing stand in our way of doing all we can to get better!

 

1060.
Wednesday ~ 12 Tamuz, 5771 ~ July 14, 2011 

In Today's Issue 

  • Article Link from Dr. Sorotzkin: Human Behavior
  • The Mask in the Mirror: Excerpt 17 - Reflections   
  • Daily Dose of Dov: Chazak Mimenu  

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We received today a link to an article in the LA Times from Dr. Benzion Sorotzkin which he suggested would be very helpful to GYE readers.

Dr. Sorotzkin has a website and is the author of another fascinating article that can help GYE members called "The Psychological factors in sexual acting out".

 

Human behavior: To resist temptation, forget guilt or shame and think positive

 

The more we anticipate public humiliation and guilt, the worse we're likely to do when it comes to self-control. If we focus on the pride that comes from good behavior, we make better choices. By far.

By Deborah MacInnis

Anytime a VIP gets caught with his (or her) pants down - Arnold Schwarzenegger or Anthony Weiner, for example - you can almost hear the collective "huh?" around the nation's water coolers, on its Twitter feeds and shared over its backyard fences.

What in the heck were those guys thinking? Where were they when John Edwards, Eliot Spitzer, 
Bill Clinton and so many others crashed and burned? Why wasn't the very real risk of shame and humiliation enough to stop them cold?

More than 2,000 years ago Socrates asserted in Plato's "Phaedrus" that two horses contend for our souls - one, unruly, passionate and constantly pulling in the direction of pleasure, and the other restrained, dutiful, obedient and governed by a sense of shame. But a set of studies I conducted with two other researchers at the USC Marshall School of Business suggests that Socrates was wrong, at least about Horse No. 2. Humans may be pulled hard toward pleasure, but shame isn't the countervailing force that reins us in.

In fact, the more we anticipate wagging fingers, public pillory and guilt, the worse we're likely to do when it comes to self-control. If we focus on the pride that comes from good behavior, we make better choices. By far.

The proof is in the devil's food. In one of our studies, we put three groups of subjects alone in a room with a very large piece of chocolate cake, the utensils to devour it and water. We told them they could eat as much or as little cake as they wished. But first, the members of one group were instructed to focus on the pride they would feel if they resisted the cake. Those in the second group were told to imagine the shame they would feel if they ate it, and the final (control) group was simply let loose, with no instructions at all.

We discovered that the study subjects who anticipated pride at resisting the cake consumed far less than those who focused on the shame of succumbing. They also ate less than the control group. In other words, when it comes to self-regulation, anticipated pride outperformed anticipated shame as well as unconsidered, heedless consumption.

What would make anticipating pride so much better than anticipating shame in controlling temptation? One reason is that pride focuses attention on the self (not the cake) and on success rather than failure. Shame, on the other hand, emphasizes the opposite; it focuses attention on the object of desire and the act of succumbing, making resistance harder to pull off. Simply put, anticipating pride makes us feel good, and anticipating shame makes us feel bad.

We know from prior research that we're better able to resist temptation when we feel good, not bad. Our research also indicated that not all bad feelings are equal when it comes to undermining self-control. For example, when we asked subjects to anticipate guilt instead of shame, it made them eat more cake. Guilt, it turns out, carries a triple whammy: It concentrates thoughts on the temptation rather than on self-control; it makes you generally feel bad, weakening resistance; and it heightens the expected pleasure from being bad, which makes the temptation more tempting.

Can any of these results prevent another politician from a precipitous fall from grace? Maybe - if they work at it.

For starters, our studies suggest that heaping humiliation and punishment on the Anthony Weiners of the world may not so much prevent the next outbreak of idiocy as encourage it. Instead, we have to concentrate on cueing the good feelings that come from doing good.

For those who want to resist chocolate cake, it could mean pasting a picture of your slimmest self on the pantry door. For those of you who made wedding vows, it could mean fending off seduction by imagining your next anniversary with the woman or man to whom you promised everlasting fidelity.

My colleagues and I studied chocolate cake consumption as a matter of business. What we found could help groups like insurance companies or healthcare providers develop strategies to encourage self-control when it comes to smoking, drinking or getting the proper amount of exercise. But the lessons apply to anyone faced with temptation.

Remember that anticipated shame won't help, and anticipated guilt will only make it easier to succumb. Instead, think about the positive effects of doing the right thing. And you probably will.

Deborah MacInnis is the vice dean for research and strategy, and a professor of business administration and marketing at USC. Her coauthored studies on self-control and chocolate cake were published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology and Advances in Consumer Research.

  

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This article reminds me of the post we brought a few days ago from "Blind Beggar" where he wrote:

 

This is the second time in my life that I have gone 100 days without HZ"L. The first time was before I came to GYE, when I read a sefer, "Veha'er Einaeinu" by Rabbi Yosef Goldschmit of Kiryat Sefer. The main point of his sefer is based on something that Rav Chaim Friedlander zatzal wrote.     

 

Rabbi Chaim Freidlander zatzal wrote a great eitza for guarding our eyes. (Look in Sifsei Chaim on Moados, Chelek Alef in the section Derech Shel Aliya.)

He says that if we give ourselves the choice of either enjoying the pleasure of looking at women or not giving ourselves the pleasure, we are in for a struggle: Enjoy or don't enjoy? A plate of ice cream or an empty plate? Instead, what we have to do is realize the positive benefits of guarding our eyes, the tremendous zechus and kedusha that we can gain from shmiras eynayim. If we do that, now we have a choice between one pleasure and another pleasure, between a plate of delicious treife ice cream which will eventually make us sick, or spiritual and lasting pleasure. That is a much easier choice to make.

 

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The Mask in the Mirror

Excerpt 17

 

Here's an excerpt from an e-Book written by Elya K. called "The Mask in the Mirror". Elya is a U.S. Hotline Moderator, Sponsor and Group Leader for GYE for already 3 years. To purchase the e-Book from Elya for $3 click here.  

 

~ REFLECTIONS ~ 

 

Keep it simple.

 

First things first.

 

Do the next right thing.

 

If you don't know what to do, do nothing.

 

Take things one day at a time.

 

Don't give up.

 

The only way around is through.

 

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Daily Dose of Dov

Dov is sober in SA for 14 years. See his story here.

  

Chazak Mimenu  

 

Here's a personal understanding of a brocha that I concentrate on each and every ma'ariv:

ki fodoh Hashem es Yaakov, ug'alo miyad chozok mimenu - 

What's chozok mimenu? Well, my addiction is inexorable, cunning, baffling and powerful - certainly much stronger than I. And He redeems me from it every single day, so far.

 

1061.
Friday ~ 13 Tamuz, 5771 ~ July 15, 2011
Erev Shabbos Parshas Pinchas 

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GYE LAUNCHING:

"The Leiby Kedusha Initiative"

 

 

The fact that this horrific story happened between Parshas Balak - which ends with the story of the daughters of Mo'av, and Parshas Pinchas - which talks about the greatness of Pincha's zealously for Kedusha, and also the fact that this tragedy is most likely the outcome of a perversion in inyanei Kedusha, all this together is perhaps a message to Klal Yisrael that Hashem is demanding that we take stock of the low state of Kedusha in our community today.

 

We would like to launch an initiative in memory of Leiby Kletzky to try and help boost the kedusha in Klal Yisrael in 3 main areas.

 

1) Prevention and Treatment of Lust addiction

2) Child Molestation Prevention

3) Tznius in our communities

 

1) Prevention and Treatment of Lust addiction: All those of us on GYE are already part of this revolution in Klal Yisrael, trying to purify themselves against all odds. Thousands of Yidden are using the tools and support of our network to turn their lives around. How can you help?

 

(A) First and foremost, let us all purify ourselves more! It is brought down in many sefarim that every time a Jew lifts himself a bit higher, he makes "room" (so to speak) for the person on the level below him to move up as well... When we purify ourselves even a little bit more, we set off a chain reaction that leads even those on the very bottom of 50th shaar hatumah to be able to go up higher! Download or purchase a hard-copy of the recently updated GYE Handbook and learn all the tools to "Break Free" of these difficult temptations. 

 

(B) Put preventive measures in place for you and your family. Install solid filtering and reporting software in all your internet enabled devices. We can help! Contact our filter gabai for advice at filter.gye@gmail.com. Download the GYE Prevention Tips for Parents Handbook to learn the many things you can do to keep your home safe. 

 

(C) Help us spread the word about our work by either telling your friends, family or Rabbanim about us.     

 

(D) Please donate (on our new donation page) so we can advertise and expand our programs to meet the ever growing need.

 

2) Child Molestation Prevention: Unfortunately this is not a small issue in our communities today, and it is destroying the lives of many innocent souls. And even more tragically, those who are abused often go on to abuse others. This is a terrible disease, and here are a few ways we can help prevent it:

 

(A) Learning how to speak to our children about these dangers. For this, we can suggest a few things:

 

1. Listen to this important video talk by Rabbi Yaakov Horowitz - founder of Project YES, called Speaking To Your Kids About Personal Safety

 

2. Read this great article by Aish.com called "Preventing Child Molestation".

 

3. Download this PDF booklet called "Summer Safety - Sacred Lives" which all parents should read before sending their kids to camp. It can be downloaded here.

 

(C) Report anyone who has done such things to the authorities so he doesn't strike again and gets the help he needs. See this article, this article and this article for the Halachic P'sak that this is not considered "messirah". If you know someone in the NY community who needs to be stopped, Assemblyman Dov Hikind started an organization called "Shomrei Yaldeinu" and Dov Cohen (co3kids@aol.com) and Joe Lazar (jlazar@lazarCG.com) are in charge of it. Contact them for advice on how to proceed.

 

(C) Appropriate prevention and treatment of lust addiction (as GYE is doing)  can drastically cut down the number of these cases over time. It is clear that lust addiction can sometimes lead to these problems if it is not dealt with properly in earlier stages.    

 

3) Tznius in our communities: Women often don't realize what goes on in a man's head when he sees them walk or dressed a certain way. This includes tight-clothing, high-heels, long sheitels, etc... The problem is, that when men try to bring up this issue with the women, they usually brush it off and say that they just want to look good to feel good about themselves, and the men shouldn't be such "perverts" and learn to control their eyes and thoughts. That's why it's important to spread the following shiur around to as many women as you can. Let them hear it from a woman! This is a powerful talk given by a desperate mother whose son was diagnosed with an untreatable tumor. She took it upon herself to boost awareness in this area in the hope that this zechus will stand by her son. Please spread it around! (Warning, it's only for women to hear, since it may be a bit triggering for men where she discusses what kind of things are triggers).

 

Rabbosai, if we can undertake to help boost awareness and help in these 3 areas, or even in ONE of these 3 areas, we will be taking to heart the lesson that Hashem perhaps wants us to take from the horrible story last week, and the soul of Leiby will find peace and have an aliya through our hisorerus!

 

PLEASE PASS THIS E-MAIL ON TO ALL YOUR CONTACTS!  

 

LET'S MAKE A REVOLUTION - SO WE CAN ADD MEANING TO THIS SENSELESS TRAGEDY!  

 

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Please Donate towards the "Leiby Kedusha Initiative" for the memory and zechus of Leiby Kletsky

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Our new donation page was just launched. You can also use the PayPal options on the right side of our website www.guardyoureyes.org.

 

Credit Card donations by phone: 646-600-8100 

 

Checks can be written out to "GYE Corp" and mailed to:

GYE Corp.

3918 Fallstaff Rd.

Baltimore, MD, 21215

U.S.A

 

Tizke Lemitzvos!

 

GYE is a recognized 501(c)(3) organization and donations to us are tax deductible.

 

1062.
Sunday ~ 15 Tamuz, 5771 ~ July 17, 2011

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The Mask in the Mirror

Excerpt 18

 

Here's an excerpt from an e-Book written by Elya K. called "The Mask in the Mirror". Elya is a U.S. Hotline Moderator, Sponsor and Group Leader for GYE for already 3 years. To purchase the e-Book from Elya for $3 click here.  

 

Commitment  

 

Until one is committed there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness.  Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans.  The moment one definitely commits oneself; all sorts of things begin to happen that would never otherwise have occurred.  A whole stream of events issues from the committed decision, raising in one's favor all matter of incidents, meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would come his way.  Whatever you can do, or dream, you can begin.  Boldness has genius, power and magic on it.  Begin it now...   


- Goethe.

 

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Category: Torah Thoughts  

 

The Ohr Hachayim Hakadosh's Yartzeit

  

In honor of the Ohr Hachayim Hakadosh's Yartzeit today, we would like to bring some pieces from his Sefer that can help us in our struggle.

Only With Hashem's Power

There is a fundamental and elementary piece from the holy Ohr Hachayim in (Acharei Mos, 18:2) that gives a clear perspective on the powerful nature of these desires, and helps us understand how Hashem expects us to remain holy in spite of it being against human nature. He makes it clear that once a person falls into these sins, it is almost impossible to get out of them without special divine assistance. (This fits in very well with the 12-Step approach which calls sobriety a "miracle" and stipulates that only G-d can keep us sober, one day at a time.)

Click here to download a PDF translation of this important piece from the Ohr Hachaim. To see the original text in Hebrew, click here (the relevant parts are marked in yellow, and the VERY relevant parts in red).

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Disgusting in Our Eyes

 

The Medrash on this past week's Parsha says that Pinchas drove his spear straight through the genitals of Zimri and Kuzbi the Midyanite, as they were sinning together. Then, G-d gave Pinchas divine strength and he was able to lift both of their their dead bodies up out of the tent, while still on the spear, for all to see that they had been killed for their sins.

 

The Holy Ohr Hachaim Hakodesh writes that through doing this, Pinchas made the sin of illicit sexual relations look disgusting in the eyes of the Yidden and thereby caused a tremendous Kiddush Hashem.

 

On a similar note, the Ohr Hachayim writes as well in another place in the Parsha, that G-d commanded the Jews "Tzror es Hamidyanim Ve'hikesem Osam" - meaning, "Make the Midyanim hated in your eyes and destroy everything of theirs". So the Ohr Hachayim asks, why do we need to hate them and destroy everything, why not be able to benefit from the spoils of the enemy? And he answers that when it comes to immoral sexual conduct (that the Midyanites caused the Yidden to sin in), the only way for the Jews to receives G-d's forgiveness and atone properly would be if they turn their hearts to hate these sins, and destroy all that is related to it. For as long as the lust of the sins remain alive in a Jew's heart, he cannot properly atone for sins of a sexual nature. Instead, he must try to first arouse a disgust and hatred of these sins in his heart - and then he can achieve a true Teshuvah.

 

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The Ohr Hachayim Foresees GYE?

The Ohr Hachayim on Parshas Shmos (3:8) writes that before Moshiach's time the Jewish nation will be subjected to the 50th level of impurity. But he also writes, that by using the koach of the Torah, the Jewish people will garner the strength to enter into the very "mouth" of the 50th level of impurity and pull out that which the Satan had already swallowed ("le'hotzi boi'lo mi'piv").

And that is what the GuardYourEyes community is doing today! The Ohr Hachayim Hakadosh could not have used a more divinely inspired analogy! We are entering into the mouth of the Yetzer Hara himself and harnessing the very power of the anonymity and accessibility of the Satan's favorite tool - the internet, to pull out these sparks of Kedusha, these holy souls, that have fallen to the 50th level of impurity! 

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Don't Get Into a Discussion With The Snake

 

The Ohr Hachayim says regarding chava and the snake that the reason why she fell was because she allowed the snake to engage her in conversation. Once she got into the conversation, she started entertaining the idea of saying "yes" even though she had originally entered the conversation with the intent of saying "no". She said no, he said "yes", she said "no", he said "why not?"... So she started explaining why not, but by the time the conversation had finished she had fallen through. 

 

This is the derech of the Satan. When we entertain fantasies in our mind, he claims we are just "thinking about it for the sake of saying NO to it". But it's a lie. Because once he gets us fantasizing, we are already in his hands and it gets only harder to break away!

 

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The Power of NOW

"V'ata Yisroel mu Hashem Elokecha sho'el may'imuch.... ki im l'yirah, etc.... - And now, Yisrael, what does Hashem your G-d ask of you, but to fear him, etc..." and the Torah continues with a whole list of wonderful madreigos.

The Torah is emphasizing that we CAN reach all these wonderful madreigos, if we focus on one thing... 
V'ata - NOW; not what happened a second ago, nor a day ago, nor a year ago, and also not what WILL happen. Just the present. That is all Hashem asks of us, the ATA - the NOW.

 

1063.
Monday ~ 16 Tamuz, 5771 ~ July 18, 2011 

In Today's Issue 

  • Announcement: Top 5 Sites for Advertising GYE  
  • Parshas Matos: When it is a Mitzva to Make Shvuos      
  • The Mask in the Mirror: Excerpt 19 - Sin and Addiction  
  • Daily Dose of Dov: Are you willing to go to any lengths?

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Announcement

 

Top 5 Sites for Advertising GYE

 

Dear GYE community,

 

In preparation for the launch of our new website in the coming months, we're looking to start a major advertising campaign to spread the word about our work in the Jewish world. Right now we have banners on YeshivaWorld , Vosizneias and Arutz 7.

 

We want to hear from you what websites you think would be best for us to advertise on? Which Jewish websites would make the biggest impact and reach the most people who need help?

 

Please send us your "Top 5" suggestions.

 

Also, whoever can pitch in, please help us to sponsor advertising. You may be saving the life, marriage and future generations of every Yid who gets help because of your sponsored ad! You can make monthly recurring payments using credit cards on our new donation page over here.

 

Thank you and Tizke Lemitzvos!

 

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Category: Torah > Parshas Matos   

 

When it is a Mitzva to Make Shvuos  

   

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 Chazal. The Ohr Hachayim (whose Yartzeit was yesterday) writes in this week's Parshas Matos (30:2): 

 

 

Rough Translation (in short): "The Pasuk is saying here that there are Nedarim and Shvuos that Hashem commanded us to make... such as in cases where one has apprehension about stumbling in the area of arayos... to counteract the strength of this desire ...as Chaza"l say about Bo'az, that he 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". And as the Pasuk says, "Nishbati Va'akayeima, lishmor Mishpatei Tzidkecha - I have vowed and will uphold it; to guard your righteous laws", for it is a Mitzva to make a Shvuah against one's evil inclination."

 

Also, the Mishna says in Pirkei Avos: "Nedarim siyag la'prishus - Nedarim are a fence for abstinence". And another Pasuk in Tehilim 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". So it is clear that there are cases when making Shvuos is actually a Mitzva that Hashem wants us to do!

 

However, as important and helpful as vows can be in fighting this powerful desire, they are also spiritually dangerous. The addiction is very often more powerful than vows. Therefore, it is vital that we learn how to make vows in a way that will work and be spiritually safe. Instead of fighting the addiction head-on through the vows, we can make vows that will help us "walk around" the addiction. Do not make a make vow that you simply will not act-out or look at inappropriate material. Many addicts have tried this and failed miserably, because when we are under a lust attack it is very hard for our yiras shamayim to stop us.

 

Download the TaPHSiC Method PDF file (6 pages) to learn this powerful "Shvuah" technique that has helped many frum addicts stop their destructive behaviors.  

 

You can also read the TaPHSiC Method online at this link. 

 

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The Mask in the Mirror

Excerpt 19

 

Here's an excerpt from an e-Book written by Elya K. called "The Mask in the Mirror". Elya is a U.S. Hotline Moderator, Sponsor and Group Leader for GYE for already 3 years. To purchase the e-Book from Elya for $3 click here.  

 

SIN AND ADDICTION

 

Everyone who overcomes a sin is a Baal Teshuva but Koheles (Ecclesiastes) said there is no man who has not sinned.

 

G-D knew this and that is why HE created Teshuva.  HE knew people would sin.  

 

You have an addiction - a disease of connection.  As long as you keep looking at porn and masturbating you will have no connection to Hashem or your wife.  When you honestly can say you want this connection then you are ready to make a decision.  Either continue to act out and eventually get worse, or get into a program where you can get some help and figure out what is causing you to want to jeopardize your life acting out every day. Here are some ideas:

 

1. Why do you need to be on a computer?  It's like going to the mikvah with a sheretz in your hand. Turn it off, get rid of it. If you HAVE to have it, put a block on it so you cannot access porn, videos, YouTube, news, etc., all of which are triggers. Try this one: http://BSecure.com.

2.  Usually this means you are "medicating" some anger, fear, loneliness, stress.  It's a vicious cycle which you can and must break.  You feel stress, you masturbate to feel better, you feel guilty and shameful so you masturbate again and over and over and over.  I believe you now see how powerless you are over this disease and how your life has become unmanageable.  Only Hashem can restore you to sanity.  But when you're an impure vessel, Hashem will not fill you with his Goodness.  You must clean the vessel and Hashem will pour HIS blessing into you.  First we need to give up the struggle to control it and accept that whatever is happening in our life is Hashem's will for us.  So there is no need for stress or worry because Hashem is taking care of you.

3.  Make the decision right now to turn your life over to Hashem, honestly daven and ask HIM just for today to help you stop and you will see it gets easier and you will begin to build back your relationships with HIM, and everyone else.

 

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Daily Dose of Dov

Dov is sober in SA for 14 years. See his story here.

  

Are you willing to go to any lengths?    

 

Meetings, steps, making calls, and posting (for those still more terrified about saying the truth about themselves to another real person than almost anything else...) - all these things can bring us to inner rest/serenity - to admit the truth about ourselves and live accordingly - sanely. But it depends on how we use them.

Maybe none of this is for you at all. I do not know. But what worked for me was going to real meetings with real people because I knew I could not continue using my drug. If you (or anybody is) are not willing to go to any lengths to be truly rid of this garbage, then to me that means only one thing. You are not really ready to be rid of this garbage. 

If you agree with me, that I suggest strongly that you stop telling yourself and anyone else that you are ready to let go of it. It is still too precious and sweet to you. 

And I cannot blame you in the least, for it was too precious and sweet for me to give it up for 15 years even at the expense of my wife, children, Hashem, His Torah, my Olam haba, my integrity, and lots of other things. I cannot and will not blame you at all if you never give it up and keep using your drug even till you destroy everything in your life. I will not look down on you in any way, and will not even be surprised. In fact, I am surprised that I am sober today, for I do not deserve it, that's for sure.

 

Posting, sharing, and meetings are only tools. Tools that help me get honest with myself. In the end, that is all that matters. Self-honesty will bring me to G-d - or it won't - but in the end, I will be at rest knowing my own truth.   

 

1064.
Tuesday ~ 17 Tamuz, 5771 ~ July 19, 2011
SHIVA ASAR BI'TAMUZ 

In Today's Issue 

  • Shiva Asar Bi'Tamuz: Strengthening Our Walls   
  • Torah: The Power of the 3 Weeks

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Category: Shiva Asar Bi'tamz    

 

Strengthening Our Walls

 

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.

 

Let us all stop and ask ourselves: "What behaviors breach our walls and lead to subsequent falls?"

 

LET'S MAKE SURE OUR WALLS ARE STRONG!   

How?

 

Well the "TaPHSiC Method" is one way. Download the TaPHSiC Method PDF file (6 pages) to learn this powerful "Shvuah" technique that has helped many frum addicts stop their destructive behaviors.  You can also read the TaPHSiC Method online at this link. 

 

Let us also make sure we have strong filters and reporting software installed. If you have internet on your Blackberry, we can send you a program to delete the browser. If you have other types of cell phones, we can help you find a filter and/or reporting software. For computers, see this page for one good filter option, along with instructions on how to install it best - and give away the password to our "filter Gabai"... See this page for another 20 (or so) filter ideas and information... We also highly advise installing "Reporting Software" such as webchaver.org to give you some accountability, because filters alone are usually not sufficient and they can often be bypassed.

 

We all know what activities and sites bring us to slips and falls. Let's stop watching non-Jewish movies, let's delete our access to Facebook, Youtube, GoogleVideo, etc..  any site that is a stumbling block for us: Let there be no breaches in our walls!

 

Now that we don't have the Beis Hamikdash, Hashem looks for the Korbon Tamid every day in different places... Those who give up these activities and websites are considered in Shamayim as bringing Korbonos in the Beis Hamikdash!

 

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

 

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Join "Helpfyi" on the forum in this thread to make a special effort at guarding our eyes during the 3 weeks! 

 

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Category: Torah > 3 Weeks 

  

The Power of the 3 Weeks 

 

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 Tamuz and Av for himself (and hence, the 17th of Tamuz and Tisha Be'av), but only the first 9 days of Av belong to him. 

It says in the Mishna that they stopped gathering wood for the Mizbe'ach from the 15th of Av and on, because the strength of the sun finally breaks at that point, and the wood for the Mizbe'ach must be gathered only while the sun is at its strongest. (Once the sun is no longer as strong, the wood can be slightly damp inside and it won't burn as well.)

The Jewish people are compared to the moon, which renews itself each month. When Moshiach comes, the moon will be as bright as the sun. Esav chose this world over the next world, and the ruler of the heavens in this world is the sun. When the sun is the strongest, the koach of Esav is the strongest. But only until Moshiach comes...

The Beis Ahron of Karlin at the end of Parshas Pinchas brings a Medrash that says that the months of Tamuz, 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 3 weeks, because Pinchas has in it all the Regalim...

If you are finding the struggle very difficult now, it is understandable. The Koach of Esav is at its height during the three weeks. From Rosh Chodesh Tamuz until the 9th of Av is 39 days. We are now in middle of those 40 days. At the end of these 40 days, the sun's strength starts to wane. That means that in middle of the 40 days, the sun is at its peak. Now is the most hidden time. The world cannot be "sovel" the great light, and when the keilim are not able to hold the light, they break. That is why the walls of Yerushalayim were breached and the Beis Hamikdash was destroyed. The "Keilim" of the yidden were not worthy of maintaining the great light, so when the light became the strongest, it broke the vessels. And that is perhaps why so many of us are struggling now more than any other time of the year.

But Rabboisai, the wood for the Holy Mizbe'ach can only be gathered NOW when the sun is at its PEAK. This is perhaps because the greatest sacrifices for Hashem are done in the most hidden times.  Davka now, the light of the Ge'ulah begins to shine forth.

 

1065.
Sunday ~ 22 Tamuz, 5771 ~ July 24, 2011 

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Mazal Tov to GuardYourEyes on its 4th Birthday!

 

In honor of our birthday, we would like to unofficially launch a preliminary version of our new website today.

 

The temporary URL of the English website's Home-Page (under development) is: guardyoureyes.com/live/breakingfree

 

GYE will also have a special website for "Prevention" which will be for everyone, not only those who struggle with these addictive behaviors. It will contain filter help, Shmiras Ainayim phone conferences and forums for parents and mechanchim to exchange ideas. A very preliminary version of the "Prevention" website can be seen here

 

Although we are still a few months away from completing our website overhaul, there are already a few features that can be useful to our community:

 

1) Our Phone-Conference Calendar Page - This page lists all the phone conferences currently available on GYE (30 per week!). 

 

2) Our Therapist Referral System - Find a therapist in your area who is trained to help people deal with these issues.

 

3)  Our eBooks Page - Download many great PDF files which can help you in your struggle.

 

4) Our "Kosher Isle" - When feeling bored or lethargic, don't gravitate to the bad sites. You can find hundreds of Kosher websites with news, entertainment and Torah to keep your mind occupied in a Kosher way! (The old Kosher Isle can be found here, but the new "Kosher Isle" currently has very few links. We ask everyone to use the form on the right side of the page to submit new items. For an example of how the inside pages will look, see here for the video-clips page of the Kosher Isle).

 

5) Our new Donation Page - Anonymous recurring credit-card donations are now possible! (Please help us finish the web development.)  

 

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We are also launching thin versions of our Hebrew and Yiddish websites today!

 

Hebrew Website

 

Yiddish Website

 

Even though they are far from complete, the current versions of these websites can already be used as a "base" for existing GYE services and materials in Hebrew and Yiddish (such as our Hebrew forum and our Yiddish forum). Spread the word about these sites and help us build a Hebrew and Yiddish speaking GYE community!

 

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POWERFUL VIDEO ABOUT GYE

 

We encourage everyone to view this inspiring 15 minute video about GYE's work, which contains excerpts from talks given by:

  • R' Chaim Dovid Zwiebel, Executive Vice President of Agudath Israel of America.
  • Rav Aharon Feldman, Mo'etzes Gedolei HaTorah.
  • Rabbi/Dr. Avraham J. Twerski, Founder of Gateway Rehab Center.
  • Shalom's personal story (voice altered to protect his identity).

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The Segulah of This Day

 

The original Guardureyes.com website was launched on the 22cd of Tamuz - exactly four years ago. The Yartzeit of Rav Shlomo Karliner is also today, on the 22cd Tamuz. Tzadikim say that although the 3 weeks are generally a bad time to start anything new, the day of Rav Shlomo's Yartzeit is a day when it is especially mesugal to start something new, and to make a personal RENEWAL. As a matter of fact, many Chassidim try to find a new fruit on this day to make a "shehechiyanu".

 

It seems to be divinely orchestrated that the Yartzeit of Rav Shlomo of Karlin and the birthday of GuardYourEyes fall out on the same day, and here's why:

 

Rav Shlomo Karliner 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 overpower 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 (as the Zohar says, that the month of Tamuz belongs to Eisav now) and Yosef needs to "die" (be mistalek) in order to combat Eisav. 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 GuardYourEyes 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, just as the bechina of Yosef (tikkun ha'Yesod) seems to have been destroyed by the terrible promiscuity in the world we live in today. 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 through the Koach HaTorah 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). GYE is 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 koach of Eisav in our generation, which is the power of "Freedom" = lack of restrictions. (Perhaps that is why America's celebration of Freedom, July 4th, usually falls out in Tamuz).

 

In the merit of the birthday of this holy community of Hashem's "front-line soldiers" and the Yartzeit of Rabbi Shlomo Karliner, let us take-hold today of this power of renewal and bring forth the Geulah!

 

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Practical Tip for Today

 

In honor of GYE's B-day and the special segulah for renewal that we discussed above, let us all try to renew our commitment to guarding our eyes. Here's one idea of a Kabbala that can be very helpful in this regard:

 

"I am mikabel upon myself until after Tisha Be'av, to donate $2 to GYE for every time I obsess over something that is arousing to me by taking a second and third look in any 15 second time-frame, or if I gaze at something arousing to me for more than 15 seconds in any given minute's time. (If I looked while forgetting that I made this Kabbala, I will not have to pay)."

 

Keep a little notebook in your pocket, and mark down each time you slip.

 

Why does this work so well? Often we stumble in shmiras ainayim because at the moment we are faced with a nisayon, the Yetzer hara makes us forget all the consequences and we figure it can't really hurt to take a second look. He actually makes us feel that it's in our best interest to look! And by the time we convince ourselves that it's really NOT in our best interest, we already stumbled and saw what we shouldn't have. With this Kabala however, we will be instantly aware of the consequence of looking and we'll be able to avert our gaze much quicker.

 

Try it; you'll be amazed at how well it works!

 

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A Few Recent Testimonials

 

"Sometime during my first desperate week trying to stay clean, Hashem led me to GYE. It was like being transported to a new planet. Suddenly I was not alone anymore, there were so many others who were struggling with similar issues AND SUCCEEDING. I spent hours reading the handbook and browsing the forums, and got tremendous chizuk from it!" - G.S

 

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"My eternal thanks to you for the help you have afforded me in my quest to be a real yid. I have struggled with this for as long as I can remember and to have a tool available 24/7 on the very medium by which one can fall so hard is invaluable. Yasher Kochachem!" - M.S

 

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"Dear the webmaster. No words can express the great mitzvah that you have, by saving me and thousands from one of the worst sins in the Torah. You really changed me and I will always remember it, your zechus is great, it states in sefurim that someone who prevents himself from hz"l or from asur relations the mitzva is massive, so imagine how many mitzvahs you have. Once again thank you so much for Bringing the geula closer." - C.G

 

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"Hi. I am an addiction counselor in yerushalayim. I would like to receive from you several GYE handbooks if that is possible, to give to my clients. Many of them do not have access to the internet or a computer, and so the PDF cannot help them. Is this possible? Your website has good acclaim. For one, I know that Dr. Hillel Davis of Emek Refaim told me that every one of his clients who used this site has benefited from it tremendously." - A.T       (To purchase our handbook in hard-copy, see this link) 

 

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"I would like to thank you for your great work, ever since I found it I'm a different person. I haven't looked at shmutz since, and have guarded my eyes on the street extremely well also. KEEP IT UP!" - H.F

 

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Please help us continue saving people's Yiddishkeit, Lives & Marriages.

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Please use our new donation page.

 

Credit Card donations by phone: 646-600-8100 

 

Checks can be written out to "GYE Corp" and mailed to:

GYE Corp.

3918 Fallstaff Rd.

Baltimore, MD, 21215

U.S.A

 

Tizke Lemitzvos!

 

GYE is a recognized 501(c)(3) organization and donations to us are tax deductible.

 

1066.
Monday ~ 2 Av, 5771 ~ August 2, 2011 

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Good News - 1

 

Almost 60 Shmiras Ainayim Shiurim in MP3 format available for download!

 

A zip file of 26 Shiurim from May-June from the "Window's of the Soul" Shiur. 

Download Here

 

A zip file of 15 shiurim from June from the shiur on "Shmiras Ainayim & Chinuch". Download Here

 

A zip file of 18 shiurim from July from the shiur on "Shmiras Ainayim & Chinuch". Download Here

 

To join the daily "Shmiras Ainayim & Chinuch" shiur, just call in!

Sun - Thurs at 4:45 PM EST

Number: 209-647-1000 / Participant PIN: 616701

 

For more info on this group see here. 

 

For GYE's new phone conference page (with all available phone groups) click here.  

 

Two e-mails we received:

 

"I wanted to let you know how much I enjoy the shmiras einiyim conferences. The Maggid Shiur is an extraordinary dynamic personality. And the subjects mentioned are very much insightful, from a broad range of sources; Chazal, Rishonim, Mussar and Chassidus... It is a great chizuk for myself knowing that I am not the only one working on this issue. May you be blessed with much Siyatta Dishmaya in all your Avodas Hakodesh."  

 

"I listen to the playbacks of the daily shmiras ainayim shiurim when I'm stuck in traffic. I really enjoy them, they are very interesting, give great and practical advice on keeping holy and avoiding sin. The shiur helps me change a situation which is stressful into one that is productive and rewarding. Thanks!"

 

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Good News - 2

 

New Google-Spreadsheet with GYE's filter help.

 

In the past week, a number of experienced computer technicians and other volunteers have offered to be available to help anyone install filters or purchase Kosher-phones. They can help you decide which filters are best for you, and if necessary they will even come down to your house to help you install the filters.

 

We set up a special Google Spread-Sheet for your convenience, which contains information on all our filter-gabai's, along with their contact info and locations.

 
 

At the bottom of the Google spreadsheet, you will notice another three tabs:

 

1)     Other organizations that can help with filter advice.

2)     A few numbers to find out info and order "Kosher Cell Phones".

3)     Important filter links.

 

One day we hope to have volunteers in every Jewish community in the world! If you have experience with filters and want to be a volunteer to help Klal Yisrael, please let us know.
 

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Dear GYE,

 

Thank you for all your efforts. I would like to share a story that I worked on, with all people dealing with "our issues". It is part parable / part fiction, but based on fact. I thought about continuing to work on it or even finishing it, but I think it is better off shared in its imperfect/incomplete state - just like we are.

 

Thanks,

Daniel

 

 

My Nemesis

(Part 1 of 2) 

 

It was a long hard day. The presentation had to be perfect. The future of the company depended on it. The livelihood of 12 families depended on it. They all depended on me. No sweat. I knew we had a good product. I knew how to sell it and I knew who to sell it to.

 

I was just wrapping up the final details and attaching the last of the documentation when I decided that I needed a little break. A breath of fresh air. I deserved it. I had long since said good night the last of my co-workers and was bearing the load alone. Even my boss had left as he mumbled something about knowing that he was leaving it in good hands and headed for the door. I was getting tired, a little muddled, and even feeling a bit sorry for myself.

 

I stepped outside, craving a cigarette to help me unwind. I took a short stroll down an unfamiliar alley near the office. My head turned to the sound of blaring music, garish lights and a noisy crowd of people I would never think of associating with. I picked up the pace of my stroll to distance myself from the scene but nonetheless was drawn by unhealthy curiosity to see what had animated those people. The imposing tattooed bouncer and the glimpse of the spot-lit stage confirmed my hunch that this was not a place I wanted, er... was supposed to want, to enter. On my nonchalant stroll back to the office I cast another wayward glance in that general direction. It was then that I noticed something moving in the trash near that establishment's dumpster. I cautiously edged in that general direction and in a poor attempt at cool control, kicked over one of the trash bags.

 

I recoiled at what I saw. It was a huge muscular man of indeterminate parentage and race, bound and gagged, struggling mightily to free himself. I smiled wanly to indicate that I wished him no harm, not that I knew how to harm him if I could. When I bent down, I noticed that his grimy T-shirt was emblazoned with the none too encouraging words: "I AM NOT YOUR FRIEND!" He smiled back at me with a broken toothed smile and shrugged his shoulder sheepishly with regard to the anti-social messaging on his shirt. I pulled at the slimy rag stuffed in his mouth and tied around his neck. Upon freeing it, I was rewarded with an odor of sweat, cheap alcohol, stale cigarettes and poorly digested food. I proceeded to untie the unfortunate gentleman and release him from his bondage. I stepped back to further assist him, when I suddenly got a very brief view of the largest fist I ever saw. The blow shattered my glasses, while the impact and intense pain blurred my vision. I unceremoniously sank to the dirty pavement, barely aware of what hit me and wholly unable to take control of the situation.

 

The sound of cloth ripping and the uncomfortable breeze along my upper leg indicated to me that the none to gentle giant had ripped my pocket clear off my pants to access my wallet and keychain. In a flash he was gone. I was not worried about my car because there was no way he could know where it was parked and there was no way he could know the security code to the immobilizer on the vehicle. But my house was a different story. He knew my address and he had my keys. There was nothing other than a short cab ride stopping him from entering my house, my home, my mikdash ma'at. Nothing other than me. I had not done such a good job of protecting myself. But my wife, my teenage daughters and young children, that was a different story. No one messes with them and I have what it takes to protect my family. I ran back to my office where I have a spare set of car keys, I gave a last wistful look at the computer with my unfinished work and ran down to my car. I slammed the car into gear and raced off.

 

As I was driving like a madman, I wondered how I had gotten myself into this mess. I knew the chronology of events, but couldn't understand how I did not foresee the consequences. My reverie was broken as I reached my block and noticed the now familiar hulking figure exiting the cab a few buildings away from my home. He must have cleverly asked the driver for an address other than my own in an attempt to cover his tracks from the evil he was fiendishly planning.

 

As the cab pulled away, I saw my chance. I switched off the headlights and gunned the engine. The car responded nicely as I noticed my new foe perfectly framed against a trash dumpster. In a shockingly powerful impact of metal against metal, I knew I had caught him solidly between my now crumpled bumper and the formerly undented municipal dumpster. The unpleasant thought of the extensive body work needed by my car paled into insignificance relative to the need to stop this fiend. But I stared openmouthed through the cracked windscreen of the vehicle as my nemesis heaved the smoking wreck of my car off his lower body. He writhed free of his intended entrapment and headed resolutely towards my home.

 

I was incensed at his audacity to survive but was not without recourse. I was home on reserve duty, so I had my army issue fully equipped M-16 in the trunk of my car. Shrugging off the mounds of paperwork and explanations I would need to provide to my superiors for using my personal weapon, I unlocked the trunk and hefted the familiar weapon. Knowing my neighborhood better than my stubborn foe, I raced up stairs and across rooftops to get a clear shot at the oversized outlaw as he climbed the outdoor steps to my heretofore inviolable fortress of a home.

 

I loaded a steel-jacketed round into the chamber and stared resolutely down the sniper scope as he came into its crosshairs. I could swear that I saw him smile as he stared back at me. I took a deep breath and exhaled slowly to center myself and squeezed off the golden shot. The "third eye", as we are taught, appeared in a reassuring puff of blood, skull fragments and brain matter. It seemed as familiar and easy as in the mindless computer games I played in my youth. He crumpled to the ground and wriggled in what I thought were his death throes. But this time the intended victim didn't stay down.

 

I knew he was strong but didn't realize how superhumanly strong. No problem, I loaded a RPG shell into the under-barrel launcher. The shell launched with the reassuringly familiar metallic thump and raced the short distance sputtering sparks until it hit. The explosion, which would have destroyed an armored vehicle, shockingly only left a scorch mark on his ratty T-shirt. The sooty remnants gave him an even more sinister impression. His T-shirt now read "I AM YOUR END". "No! You are not" I shouted silently to myself. I half-heartedly emptied the rest of the clip in his direction. Most of the bullets found their mark but I knew they were veritably useless against this monster. He neared the door of my home with a leering grin on his ugly face as I jumped from my vantage point, one flight above his location. I was not going to let him in to my home, even if it killed me. The stench of his hellish odor was nearly enough to overpower me. He stumbled as I landed on him and punched, kicked and scratched at any part of his body that I could reach. He recoiled from my onslaught and shrunk away from me, but I did not let up. I knew the battle was mine and I had to finish it. He smiled up at me from the ground as I had my heel on his neck. He sputtered out, "You win today, but tomorrow is another day". It wasn't a threat or a promise, it was just the truth. I was shocked at the revelation and he took the opportunity of my distraction to disappear.

 

To be continued tomorrow...

1067.
Tuesday ~ 3 Av, 5771 ~ August 3, 2011 

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Good News! 

 

Drop of your device and get filters installed FREE!

 

As a result of yesterday's announcement about having a team of technicians willing to help people install filters, someone suggested that we contact ID Tech Solutions. We got in touch with the head of the company and he was happy to be of assistance as well. He has 3 technicians in Lakewood and 4 technicians in Brooklyn. Anyone who wants can drop off their computers, laptops, mobile devices, etc. at their offices and they will install filtering software for you for FREE. 

 

Please see our Google Spread-Sheet for all the information on what numbers to call, who to be in touch with, and the location of the offices.

 
 

At the bottom of the Google spreadsheet, you will notice another three tabs:

 

1)     Other organizations that can help with filter advice.

2)     A few numbers to find out info and order "Kosher Cell Phones".

3)     Important filter links.

 

One day we hope to have volunteers in every Jewish community in the world! If you have experience with filters and want to be a volunteer to help Klal Yisrael, please let us know.
 

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Someone shared a story that they worked on, and they asked us to share with all people dealing with these issues. Yesterday we brought part 1, and today we bring the final piece. He wrote:  

 

"The story is part parable / part fiction, but based on fact. I thought about continuing to work on it or even finishing it, but I think it is better off shared in its imperfect/incomplete state - just like we are."

 

Thanks,

Daniel"

 

 

My Nemesis

(Part 2 of 2) 

 

My wife opened the door as she heard the commotion and asked in a startled tone, "What happened? You look terrible!". Realizing how little of my battles she or anyone else was aware of, I told her that I totaled the car as I swerved to avoid hitting a cat. The lie came easily and was easily believed by my eshes chayil who knew nothing of my vices, lies and battles. I looked down at the laptop bag slung across my shoulder and realized that my nemesis was nearer than I ever let myself believe.

 

I woke the next morning after a fitful and unrefreshing night's sleep. I looked horrible and felt worse. My eshes chayil prepared a nice nutritious breakfast that I ignored as much as I ignored her. I grabbed the aluminum insulated travel coffee mug, hoping that the jolt of steaming sugary caffeinated liquid would compensate for my poor sleeping habits. As I headed for the door along with my ubiquitous laptop bag, I looked ever so much like the image of a successful frum businessman I tried so hard to project. I could see my wife's concerned if not anguished expression but I did not have the emotional energy to meet her gaze. I gently shut the door and reentered my world.

 

Having crashed the car the night before, I had to take the bus. This was already a step down from my ego catering lifestyle; sitting among the lower echelons of society was downright distressing. I mentally mocked virtually each fellow traveler as I wished to explain to the world that I belong in a higher plane of existence and that I am only temporarily here because my car was in the shop due to my unfortunate accident last night. Needless to say, no one received my lame explanation and obviously no one would have cared either. I wondered if any of these simple people fought the battles that I fought. Did they already lose? Did they win?! Did they care??

 

My reverie was broken when I realized that I was the last person on the bus and the bus was no longer in a neighborhood that I recognized. The bus driver turned around and shouted at me "End of the Line!" as the recognition that it was none other than my erstwhile foe in the driver's seat hit me. I let out a horrified shriek of recognition and jumped off the bus. I heard the cackle of his horrible gloating laugh at my plight as I ran. I searched for a quiet corner to collect my thoughts and reorient my game plan. I had the critical business meeting at 1:00pm and about an hour's worth of preparation before the meeting. I still had some time to kill before I needed to head off to the meeting. I sat on a park bench and began touching up the presentation. Some good quality photos would really enhance the visual impact I was shooting for. The problem was, that there was no wireless coverage where I was sitting. Using my laptop as some sort of high-tech divining rod, I followed the bars to a street corner near where I needed to be. I noticed an abandoned shell of a building that would provide me with the privacy and shade I needed to finish my work. I started to search for the photos that I needed and was sort of shocked when some unintended photos joined the visual parade of images assaulting my eyes, brain and soul. The first couple of images didn't throw me, except perhaps off-balance, as I felt that they didn't affect me. But one particularly appalling and appealing image did in fact finally suck me in.

 

It was 7 hours later when I looked down in horror at my cell phone; 18 missed phone calls. I check my email and noticed among the trashy spam a sickening trail of "where are you?" emails. The emails and phone messages start off with an encouraging "I hope all is A-OK with the presentation" from my boss, continue with a "Call me when you get a chance", go on to "did you change the meeting time with the client?", and then "Where are you?" and "Are you OK?!", and "If you are in trouble then OK, but if you are OK then you are in trouble!!!". Some more messages from my wife and co-workers trying to track me down. Unbeknownst to all of them, I was not far from where I was supposed to be.

 

I looked around in the shell of the building where I had been holed up and noticed that some other nefarious characters had joined me in my presumed solitude. The snickers on their faces indicated that they had been peering over my shoulder at my indiscretions. I recognized my nemesis and some of his cohorts but he did not look so scary anymore. In the dim light he even looked vaguely familiar. He looked shockingly like me.

 

Before I could react, a bright light was shone into the dark cavernous room where we had been holed up. My nemesis and his cohorts scrambled to escape the bright light. Men in black suits of armor charged into the mayhem. Some of the miscreants went down without a fight, others struggled futilely until they were subdued. I looked on with a sense of detachment, pleased at the triumph of the approaching forces. That was until I was caught up in the assault. Gruff hands threw me to the ground. I tried to protest but a knee in my back and the awkward position of my arm behind my back precluded any physical resistance. I shouted that I was not with them and not part of their anti-social behavior. I reached for my laptop with my free hand to show them that I was a fine upstanding businessman. The officer kicked the computer out of my reach as he told me, "Go tell it to the judge!".

 

A crowd of onlookers gathered at the perimeter of the police line surrounding the incident area. They looked disparagingly at the motley crew of misfits being hauled up from the bowels of the construction site. The glare of headlights and rotating strobes merged with the flashes of camera crews covering the incident. I blinked and shielded my eyes from the blinding assault on my vision. "Is that you?!" a voice shouted at me from the behind the cordon. It was my boss and I wished to avoid him more than anyone else. The cameras had already captured my identity and were rapidly if not instantly transmitting it to their news desks.

 

My boss reached over the lines and grabbed me by the lapel of my now rumpled suit and begged me to explain. I had no explanation for him or anyone else. The presentation I had invested so much time and energy into was ancient history. The clients had decided to give a multi-year contract to our competitor for his inferior product. There would be cutbacks at our place if not a shutdown, because of my failure. The financial repercussions in each of the homes to be affected were beyond comprehension.

 

I noticed my wife standing off to the side, holding her coat closed, hugging herself as if for warmth, though it was not a particularly cold evening. She looked tired and worn but still exuded that stubborn strength that I always admired. The thought of losing her as well was more than I could bear.

 

I could see the news reporters having a field day with the story - "Frum Guy found in the depths of decadent depravity". People who knew me and used to respect me would cringe at their memories of me. Thousands of others would use the story to concretize their self-serving negative bias against frum people. My children would be embarrassed to show their faces in school or around the neighborhood. I could only imagine the taunts that they would receive. My wife would be assaulted with feelings of insecurity and anxiety. The Chillul Hashem would be of biblical proportions. I could not imagine facing Hashem in tefilla ever again.

 

My despondent thoughts were interrupted by the words of the incident commander who addressed me sternly. "This time, we weren't looking for you! We found the pervert we were looking for! - You are free to go." I surprised myself at my lack of enthusiasm for the reprieve. I was half hoping for some brutal punishment as penance to help settle the score.

 

I gathered up my computer, knowing that it secrets had been laid bare to the officers in charge. I shuffled out of the huddle of brawny special tactics officers towards the perimeter tape. I bent down low to get under it. As I stood up, the tape knocked the yarmulke off of my head.  I bent down and put it back on, squared my shoulders and walked off.

 

How does the story continue?

 

That is up to you.

1068.
Monday ~ 15 Av, 5771 ~ August 15, 2011
Tu Be'Av 

In Today's Issue 

  • Announcement: Elya's Call Tonight: Is Sobriety Enough?
     
  • Tu be'Av: A Time for Love  
     
  • Parables, Attitude: An Important Letter for Every Jew  

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Announcement   

  

Elya invites everyone to his weekly phone group tonight at  

9:00 p.m. EST on the topic:

 

"Is Sobriety Enough?" 

 

712-429-0690    PIN  225356

 

Click here for more info on Elya's Call

 

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Category: Tu Be'Av

 

A TIME FOR LOVE

 

By Yitzchak

 

Today is the 15th day of the month of Av [Tu B'Av]...This day is an auspicious day for love-especially the love between a man and his wife....this was the day that the tribes of Israel were allowed to marry with the members of the tribe of Benjamin after a ban previous to this date....this is the day that is traditionally set aside for engagements and weddings in days of old as well as in contemporary times ...

 

We learned from last week's Parsha-Vaetchanan (your Bar Mitzva parsha), with regard to the Mitzvah of Loving Hashem, that the essence of the obligation to love Hashem , is not the actual feeling of love [that is a gift from Above], but rather the effort invested in opening up our heart to love and experience the love [see the Ohr HaChaim on the Parsha for an elaboration of this point]...The same can be said for the love between a couple ... the real challenge and effort involved is to open the heart to love one another....

 

A few years ago, I created a series of marriage meditations based on the teachings of our Sages....Looking back on these meditations, I see that their common essential point was to provide meditative methods for opening the heart to love..... Click here to download these meditations which can assist us to realize the goal of opening our hearts to love-the energy of the day and the challenge of our lives ...

 

These are the teaching's methods or awareness for opening our heart's to love each other;

 

1. being aware that 'ME" perception becomes 'WE" perception

 

2. being aware that we should see each other as being a king and queen

 

3. being aware that marriage is forever

 

4. being aware that Gd is a couple's lifelong matchmaker

 

5. being aware that giving creates love

 

6. being aware of our aloneness together with our togetherness

 

7. being aware of the importance of maintaining faithfulness and stability

 

8. being aware that what's good for you is good for me

 

9. being aware that two separate people become one

 

10. being aware of how to cope together with life's constant challenges

 

11. being aware of the holiness of our Union

 

12. being aware of the quality of our communication

 

13. being aware of the importance of harmony and peace of our relationship.

 

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Category: Parables, Attitude  

  

AN IMPORTANT LETTER FOR EVERY JEW


To my star pupil,

I am writing this letter to let you know what I think of you. Up here in heaven things are not like they are down on Earth. Over there, people only know what they can see. If they see a person is "successful", they think that he is the greatest guy. When they see somebody struggling, they think he might be one of the weaker elements.

Let me tell you something. Hashem gives every person certain abilities that nobody knows about down where you live. Some people are capable of tremendous things, while others were put there for much smaller purposes. Only Hashem in His infinite wisdom is able to give every person exactly what he needs, to reach his potential.

I am very misunderstood. Most people hate me, and I don't really blame them. Most people think that my job is to make sure that they fail in all aspects of Mitzvos, and that I rejoice every time they sin. This is the furthest thing from the truth. Did you ever watch a boxing coach train his student? It is really a funny sight. The coach will put on gloves, and fight against his student. At first, he won't hit him so hard, or throw his best punches. But, as the student gets better and better, the coach will start to fight him harder and harder. He does this so that the student will improve his skills, and become the best boxer he can be. This is where it gets strange. Every time the coach knocks down the student, the student gets yelled at!! But finally, when the coach threw everything he has at his student, and not only does he withstand the beating, but he knocks the coach down, there is nobody in the world happier then the coach himself!

This is exactly how I feel. If you fail right away, and don't even try to fight back, I see that there is not much talent to work with, and so I take it easy on you. But if you get back up swinging, I realize that I may have a real winner here, and so I start to intensify the beating. With every level that you go up, I increase the intensity of the fight. If you finally deal me a blow that knocks me out, I will get up and embrace you and rejoice with your success.

Sometimes my job is very disappointing I see a person with a lot of potential and I start right in on him. He fights back for a while, but when the fight gets too tough, he quits and just remains on whatever level he was on. (And he usually ends up going down!) I feel like yelling at him, "Get up you fool! Do you have any idea how much more you could be accomplishing?!" But I am not allowed to do so. I just leave him alone, and go try to find another promising candidate.

If I have chosen you to be the target of my more fierce battles, it was not for no reason! You have tremendous ability! You were born into a very special family, you have Rabbeim who really care about you, and parents who would help you grow in Torah and Mitzvos. You are a very respectful and kind person.

I am writing to you now, because I have a very serious request to ask of you. Please don't step fighting! Don't give up! I have been beating too many people lately, and I am losing patience, Believe in yourself, because I would not be involved with you as much as I am if I didn't think you could beat me. Know what your strengths are! A great Rabbi once said: "Woe is to he who doesn't know his weaknesses. But, 'Oy Vavoy' to him who doesn't know his strengths - for he will not have anything with which to fight."

Always remember one thing: you have a secret weapon at your disposal. I shouldn't really be telling you - but I will anyway. Hashem himself is watching our "training" sessions very closely. I'm pleased to inform you that He's rooting for you! If things should ever get tough, almost too tough to bear, just callout to Him with a prayer, and He will immediately come to your aid. I wish you the best of luck, and I hope that after 120 years when your time is up in that world of falsehood, you will come up here to the world of truth, where I will be waiting for you with open arms, to congratulate you on your victory, and personally escort you to your place next to the Kisey HaKavod.

Sincerely, and with great admiration I remain,
Your Yetzer Hara 

 

1069.
Monday ~ 29 Av, 5771 ~ August 29, 2011 

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Turning Our Whole Lives Over To Hashem

 

With Rosh Chodesh Elul coming tonight, are we sighing and asking ourselves "will my Teshuvah be any different this year?"  

 

Here are ten life-changing minutes from Rav Avraham Schorr shlit"a on teshuva mei'ahava. You can hear it at this link (go to time index 20:30 - 30:50).  

 

We'd like to thank an anonymous member for sending it to us and transcribing / adapting his words (below). He wrote: "I felt like he was talking directly to us at GuardUrEyes." 

 

(Click here to see a Haskama from Rav Avraham Schorr to GYE.)   

 

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"One thing I've asked from Hashem, that I dwell in the house of Hashem all the days of my life..."  -Psalm 27

 

"All the days of my life" doesn't mean from now until I go away from this world. It means from the day I was born until the day I pass away from this world.

 

What kind of request is this?! If I didn't sit in the beis medrash for the last twenty years, then how can I request from the Master of the Universe to dwell in the house of Hashem all the days of my life?

 

What is the request of "all the days of my life?"

 

The biggest disturbance for a person to do teshuva is one of two things.... either the past, or the future.

 

Reb Nachman Breslover says in Likkutei Moharan that the reason why עתּה (now) is a language of teshuva is because a person can't do teshuva if he thinks about the past or if he thinks about the future. 

 

If a person thinks about the past and sees what he did in the past, and the evil inclination reminds him how his nights were spent, his past thoughts and actions, he thinks he can't do teshuva, the mountain is much too big. 

 

He thinks he doesn't have any hope for the future. 

 

And if a person is only twenty years old, and he has to accept upon himself fifty, sixty, and seventy years of being good, 'how can I take upon myself such a big job?!'

 

So עתּה (now) is a language of teshuva: The power of teshuva is only thinking about the present moment!!!

 

Don't worry about yesterday, don't worry about tomorrow, NOW do the Master of the Universe's will! 

 

That's the power of teshuva.

 

How Does it Work?

 

How do we ask the Master of the Universe, "One thing I asked of Hashem...[all the days of my life? What happened in the past, happened!]"  

  

It says further at the end of Psalm 27, "For there have risen against me false witnesses who breathe violence."

 

There's an incredible piece from the Chasam Sofer, and we have to be "believers, and the children of believers" in the words of the Chasam Sofer, and believe it with complete faith.

 

You'll come up to the Next World, and there'll come witnesses. The Sitra Achra, the Satan, the Angel of Death will come with two witnesses that you went on this and this night and did this and this sin, Heaven forbid. They'll come and testify that you did this sin.

 

Comes the Master of the Universe saying that the Yid did teshuva from love! He never went there, he went to the beis medrash that night! Because teshuva from love transforms sins into veritable merits! All the nights that you went and did something wrong suddenly became a trip to the beis medrash! It became a mitzva!

 

"For there have risen against me false witnesses"- says the holy Chasam Sofer, they'll say testimony you did a sin -  but it's FALSE! Because you did teshuva.

 

If you do teshuva with truth, then indeed you "dwell in the house of Hashem all the days of your life." Even all the past (sinful) days became "dwelling in the house of Hashem." 

 

And there's no problem for the future, because all you have to do is an emes'dike (truthful) teshuva from love to the Master of the Universe.   

 

How Can I do Teshuva Me'Aahaava?   

 

What does teshuva from love mean? 

 

We look at teshuva me'ahava like something we cannot grasp. 

 

As if it's beyond our capabilities.

 

You know what teshuva from love means?

 

The holy books explain what teshuva from love means - and every single one of us can do this teshuva - when a person commits sins, it holds him back from coming close to the Master of the Universe.

 

We all know that our sins make a barrier between us and the Master of the Universe.

 

Teshuva from love means that I want to get close to the Master of the Universe.

 

I want to have love of Hashem, love of the Master of the Universe. I can't, because the sins don't let me, so I want to do teshuva in order to get love of Hashem. 

 

It doesn't mean teshuva becausehave love of Hashem, it means teshuva because I want to become a lover of Hashem! 

 

And I know that all this time I'm committing sins I can't be a lover of Hashem, because the sins don't let me have true love of Hashem.

 

So I want to do teshuva to become a lover of Hashem, in fulfillment of "you shall love Hashem your G-d with all your heart, soul and resources." 

 

That's teshuva from love. 

 

And if that's what brings a person to teshuva, which Yid doesn't want to cleave to the Master of the Universe?

 

Which Yid doesn't have the will to cleave unto Hashem?

 

Every Yid wants to be close to the Master of the Universe!

 

I don't mean by writing a bumper sticker: "We love Hashem." 

 

By that we don't fulfill love of Hashem. That's not what love of Hashem means.  

 

Love of Hashem means you REALLY want love of Hashem. And if you want to really have love of Hashem, you know that our lifestyle in this world prevents love of Hashem.

 

So a person does teshuva because he wants to become a lover of Hashem, that's how he merits: "One thing I have asked of Hashem". That's what you're asking for, "to dwell in the house of Hashem all my days!"  

 

From the day I was born I can be a "dweller in the house of Hashem."

 

How? I'll do teshuva from love.

 

It turns over everything!

 

EVERYTHING becomes "dwelling in the house of Hashem."

 

Can you imagine what that means?

 

You know what the evil inclination tells us? We can't get there. It's impossible for us to do. You're a lost case anyway. You can't do teshuva. 

 

It's not true, but that's what the evil inclination tells you.

 

The truth is, that the Master of the Universe holds forth His hand to accept penitents, making it so we could do teshuva, accepting our teshuva, taking our teshuva. We have the ability to completely change our lives!

 

The whole past becomes mitzvos! A gift from the Master of the Universe!

 

If you realize what it means, teshuva from love, your sins becoming veritable merits, believing it with complete faith, that every sin you did becomes a mitzva!

 

There was a Yid called Reb Chaim Dovid "Doctor". He was a big baal-teshuva. 

 

If one reads history of the Austrian Empire, approximately 180-200 years ago, there was a big doctor of the army, he wrote prescriptions, they still have his prescriptions. 

 

He became a baal-teshuva. Reb Dovid Lelover brought him close in teshuva. 

 

At the end of his days, the holy Tiferes Shlomo (Rabbi Shlomo Rabinovich of Radomsk) went to pay him a sick visit.

 

The Tiferes Shlomo was standing by his bed, and Reb Chaim Dovid was sighing.

 

The Tiferes Shlomo wanted to comfort him: "Your earlier (pre-teshuva) years fall away," thinking the patient was sighing on the days he did sins and wasn't a frum Yid, employing language used by a nazirite to comfort him. 

 

(The patient) gave a jump up in bed and said, "I don't give away one sin... because the sins became merits."

 

I heard from the holy Beis Yisroel (Rabbi Yisroel Alter of Gur), may the memory of the righteous and holy be for a blessing, it says in Parshas Ki-Seitzei, "You shall not reject an Edomite, for he is your brother" (Deut. 23:8), interpreting the word "Edomite" (a connotation of redness) to refer to one's past sins. Don't minimize them, you know why? For they are "your brother - כּי אחיך", an acronym for the verse in Isaiah 1:18:  "אם יהיו חטאיכם כּשנים כּשלג ילבּינו - If your sins are like scarlet they will become white as snow." 

 

Your sins can come back to be white like snow! Can come to be mitzvos!

 

"Don't reject the Edomite (your sins), for it is your brother." ..."If your sins are like scarlet they will become white as snow."

 

That's the power of teshuva. The power of teshuva is to turn over over sin into a mitzva. 

 

If a person believes that with complete faith, truthfully believing in the words of the Sages, that teshuva from love turns sins into veritable merits, who would give up such a chance?!  

 

We all know what we did. We all know the sins that we have. 

 

And we can suddenly take that and bring it back. We can make that all mitzvos, who wouldn't want to cash in on such a thing?!

 

When the government says, you can throw in your (guns?) and cash it in, everybody runs. 

 

The Master of the Universe is telling you, "Give me your sins and I will give you back mitzvos!"

 

How can you give up such a gift from the Master of the Universe?

 

That's what we have to believe.

 

That's the teitch of "One thing I've asked from Hashem," with one teshuva from love, with one emes-dike (truthful) teshuva, I can thereby "dwell in the house of Hashem all the days of my life!"

 

The Panim Yafos (Rabbi Pinchas HaLevi Horowitz) explains the verse in Psalm 25, "Remember not the sins of my youth and my rebellions; may You remember for me [the deeds] worthy of Your kindness, because of Your goodness, Hashem."

 

King David says not to remember the sins, because of Hashem's kindness. Says the Panim Yafos, on "Your kindness" - when it will be teshuva from love, then DO remember my sins. When I do teshuva from love, then I DO want You to remember my sins, because I want that the sins should become mitzvos.

 

That's what we have to remember.

 

We have to remember the power of teshuva from love.

 

That we have the ability to do teshuva from love.

 

Don't think it's just something for the level of tzaddikim.

 

In our generation the Master of the Universe accepts teshuva from love, meaning when we feel distant from Him and want to become close to him.

 

We all have the ability to do such a teshuva, so why don't we cash in?

 

The answer is that something is missing in our belief. 

 

For some reason or another we don't believe that it can happen. 

 

It's beyond our belief that all my sins can become mitzvos.

 

We have to talk about it and talk about it until we believe it! 

 

That in truth, teshuva from love turns our sins into veritable merits!

 

That when we merit to do teshuva from love, we bring all the sins back and they become mitzvos, and we'll be able to go into the Day of Judgement with only mitzvos!

1070.
Wednesday ~ 1 Elul, 5771 ~ September 1, 2011
Rosh Chodesh Elul 

In Today's Issue 

  • Download: Life Changing Message from Rav Avrohom Schorr Shlit"a   
  • Tips: The 3rd Look Tip 
  • Daily Dose of Dov: Obsessed with getting a Lamborghini?  

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Download this Life-Changing Message 

 

    

The 10 minute drasha on Teshuvah Me'Ahava that we brought in Chizuk e-mail #1069 from Rav Avraham Shcorr Shlit"a, can be downloaded over here (right click and choose "Save Target/Link As").

 

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Category: Tips    

 

The 3rd Look Tip

 

A member wrote in recently:

 

"The practical tip you brought on GYE's B-day (22 Tamuz) in Chizuk e-mail #1065 has been extremely helpful to me in the past month, and I think you should stress it more - especially for Chodesh Elul. I've always wanted to learn to guard my eyes, but it's so easy to slip and I used to have a mental block that seemed to compel me to look. But with this Kabala, I have found that the mental block disappears and it's so much easier to guard my eyes. Thank you!"

 

Since this tip seems to really help people, we'll officially name it "The 3rd Look Tip" and here's how it works:

 

"The first look's on G-d, the second on me, and the third on GYE!"

 

Here's an example of the 3rd look tip Kabbala you can make today, Lechavod Rosh Chodesh Elul:

 

"I am mikabel upon myself until after Yom Kippur to donate $2 to GYE for every time I obsess over something that is arousing to me by taking a second and third look in any 15 second time-frame, or if I gaze at something arousing to me for more than 15 seconds in any given minute's time. (If I looked while forgetting that I made this Kabbala, I will not have to pay)."

 

Keep a little notebook in your pocket, and mark down each time you slip.

 

Why does this work? Often we stumble in shmiras ainayim because at the moment we are faced with a nisayon, the Yetzer hara makes us forget all the consequences and we figure it can't really hurt to take a second look. He actually makes us feel that it's in our best interest to look! And by the time we convince ourselves that it's really NOT in our best interest, we already stumbled and saw what we shouldn't have. With this Kabala however, we will be instantly aware of the consequence of looking and we'll be able to avert our gaze much quicker.  

 

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Daily Dose of Dov

Dov is sober in SA for 14 years. See his story here.

  

Obsessed with getting a Lamborghini?

 

Someone asks Dov:

 

What does it mean "giving up your right to lust"? How is that different than the concept of not taking the first drink? 

 

Dov responds:

 

My sponsor used to use that lingo a lot and SA's White Book has it somewhere, too. I use it because, to me, it means that my biggest problem is when I think I can afford to partake of lusting (and eventually also  other things like feeling sorry for myself, burning jealousy, resentment, etc.)

It's kind of like not having money to spend on some basics, yet struggling with a strong desire for a huge house, fancy car, etc. It really only drives me crazy as long as I am harboring a secret fantasy that I actually ought to be able to spend such moneys - so it feels deeply unfair. "Look what everybody else can have!"

The guy who wants a nicer car might have jealousy and longing that hurt terribly and make it impossible for him to let go of his obsession with that pretty Pontiac. He may even start to hate other people with nicer cars, and feel sorry for himself with his embarrassing 1997 Malibu. But who among us is obsessed with getting a new Bentley or Lamborghini? They are completely out of our league. We do not take the desire that seriously enough for it to have a real emotional impact on our lives. And even if we do desire it, it does not become an obsession with us, because we are aware that we cannot afford it - it's nuts. That is, we surrender our right to have it because of reality. 


The chains of imagined entitlements fester in us for years while our resentment to G-d and feelings of inferiority and arrogance become so intertwined with our lusting (for sex, or even for other stuff), that they are indistinguishable to us! So when we lust or act out, we often find that we also have lots of emotional pain. We may blame it on the evil of our lusting. We may co-incidentally feel we are worthless garbage, G-d must hate us, or get fired up at others for all sorts of things or people (makes no difference whether for valid reasons or not). We have had many fights as a result of our lusting, and gotten wrapped up in lust as a result of many fights. Chicken-egg, egg-chicken....even the Colonel couldn't figure it out!  It's a mevuchah. And then there are the other people faced with us - our wives, children, coworkers, friends, etc. They need to actually live with us whether we are having attacks, or not. Poor folks. 

On the other hand, once we give up on our ability to afford such things in the first place, the landscape is changed. We forfeit our perceived right to have such things. Sure, all our problems don't go away - but instead of painful confusing feelings intermingled with lust, our lust problems tend to be just what they are: lust. It's a different battle now. Instead of being waged in a fight to the death with 'desire' (poor me/tzaddik me/gibor me...), rather, it is clearly a struggle to the death between me and a lunatic (my goofy body and addiction). A lunatic, that's all. 

That's why psychoanalyzing our lust, relating it to abuse and other trauma, is basically blaming. It makes the lusting 'respectable', for it is in response to something. Most people I know are not helped much by that stuff. Sure abuse needs to be faced (with good help), but our lusting is still just plain old lust. It's unacceptable lunacy - unless one sincerely believes he or she can afford it. I am not addressing such a case, though there are surely many people who believe they can afford to keep using lust (and that's why they do!).

If we really believe that we do not have the ability to afford to take in a porn image or to get what we would like to get from taking-in that lady's great body image, then we will be able to ask Hashem to save us from the compulsion (and from the devastating pain we have after passing up the sweet opportunity). If we still believe we have the right to try to get those things we admire so much (nice body, etc.), we will feel sorry for ourselves and be confused about why Hashem isn't giving us what is clearly a very nice thing.

Is that clear yet? It's not the entire solution, but certainly a very big part of it. 

Your friend Dov

1071.
Friday ~ 3 Elul, 5771 ~ September 2, 2011
Erev Shabbos Parshas Mishpatim 

In Today's Issue 

  • Announcement: Shmiras Ainayim Shiurim from August
  • Mazal Tov Jack: 3 Years Clean on GYE 
  • Tips > Filters: A Useful Password Tool 

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Announcement

 

A Zip file of the daily "Shmiras Einayim" Shiurim of August (22 shiurim) is available here.

(right-click and select "Save Target/Link As") 

   

The popular Shmiras Ainayim Shiur takes place Sun-Thursday, 4:45 PM. Join us!

 

See this page for more information 

 

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Mazal Tov to Jack on 3 Years!

 

(See a timeline of Jack's first 90 days clean over here)

 

Words of inspiration from Jack on his 3rd Year clean on GYE:

   

This Friday is my 3 year anniversary with GYE. It's sort of a yahrtzeit - that's right, part of me died, a big part of the Yetzer Hara died.  

 

Anniversaries are for looking back and seeing if we've moved forward. And I certainly have cut out a big part (not all, yet) of trash.

 

I would like to give you my observations that I've made over the last 3 years, in case anyone's interested:

 

All the books about this are important - but it's not enough to read. Even the group support, which is THE most important tool in battles against addiction, is not enough. When all is said and done and we go home, we are by ourselves. The meetings are over, all the books have been read and re-read, and we still are by ourselves when night comes. That's when the REAL battle begins. And at that point, we have to 'white knuckle' it. Yes, brute force is needed. Even if you call your sponsor, you eventually hang up, and that's when you have to take the bull by the horns and ask yourself the following questions:

 

1 - Do I want to go into that vicious cycle again? Up, down, up, down, etc???

 

2 - Do I want to have that image from the screen in my head for the next 3 months or more?

 

3 - Do I want to have those images from the screen in my head during tekias shofar??

 

4 - Do I want to be chained to something bad??

 

5 - Do I want to feel guilty again for doing what I know is wrong??

 

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you need more work. Because no one should ever answer 'yes' to any of these questions. If you answered no, then now is the time to bite the bullet, and granted, it's not easy to bite a bullet.

 

ADDICTION IS DARKNESS. FREEDOM FROM ADDICTION IS LIGHT.


ADDICTION IS UGLY. FREEDOM FROM ADDICTION IS BEAUTIFUL.

 

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Join Jack now in Elul and take the plunge. Resolve to make it into the Yamim Nora'im with a big clean streak. Help others so that your merit will grant you siyatta dishmaya, mida kineged midah.

See this thread on our forum:

 

The $90 for 90 days Golden Plan

 

Make the commitment. Take the Jump!
 

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Category: Tips > Filters

   

A Useful Password Tool 

 

By "Chaim K"

   

Download the .Cab file here, unzip it into a folder and run the "Tafsik Please.exe" 

 

This is simple tool I developed to make breaking into your filter a bit harder.

 

If a person really wants to break into a filter he can. This tool is for a person that wants to leave all this behind but falls due to momentary temptation.

 

It can be difficult to have access to your filter's password and in a moment of weakness use it to break into the filter. It might be of help if at any given time, you would have time to think hard, before punching in your filter's password. At the same time not having access to the password at all can pose a problem.

 

This app will generate a password for you. Once generated, you paste and set it as your filter's password. Once your password is stored, make sure you do not write it down; it is safely stored away. There is no need to look at or store your password at all.

 

That you do not know your filter's password does not mean it is locked down forever. You can gain access to your password but you must make a request for it and wait 72 hours before it will be made available. In 72 hours I believe you will have made up your mind whether or not you really need that password. You can decide to cancel the request whenever you like (which will reset the timer). This is not based on your system's clock.

 

Feel free to use this app; it is free.

 

I made it for myself and I hope it can help others. I included a donate button for those who wish do so.

 

Best of luck to you!!!

 

Note from GYE: This app can only be used for one password at a time. Once you generate a new password, the old one is erased. 

 

 

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Free Books 

 

An anonymous donor (Yitzi) is willing to sponsor the following four books for anyone who does not have them (and commits to reading them bl"n).

 

1. The 'Guard Your Eyes' Hand Book- From GYE, containing 20 practical tools in progressive order, on how to break free of these addictive behaviors, as well as 30 Attitude and Perspective Principles on this struggle.


2. The Light of Ephraim - A book in story format, with great lessons and perspective on purity struggles.


3. Windows of the Soul - A 30 day program on learning how to guard our eyes.


4. Garden of Emmunah - An amazing book on Emunah which is very appropriate for this struggle.

 

Send Yitzi an e-mail to yitzi.26@gmail.com requesting the book/s you want to read along with your address, and he will bl"n send you hard-copies by mail.

 

1072.
Friday ~ 25 Elul, 5771 ~ September 23, 2011
Erev Shabbos Parshas Nitzavim Va'Yeilech  

In Today's Issue 

  • Link of the Day: Is Israel on the Brink of War? 
  • Parables: Time is Ticking Down  
  • Torah Thoughts: It's all with plan and purpose  

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Link of the Day

 

Is Israel on the Brink of War?

 

By "Steve"

 

How would we all behave if we knew this was REALLY happening? If we knew the war of Gog U'Magog was about to start, if we knew Moshiach was REALLY coming this year?  

 

Would business continue as usual? Would we just keep working ONLY on our program of recovery?

 

Or would we wake up and make the REAL priorities count?

 

Please read this link (click title above) from Rabbi Brody, whom we all respect so much. And think about it. What can I do to change, Today?

 

Avoid the Yom Kippur Rush. Do Teshuvah Now! :-)

 

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Category: Parables 

   

Time is Ticking Down

 

From Rabbi Moss

To subscribe for weekly email: rabbimoss@nefesh.com.au

 

New York is famous for its swarms of pedestrians crossing the street, often ignoring the lights and oblivious to oncoming cars. Not only will people start crossing when the lights are already flashing red, but even when the red hand stops flashing and sternly warns them to stop, they will start dashing across en masse, blocking traffic and risking their own lives.

 

So the City of New York is trying a new antidote to kamikaze crossers. At certain busy intersections when the light starts to flash red, at the same time a number is displayed right next to the red light, counting down the seconds that remain before the cars will get their green light. The crossers now know exactly how long they have to .make a dash.

 

It seems to work. Tension is built by this dramatic count down. You feel as if you are passing over the track of a grand prix just before the starter shoots the gun, or walking the streets of Spain moments before the bulls are about to be released.  If you see you have three seconds to cross a wide street, you may think twice before making a suicidal dash.

 

The funny thing is, this system is not so different to the usual way traffic signals work. You always get a warning when the light flashes red. The difference is, here you know exactly how long you have. Every second is accounted for.

 

How different would we live our lives if we knew exactly how long we have? How much more urgently would we rush to do good if we could actually see the seconds ticking away? How much less time would we waste on foolishness if we could see that every moment is numbered? Moses said it like this: "Teach us to number our days, so that we may acquire a heart of wisdom." (Psalms 90:12)

 

We have entered the last week of the Jewish year. Next week is Rosh Hashanah. A year gone by, another one about to arrive. The clock is ticking away. We have far to go, and precious little time to get there. Maybe now is a good time to start taking life a little seriously...

 

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Category: Torah Thoughts  

   

It's all with plan and purpose

 

From Rabbi Avigdor Miller - SimchasHachaim.com

 

After the eigel hazahav (Golden Calf), everyone was downcast because they had lost favor in the eyes of Hashem. The general mood was repentance, remorse, and humility. Yet at that time Moshe Rabbeinu put in some of his greatest requests that he ever made of Hashem.

 

It's remarkable that these great entreaties of his were not made at a more auspicious time, when they were in favor with Hashem. He could have made them at the receiving of the Torah, when Hashem was so pleased with His people. At that time Moshe Rabbeinu should have put in a request. 

 

But the Chovos Halevavos teaches us that sometimes a sin can help a man become better than a mitzvah. And he explains if somebody because of virtuous deeds, maasim tovim, begins to feel a certain pride, he becomes somewhat puffed up, then he loses status with Hashem because he is now being bereft of that grand quality of humility. 

 

Humility is one of the most glorious attributes of mankind. But if, because of your righteous behavior, you are impelled to lose some of your humility, it doesn't pay. And therefore in some cases, he says, a good deed can do a man harm and a sin sometimes can do him great benefit. 

 

If he feels so downcast because of his sin, he's so disheartened and he despises himself because of what he did, and he is contrite and he comes with humbleness before Hashem, that is an achievement that can outweigh by far any harm he did by his sin. 

 

(Now don't go doing sins in the hope that you'll become humble. Try to become humble while you're becoming a big lamdan (scholar) or while you're making a lot of money. When you are riding on the wave of hatzlacha (success), that's the time you should be humble.) (Tape 579)

1073. ?
1074.
Wednesday ~ 29 Elul, 5771 ~ September 28, 2011  
Erev Rosh Hashana 5752 

In Today's Issue 

  • Our Yearly Appeal: A Tremendous Merit for Yom Hadin! 
  • Torah Thoughts: Mahogany Man - Rabbi Avigdor Miller on Teshuvah 
  • Torah Thoughts, 12-Steps: What is the real Avodah of Rosh Hashana? 

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Our Yearly Appeal:

A Tremendous Merit for Yom-Hadin!

 

Dear members,

 

GuardYourEyes makes a once-a-year appeal between Rosh Hashana and Yom-Kippur, during this most auspicious time of Teshuvah and Tzedaka.

 

Can there be a greater zechus than to enter into the Yimei Hadin with the merit of being a partner in enabling thousands of other Jews to do Teshuvah?

 

Midah Kineged Midah - if we are doing our best to help others who struggle, Hashem will look favorably upon our Teshuvah efforts and help us too!

 

Guard Your Eyes is currently undergoing a complete overhaul. We are advancing nicely with our new web development. You can see a screenshot of our new website over here.

 

We are also expanding our network to include a whole new website for "Prevention" which will be made up of 3 parts:

1)     The GYE Filter Division (click here for screenshot)

2)     Guard Your Eyes (click here for screenshot)

3)     For Parents & Mechanchim (click here for screenshot)

 

At the same time, our network is being developed in Yiddish and in Hebrew as well (click here for screenshot of Hebrew site).

 

However, after 5 trips to abroad in the span of one year's time, we still have not raised the money we need to redo the websites in English, Hebrew & Yiddish.

 

Due to the urgency and gravity of the need, we are hoping to take a 100K loan so we can focus on finally finishing the 3 networks without having to divert our attention to planning another fundraising trip. It should take about 3 months to complete.

 

In this year's campaign, our goal is to hopefully get the community's help in covering half the loan.... $50,000.

 

You can donate generous amounts more manageably by using the monthly payment options on our new donation page. (If you have trouble using our donation page, please e-mail us your credit-card number and expiration date. We don't need a real name). For example, you can donate the generous amount of $1200, yet pay only $100 for 12 months. (See bottom of this page for more donation options).     

 

Please help us reach our goal!  

 

Click here to see a powerful 15 minute video about the work of GuardYourEyes, with excerpts from the talks of Chaim Dovid Zwiebel, Rav Aharon Feldman, Rabbi/Dr. Avraham J. Twerski and Shalom's personal story.

 

Please see our expansion proposal over here (right-click and choose "save target/link as" to download it to your computer).

 

With your help we can change the world.

Purchase a true advocate for Yom Hadin!

 

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Category: Torah Thoughts > Rosh Hashana   

Mahogany Man

A Moment with Rabbi Avigdor Miller Z"L #103

 

QUESTION:

Shouldn't proper Teshuva erase the wrong impressions on one's mind?

 

ANSWER:

 

I have to tell you what the Kuzari says someplace else, he says you'll never erase. You can never erase any impression on your mind. And even if you'll repent, he said, you heard, let's say, love songs in your youth, and now you have outgrown these things; you ridicule it. You cannot erase them from your mind, that's what he says. However, a note of consolation which he doesn't say, but we'll add it anyhow.

 

Let's say somebody was given a mahogany table, and he didn't realize the value of this piece of furniture, and he was careless, and he even allowed it to be scratched. Now, a deep scratch in mahogany you cannot undo. You can't take off that deep scratch. A shallow scratch you can varnish over, a deep scratch is going to be there. So even though you'll varnish it and it will glisten more than before, you'll take it to a master furniture craftsman, but a deep scratch, there'll always be a depression in the wood, you can't change it.

 

What can you do? If you'll be prosperous enough to buy an expensive gold plate that will cover the entire table, then it becomes a more beautiful object than before, and the scratch you won't notice. It's there however, that depression is still there. So you do Teshuva, you're covering with gold the surface that had been marred. Of course it would have been better if he had never marred the surface, but if you overlay it with gold, it's like the Shulchan. The Shulchan was made of expensive wood but on top of the wood it was a covering of gold.

 

So that's what a Baal Teshuva is, he's covered with gold and he is better than he was before. He is better than an ordinary mahogany man. A mahogany Jew, just an ordinary Frum Jew who never did any big sins, but he didn't overlay it with gold! A Baal Teshuva overlaid it with gold, he's more precious.

 

Click here to subscribe to an e-mail list of sayings from Rav Avigdor Miller.

 

 

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Category: Torah Thoughts > Rosh Hashana, 12-Step   

 

What is the real Avodah of Rosh Hashana?

 

By Steve, moderator of the

morning 12-Step phone conference

 

My Dear Beloved Chevra,

 

I've been hearing so much this week from Drashos, Divrei Torah, Kesuvim, you name it, all giving the same message:

 

On Yom Kippur we ask for forgiveness, but on Rosh Hashana we don't. Why is it that we will be standing before the King of Kings on Rosh Hashanah, the Yom HaDin, the Books of Chayim and the opposite are open, and we don't ask for forgiveness?! Many do not even make personal bakoshos in their Shemoneh Esrei!! Isn't NOW my greatest chance? IF NOT NOW, WHEN?!! 

 

Chazal have taught us that Rosh Hashanah is NOT for that. Erev Rosh Hashanah we can add all personal tefillos we want. But our PURPOSE and AVODAH on Rosh Hashanah is... *Drum Roll Please*... 

 

TO MAKE HASHEM OUR KING.

 

I thought I knew that already. But I didn't really know what that meant until I became a member of this chevra, and began to practice living by spiritual principles. And the drashos from traditional Torah sources all said it, practically the same as we've read it in the 12-Step program:

 

Making Hashem my King means TO LET GO ABSOLUTELY, TO "LET GO AND LET G-D", to abandon myself and my self will COMPLETELY to His judgment, His Outcomes. To "Give Him ALL of me, the Good and the Bad.  To recognize that I have no real merit, and all I can depend on is HIS compassion. 

 

And yet, FAITH brings COURAGE, and with Emunah and trust in His Love for me, my FEAR of deserving retribution can leave me and be replaced by sincere AWE and LOVE for my Creator who guides me and keeps me alive for His purpose.

 

Chevra, life is always about PROGRESS, not perfection. And so, as we all stand separately and together before Hashem, REMEMBER that you are PART of GYE. Part of a Legion of Hashem's Soldiers, trying to build a new relationship with Him, and to discover and REMOVE the obstacles in our path. Take COURAGE and STRENGTH from the efforts you have made toward cleanliness this past year. We have ALL grown and given to each other SO MUCH!! No matter where we are holding in our path of Recovery, the IKKAR is we must know that HE LOVES US and desires to be close and connected with each of us.

 

L'Shanah Tovah Tikaseiv V'Seichaseim - L'Alter, L'Chaim Tovim, Ul'Shalom!!

1075.

In Today's Issue 

  • Announcement: Pre-Yom Kippur Phone Group Tonight 
  • Our Yearly Appeal: Kofer Nefesh, Pidyon Kaparos  
  • Torah Thoughts: Rabbi Avigdor Miller on Teshuvah 
  • Yom Kippur, 12-Steps: The Space Between Impulse & Action 

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Announcement

  

There will be a pre-Yom Kippur phone group tonight at 9 p.m. Eastern time.

Forgiveness: The one person we have to forgive before Hashem will forgive us.
 
  • Dial In Number: 1-712-429-0690
  • Participant PIN: 225356
     
    Please make every effort to attend. The more people on the call, the more Chizuk we can give each other.
     
    Elya
     
    For more info on this weekly phone conference, click here
     
  • ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~  

       

    Our Yearly Appeal:

    Kofer Nefesh - Pidyon Kaparos

     

    We can redeem our own sins by saving OTHERS from sin!  

     

    GYE's Aseres Yimei Teshuvah appeal is winding down. Tomorrow is the last day of the appeal. Can there be a greater zechus for Yom Kippur than the merit of being a partner in enabling thousands of other Jews to do Teshuvah?

    GYE makes a once-a-year appeal during Aseres Yimei Teshuvah. Can there be a greater zechus for the Yamim Nora'im than the merit of being a partner in enabling thousands of other Jews to do Teshuvah? 
     
     Came in so far:
     
    $12,434
     

    DONATE HERE

    (Secure tax deductible donation options: Credit Card, Paypal, Check or Phone)

     

    See here a short eye-opening video about the work of GuardYourEyes (including excerpts from Chaim Dovid Zwiebel, Rav Aharon Feldman, Rabbi/Dr. Avraham J. Twerski and Shalom's personal story).

     

    GuardYourEyes is approximately 100K short to redo the websites in English, Hebrew & Yiddish, to be able to help tens of thousands of Jews around the world. See the new website under development here, and see here the design for the new "Prevention" division. See also our expansion plan 2011-2012 and a letter from our Trustees (R' Gedalia Weinberger, R' Berel Wein, Schottenstein and others).

     

    With your help we can change the world!

     

    Checks can be written out to "GYE Corp" and mailed to:

    GYE Corp.

    P.O. Box 32380 

    Pikesville, MD 21282

    U.S.A

     

    Tizke Lemitzvos!

     

    Please pass this e-mail on to your contacts. Who knows how many lives you can effect?

     

    Wishing you a G'mar Chatimah Tova Tova and a year of holiness and serenity!

     

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    Category: Torah Thoughts > Yom Kipppur    

    Rabbi Avigdor Miller on Teshuvah 

     

    QUESTION:
     
    How does one repent for certain sins, that he knows he will repeat?
     
    ANSWER:

    That's a question that is being always asked. And the answer is as follows. If a man smokes forty cigarettes every Shabbos, and he decides he's going to smoke only thirty nine, that's a fortunate man. That's called a Miktzas Teshuva. A little bit of Teshuva, which is the easiest thing to do, is the biggest obligation. To stop all forty, not so easy for him, but to stop the fortieth, YES. And therefore, if you can stop even a little bit of your sin, then you must do it, and it's the biggest obligation, that's the easiest thing to do.
     
    And so any sinner, even though he's a confirmed Chotai, if he's able to make a resolve, at least one little bit of that sin he won't do anymore. Let's say, he does a sin ten times a week, now he'll do it nine times a week; he makes up his mind no more then nine times, he is a LUCKY man. If he neglects that opportunity, he's in great sakona; Hashem is very angry at him. The tenth time was easy to avoid. And so everybody can do a Miktzas Teshuva.
     
    That's why we say Hashivainu Avinu Lesorasecho, Hashem bring us back to your Torah, that's Teshuva we are asking for, Teshuva, for repentance. Then we say, V'Hachzirainu B'sehuva Shelaima, then we're asking for a perfect repentance. First we are asking for a little bit of repentance, any kind of repentance, a little bit at least. Then once you ask for a finger, you ask for the whole hand, too! Then we say give us a full repentance.

     

    Click here to subscribe to an e-mail list of sayings from Rav Avigdor Miller.

     

     

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    Category: Torah Thoughts > Yom Kippur, 12-Step   

     

    The Space Between Impulse & Action

     

    Rabbi Benyamin Bresinger     

     

    Yom Kippur is a combination of the holiest time, in the holiest space, with the holiest person.

    So I was thinking what does 'holy time' mean? I know it's the 25 hours a year that we fast. I also know that within that time frame, the ultimate time of holiness is the last hour or so during the Neilah prayer.

    Then I heard something that had me thinking. In the narrative of King David, Natan the prophet confronts David about the episode with Bat Sheva. Natan corners him and says basically, "What do you have to say for yourself?" Then there is a gap between that sentence and the next word which is David's answer. The Gra, Vilna Gaon (a 18th century sage) says that the gap or the space in the scroll is there to show that before David answered, he paused. It was in that pause that he struggled with himself. King David could have ordered the prophet's death for accusing him. He could have denied any wrong doing, as we see from the Talmud that David was innocent in a technical way from sinning. David could have used the same argument that the sages of the Talmud used to prove his innocence, but he didn't. Instead he paused, he wrestled with his thoughts and he prevailed. He came back with a statement of royal humility. He said: "I have sinned."

    It's that sacred space while David was doing battle with himself; it's in that struggle that he proved his greatness. As is the case with all of us, it is how we deal with our inner terrain that counts. When you change who you are, trying to be what you might be, you enter sacred time and sacred space. There the old you, slowly evolves into the person you yearn to become.

    I have a sign in my office that is a prayer I heard from a recovering addict which reads: "Please G-d, I humbly ask you for the grace to find the space between my impulse and my action." It's that same holy space we're talking about. You see, I am challenged to react to different situations throughout my day. And usually if I don't ask for G-d's will to be done, it's mine that gets in the way.


    Then I read in the Big Book of Alcohol Anonymous in step 11: "When agitated or doubtful we pause and ask for the right thought or action ... we are not running the show anymore, humbly saying 'Thy will, not mine be done.'" It is about G-d creating for me the eternal opportunity of experiencing the sacred within time.


    So the next time life gives you a moment like this, pause and allow G-d in, if even for a moment. After all, that's what makes time holy.


    Rabbi Benyamin Bresinger  Director CHABAD LIFELINE
    Hope, help and healing for everyone affected by addiction
    t:514.738.7700
    c:514.668.7813
    WWW.CHABADLIFELINE.COM

    1076.

    In Today's Issue 

    • Final Day of Appeal: Last Chance for Special Kaparah!   
    • Attitude: Progress Not Perfection  
    • What the Gedolim are Saying: Make sure your filters are strong
    • Minhag Kaparos: Adam Yesodo Me'Afar  

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~  

       

    Final day of GYE's Once-A-Year Appeal:

     

    Last chance to earn special merit for Yom Kippur - and get a kapparah on our own sins!

     

    Can there be a greater zechus than the merit of being a partner in enabling thousands of other Jews to do Teshuvah?  

     

    GuardYourEyes is approximately 100K short to redo the websites in English, Hebrew & Yiddish, to be able to help tens of thousands of Jews around the world. See the new website under development here, and see here the design for the new "Prevention" division. See also our expansion plan 2011-2012 and a letter from our Trustees (R' Gedalia Weinberger, R' Berel Wein, Schottenstein and others).

     

    We set a goal of reaching $50,000 at the beginning of the appeal.

     

    Yesterday, a check came in from an anonymous donor of $18,000!

     

    The rest of the community has donated so far $14,312

     

     All Together:

     

    $32,312

     

    DONATE HERE

    (Secure tax deductible donation options: Credit Card, Paypal, Check or Phone)

     

    With your help we can change the world!

     

    Checks can be written out to "GYE Corp" and mailed to:

    GYE Corp.

    P.O. Box 32380

    Pikesville, MD 21282

    U.S.A

     

    Tizke Lemitzvos!

     

    Wishing everyone in the GYE community a G'mar Chatimah Tova Tova and a year of holiness and serenity!

     

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    Category: Torah Thoughts > Yom Kipppur     

     

    Progress Not Perfection

     

    May of us may be thinking, "What is the use of my Teshuvah if I may (likely) have slips and falls again this year?"

     

    Rabbosai, we must internalize and remember that Hashem gave the Torah to human beings, not angels. He knows that we will have slips and falls. But it's all about PROGRESS, NOT PERFECTION.

     

    Hashem loves each and every one of us, and He is so proud of those who keep trying in such a dark world, with such difficult nisyonos like there has never been in history before.

     

    Let us resolve now, Erev Yom Kippur, that we will keep trying, that we will keep fighting, that we will keep looking for new eitzos that help us (whether in the GYE tools, services, handbooks or elsewhere). Let us all resolve that when we come to Yom Kippur in a year's time from now we will be able to honestly say to Hashem: "I feel I made progress this year".

     

     

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    Click here to see what the Gedolim are saying about unfiltered internet.

     

    If we have unfiltered access or our filters are not strong enough, let us resolve now before Yom Kippur to FIX THIS as soon as possible.

     

    Be in touch with GYE's filter gabai at filter.tzvi@gmail.com or 917-474-3008 for help on installing the best filters for your computers and mobile devices.

     

    To install K9 and have the filter gabai hold the password for you, be in touch with our other filter gabai: filter.gye@gmail.com (see this page for instructions).

     

    NOW IS THE TIME!

     

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    REMEMBER THE MARTYRS OF BABI YAR!

    33,000 YIDDEN KILLED ON EREV YOM KIPPUR

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    Yom Kippur - Minhag Kapparos

    Adam Yesodo Me'Afar

      

    We all know the truth. We all die. We are nothing but flesh, blood, veins and bones; here today, dust tomorrow. Our eyeballs are delicate balls of mushy fluid. And the objects of our desires are also flesh, blood and veins. If we could see what is underneath the thin layer of skin that covers these sacks of blood, would we desire it? Yet this is what our our brains make us run after. This is what our addiction makes us slaves to! Is it for this we have sold our souls? Gevald! What a farce! 

    How pathetic it is to make our physical aspects dominant over our spiritual souls. When we sin, we are using a body that don't belong to us, to chase after imaginary pleasure with other bodies that don't belong to us - nor to them! (After all, if anyone belonged to themselves, could Hashem take their bodies away from them whenever he so desired?)

    Yom Kippur is that one day a year when we reveal the FARCE of our bodies for what it really is. On Yom Kippur we say, "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH" to our bodies. We don't feed it, and we afflict it in five different ways. On Yom Kippur we rise ABOVE our bodies and connect completely with our souls - and with Hakadosh Baruch Hu.

    Know, my friends, that the desires we have are really the yearnings of our souls for a true and deep connection with Hashem, for the true safety and comfort of His loving embrace. But the "white-matter" in our brains messes up these signals and tricks us into believing that we will find all that we are looking for by running after lust. Many foolish men spend their lives chasing this ever-elusive comfort and "connection", continuously sure that they will find it in their "next" fix.... 

    Let us realize that ONLY HASHEM HIMSELF can truly fill the deep yearnings of our souls. Let us return to the warm and loving embrace of Hashem and tell him on this Yom-Kippur: Hashem, we don't want ANYTHING ELSE but you, dear Father, forever more!

    Tip: If bad thoughts come to us on Yom-Kippur, let us imagine the object of our desires cut up into pieces, the two legs torn off and laid alongside a legless body; guts and bones protruding. For this is all the Yetzer Hara really is; a big bubble of hot air and imagination. (And yes, we need to fight dirty sometimes - with a menuval who fights even dirtier - on the holiest day of the year).  

    1077.

    In Today's Issue 

    • Our Yearly Appeal: THANK YOU!!   
    • Announcement: Dov's 12-Step Group Starting Sunday  
    • Member's Share: Kabalos During Ne'ilah 
    • 12-Steps to Teshuvah: Rabbi Yakov Horowitz   

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    A Big Thank-You to all those who participated in this year's Aseres Yimei Teshuvah Appeal!   

     

    You have earned a partnership in enabling thousands of other Jews to do Teshuvah!

     

    The community donated a total of approximately $18,000

      

    And a check came in from an anonymous donor of $18,000  

     

     All Together:

     

    $36,000

     

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    Announcement

     

    Dov's 12-Step Group Starting New Cycle Sunday

       

    Only for those who are SERIOUS and willing to put in the work and maintain integrity.   

     

    Headed by Dov (from the "Daily Dose of Dov") who sober in SA for over 14 years.   

     

    See here for the 9 conditions in joining Dov's group.

     

    To join, please contact Dov and give him your username, so we can give you access to his group on the forum.

     

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    Category: Member's Share, Testimonials      

     

    Kabalos During Ne'ilah

     

    From "Steve", moderator of the morning phone conference

     

    I made a few kabolos during Neilah. One was to install a filter today. I will be arranging with my wife for each of us to hold half the password, so settings can't be undone unilaterally. I will also be signing up with yishmoreini, making my Rav the recipient of reports if I go to improper URL addresses.

     

    I just installed K9 Protection on my work computer (i-MAC) thanks to Reb Tzvi (GYE's Filter Gabbai), may HKB"H bless him and his family with ALL if His Protection!

     

    Let's face it, as an addict, fear of failure leads to procrastination, and wasting critical time, plus the "idle hands are the devil's playground" syndrome. So another kabolla was to avoid what I used to do, taking my lunch into my home office, and using the excuse that since both my hands were busy while eating I'll just go onto CNN/Arutz Sheva to catch up on the news (big time waster cuz I coudn't stop following the news story links) or watch movie trailers and clips (time waster PLUS actress/fashion/plot triggers). Now I have accepted upon myself to 1) always eat those "working meals" in the kitchen, away from the computer (this way ALSO I wont forget to bentch in time), and 2) not to go onto the internet for secular entertainment or to unwind or stall - in the words of the Big Book, "unless I have a good reason for being there."

     

    I recommend anyone who has not arranged a filter to do so. K9 now also offers filters for ipads, iphones, and more. See their home page. And it's a JOY to work with Reb Tzvi, he's very helpful and knowledgeable, and a big mentch. 

     

    I am now about 2 years clean from the Big M, which means this past Yom Kippur was the first one I can say was clean from M for an entire year since last Yom Kippur. Last Yom Kippur I had also been clean from P for almost a year, I wish I could say I had kept that up. But I fell to looking at and reading inappropriate material a few times (after over 500 days clean) this past spring. I've taken some new steps to keep myself clean from P (filters, new habits, etc), including internalizing the 12-Step program more. Now I'm looking forward to each day at a time. IY"H I'll be "Bo BaYomim" next Yom Kippur as well.

     

    Thank you ALL for helping me get here!!

     

    A Gutte K'vittel, A Piska Tova, A Good G'Bentched Yaor, etc etc etc..... and CHAG SOMAYACH!!

     

     

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    12-Steps to Teshuva

     

    By Rabbi Yakov Horowitz

     

    Over the past two weeks, two individuals approached me and asked for help locating appropriate treatment facilities, for their respective friends who were in the throes of substance abuse addiction.   

     

    During our discussions, it crossed my mind several times, that there are striking similarities between the Teshuva process, as outlined by the Rambam and many of our leading siffrei mussar over the years, and the 12-Step programs employed by Alcoholics Anonymous and other groups formed to help wean people off their addictions.   


    In fact, a simple reading of the 12-Steps leads the reader to the inescapable conclusion that the creators of the program were inspired by the notion of teshuva and its various components.One thing that is very different about the 12-Step program though, is that its effectiveness is very easily measurable (did the person refrain from drinking?) while the results of the teshuva process are often much more difficult to quantify.    

        
    Allow me to invite you to listen to a talk I gave in Cong. Beth Abraham in Teaneck, N.J. breaking down the components of the teshuva process and what we can learn from "12-steppers" in terms of making meaningful and measurable improvement in our lives. 

     

    Listen to the recorded Shiur by dialing 209.647.1699 and entering the code 827269. You can download the shiur as an MP3 over here.

    1078.

    In Today's Issue 

    • Three Important Announcements: New Booklet / Volunteers / Elya's Call   
    • Perspective & Attitude: Learning from Bernie Madoff 
    • Q & A: Why do I need to change my nature?
    • Rabbi Avigdor Miller: Painless Perfection  
    • New Phone Conferences Beginning: Duvid Chaim & Crew Launch 7th Cycle    

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    Announcement 1      

     

    GYE is happy to announce the launch of a booklet for parents and mechanchim called:

     

    "Protecting our Youth: Experts Speak"

     Download it by right-clicking the link and choosing "Save Target/Link As".

     

    It contains a few articles by mechanchim and therapists, written especially for GYE, dealing with how to talk to children about these sensitive issues, how to protect children, and how to detect risk factors and warning signs.

     

    We hope this booklet will grow as more experts send in articles on this topic. If you'd like to recommend anyone to write articles for this booklet, please let us know.

     

    ~~~~~~~~ 

      

    Announcement 2   

     

    GYE is looking for a few volunteers to join our team. We need:
     
    1) A Partner Gabai - who helps match up partners for accountability (See this page).
     
    2) Someone who can help enter GYE content into the databases of the new website and help categorize and edit hundreds of articles (for compensation).
     
    3) A English to Yiddish translator (for compensation)
     
    4) A Gabai to receive surfing reports (through programs like webchaver). We have a plan for accountability that we would like to impliment.
     
    If you think you might be a candidate for any of these jobs, please contact us at eyes.guard@gmail.com.
     
    Thank you!
     
    ~~~~~~~~
     

    Announcement 3      

     

    Elya invites everyone to his weekly phone group tonight at  

    9 p.m. EST on the topic:

     

    "Are denial and rationalization getting in the way of your recovery?"  

    712-429-0690     

    PIN  225356

     

    Click here for more info on Elya's Call    

     

    See the bottom of this e-mail for info on the new 12-Step phone conferences starting next week! 

     
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    Category: Perspective & Attitude

     

    Learning from Bernie Madoff

     

    By "Rage"

     

    I saw in the news today that Bernie Madoff said he feels happier in prison than he's felt in 20 years. The reason? Madoff was quotied as saying "I have no decisions to make. I lived the last 20 years of my life in fear. Now, I have no fear because I'm no longer in control."

     

    Can you imagine? For some personalities, no longer being in control is so rewarding that even if you're in prison the fact that youre not in control makes it the happiest time of your life. How burdensome must it be to always try to be in control.

     

    It made me wonder what it's like to feel the double comfort of (1) not having to make any decisions and (2) knowing that the entity actually in control is not the warden but rather the Big Warden in the sky who always looks out to benefit you.   

     

    Learn how to "let go of control". Join the 7th cycle of GYE's 12-Step phone conferences, beginning this coming Monday, Oct 31! Click here for more info.  

     

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    Category: Q & A

     

    Why do I need to change my nature?

     

    Some people wonder why Hashem would give us a nature to lust, and yet ask us to change our very nature and reign it in. "How does Hashem expect me not to go after the nature that He Himself gave me?"...

     

    It's interesting to note that it is brought down in Chazal and in the Zohar many times how Shmiras Habris is part and parcel of the mitzva of Milah that Hashem gave for every newborn. The mitzva of Milah is the sign or "stamp" of Hakadosh Baruch Hu that becomes part of our body at 8 days old, and this mitzvah continues throughout our whole life as we "guard" that stamp of Hashem from entering into "the other side" by using it in sin. In a number of places, the Zohar equates the mitzva of Milah and Shmiras Habris as one and the same, and when Chazal say that Avraham Avinu pulls out every Yid who has the milah from gehinom, the Zohar says it only means one who has fulfilled the mitzva of milah properly by guarding it during his lifetime.

     

    In the same way that our bodies are given to us by Hashem with a "blemish" that needs to be removed (the orlah), so too, we were given a nature to lust by Hashem, but this "orlas ha'lev" needs to be removed. For many of us, removing the lust from our hearts can be as painful as the bris milah we had at 8 days old. But in the same way that we defy nature by removing the orlah as a baby, so too we are asked by Hashem to defy our nature on an even higher level as we mature, and remove the orlas ha'lev of lust from our hearts.

     

    A Roman officer once challenged one of the Chachamim about why we Jews make Milah; "Why would Hashem make the body imperfect?" The Tana returned the next day with sheaves of wheat in one hand, and freshly baked rolls in another hand and ask the officer which one he thought was more praiseworthy. In other words, Hashem gave us an imperfect body so that we should perfect it! In the same way - and even more so, Hashem wants us to perfect our hearts and nature. That is our job in this world, and for that we are rewarded more than any one can imagine!

     

    In continuation of this idea, I'd like to bring an excerpt from Rabbi Avigdor Miller - Tape 933. (Sent by simchashachaim.com - Subscribe here.)

    Painless perfection

    In Gehinom, the treatments are not as easy as the treatments in this world. In this world you can take a Sefer (book) like Reishis Chachma, or Shevet Mussar, or Peleh Yoeitz, or Orchos Tzaddikim, or Mesilas Yesharim--these books will be a salve, a balm on your blister of envy and they'll cause it gradually to go away almost painlessly.

     

    By learning the right kind of Torah a person can change his character and can remedy his faults almost painlessly in this world. But if he neglected to do that and he goes to Gehinom with that blister, with that ulcer, there the treatment is entirely different. 

     

    There no more Mesilas Yesharim, no more Orchos Tzaddikim, all these good remedies are left behind in this world. And there they have very powerful chemicals, like burning lye, they'll put burning lye on that ulcer and they'll remove it. But it hurts like Gehinom. And this I cannot describe to you because it's indescribable.

     

    A person who has even a single bad Middah (quality) is going to undergo a terrible torture. So if he's able to rid himself in this world of it, he's a wise man. But if he waits, Hashem in His mercy is going to heal him but he'll have to undergo the treatment. 

     

    Don't ask me why should that be so. You want the next world with all privileges? Hashem gives certain privileges to people who are smart enough to make use of their lives, and people who are stupid enough to live with bad character and they wait for the next world, they'll just have to take it despite all the questions. 

     

    Don't say Hashem, since You are kindly, couldn't You have treated us without this pain? He'll say to you, Why didn't you do it when you had the opportunity? You want something for nothing?

     

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    New Cycle of Phone Conferences Beginning  

    Duvid Chaim and crew launching on Monday, Oct 31

    Duvid Chaim, Steve and Shlomo are launching their 7th cycle of the 12-Step program in their popular phone conferences. Over 300 men have been members of this wonderful group and many have seen major transformations in their lives. Click the links below for more info on the conference calls. 

    The groups meet 4 times a week, Mon - Thurs. You can choose to join either the 8:30 AM call, the 12 Noon call, or the 10:20 PM call. (Important note: The 8:30 AM call is especially appropriate for people on a Yeshiva schedule who can start seder at about 9:30). 

    Make sure to purchase a copy of the Big Book.  

    Get Acquainted with the captain's of the 3 Calls: 

    Morning Call: 

    Time: 8:30 AM  Moderator: Steve Tel: 732-806-0493 E-Mail: steve.s.613@gmail.com 

    Noon Call: 

    Time: 12 PM  Moderator: Duvid Chaim Tel: 567-404-9882 E-Mail: duvidchaim@gmail.com 

    Night Call:

    Time: 10:20 PM  Moderator: Shlomo Tel: 201-632-1648. E-Mail: shlomoshlomo18@gmail.com

     ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~   

    Dov's Group began this Sunday, Oct 23   

    It's still not too late to join! Dov's group meets by phone twice a week, on Sundays and Tuesdays.

    If you've tried everything and are desperate to stop, maybe you're a candidate for Dov's group where you'll do some real step work, and learn lots of integrity and self-honesty. See the nine rules of Dov's group over here. If you're interested, contact Dov at reishischochma1@gmail.com for the call times and info.  

    1079.

    Category: Practical Tips, 12-Step 

     

    To Thine Own Self Be True   

     

       

     

    Rabbi Twerski shared with GYE today:

     

    Every so often there is a news item that research shows promise of a drug that can cure alcohol or drug addiction. Thus far, nothing like a cure has materialized. The possibility of a drug that will cure behavioral addictions such as compulsive gambling or sex addiction is even more remote.

     

    But I have come across something that holds promise for all addictions, and it is surprisingly simple: TRUTH! I believe that if an addict commits to absolute truthfulness and adheres to this, and will not lie under any circumstances, not a white lie nor a lie of any color, he can beat the addiction. No rationalization can justify a lie, and one must be willing to be truthful even if it hurts. One must know that any lie constitutes a relapse.

     

    Lying is an integral component of addiction, just as coughing is to pneumonia. Unfortunately, lying in addiction is so habitual that the addict may not be aware that he is lying, and it requires great alertness and total honesty to live up to the commitment. Of course, one cannot lie to G-d or to oneself. I have found that it may be more difficult for an addict to abstain from lying than from his addiction.

             

    Because of the propensity to lie, addicts cannot have sincere relationships. The latter require trust, and there can be no trust in absence of truth.

     

    I would like this to be put to the test. I have high hopes that it can work.

     

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

     

    We responded to Rabbi Twerski:

     

    Thank you for this insightful advice.

     

    I just want to point out, that even if the addict decides to tell only the truth from now on, he will probably find it almost impossible to stop lying to HIMSELF without group support and working the steps. I think that what the Rav wrote should be incorporated into the 12-Steps groups (and in many cases, it is). They tell you that every time you feel like acting-out you should pick up the phone and call someone. In the same way, every time an addict feels he's about to lie, he should pick up the phone and call someone (or his sponsor). And if he catches himself having told a lie, he should tell his sponsor as well.

     

    If he works on his integrity in the context of the group and in conjunction with working the program, this can increase his chances of success in a big way.

     

    Dov (who is sober for 14 years in SA) once said that sobriety really all boils down to integrity. First with others, then with one's self. As they say "To thine own self be true."

     

    Thank you for sharing this.

     

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

     

    Rabbi Twerski responded to the above with two words: "I agree".

     

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~  

     

    Daily Dose of Dov

    Dov is sober in SA for over 14 years. See his story here.

     

    Integrity Yes, Beating it No.

     

    Dov responds to Rabbi Twerski's idea above:

     

    Thanks, the Rav's words are so yesodiosdig to me, too. So thanks for reminding me how important it is for me to tell the truth to myself and everyone else today!

     

    But there is something I want to share with you and the Rav.


    At the very beginning of Ch 5 of AA Bill wrote that the only way out of this disease is self-honesty. Period. He posits that the only reason people fail this program is that they are not honest with themselves. Period. So the Rav is saying what Bill wrote at the beginning. 

    But it seems to me that Bill would not have written it the way the Rav did. The phraseology the Rav chooses here implies personal victory: "I believe that if an addict commits to absolute truthfulness and adheres to this, and will not lie under any circumstances, not a white lie nor a lie of any color, he can beat the addiction."
     

    This "beating" thing - it is not written anywhere in the "Promises" after the 9th step. Sure, it is attractive to the newbie - promises of grandeur, being in the winners circle one day... but there's gotta be a reason that it's not the attitude of the AAs I know. "Beating it" is exactly what the newbies all over GYE love to hear, but I feel it does not serve the average newly recovering addict well.

    It is attractive lingo to a despondent, still-masturbating frum yid - the promise that he will finally be able to flex his bechirah-muscles again! He'll be a bit of a tzaddik - finally! Hey, and how many times have people with this problem called me a tzaddik so far? (If I had a nickle for every time...)

    They do not know, or believe, that us drunks are just trying to live, period. For the non-addict it is so much easier just to live. They need s'forim and Rabbonim's fiery shmuessin to motivate them not to just live, but to strive for higher madreigos! And it's funny how many of them see an alkie's not drinking as 'a madreigo'. I figure they just do not know what it means to be thoroughly beaten. And by the same token, it is not 'brave' for a drunk to finally, finally admit that he is a drunk - his drinking lifestyle has beaten him to a pulp and now he has no choice but to face the music! Like by giving Haman the ring, G-d did for us what we could not do for ourselves. And He does this right in the drinking. He hides the bottle and starts to beat our ego right out of us right from there. A funny example of z'donos na'asim zachuyos!

    And the addicts who keep referring to it as a "battle" and to the sober drunks as "tzaddikim" have missed the boat. And it is no wonder when they don't get sober.

    The recovering addicts I know, are beaten - they do not beat. Sober no matter how many years, they are drunks - drunks who do not drink. And it is a daily reprieve by G-d, allowed by the drunk - if he recognizes that he is beaten today, too. That is the way it works for me and others I know. Of course, to a non-alcoholic/sexaholic person, that attitude does not seem to 'shtim' with self-esteem, and it is not very attractive. 

    To the layman, a drunk or a pervert living thirty-five years and dying a sober man is called "beating the addiction". It sure seems beaten, no? I understand that - it's really the way the scorecard reads, of course. But it seems to me that the reason the Alkies do not talk of 'winning' or 'beating' is that it re-invites the ego. And letting go of my ego was what the entire journey was all about! We may as well drink a l'Chayim to celebrate thirty-five years sober! The premature l'Chayim is the most dangerous thing I see people do, and it happens over and over. As Chuck C the alkie joked, "the only thing worse for an alkie than bad fortune, is good fortune!" Making the difficult calls to people and to G-d (that Guard referred to above) and really opening up to another, working these steps faithfully, learning to really depend on my G-d rather than just being 'religious' - they are all a diminution rather than a feeding of the ego. At least this is the program I have absorbed from my sponsor and friends.   
     

     

    I have not yet met a recovering member of SA who said "I used to act out." The victory feels like it is Hashem's, not mine. Sure, if I am zoche to die a sober man, it will technically be in the 'win column'. But I cannot see it as my win, at all. All I do is suffer enough to allow him into the room, as the Kotzker would have put it.  


    If I get there sober after 120 and they hoist me up as a victor in Shomayim, I hope and pray that I hop right off the pedestal onto the floor and just bow low to Hashem...and stay there.

    Respectfully, 

    Dov
     

    1080.

    The TaPHSiC Method Made Simple

     

    There are two main stumbling blocks that cause an addict to relapse:

     

    1) When under an attack of lust, we feel we need it NOW. But lust comes in waves. If we could somehow distract ourselves with something else, we will often find that the lust attack passes and we can get on with real life.

     

    2) When under the spell of lust, the neurochemical dopamine is released in the brain. Dopamine narrowly focuses our attention and energy on the object of our lust. Any thoughts of spouse, family, beliefs, consequences, future goals, etc., are ignored and blocked out. (See more on addictive chemicals in this fascinating article). If we could somehow make the consequences of acting out much more REAL and IMMEDIATE to us, we would find it much easier to hold back.

     

    To this end, the "Double Fence TaPHSiC" method is the perfect solution. TaPHSiC stands for "The Physical & Spiritual Combo" and it also means "Stop!" in Hebrew. It involves making a very special type of Shavuah. By utilizing this amazing method - which has helped some of the worst cases, we can effectively deal with these two stumbling blocks mentioned above. Firstly, it makes acting-out compulsively (NOW) not even an option anymore. Our Yetzer Hara himself will agree with us that it is simply not worth it to act-out NOW, but rather to distract ourselves and wait before acting-out.

     

    And secondly, it makes the consequences of acting out immediate, real and painful. After all, we all know that once the lust has passed (after the fall) we will not be throwing out our Yiddishkeit. Just like we won't throw away Shabbos and Kashrus, we know we will have to keep our shavuah! Knowing the consequences of our fall in advance is often enough to shake us out of the lust-stupor and back into reality.

     

    Although making Shvuos is usually frowned on by Chazal, we find in many places that when it comes to girding oneself from sexual temptations, making shavuos is praised by our sages (see the Ohr Hachaim beginning Parshas Matos). And although making Shvuos "not to act-out" very rarely works in the case of addiction, the TaPHSiC method is a 'smart way' of making shavuos that has been found to work wonderfully in many cases.

     

    To make it easier for everyone to prepare a TaPHSiC Shavuah, we prepared a generic Nusach here that can be used to prepare it. All you have to do is fill in the blanks!

     

     

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

       

    Generic Nusach for the Double-Fenced TaPHSiC Method 

     

    Ani Nishba (I swear), beshaim Ad---- (in the name of G-d) that until [Fill in the end date Note: Not more than a month at first, so you can adjust if necessary]

     

    _________________________________________________

     

    if I have a fall, which is defined by one of the following things:

    Either

    (a) I am motzi zera livatala (masturbate)

    or

    (b) I intentionally obtain in any way (whether by e-mail, downloads, printing, purchasing, borrowing, stealing, taking out of the trash) adult sexual material of any sort, digital or printed (including magazines, DVDs, etc.)

    or

    (c) I intentionally go to any websites or web pages, pictures, videos, chats or forums, for the purpose of viewing adult sexual content (including any type of adult oriented images, drawings, videos, audio, or erotic reading material)

    or

    (d) if I initiate contact with - or respond positively to - any woman other than my wife for a sexually related purpose (including by e-mail, chat, webcams, etc.) - not including situations where social norms require me to have some contact with someone attractive

    or

    (e) if I partake of any illicit sexually oriented services of any kind (including calling adult phone lines, massages, or worse)

     

    Then, if [Fill in Distraction 1. Example: "I went for a 20 minute walk". See more examples for distractions below]

     

    _________________________________________________

     

    Or (and?) [Fill in Distraction 2. Example: "I called my partner, sponsor, or a fellow GYE member who knows me, and told him that I feel I want to fall, and I stayed on the phone with him for at least 5 minutes". See more examples for distractions below]

     

    _________________________________________________

     

    Or (and?) [Fill in Distraction 3. Example: " I did exercise for 15 minutes (sit-ups, push-ups, jumping jacks, etc)". See more examples for distractions below]

     

    _________________________________________________

     

    within the 90 minutes proceeding my fall, then

    within the next 36 hours (or other time frame) I will

    [Fill in 'Normal Knas'. Example: "donate $50/100 to Tzedaka (GYE)". See more examples of 'Normal Knas' below].

     

    _________________________________________________

     

    If I did not do any of (all?) these things in the 90 minutes proceeding my fall, then

    within the next 36 hours (or other time frame) I will

    [Fill in 'Very Hard Knas'. Example: "donate $1000/2000 to Tzedaka (GYE)". See more examples of 'VERY HARD KNAS' below]

     

    _________________________________________________

     

     

    If I had a fall without remembering that I made this shavuah, I will only [example: donate $50/100 to Tzedaka (GYE). See more examples of NORMAL KNAS below]. If I am honestly not sure that I had a fall, I will not have any KNAS.

     

     

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

     

    Other examples for Distractions:

    1. I spoke with people who know me, by phone or in person, for at least 15 minutes

    2. I scrubbed the toilets at home/work and picked up the garbage around the home (or office) for 15 minutes.

    3. I put away sefarim in the beis-medrash/shul for 15 minutes.

    4. I said Tehilim for half an hour.

    5. I learned Gemara for 20 minutes.

    6. I was Mavir Sedra for half and hour.

     

     

    Other examples for 'Normal Knas':

    1. I will take a cold shower with no warm water at all.

    2. I will go for an hour walk.

    3. I will take a bus to a kever of the Tzadik/Kotel and stay there for at least an hour.

    4. I will clean the floors of my home, scrub the toilets, and return clean laundry to its place.

    5. I will fast from dawn until nightfall (in the coming 3 days).

     

     

    Examples for 'Very Hard Knas'

    (Warning: It must be something you are 100% sure you CAN do)

     

    1. I will take a bus to the kever of a Tzadik/Kotel and stay there for at least 6 hours.

    2. I will fast from dawn until nightfall for two days in a row (within the coming 7 days).

    3. I will tell my Rav (my wife) that I had a fall.

    1081.

    Lessons from the Carmel Forest Fire 5771

     

     4lashon

     

    Last year on Chanukah, there was a raging fire in the Carmel mountains in Israel. Forty four people lost their lives, tens of thousands of acres of trees were burnt, and a number of communities were decimated. It is ironic that the fire happened on Chanukah, exactly when we light the Menorah and delight in the warmth and light of the little flames.

     

    Although no one can profess to know Hashem's ways, perhaps Hashem was sending us a message. Fire is a force of nature that can be used for so many things, warmth, light and even Kedusha. However, it can only bring benefit to the world when it is contained within safe boundaries. The moment that fire is not restrained, it brings terrible destruction to the world!

     

    Likewise, sexuality is a powerful force that can add holiness into a marriage and bring life into the world, but only when it is contained in its proper place. Like the warm and uplifting flames of the Menorah, it can bring joy, light and Kedusha into the home. But today's world has lost all boundaries. Like a fire spreading out of control, the internet and the media are dominated by the fire of lust - and it is spreading into every home, office and pocket. This fire of misplaced desire is destroying the very fabric of our communities and the morality of all mankind today.

     

    By bringing this destructive, out-of-control fire specifically on Chanukah, perhaps Hashem was beckoning for us to compare fire without boundaries to the beauty and holiness of the restrained Menorah flames.  

     

    4lashon

     

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~  

     

    Here is another lesson we wrote last year, as the fire raged:

     

    Fire on Har HaCarmel

     

    There's a raging fire in Israel now on Har HaCarmel where over 40 people lost their lives yesterday. I was reminded of another fire on Har HaCarmel, many years ago. The Pasuk in Melachim Alef (18:38) says:

     

    "And the fire of Hashem came down and ate the sacrifice and the wood and the stones and the dirt and the water that was in the trough it licked. And the whole nation saw and fell on their faces and proclaimed "Hashem is G-d, Hashem is G-d!"

     

    Perhaps Hashem is sending us a message, as Eliyahu Hanavi told the Jewish people back then: "Until when will you hold on to both sides of the stick? If G-d is G-d, then go after Him. And if the Ba'al (idol) then go after him!"

     

    We can't continue living double lives, serving both G-d and lust at the same time.

     

    Let us take this message from the burnt-sacrifices of our holy brothers and declare once and for all: "Hashem is G-d, Hashem is G-d!"

     

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
     

     An Addict's Al Hanissim

     

    By Kivi

     

    G-d, I don't thank You enough, but at this time of Chanuka I'm given the opportunity to focus on all that I owe as a member of the Jewish people, and as one who has been blessed with Your miracles and continues to be blessed every day. I'm indebted to You for redeeming me from the dreadful life I lived, the emptiness, the loneliness of one held prisoner by a merciless, senseless captor. Thank You for revealing Your infinite power to me - I really needed it; I was and I still remain powerless. You saved me from definite destruction, from sinking lower and lower into my lust. You fought my battles, because I could no longer fight. You did this for our Fathers at this time of year, and I recognize this time of year as one best suited for recognizing that all my success comes from only You.


    In the days of Matisyahu and his family, when the threat of the dominant culture was eating away at our deep, long standing, relationship, throwing our people into darkness, forgetting our humble submission to Your will as expressed in the Torah You gave us, driving us away from living according to Your plans, plans we had committed ourselves to, whether we understood them or not. We had this essential humility before we were overtaken by the drives to escape into the self-centered pleasures and beauty of the world around us, to replace Your plans with our fancy. We took charge. We used to crave only You, and we turned to other sources of pleasure, dark and artificial, unfulfilling and selfish. 


    But You, You never gave up on us. In Your great kindness, Your real feelings of mercy for us, You stood up, revealed your Awesome Wonders when we were entrenched in the narrow quarters of helplessness and isolation, our corrupt design for living. We could no longer fight - now You would fight. We couldn't reverse the damage that was done, but You could. We were weak, we are weak, we came to understand that then. When that became real to us, You quickly subdued the mighty insurmountable forces we had been fighting for years. There were so many battles, we had dug ourselves so deep, but you handed that to us too. We were drawn to so much impurity, buried in so much dirt, soiled, but You showed us we could be pure if we would only let You fight for us. Evil ones, those who were out to destroy us unmercilessly, unforgivingly, disappeared in the face of those who chose Your righteous path, those who submitted, and committed, themselves to working towards the fulfillment of only Your will. 


    An You thereby made for Yourself a great and holy name in the world. You made it known that miracles are ready for us when we're ready to see them and live with them. You saved Your people, You renewed the deep bond we always had, You brought redemption - ah... the relief I can and do experience today, and every day. 

    After our relationship was rekindled, Your precious children, recognizing the love their Father in heaven continues to have for them, came back home. They devoted themselves to clean up their side of the street, take actions to remove all resentments and false medications for pains that drew them away from You. They brought purity to Your home, understanding Your home is holy, our relationship with You is intimate and profound, and turning from You is unthinkable. They did not just recognize your love, but they took definite steps to kindle the relationship, to shine the light of their new clarity living in Your presence, in Your home. They established 8 days to focus on Your kindness then, and always, to devote to thanking You, recognizing Your infinite power to continually draw them from the ever present darkness. They take those 8 days with them throughout the year and their lives, never forgetting where they once were and the infinite light they continue to ignite and kindle.

    1082.

    In Today's Issue  

    • Join the Daily Shmiras Ainayim Calls: Download Previous Shiurim 
    • Q & A: Can't I convince myself that women are just people?  
    • Rav Noach's Prayer: Wanting it Enough    
    • Link of the Day: A GYE Member's Shuvu Banim Blog   
    • Daily Dose of Dov: Sobriety: The ticket into Life, but not Life itself 
     

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 

     

    Join our Daily Shmiras Ainayim Phone Conference  

     

    January's Shiurim Available for Download HERE  

     

    Sun - Thurs at 4:45 PM EST

     

    Number: 209-647-1000 / Participant PIN: 616701

     

    For more info on this daily call see here.  

     

    Shimon Writes: I wanted to let you know how much I enjoy the shmiras einiyim conferences. The Maggid Shiur is an extraordinary dynamic personality. And the subjects mentioned are very much insightful, from a broad range of sources; Chazal, Rishonim, Mussar and Chassidus... It is a great chizuk for myself knowing that I am not the only one working on this issue.

     

    Aaron Writes: I listen to the playbacks of the daily shmiras ainayim shiurim when I'm stuck in traffic. I really enjoy them, they are very interesting, give great and practical advice on keeping holy and avoiding sin. The shiur helps me change a situation which is stressful into one that is productive and rewarding. Thanks!   

     

       ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

     

    Download Zip files of MP3 audios from previous Shmiras Ainayim Shiurim:

     

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 

     

    Category: Q & A

     

    Can't I convince myself that women are just people?

     

    I've been reading your emails and materials for a little while and it seems that there is only talk of our actions in staying away from things. It seems to me that the main issue is being ignored. To me it seems that we have these problems because we have an outlook on women as just sex objects - we are unable to view them as just people and ignore their physical. For example, when I talk with my male friends, I don't think about any physical or sexual aspect for them - why can't I do the same for women? It's one thing if they are dressed provocatively - but many times they may be dressed normally - but my addiction picks up on even small things. So small, that later I wonder what is wrong with me that I am turned on by such a non-issue. 

     

    Reply:

     

    That is what the 12-Steps mean when they call it a "disease". Unfortunately, this is the damage that we have done to our minds through our addiction. We are no longer like regular people, and there's not much we can do about it besides accept that we are different. By accepting this, we are able to accept also that we can't afford to lust like regular people - not even a little. For us, lust is like poison, once we start we can't stop. The medical term for this is "hypersexuality" and it can even be tested with scientific devices (i.e. that we are triggered by the slightest things, and much stronger than most people).

     

    And just like you can't cure a broken foot by convincing yourself that it's not broken, so too you can't stop lusting for women by telling yourself that it's ridiculous to do so. Instead, we need to learn a new way of thinking and living. In the 12-Step program, we learn to change our motivations and live less self-centered lives. We learn honesty, integrity, dependence on Hashem, etc... and this change in thinking helps us cope with this three-layered disease (physical, mental and spiritual).

     

    The 12-Steps don't focus on "not lusting" but rather on living RIGHT. And when worked right, we start to view the women around us as people, and not as objects. But it takes a paradigm shift in our motivations for this to happen. Unfortunately, trying to just convince ourselves of the fact is most often an exercise in futility (for an addict).

     

    I encourage you to join one of our 12-Step phone conferences to work the 12-Steps. Dov is starting a new cycle this week. See this page and get in touch with Dov.

     

    Hatzlacha!

     

     

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 

     

    Rav Noach's Prayer: Wanting it Enough 

     

    Rav Noach Weinberg's Yartzeit was this past Shabbos.

     

    There's a beautiful prayer that Rav Noach once spoke to Hashem about his work in Kiruv.

     

    Click here to listen to Rav Noach's prayer

     

    Click here to view a transcript

     

    On GYE in particular, we relate to this powerful prayer because we know that Hashem wants us to succeed in our holy work. We just have to want it enough. This prayer sums up the recovery process that we all undergo.   

     

    May HaRav Noach be a Meilitz Yosher for us all.

     

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

     

    Link of the Day

     

    The prayer above was taken from a great blog of recovery ideas and Torah thoughts, written by a long-time GYE member and Talmid of Duvid Chaim's phone conferences.

     

    shuvubanim.wordpress.com

     


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
     

     

    Daily Doses of Dov

    Dov is sober in SA for over 14 years. See his story here.

     

     

    Sobriety: The Ticket into Life, but not Life itself

     

    Someone asked Dov:

     

    Why is it that we are hopeless etc without Hashem? It is true that we can't fight lust, but if we learn to really handle our irritations, we will be just fine. And for that, can't we do it on our own by retraining the way we think about ourselves and the world and what its all about and why we are really here?

     

    Dov Replies:

     

    The way I look at it, I am not powerless over trying. I am only powerless over succeeding. If I am smart (which I sometimes am) I will try to see things in a way that I will not need to resent and act out emotionally inside or outside - but that is not the answer to success. The steps are all about taking the actions of sanity and love, and thereby allowing G-d to work through us. As the Kotzker said, he only comes where people let Him in. Indeed. That is what the power of bechirah means, for an addict. Allowing Hashem to help me by my own unnatural and uncomfortable choices. "Ein hadovor tolui ella bee." 

     

    But success at living well and the the benefits of success are all a brocha from Hashem, and the experience I have, that the results are so far beyond anything I could have possibly imagined or were shooting for, are all the proof I need that did not 'do it', in the end.

     

    It seems to be exactly like Parnossah. We definitely see people making more money when they take on another job - but mezonosav are ketzuvos from R"H. It is all from Hashem, no? So are we apikorsim when we are mishtadel?

     

    Maybe we are - but that is not because we are being mishtadel, for tzaddikim through all our ages have had jobs (and worked hard!) - yet they surely were not apikorsim! So nu? There must be a trick to working like a dog (excuse me!), yet still being aware that all the parnossah (the success) is totally a brocha from Hashem. It is exactly like sobriety, and in many ways. Neither are the tachlis, neither are essentially good or bad - but lack of parnossah/sobriety leads to starvation/insanity and a ruined and useless life...and having sobriety/parnossah are the ticket into life, yet not life itself.

     

    Sadly, there are many who see sobriety/parnossah as the tachlis of life. A mishega'as, no? It's like saying the purpose of life is 'not dying'. Gevalt.

     

    Work it out and let me know what you come up with. I am not saying I have all the answers, but this is how I try to live it all, be"H. And it seems to be working so far, though He is not through with me, as I have a long, long way to go..  

    1083.

    How to Deal with Addiction

     

    The Fear of Setting Yourself Free     

     

    By: Rabbi YY Jacobson  


     Sent by TheYeshiva.net  

     

    Rage Therapy 

       

    A man visiting a bar each evening, would routinely throw glass cups at the bartender and at the people sitting around and drinking. Yet he always made sure to follow up his violence by pleading for forgiveness. "I suffer from uncontrollable rage and I am deeply ashamed of it; please forgive me for my embarrassing and unforgivable behavior," he would always say.

     

    Finally, the bartender made an ultimatum with the man. He could not come back to the bar unless he underwent therapy for a full year. The man consented. He did not show up at the bar any longer.

    After the year finally passed, the man showed up at the bar one evening. Lo and behold he took a glass and threw it right at the bartender.

    "What's going on?" the bartender thundered.

    "Well, as you have suggested, I went to therapy," the man replied, "and now I am not embarrassed about it anymore."

     

    Animal Laws

     

    This week's Torah portion, Mishpatim, deals with the laws of animals that damage other people's animals or property. Say, for example, your domesticated usually well behaved dog goes berserk and it suddenly attacks and bites another person's or dog in a public place. Or your domesticated bull suddenly and uncharacteristically gores and kills another bull. What's the law? 

     

    For the first three incidents, says the Torah, the owner of the bull pays for only half of the damage. Since it is unusual for the bull to let lose and gore somebody, the owner of the bull was not expected to be vigilant against it. Therefore, he is not deemed completely responsible for the loss and he splits the loss with the owner of the wounded animal.
     
    This is true only for the first three incidents. After three incidents of such aggression, it is now established that this bull (or dog) is of a destructive nature and the owner is expected to guard his animal and is fully responsible for all damages done as a result of his failure to guard it.
     

    Is "Repentance" Possible?

    How about reorientation?

    Can a bull or any other animal that went astray, resume their original status of innocence?

    Yet, says the Talmud (3). This can be achieved in two ways. Either the owner rigorously trains his animal until its disposition is transformed from an aggressor to a restful animal.   Another option states the Talmud, is to sell the animal or grant it as a gift to another person. With a new owner and new patterns and schedules, the Halacha (Jewish law) assumes the animal, coming from a species that is usually domesticated and well behaved, to be nonviolent until it is proven destructive again (4).


    The Psychological Dimension

    We pointed out numerous times that each law of the Torah contains in addition to a concrete, physical interpretation, also a psychological and spiritual rendition. This is one of the primary functions of the Jewish mystical tradition -- Kabbalah and Chassidism -- to explain the metaphysical meaning behind each law and Mitzvah of the Torah and the Talmud.

    How can we apply the above-mentioned set of laws to our personal lives?


    The Mystical Animal

    Each of us possesses an animal within, an earthy and mundane consciousness that seeks self-preservation and self-enhancement. In the Jewish tradition, in contrast to some other traditions, the human animal is not seen as inherently evil and destructive, only as potentially evil and destructive.

    Originally, when we are born, the animal within our psyche is innocent and even cute, like a cute little puppy. Its primary goal is merely to preserve its existence, to gratify its natural quests, and to enjoy a good and comfortable life. However, if our animal consciousness is not educated, cultivated and refined, this cute innocent animal can become a self-centered beast; sometimes the beast can turn into a monster, prone to destroy itself and others in its quest for self-enhancement and self-aggrandizement. Sometimes our animal can become addicted to various things (food, drugs, nicotine, alcohol, sexuality etc.) to desperately fill a void it's experiencing.

    Many people's animals do indeed become, at one point or another, damaging forces, causing pain to themselves or to others. Yet there are two categories of damaging human animals. One who's moments of aggression are seen as unusual deviations, and one in whom these destructive patterns become common behavior.

    In cases where the animal is generally moral and decent and its act of destruction is an unusual anomaly, the Torah states, we ought to be more understanding of the "owner" of the animal. Nobody is entitled to gore or bite another human being ever, yet practically speaking we need to remember that even the most gentle husband could lose himself and raise his voice in rage and even the most loving woman may, in a moment of stress, make an obnoxious comment. It is painful, mends must be made, but it's not the end of the world.

    As long as the offender acknowledges his or her wrongdoing and accepts accountability for it, understanding and forgiveness should follow.

    To be human is to err. Our goal is not perfection but accountability. Life will sometimes throw a curveball your way and in the shock that follows you may lose yourself and begin to "gore." As long as you are accountable for your actions and words, your negative behavior is considered an "anomaly," an aberration to your natural self.   

    But, if the incidents of abuse and destruction persists -- for example, if a husband continuously shouts at his spouse or children, or a person in leadership position shatters the lives of people under his control, or a wife has only derision for her husband, or a person cannot control their food or sexual addiction -- this behavior should not be condoned. We are dealing with an animal whose selfish, destructive and unhealthy inclinations have become the norm.

    Making mistakes is part of life. But when these mistakes become regular habits, without being controlled and stopped, they are dangerous. Now they have turned into a life style, a routine, sometimes an addiction. The owner of this kind of animal cannot excuse himself or herself by saying, "I did not realize, I did not know." He or she must take the bull at its horns (pun intended) and control it.

    But how does such an animal return to its original innocent status? How does an animal gone wild regain the trust of the people it has hurt so badly? How can you change your life around?


    Two Paths to Recovery

    Two roads are available.

    The first is a rigorous process of self-refinement, in which the animal learns to confront and challenge its deepest fears and urges and to de-beast its abusive character.

    Yet, even before you manage to work through all of the dark chambers of your wild animal, the teachings of Judaism present another alternative as well: To change the jurisdiction of the animal.

    Take your animal and submit it to the higher power, to the property of G-d. Even before elevating your animal to a higher realm, surrender it to the higher reality. Take your rage, your addictions, your depression, and your fear and submit them to G-d.

    From G-d's perspective, the universe is created anew at every single moment. You, I and all of existence are being re-created at each and every moment. So right now at this moment you can put your past demons to rest and start anew. You are a fresh newborn.
    Talk to your animal, and reflect together on the following truth. Yes, I know that you have a complicated past and I am not denying that; I know you believe that you are prone and addicted to all types of behavior. But right now, my dear animal, we will look to the present, and we will live in the present. You and I were just created anew. With a clean slate. So let us finally begin to live. For real.

    Yes, I know it is scary to really feel that you do not have luggage from the past and that you need to take full responsibility for your future, but please let us muster our courage and view ourselves from the perspective of existing in G-d's domain. In His world, everything is recreated each moment. We can liberate ourselves from our past and defy ominous predictions of our future, as long as we do it now.


    If you are serious, your animal will listen.

      

      

    The Prisoner's Dilemma

     


    In the 16th century, an innocent Jew was thrown in prison by a feudal baron who gave him a life sentence. For some reason, this tyrannical baron decided to show the man a bit of mercy. He told him, "Look Jew, you're my prisoner for life, there's nothing that will change that. But this I will do for you: I will grant you one day of freedom a year during which you can return to your family. Do whatever you want. I don't care which day you choose. But remember, you have only one day a year."

     

    The man was conflicted. Which day should he choose? Should he choose Rosh Hashanah, to hear the sounding of the shofar? Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year? Passover, to celebrate a seder? His wedding anniversary?


    This prisoner, not being able to make up his mind, wrote a letter to one of the rabbinic leaders of that generation, the Radbaz, asking for his advice.


    The Radbaz said the prisoner should choose the first available day. Whatever it is, grab it now, don't wait - be it a holiday, a Shabbat, a Monday, a Wednesday.

      

      

    A Flood of Positive Energy

     

    This was a marvelous reply. More important, it holds true for us as well.
     
    Practically speaking, take your self and your animal and submit them to G-d, by submerging yourself in goodness and holiness. Fill your days and nights with meaningful and good behavior, with the study of Torah, the observance of Mitzvos, with acts of goodness and kindness and with a life of productivity and meaning, and much of the evil of the animal will wither away.

     

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    1084.
    ATTENTION 
     
    Great Zechusim Up For Grabs!

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~  

    Running when your clothes are on fire

     

    Someone wrote to Dov:

     

    Sometimes when I'm going through a stressful period, I can find myself masturbating in bed at night semi-consciously. Sometimes, I can stop myself before it gets too late, other times I don't fully realize what I'm doing and go the whole way.

    Did you ever have this problem, and if you did is there anything you can suggest to help me cut this out? I do have to admit that I was curious a few days ago and also spent about 15 mins looking at pictures of models. Obviously I shouldn't have done that, but sometimes I think it just comes down to stress.

     

    Dov Responds:

     

    Dear chaver,


    Thanks for sharing that with me. There is some very good writing on this sensitive topic in "Recovery Continues" by Roy K. I suggest u look at it. It does me good, as does most of that short book.


    I found that as my lusting decreased, I had fewer nocturnal problems, which felt nice. I discovered that when I was free of nocturnal lust issues, it made me feel good inside. Not 'holy' nor morally good, but simply at peace with myself. I guess I hate seeing myself as 'out of control', or at the mercy of lust (or any forces) and lusting like I used to, even in dreams. There were times when I felt - in dreams - an awareness that "no, that's not what I want," on an emotional level and recoiled from acting out in my dreams, as well. It is no "madreigah", at all. It's just the way we become naturally when we do this work. It is a comfortable, natural self-awareness that "this is not for me, period, whether it is right or wrong or feels good or bad, it is just is not mine, and that is the way I like it."


    But just as it was for me when I became frum (around 11 years old): not switching lights on and off was very hard to remember in the first year or two.... but after a few years it became second nature. I imagine that even if I were in a dream and the idea of turning on a light came to me while I thought it was Shabbos - I'd recoil naturally - not from tzidkus, at all. Don't you feel the same way about Shabbos yourself? How about for lusting behavior like sex with ourselves? Is that in the same realm for you? If not, I'd wager it'd be a matter of time till it will be. Not to worry, I say.


    Does this make sense to you so far? Is it addressing your issue?


    I am saying that if your response to lust during your conscious hours is about becoming at peace instead of lusting - that is, with the aim being achieving peace with it and growing free of it as a result of that inner peace - then it will be just the same while you are asleep. Fighting it and beating it - or ignoring it (they are kind of the same, really) is just trying to 'run away' from it. 


    "Hevei boreyach min ha'avero kaboreyach min ha'eish" works great - unless the fire is on your own clothes! What happens to people who are actually themselves on fire, when they run? The fire follows them and their running only fans the flames! For an addict there is no running away, is there? You and I run - and the flames grow and we get burned worse and worse....till we finally drop. "Stopping and Dropping" means hitting bottom and giving the fight up completely to your Higher Power. I lost. The fight is over for me. If the flame - the addiction - is part of me, then there is only one rule that really works: Stop, Drop, and Roll. That is the way I like. Admit it in writing to myself and to another openly on the phone or in meetings, and surrender it by admitting that I obviously haven't the ability to fight it. Not because the Yetzer is so strong, but because I am sick. And I start to learn to roll right along with real life with my real G-d and with the real people around me. Growing up a bit through the steps in a fellowship of other losers at controlling lust.. 


    But if the person sees it as purely a moral struggle - and the fact that he has the desire is approached as a defect in him to struggle against - then sleep will just be yet another battleground. Another place where he tries running. Good luck to him...

    Our way is not to deny or keep fighting (and losing to) the lust - and certainly not to give in to the desire! But rather to finally surrender it openly to safe people who really know it themselves. To admit who and what I lust after and accept it, and admit it to others. To give it up. When I do that, I discover that I see it all differently. I am no longer afraid of the lust, nor of the women I lust after. I can let go of them, let go of the overpowering lust. I start to taste freedom granted by Hashem. He loves Emess that much. It is obviously a sweet, loving gift from Hashem. 

     

    If it is a specific woman that I lust after, then in recovery I can speak the woman's name in prayer to Hashem - for her sake, for they really are people. I can care for them in the appropriate way Hashem wants me to, and can eventually begin to see them as humans - like me. Fallible - not gods, frail - not 'gods', confused and weak, with problems - in other words: real people... just like me. They have no magic lust power any more, then. Before that, she did have power (for me)! Not any more. Now, I can feel sorry for her, as I can for most people including myself, when I think about the fact that we all have real bitter struggles, problems, life.... And then I can start to surrender my lust, my sleep, my dreams, my sex, my zera, my money, whatever I feel is in my possession - and my fear -  to Hashem. And I get a good night's sleep without touching my eiver at all and without needing that erection, nor that fantasy. I do not want to touch myself in a sexual way, at all. I may still wish I could, but I accept that I simply cannot afford it, just like turning on a light in the dark room on Shabbos. Not gonna do it. I may have a desire to do it once in a blue moon..."it'd sure be convenient if I could turn this light on..." - so? So? So nothing. I always give it up happily.

     

    Happily is the key, here. Addicts cannot afford to regret the fact that they desire stuff. Even outlandish and destructive things. It just is natural to us addicts, and therefore it is a fact of life. The way it is, and Hashem knows it and always has. Period. That fact of my weirdness is not something to run from, fight against or be ashamed of, at all. Wanting to turn on a light is natural. My body does not care and does not even know that it is Shabbos. It never will, as far as I assume. So I am lower than R' Pinchas ben ya'ir's donkey. Sue me. For an addict, this is the same.

    1085.

    Using the Big Book for Lust Addiction

     

    By Peter / Pesach

     

    It has taken years in recovery to appreciate that my greatest defect in approaching 12 step recovery for lust addiction was my desperation and panic driven obsession to 'figure' this program out and do it 'right'.


    The simplicity of the solution has blown me away. The Big Book of Alcohol Anonymous can be used for lust addiction recovery. I've taken out relevant terms like alcohol and drinking and replaced it with lust and acting out. I've left the rest of the book exactly the same way, then I sat back with my sponsor, relaxed a bit and read it. When it suggested I take an action I took that action. I found that the more I let go of the wheel and let the Big Book drive, the more I've gotten out of the process. When I do Big Book work with a sponsee, I try to the best of my ability to leave myself and my analytical mind behind and approach the book like it's simply one big prayer for us addicts crying out to Hashem to save us from this terrible affliction. I am seeing miracles.

     

    May Hashem bring us all a speedy and full recovery.


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    SAA Phone Conferences

     

    We received the following e-mail today:

     

    Hi, I'd like to introduce your members to SAA phone meetings. Although the sobriety definition of SAA is different than SA's, I've been on their calls for the last 6 weeks and I feel it has saved my life.

     

    I think the Guard Your Eyes website is great... It has many great resources, Torah, etc. and I can see how it can help religious people very much. But there may be guys on GYE from all kinds of backgrounds, and some guys may be uncomfortable speaking in a religious Jewish setting. As you know, this addiction is so serious, we want people to get help getting sober immediately.

     

    Here's the link for SAA phone meetings 

     
    Here's an example of readings and a meeting guide for Monday's men's meeting at 5 PM    

     

    Hopefully, we all, as Am Yisrael, can support each other. That is the goal, and GYE's current phone conferences are great... But if that is not an option for whatever reason, thank G-d there are other ways to approach it.

     

    On the phone meetings (besides for womens' meetings) anyone can call and listen. You don't have to speak or introduce yourself. This is a safe way for someone to get an idea of how this program works.

     

    May Hashem strengthen all of us to be in complete recovery for life.


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    Daily Dose of Dov

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

       

    Learning to Grow Up  

     

    Last Thursday we brought a discussion that Dov had with someone. Here is a continuation of that discussion (although it can be understood on its own as well). The corespondent replies to Dov:

      

    Thank you very much for your reply. Well, to be fair I'm not totally at peace with lust during the day. Sometimes, I do feel like I'm holding back a beast that's ready to explode out of its prison. When I meet a girl I like, it's very difficult for me to ignore the sexual attraction element, just be natural and treat her like a friend. Being complacent after a few months clean and then falling prey to curiosity and looking at swimsuit models is also something I'm prone to.


    It's not just a moral struggle - I've hit rock bottom before and I know I can't afford to relapse. The good news is that I'm falling less often as the years go by and 'flowing more with life'. Unlike you though, I just see the struggle as an enemy that needs to be brutally suppressed. Hopefully though with a few more years of growth and development I will have made even more progress. So as you say, "not to worry!"

     

    Dov Responds:

     

    The truth is that there is no "beast in prison", at all here, but myself.  I'll try to explain.

    There are a few things that make me feel really miserable. But the most reliable of them all is acting out my lust. No matter how excited, breathless, and sweet it may feel, it always, always makes me feel just plain miserable and sick - before, during, and after. It is completely irrelevant to me why it makes me feel thus. It just does, and always has. And this is besides the results and damage it causes, like when I get in trouble for doing x,y, or z.

    So, I have discovered that no situation is so bad, that it can not be made even worse by me acting out.

    When I actively lust, all the other people in my life immediately become a pain in my butt (resentment of others and of the realities of life is planted in my mind and truly makes sense to me); avodas Hashem instantly becomes a dubious burden in my heart ("so of what real value is it for me as I am, anyway? Will Torah make me feel the way that skin makes me feel right now? No!"); I feel like a hopeless failure ("so why not be happy with just pleasuring myself full time?") ...more fear and resentment build from there. This is not 'rish'us' - it is sincere. Wrong, but sincere. That is why it is so confusing to us! We know we are good - yet our behavior proves we are very bad! ("Why me?") And through it, my addiction cycle is then strengthened much further, simply because my body knows how effective lust behaviors are at squelching all those pesky guilt feelings and crazy thoughts. And hey - it is my religious heart that wants them to be squelched at all costs! Resentment, fear, doubt, and desire - all them will go away as soon as I 'do it'. They always go away then... for a minute... as I have proven time and time again. Finally acting my lust out, was always a painful 'coming to my senses' and it returned to me that sincere desire to 'finally be good'. ("Hey, I may be surrounded by wreckage - but at least life makes sense again now! Phew! Familiar territory again...") But that stinks. Cuz enlightenment gained through addictive acting out is just temporary, of course. The sanity disappears as quickly as it came on - when I get 'thirsty' again... and again... 

    But I have had enough of that stupid cycle, and it sounds like you have, too. When can we finally hit bottom?

    Do you relate? Do you remember?

    I am trying to share the pain so that the struggle you refer to can be unmasked a bit further. It is not my friend, at all. Never was, and never will be. It makes me miserable, no matter how exciting it may make me feel. Misery.

    So I have emunah peshutah now, that when I sense the sincere desire to get a better look at a magazine cover, the rump of a coworker or a woman on the train, etc., I need not go there. For it never worked for me in the past, really.

    In other words, it is time for me to grow up.

    That's my recovery.

    And clearly, if the fight is made the focus, I will fail miserably. When I lust or resent, then I need to pray for these people to my G-d. He loves them all, right? Jew, gentile, tzaddik or rosho - He loves them, cares for them, keeps them alive with His 'life'. Correct? Why not join with Him in that love, and sincerely try to be helpful to these (His) people? And the first thing I can do for them is quit undressing them in my head - wanting to do that may be normal - for me- but doing that is violent and disrespectful. Always. The next thing I can do to help them and myself, is establish a right-sized relationship with them - which usually means to have nothing to do with them, at all, and just wishing them well. Like for birds in the park. But since they are people, I can pray for them to come to know Hashem... Hey, even Goyim ought to know and serve Hashem in the way that is right for them, obviously. I see my true friendship and love affair with Hashem as the greatest gift I have on this earth. (Do you?) And Hashem talks about that frequently in Torah and Novi. So I "Live and let live." Finally, I can do what all tzaddikim have always done for the b'riyah in general and for all people in particular: pray for them all, bless them all. As it is written, V'nivrechu b'cho kol mishpechos ha'o'adomo.... b'cho ub'zar'echo. For me to speak to Him m'umkah d'liboh on behalf of His b'riyos. When I did this yesterday (and again today) in response to attraction that I felt to the very pretty woman working next to me all day, I was able to work there and feel right about her all day long - which meant mostly to forget about her! That was a great gift and a great day, in my book.

    Does this sit well with you?

    1086.

    In Today's Issue 

    • Pesach: Two Recovery Pesach Halachos 
       
    • 12 Steps: Having Confidence in G-d as Much as in the Shmutz

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    Two Recovery Pesach Halachos

     

    By Nat

     

    I learned two halachos recently that relate to some beautiful things about recovery.

     

    The first one is: If chometz is sent to you in the mail on Pesach, you do not have accept it. Basically, this is the same message that a friend of mine in the SLAA group says: "If someone gives me a gift of emotional intoxication, for example if he is angry, annoyed, etc, or he wishes to discuss gossip with me, I don't have to accept someone else's chometz. I can say No. If someone wants to give you a gift and you don't accept it, to whom does it belong?

     

    To be able to do this, I pray daily for courage and use breathing techniques that I learned. I can - and do - choose which presents to accept.

     

    To be honest and open, I am far from perfect in this regard and I have self esteem issues myself, but hey, my Higher Power is granting me some awesome blessings so far :) I have been able to do this in reality with people who are scary and believe they have financial control over me, never mind the fact that some of them are addicts.

     

    The next halacha actually follows the first, in dealing with someone else's chometz:

     

    The Nodah B'yehehuda and some other Rabbonim would sell the chometz of each person in their city even if unasked, using the principle of "zachin leadam shelo befonov". So too, I can pray for each person I resent or who is still suffering. When I ask Hashem to relieve them of their chometz, they lose their chometz in my eyes and instead of being huge ego's who can hurt me, etc, they are just diseased people who really need my prayers!

     

    And most importantly, this year Hallel is going to be a huge part of the seder (contrary to previous years unfortunately).... I mean, boy, I really have what to praise and thank Hashem for. I am finally free!!!! Never mind all the other gifts that have come along with it self respect, empowerment, self love, family stability, financial stability, just to name a few... (It's hard to believe that sometimes I'm still like "oh I wish I could get some free cucumbers in Mitzraim" (zacharnu es hakishuyim asher achalnu beMitzrayim chinam :)

     

    A Pesach Kosher ve'sameach!

     

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    Having Confidence in G-d as Much as in the Shmutz
     
    By Elya (Eye.nonymous) 

     

    I am in the throes of a major lust attack which started some time around Tuesday and has continued through today (Friday).  I have spent lots of time making calls, I have spoken to my sponsor, I attended a GYE kumzitz, I have been posting on the GYE forum, and in the course of my daily interactions with people I think I inspired a new fellow to start attending SA meetings, I attended a live SA meeting, I have been praying repeatedly for G-d to remove this lust from me, and I have done an inventory of my character defects and shared them with another person.  Still, I feel I am merely keeping lust at bay but not having much of a victory over it.  I have had some dangerous slips and came very close to falling and re-setting my sobriety date which is now more than six months (for the third time in the past 2 years).

    Whew.

    At first, I thought maybe I'm just thinking about recovery and about this lust problem too much.  Perhaps I should put it out of my mind for a little while and get on with life.  On second thought, I felt that something is festering inside me right now and if I ignore it, it's only going to get worse.

    I saw that my efforts, my attempts to work the program, weren't making much of a difference.  So, before I gave up, I thought I would review each step-starting from step 1, and see if I am lacking something.

    Step 1.  Admitted I am powerless over lust and that my life has become unmanageable.

    Especially in light of a definition I heard from the "Sandy B" recordings (available for free download from Silkworth.net):  The problem isn't that once we start we can't stop.  The problem is really when we're sober; we feel so miserable that we can't help but take that first drink.

    Yes, I have reached that point.  The reminder is helpful.  But, I think my weak point right now is with something else.  So I continued...

    Step 2.  Came to believe that a power greater than myself could restore me to my sanity.

    Here I had a problem.  I was thinking now-isn't it my Higher Power that is causing all these problems in my life which is causing me to get all stressed out and which is compelling me to act out?  HE broke my washing machine, HE broke the hot-water system in our building which knocked out our hot water since 2 days ago, HE cause my children to get sick which is keeping our children and us up late at night (which is putting a damper on the marital intimacy department), HE is the one who isn't coming through with the miracles to provide me with an easy livelihood so I can just keep on sitting in kollel and learning for the rest of my life (instead, I am now about to quit kollel and look for full-time employment), etc, etc.

    YES, this was my weak point.  My step 2 was faulty.  All the moral inventories etc (step 4 and onward) only work upon a firm foundation of steps 1-3.  Otherwise, they merely are empty, superficial, self-help and self-improvement tricks.

    How can I rely on a higher power for help which was responsible for all my problems?

    This was a tough question to answer.  Then, also borrowing an idea from the "Sandy B" AA recordings:  Here I am, about to look at p*rn and about to m*sturbate.  I am convinced, 100%, that if I do this, I will feel better-all my problems will go away (at least temporarily).

    Despite my hard feelings towards G-d right now, shouldn't I be able to have at least as much confidence in Him as I do in pictures of scantily-clad women?  And, perhaps my problems are a result of my failing to truly put my trust in Him all along.  I was willing to give this another try.

    With that I was able to move along to step 3 etc., and I feel I have now gained a full reprieve from lust, just for today. 

    1087.

    In Today's Issue 

    • Pesach: Getting Rid of Chametz - On Pesach?! 
       
    • 12 Steps: I Can't. He Can. Let Him. 

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    Link of the Day

     

    Bein Hazmanim for Addicts is Tough. Be Prepared. 
     

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    Getting Rid of Chametz - on Pesach?!

     

    By Yosef C. in SA (and Tzvi Freeman on Chabad.org)

     

    The original piece is by Tzvi Freeman on Chabad.org. But when I saw this, I thought it would be great for GYE and recovery:

     

    There is a halacha, one that may appear to have absolutely nothing to do with overcoming self-destruction-but it has everything to do with it: Let's say you cleaned your house for Pesach. There isn't a drop of bread, cookie, pasta, whiskey, or cheerio-nothing in the entire house. But then, in the middle of Pesach, you discover some flour, wet flour and...disaster of disasters... it's chometz!


    Every moment you leave that wet flour lying around, you have chametz in your house on Pesach, and owning chametz on Pesach is everything that you tried to avoid with all those hours of cleaning, scrubbing and searching. Every second that ticks by from this point on, you are transgressing the aveira: "Chametz shall neither be seen nor found on your property on Passover!"


    How long does it take you to get that chametz flushed down the toilet? Ten minutes? Five minutes? In a real panic, maybe two minutes? Doesn't matter. Every second spent, you're transgressing, big time!....

    Or are you?

    Well, actually, the halacha is that you are not transgressing at all! In fact, you're doing a mitzvah and connecting with Hashem. Every moment it takes you to get rid of that chametz (the 'unwanted' presence), is considered a moment that the chametz does not exist! While you are pro-actively involved in getting rid of the negative, Hashem sees you involved in a mitzvah, not ch'v an averia.

    Because, simply put, there is no other way to remove chametz other than with time.

    What if I tripped when getting rid of the chumatz, and it broke and spread around other places? What if I stepped on it by accident and mashed it into a crack in the floor?? What if it gets stuck on me? BIG SIN right? Says Torahs Chesed: NO. As long as we are involved in getting the negative out of our lives, there is only the mitzva of removing it. No avera.

    (See Shulchan aruch Ha'Rav 445, 1.  434, 6. And  433, 12).     

     

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

     

    By the way, I am SO GRATEFUL I added the GYE Blackberry App... No doubt I would be slipping lately if not!

     

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    I can't. He can. Let Him.

     

    By Benyamin Bresinger

     

    The second of the Twelve Steps of AA is "[We] Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity." I interpret this to be the step when we come to realize that G-d is waiting to be trusted. When I develop a trust in G-d, I never have to be alone again.

     

    Being restored to sanity through trust in G-d is not just for an addict in recovery. Every human being may have moments of insanity. Any time we sabotage our connection to our Creator, we act insane. When I do something that disconnects me from my Maker, it can only be because I am temporarily insane. Sane thinking will not allow me to act contrary to my own wellbeing. And, my own wellbeing depends on a healthy relationship with my G-d.

     

    When we look at the history of the Exodus, we find that the Jewish people as a group experienced a journey similar to the one that recovering addicts travel. The Jewish people were enslaved to Pharaoh, and G-d was the One who set them free. But Egypt is not just a country; it's the paradigm for being stuck, being enslaved by the burden of self. Recovering addicts have experienced in their own bodies the bondage of addiction and the freedom of recovery. All of us, in all generations, experience the bondage of self, and cry out to G-d to help us be freed. When the Jewish people cried out to G-d in Egypt, they took an action of "coming to believe." Or, in the words of my friends in recovery describing the first three steps, "I can't. He can. Let Him." The cry was a cry of recognition: "He can."

     

    Later, when the Jewish people stood at Mount Sinai, G-d revealed Himself to them saying: "I am the L-rd your G-d, who took you out of the land of Egypt -- from the house of slaves." Why would G-d choose this as His introduction? He could have presented Himself as the Creator of the universe, or as the All Powerful One. But, by saying, "Hello, my name is G-d, and I took you out of Egypt," He is saying, "I am there for you. I want to have a intimate relationship with you. I am a caring, loving G-d that will 'get dirty' when you're knee deep in mud."

     

    Now, that's a message I need to hear over and over again. Maybe that's why we remind ourselves of G-d taking us out of Egypt daily -- in the reading of the Shema. But, I need more than hearing it -- I need to trust it, and I need to act on it. Trust is part of any relationship because being in a relationship is always a work in progress. It all starts with a cry, with humility -- I need to be open to the possibility that the Creator knows me and is there for me.

     

    So essentially, in their formative years, the Jewish people did the first three steps as a way of getting out of their Egypt. We continue to take these steps daily. We acknowledge our insanity; we find G-d in Whom we trust, and we do the work to be in a relationship with Him.

     

    G-d is still introducing Himself as the One who took us out of Egypt. He is saying, "Just as my love for your ancestors compelled me to schlep them out, so too, my love for you can be trusted to schlep you out of the narrow places of your own thinking."

     

    Now, that's worth having a holiday about! Happy Passover!

    1088.

    In Today's Issue 

    • Pesach: The Barditchiver Rebbe & the Addict's Seder  

       

    • Spiritual Tips: Segulah for Overcoming Lust 

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    The Barditchiver Rebbe & The Addict's Seder

     

    Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Barditchov (1740-1810) was one of the great spiritual masters of his generation. One Passover, following an emotionally charged Seder, the Rebbe was told from heaven, that Mosheleh the water carrier's Seder was superior to his. "This year," he was informed from above, "G-d's most lovable Seder was that of the water-carrier of Barditchov."

           The next day after services, the Rebbe's disciples went up to Mosheleh the water carrier and asked him to come see the Rebbe. Mosheleh came before the Rebbe, and he began to cry bitterly. He said, "Rebbe, I'll never do it again. I'm so sorry; I don't know what came over me." The poor man was devastated. The Rebbe said, "Listen, my dear Jew, don't worry so much; just tell us what you did last night."

           Here we must interrupt the story for a moment. It is well known that generally, intoxication and alcoholism are viewed in Jewish literature as repulsive and destructive. Yet our dear Mosheleh was orphaned at a young age and was miserably poor. He thus sadly succumbed to the temptation of alcohol as a way to deal with his daily agony and stress. Essentially, Mosheleh was a good and innocent man, a G-d fearing individual and a pure heart, But this temptation, unfortunately, got the better of him, and he drank often.

           The "problem" is that on Passover you can't drink whiskey. So Mosheleh had a tremendous idea: He'll stay up the whole night before Passover and drink an amount of whisky that would keep him "high" for eight days straight, throughout the entire Passover holiday.

           This Moshe did: When the night before Passover arrived he drank and drank, until the minute when you must stop eating Chamatz (leaven) on the morning before Passover. When the clock struck twenty minutes after nine, he took his last "L'chayim" and he was out cold.

           Seder night arrived. His wife came to wake him and said, "Mosheleh, it's really not fair. Every Jewish home has a Seder. We have little children, and we are the only ones who don't have a Seder." Mosheleh gazed at the Rebbe of Barditchov and continued relating his tale: "By then, did I regret that I drank so much the night before! Did I regret it! I would have done anything not to be drunk. But I couldn't help it. So I said to my wife: 'Please wake me up in an hour. I just can't get it together yet.'

           My wife kept waking me every hour, and then every half-hour. Then, suddenly, she came to me and said, 'Moshe, in twenty minutes the Seder night is gone and the children are all sleeping. Shame on you. You are a disgraceful father and husband!'

           "Gevald! I was so devastated," Mosheleh told the Rebbe. "Here, my children are so precious and I am such a lousy alcoholic father, I didn't even give them a Seder. I realized how low I have fallen, how my addiction destroyed my life and my relationships, how I sold my soul to the devil of alcohol. So, with my last strength I got out of bed and sat down at the Seder table. I said to my wife, 'Please, call our holy children.'

           "She called the children and I said to them, 'Please sit down very close to me, I have to talk to you.

           "I want you to know, children, that I am so sorry that I drank. I am so sorry that I am a drunkard. If my drinking can make me not have a Seder with you, then it's not worth it." I said to my children, 'I swear to you, that I'll never drink again in my life. But, right now, it's Seder night, so let me just tell you the Passover story in a nutshell.'"

           Mosheleh said to the Rebbe, "You know, I was still drunk, and I barely know how to read Hebrew. But, I tried my best. I said, 'Children, I want you to know that G-d created heaven and earth in seven days. Then Adam and Eve ate from the Tree and were thrown out of Paradise. Since then everything went down hill: There was a flood, there was a tower of Babel - that was as much as I knew. Then came Abraham and Sarah. They began fixing the world again. Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob and Rachel and Leah and their twelve holy sons. Then Pharaoh made slaves out of us, and tonight, G-d took us out from Egypt.

           "My Sweet children, now we are also in exile. And I want you to know, that the same G-d who took us out from Egypt is still alive and present and very soon He will liberate us from this exile too."

           "I turned to G-d, and said: 'Father in heaven, thank you so much for taking us out of Egypt. And I beg you, sweetest father, please take us out of our present exile very soon'! Rebbe, I'm so sorry. I couldn't say anything more because I was still drunk.

           "I Took the Matzah, Maror and Charoses situated on the table and ate it. I filled four cups and drunk them one after another, I turned over and I fell asleep again."

            The holy master Rabbi Levi Yitzchok of Barditchov was crying bitter tears. He said to his disciples, "Did you hear that? Did you hear that? I wish that one time in my life I should communicate Yiddishkeit (the Jewish spirit) to my children, the way Mosheleh the water carrier gave it over to his children Seder night. I wish that one time in my life I should converse with G-d like Mosheleh did during his Seder."

     

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    As low as we may have fallen the whole year around, on the Seder night Hashem shines a great light down to the lowest places. If our heart's are broken and we try our best, Hashem rejoices with us as He did with the Jews in Egypt 3,000 years ago!

     

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    Segulah for Overcoming Lust 

     

    Someone wrote in to us:   

     

    "I had a major nisayon yesterday & I was going crazy fighting it off, davening & searching for a way out all at the same time..... & suddenly hashem put a thought in me to make a donation to GYE & maybe in this z'chus I'll be saved. I instantly logged into my quickbooks and wrote a check with a tefilah that Hashem should help me in this z'chus. It did the trick! May hashem continue to help me not to have this nesayon ever again....." 
    1089.

    In Today's Issue 

    • Link of the Day: The Dangers of Social Networks 
    • New Cycle of the 12-Step Phone