When it comes to the desire
for food, a person always has that "gray" area of deciding what he
should eat--for his bodily strength, and what he shouldn't
eat--either because it's not healthy for him or because it's too
much. However, when it comes to "lusting" for other women, whether
through pictures or in real life, there is no "gray" area. It is
plain and simply "bad" for you.
The entire "lust" phenomenon was created by G-d to bring a man and
women together for the purpose of building a family. Any other type
of lust which is not for the purpose of marriage, and especially if
one is already married, is very, very unhealthy, both spiritually
and physically. It does nothing besides destroy people's lives and
take them away from G-d and from their goals in life.
Therefore, don't be afraid to just give it up to G-d. Just say to
G-d with feeling, "Dear G-d, I truly want to give you this habit of
lusting, - even if it means ripping my heart out! PLEASE. Take this
"lusting" away from me. I want to give it up to you G-d, for the
rest of my life, as a true sacrifice. For I know that you G-d, are
the true source of all beauty, all love and all desire".
The Medrash Yalkut Shemoni (click
brings Chazal's words: Who ever turns himself away from aveira
(sin), then even if he is a Israelite, he is worthy of bringing a
sacrifice on the alter like the Kohen Gadol"... "And who ever
makes himself lazy from sin and doesn't sin, merits to enjoy the
shine of the Shechina like the ministering angels".
Zohar, Bereshit 61b
Rabbi Yitzhak was in the presence of Rabbi Shimon. He asked
him: Regarding the verse, "And the earth was corrupt before G-d," (Bereshit,
5:11,) if men transgressed, why should the earth be called corrupt?
Rabbi Shimon answered him, Because it is written, "For all flesh has
corrupted its way." In a similar fashion, it is written, "And the
land was defiled, therefore do I punish its iniquity upon it," (Vayikra,
18:25.) If mankind sinned, why is the earth to blame? The reason is
that mankind is the essence of the earth. When they pollute their
way in the world, the earth becomes defiled. This is proven by the
verse, "And G-d saw the earth, and behold it was corrupt, for all
flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth."
Come and see, all sins of man, and all of his acts of defilement,
can be rectified through t'shuva (repentance.) But the sin of
spilling one's seed on the earth, which defiles the man and casts
semen onto the earth, defiles both him and the earth. Of such a man
it is written, "The stain of thy iniquity is before me," (Yirmeyahu,
2:22.) It also says, "For Thou art not a G-d that hath pleasure in
wickedness, nor shall evil (ra) dwell with Thee," (Tehillim, 5:5,)
except through a great t'shuva. On this it is written, "And Er,
Yehuda's firstborn, was evil (ra) in the sight of the L-rd, and the
L-rd slew him," (Bereshit 38:7.)
The Torah says "Ki karov elecha hadavar me'od"
- "for it (i.e. the Torah) is very close to you" (meaning
that it is not difficult to uphold). The question is though, if so,
why is it sometimes so hard?? The answer is, that the fight against
these desires is truly only 10% will power and effort. The other 90%
of breaking free is simply making the decision, deep and
true, that you don't want these things anymore.
So in truth, it's only hard as long as you still think you
Make the decision today, forever! "I don't want to go back to
Think of consequence of your actions.
The world won't end if you don't get what you want now.
People write on
Arutz Sheva "Talk-Back" about the
importance of internet filters...
downloaded a filter (I asked my wife to do it for me so I wouldn't
know the code) and now for the first time in ages I can sit down at
the computer without the nagging temptation. I recommend it for
Thank you for the information. My wife brought my attention to this
article and said we should do something about it with our boys
getting older (14 and 12). Of course, she is right, since I myself
am not immune to the temptation. Who possibly could be since it is
only a click away? While a parent cannot always control what goes on
outside of his house (especially in a town like LA), to everyone who
values Judaism, it is our job to guard the sanctity of the Jewish
Yisrael from Bet El...
Immodesty was the root of the sexual transgression that destroyed
the First Temple. The Gemara describes how the Jewish women would
prance around immodestly in the streets of Jerusalem to tempt the
men, and everyone knows what that leads to. (Yoma 9B). People don't
have to throw away their computers, but if parents don't install
filters they are transgression the Torah prohibition, "Don't put a
stumbling block in front of a blind man."
here for the leading internet
filter choices in the market today, and
here for everything you wanted to
know about internet filters.
Our Rabbis have taught: Samson rebelled against
G-d through his eyes, as it
says, "Samson said to his father, 'I noticed one of the Philistine
Timnah…Get her for me, for she is the one that pleases me ...
3). Because of this the Philistines gouged out his eyes, as it says,
Philistines seized him and gouged out his eyes" (Judges 16:2 1). (Sotah
Sefer Chassidim 1136
G-d created man in His image. As long as man does not transgress and
not derive pleasure from gazing at immorality and does not try to
himself attractive to women and keeps his mind clear from immoral
then his image above in the heavenly spheres radiates. And as long
image gleams, no demon is allowed to touch him. But when a person
transgresses, his image above does not radiate, and angels of
destruction attack him. [Note: This manifests itself in multiple forms of
come upon a person].
Sometimes a person wonders, "for how long will I
have to fight this? I thought I had already made a lot of progress,
but suddenly I see that I'm again struggling with the yetzer hara
in the same old ways". A person must realize that the yetzer
hara never gives up. Every day he instigates a new fight, in all
types of creative ways. But keep hope! Nothing we have accomplished
in the past is lost, but G-d wants us to keep going to higher and
higher levels. This wouldn't be possible if we made progress once
and simply finished. So each day the yetzer hara tries again,
in new ways, or, in the same old ways that we had thought we were
finished with already. But we must learn from the yetzer hara,
and also never give up. We need to strengthen ourselves every day
anew. And this is precisely what G-d wants from us.
We all know that "lusting" is bad for us, spiritually and
physically. It destroys lives and takes the person away from his
life's goals. We all know that there's really nothing there, and
that it's all a big bubble of hot air that pops in our face. So why
should we let the body rule over us, just because our brains are
"wired" in a certain way?
The Tikunei Zohar writes "Happy is the man that controls his evil
inclination like a rider on a horse. Woe to the man that the horse
This is the way of the evil inclination. The biggest, most tempting
fantasy you could think of--the minute it's over there's just no
more desire. Nothing. And not only that, but it leaves a void in
it's wake. The evil one laughs at us and when we are fool enough to
give in to him. He leaves us with an emptiness and with no
The opposite is true with spirituality. Before you do a Mitzva,
learn Torah or say no to a non-Kosher desire, it can look hard, it
can feel dry. "Pharaoh" comes to the person and says "Who is G-d
that I should listen to him?" But afterwards, after you've given
a little of yourself over to G-d, you are left with an inner
fulfillment that shines and shines forever...
We recite the first
pasuk of kriyas shema four times a day "And you shall
love your G-d with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your
strength." And Chaza"l say, "even if he takes your life". So
why are so many people willing to give up their love of G-d for such
Next time you are tested, imagine you were being tortured by the
inquisition to give up your faith. Would you give in? If it came
down to the real test, most of us would be willing to
give up our lives for G-d . So keep this thought in mind. The
tests that we go through aren't even 100th as bad as what we would
be truly willing to suffer, if faced with the ultimate choice!
Sometimes we excuse our behavior and say that the Yetzer Hara
causes us not to think straight and therefore we do the wrong thing.
But if the Yetzer Hara tried to get us to stick our hand in
fire, would we let ourselves get confused? No! So why do we let him
muddle our minds when it comes to forbidden pleasures? The answer
is, we are lacking in Emunah. If our Emunah would be
stronger, we would see these sins as fire and we wouldn't let
ourselves become confused by the Yetzer Hara. So how do we
indeed strengthen our Emunah? After all, when we are
feeling weak, and we can't see the truth before our eyes, it is hard
to picture these desires as dangerous as a burning fire! One good
piece of advice is to make the danger more real to yourself.
Some people, I have heard, have even resorted to making a resolution
to burn themselves with a match before letting themselves sin. This
often helps them refrain from sinning altogether. But this might be
too extreme for most people. Instead, accept upon yourself to give a
dollar to charity every time you let yourself lust, or gaze at that
something forbidden, (say, for more than 2 seconds). And maybe
resolve or even make a Shavuah to give $10 to charity before
you let yourself masturbate. In other words, start to feel the
danger, the pain and the loss of every time you slip. This will
help you bring up that which you truly do believe deep down, and
make it much easier to break free.
Someone once wrote on
I have been in that dark pit.
If you listen I will help you out of there.
You have to remember.
Remember your youth, your younger days, where life was happy and
Believe , that is how life is meant to be.
The pit is not real (even though it seem momentarily real and
Make a resolution, to move forward to POSITIVITY, to purity of mind
and soul, to reality, and out of distortion of reality.
ONE step at a time.
To where there is truth
To where there is purity
To where there is happiness
G-d, the G-d of Israel, is the source of all these things.
How do we connect to the source of Goodness, purity , happiness,
reality, truth, inner peace, and self control?
How do we rectify a distorted mind?
Learn a word of Torah today.
Tomorrow, another one, and so on ....
Turn to the mighty purifying waters of Torah, step by step, and HaSh-m
, will lead you out of the quagmire.
Trust in Him.
Do His mitzvot , without reason, simply , because He, Baruch Hu ,
commands us .
This is a starting point.
Experience how, you will be transformed.
If the urge returns, turn to HaSh-m. Know that He is the Source of
True life and Goodness, even in this world.
All other pleasure are fleeting and pale , next to the pleasure of
connecting to your Maker, of connecting to True life.
Be faithful to HaSh-m, and then you will be faithful to everyone
A friend, a Jewish brother.
It is written in the book Rechev Eliyahu that the
Yetzer ha Rah tells the person: "Hey, you're not doing anything
wrong by looking at women, because your intention is not to enjoy
through your eyes, but only to check out if you know this particular
woman, and many other things will the Yetzer ha Rah tell him.
Therefore a man should build up fences and barriers and he should
think that even the strongest of men, like Samson, the most pious
man, namely David and the wisest Salomon, stumbled through women and
furthermore our Rabbis said: "Better to go after a Lion and not
after a woman" and the person should think: isn't she full of
impurity and her mouth full of blood and the man who fixes his eyes
on her makes for himself molten g-ds and causes a spirit of Tumah to
enter within him.
G-d gave us human beings the gift of imagination, something that no other life
form has been endowed with. Without imagination we wouldn't be able to function
as human beings, to invent, to progress and to search for the truths of the
universe and for G-d. Yet, at the same time, imagination is responsible for most
of the Yetzer Hara's power over us. The reason why we "lust" for things that we
know we can never have and that are bad for us, is because we imagine that we
could have them, we imagine that they are good for us. R' Nachman says that the
name of the Yetzer Hara in our day and age is "Dimyon" - Imagination. We need to
learn to use this wonderful gift of G-d only for the right things. When it comes
to lusting and fantasies, we need to turn off the imagination and internalize
that all these imaginary desires out there have no connection to us. For in
reality, having all these imaginary desires would be bad for us, bad for the
people involved and bad for the world. So next time you catch yourself
fantasizing or lusting, start to train yourself how to turn off the gift of
imagination sometimes, and live in REALITY instead.
Chaza"l and the Torah are generally very careful to speak in the cleanest
language possible. When discussing the impure animals that came into the Ark
with Noach, the Torah writes "Take with you seven of each pure animal and two of
each animal which is not pure". The Torah didn't even want to write the word
"impure" when not necessary. However, when it comes to the Yetzer Hara, we find
that Chaza"l write things that sound disgusting even when said by the average
person, let alone by our holy sages. For example, the Gemara writes "everyone
knows that a woman is a barrel of excrement and that her mouth (allegorically)
is full of blood, and yet they all run after her". When it comes to the Yetzer
Hara, a person SHOULD make these unkosher desires disgusting in his eyes. A
person should remember how he came from a "putrid drop" and how he is lusting
after blood and excrement that will rot one day in the ground. By making the
desires repulsive in his eyes, one purifies and uplifts himself out of the mud
Someone once wrote on a forum in regard to Gay behavior; "what's so sexy about
dipping into the feces? What a stink!!! Human-cesspool-lovers! OOOOOFFFF…" When
I first read it, it sounded revolting, but that is the way each and every one of
us should learn to view all unkosher desires. How much more beautiful it is to
lust for G-d instead of for these filthy cravings, as Dovid Hamelech said to
G-d; "Tzama Lecha Nafshi, Kama Lecha Besari" - My soul thirsts for you, my flesh
craves for you".
How does one get rid of lewd thoughts that distract him from his divine service
and his purpose in life?
They tell a story of a Ba'al Teshuvah who once came to one of the Chassidic
Masters with this question. Having done Teshuvah for his past evil ways, he
found that he was still plagued by bad thoughts and fantasies. The Rebbe gave
him a parable.
There was once a Jew named Moshkeh who owned an inn where he used to sell wine
and spirits to the gentile peasants of the area. After a while, he became
disgusted in dealing with the drunken gentiles and decided to go into another
line of business and so he closed down the bar. That evening, there was a
banging on the door. "Moshkeh, Moshkeh, open up! We want some wine and
spirits!". "Sorry", Moshkeh replied, "from now on, the inn is closed". The
gentiles had no choice but to leave disappointed. For days and even weeks
afterwards, Moshkeh would keep getting knocks on the door, but as the word
slowly spread that the Bar was closed, the knocking became less and less
frequent until the gentiles stopped coming altogether.
The same goes with these thoughts, the Rebbe explained. After doing Teshuvah,
the thoughts keep trying to get in. But if you keep telling them that the store
is closed, they will stop coming altogether after a while.
The Holy Zohar, Kedoshim
We have learnt that it is forbidden for man to gaze at the beauty of
a woman lest evil thoughts be aroused in him and lead him to
something worse. When R. Shimon went through the town, followed by
the Companions, if he saw a beautiful woman he used to lower his
eyes and say to the Companions, Do not turn. Whoever gazes at the
beauty of a woman by day will have lustful thoughts at night, and if
these gain the better of him he will transgress the precept, "Ye
shall not make to yourselves molten g-ds". And if he has intercourse
with his wife while under the influence of those images, the
children born from such union are called "molten g-ds". R. Abba
said: 'It is forbidden to a man to fix his gaze upon heathen idols
and upon gentile women, or to receive benefit from them in any way.'
In honor of Rosh Chodesh Adar, let's discuss "Happiness"!
One of the leading causes of addiction is an inner void and
depression. Hear from Rabbi Avraham Twersky, a renowned psychiatrist
who has written over 50 books dealing with human psychology and an
expert on dealing with addictions! Download
MP3 file (right-click and press "Save Target As") of an
interview by Arutz Sheva of Rabbi Twersky about finding direction
and happiness in life.
Click here for a transcript of the
For more from Rabbi Twerski on tackling internet addictions,
Mishenichnas Adar Marbim Be'Simcha!
Today is the second day of Adar Alef, which equals = 208 = the name
of Pinchas, who was zealous in tikkun habris and killed Zimri when
he sinned with the Midianite woman. We too, need to be zealous in
fixing ourselves. Sometimes, a person thinks that if he strengthens
himself enough, his addiction will go away by itself. To his dismay,
he realizes after a while that the addiction doesn't go away so
easily. Often, the mind has become so abused, by so many sins, that
it is almost impossible to change his way of thinking. In such
cases, it's not enough to rely only on "Chizuk". So what can one do?
He must to be zealous for the sake of G-d, and for the sake of his
eternity. He can't keep fooling himself anymore. He can't keep
living a double life, doing things that go against his way of living
and that take him far from G-d, bringing sadness and despair in
their wake. He needs to stand up and do something drastic, like
Pinchas did. If it doesn't work with "niceties" he will need to work
with "toughness". Let him stand up and make a vow to G-d that he
will prick himself with a needle every time he sins, every time he
strays after his eyes. Let him vow to burn his skin with a match
before he lets himself fall! My dear brothers, sometimes there is no
other way! The addiction is so insidious, it keeps convincing you
that it's not so bad, that you really will break free of it one day
on your own, if only you had a little more Chizuk. No. It often
won't go away like that. You must give him no choice. You must twist
his arm until he too agrees to set you free - so that he doesn't get
hurt, pricked or burned.... And if you find it in your heart to be
zealous like Pinchas and truly give the addiction no more choice,
you will feel a spirit of holiness descend upon you, and you will
finally be truly free and truly happy.
Taken from an article on
It is important to understand that the damage caused by looking at
forbidden images is not to the transgressor alone. The eyes are
windows to the soul, and the soul is connected to all of the highest
spiritual worlds. Thus, a person who watches por-nography on the
Internet not only damages his own spiritual and physical being, but
also the spiritual channels that bring blessing into the world.
The impurity caused by his transgression pollutes the Holy of Holies
of the Temple on high and adds to the prolongation of the exile, the
suffering of the Shechinah [Divine Presence], the continued
destruction of the earthly Beit HaMikdash [Temple], and the delay in
Mashiach's [Messiah's] coming.
On an individual level, looking at impure images creates impure
thoughts, and these thoughts pollute a person's faculty of "Da'at,"
which is seated in the brain. In a sense, a person addicted to
por-nography on the Internet "loses his head."
This negatively influences his process of thinking and can cause
confusion and other physical problems. The forbidden images he
watches also bring about an unholy sexual arousal, and this
blemishes the spiritual channel of the "Yesod," something which can
negatively affect not only the person, but his offspring as well.
Some Tikkunim for sins of the eyes, collected and translated by
(Note: These aren't just Tikkunim for the past, but will help you
also to control your eyes in the future).
A person who was wont to gaze lustfully at women or at forbidden
images should accustom himself to cast his gaze downward at all
times, and particularly during times of prayer, when the Shechinah
is present. (Reshit Chochmah, Gate of Kedusha, 8:15 and 45; Sefer
Haredim, Mitzvah T'shuva, Ch.1; also, Rabanu Yoneh, Gate of T'shuva,
Gate One, 35)
To the extent that one looked upon unholy things, he should strive
to gaze upon holy things like tzitzit, Torah texts, prayer books,
blessings, and the like. It is especially helpful to look at the
Torah text when one is called up for the reading of the Torah, and
to look closely at the written parchment in order to make out the
letters when the Torah scroll is held up [hagbah] in synagogue.
Also, seeing things like a synagogue, the study hall of a yeshiva,
the Torah scrolls in the ark holding the Torahs, all bring a holy,
healing light to the eyes. (Pele Yoetz on Seeing; see also Writings
of Rabbi Pinchus from Pelachek, student of the Gra)
Looking at the two Hebrew letters of "shin" embossed on the Tefillin
of the head before one puts them on is good for the eyes and the
faculty of "Daat." (Ben Yehoyeda, Shabbat 118)
Looking at one's Rabbi, at a Torah Sage, and at the pure, holy face
of a Tzaddik, is a rectification for the eyes. This is especially
true when one sees them on Shabbat and Festivals. (Reshit Chochmah)
"You shall not go astray after your hearts and after your eyes"
(Numbers 15:39) "After your hearts"- this refers to atheism, "After
your eyes: this refers to sexual immorality (Berachot 12b). There
are desires that are very difficult to control unless one has been
taught from childhood, like for example, refraining from looking at
women. Therefore, must a man teach and educate his sons on the right
path so when they grow old they will not abandon it (Sefer Chassidim
The main enjoyment in the World to Come is through the eyes of the
soul (Tzadikkim sit with their crowns on their heads and contemplate
the brilliance of the Shechina). But whoever damages his eyes in
this world damages thereby the eyes of his soul (Od Yoseph Chai,
Someone wrote us an e-mail,
and we tried to reply the best we could. Maybe others can take
Chizuk from this "give and take" as well...
Excerpts from his letter...
I masturbate because I have no bitachon. I am what they call
(although I disagree with the term) a "BT," not born into a
religious home, and am in college.... I masturbate because I feel
lonely, depressed, and anxious about the future, especially that of
whether or not I'll marry. I am ready to give up this whole lewd way
of life if Hashem gave me something to grab onto...
Excerpts from our reply...
... About your "confessed" lack of Bitachon... Someone once came to
a Hassidic master and complained that he didn't have enough Emunah
and Bitachon. The Rebbe asked him, "so what? why does it bother
you"? "Rebbe!" the man cried, "but I'm a Jew!". "If so", the Rebbe
replied, "you have nothing to worry about".
In other words, the Yetzer Hara wants you to believe you don't have
Bitachon. But if it bothers you that you don't have enough Bitachon
then it means you really have Bitachon deep down! :-) So don't let
him fool you. His goal is to make a person depressed. In such a
state a person can reach the lowest levels of impurity and is
vulnerable to sin.
Some people say they would be able to stop if only they were dating,
married or had this or that. Don't wait. Work on yourself now before
it's too late. Masturbation is an addictive behavior. By the time
you feel you are ready to stop, you may be addicted and find it very
difficult to stop.
Also, in the merit of you working on it now, G-d will send you what
you need... I would suggest you talk to friends or matchmakers about
finding a date. See
here for some great advice on
Jewish dating. Also, join a Jewish dating site like Frumster or
May G-d be with you!
Sometimes we are like a David, standing up alone against a great and
powerful Goliath. The holy Jewish soul that wants to serve Hashem,
is pitted against the powerful Yetzer Hara who seems so much
stronger than us. It can look like there is no way to win this
battle, in the same way that that there was no way David could
vanquish the mighty Goliath. But he did. He did, because he came
with Bitachon - Trust in G-d. He did, because he came in the name of
the Lord. If only we could see how our little actions affect all the
upper worlds... If only we could see what pleasure we give Hashem
when we try to serve him even though he seems so hidden from us...
If only we could know how our daily battles affect our eternity and
that of all of Klal Yisrael... We must believe this even though we
don't see it. All Hashem truly wants from us in this world is
"Emunah". All the other Mitzvos are just a means to that end. As
Chaza"l said; "The prophet Chavakuk put all the Mitzvos into one
Mitzva - "Tzaddik Be'emunaso Yichyeh" - "A Tzadik will live in his
Faith". Fight the Yetzer Hara. Tell him, like David told Goliath,
that although he is stronger, we are coming to fight him in the name
of the Lord.
Just sling some stones of Teffilah and Emunah at him and he will
fall with a mighty thud!
In honor of Chodesh Adar, let's try a new approach to "letting go"
of non-Kosher tensions; "Happiness"! The entire world is in pursuit
of this elusive prize, but for us Jews, Happiness is not just a
means to fulfilling selfish interests, it is a Mitzvah in it's own
right! The Beis Ahron of Karlin writes that what Happiness can bring
a Jew to--no Mitzvah can, and what sadness can bring a Jew to--no
The following may seem a bit queer, but it can't hurt to try! Next
time you are feeling the tensions build up, or you're feeling
vulnerable and down--try this. Go into a room where no one is around
and just start laughing out loud, hearty, rolling laughter, for a
minute or two. Then dance a little jig and sing "I'm happy, I'm
relaxed", "I'm happy, I'm relaxed". You will be amazed how much
freer and stronger you will feel!
For an example from a Yoga master, copy and paste the following link
into your browser and press Enter.
Sometimes a person can feel
bad about being restricted by the Torah from living a carefree and
"pleasure filled" life. But G-d smiles and says "My dear child,
don't you see? The whole world is blinded by the evil inclination
that I created. They are blinded to the obvious and blaring truths
about this world, namely, that every human is doomed to certain
death, by either accident or illness. Life is nothing but flesh and
blood, filth and rot. It has no eternal qualities, and the pleasures
offered by this world are fleeting and meaningless. My child, don't
you see! Through the precious Torah that I have given you, I have
lifted you up above the blindness of the world, above the fleeting,
rotting world of filth, illness and certain death, to a life of
eternity and connection with the infinite! How fortunate are you to
have this gift! Please my child! Choose life!
Excerpts from an article on "Addictions" - by the renowned
Psychiatrist, Carl Jung
Addiction is not a disease, it is an attitude. Addiction, in the
end, is a behavior that we choose to indulge.
Addiction is something that you act on without thought of
consequence. Addiction is something you want so much that nothing at
the moment compares. Addiction is all about fulfilling one's
desires. It has absolutely nothing to do with fulfilling one's
needs. Addiction is selfishness, pure and simple.
Addiction means a loss of thinking ability and a total surrender to
desire. This is why all addiction is bad. Anything that closes the
mind and allows the individual to act without thinking, lessens
one's humanity. Indeed, this is the way of animals, which lack
discretionary thinking. Addiction therefore is the height of
Whenever we close off and just do what we want to do, for no other
reason than we want to, this is addiction and is very bad.
Addiction must be recognized for what it is. Addiction is a choice,
a choice of a weak mind to perform a weak task. This is a criminal
offense against morality. This offends one's humanity at its very
The only rational answer to addiction is hard labor. An entire
reorientation of mind must be achieved, similar to that which is
achieved in military boot camp training.
We only contribute to harming the already harmed whenever we are
sympathetic to those addicted. We must root out of ourselves such
weakness and treat the addicted [and the addiction inside us] with a
serious dose of harshness. We must learn to impose discipline and
severe, painful penalties for selfish weakness [see chizuk list
#121]. This is the way we actually help one another and the way we
can successfully end addictions.
We must push people [and ourselves] to think and to act properly. No
more, "Mr. Nice Guy," he is too busy indulging himself, taking
drugs, [binging on lust], getting drunk and feeling sorry for
himself, wishing the world was an absolute ideal place of
You want to make this world better, then follow the role model of
discipline set by a military drill sergeant. Live by it, expect
others to as well and have little to no sympathy for those who will
In the Talmud (Baba Metzia 107) it says that almost all forms of
death come through the agency of the Ayn ha Ra [Evil eye] and the
advice to save ourselves from this is to guard our eyes from looking
at forbidden things (Berachot 20) for because of this behavior,
Yoseph and his descendants after him merited that Ayin ha Ra had no
power over him (Shne Luchot ha Brit, Kedusha)
There is another great rule and that is not to give the Yetzer ha Ra
an entrance to come and dominate you. When you are going to the
public places and you look at women coming to you, put your eyes to
the ground so that they pass by and you not look at them, for you
will notice how your evil inclination grows within you to make you
look at them, and if you don't think this is a great sin, why does
the Yetzer try so hard to overpower you to the point where very few
people can stand this trial, but only those who have the love of the
Creator engraved in their heart. (Shevet Mussar, Chap 27)
R' Shalom Dov Ber of Lubavitch writes in the Kuntres HaAvoda:
He who worries about his soul, not to bring it to impurity, will
fence himself in what respects to the eyes, and if this is difficult
for him, he should strengthen himself with all his power and might.
And he should know that his soul depends on this. And if we will not
be careful about this, all his service is as nothing and nothing
will he get out of all his service, and on the contrary, G-d forbid
he will descend low very low…And he should not worry about what
others say…and this is very hard in the beginning…but with time he
will get used to guarding his eyes. And through this he will find
rest for his soul from many evils and confusion and then he will be
able to serve Hashem and he will work salvation for his soul with
the Help of the Blessed One.
What is this whole life compared to eternity? Speak to your body.
Tell your limbs that they will one day rot.
What does G-d ask of us today, in this last generation before
Moshiach? Think of the incredible mesiras Nefesh and sacrifice that
the Jewish people endured for thousands of years in the dark and
bitter exile. Reflect on the super-human strengths that the Jews had
to have to keep the Torah in the conditions that they were forced to
live in, even a hundred years ago. Living in abject poverty in an
extremely hostile environment, despised and schemed upon by the
non-Jews. Today, who cannot serve G-d as he desires, in joy and
freedom? Who today does not have what to eat or a roof to cover
their heads? So what does G-d ask from us in this last generation?
G-d has given us such a beautiful world to live in today. He just
asks for that little bit of mesiras nefesh. That little bit of
self-sacrifice, not to go astray after your eyes and heart in a
world full of glitter and pleasures. This is perhaps the one last
difficult bit of sacrifice that is left for us to give G-d today.
And he is not even asking it of us for himself. There is so much
G-dly light and joy all around us, but only those whose eyes are not
darkened by lust can be worthy to see it. He only asks us to guard
our eyes so we can see that he is right here beside us holding our
hand and smiling.
THE REWARD FOR THOSE WHO GUARD THEIR EYES FROM LOOKING INTO
He becomes a chariot
[Merkava] to the Shechina, and he is considered as if had
offered all the sacrifices (The Chida, Avodat ha Kodesh,
Tzipporen Shamir, 9:128)
When he prays to the Holy
One Blessed be He, He listens to his prayers, He answers him in
his time of need (The Chida, ibid)
The force of his holiness
and of his labor endures for ever, for him and for his
descendants (Yesod Tzaddik, Chap 3)
He will merit to enjoy the
pleasantness of the Most Holy, the King of Kings the Holy One
Blessed be He, his eyes will behold this beauty in the supernal
worlds. (Beer Moshe, Parashat Bo)
He will merit to be among
the most elevated in the future, among the Tzaddikim and the
holy ones of the land through whose merit the world stands, and
will feel the brilliance of the holiness of the Bet ha Mikdash
when it will be built anew (Yesod Tzaddik, Chap 3)
Someone wrote us: If my Father in Heaven is literally about
Unconditional Love, then that means He loves me without conditions.
And there is nothing I can do to disappoint Him. Furthermore, I
refuse to have faith in an angry & judgmental God who keeps a score
card in Heaven, and then uses this to punish me.
Answer: Picture a child asking his father to play with him a game of
checkers. The father says to the son, "son, I can't play you because
I love you so much that I can't bear to win you, or even to get
ahead of you during the course of the game". Do you think the child
would be happy? No! The child enjoys the challenge! The child wants
to play his father even if he loses. It's the game he wants, not the
winning. And it's the spending of quality time with his father, whom
he adores, that he desires.
It's the same with life. We want G-d just to love us unconditionally
and give us all we need. But before we came down to this world, our
souls wanted to play G-d the game called "Life". We wanted the
challenge of doing the Mitzvos and beating the evil inclination in a
world where G-d is hiding. The score-card of this game is "a good
life for eternity"... Yes it's true that G-d loves us so much that
he desires to tell us "quit playing this game and let me just give
you everything you want!". But we didn't want that. Our soul WANTED
G-d to keep that "score-card".
And every time we make a smart move in this game of "Life", G-d
smiles and tells us how proud he is!
How to Fight your Enemy
Excerpts taken from
an article by By Harry Fisher
(Editor's Note: How many things we can learn from this article
about fighting the evil inclination!)
I was a sergeant in World War II. I landed at Normandy and fought
the Nazis with General Patton's army up to and into Germany. I was
there when we 'liberated' the concentration camps.
I learned from the greatest generals how to fight a war and how not.
I saw the results of being hard and not giving in. We pushed through
the mud and we pushed through the rain. We never stopped pushing.
When we found some Germans, we hit them hard and did not stop firing
until nothing moved. Patton was tough, he was there to win a war
against a tough enemy who knew how to kill you and liked to ambush
Patton was clear. Don't put your head down in a ditch and wait for
the fire to clear. The enemy loves that. They will find you with
their mortar shells, so get up and shoot, shoot, and keep shooting.
Patton's philosophy was simple. "Attack, attack and keep attacking."
Never give your enemy a chance.
(About the current situation in Israel)
We must defend ourselves and the only way to do it is to be on
the offensive. Remember, if you want to live in peace, you must be
willing to fight for it, and fighting means just that.
Just remember, when the going gets tough, the tough get going.
How many people can say that they
give their hearts to G-d every day?
How fortunate are we that we have
something to give G-d!
To all our spiritual soldiers!
Israel is again at war, fighting for her
right to live in peace and quiet. In every generation they stand
up to destroy our bodies, much in the same way the Yetzer Hara
never gives up trying to destroy our souls. So join this battle
today and be a part of the final and ultimate victory for the
Jewish people! Every time you say "no" to the Yetzer Hara,
Hashem strikes down a terrorist! Every time you turn your eyes
away from seeing bad, a bomb intended for our soldiers misses
it's target! Believe it, for this is the real truth! The
physical battles fought here on earth are only manifestations of
the spiritual battles being fought with the evil inside each and
every one of us, as we are all a connected part of the Jewish
people as a whole. Don't stand by idly while our soldiers give
their lives for the right of the Jews to live in the land of
G-d. You are the ultimate deciders of who will win this war.
Fight the evil with your mind and heart, now more than ever!
Often, the need to seek self-pleasure comes
from a mild-depression. Almost 50% of humans have a tendency to
some form of depression, even if they don't know or admit it,
and it is often this feeling of "void" or "emptiness" that can
bring one to seek ways to sooth themselves and make themselves
feel better. There are a number of good ways to deal with a
1) The best way is exercise. There is
no better drug for the mind than getting the heart pumping and
the blood flowing to the brain. In just 15 minutes of a good
work-out, the empty feelings will have disappeared! This is a
little know, but amazing technique which has saved so many
people. I personally know of three people who were going through
hard times and feeling down and depressed, who say that their
lives have literally been saved by this technique. They would
take a good, 20 minute walk, once a day, and felt happy and
invigorated for the whole day afterwards.
2) The second way is to always keep
busy. Torah, work, family and good deeds, there's so much to do
if you want to stay active!
3) The third way, is to tell yourself
that although you may feel down, giving into self-pleasure is a
total cop-out which only helps for the few minutes that you lose
yourself in the oblivion. Ultimately however, it only makes the
symptoms worse with every time one indulges in such behavior.
4) The fourth way to deal with a
mild-depression is through SSRI medication. SSRI medications
are taken by millions of people world wide, and today there are
types that have virtually no side effects. See
here for more info.
THE REWARD FOR
THOSE WHO GUARD THEIR EYES FROM LOOKING INTO FORBIDDEN THINGS
(in continuation of #134)
- He merits to listen and behold G-dly
images, and to feel the essence of G-dliness. (Yetav Lev,
- He merits righteous sons and long life
(Sefer Chassidim, Siman 495)
His sons will live and will not suffer
from the problems that come to the world in general (Imre
Kodesh, Hasref MiStralisk, 38)
He merits that his sons will author
interpretation on the Torah. (Sefer ha Middot, 60)
He will merit to behold the Higher
Merkava (Reshit Chochma, Shaar ha Kedusha 88:47)
He merits to keep his eyesight also in
his old age (Tochachat Chayim, Achare mot)
He merits the creation of Holy and pure
angels that will be united with him in the future (Yesod
Tzaddik, Chap 5)
The Ayn ha Ra has no power on him and on
his descendants (Berachot 20, Devash Le Fi)
He merits sustenance with abundance
(Tochachat Chayim, Achare Mot)
He merits a special protection from
above, that the Holy One will protect and save him (Tiferet
Shelomo, Maamre Shabat)
Sometimes when we're out there in the big world
surrounded by all the temptations, with beautiful women wherever we
seem to look, we cry out in our hearts "Dear G-d, where are you? I
can't see you, I can't feel you! All I see is a beauty of a
different kind, wherever I look!"... But then the answer comes to
our hearts from G-d, "my son, does there exist any beauty
besides me? I am in the beauty you see as well!". For G-d
is indeed everywhere, and he is the source of all beauty. The beauty
that we see and crave here on this world is truly only a mere shadow
of a manifestation of G-d's beauty. We need to train our minds to
realize that there are no two types of beauty.
There is only one source of beauty in the world. What we see in
women is also the beauty of G-d. But G-d has decreed that in order
to merit perceiving his true beauty, we must first learn to turn our
eyes away from the physical beauty that is also his creation
and manifestation. In his great wisdom, G-d determined that only
one who is ready to give up the physical
manifestations of G-d's beauty, will be worthy of experiencing the
true beauty of G-d, in a much more sublime way.
"For the past few months I have been
going through a difficult time, which I don't care to share w/
you in this talkback. But I will tell you that during this
period, I have been EXTRA careful in regard to Shmiras Anayim. I
can't begin to tell you how strong my Davening and learning
Torah has become since I began a real sincere effort at guarding
my eyes. I truly don't look at anything I'm not supposed
to....and if something gets in my line of view that shouldn't, I
immediately turn away. Sometimes I find just taking off my
glasses works wonders, if the setting is not tznius. At first it
was difficult, what w/ all the junk on the internet, not to
mention the T.V and public places. But now, its not only easy
and second nature, but I find it extremely rewarding."
The Sefat Emet writes:
It is written MISHLE 23:26: "My son, give me your heart, and let
your eyes observe my ways". Because the one who guards his eyes
and his heart, which are the two agents of sin, merits that the
Holy One Blessed be He put His eyes and His good heart over him
for Good, as it is written: "And My eyes and My heart was always
there" and it is also written: "He will not remove his eyes from
the Tzaddik", because through guarding the Brit and through
guarding these two agents of sin, the person is on the level of
Tzaddik, and measure for measure, the Tzaddik merits the
constant supervision through the eyes of the Holy One Blessed be
Someone wrote on
that he had overcome his addiction and was doing good, but he
requested help now that he was working in an enviorment with
non-Jewish, young women and felt he was again in danger of
slipping back into his old ways. In response, a
Frum psychologist wrote as follows:
It's amazing to me that in this day
and age, on a board that seems to be dedicated to helping
people deal with real issues there is no mention whatsoever
of the need for psychological examination of the underlying
causes for an addiction. It's wonderful that you have
accomplished so much on your own but from your post it does
not seem that you have examined the underlying reasons that
you look at women in this way. My guess would be that it has
something to do with the relationship you had with your
parents when you were growing up, and I know that that
sounds cliched but in 20 years of counseling I have found
this to be the most common underlying cause of unhealthy
I disagree with those who say "The problem isn't so much
your feelings of lust, but your being in a place which
stimulates this type of sinful thinking". If being in a
normal work environment causes you to have fantasies to the
point that you feel you can not put them aside despite the
fact that you are "happily" married, then you need to sit
down with a FRUM psychologist and start figuring out why
this is happening. It is ridiculous to think that you can
run from deep seeded psychological issues - such as letting
go of a good job etc... The issues will just come out in a
different way - they do not disappear without working them
One of the ways in which R' Wolbe z"l explained the idea
of a bigger person having a bigger yetzer hara is that this
may only be the case if the way that person dealt with the
yetzer was by suppressing it and not dealing with it - so of
course the suppressed yetzer hara gets bigger and bigger and
therefore becomes more and more dangerous...
There's much more to say but I'm out of time...
Sometimes a person could have a fleeting
thought of how quickly life is passing him by and how great it
would be if he could just run away from the hustle and bustle of
life and serve G-d in solitude, with all his strength and with
true devotion, leaving all the pleasures of the world behind
him. After all, what is the 80 years here on earth compared to a
true, eternal connection with the Almighty? Know though my
friend, that G-d does not desire angles. He has enough of them
already up in heaven with him. Rather, he desires that we little
people, surrounded as we are by the hustle and bustle of every
day life, exposed to the constant temptations of this world,
give him our hearts, just a little bit each day. Each time we
choose to say "no" to ourselves or turn away from seeing bad, we
are giving G-d the deepest satisfaction and uplifting ourselves
more than we could ever imagine!
So next time the Yetzer Hara tells us that
it's too difficult to say no to the temptations of the world,
say to yourself; "Remember the times when you wished
you could just run away and serve G-d with utter selflessness...
But G-d is not asking something so difficult from us, indeed he
does not desire angels -- he has enough of them in heaven.
Instead, G-d asks from us something so much easier... He says:
"My son, live your life! enjoy
your life! ... Just give me a little bit of your heart each
Shouldn't we at least give him that?"
Ah, the gift of sight!
Often though, we don't appreciate it
I just read an article in the Hamodia about a
twenty year old boy who had a genetic disease and lost his eye
sight without warning in the span of just a few days. Obviously
this was very difficult for him at first, but now a year later
he tells how losing his eye sight has made him realise what is
really important in life. He can no longer party and get drunk
with his friends like he used to, and he doesn't want
to anymore. He no longer sees people by their looks, but rather
by who they are. He has come a lot closer to Torah and to G-d,
and has found much more meaning in his life.
We should never, G-d forbid, have to undergo
such an experience to make us "open our eyes" to what is truly
important in life. Let us instead appreciate
the incredible gift of eye sight, and not G-d forbid abuse it.
How fortunate are we to be able to see all of G-d's beautiful
creation, to experience life and be able to take care of
ourselves by seeing the world around us! But let us not
take this gift lightly. When going out into the street, let us
turn our eyes downwards and not allow ourselves to abuse this
In Likutei Moharan, Torah 23, Rebbe Nachman says that the Jews
are all tzaddikim because of the "Brit", and Reb Nosson says
that the Rebbe told him that this means because they are
But this Brit, this covenant between a Jew and his Creator, does
not end with circumcision. In that same Likutei Moharan, Rebbe
Nachman also says that every Jew who guards his Brit is
considered a tzaddik relative to another Jew who is not at the
same level when it comes to guarding his Brit. Circumcision is
the first step in bringing a Jewish man into the category of
"Tzaddik" and without that mitzvah he cannot relate to the truly
great Tzaddikim. He must continue to guard and sanctify the mark
of circumcision by avoiding misuse of that part of his body
which at the time of his Brit was dedicated to purity and
In Likutei Moharan (I:2 and I:130) Rebbe Nachman quotes the
Zohar stating that the yetzer hara, the evil inclination,
focuses its influence on moral issues. Someone once spoke highly
of a certain Tzaddik to Rebbe Nachman. Rebbe Nachman responded,
"How is he with that desire?" The Chassid replied "How can
anyone know about that?" Rebbe Nachman responded, "But that is
the main thing. All the other desires can easily be subdued but
the true measure of a Tzaddik is to what extent he has purified
himself in that desire" (Chayei Moharan 601).
The Torah does not expect every Jew to achieve the purity of the
greatest tzaddikim. At the same time, we must realize that our
level of purity need not remain static, and that we are expected
to constantly continue to purify and elevate ourselves, in
thought, word, and deed.
This Shabbos is Parshas Zachor.
The Torah commandment states: "Remember what Amalek
did to you by the way, when you were coming out of Egypt, how he met you by
the way and smote the hindmost of you, all that were feeble in and trailing,
when you were faint and weary, and he feared not G-d (Devarim, 25:17).
Just what is it that we are supposed to remember? That our enemies hate
us? They themselves remind us of this all the time. That they attack us
for no reason at all? This is a lesson that Jewish history teaches
without the need for any additional reminder.
Rashi says that "karcha" should be understood as "keri,"
meaning seminal pollution. Rashi explains that Amalek lured the Jews into
sexual transgression, then cut off their "milot," the sign of their
circumcision, and threw them up to the sky, as if to say, "This is what's
left of Your holy nation." Rashi concludes that the protective Clouds of
Glory spit out these Jews who were feeble because of their sexual sins.
These were the Jews whom Amalek killed.
The universally respected Torah
commentary, the "Sfat Emet," explains that Amalek's principal goal in going
to war against Israel was to banish sexual purity from the world,
represented by the brit milah. This is why they cast the sign of the
circumcision into the air. The brit milah is considered the seal of G-d,
stamping the Jewish People with the Name of G-d, and distinguishing us from
all of the nations. It is our adherence to the laws of sexual purity which
set us apart from the gentiles. In contrast, the nation of Amalek represents
the spirit of evil in the world, the impure orlah, the husk that prevents
the light of G-d from entering the world. This explains why the Name of G-d
cannot be fully revealed until Amalek is obliterated. By fighting against
the sexual purity of Israel, Amalek pollutes the moral message of Israel,
causing G-d's Presence to be screened from the world ("Sfat Emet," Parshat
Zachor, Year 5664).
One of our members sent us their story recently.
I think we can all learn a lot from it, so I will be sharing parts of it
with you over the next few days...
I struggled as a teenager with pornography and
masturbation, mostly as an escape mechanism. When I got married I thought
all my problems would be solved. However, I equated love with sex and
became very manipulative toward my wife. I was able to control my addiction
to pornography during most of my 35 years of marriage, occasionally falling,
but not realizing I had any type of addiction at all.
Until the Internet. When I discovered the Yetzer
Harah on the Internet, my whole life changed for the worst. My business began
to nose-dive, one Friday I almost was late getting home for Shabbos. My
Internet porn addiction then led to going places and doing things I should never
With the help of SLAA over the past 6 years I have
been sober close to 3 years, with one relapse in between during a difficult
business period of my life.
The key to conquering this dis-ease is to realize you
are powerless over this addiction and you, as a Jew, are powerless over changing
other people, because Hashem is in charge. And no matter how much you think you
are in control of your money, your job, your health, your sanity, your serenity,
you're not, G-D is.
This disease is NOT ABOUT SEX. Sex and Love are just
the bi-products of your low self esteem and a life of dis-content brought on
by abuse or co-dependency. You could just as easily be drinking or gambling
or eating. So discover the underlying root of what is causing you to get
distracted into this insidious media and you can begin to heal.
More from one of our members, who sent us their
... I know its difficult to go to SLAA meetings. But
I disagree that because they are mixed you shouldn't go. We sex addicts view
women as OBJECTS. But when you go to a meeting and hear their stories,
their pain and the result of how men treat them, you will NEVER view them
again as objects and you will begin to heal. Your intimate life with your
wife will improve when you realize sex is not the most important part of
your life. It is important when it becomes a spiritual bond, not an escape
or a manipulation because you just FEEL LIKE IT.
When you pray to Hashem every day, instead of ASKING
him to help you, THANK HIM for the fact that you are still living and make a
list of all the things in your life you appreciate having.