Guard Your Eyes

A website for Jews struggling to maintain their moral purity in today's world
  GUE Home New Website Forum Email List Stories Tips Hotline 12 Steps Filters Links FAQ Help Us Kosher Isle Contact  

Breaking Free Chizuk List

1-50 51-100 101-150 151-200 201-250 251-300 301-350 351-400 401-450 451-500 501-550 551-600 601-650 651-700 701-750 751-800 801-850 851-900 901-950 951-1000 1001-1050 1051-1100 1101 and On



More inspiring excerpts  from one of our members, who recently sent us their story...
I slipped during last summer on a trip to Las Vegas.  At every level of this disease, when you fall you fall at a higher level and its easier to cope and get back up.  (Sheva Yipol Tzaddik V'kom - a Tzaddik falls seven times and gets up again).
I had stopped going to meetings, did not have a sponsor and my therapist had left town.  I contacted a friend who put me in touch with the Experiential Healing Center ( They suggested I go to a week treatment at a facility in Nashville called Onsite. ( 
The only problem was, it was Tisha B'Av.  I told someone I was going and they asked me if I was going to wear my Yarmulke.  They said it would be a Chillul Hashem if I did.   I decided to go, brought my own Kosher food and got my own private room.  I arrived on Friday and just before Shabbos, I thought about what this person said.  I said to myself," you're here to be honest, to finally be yourself and discover who you really are."  I am an Orthodox Jew and I wear it proudly. 
I went to dinner (Shabbos dinner for me).  Sitting there with my Yarmulke, there were 10 people in my group, working on Sexual Healing Issues.  Two of the participants came over to me and wished me a Good Shabbos. Well they really said, Shabbat Shalom, but that's a different story.  They were not religious and were eating regular food, but when they saw my Kippah and the Challah and Grape Juice, they knew I was Orthodox.
Tisha B'Av was on Tuesday night and I invited these two guys to join me in reading Eichah.  A Christian fellow was listening and asked if he could join also.  What was I going to do, tell him no?  The day before we had begun group therapy and got to know each other's struggles.  The fact that I was there for Tisha B'Av was enough to bring a constant stream of tears to my eyes for several days.  For the first time in my life I cried real tears on Tisha B'Av.  I'm surprised I have any left. 
We read Eichah together and had a discussion about the Bais Hamikdash, about Teshuvah and our dis-ease.
During the therapy sessions, each person does work where they play a role in reenacting a trauma in their life.  The other participants play roles also, like their mother, father, inner child or HIGHER POWER (G-D).  Well, out of 7 Christians and 3 Jews, guess who played G-d the whole week?  Me.  These two fellows became my good friends and they told me what a Kiddush Hashem I had made for them in being their hope and inspiration.
So instead of it turning out to be a Chillul Hashem, it turned out to the opposite on Tisha B'Av, no less.
Don't ever give up hope.  This Onsite weekend shocked me into now 9 months of total sobriety. Work the program, read and practice the 12 steps, get a sponsor, call a friend, get honest with yourself and others and you'll heal.
The hardest thing is to give G-d our hearts. We can try so hard to guard our eyes, we can make all sorts of barriers and penalties for ourselves, but if we aren't willing to truly give G-d our hearts, we end up falling again. What does it mean to give G-d our heart? It means that we need to be ready to accept Emunah on ourselves - without any understanding, Emunah that is beyond logic. This is the only way to truly win this battle. The proof of this is, how we keep seeing again and again how using our "mind" and our "logic" alone is not enough. With all that we know and all we understand, we keep falling anyway. This is because G-d wants us to give him our hearts, not just our minds. He wants us to accept true Emunah upon ourselves, Emunah that is above reason. Indeed, only when one's Emunah is stronger than his understanding will his understanding have lasting value and be able to help him. As Chaza"l say "Kol She Yiraso Kodemes LeChochmaso, Chachmaso Miskayemes".
If there is any time of the year to get help from Hashem to break free it is Purim, when all who ask are given.
See the attached file for more on this aspect of this amazing time of the year.
One case in point is our Feature Story where the writer writes as follows:
One Purim, some eight years into our marriage, I got drunk. I was reading Psalms and I cried and cried to G-d like never before, to help me out of the bottomless pit I felt I could never leave. That very day, my wife was browsing through pictures we had taken from Purim on my computer and she happened upon pictures of porn. She confronted me that night about it and I felt that the time had come to tell her all. I was expecting that when she heard my whole story, and how young I had started doing these things, she would accept me for who I was. But G-d had heard my cries that day and had determined otherwise. My wife reacted with disgust and anger, albeit with some understanding as well, but she cried for days. My wife refused to accept that this was who I was and that this was who she had married, and she forced me to re-examine that which I had already give up on ever conquering. Broken, threatened with divorce and yet not believing I could ever stop, I had finally "hit bottom". I wrote to the renowned religious psychiatrist, Rabbi Avraham Twersky...etc...

The writer goes on to detail his long journey to recovery afterwards, but the point is that it all started from a broken heart ON PURIM.

An interesting story / parable from the Talmud Tamid 32b

As he (Alexander the Great) was traveling he sat by a spring and began to eat. He had with him some salted fish, and as they were being washed by the spring they gave off a pleasant fragrance; [alternate version: they came back to life]. So he said: This shows that this spring comes from the Garden of Eden. Some say that he took some of the water and washed his face with it; others say that he climbed up the trail that led to the source of the spring until he came to the gate of Gan Eden. He cried out: Open the gate for me! They replied: "This is the gateway to G-d the righteous shall enter through it (Psalms 118:20). He replied: I am a king! I am an important personage. [If you don't admit me, at least] give me something [from Gan Eden]. They gave him an eyeball. He went and weighed all his silver and gold against it, and it did not weigh as much [as the eyeball]. He said to the Rabbis: How is this possible? They replied: It is the eyeball of a human being, [and the human eye] is never satisfied (that is why it weighs more than all your wealth). They took a little dust and covered the eyeball, [meaning: man continues to hoard silver and gold until he is in the grave, covered by dust], and immediately the eyeball was weighed down. And so it says, (Proverbs 27:20) "Sheol and Avaddon are never full; and the eyes of man are never satisfied".

Someone wrote to us how hard his struggles are and that he knows many Jews "who give into their desires for companionship with girlfriends and wind up happy". We tried to answer him with three points, and I share them with you below so we can all be Mitchazek... And in this merit, may G-d give him the strength to prevail!
1) Firstly, how are we to define happiness? If it is defined by pleasure and success in this world, then yes, there are many people, even wicked people, who are "happy". But this world is only a hallway to the next. Truly, what is a mere eighty years compared with all eternity?
2) The Zohar elaborates in countless places how important the sanctity of a couple is to having children who will have good hearts and be worthy of serving G-d. If you want to merit children who will stay on the right path, children who will not have the struggles that you have today, stay strong! Know that if you ultimately succeed, you have succeeded for your eternity as well as for all generations after you. (According to Kabbalistic literature, struggles that are "unfinished" by one soul, are passed down to his children and children's children until the job is done).
3) Giving joy to G-d sounds cliche, but we need to think about it a little and let ourselves truly become awed at the opportunity that we have to give him joy. After all, he is the master of the entire universe, who created everything!! And to think that little "we" can give him joy with our struggles!
Someone wrote the following on the forum...
It has been a long and difficult few months with the struggle to overcome the addiction, but I have seen my own progress and awareness mature, and have recognised that there is will power after all. Not long ago I did stumble and loose concentration whilst on the Internet, but I have made the decision not to despair. I regret the fall very much, for many reasons, but I would rather concentrate on the opportunities that lie before me, in the near future and onwards. I am excited about making the necessary changes, even the more subtle and personal ones. I am on the road to recovery, and the discovery of who I really am is exciting.
Keep looking for the beauty of love of life, there is always hope! May Hashem please forgive my most recent lapse and help me with my recovery.
Three things we can all learn from this:
1) There is will power after all!
2) There is no such thing as despair. Focus on the opportunities that lie ahead, not on the past.
3) The road to recovery is not just about a struggle. Rather, it is a road to maturity, personal growth and the discovery of who you really are.
I'm sure we've all had some difficult tests in the past and overcame them. If someone would offer you a million dollars to sell to him the reward and benefit that you gained in overcoming these tests, would you sell them? I doubt it.
So think about it. Do you still feel you need chizuk today? Someone who just won the lottery doesn't usually need Chizuk :-) You have something worth more than millions of dollars!
Sefer Chassidim, Siman 148

Three things did the Holy One Blessed be He create in man, ears, eyes and the tongue, and to each one of them he created barriers and a wall to protect them…He put eyelids for the eyes in order to cover them and hide them from looking at something evil. And the man who transgresses and hears sin or if his eyes see sinful things and his tongue speaks evil then the person did not guard what the Master of the World gave him to guard, he broke the fence and about him it is written: "He who breaks a fence will be bitten by a snake" - (Kohelles 10:8)

In Likutei Moharan II:48, Rebbe Nachman writes that every movement that brings a person out of physicality and closer to God is "very precious." If a person progresses even a minute amount, in the higher world he has traversed huge distances. 
Since a person's spiritual level is not static, in addition to being able to elevate ourselves, we are in danger of falling. It's important to learn to deal with that possibility and to do everything in our power to assure that if we do fall, we will not exceed the minimal boundaries set by the Torah. At the same time, when we fall, we must never lose hope of elevating ourselves to higher levels, and even surpassing our previous levels. Very often, a decline is preparation for a significant ascent, as Rebbe Nachman and Reb Nosson often remind us in their writings.
If a person failed to break his fall in time and has transgressed clear prohibitions, he must be prepared to deal even with this. In Likutei Moharan II:12, Rebbe Nachman tells us that when one is in the lowest of depths, stuck in the mire, he has a special opportunity to find the highest levels of holiness which are hidden there - but only if he is firmly resolved to search for God.
Not only is despair pointless, it can also lead to falling to further depths. But how can anyone escape despair when he understands the seriousness of these moral transgressions? How can a person not despair when the Zohar (219b) states that repentance does not help when it comes to the sin of Er and Onan?
Rebbe Nachman states (Sichot Haran 71) that the Zohar should not be understood literally. Repentance always helps, and the main thing is not to repeat one's wrong doing.
Let us learn from the butterfly.
Say "no" to the obsessions and desires which keep us crawling in the dirt all our lives. Instead, let's do Teshuvah once and for all and lock ourselves into what might feel like a constrained darkness for a while. And then, suddenly, we will be renewed and be able to fly high in the sky!
Sometimes a person feels low and Emunah seems out of reach. In such a state, the Yetzer Hara can say to a person, "What use is it for you to be strong and hold yourself back from falling into sin, you anyway feel so far from G-d and you anyway don't have now any Emunah or purity of heart!"
The Ba'al Hasulam, a great Kabbalist, was famous for trying to teach people how to serve Hashem Lishma (with the purest of intentions). However, he once said that "as great as we can imagine it is to serve G-d Lishma, the doing of Torah and Mitzvos without ANY pure intentions whatsoever is still a lot greater!" In other words, no matter how far our imagination can stretch to visualize the greatness of Lishma and how precious it is in G-d's eyes, - Sheloh Lishma, i.e. doing the Mitzvos even without any Emunah, - is greater - in G-d's Eyes - than that still.
What is reason? The rationale behind this is that G-d has great pleasure when "work" (yegiyah) is exerted by a human being to do his Mitzvos, even without any thought or belief.
So don't let the Yetzer Hara fool you and tell you that staying holy is worthless because your thoughts are anyway impure and your Emunah is weak! For it is more precious to G-d for you to do his Mitzvos than you can possibly imagine, even if you do them without any Emunah at all!
I will remember this Autobiography in Five Chapters to help me stay on track.
Chapter 1: I walk down the street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I don't see it. I fall in. It isn't my fault. It takes a long time to figure out how to get out of the hole.
Chapter 2: I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I pretend I don't see it. I fall in again. I can't believe I am in the same place. But it isn't my fault. It takes a long time to get out.
Chapter 3: I walk down the same street with my eyes wide open. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I see it. I fall in. It's my fault. I get out immediately.
Chapter 4: I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I walk around it.
Chapter 5: I walk down a different street.
Ask yourself "Which chapter am I up to now?"
A post from the "talk-backs" of Arutz Sheva, on Tzvi Fishman's Blog. 
Yehudah from Jerusalem writes:
I know what you are going through for I have been there and have overcome it with a lot of work and determination to succeed. You can succeed as well.
1. Spirituality;
  • The first thing you have to do is to find a Torah project to be studying,
  • (Second) Humility. Moses was great on this one, he was close to Hashem; and being close to Him is great.
  • (Third), memorizing T'hilim especially the ones that mean a lot to you (for me, 125, 86, 25, 100, etc) or any other Torah subject that you feel would help you grow to become holy. KEEP THESE MATERIALS WITH YOU AT ALL TIMES (excluding bathrooms) and read/study them whenever you get the urge to masturbate or when sexual thoughts come to you.

2. Don't look at nor think about anything or anybody who evoke sexual desires. Get rid of all your porn books/pictures/movies, etc. Give up TV programs, for the adds are nothing but sex. Throw away all sex objects. In fact, throw away all clothes that have seaman spots on them. I say this in terms of the fact that they are memories of coveting, lust etc, and these memories have to be out of your house and off your body. The same applies to bed covers and mattress. After this, wet dreams are the thing of the past.

3. Don't think that marriage is going to put an end to these coveting/lust desires. If you have not broken and replaced the memories/desires of p-orn and lust, then having sex with your spouse is nothing but the same, for you will be thinking of someone else and this can spoil your marriage relationship. Once you start getting the midlife spread, you'll be looking around at other people to arouse your sexual desires and you may as well have been performing adultery for you have it in your heart. If you realize this then your marriage relationship will grow more into love and not just sex.
4. This whole project is a constant effort, for sex is around you where ever you go; so you have to be strong and take courage that it can be done, for others have succeeded. I have succeeded, thank G-d, but there are always new temptations. You will need to learn to be aware of yourself and your feelings/thoughts so as not to become distracted.
5. The answer and help to this entire effort is found in the Kriyat Shema. Say it very slowly and with all your heart.
May Hashem Guard you.
Internalize this truth and always remember this line: "The less you feed it, the less you need it".
Click here for a new page that we just added today to with more on this important reality.
Excerpts from an article at
The Hebrew word for semen is zera, which means seed. This seed contains not only the physical and spiritual blueprints of life, but also the life force itself.  Each discharge of semen contains hundreds of thousands of souls. Each microscopic drop is more than a potential life. It is already a living soul. For this reason, the sin of spilling semen in vain is considered like the spilling of blood – like taking the life of a person. Not just the life of any person, but the life of the child [somewhat] of the man who commits the sin. (Niddah 13A; Even HaEzer, 23:2)
Kabbalistic sources explain that that wasting of semen gives strength to the forces of impurity and evil in the world. This mystical concept is explained in depth in the book, "Secret of the Brit."  Here, we will only mention that the impurity that a person adds to the world through sexual transgression, not only causes many forms of personal suffering, but also creates a barrier between the man and G-d, dulling his spiritual sensitivities, and turning his prayer and Torah learning into heavy, half-hearted endeavors which bring no satisfaction nor joy.

On our site we brought some rants (here) from a non-Jew found who that his addiction to masturbating was preventing him from going out to meet women and so he decided to try to stop completely. He opened a blog to keep track of his progress and I bring you here some more thoughts of his, from when he was still starting out. (There's always something we can learn from everyone... )

Based on my experience on going masturbation free for 4 days I can definitely say that masturbation is not healthy, it makes you feel less of a man, it's bad for self esteem and confidence. Look at it this way, anything you are too embarrassed to share in public with close friends can't be healthy right? I feel more confident, I don't laze about anymore, I'm more focused, and I don't procrastinate as much and have goals in my mind all the time. I do have to force myself to snap out of it once in a while, usually I do this by thinking of the most unsightliest thing that comes to my mind, like a pile of dog sh-t on my favourite dinner plate. That usually does the trick and very shortly the drive fades away.
I bring you here a few last thoughts from the blog of the non-Jew who tried to stop masturbating (see here for more).
Ever since I gave up masturbation so have all the other timewasters; videogames! Masturbation and spending hours playing computer games have previously engulfed my free time. Now I have discovered the joy of reading. One of the book that was on my online list was titled "the multi-orgasmic man…
There were a few things that I have realised from reading the first 3 chapters of the book on the way home. One thing that sticks to my mind is 'after a man ejaculates, his pillow looks prettier than his wife'. I also learnt that under lab conditions scientists found that micro-worms who ejaculate live for 6 days, where as worms who do not ejaculate live for 9 days. Also plants after growing seeds, die shortly after. The whole multiorgasmic topic is all about withholding sperm, the facts that I've read have motivated me to carry on with this wank-free mission. Because ejaculation can be majorly detrimental to health, and it makes sense because ejaculation drains out all energy from a man's body as the body is furiously at work trying to reproduce sperm for the next round.
See the link above for more on how ejaculation weakens the body and shortens life-span.
Pesach cleaning is underway in all Jewish households around the world. As we toil to clean our houses from leaven, we are in parallel also cleansing ourselves from the evil inclination, which is symbolized by the leaven. We are toiling to break free of the evil one, in anticipation for going out from bondage and slavery-- from ourselves, our desires and especially our addictions--to freedom, Nachas Ruach and to living in harmony with G-d's beautiful world. Leaven symbolizes the Yetzer Hara because it is "blown up" and looks big but it's really all air. The biggest Yetzer Hara is in the sexual arena, and it is truly a "blown up bubble" that pops in your face. We are wired with a bug in our minds that make us lust after dirty flesh and blood, only to find that we were tricked into a bunch of hot air, at the expense of our infinitely precious relationship with G-d.
So get rid of the leaven and get ready to break free of Egypt, and start to make your way through--what might "feel" like a desert at first--to G-d's promised land. Remember, even in the desert, we are always surrounded by G-d's clouds of glory, and we are miraculously satiated through the goodness of his hand. He who takes water our from rocks, and manna from the heaven, will surely hold your hand on this journey as well. The main thing, as R' Nachman always said, is not to be afraid. "Lech Tech Acharai Ba'midbar"... Go after me in the desert... Don't be afraid to give your heart to G-d.
The Israelites had to rush out of Egypt so fast, they didn't have time for their bread to rise. Why? Does that make sense? What was the rush exactly? The Egyptians had just been blasted with ten plagues as divine punishment for holding the Israelites captive, they were more than ready to let them go. So why rush things? Couldn't they have spent the few extra minutes it takes to let the bread rise and make proper sandwiches for the trip?
The answer is: they weren't running from the Egyptians, they were running from themselves. The two centuries of slavery had taken their toll on the Jewish people's spirit. They had forgotten their illustrious past as children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, pioneers of a path of ethics and higher morals. The corruption and depravity of the Egyptian society had slowly crept into the Israelite mentality, and they assimilated many of its paganistic ideals into their own. They were slaves to Egypt, not just in body, but in mind as well.
It came to a point where their unique identity was all but lost. Suddenly they realised that the legacy of Abraham could be lost forever, and the message of hope that the Israelites were to bring the world would not be delivered, all because of them. Only then did they cry out for help. On the brink of point of no return, they called out to G-d.
Think of a p-rnaholic. For a while, he fools himself into thinking that things are in control, he is just casually browsing the Internet, it relaxes him, there's nothing wrong. Gradually, the habit overtakes him, and one-by-one he loses everything he has: his spirituality becomes empty, he loses his connection with G-d, his wife feels his distance more and more until she finally leaves him, he loses his family, his job, his money, his dignity. But it's only when he hits rock bottom, when he has been stripped of everything, that it suddenly dawns on him that he has a real problem.
Now he has to act fast. Once he has recognised the problem, he has to deal with it immediately, before that moment of clarity passes by and he slips back into self-justification. He can't do it alone. He's too far fallen to help himself. He has to call for help. Someone from the outside, someone sober, will have to reach out to drag him out of his addiction. But they can only help him if he is willing to go cold-turkey, not to touch p-rnogrophy and to stop masturbation totally, until he is cured. He has to run away from the addict that he has been until now. Otherwise he cannot begin to heal.

That's why Matzah is the crux of what the exodus is all about. The children of Israel had to make a hasty retreat from Egypt. Egypt and its lowliness had a hold on them, as powerful as an addiction. They had to first get out of Egypt in order to get Egypt out of themselves. To delay would be deadly. Once they had realised the problem, if they would then have hesitated, it could have spelt the end for them - they may have sunk to the point of no return.
Pesach is a de-tox retreat, where the spirit of liberty calls upon us to free ourselves from our personal Egypt. The Matzah reminds us that the first step towards freedom is to go cold-turkey. No hesitations; make a sudden and complete exodus from the you that was, and march through the desert towards the you that you can be.
(Idea taken from Rabbi Moss's weekly e-mails. Sign up at

May you trust G-d that you are exactly where you are meant to be...

May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith...

May you be content knowing you are a child of G-d...

Let His presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love...
Sometimes it seems to work in cycles; you feel strong for a while and then start to lose the strength to guard your eyes, and sometimes it can take time until you get that strength back. But remember, every time you pass a test, every time you overcome the downward part of the cycle, G-d puts away a diamond in his treasure chest for you. And he might even give you a little break for a while where you are feeling strong. But G-d doesn't want you to just have one diamond. After all, if we passed one test and were done, we may as well die. But G-d gives us 120 years on this world because we can accomplish so much with each cycle, with each up and down... So after a while, he makes us lose everything and start over from the beginning again, so we can keep getting diamonds. He suddenly makes us feel as if we have never worked on ourselves before and we need to find new strength each time to overcome the downward spin. This is G-d's way, so we keep working and earning, putting away bit by bit and ultimately doing great things for ourselves, for G-d and for the entire universe!
Excerpts below taken from an article on
Our Sages tell us that we were redeemed from Egypt due to the merit of the two mitzvot (commandments) which G-d commanded us to perform on the eve of our departure - the Paschal sacrifice and the brit milah. Both of these commandments were designed to free us from our spiritual slavery to the lusts of the body, and liberate us to true freedom as servants to G-d. Among a cornucopia of bestial doings, the Egyptians worshipped the lamb. Among the domestic beasts, sheep are known for their fecundity.  In a similar manner, licentiousness was an integral part of this idol worship. Our Sages teach us that the Jewish People only worshipped idols as an excuse to engage in the sexual debauchery that went with it.

In commanding every Jewish household in Egypt to take a lamb, the Egyptians' god, and slaughter it for the Pesach offering, G-d was commanding us to slaughter the physical lusts in ourselves that lead to the perversion of the holy marital union, and to the pollution of the holy life force of our nation. Interestingly, we were commanded to tie the lambs to our bedposts, not to the door, or the window, or kitchen table, but to our beds, precisely to drive this point into our individual and national consciences that we are to be a holy people, separated by the purity of our sexual lives from all of the other nations in the world.

This is the very same lesson of the brit milah. Only a man who was circumcised was allowed to partake in eating the Passover lamb. The removal of the foreskin both symbolizes, and physically effects, the removal of the impure physical lusts.

The Pesach Lamb on the eve of our departure from the bondage of Egypt and from our servitude to its debauched and immoral culture, we were called to renew the Brit of our Forefathers, the founding Covenant between G-d and the Jewish People, whereby we safeguard the purity of our sexual lives, symbolized by the brit milah, and G-d, for His part, promises us the Land of Israel as our eternal inheritance. Thus the Zohar teaches that in the merit of the blood of the slaughtered Paschal lamb (the korban Pesach) and the blood of the brit milah, we were redeemed from the spiritual dungeon of Egypt.
The Seder is not just a memorial to events of the distant past - it is a dynamic process of freedom from the challenges of the present.
We are slaves. Slaves to our own addictions, habits, inhibitions, fears, cynicism and prejudices. These self-appointed pharaohs are layers of ego that prevent us from expressing our true inner self, from reaching our spiritual potential. Our souls are incarcerated in selfishness, laziness and indifference.
Pesach means "Passover". It is the season of liberation, when we pass over all these obstacles to inner freedom. On Pesach, we give our souls a chance to be expressed.
Reread the Haggada. Every time it says "Egypt" read "limitations". Replace the word "Pharaoh" with "Ego". And read it in the present tense:
"We were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt" =
"We are slaves to our egos, stuck in our limitations."
How do we free ourselves? By eating Matzah.  After eating Matzah, the Israelites were able to run out of Egypt and follow G-d into the desert. Because Matzah represents the suspension of ego. Unlike bread, which has body and taste, Matzah is flat and tasteless - the bread of surrender.
Usually, we are scared to give up our addictions and habits, to suspend our egos, because we think that we will lose ourselves. On Pesach we eat the Matzah, we suspend our egos and find ourselves - our true selves.
This night is different from all other nights, because on this night we let ourselves go, we liberate our souls to follow G-d unashamed. We say, "I may not understand what this means, but I have a Jewish soul, and somehow that is the deepest layer of my identity."
(Idea taken from Rabbi Moss's weekly e-mails. Sign up at
The Yetzer Hara tells us that we want "intimacy", "love" etc... he tells us how we desperately need arousal, we need "beauty" we need "lust", we need to indulge in the beauty of a woman's body... All these things are one big lie. The only thing the Yetzer Hara really wants is the ejaculation. The minute you've had the ejaculation, all the needs you thought you had for "intimacy", "love", "beauty" etc... they all vanish like a puff of hot air. The Yetzer Hara is an expert at fooling us. He dresses up the desire for ejaculation in all types of sublime feelings and concepts and makes us believe that we want much more than just to jerk off. But this huge and colorful lie reveals itself for what it is the minute we have finished the ejaculation. Then, the beauty you thought you craved so much becomes meaningless, the intimacy you thought you needed so bad becomes annoying and unwanted. We all know this and yet we keep letting ourselves become fooled again and again. How much longer will we give up what is truly precious for the world's biggest lie?
Don't think you can win the battle against the evil inclination on your own. You can't. But the good news is, if you trust in G-d and just keep moving forward, he will do it for you.

When the Jews stood near the red sea with the Egyptians close behind them and they cried out to G-d, G-d said to Moses "Ma Titzak Alai, Daber el Bne yisrael Ve'yisa'u" - "For what do you cry out to me? Tell the Children of Israel to go forward!" The holy books explain that G-d was saying, "Leave what's up to me up to me. You just go forward!". In other words, when it comes to truly breaking free of "Mitzrayim" once and for all, it is G-d who ultimately fights these battles for us. We just have to put our full trust in him and move forward--like Nachshon, who went into the sea until his neck--and then G-d did the rest. "Hashem Yilachem Lachem, Ve'atem Tacharishun" - "G-d will fight for you, and you shall be silent".

Now is the time. On the seventh day of Pesach, the same divine light that came down at the splitting of the Red Sea comes down to this world again. We all need G-d to split the sea for us, each in our own personal battle with "Mitzrayim". So let's tune in to the "trust" frequency and experience this miracle again today as then!
Why Stop Lusting?
Sexual lust is an inordinate thought or feeling that drives us to use ourselves, others, or things for self-centered destructive purposes. The spiritual sickness of lust wants sexual stimulation at that moment instead of what G-d is offering us. Later, we come to see that lust wants anything other than what is offered to us each moment. We thought lust was our friend. We used it for many reasons, entertainment, as a refuge from pain, or to escape dealing with problems. Somewhere along the way though, the lust becomes a bigger problem than the problems we are trying to avoid. The medicine becomes the poison. Our "solution" becomes the problem. Lust is a wall that separates us and keeps us from enjoying full relationships with G-d and the people around us. Lust drives us deeper and deeper inside ourselves and leads to isolation, loneliness, and despair.
As we break the cycle of of lust by taking the steps of recovery, our experience of life begins to change dramatically. As we begin to recover, we gain a new sense of integrity that makes us happy to be alive. No more hiding! No more lies! No more double life! As the burden of guilt and shame is lifted, we have more energy available for friends and family, work and play. A troubled and dark countenance gives way to a life that is happy, joyous and free.
Excerpts taken from a SA pamphlet...
Shaar haTefillah (Shaar Nipol): "And the person should consider the following account on his soul: What he gains when he engages in buying and selling in the markets against the loss he has when he looks at forbidden things there and the evil thoughts he will have thereby. Even if he makes millions, all the money in the world, will it suffice to compensate for the loss of transgressing only one sin?"
The Chida (De'vash le Fi): "With the eyes he becomes a servant of the Yetzer haRa to look into all the forbidden and vain places in the world, and through them he will lose the possibility of enjoying the pleasantness of G-d in the future".
Chatam Sofer (Chaye Sarah): "The Jews, they are holy and should not stumble through looking at women, G-d forbid, for all who do thus, are lost in this world and in the World to Come.
One of our members sent us some excerpts of ideas from the book "The Light of Ephraim" by Simchah H. BenYosef.
When Hashem created the universe at Breishit, he mandated that a soul be sent to this world every time a man releases his seed, whether intentionally or not. The idea was that through this process, if man chose to use/release his seed for the holy purpose that Hashem intended (to create a life with one's wife in a kosher relationship), man would than be able to actually participate in the divine plan for the world by causing souls to be sent down from Shamayim to this world to create life - which is a pretty amazing privilege. The problem begins when man uses/releases his seed for unholy purposes (via masturbation, nocturnal emissions, sexual relations with non-Jewish women, etc.). This causes spiritual forces called Kelipot to absorb all of the seed's life-giving potential. When this happens, the Kelipot are able to capture the souls sent down from Shamayim (the reason being is that the souls were forced to down to earth from Shamayim in vain because the seed was released from the man in an unholy way) and the klippot then force these souls to cause the man who brought them down in vain all sorts of trouble. That this is why men feel literally hopeless and tired after they release their seed for unholy purposes. These reactions happen not because the men are unhealthy or depressed, but because the Kelipot have already begun their mission to destroy the man's life.
I recommend this book because all of these ideas, even if they appear absolutely outrageous, can be verified through personal experience, science, psychology, and mainstream indisputable Torah sources such as the Shulchan Aruch, the Talmud, and the Torah.
Sometimes a person may be taking a walk or laying in bed and lustful thoughts start to fill his head and it seems like he can't control it. At such a time, don't try to stop the thoughts - they may just become even stronger. Instead, cry out to Hashem and say "Please Hashem, save me from lust, which is filling my head and heart! Please rid me of these thoughts and desires, for they are tormenting me! I want to love you instead, Hashem--"Kama lecha nafshi, tzama lecha besari" - My flesh pines for you, my soul thirst for you, Oh Lord."
You will be amazed at how powerful prayer is. Put your trust in G-d and you will suddenly feel a relief from these thoughts.
Excerpts taken from Tzvi Fishman's Blog
This week's Torah portion is "Kedoshim."
"Hashem spoke to Moshe saying, Speak to the entire assembly of the Children of Israel and say to them: You shall be holy, for I, Hashem your G-d, am holy."

Rashi states: "You shall be holy by being removed from sexual transgression and from sin, for wherever you find a restriction from sexual immorality, you find holiness."

Every Jew is holy by nature of his or her holy Jewish soul. However, sins, especially sexual transgression, pollute a Jew's intrinsic holiness in the same manner that garbage pollutes a stream. Through t'shuva (repentance) a person can remove the garbage from the stream, but without t'shuva, the pure Jewish soul remains stained.

The Ramban takes Rashi's explanation one step further by adding that a Jew does not only have to stay away from major sexual transgressions. Rather, when the Torah commands us to "be holy," it is telling us that we have to sanctify our behavior even in permitted matters, like the relations between a man and his wife. (Ramban on the Torah, "Kedoshim," 19:1). For instance, while a man is allowed to have relations with his wife during the permitted periods, our Sages warn us not to be like roosters with our mates (i.e. not to over do it). Being holy also means that a Jew is not supposed to gaze lustfully at women, whether in the street, at the movies, on TV, or on the Internet.
This vital subject is the very foundation of Jewish life. Jewishness is not just a religion, or national identity. Jewishness is a call to live holy lives as individuals and as a holy nation. The commandments of the Torah are our ladder of sanctification, and, as Rashi and the Ramban explain, the first rung is holiness in our sexual lives.
Think about how precarious life it. Just one cut of a knife, and all our body's desires, fantasies and wishes are gone. If our body is so feeble, should we wile away our lives giving in to its petty whims and instincts, thereby losing touch with the omnipresent G-d and infinite nature of the soul?
Idea taken from
The first 40 Days
The act of creation in the forming of the fetus is completed in 40 days, and this manifests many times in scientific reality as well as in the spiritual reality. (For example, Moshe received the Torah from G-d in 40 days). When a person wishes to distance himself from a bad habit, the first forty days will always be the hardest, it is during this time that he paves a path. When a person wishes to become Shomer Habris then his hardest struggle will be during the first 40 days as he plows his path through the spirits of impurity. After the first 40 days a person has passed a large milestone and although he is far from safe, the overall test has just become easier. This does not mean that he will not be tested periodically from time to time, it means that he has made a nice separation between himself and the sin and now he can start gathering strength to fight the bigger tests when they come.
We have a member on this list who just passed the 40 day mark. He then started another round of 40 days recently, in which he pledged to try being even more careful than in the first 40 day round. Incidentally, we pointed out to him that the second 40 day period ends exactly on Shavuos, when he will be truly ready to accept the Torah. We both saw this as a sign from heaven that his hard work is being smiled upon by G-d. Today he sent us an e-mail as follows:
Well, I'm still struggling to guard my eyes, but it is getting easier though. I'm glad you are praying for me and that Hashem is having mercy on me, at least for now. What you point out about the remaining 40 days is truly amazing; in fact, [the second] 40 days is beginning to not look like such as difficult task bli ayan hara. I still need to be vigilant, now that I know the signs as a result of previous experiences....
G-d is like a Story Teller. He loves beautiful stories, and that's one of the reasons he created the world. Very often in life we are given situations where there are no clear cut paths before us. G-d does this purposefully to see the beautiful stories that we humans will weave with our deepest emotions and with our love for him... Not everyone is worthy of living a life that G-d considers a beautiful story. But we create these stories with our hearts.
All the members of this chizuk-list who have begun the journey to sexual purity, are already in the middle of a beautiful story of self-sacrifice and of going against the odds for the love of G-d. Our daily struggles make up the words of this beautiful story. And each time we get up again after falling, another chapter is added.
May G-d give us the strength to make our stories all come to a happy ending!
Sefer ha Brit, Shemirat Eynaim
Our Master the Chatam Sofer wrote in The introduction to Parashat Bereshit the following: Our Sages, z'l said (Avodah Zara 20): "The angel of death is full of eyes and when the time for a person to die comes, the angel stands above his head, with his sword ready and a bitter drop hangs from the sword, when the sick person sees him, he shakes and opens his mouth and the drop enters the mouth, from it he dies, he rots and his face turns green" And this is difficult: "Why is he full of eyes? The Gaon Rabbi Natan Adler, zt'l said that when a person transgresses, G-d forbid, the prohibition of not going astray after one's eyes, and savors the taste of looking at forbidden places, with this transgression he gives eyes to the Yetzer ha Ra, who is none other than the angel of death, and from this he is full of eyes, from those same eyes that looked at places that were forbidden for him to look at, and from this the person shakes when he realizes that he is the one who, by looking at forbidden things, caused the angel of death to have so many eyes. And also Rabbi Yehonathan Eybeshutz zt'l and the Chidda wrote thus.
Dr / Rabbi Yitzchak Twersky from Jerusalem once described to me his approach in helping people deal with these difficult issues.

Our sages call the fight with the evil inclination "Milchemes Hayetzer" which means "a war with one's inclination". They don't call it an "argument" or a "fight" with the inclination, but rather a "war". What we can learn from this is that military tactics are necessary in the struggle with the evil inclination.

In a war, if the other side is stronger and you do battle face to face, you will surely lose. The terrorists world-wide have learned this lesson well. They know that they stand no chance against the great armies of the west. So how are they so successful in creating upheavals and overthrowing great and powerful governments? Guerilla warfare. They don't do battle face to face with powerful armies. They know that if they did that they would be slaughtered. Instead, they learn their enemies weak points and where their enemy is going to be at set times, and they pre-empt them. They spy on the enemy, learn their tactics and fight them where the enemy is vulnerable. They ambush the enemy before the enemy has a chance to realize what has happened. That is their secret to success.

The same theory applies to fighting the evil inclination. He is stronger than us, and if we fight him head on we don't stand a chance. Instead we need to employ Guerilla tactics. We start by asking ourselves, "how has the evil inclination/addiction been so successful until today? How does he get me to fall? In what ways does my mind think in the various situations that I find myself in? In what habitual ways have I learned to scan my surroundings?  How is my mind used to thinking and processing information? In which scenarios does it happen the most, in what moods am I in when it happens, in what situations do I start to slip?"

Once we learn the way the evil inclination works with us, we can start to pre-empt him. We can prevent him from fighting us head on. We now realize how he has been so successful until now and in what ways he used to get us to fall, and we start to avoid those situations. We can already predict in advance the way our minds will think in given scenarios, and we can be ready for it. We learn to make fences for ourselves to avoid head-on fights.

This is a powerful approach to winning this difficult battle and often, a good therapist can help a person work this all out. But even just knowing this secret is already a good start on the journey to ultimate success.

The Vilna Goan says something that's very important to know, especially for those struggling with powerful desires. He writes that what a person says he wants, and even what he feels he wants, has no relation to what he actually wants. The Yetzer Hara was given permission by Hashem to make a person feel that they want something they really don't.
The Vilna Goan also says that the same idea applies to what a person feels they can or can't do. The reality has no relation to what the person thinks or even feels that he can or can't achieve. [This is because the reality belongs to G-d. Our own estimates of our strengths and abilities don't affect G-d's ability].
So never give in to what the Yetzer Hara makes you believe you want, because you really don't want it. And never say "I can't achieve sexual purity" even if it looks so hard. For nothing is hard for G-d. So give your heart over to him and he'll do the hard work for you.
"Ve'ahavta Es Hashehm Elokecha Bechol Levavcha"... "And you should love Hashem your G-d with all your heart". We say it a few times a day, but in what ways are we able to show that we love G-d? Yes, we daven, we learn a little Torah, we give some Tzedaka, but let's be honest with ourselves, do we really think that we fulfill "to love G-d with all your heart" sufficiently with these mitzvos? How many of these Mitzvos do we do out of rote or because people expect it of us? And even if not, how much heart do we really put into the mitzvos to be able to call them "loving G-d with all your heart"?
So how indeed can we really show G-d that we love him? How can we truly fulfill that which we say a few times every day? The answer is Sexual Purity. That's the area where we truly need to give our hearts to G-d. How we guard our eyes and thoughts is hidden, nobody knows. We aren't doing it for anyone else. And it's not easy. For some of us, the struggle is very real and it requires truly giving our hearts away to G-d.
But when we realise this, especially those who struggle in this area more than others, we need to actually thank G-d that he has given us this great opportunity that not everyone has, to fulfill the Mitzva to truly love him.

Someone sent us an article about the fanatical separation of the sexes in some Arab countries, and about how their women are prohibited from many activities and must be covered from head to toe with a Burkah. They then asked the following question:


Q. "I wanted to ask you what you thought about these articles. Is this the ideal for Jews in terms of separation of the sexes? Something tells me the society of the 1st Temple was like this".


A. The approach in Judaism is not one of extreme separation from the temptations of this world. We don't advocate locking the women up so that the men should not come to sin. The approach in Judaism is rather to be able to live in the world we are in, surrounded by temptations, and yet uplift this world along with its pleasures by keeping ourselves holy.


This idea is illustrated well by the following idea. On Pesach we bring an offering of barely - without Chametz, which is the symbol of the Yetzer Hara. On Shavuos we bring an offering of wheat (the two loaves) made out of Chametz. Shavuos is the only time of the year that we offer Chametz in the Beis Hamikdash. Otherwise, Chametz is banned as an offering. What is the deeper meaning behind the barley offering on Pesach and the wheat offering on Shavuos?


The holy Alshich explains that on Pesach we had not yet recieved the Torah. Instead, G-d shined his light upon us without us having worked for it. Barley is a food of animals (like Chaza"l explain that a Sotah brings a barley offering to symbolize that she did an act of an animal). Although we reached very high levels on the night of Pesach, we were still a bit like animals in that we had not yet worked for the high levels that were bestowed upon us. In such a situation, one must cut themselves off from worldly pleasure in order to retain their spiritual level. This is symbolized by barley, which contains no Chametz, i.e. no Yetzer Hara. However, after Pesach, G-d took the light away from us so that we could work towards the high levels that we had received on our own. During the seven weeks of Seffirah, we correct different attributes of ourselves each day (Chessed, Gevurah, etc...). By the time we get to Shavuos, we are worthy of receiving the Torah. Once we get the Torah there is no more need for "barley" offerings. We can now offer G-d even the Chametz. After getting the Torah, we are now able to DEAL with the Yetzer Hara. We can be involved with the Chametz and instead of sinking into it, we uplift this world with all its pleasures to G-d. Through the Torah and Mitzvos, we are able to use this world, together with our human instincts and inclinations, for the glory of G-d's name. This is the power of the Torah.

Someone wrote us his story. Here are some excerpts that we can all learn from:

….I started on the path to rectification….in the first month or two the desires were huge, but I thought how far I had gone and just knew I had to keep going. So another month or two went by, and before I knew it, my desire to masturbate actually was curbed!!!! I thought about p-orn and attractive women less, I didn't seek out pictures or stimuli, I even found myself averting my eyes from scantily clad females… Earlier, I had trained myself to scan for attractive images to store in my mind, and now I had somehow trained myself NOT to seek these images around me. That part I hadn't even tried for so much. In time, I found that as much as I was still a normal sexually functioning male, (i.e. I was fully capable of arousal if I encountered images inadvertently or a steamy movie scene), I really lost the desire to act on that arousal or to touch it. Having trained myself to habitually NOT act on my arousal, I actually felt myself lose the desire to do so. I no longer wanted to masturbate… And I took note of the sexual nature of female women around me a lot less! I was somehow accustomed to not looking so much. Or looking in a way, that even if I did, it was not stored as a bring-up-later image in my memory banks. And online, I might occasionally see enticing pictures, but I would never act on it. It became no longer a challenge.

So after several months straight of refraining from masturbation, indeed, my desire for masturbation decreased. This was like an exponential growth, whereby the longer I kept my streak alive, the easier it was to keep it going!

Thus when the sages say, as you repeat on your site, that "There is a small organ in a man, if you feed it - it is hungry, if you starve it - it is satiated", I KNOW THAT THEY ARE CORRECT!!! I've been through it! Maybe some of our great sages had to conquer this immense difficulty and I don't for a second doubt they had the willpower and righteousness to do so if necessary! But I am still awed by their wisdom. They are correct! Let no one claim to you otherwise. Let no chronic masturbator use his doubt of that saying as a pretext to disregard it, because it is indeed true....
The Gemara in Sotah writes that someone who is haughty is likely to fall into the sin of adultry. The Gemara goes on to discuss the humility that we should feel and writes that the acronym for ADAM (Man) is "Afar", "Dam" & "Mara", meaning "Dust", "Blood" & "Bile", and the acronym for BASAR (Flesh) is "Busha", "Shaul" & "Rima", meaning "Shame", "Borrowed" & "Worms" (our flesh is borrowed, since one day it must return to the dust).
When feeling lust for flesh it may be helpful to remember this Gemara. Not only can the resulting humility save us from sin, but the actual lust itself should melt away when one realizes that he is nothing but dust, blood and bile, and he is desiring nothing but "borrowed, shame, to be eaten by worms".
Start off each day with a prayer to G-d to save us from lust that day. 
Once we have gotten up and said Modeh Ani, we should pray to G-d from the depths of our heart and say;
"Please G-d, relieve me from the bondage of self. Please save me today from the disease of lust, in my heart and in my mind".
Then commit and say;
"I commit myself to one more day of sexual purity, from now until __________ (say the next day)".
This reminds us that our sobriety is a gift only for today. Tomorrow will take care of itself.
Then surrender to G-d and say;
"I surrender to you G-d, today,
-my right to be sexually responsive at all (besides with my wife),
-my right to lust in any form,
-and any fantasies or lust images lingering in my mind".
It is a known fact that someone addicted to po-rnography begins to neglect his job, his wife, his children and even himself. He misses out on the best parts of life, such as watching his children grow up, and he lets his life deteriorate until ultimately he loses everything.

On YWN there was an article about the dangers of the internet. In the talkbacks, someone wrote to keep in mind the following idea in order to stay strong:

Chaza"l say that there will be a Din V'cheshbon (judgement and reckoning) for every sin we do. The Vilna Gaon explains the words Din V'cheshbon as follows; There will be Din (judgement) on the aveirah, and Cheshbon (a reckoning) on the wasted time used for that aveirah which could have been put to good use.

We must not underestimate our ability to do good with our time for our family and for the klal (the community). How could one waste time when he could be learning or playing with his kids, or doing a chesed for someone? Go to a hospital or a nursing home, or invite some lonely person over. Do homework with your kids or spend some quality time with your wife. Every second one wastes is not only bitul zman (waste of time), but it is also a lost opportunity to help another Jew.
The rule in spirituality, according to the holy books, is that the moment someone truly wants to reach a spiritual level, G-d gives it to him. The explanation is simple. G-d's light is always shining. He only wants our good. But we have to be a vessel to accept his light. To be a vessel means to "truly want it" with all your heart. This rule doesn't apply always with physical things, because although we can want something with all our heart, G-d knows that sometimes it's not the best for us. But in spiritual matters, the moment we truly want it - it's ours.

Sexual purity in today's world is a tremendous spiritual achievement, but it is not easy. However, it's not the purity which is difficult, it's "truly wanting it" that's difficult. For after all, the moment someone truly wants it, G-d gives it to him. We all know that it's easy to say "I want sexual purity", but to honestly want to let go of all the sinful lust that lurks in our deepest subconscious mind, only G-d knows if we truly want that.

So what do we do if we just don't want it enough? Prayer, Prayer, Prayer. "Poseach Es Yadecha Umasbiah Lechol Chai Ratzon". One way of reading this Pasuk is "You open your hands and bestow WILL-POWER (Ratzon) on all living things". G-d is not just the source of the light, he is also ultimately the one to make us into a true vessel to receive his light.

So pray to G-d to WANT it. Tell him you don't feel enough, in your deepest subconscious, a true need to be sexually pure and close to him. Ask him to open your heart to truly want this. And the moment you really want it, it's yours.
In honor of Lag Ba'Omer, we will bring today and tomorrow some excerpts from the Holy Zohar of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai. (Tanslations taken from

Zohar, Bereshit 94a
Another began his exposition by referring to the verse, "Unless the L-rd had been my help, my soul would have soon dwelt in (Duma) silence,(Tehillim, 94:17.) We have learned: what is the special merit of Israel that they do not go down to Gehinom, and are not delivered into the hands of Duma (the angel in charge of Gehinom) like the idol worshipping nations? The reason is that they are distinguished by the sign of the Brit.

For we have learned that when a man leaves this world, bands of destroying angels, wielders of fiery judgment, gather to claim him. But when they examine him and see that he bears the sign of the holy Brit upon him, they flee from him, and he is not delivered into the hands of Duma, to be cast down into Gehinom, for whomever falls into his hands is condemned to punishment there. Both upper and lower (angels) are afraid of this sign, and no evil decrees have dominance over a man if he has succeeded in safeguarding this sign, because he is attached to the Name of the Holy One, Blessed Be He.

Zohar, Bereshit 8a
Rav Hamnuna the Elder said this: "Do not let thy mouth cause thy flesh to sin," (Kohelet, 5:5.) A man should not allow his mouth to utter words that may bring him to lustful thoughts, and thus cause his holy flesh, on which is stamped the holy Brit, to sin. For whoever does this is dragged into Gehinom. The one presiding over Gehinom is called Duma, and there are tens of thousands of angels of destruction with him. He stands at the door of Gehinom. But all of those who have guarded the holy covenant of the Brit in this world, he is impotent to harm them.
It is brought down from the Chassidic Masters: "MiBeSaRI" Echeze Elokah - "And from my flesh, I shall see G-d," (Iyov, 19:26.) - The word "MiBeSaRI" is an acronym for "Mi'Toras Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai" - In other words, from the Torah of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, I shall see G-d.

Zohar Bereshit 94a
Another explained the verse: "And from my flesh, I shall see G-d," (Iyov, 19:26.) What is the meaning of "And from my flesh?" It would be more proper to say, "from my inner essence." However, "my flesh" is to be understood literally (as being the place of the Brit,) as in the verse, "and the holy flesh is removed from thee," (Yirmeyahu, 11:15,) and also, "and my Brit shall be in your flesh," (Bereshit, 17:13.)

For thus we have learned: Whenever a man is stamped with the holy impress of this sign, through it literally he will attain his awareness of G-d, because the holy soul is attached to this place (in the parallel spiritual world of the Yesod.)

But if he does not merit this, because he did not guard this sign, then of him it is written, "They lose the soul of G-d," (Iyov, 4:9,) for he did not properly guard the impress of G-d. If, however, he guards it, then the Shechinah does not part from him….

When is the Shechinah established with him? When he is married, then the sign enters into its intended place….The holy soul is attached to this place, and everything depends on this sign. Thus it is written, "And from my flesh, I shall see G-d." This is the perfection of everything, literally from "my flesh," from this very sign. Therefore, how fortunate are the holy Jewish People who are attached to the Holy One, Blessed Be He; fortunate are they in this world and fortunate in the world to come. Regarding them it is written: "But you who cleave to the L-rd your G-d, are alive every one of you this day," (Devarim, 4:4.)
Excerpts taken from an article at

The Torah portion that we just read this week, Bechukotai, is known as the portion of rebuke. The portion begins with G-d's promise that if the Jews observe the commandments of the Torah, prosperity, blessing, and peace will befall them. However, if they turn away from the Torah, G-d warns them that terrible curses and sufferings will be their fate - they will be pursued and ravaged by their enemies and forcibly expelled from the land into exile where they will be relentlessly persecuted and killed:

Rabbi Yaacov AbuchatzeraThe saintly Tzaddik and holy Kabbalist, Rabbi Yaacov Abuchatzera, z'tzal, grandfather of the holy Baba Sali, z'tzal, explains this Torah portion as referring to transgression of the Brit:

(From the book, "Abir Yaacov," section, Pitochei Chotam; Bechukotai)

"For the matter of transgressing the Brit, and all of the sufferings that stem from this, is referred in this rebuke (in Bechukotai). So that when the verse says: "But if you will not hearken to me, and will not do all of these commandments, and if you shall despise My statutes, or if your soul abhor My judgments, so that you will not do all of the commandments, but that you break My Brit...," it does not mean to say that they do not do any of the precepts, or that they do not occupy themselves with Torah; but rather, they do occupy themselves with Torah, and they do perform the commandments, but the main thing is missing, for the Brit, which is the principle matter, is blemished and has not be rectified. Since the Brit is blemished and has not been rectified, everything is considered as naught, for it goes to the "Other Side", may G-d have mercy.

"This is why the verse concludes: 'but that you break My Brit.' That is to say: 'Everything that I said about your despising My statutes, and your abhorring My judgments, and your rejecting My commandments, is not to be taken literally. Rather you broke My Brit and you blemished it, and you did not rectify it. For this reason, even if you hearken to My voice in performing all of the other commandments of the Torah, behold I proclaim to you that you have not hearkened to Me. Even if you will do all of the mitzvot, I will consider that you have not done them. Even if you will observe My statutes with love, I proclaim that you have despised My statutes. And even if you will perform My judgments with great joy, I proclaim that you have abhorred them. All of this is because 'you break My Brit. For you violated My Brit and have not rectified it. For this reason, everything you do is considered canceled and as naught. And all of the Torah and mitzvot that you do, it all goes to the Sitra Achra. And because you betrayed My Brit, I will bring upon all the sufferings in the world....'

As the holy Zohar writes, a person who does not have fear of sin in matters of the Brit, has no fear of G-d in anything he does. This is because his body which performs the commandments is blemished. Thus, everything which he does is blemished.

"Therefore, whoever desires to do t'shuva (repentence) and serve G-d, let him first rectify blemishes to the Brit, and after that the things he does to please G-d will succeed."
Our brains are wired to make us irrational when it comes to sexual desire. The wiring in our brains tells us that there is something extremely fascinating in women, something intriguing and sublime. As if all the secrets of the universe can be found in females. What fools our brains make of us! We need to keep telling ourselves that this is a trick of human instinct, of the Yetzer Hara. There's nothing fascinating there. Women come from the same putrid drop that men do, and their flesh will one day be eaten by worms. Don't let the wiring of your DNA take away your common sense. Don't lose sight of that which is truly fascinating and sublime--that we little humans can have a connection with the Almighty G-d!
Indeed, it is those who are not fooled by the illusions of false enthrallments who become worthy of experiencing a true captivation with G-d's transcendent awesomeness.
When Avraham was coming to Mitzrayim with Sarah, he told her: "Imri Na Achosi At, Lima'an Yitav Li Ba'avureich, Ve'chaysah Nafshi Biglaleich" - "Say, please, that you are my sister, so they should do good for me, for you, and give me life because of you".
The Ba'al Shem Tov explains that this Pasuk is an allusion to what a Jew is should do when lewd thoughts come to him... He explains that improper thoughts come from the spiritual side of Miztrayim, which was Shtufai Zima (flooded with debauchery). When these thoughts come to a Jew, he should connect them to the upper wisdom, which is called "Achosi - My Sister" (like the Pasuk says "Imri La'chachma Achosi At"). For the thoughts of Mitzrayim that entered his mind only came to him to be uplifted, and aderaba, they become transformed to the service of G-d. And it's not that these thoughts came to confuse him and take him away from the service of G-d, but rather these thoughts were sent to him specifically so that he can uplift them to their root (which is the love of G-d).
And this is the meaning of the words that Avraham said "I will be given life because of you".
Here's the original Hebrew text:
Chaza"l say; "Repent one day before you die" which is explained to mean that one should repent every day, since no one knows when his day will come.
When surrounded by all the illusionary desires of this world, it is easy to lose sight of our priorities in life. But one way to stay strong is to keep asking ourselves "Will I be alive tomorrow? Am I satisfied with my spiritual progress, that if I should be called to meet my maker now I would not be ashamed?"
If we are at least trying to be better each day, we will not need to feel such shame when we are called back to heaven. But if we are negligent, G-d forbid, in guarding our eyes and aren't even trying to purify ourselves, what terrible shame we will feel!
So don't leave it for tomorrow. Start striving for purity today. Who knows what tomorrow will bring?
The Chinese philosopher Lao-tzu once said "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step".
True sexual purity is a great achievement in today's world, and for some people it may look very far off. But take that first step today and you will get there in the end. Every time you say no to yourself, no matter how insignificant it seems, you have taken another step. If you fall, you don't go backwards--you are still where you left off last. Just stand up and continue the journey.