e-mail #248 we brought some excerpts from a
fascinating article by the religious psychologist and
therapist, Dr. Benzion Sorotzkin called "Psychological
Factors in Sexual Acting Out". It is a wonderful
article to help those who struggle with intense sexual
desire and unhealthy addictions to understand the root of
the subconscious needs they are trying to fill. Once a
person understands this, they can fight it better, both on
their own and through therapy (see our
Therapy Page for Therapy
What are the early
emotional traumas that may make it more likely for someone
to develop an addiction to sexual acting out? There are many
different possibilities, of course, but the following is a
small sampling. A young child in an emotionally supportive
home, when dealing with frustration, anxiety, alarm, fear,
or dread will feel comfortable turning to his parents for
comfort and support. They will protect, reassure, sooth and
guide him, thus teaching him by their reactions that; 1) The
world is not such a frightening place; 2) Most problems have
solutions; 3) Sharing problems with others makes problems
easier to deal with. The child will have been
soothed by his parents and will learn that comfort
is achieved in an interpersonal venue.
In a less emotionally
supportive home, parents are sometimes the source
of the pressure the child is experiencing and even if the
pressure is from external sources, the child doesn't feel
comfortable sharing the problem with his parents. Since he
cannot address the problem interpersonally he seeks
solitary solutions for self-soothing
which often involve acting out in a sexual manner. Besides the
release experienced via the pleasurable experience itself, there
is the additional benefit that he is not dependent on
(unreliable) others for relief.
Later in life, even if the
person's life becomes more manageable (perhaps as the result of
therapy), there is still a feeling that without constant
vigilance things will go bad again, so there is often chronic
"low voltage" stress which provokes the old "solitary solution."
For example, someone who has been hyper-sensitized by chronic
emotional abuse early in life may feel pressure to be extra nice
to his wife to ensure that she does the same for him since he
cannot tolerate even mild criticism. This person may, in fact,
have a good marriage with no discernable stress, but the effort
to avoid the slightest bit of disharmony (rather than
communicating openly and calmly about differences) can exact a
tremendous emotional toll. The habituated response to this
chronic strain may very well be solitary self-soothing.
A person who had suffered
from years of parental rejection will likely remain overly
sensitized to being rebuffed for any reason and to any
degree. Even if he's happily married and his wife is usually
very affectionate, if she, on rare occasions, is not in the
mood for relations, he will likely feel overwhelmingly
rejected and deprived, and this may also provoke the old
(Maseches Gitten 57b) tells the story of four
hundred boys and girls who were taken captive by the Romans
and transported by ship for immoral purposes. To avoid this,
they all jumped off the boat and drowned. About this the
Gemara quotes the posuk which states, "Because
for your sake we are killed all day long, we are
considered as sheep for slaughter" (Tehillim
forbid, you ever find yourself in a situation where you feel
you're going to bust with lust, and you try to strengthen
yourself and read through some
the site, but your mind is just filled with desire and you
just can't seem to shake it. And you are truly afraid
that you are going to fall back to your old ways and seek
out hard-core pictures of flesh again...
Wait! Before you give
in, we have one more tip for you to try. It's admittedly
extreme, and we would be reluctant to even offer this
tip if it wasn't Tisha Be'av today...
But as a last resort,
maybe it's worth a try... Before you give in and go back to
your on-line virtual "flesh friends", we want you to try
first viewing some other hard-core pictures of flesh.
These pictures are guaranteed to turn you OFF and help you
remember the saying of
"Remember from where you
came and to where you are going, and you won't come to sin.
From where did you come? From a putrid drop. And to where
are you going? To a place of of dust and worms".
These pictures will also remind
you how fragile life is, how ugly flesh is, and how vengeful
Hashem can be when the Jewish people sin. And the Zohar
says that there is no sin that arouses the wrath of G-d upon
the Jewish people like sexual sins.
here for the page.
WARNING: THE IMAGES ARE VERY GRAPHIC!
Bookmark the page for times of emergency only.
And remember, it is better to be grossed out in this
world than to sin against G-d and be grossed out by
your own actions in the world of truth.
(See also tip #12
page for another "Turn-Off" page. Again,
for cases of emergency
For those who did
not get a chance to download the video account of
"Life-after-Death" that we sent out a few days ago, a
transcript of the important parts of the account can be read
Someone asked us recently the following
question. "How does one know that Hashem has
accepted his Teshuva, especially for sexual sins?"
Here are three different answers, all of
which are true.
1) Chaza"l say that true Teshuvah is
acheived "Ki'sheme'id alav yode'ah
talumos shelo yashuv lekislo od" -
Translation: "When G-d, who
knows all hidden things, bears witness on him that he will
not go back to his bad ways again". But how does a
person know when G-d bears witness on him? The Ba'al
Hasulam explains that when a person truly feels
that it would be as bad for him to go back to his old ways
as sticking his hand into fire, that is a sure sign that
Hashem has testified on him that he will never go back to
his old ways!
2) The Ramba"m writes that true Teshuvah is
achieved when you have the same opportunity to sin as you
did before, and the same desire, and yet you don't. If that
happens, you will know that you have done true Teshuvah.
3) The holy Chassidic master, Rabbi Mendel of Vitebsk writes
(in his sefer Pri Ha'aretz) that true Teshuvah is
through Messiras Nefesh (to be ready to die for it)
and he explains that a person can reach this level if they
feel so bad about their sins that they would rather to be
dead than to do these sins again. If a person feels
this way, then they know they have done an exalted
May Hashem help us all achieve a true Teshuvah!
Important note to all
Our forum is now 100% anonymous. You don't need to
register with your real e-mail address anymore. You can
browse the forum and post anytime as a "Guest". In each
post, you can use in a "fake" e-mail address and
username! So make the most of it, and post your
struggles, tips and stories, and get advice from the
Summer time is harder. Wherever you
go, there are mixed crowds of vacationers and immodestly
dressed women. One-time-addicts are especially sensitive
to what they see on the street. The nature of the
addiction causes the chemicals in the mind to be quickly
aroused. It is not enough to say "I am working on myself
and I can be strong". Anything you see can trigger a
strong rush to the brain. We have to be willing to admit
this to ourselves and take extra precautions.
Every time you see something
that causes a strong feeling of desire, say these
few words: "G-d!! I want
to love you, not women!".
You may feel at first you are lying to yourself. But
if you learn to do this often, you will start to see
wonders! Not only does this relieve the desire
somewhat (in that you are transferring the rush of
lust to G-d), it is also a great spiritual feat that
gives G-d great pleasure and can shake all the
Stay home as much as possible. Yes, it's hard. The kids
and wife want to go on vacations and outings. Don't
refuse them altogether, but limit it as much as
possible, and insist as much as you can on going to
areas with less people or religious crowds, preferably
non-mixed. A disease is a disease. In the same way that
someone allergic to pollen tries to stay indoors as much
as possible during allergy season, we have to be willing
to admit our weakness and be proud that we are doing the
If you must go into an area with non-religious, mixed
crowds - Here are two tip to help you guard your eyes.
Commit to pinch
yourself every time you gaze improperly at a woman.
a pair of sunglasses that people from the outside cannot
see through. Then, paste non-clear laminating paper on
the insides of the lenses. This will allow you to see
only vague shapes through the lenses, and if you look
downwards you will still be able to see your feet and
immediate area while you walk.
Some of these
tips might sound extreme, but people who are allergic to
pollen sometimes go around wearing 3M pollen masks, as well
as sunglasses to protect their eyes. This is not just an
allergy. This is your very soul at risk!
Important Note to
said in last week's Parsha - "Aich Esa Livadi?" - "How
can I carry alone?". It is difficult to recover from an
addiction on your own. Someone wrote us today that he
believes it would be very helpful if we had a "sponsor" or
"chavrusah" system where people would pair up with
someone else anonymously and act as "sponsors" for each
other. They would update each other on their progress every
few days, and they would tell each other of their struggles
and give each other encouragement. This is truly a wonderful
idea. Accountability is a powerful incentive to stay strong,
so as not to dissappoint your "e-mail buddy".
Here are some excerpts from an article on
deals with recovery from addictions.
Rabbi Benyamin Bresinger has
worked with addicts for twenty years. He is the creator of a
national seminar which integrates kabbalah and the 12 steps
of Alcohol Anonymous, and the director of Chabad Project
PRIDE, an addiction crisis drop-in center in Montreal.
(For our purposes, substitute the words
"drugs" or "food" below, with the word "Lust").
As an observant Jew, and
especially a rabbi, I am exposed to prayer and
praying on a regular basis. Yet, I learned one of my
most favorite prayers from a recovering crack
addict. He told me that whenever he feels the urge
to use drugs, he closes his eyes and prays: "Please
G-d, help me find in You what I am looking for in
Kabbalists teach us that nestled within every
created thing is a spark of G-dliness. When the
human body hungers for a piece of physical bread,
this is but a reflection of its soul's craving for
the spark in the bread. The craving is coming from
the holiest place within each one of us -- our soul.
The very fact that we have
this yearning is powerful proof of how G-dly we
really are! Our prayer is a way to ask for Divine
assistance; we're asking to be able to discover what
it is we are really looking for.
So next time you feel a
pull, an urge to use -- stop, close your eyes, and
ask G-d to help you find in Him what you're looking
for in that desire.
Here are some
excerpts from an inspiring story recently posted on
After G-d placed me at the
crossroads, and i found myself having to confront my demons,
that I have been hesitant (or perceived as unable ) to
confront, I went on a drive to clear my mind.
I shut the radio. I was driving in silence, but my mind was
filled with noise. Very loud noise.
My mind was racing with all sorts of options for the path I
would take for the rest of my life.
Was I ready to give up sin?
Would I survive a life without masturbation and illicit sex?
Would I manage to never again watch TV or movies?
Was I ready to finally commit to Hashem after all these
years for real?
Would Hashem even accept my Tefilos and my teshuva? I was,
after all, a soul that was filthy and ruined.
Would I have the guts to cut off all contact with people who
had helped me sin?
My mind was hoping for the answer to all of the above to be
a resounding "YES", but the Yetzer Hara (who of course came
along with me for the drive) was tapping me on the shoulder
and trying to tell me to just give it all up, and forget
Hashem, and go live a "good" life of sin.
I cried like a baby on that car drive.
I listened to some wonderful CD's of Rabbanim discussing
Teshuva etc., and it felt as if they were talking directly
to me and giving me the courage to go with what i always
wanted deep down in the depths of my Neshama.
By the time that drive was over (it was many, many hours
of driving) I had made my decision, and there was no turning
I came home and went directly to my computer, and deleted
any email addresses, blogs, or other accounts that I had
that were in any way related to sin.
I slowly started purging my home of any influences of sin. I
got rid of Movies, magazines etc.
I think I know myself very well, the only thing that
works for me specifically is to combat Tumah with Tahara.
I knew from past experiences, and from past chapters in my
life, that whenever my situation of Tahara (i.e. Torah study
etc.) was elevated, my Tumah was weakened.
I started davening with Kavanah, and I started learning
a lot of Torah (though it is far from enough)
I installed a filter on all my computers, and started
seeking out sites of interest to replace the sites of sin
that used to fill my down time. (which is how I found this
site, Baruch Hashem)
The main things to remember are:
a) Never trust yourself totally (as
the Mishna says) and always be on the lookout for the Yetzer
Hara's new trap.
b) Hashem loves us more than we can
ever love him (so says Rav Moshe Chaim Luzatto), and he
wants us to do Teshuva and will wait our entire lives for us
to do it.
I am sure that many people who know me (or those who I no
longer allow to know me) say that I went mad! Perhaps.
But I will take being mad and following in Hashem's path any
day, over being "normal" and following in the Yetzer Hara's
May Hashem give me (and all of you reading this) the inner
strength to persevere, and be amongst the select few who
merit to join Mashiach in the rebuilding of the Bais
hamikdash and the glorification of Hashem's name very soon.
A Member posted on forum...
thing that works is Tefillah. Instead of asking Hashem for
all the things YOU want, thank HIM for all the things he has
done for you lately, like giving you a day without acting
out. Keep doing this every day and you will see and feel
the results of calm and serenity. When you're calm and
serene, living in the present moment, instead of being angry
or ashamed of your past and worrying about the future, you
will not act out.
heard from Rav Akiva Tatz shlita to describe the difference
between serving Hashem and serving Avoda Zara: They pray to
their false G-ds to do for them what they want. We Pray to
Hashem to give us strength to do what He wants from us!
In the summer time, many people have lots of time on their
hands. The Michtav M'Eliahu (R. Dessler zt"l)
writes that the mind is like a vast empty field. This field
will not remain empty. If you do not fill it with good
positive thoughts, or busy yourself with something, whether
it be learning, working, etc, the yetzer harah will
surely fill all of this empty space. So, if we keep
ourselves intellectually busy, there will not remain any
empty spaces for the yetzer to fill.
Check out the newly updated Kosher
section of our site, for hundreds of ideas and
links, to kosher news, kosher video entertainment, kosher
radio, music, video shiurim
and much more!
And you can help others too!
Please send us any good links you know of, that can help
people fill the time on their hands with 100% kosher media;
websites, movies, activities and Torah. The links and ideas
should also be at least one of the following: 1)
intellectually stimulating, 2) interesting, 3) fun or 4)
inspiring. Thank you!
Rallying Battle Cry!
Listen up, all you spiritual warriors on our list!
We keep receiving e-mails from people how difficult the
struggle is and how they keep slipping...
We know how powerful
lust is, and how insidious the addiction can be!
We know that the
addiction is destroying our lives, in this world and the
We know that it is
taking us a way from our priorities in life, from Hashem,
from our family and from realizing our potentials.
We know we are not
here in this world for pleasure, but rather to work and
prepare for the real thing in the next world.
We know that there's
really nothing there but a bunch of hot-air that pops in
your face as soon as the yetzer hara gets what he wants.
We know that
these are non-healthy desires, they are an addiction,
a disease, an immaturity.
We know that
the more we feed it, the more "he" wants.
We know the
Yetzer Hara wants our souls, not the pleasure. Otherwise,
why is it never enough?
We know this
is our mission in life, to fight this insidious evil,
for ourselves and for the honor of Hashem's crown.
We know that we cannot bargain with the
addiction. Half measures avail to nothing!
We know that "Just once" means giving
up, because it won't solve anything. It will just
send us back to square one!
We are a mature adults who can make the right choices!!
It's time to stop beating around the bush and take a stand
ARE YOU READY TO WORK ON
YOURSELVES? ARE YOU READY TO TAKE A STAND?!
If yes, then there are ways! There is hope!
There are tried and proven methods!
- There's a weekly
(the "Jewish Healing Group") with experienced
therapists. WHY HAVEN'T YOU
- Have you tried to get an accountability partner or sponsor
on our forum
- Have you tried
(or strong commitments) to make it harder for you to
slip (such as: vowing for two weeks to donate $10
time you slip, or vowing to take a 15 minute run before you
Listen up you all! We can't help those who are not
going to take advantage of the tools that are available to
There are tried and proven methods that CAN help you, if
you believe you can be helped and are determined to be
Hashem only helps those who help themselves! Decide
TODAY what you want, and stop holding on to both ends of the
Join our vibrant community of
spiritual warriors, dedicated religious Jews, like yourself
- who are FINALLY TAKING A STAND AGAINST THIS EVIL!
I came across some great chizuk that "Mevakesh
Hashem" posted on
our forum to someone who is just starting out on their
journey and is having a hard time:
When the Yetzer Hara realizes
that you are ready for real to give up the evil
addiction, that's when he tightens the screws and
convinces you with all sorts of rationalizations that
you "simply cannot" give it up. He makes you feel
helpless and as if you are a slave to your addiction.
Don't let him win you over again!!
Think about it objectively. Try looking at yourself from
an outsider's perspective.
Imagine you were peeking in the window of your room and
What do you see?
You see an otherwise intelligent, caring, mature man
sitting staring at a screen at images that aren't even
real, and were produced by the lowest people alive
You see people on the screen doing disgusting things
that if your wife would do, you would never respect her
ever again, and perhaps even divorce her.
You see yourself getting aroused by this garbage. You
see yourself doing things to yourself that will cause
you endless pain and suffering in the next world.
You see yourself spilling seed in vain, and creating
countless angels of wrath that will haunt you for all
You see yourself having "imagined pleasure" for 30
seconds, followed by "real guilt" for a lot longer
It's pretty horrible and despicable, don't you agree?
But it gets worse...
Instead of you at the window watching yourself, it was
your wife watching this whole horrible scene
unfolding.....or your Rebbe...or your best friend....or
your children (G-d forbid).....
You would do anything in the world to undo the fact that
these loved ones ever saw you in such a state of evil
weakness, and wish you never ever had done it even
The shame of that happening would be unbearable.....
Well, hopefully your loved ones never saw you in a state
of masturbation, and hopefully you will never do it
BUT....remember....Hashem is ALWAYS at the window (It
says about Hashem that he is a "Mashgiach Min
Hachalonos"). He saw everything you did. He sees you
now. He will see you if you ever do such a vile thing
The shame of Hashem seeing you like this, is the most
unbearable shame imaginable. The judgement for living in
sin like this is indescribable.....
But, Hashem also loves you (more than any of your "loved
ones") and has brought you here to this website, amongst
people who have struggled with the same issues as you.
Hashem is telling you that he is willing to forgive the
past, if you repent, and willing to give you the
strength to overcome in the future, if you really want
THE YETZER HARA WILL DO EVERYTHING IN HIS POWER TO MAKE
IT ALL SEEM OK. HE WILL MAKE THE GIRLS ON THE SCREEN
SEEM REAL AND PLEASURABLE. HE WILL MAKE THE FEELING OF
MASTURBATION FEEL LIKE THE BEST FEELING IN THE WORLD. HE
WILL MAKE IT SEEM AS IF YOU ARE ALONE IN THE PRIVACY OF
YOUR ROOM. HE WILL MAKE IT SEEM AS IF YOU WERE BORN WITH
THIS INADEQUACY AND HASHEM UNDERSTANDS THAT AS A HUMAN
YOU HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO MASTURBATE.
DO NOT LISTEN TO THE YETZER HARA!!! HE HAS ONLY ONE
THING IN MIND: BRINGING YOU DOWN FOR ETERNITY!
ONLY HASHEM HAS YOUR BEST INTERESTS IN MIND, AND WANTS
YOU TO RUN BACK TO HIM FAST!!!
In this week's Parsha it says: "And Hashem will wipe out the
goyim from before you slowly but surely, but you cannot
destroy them quickly, lest the animals of the field increase
upon thee". I always wondered about this. After all, if
Hashem can bring the 10 plagues on Egypt and split the sea,
why can't he wipe out the goyim in Eretz Yisrael in one fell
swoop? Is Hashem really worried about the increase of the
animals? Is that something harder to deal with then getting
rid of these great nations?
It occurred to me that maybe there is a far deeper meaning
here. All the creations of the world have a connection to
Hashem based on their needs. The more someone "needs"
Hashem, the more connection they have with him. Hashem told
the snake after the sin of the Etz Hada'as "and you
shall eat the dust of the earth all the days of your life",
and Rashi explains that Hashem wanted no connection with the
snake and therefore gave him his food wherever he goes.
However, the other animals of the field need to ask Hashem
for food every day, as it says in Tehillim "Livakesh
Mikel Ochlam" - "they ask from Hashem their food".
Now Hashem wanted human beings to have even more connection
with him than the animals, and therefore humans don't have a
natural way to get food like the animals do, but rather are
dependant on owning land, toiling the soil, rainfall, and on
a good crop and harvest. In last week's Parsha, one of the
praises mentioned of Eretz Yisrael is "Limtar Hashamayim
Tishteh Mayim" - "From the heavens you will drink
water", and the Pasuk goes on to say - "not like Eretz
Mitzrayim which drinks like a watered garden from the Nile".
But why is that a praise? It would seem that Mitzrayim is
more fortunate than Israel! The answer is that Hashem wants
more of a connection with us than he wants with the
Egyptiams. To them he gave them the Nile river so that they
don't need rain fall at all and don't need Hashem at all.
However, Eretz Yisrael drinks from the heavens, and like it
says; "the eyes of Hashem are on the land [of Israel] from
the beginning of the year until the end". Eretz Yisrael
needs special divine intervention for water, and the praise
of this is that the Jewish people living there are always
dependant on Hashem for rainfall and therefore remain
strongly connected with him. After all, like it says in last
weeks Parsha, "and you will receive buildings that you
didn't build, wells which you didn't dig, vineyards that you
didn't plant, etc..." and the Yidden will have
everything they need in Eretz Yisrael. If they weren't
dependant on Hashem at least for rainfall, they would no
longer need him and quickly forget him.
The same applies with our enemies. And that is why it says
in this weeks Parsha that although Hashem will wipe out the
goyim from before us slowly but surely, still, he will not
destroy them fast - "lest the animals of the field increase
upon thee". What this perhaps means is, that if Hashem would
wipe out our enemies all at once, we would no longer feel a
need to depend on him. The words "lest the animals of the
field increase upon thee" mean to hint perhaps, that if
Hashem would destroy our enemies fast then even the animals
of the field would "increase" over us, meaning that
the animals would have even more of a connection with Hashem
than we would.
And that is why Hashem has given us the Yetzer Hara as well.
He wants a connection with us! He wants us
to know that we need him, and that without his constant
help, we are lost. And that is also why Hashem doesn't
destroy the Yetzer Hara in one fell swoop once a person
decides to do Teshuvah. Instead, each time we think we got
rid of him, he keeps coming back again and again. Only
"slowly but surely" does Hashem wipe him out from before us.
For if Hashem would get rid of the Yetzer Hara all at once,
we wouldn't need him any more and we wouldn't feel dependant
on him. And this "connection" that we have to Hashem
through our struggles with the Yetzer Hara, is even
more important to Hashem than the falls that we
have as a result of Him not removing the Yetzer Hara
altogether as soon as we want to do Teshuvah.
To sum it all up: The most important thing
to Hashem is not our progress in destroying the Yetzer Hara,
but rather our dependency on him, and our
constant knowledge that we need Hashem every day anew to
help us break free of our #1 enemy.
From Reb Nachman's Wisdom #6
The evil urge is similar to a prankster running through a
crowd showing his tightly closed hand. No one knows what it
is he is holding. He goes up to each person and asks, "What
do you suppose I have in my hand?" Each person imagines that
the closed hand has in it just what he desires most. They
all hurry and run after the prankster. Then, when he has
tricked them enough, that they are following him, he opens
his hand. It is completely empty! The same is true of the
evil one. He tricks the world, fooling them into following
him. Everyone thinks that his hand contains what they need.
In the end, the evil one opens his hand. There is nothing in
it and no desire is ever fulfilled. Worldly pleasures are
just like sunbeams in a dark room. They may actually seem
solid, but when a person tries to grasp a sunbeam they find
nothing in their hand. The same is true of all worldly
People often ask us how to avoid sexual thoughts and
fantasies from plaguing them. Normally we refer them to
our FAQ section, but today I want to discuss another
important facet as well. There is a common theme throughout
literature, that the more a person does
through action and deed, then the more his mind and thoughts
are changed as well.
The Parsha of Ekev starts with the words "Vehaya
Ekev Tishma'un". Rashi writes that the word "Ekev"
which means "heel", symbolizes Mitzvos of "lesser
importance". The Beis Ahron of Karlin
explains that this is refering to "Action", i.e. the
physical act of the Mitzvos, which are of lesser importance
than holy thoughts. It is important to point out that there
is a difference between the "Ikar" (the main) and
the "Chashuv" (the important). The "Ikar"
of the Mitzvos is the Ma'aseh - the deed. But the "Chashuv"
part of the Mitzva is the thought, that one is doing
Hashem's will. Explains the Beis Ahron, "Vehaya Ekev
Tishma'un". If you will do the Ekev - the
lesser important, physical act of the Mitzvos, then
"Tishma'un" - your mind will become uplifted as
well and you will merit the "Chashuv" part of the
The same applies in the area of bad thoughts. The more a
person "does" by not doing
say, that one who sits and doesn't do an aveira
considered as if he did a mitzvah
), then the
clearer one's thoughts will become and the fantasies will be
less intense and less often. Every time you turn away from
looking at something bad and every time you say "no" to the
addiction, you are changing your mind as well.
is one of the foundations of
steps. As it is written in the books, that even when a
new behavior seems insignificant, by believing in the
importance of what we are doing, we start to see real
changes in our thinking and behavior. Every little time we
take "action" by saying "no" to the addiction, no matter how
small and insignificant it seems to us, we are changing our
thought patterns in the place where it really counts, in the
"Chashuv" - the mind.
The Jews who left Egypt didn't make it into the Holy Land.
They couldn't believe that Hashem was strong enough to
conquer so many powerful nations. But even though they
didn't make it, their children did, as is says "and your
children who you said would be plundered, they will come
there, and they will inherit the land".
However, it is important to realize that the children who
entered Israel still entered on the shoulders of their
fathers. Even though the fathers hadn't finished their jobs,
they had already accomplished a lot just by "leaving Egypt".
It wasn't in the merit of the children alone that they made
it into Israel. This is an important concept to understand.
What we don't finish fixing in our life-times is often
passed on to our children to finish. There is no escaping
it, the job must be done. But the more we do of the job that
we were given in our life-time, the less our offspring will
need to struggle down the line.
"Stopping the bad behaviors" is analogous to leaving Egypt.
And being truly "free" from the addiction, with a clear mind
and holy thoughts, is perhaps analogous to entering the Holy
Land. Often after leaving Egypt, one still finds it hard to
trust enough in themselves/G-d that he will one day make it
into the Holy Land as well. However he should know, that the
simple fact that he has left Egypt behind makes him worthy
enough that G-d will help - either him or his offspring, to
merit "entering the land of Israel" one day, and achieving
true purity and freedom.
Every time we say "no" to our Yetzer Hara, we are
in essence saving our future descendants from these
same struggles. And no matter what we accomplish at the end
of the day, we must always remember and believe that
none of our work goes to waste.
Here are some excerpts from a
discussion on our
Forum that's just packed with great tips and chizuk!
(Some slight editing was done to make it easier to read).
I came across this site today, and
I felt compelled to make some comments here. I won't say
that I am very far along with controlling my own addiction -
far from it. I just want to share some thoughts that help me
with this challenge, and hopefully will help someone else
too. I was raised in a conventional frum environment -
right wing yeshiva, top-level high school, night college
with learning half a day. I *never* was able to control
myself in this area. I won't go through the details of my
cycles of guilt before Rosh Hashana & Yom Kippur, and the
inevitable slipping immediately after. We've all been there.
When I am tempted (which I am
every day), I try to think of how I will feel after wasting
*countless* hours masturbating to Internet porn. How well
will I do my job the next day? Just recently, I was on a
business trip. I was exhausted when I arrived, but I still
spent 3-4 hours online in my hotel room. Imagine how it was
to wake up the next morning! This has happened to me many
Also, try adding up all the hours
you spent, and think about something you could have learnt
or done in that time. And I'm not even talking about Torah
learning, although that would be great. You could have
learnt to play the guitar, a new language, some area of your
work that you could study in more detail, or read something
on a totally different field that might make you a more
interesting person. Just do something more useful!
I welcome your feedback!
Shalom Frumthinker, I think it is
great that you are here, and the first thing you should know
is that we are all here for one reason. We want it to be
different! We have decided that in spite of the daily
trials, we want to change. We are tired of throwing in the
towel. We realize that to change is not a simple matter,
therefore we are all here to support one another.
As far your points. I believe that all of us have considered
how much time we have wasted over the years. Thousands of
hours completely wasted on nothingness. And in the end we
got nothing in return, except the heartache, exhaustion,
poor family relationships. But I think that you will agree
that thinking about the waste of time has NOT helped you
with this struggle. Why? Because as soon as Mr.yetzer comes
back for another round, there is only one thing that you
need at that moment, and this is your daily fix. The thought
of wasting time when you are under his spell will have NO
affect. I think that you will agree with me. Please don't
forget one thing. The yetzer is so smart that he will let
all of us here think about "why did I do this, why did I
waste so much time, why, why why?" In fact, through his
trickery he is really fooling us in to believing that
through our remorse, and introspection, we are actually
doing something about our problem. So, he let's us feel good
by thinking that we really are in fact tending to this
disease. But he has his limits. Just as long as we don't DO
anything about it. Yes, he will let us think as much as we
wish about how we want to change, and how we are really not
satisfied with our actions...just as long as we don't make
Frumthinker, if you want to even
have a chance to change, to finally go up, and make things
different, then you will need to pull a fast one on the
yetzer. The next time "he" starts telling you how you need
to change, and he will say to you "we have to look for ways
to get out of this, just look at what it does to our
marriage etc, etc, and look how much time we waste each day
on nonsense, you are so intelligent, how can you possibly
allow yourself to waste countless hours on this trivial
tumah. You are much much smarter than this!" But when he
finishes talking to you, pull the fast one on him, and
remove your access to porn. Yes,
trick the trickster and do what he says
before he starts to change his tune. Don't think
about it, there is NO time to think and reconsider.
You have been thinking all of your life. And this is indeed
what an intelligent person does, BUT, with the yetzer harah
(who also knows how to think), we must
STOP thinking and start DOING. There is no
time to waste. Use your wisdom, and consider ways to cut
yourself off from porn. This is the only way. NO porn = no
masturbation = no wasted time = no.....etc !
"Elya K" writes:
Welcome Frumthinker. It's easy to tell you what to do,
but until you experience sobriety for awhile you will
never get to feel the joy of serenity. I've told many
people on and off this forum to get blocks for their
computer. They cry to me that they have to stop and ask
me "what can I do?". But when I recommend they put a
block on their computer their answer is "No, I'm not
ready for that".
There are chemical imbalances in the brain caused by
watching porn on the internet. If you don't believe it,
explain to me why it is so hard to stop. And why are
there are withdrawal symptoms where you actually shake
and sweat? But psychologically, when you know you don't
have access, you forget about it eventually. I'm not
saying you will never think about it, but the block is a
great tool... an essential tool... to
help you heal and get better.
The proven twelve step approach is actually a quest for
spirituality. This is a disease of "lack of
spirituality". You're constantly looking outside of
yourself for validation, acceptance, companionship...
for intimacy. But true intimacy is sharing everything,
not hiding it from those you love. How long do you want
to continue living a lie, to keep covering up everything
you do so your wife won't find out? Eventually she will
and then it will be too late. Get
and your counselor or
a sponsor/friend will help you and let you know when
it is safe to tell your wife. Once you do that, it will
release your mind and jet you on the way to recovery.
Once, when Rabbi Pinchas of Korets entered his Beis Medresh,
study hall, he noticed that his students stopped conversing and then
started again. He asked them what it was they were talking about. They
told the Rebbe that they were saying how they were afraid that the
Yetzer Hara, the evil inclination, would pursue them. The Rebbe
responded, "Don't worry. You aren't on such a high level. You're still
When I first heard this story, it
really hit home base for me. Every time I have told it over, it has almost
shocked the listeners. It's funny how the simple words of rabbi Pinchas of
Korets contain, for most, the antidote for overcoming much of their
struggles with their Yetzer Hara.
The Yetzer Hara, guided by the Satan, is said to get
stronger everyday as one grows in their level of Yiddishkite,
Judaism. Someone once said to his Rebbe, "I wish I had your Yetzer
Hara." The Rabbi taken aback said strongly, in a stern voice, "Chas
V Shalom, G-D forbid." The student innocently thought that
because his rabbi was so pure it must be that his Yetzer Hara,
evil inclination wasn't so strong. But the real truth is that the higher
one's level of piety, the stronger their Yetzer Hara has to
become. After all, aren't we supposed to struggle in life with free
choice? Without a Yetzer Hara, being a pious man would be easy
and therefore have little value to Hashem and ourselves. To value
something, you must work for it.
So if it feels like the Yetzer Hara is just getting
stronger each day, take heart! That means you are growing each day!
We've been working for the past few months
with a 20 year old Ba'al Teshuvah, unmarried and schooling in a
secular environment. Through great self-sacrifice he has been clean for
close to a half a year already. Recently however, he has been feeling a
bit frustrated and sent us the following e-mail:
Dear GuardurEyes, You've helped me so much to
subdue my por-no and masturbation habit. I am so glad to be done with
this. I feel almost sterile, with almost no desire to masturbate at all.
However, quite frankly, I would like to know that all the suffering I
have given myself over by not pursuing women has some meaning on High.
Why can't I simply feel something special when I serve G-d, for example
when I put on Tefillin? I have no joy from doing these things, but I do
them anyway. Why don't you ask Hashem to help me have joy and
simcha when serving him, since you seem to have a close connection with
Him and He never answers my cries anyway. And while you are at it, tell
Him that I feel that He doesn't care about me at all, and that I feel
alone without Him, and that it would do a lot of good if He could just
stop by from time to time and say "hello."
Since we can all probably relate to his
struggles and feelings to some degree, I thought that today we could all
try to be Mitchazek together in his merit!
Dear mighty spiritual soldier!
Your e-mail literally made me cry! You should know that you have a great
soul and great strengths, and you are from G-d's select few in today's
world who are able to remain clean in these areas. You are shaking the
upper worlds with your self-sacrifice. But if Hashem would stop by and
say hello, it would be all over. Hashem is loving it too much, and he
doesn't want the great game of "Hide-&-Seek" that he is playing with you
to end so fast.
Hashem is SO awesome and exalted - and your reward is so great, that
when Moshiach comes (any day now!) or after 120 years, you will
wish you could go back to those days where you had a
chance to serve almighty G-d even though he was so hidden. If you would
actually "know" what you are accomplishing by serving him, by going
against your nature for him to the extent that you are, if you would
only know, you would beg once again not
This alone should give you tremendous joy.
- The fact that you have the great honor to serve such an awesome G-d,
who created everything that exists in the universe and in all the upper
- The fact that you have the honor to be one of his great
warriors on this dark Earth where he has hidden himself so well...
- The fact that you are giving Hashem such Nachas Ruach with
your self sacrifice...
This should all be enough to make you want to dance!!
Chassidic literature often emphasizes how important it is for a
Jew to value each and every deed that he does for
Hashem, no matter how small. It is brought down from Tzaddikim that more
a person values every little thing he does for Hashem - the more
precious it is in the eyes of Hashem as well. One great Chassidic Master
went as far to say that a Jew should feel he wouldn't sell the smallest
thing that he did for Hashem for all the riches in the world! If we
would only be successful to internalize this, we would be the
richest people alive! Think about it. You said "no" to the Yetzer Hara
today, or you put on Teffilin. Even though we are not on the spiritual
level to feel the "divine light" of the Mitzvah that we did, still, if
someone would come and offer us a million bucks to sell him that Mitzva,
would we sell it? No! So in a very real sense, every Mitzva is (or
should be) more precious to us than winning the lottery. So I ask, how
can one feel down when he is winning the lottery every day?!
As far as feeling lonely and not feeling a connection with Hashem,
one can indeed feel this way if we view Hashem as some sublime essence,
detached from us lowly humans and somewhere up there in Heaven. However,
the most central theme in Chassidus, and perhaps
the Ba'al Shem Tov's greatest revelation was that Hashem is
everywhere and in everything, even in the most lowly things! Let me
explain how far this goes... In every bit of "desire" or "love" we feel,
even in sinful ways, there lies the "fallen" light of "G-dly love and
desire". If we understand this great secret, we begin to feel G-d in
everything we see and in our own hearts as well. Instead of being pulled
after the "fallen" love and pleasures that tempt us every day, we learn
instead to turn our hearts to the source of all love, pleasure
and beauty - G-d Himself. One who learns this great art merits
to live with G-d all day, every day. He doesn't need G-d to come down
from Heaven and say "hello" because G-d is right there with him at all
We have to realize that if and when you fall occasionally, IT SHOULD
NOT GET YOU DOWN!!! The very fact that the falling makes you feel bad
and guilty shows how high you have climbed! That same "falling" was
everyday happening in the "old you" and you didn't give it a second
I came across a Tosfos Yom Tov
which I would
like to share with you. One of the miracles that occurred during the
time of the Bais Hamikdash was that the Kohen Godel
to be replaced by a different Kohen during Yom Kippur because he became
a Baal Keri
. The question is, that since the Kohen was placed
in a special room seven days before Yom Kippur where he would be
as seen in Meseches Yuma,
should he become a Baal Keri
? On this the Tosfos Yom Tov
(B'shem Midrash Shmuel)
answers that the Yetzer Tov and the
Yetzer Hora are fighting a big battle and when the Yetzer Hora sees he's
losing, he strengthens himself with all his might and could bring the
Kohen to become a Baal Keri. And he brings as an example, just as we see
that many dying men, right before they die they strengthen themselves
and start talking as healthy men...
From this we see that falling is a sign of a falling Yetzer Hora
and a strong you/us.
It is written in Pirkei Avos "Let the poor be members of your
household and don't talk much with women". R' Nachman says that the
Mishna is hinting to us a secret, namely, that Tzedaka
is a great segulah not to come to sexual fantasies. Even so,
continues R' Nachman, the Mishna is exhorting us not to talk much with
women, because this segulah is only good to save a person from
fantasies if he does not talk with women more than he needs to. And R'
Nachman continues, that this is also the meaning of the words
"Tzedaka Tatzil Mi'Maves" - "Tzedaka saves from death".
For sexual fantasies, explains R' Nachman, are death itself.
On a practical level, if one commits (for a week at a time) to donate 25
cents to Tzedaka each time he lets himself dwell on a sexual fantasy, he
will likely see good progress. Not only may this help psychologically to
prevent him dwelling on such thoughts, but by donating the money to
Tzedaka one will also be fulfilling the segulah and
thereby prevent further thoughts from coming as well!
While we are on the subject of Pirkei
Avos, I want to quote from a comment that someone posted on an article
about Internet Filters (on a Religious Web-site):
"Rabban Gamliel the son of Rabbi Yehuda the Prince said, good is
Torah study together with a worldly occupation, for the exertion in both
makes one forget sin". Also, a person is not allowed to injure
himself. Watching pornography or sites that turn women into sexual
objects is like swallowing poison.
No matter how low a
person may have fallen and no matter how severe the sins they have done,
the doors of true T'shuvah are never closed and G-d's hands are always
outstretched and waiting for us to return to him.
The main part of
T'shuvah is to STOP sinning. The next step, is feeling bad for what we
have done and asking G-d to forgive us. (But obviously if someone is not
ready to stop, it doesn't help to ask G-d for forgiveness and it doesn't
help how bad they feel).
I am to my Beloved [Hashem] and my beloved [Hashem]
is to me.(Shir Hashirim 6:3).
דרשו ד' בהמצאו קראהו בהיותו קרוב
Seek out Hashem when he is nearby, call out to him
when he is near.(YeShaya 55:6)
Chazal tell us that the Pesukim above are
referring to the month of Elul!
The 40 days from Rosh Chodesh Elul until Yom Kippur
are a special period when Hashem is extremely close
to us, and he is waiting for us to return to him, to
do Teshuva (repentance) and to strengthen ourselves
in Torah, Tefilah and Good Deeds. Not only is it
important to grow spiritually in this time period,
it is also much easier to attain higher and loftier
goals than it would normally be during the rest of
the year. Let's take advantage of this closeness to
Hashem and become better Jews in all areas of our
lives , and thus hasten the coming of Mashiach and
the rebuilding of the bais Hamikdash very soon.
Some good Teshuvah links :
Important anouncement to our
Do you need to speak to someone?
Speak Confidentially & Anonymously with an
experienced addiction sponsor, live.
here for more
One who thinks that they are ever "in full control" is opening himself
up for a nasty fall, as the Yetzer Hara is a lot stronger than you!
One must ALWAYS realize that they are never "in full control", rather
they are in the control of Hashem Yisborach! Then, and only then, does
he have a chance of overcoming the Yetzer Hara, as Hashem is of
course stronger than the Yetzer Hara.
Chaza"l say:Ytzro Shel
Adam Misgaber Alav Bechol Yom Veilmalai Hakadosh Baruch Hu Ozer
Lo, Aino Yuchal Lo.
Translation: "The evil inclination of a man strengthens
himself upon a man each day and desires to destroy him, and if G-d
wouldn't help him he would not be able to defeat him"
We have to realize this. We have to believe this. We have to internalize
this. Then we will be able to experience it and see the Yetzer Hara fall
once and for all!
The "Jewish Healing
had a great FREE session this past Tuesday night, with a
professional sex-therapist on the line who offered a lot of important
information of the nature of the addiction. One important aspect
mentioned by the therapist was, that although we are all religious,
alone are often not enough to break free
from this insidious addiction. This is a disease on multiple levels,
spiritual as well as psychological. Take for example someone who suffers
from "heart palpitations". It is true that they need to learn how to
live a calmer life without stress, but at the same time, if they don't
take the medication as well, they won't be able to heal. It is the same
with this addiction. Spiritual therapy must go hand-in-hand with
This includes group support,
Psychoanalysis, reading books by the experts, learning the
tried-and-proven methods, exploring the various treatment options and
even sometimes medication.
Many people with this disease suffered from trauma in their childhood.
Either they were verbally abused, or even physically or sexually abused.
Also, often people who suffer from low-self esteem or depression are
prime candidates for addiction, since they seek to fill the void they
feel inside by "medicating" themselves through "sexual acting out".
These issues need to be dealt with professionally. Mussar and
Chizuk alone, no matter how inspiring, will not be sufficient
to heal a scientifically proven psychological disorder.
Here are some great tips that we heard last night from the therapist, on
the medical side of dealing with this addiction:
It is vital that treatment be given by someone
trained specifically in sex addictions.
a site that can help you locate a competent sex addiction therapist
in your area.
2) People who have suffered childhood trauma should
look into getting treatment by someone trained in dealing with trauma.
Here are two great treatment suggestions for childhood trauma.
(Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)
by a competent therapist. This treatment is very helpful in
removing the bad feelings that lead the patient subconsciously to
b) Psycho Drama group therapy,
where the patient sees others acting out the trauma and then reacts
to it by screaming, beating on a pillow and getting it out. (We
know someone who has been using this technique very successfully for
a while now. He claims it is the fastest way to really heal from
emotional abandonment, trauma, and neglect. The technique, in his
words, helps us "let go of the shame, guilt and abuse and literally
mourn for ourselves that we went through this - NOT to blame anyone
- just to mourn. Once we do that we can heal").
Some important books to read by the world-renowned
sex addiction therapist
"Out of the Shadows"
and "Betrayal Bonds".
Also: "Healing the Shame That Binds You"
Bradshaw. These books have actual exercises and assignments to help a
person heal from the shame and the bonds we make with people who have
abused us or betrayed us. Also, the SLAA books on sex addiction can be
very helpful in learning the proven 12 steps to breaking free.
If you suffer from depression, look into
. If you suffer from obsessive sexual
thinking, look into
down in the link). Today, these medications can work wonders in tandem
with therapy, and they have virtually no side-effects! Also, the
therapist on the line last night explained that these meds do not have
to be taken for life, but rather a period of 8-10 months is often enough
to help you on your way to recovery. (All the ideas above can be
"Googled" on-line for more information).
So dear Yidden! It is vital to realize that often it's
not just a matter of chizuk and mussar. This is a
medical condition and disease, and it must be treated as such, hand in
hand with the spiritual healing.
For further questions and clarifications on the psychological aspects of
healing from this insidious addiction/disease, please contact one of our
most influential members, Elya K. He has a lot of
experience and can help direct you to healing centers, treatment options
and therapists. There are four ways you can reach him:
2) Post on
(he is very active there)
3) Join today the
"Jewish Healing Group"
that he organized and moderates once a week.
Not only will you be able to talk to Elya and get group support, but the
therapist on the line knows even more than him!
4) Call Elya direct, once a week.
We've all waited too long. The time for excuses is over. Rosh
Hashana is coming. Act today!
I will give you a challenge. I look at porn sometimes but I am B'H not
addicted. I have abstained for months at a time but I keep coming back
to it. The reason I can't stop altogether is because I believe it is
halachically permitted to look at porn if your going to have relations
that night anyway. Now I Know that is not good for me, but since it is
"mutter" in my eyes, I find it hard to hold myself back. I would like do
discus this issue with a talmid chacham who will prove to me that it is
"osser". If I know beyond reasonable doubt that there is no "heter", I
will bezras Hashem be able to get myself out of it.
A non-religious man once told the Brisker Rav that he doesn't believe in
G-d because he has many questions. The Brisker Rav told him, "you don't
have questions, you have answers". So my friend, if this question you
ask is really an "answer" to why you aren't working on yourself, then I
don't know if I can help you. However, I believe that the fact you are
asking us this question, especially now in Elul, is because you
genuinely want to stop these behaviors. You just feel you need to
understand more how dangerous and sinful it is, so that you can convince
the Yetzer Hara to leave you alone.
Last night, right after I received your e-mail, I happened to be
speaking about our website with Rabbi
Avraham J. Twersky, a world renowned leader in addictions and a true
pioneer and Gadol in Klal Yisrael. He was very happy to hear
about the things we are doing and offered to spread the word around, and
even possibly to contribute some material to our website. I figured that
while I had Rabbi Twerski on the line, I would ask him your question to
hear his point of view. I read your question to him and his reply was
unequivocal, that there's no question that any Posek you will
ask will tell you that it is prohibited. He explained that your question
was really the "addiction" speaking, and that this is one of the tricks
of the addiction. Rabbi Twerski, being the founder of an Alcoholic
Rehabilitation Center, compared your claim to an addict who says "I was
just trying beer, I wasn't drinking whiskey"... I tried to explain to
Rabbi Twerski that you claim you are not addicted and
can abstain from these behaviors for months at a time.
"So why did he have to go back to it?"
he asked me. "I have a lot of people who will
refuse to go to AA, and they'll find a hundred reasons not to go to AA.
The underlying thing is, they don't want to hear what AA has to say,
which is "you can never take a drink again".
That is Rabbi Twerski's take on the
matter. Now I will also try to address your question as well, to the
best of my abilities. As far as the prohibitions are concerned, anyone
who is frum and has learned any Torah, should be aware of the severity
of these sins. The Torah says "Thou shall not go astray after your
hearts and after your eyes which lead you astray,". This applies to any
image that arouses one's sexual inclination, and erotic images of any
type are definitely forbidden. The Rabbis state that anyone who
purposefully arouses his sexual organ is to be banished (Niddah 13A).
The Gemara there even goes as far to say "Better one's stomach should
burst than he should touch the area of his bris (and possibly bring
himself to an erection)". And another Gemara says "better to walk behind
a lion than to walk behind a woman". And another Gemara: "whoever brings
himself to an erection is destroying the world". This is not Mussar
or Chassidus, this is regular Gemara. Chaza"l
were fire about this! The Medrash says that anyone who is not careful
with gazing at women will come to sin with them in the end. Viewing porn
is also included in the prohibition of "Lo Sikrevu Legalos Erva, Ani
Hashem Elokeichem" - "Do not come close to
revealing nakedness, for I am Hashem your G-d". There is no other
Mitzva in the Torah where such terminology is used. Even with idol
worship, the Torah doesn't say not to come close! Only
with sexual matters, the Torah exhorts us to stay far away
from it. It is also interesting to note that the Torah uses the words
"do not come close to reveal nakedness" and not "to sexual
relations". This implies that "revealing nakedness" (i.e. even
looking) is, on some level, as if one had already done the act.
This little test
can be your meter - if an image triggers a sexual twitch, a stronger
heartbeat, sweaty palms, or even a silent, "Wow!" then you are polluting
your soul, damaging your "Da'at," the ability to know G-d, and cutting
yourself off from the Divine Presence, the Shechinah. The eyes are the
windows to the soul and they are the vessels to receive the light of the
Shechina. One who has damaged these vessels will not be able to bask in
the glory of the Shechinah in this world, nor in the next.
So with all these sources, how can a
frum person even ask such a question? The answer is in
this week's Parsha. "Ki Hashochad... etc..." ..
"For bribes make wise men blind, and twist the words of Tzadikim".
The Yetzer Hara, who offers us bribes of false and fleeting pleasures,
blinds us to the obvious truths and makes us think we have real
"questions". But he is just disguising them as questions. Don't be
fooled, and realize that these are not questions but really his
"answers"! (R' Elchanan Wasserman used this very Pasuk in an
essay he wrote, to explain how the multitudes of non-Jewish wise men and
scientists from around the world, fail to see the obvious and glaring
hand of Hashem in all of creation).
I also want to address another point.
You wrote that you view porn when you will anyway be having relations
with your wife that day, and therefore it seems to you to be less
severe. Many people don't know this and I am not blaiming you, but this
is a grave distortion in the proper (and Jewish) outlook to sexual
relations with one's spouse. Viewing porn turns all women into objects
of lust. This is the very opposite of what relations in a Jewish
marriage are meant to be. The "lust" aspect of sexual desire was created
by G-d to cause a man to seek out a woman and take her for himself.
Once a couple is married, the "lust" aspect of sex should be relegated
to the side and should no longer be a dominant aspect of the
relationship between the two. They have dedicated themselves to each
other, and when they are together, they should be cultivating an
emotional bond through the sharing and sensuality of intercourse. Sex is
a "sacred moment" of closeness between the two of you. This is also
perhaps why Chaza"l prohibited having relations by day.
Firstly, because one may see something about his wife's body that may
turn him off, and on the other side of the coin, by seeing his wife's
body he is fueling his lust instead of focusing on the true sacredness
of the moment.
A man who insists to make "lust" the
most dominant aspect of his relations, especially by viewing porn before
hand, is losing out on the true connection and closeness that martial
relations should cultivate, and ultimately his marriage is likely
to fall apart. As his wife has children and her body changes, and/or as
she gets older, he will loose interest in her and he will never be able
to lead a normal marriage life. A relationship built on "lust" quickly
fades away. Also, by fueling the lust through his relations and not
focusing on building the emotional bond with his wife, he will continue
to be pulled after the other women he sees on the street, and will
transgress all the time the Issur D'eoraysah of "Lo
Sachmod". That is why once a person is married, he must work on
relegating "lust" to the side. It is truly a poison, and the nature of
lust is that "the more you feed it, the more you need it". One can never
get enough of lust. In the end, either we win it over or it wins us
To summarize, we can't stress enough
that sex between a husband and wife should foster an emotional closeness
and bond between the two of you, and should never be viewed as a "lust"
based act. Viewing porn before sex, besides the serious prohibitions
that one transgresses - as mentioned above, will either destroy one's
marriage altogether, or in the very least, will remove any potential
for a deep, emotional closeness in his marriage.
I hope that my words and the words of
Rabbi Twerski will enter your heart and help you resolve now -- in
Chodesh Elul -- never to go back to these things again. If you heed our
words, you will be worthy with Hashem's help to bring holy Jewish
children into the world and raise a family based on holiness and purity.
Just one last thought. Even with a
strong resolve, one should never trust themselves in these areas and
should get a strong
Internet filter for their computer to help them through moments of
weakness. And never stop davening to Hashem to save you and your
offspring from what is perhaps this generation's biggest test!
May Hashem be with you.
The Gemara in Kidushin 81/a
tells a story:
who had been taken captive were redeemed and brought to Nehardai. They
were kept in the attic of Rav Amram the Chasid and the ladder was
removed. At night, a beam of light reflected off one of the women,
revealing her beauty. Rav Amram was seized with lust and he moved the
ladder (which normally needs 10 people to move it) to ascend. As he was
halfway up, he screamed "There is a fire in Rav Amram's house!" and
the Rabanan flocked to his house. After they saw that there was no fire
they said to him "You embarrassed us (with your behavior)!", answered
Rav Amram: "It is better to suffer embarrassment in this world than in
One of the deepest problems with
the addiction, is the aspect of secrecy that surrounds it. As long as a
person says to themselves "no one knows anyway", it is very hard to even
begin the journey to recovery. We need to open up to someone and tell them
about our struggles. We need to shout "There's a fire!! a fire in my heart!!
help me put it out!" ... Once people know, we can find the strength like Rav
Amram, to stop ourselves from falling even with the most difficult tests.
And remember, it is better to suffer embarrassment
in this world than in the next.
And that is why group support is
so important. Firstly, in group support we receive the support from others
that we so desperately need. Secondly, we get to see how there are others
even worse off than we are, and we can actually give them support
(which in turn, strengthens us). And thirdly, we get to see how people, who
were exactly in our situation - or even worse, have achieved sobriety and
are well on their way to recovery! These are all very important features of
group support. But perhaps the most important aspect of
group support is that by opening up to others and staying in touch with them
while we heal, we begin to finally feel accountability! Internalize this. It
is the secrecy and hiding and lying that we've been doing for years that
makes it so hard for us to begin the journey to recovery.
So dear Yidden, join the
Jewish Healing Group
today! - It's a revolution in healing for religious people.
If you can't join the group (or
even if you can), it is also very helpful to have someone close to you - or
someone you respect, that you will be totally open with about this on a
steady basis . No secrets, only the real truth. This is a very powerful tool
- and a necessary one - for anyone serious about breaking free. The
person you choose can be your wife, your Rabbi or a close friend who
And if that's still too hard for
you at this stage, at least get
a sponsor through our forum to keep in touch with someone - anyone
- about your struggles. You might say you don't feel on the level yet to be
someone's partner or sponsor, or you're afraid you won't have what to
answer your partner when he's struggling. It does not matter!
The mere fact that you are totally open with someone about your struggles
will already make it much easier for you both to break free
of the addiction!
May Hashem be with us all on our journey!
Note: Even when you do open up to someone and don't
withhold any secrets, there is still no need to supply them with all the
gory details... Just saying something like "I am struggling with an
addiction of looking at improper things on the internet" is enough. The
person will understand. After all, most people struggle with these things on
some level. If not on-line, then in the street. But it is vital to tell them
the full truth of where you are holding and how difficult it is for you, and
to keep in touch with them on a steady basis.
It says in Parshas Shoftim:
"When you will go out to war on your
enemies and you will see horses and chariots, a multitude greater from
(than) you, do not fear them for Hashem your G-d is with you, who took
you out of the land of Mitzrayim. And when you will come close to the
The holy Sefer Beis Ahron of
Karlin explains as follows:
"When you will go out to war on your
enemies" - this is the battle with the Yetzer Hara
"and you will see horses and chariots,
a multitude" - this is all the klipot (impure
husks) that surround a man because of his sins. (Note: this includes the
chemical pathways that have become ingrained in a person's brain through
his feeding the addiction for so long).
"greater from (than) you"
- the words "from you"
are used, to imply that all these klipot of impurity indeed come "from
you", i.e. from a person's own sins.
"do not fear them for Hashem your G-d
is with you, who took you out of the land of Mitzrayim"
- just like in Egypt we were surrounded by the impure klipot and Hashem
took us out of there.
"And when you will come close to the
battle", explains the Beis Ahron,
"and when you will come close to Hashem
because of the battle, for this is the main (Ikkar) closeness to
These are subtle but powerful words. It didn't strike me at first what
he was saying, but then I read it again and it hit me. The Beis Ahron is
saying that the main closeness to Hashem (the Ikkar
Hiskarvus to Hashem) is though the battle with the Yetzer Hara.
That means, even more than davening and learning Torah!!
This is very profound, and it ties in beautifully with the
Chizuk e-mail #262
(above) where we wrote that the most important
thing to Hashem is not our progress in destroying the Yetzer Hara, but
rather our dependency on him
, and our constant
knowledge that we need Hashem every day anew to help us break free.
wrote recently on
to someone: "I will tell you from 8 years of
experience in Goyish 12 step groups, that I discuss more about G-d and
fixing my character traits with these people than with any of my friends
in Shul. Everyone in my circles is so focused on Halacha, but no one
really talks about if we really give our lives and trust over to Hashem
in our everyday life or not."
Do we hear what Elya is saying? It is specifically us, those who are
struggling with the Yetzer Hara so intensely and are in a daily battle,
that have the biggest potential for real closeness with Hashem! Like
Elya said, even the non-Jews in the 12 step groups achieve a closeness
to Hashem through their battle with the Yetzer Hara that unfortunately
not even frum Jews always achieve! So imagine what potential for
Kirvas Elokim (closeness to Hashem) a religious
Jew has, who has both this struggle and the truth of
People spend their whole lives running after happiness and thinking "if
only I had this or that I would be happy". But happiness through
physical pleasure disappears the moment the pleasure is gone. One can
never get enough and is never happy. This has been shown, time and time
again, with the worlds most popular and richest people who happen to
often be depressed!
A person who wants happiness needs to learn to "let go" of the pursuit
of physical pleasure and instead seek the "true happiness", which Rabbi
Avraham J. Twerski defines as "self fulfillment". That means to fulfill
the true "you" that you want to be deep down, closer to Hashem, a better
person, a better father and a better spouse. Click
for an interview with Rabbi Twerski on this topic - (right click and
choose "Save Target As").
The Ba'al Hasulam compares the Yetzer Hara to an
"itch". You keep scratching because it itches, and it feels good to
scratch, but the scratching only makes the itch worse. However, if you
decide in your mind that you will not scratch the itch any more - come
what may, it will burn with a powerful itchiness for about a minute or
so and then suddenly the itch just disappears!
Giving in to the addiction only makes a person want more. Yes, we
scratched the itch for this moment, but Oh' will it itch again very
soon!! People spend their lives scratching like madmen, never at peace,
until blood pours from their wounds. Instead, we need to decide once and
for all, we will not scratch the itch anymore - come what may! It will
be hard, yes - it will burn with "itchiness" and we may feel desperate
to act out for a while, but suddenly these obsessions just disappear
and we discover a new freedom in our lives that we never felt before!
Are you ready to take that step of faith and just STOP scratching? You
must believe that once you take that one
step of PURE FAITH, the
road will open up before you!! (Check out this
video clip :-)
It's Elul and we all want to start doing Teshuvah, but we
ask ourselves "Where do we start?". Someone posted on the
forum yesterday something simple yet profound from the
(and we added it to our
). The Chofetz Chaim
says that the
essence of doing Teshuvah is to make a careful reckoning of
what things brought us to sin or made it possible for us to
sin, and to avoid those things from now on. One who does
this, is fulfilling the Mitzvah of "doing Teshuvah"
It sounds simple but it is truly profound. It's not enough
to want to do Teshuvah. We been wanting to
do Teshuvah for years and yet we kept falling back into it.
Even stopping the sins is not enough. We've stopped
in the past for periods of time, only to slip again back
into it again. If we want to do Teshuvah this year
and finally GET IT RIGHT, we have to sit down and
explore carefully what brings us to fall. We need to ask
ourselves, "what are all the different situations and
circumstances that cause us to lose hope and take the
plunge?" Often a trained therapist can help in this, but if
we are diligent we may be able to do it on our own. It's not
easy, and it may take much trial and error to really learn
all the insidious tricks of the Yetzer Hara and how he gets
us to fall. But one who is determined, will always stay
aware and learn what to avoid.
The most obvious pitfall in these areas is the internet. If
you haven't installed a strong internet filter yet, forget
about doing Teshuvah this Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur
- because this is exactly
what the Chofetz Chaim
means! See our
and find one
that works for you today.
And make sure to
give the password to your wife or to a trusted friend.
Along this very idea, Dr / Rabbi
Yitzchak Twersky from Jerusalem
once described to me his approach in helping people deal
with these difficult issues. Go to
this page and scroll down
to #185 to see what he says.
Someone recently sent us
the following e-mail:
I first of all wanted to thank you very much for all your
efforts & chizuk.
I wanted to share my experience with you so if you think
it's appropriate to share it with everyone, you can.
I was R'L a serious addict and for me it was a daily and
sometimes even hourly struggle, and that unfortunately
included Shabbos too. I am now Baruch Hashem totally in
control, even though I am in my early twenties. I'd like you
to share this with everyone so people know that it is
possible to break this terrible habit, and to share with
them the methods which I used.
- Tefillah (which you may have already mentioned in your
website). [Webmaster's note: See
Tip #3 a - d on
- I found out that if I look at myself in a mirror every
time I am tempted, the bad thoughts vanished. For this
purpose I carried a small mirror with me all the time & this
was an extremely powerful method. I am not sure why this
works or if it is mentioned anywhere, but it really works.
- I have very hairy legs and every time I was tempted I
pulled my hair and I know this IS mentioned in many places
to cause yourself some pain, and that is what I did.
note: See Tip #8 on
Someone posted something
Ahhh, the Yetzer Harah. Yes, this shmendrick IS stronger
than us, and yes, without Hashems help, we have NO chance of
overcoming him. He knows this truth, and I personally have
experienced this over many many years. I had realized that
the ONLY chance I would have would be to get closer to
Hashem and find things that would bolster my ratings in
Shemayim so that I would merit extra heavenly assistance.
As the Michtav M'Eliahu says, you cannot fight the Yetzer
Harah head on, you will lose. He compares it to a spring.
The more you push down on a spring, the stronger it's
tension will be to spring back on you. So, it is almost like
a no-win situation. If you try to fight him by facing him
straight on, you are finished. He is too strong.
So, what did I do to deserve the heavenly assistance that we
need? I took it upon myself to tovel (immerse) in the
coldest mikveh in Israel (even colder than the Arizal's).
Every Erev Shabbos I went to this mikveh with all of the
kavanos of the Arizal, and even in the winter, no matter how
cold it was, no matter how rainy or windy, I would enter
this Mikveh. It was so cold that I felt as if my legs were
being crushed, until finally, after about 2 minutes, they
became completely numb. I welcomed this numbness. But, to
dunk my head - this was difficult. I had to do it so quickly
without thinking about it. Then, when I dunked my head for
the 4th time, it felt like it was being squeezed in a vise.
I thought my skull was going to crack.
I told Hashem that I was able and willing to to cause myself
physical discomfort, just please don't let me have to fight
the Yetzer Harah with my mind! I did this the entire winter,
and what happened? IT DIDN'T HELP!!! As soon as I thawed
out, the menuval was there.
So, I gave this up, and came to the conclusion, that there
is no way out, we are obligated to fight him with our mind
as well. There's no shortcuts. I saw in a sefer by the
Shomer Emunim Rebbe (Taharas Hakodesh) that avodas hashem is
like being far down under ground. You look upward, and you
can see light....the way out. So you try to climb up the
sides of your pit, carefully fitting your feet into the
crevices, and little by little you get closer to the
light... the way out. You carefully watch your footing, and
then.. .all of sudden, you slip, and fall all the way down
again. Once again you start all over again, seeing that
light up above. And again, just as you get closer and
closer, you lose your footing, and you fall all the way down
again, and this keeps happening again and again. BUT, he
says, after NOT giving up, then min hashamayim
(from heaven), they lower down a ladder to you and you climb
all the way up.
What is the point? Yes, we cannot possibly defeat the
Yetzer Harah on our own. Hashem is the only one that can
help us. But before he does, he wants us to be moser
nefesh for him. I have learned that being moser
nefesh is not a choice, it is the only way that we can
win, it is the only way that we will get the heavenly
assistance that we need. After we continue to try and try
and try again, then... they lower down a ladder for us and
we climb right up!
Recovery from harmful addictions is like a caterpillar climbing
a staircase. For the caterpillar, stairs are a challenge. After
a short upwards incline, the caterpillar reaches a plateau, a
long flat surface that is not going up at all. Things go
smoothly for a while as the caterpillar traverses this surface,
until the he hits a wall. It seems like the end of the road. The
journey to recovery has reached a dead end.
But after bumping into this wall, the caterpillar looks around
and realizes that the journey is not over at all. The only way
is up. So the caterpillar starts climbing. He then understands
that this was no dead end. It was the next step upwards, to
reach a new height. What seemed like an obstacle was actually an
invitation to go higher.
The same happens in recovery. After an initial high we come to a
flat period, where things coast along. Suddenly, the Yetzer Hara
attacks again and new obstacles appear that seem to threaten
everything we've gained until now. It looks like we've failed
and the journey is over. But this is normal. We are being
beckoned to go to a higher level, to raise ourselves above our
current state and reach upward. It is at this moment that we
need to look up and start climbing.
Recovery is not always a steep incline. That would be too
exhausting. The plateaus give us time to reenergize, and they
are just there to prepare us to go to the next level. But the
challenge is in front of you. Grab it, and caterpillar your way
to new heights!
Someone that I am a
for, recently wrote me as follows:
One of the ideas mentioned on
weekly call this past Tuesday that I thought was
great, is that it's OK to let painful feelings just sit
there. It's OK to be in pain - it's part of life and it
will pass. We addicts are not aware of this. We think we
need to find a "fix" for all pain, and that "fix" is to act
out. Obviously this type of fix is only temporary and will
lead to more pain...which requires another fix... in a
viscous downward cycle.
This reminded me also of Tip
#4 under "Mind
our site where it says:
Bearing the Pain. Learn
how to bear the mental pain of saying "No" to yourself.
Naturally, we go to what feels good and we stay away from
pain. We got that from cows. Animals don't understand that a
painful experience can be beneficial. Try and explain
surgery to a cow. All the cow understands is "Food", I go.
"Pain", I go away. But we humans were endowed with wisdom!
Tell yourself, the pain I feel is GOOD for me, the
pain I feel is HEALING me, and it is fixing all that I have
damaged in the past (like surgery).
Here's something an
x-addict wrote about pain on an
Many find themselves in destructive behavior when
they feel pain and don't see a way out. When I felt
pain, I wanted a way to avoid it ... which only took me
further from reality.
It's OK to sit with pain ... it's better than the
mind-numbing behaviors that remove us from the world.
Thank G-d that we FEEL AGAIN! ... even if it's pain.
Be assured that you are making progress.
On an article on
Arutz Sheva called
Internet Inclination" exactly one year ago today,
(September 15, 2007) about the problems of internet
pornography, someone posted in the "Talk-Back" his doubts
that pornography could be classified as an addiction. In
reply, "Velvel from Silver Spring" posted:
Just like with any pleasure, the
pleasure sensory is stimulated in the brain. Simple
neuroscience. Whether its cocaine, a tasty sandwich, or
pleasure one might get from bad things during movie, the
serotonin levels spike & the dopaminergic pleasure pathway
is activated, in the standard "addiction" pattern. Little do
people know, we are actually "addicted" to food, but that's
a healthy addiction, and most people are able to moderate
their food intake. The same CANNOT be said for mind altering
drugs & the porno.
Porn was shown to be MORE powerfully addictive than most
drugs, in one study. It's not a big surprise or a big wonder
why that would be. It's an intense pleasure stimulation,
even more direct than a hard drug. I have also read that
upon repeated exposure to certain types of images, one will
seek out more and more perverse types of images...
It is important to understand that
pornography and sex addictions are generated simply by a
repetition of pleasure stimulation in the brain. Usually,
this is a result of a deeper problem, such as a difficult
childhood, a low self esteem or an inner depression. In such
cases, the subconscious mind often looks for ways to sooth
itself. Since masturbation (and often pornography) are
readily available to a person from his youth, these pleasure
simulations are often used already at an early age to
"medicate" the feelings of an inner void, and the repetition
of the pleasure stimulus quickly turns into an addiction.
After a while, the sexual urge becomes so powerful through
feeding the addiction, that one begins to think of his
"needs" as an unconquerable force that they cannot reckon
However, once we know this truth,
that our subconscious mind has been using this method
simply to sooth the various deep psychological issues
that we might not have even been aware of, we can seek
help for the issues that caused the addictive behavior
in the first place. This can be done through therapy,
preferably with someone trained in childhood trauma, low
self-esteem, depression, or whatever the issues might
be. Also, it is vital that the therapist be trained in
sexual addiction. A list of competent therapists in your
areas can be found at
www.sash.net. See also
Also, once we realize the way it
works, it is much easier to break free. You
see, masturbation and porn are simply "physical pleasure
stimuli" like all other physical pleasures. It only SEEMS to
us to be so powerful because we have fed the addiction for
so long and used this method to "medicate" the inner
darkness we felt. The same addictive pattern often occurs
with food, which is also readily available to a person from
his youth. Ask the millions of people in OEA ("Over-Eaters
Anonymous") all over the world.
So, with this simple realization, the
addiction to porn and masturbation is no longer this "huge
unbeatable monster", but simply a physical pleasure, just
like food, alcohol or gambling. All of these behaviors cause
a "high" in the brain, and when used to medicate feelings of
inadequacy or inner-darkness - over prolonged periods of
time - turn into addictions that seem to be
So blow the illusion away today. This
monster is just one big balloon filled with hot-air!
Attention all our holy
members! There is no greater way to incur heavenly
mercy in the days of awe, and to receive divine
intervention with our own struggles, than by helping others
(it's simply Midah Kineged Midah)! I have prepared
a flyer for
and attached it
to this e-mail. If you can print it out and hang it up in
your local Shuls, Shteiblachs and neighborhood
news-boards (perhaps when no one is around to see), you can
be helping hundreds of Yidden without even knowing it! And
one day, after 120, you will come up to Shamayim
and tens or even hundreds of souls will come forward to
testify on your behalf. And you will ask "who are these
souls?" and they will reply, "these are the Yidden that were
helped by the signs you put up"!
in to us recently:
I daven each morning with a minyan and then go to learn
for an hour with a Chavrusah. Usually the davening and
learning feels kind of dry, and often I do just because I
feel I have to, and I want to get it over with already so I
can start my day. This morning, I was bringing my son to
school, and a woman that was always a "turn on" for me in
the past, was bringing her kid to school as well. She walked
over to where I was standing and was telling her kid to say
hello to my son, and was trying to be friendly. All types of
fantasies started to flood my head, but I resolved to be
strong. I smiled politely and averted my eyes from looking
at her until she finished her little game with the kids and
walked away. As I was fighting with myself not to look at
her, I felt a bitter taste. It was very hard. And I walked
away feeling somewhat of a void inside me. But then
the strangest thing happened. I went to daven right
afterwards, and I never felt such a joy and closeness to
Hashem like I did that davening. The whole davening, I
really felt I wanted to give over my heart to Hashem. And
the learning that followed the davening too, was full of
strength and happiness. I couldn't believe how fast that
hour went by!
Someone wrote in today some thoughts that help him,
and I would like to share them with everyone:
I just want to tell you that your
site and chizuk etc. seems to have helped me a lot, and is
continuing to do so. Hashem Yishmereinu veyechzkeinu. Some
1. Stopping these things is a great zechus
(merit) to parents and Rabbe'im in the World Of Truth, since
they are judged for what their children, grandchildren
and students do. The opposite is chas veshalom true as well.
What a horrible, selfish thing to do to them. Beyond words.
2. Chaza"l say that in the next world, the
yetzer horah will be shown to the Resho'im as something very
small that they couldn't overcome, and to the Tzaddikim as a
great mountain that they overcame. The idea behind this, if
I remember one pshat at least correctly, is that each step
in fighting the Yetzer Hara is only one small step that has
to be taken at a time. In the end, it all adds up of course,
to many, many steps and something very large that was
sages said "There is a small organ in a man, if you feed it
- it is hungry, if you starve it - it is satiated". I
believe this means that every time one controls him impulse
(for anything), it becomes easier the next time to avoid it.
The inverse is true of course as well. Hopefully, after 40
days (like the Mishna Brurah writes about getting up early
in the morning), the whole struggle becomes BS'D much easier
as a rule. Just forty days! (This may be a little different
for various types of people, some needing a little more
time, some less).
sages said "Leolam yargiz adam yetzer tov al yetzer hara"
meaning "a person should always arouse the anger of his good
inclination over his evil inclination". Say to
yourself that you do not want to be a slave to such a
MENUVOL (pervert) and will not be.
Yes, get angry!!! Ask yourself, "am I such a
fragile sucker to do what this creature is enticing me
I want to share today a
beautiful thread from
Chaza"l say that when one says
Krias Shema he should gaze at his Tzitzis. Seeing his
Tzitzis (which were blue from Techeiles in the time of
Chazal) will make him think of the sky, which is blue, and
thinking of the blue sky will lead to thoughts of Hashem who
made the sky, which will lead to thoughts of serving Hashem,
Somebody once told Rav Dessler
Zt"l that he doesn't understand the above Chaza"l. Which
person, he asked, when he sees his Tzitzis will have this
whole domino effect in his mind to lead him to think of
Hashem?! That is so far fetched!
Rav Dessler responded: Chaza"l say
that one should not walk behind a woman, as walking behind
her will lead him to think about her, and thus to think
about other women and thus to think of sinning, and
eventually lead him to sin. Asked Rav Dessler, "Can you
identify with that thought process?" When the man responded
in the affirmative, Rav Dessler explained: A persons
thoughts go in the direction that the person is heading, in
the direction that his heart leads him! If you are a person
heading in the direction of sin, everything you see, hear or
say can easily lead to thoughts of sin! If you are a person
heading in the direction of Hashem, then everything you see,
hear or say can easily lead to thoughts of Hashem!
I also had wondered about this
Chaza"l concerning the Tzitzis and I had come to the
conclusion that Chaza"l were just on a different level than
us. I figured that in our generation, we are so far
distanced from their state of holiness, that we just don't
merit for the Tzitzis to have the same affect. But Mevakesh,
now that you mention this, it makes sense to say that if we
were to really work on making this connection with our
Tzitzis, (a "holy" connection) i.e. just like we previously
did with our sins, where we brought everything to a state of
arousal, a state of excitement (and this is what caused our
neurons to emit fire), and this is the type of excitement
that will remain our memory banks forever to be easily
retrieved from our memory if we ever, Chas Veshalom, revert
back to this state. So now, everytime I feel a state of
spiritual arousal, especially now in Elul,
when I hear the shofar, or everytime I feel yearning for
Hashem, I will grab and caress, and look at my tzitzis. By
doing this, I will be building a connection to Kedushah
(holiness), to think of Hashem, and thereby in fact, utilize
that Tzitzis the same way that Chaza"l did. In other words,
if I was successful to build such a system of triggers for
Tumah (impurity) in the past, then for sure I can do it with
This was a really great post
by "battleworn" and I want to share it with everyone:
I've been thinking that
the website is really loaded with great advice, but it would
probably be helpful to some people to lay down the basic
steps. So I'll try to start and I welcome your comments (on
1) Accept the situation as G-D
given, regardless of how you got there. Don't feel bitter or
frustrated. The disgusting filth that you find yourself in,
is the fertile soil that the real "you" needs to grow from.
2) Accept that there is no
quick-fix hocus-pocus solution.
3) Take responsibility to deal
with it in any and every way necessary.
4) Establish that you will not
give up no matter how many times you chas vesholom fall.
5) Daven to Hashem at least once a
day to help you succeed.
6) Stay away from bad places and
from unrestricted internet as much as possible. Also
Now it starts getting a
bit more complicated...
(webmaster's note: a
competent therapist may
be required for the following steps):
7) Figure out if the addiction is
just a vicious cycle that feeds on itself (this can be the
case even if it was originally started by something else),
or, is there a different source of anxiety, depression or
whatever, that is feeding it. If you can't figure it out by
yourself, get help fast.
8) In the event that there is an
outside cause, you need to know if it's just lack of
fulfillment (or something similar) which you can tackle by
yourself, or is it something deeper that you will need
9) Make sure that any therapist
that you go to, appreciates the gravity of the sin. It's not
necessarily enough that he/she is "frum".
(Webmaster's note: It's also not
necessarily vital for the therapist to be "frum". Even a
non-frum or non-Jewish sex addiction therapist can be made
to understand that for "us", any form of sexual acting out
or masturbation is a "no-no". They are generally trained to
help you work with whatever guidelines you set, according to
your standards of morality).
10) In any and every case, the
main thing is to break the cycle and never give up.
11) Always beware that the vulgar,
despicable, monstrous menuval will try every trick
imaginable (and unimaginable)
12) If at all possible, add time
to davening and torah learning. Often, that can make the
13) Make maximum use of the
as well as the
and subscribe to the
is faced with the most difficult tests.
say that the higher ones level the greater
their evil inclination. There is no tzaddik
exists that wasn't tempted and didn't face sin head to head.
We think that because they are righteous they were never
normal human beings just like us facing the simple
temptations we do. Yosef HaTzaddik
covered his face
and ran away from Potifar's
wife. Rabbi Abraham
Abulafia was brave enough in his sefer, Chayay Olam
, to admit that he defiled his body from the
wasteful admission of seed. He says that for fifteen years,
was at my right hand to mislead me." Also
he said that the numerical value of Satan
, 359, is
the same as that of Zera Lavan, white seed, which is in
reference to semen. This goes to show you one of the main
goals of the Satan,
and that is sexual desire.
Rebbe Nachman says that sexual desire
is the great test a man faces in this world. (Rabbi
Nachman's Wisdom 115) The Rebbe said that he was able to
overcome this desire but he had to cry out to Hashem again
and again. The temptations were very real for him but he
later said, "A man with even the smallest amount of real
intelligence, will not find this a temptation at all." The
Satan wanted so much for him to slip on this desire that he
was willing to let the Rebbe overcome every other desire if
only he would slip up on this once. The Rebbe did the
opposite though, and said he would ignore his other desires
and not work to control them at all, but the sexual desire
he would completely eradicate (Shevachay Haran 16). As a
young man, even amidst the fire burning inside him, he
overcame this desire completely. He later said, "I do not
have any feeling of desire at all. Men and women are all the
same to me." When he came in contact with a woman, he didn't
even have an extraneous thought. (ibid)
I want to share with you today
this thread from
I want to share a technique that
was very helpful to me when I wanted to stop masturbating
once and for all. I committed to myself that every time I
lose myself and do it I would give a substantial sum to
Tzedaka! After a while and working on being very determined,
I did it less and less often. Firstly, it was becoming very
expensive, as I was keeping to my end of the deal and giving
the Tzedaka! I couldn't afford to do it! After a while, this
kept me in line and helped me to cool off a bit, and that
allowed me to focus on strengthening my self control.
Eventually, with tremendous help from above I was
successful. It is now almost 8 years later and I have thank
G-d been in control of myself! It is very possible to do,
don't let the wicked yetzer horah tell you otherwise. I was
hooked to online porn, and even just any visual stimulation
was enough to get me crazy. But you can take control. It is
exceedingly possible! I am living proof 8+ years in the
making. I still live with the fear of messing up and I pray
for help everyday. But my battle is from a different angle
now. YOU CAN DO IT!! I have, and you can too!
Mevakesh Hashem writes:
Indeed, as Chazal say "Al taamin
B'Atzm'cha Ad Yom Mosecha - do not trust yourself until your
dying day". Precisely because you live with the fear of
messing up is why you pray daily. And precisely because you
are aware of your weakness, even almost a decade later, is
why you pray and why you have been granted the strength to
And I would like to elaborate a bit more on this idea.
There's a story in the Gemara (Kedushin 81b) about Rav
Chiyah Bar Ashi who had stopped having relations with his
wife for years because he was old and week, and yet he would
fall on his face every day and pray that Hashem save him
from the Yetzer Hara. One day his wife heard him praying and
she couldn't understand why he needed to pray for this, even
though he was old and weak. So she dressed up as the town
harlot and passed by him as he learned in the garden, and he
didn't know it was his wife and he "sinned" with her.
Afterwards, he wanted to kill himself for having sinned, and
he sat inside the oven to burn himself to death and atone
for his sin. And his wife found him there and asked him what
he was doing. And he told her what had happened and refused
to come out. So she admitted to him that it was her, and
finally after proving it to him, she convinced him to come
And yet, even though he realized he hadn't really sinned,
the Gemara says that this Tzadik fasted for the rest of his
life, only because he had "thought" he was sinning.
We can see from this story how one must never stop davening
to Hashem to be saved from the Yetzer Hara. Even this great
Tzadik, who was already old, weak and greatly removed from
these temptations, still felt the need to fall on his face
and daven every day for Hashem to save him!
And let me just end on a positive note. One who does
daven every day with a broken heart for Hashem to save him
from "lust" - will see miracles! On guardureyes, we are
seeing this again and again, in the "Recovery Stories" and
with the wonderful spiritual warriors who are posting on the
forum every day!
No prayer goes to waste, no matter how insignificant it
seems, and even if we feel we don't really mean it. Whenever
you see something that turns your heart, cry out to Hashem
and say "Hashem, save me from lust for flesh and
blood! Help me instead to lust for you! As it says
in Tehillim: Tzama Lecha Nafshi, Kama Lecha
Besari - My soul thirsts for you, my flesh pines
When Moshiach comes - any day now, G-d willing,
we will yearn for the days when we had the struggle, when
the struggle was so real. There is no greater
connection with Hashem than when a person feels that he
needs Hashem every second to save him.
The Sefer Shamati (from the Ba'al Hasulam) explains
that the real definition of "Simcha Shel Mitzva" is
as follows: Davka when a Jew feels no
simcha in serving Hashem and he feels dried out and
so far from Hashem, yet he knows what he really wants deep
down and instead of letting these feelings stop him, he
arouses himself to rejoice in the realization that he
"needs" Hashem so much... That is true
Simcha Shel Mitzvah and that is the truest
connection with Hashem that a person can have.
And the Ba'al Hasulam gives a parable. If someone is
dying and only his friend can save him, he will beg his
friend to save him with every ounce of strength he has. He
will be totally dependent and attached to his friend.
However, if he is not dying and he only wants his friend to
give him something of "extras", then he will not be so
attached to his friend through his desire and request.
When a Jew feels that going back to his old ways is "death
itself", in that it will tear him away from the source of
"life itself", then it becomes to him a matter of life and
death. And when the struggle is hard, he knows only Hashem
can save him from this death! And he will not stop needing
Hashem and begging Hashem to save him every day. And this is
the TRUEST and STRONGEST connection a Jew can have with
Hashem, says the Ba'al Hasulam. It is even stronger
than the connection of Tzaddikim whom Hashem has already
saved from the Yetzer Hara. For such a Tzadik is like
someone who got a present from the king, took it and left.
But the man who is begging the king to spare his very life,
davka BECAUSE it is so hard and he has so little
strength, this is a man who is truly davuk
(attached) to the king.
Tzadikim who had already beaten the Yetzer Hara were known
to have greatly yearned for the days when they still had
these battles, and felt so dependent - and therefore
attached - to Hashem. As the Pasuk says "Me'rachok Nireh
Li Hashem" - "from afar Hashem appeared to me". It is
the feeling of being far, that in reality brings us so
close. And this should give a person the greatest joy,
ironically, davka at the time he feels no joy -
because in such a state he has no one to rely on but Hashem.
Dear members of our Chizuk list!
I must share with you what's happening lately on
GUE Forum, especially now, so close to Rosh Hashana.
The other night, I was reading out loud from the forum to my
wife what everyone had written just recently,
and after a few minutes
I just couldn't go on any more. I choked up and started crying
and I just couldn't stop. My wife had to wait a few minutes
until I was able to continue.
The next day, I found out I was not alone. Read this amazing
pre Rosh Hashana Message to my dear brothers and sisters"
he too couldn't hold back the tears when reading the latest
Yidden! There is nothing in the world more beautiful as
what is going on in this forum. Yidden who never met, living
thousands of miles apart and yet loving and supporting each
other, probably more than they do with the friends they mix with
every day! It's the powerful love of fellow warriors on the
battle field, who know they are all in this together till the
There is nothing more wonderful than the weaving of these
beautiful stories that Hashem has waited so long for. What can
be more inspiring than to watch these journeys of sacrifice
unfold before our very eyes, to watch the miracle of human
beings giving over their hearts to Hashem?
So dear Yidden, if you
haven't taken advantage of this amazing tool yet, be a part
of it too! Join this incredible community today, for the
glory of the king's crown, and watch yourself really start
Here are some inspiring recent posts:
Berachot to All! I have recently grown peyyot, and though in the
workplace I try to keep them tucked back, they inevitably fall
into my face-right at the sides of my eyes!
It then occurred to me: As tzit-tzit
remind the hands to perform mitzvot, so to do the peyyot remind
my eyes to obey mitzvot!
Hashem guard your eyes and keep your heart devikut!
Chevra, this is something new and amazing, we're coming to Rosh
Hashana with a plan. That's the most important part of teshuva.
And we also have each other. This is great and it's all thanks
to guardureyes, he should be blessed with all the berochos there
could possibly be. And so should the rest of you. I want to
suggest that we all agree to daven for each other. It dosen't
matter that we don't know the names, Hashem knows. And anyway
what better names to use than these (pseudo-names), that are
used for teshuva and for "zikuy harabim"...
I beg you to take full advantage of the tremendous gift that
Hashem has given you in bringing you to this forum. Nowhere in
the world will you find people that love you, care about you and
understand you, as much as here. Read everything and keep us
posted on your struggles, successes and any questions. We're
with you, and as mevakesh says, "together we'll prevail"l. A
Kesiva Vachasima Tova and please daven for all of us and the
continued success of GUE's forum and site :) CHAZAK VEAMATZ!!!
have to speak my heart. In addition to my battling the
despicable disgusting menuval, I've been having a lot of pain in
my life in general. Whenever I come to the forum and see the
wonderful stuff going on here, it gives me chizuk in a way that
nothing else can. There is no way to describe the feeling of
hope and chiyus I get here. I can't thank Mevakesh and GUE
enough. I wish you and all the chevra here, the greatest year
with continued and growing success in being mezakeh es harabim.
And we should all be zocheh to greet moshiach very, very soon.
treacherous murderer is always working full time to somehow get
me. Some of his main tools are depression and anxiety, combined
with curiosity. I don't get aroused easily, but he's happy just
to get me to look. Since I discovered this forum, which was
about a month and half ago, he hasn't had any hope of laying his
filthy bloody hands on me. Thanks to GUE and friends. So that's
it for now, YOU GUYS ARE GREAT!!!
WOW, do I have chills right now. I just read this forum from
start to finish and to say it is giving me chizuk is a huge
understatement. I am flying high emotionally. This is the best
preparation for the Yomim Noraim, a time when all of us are
trying extra hard to succeed. I am no prophet, but I can say
with certainty that Hakadosh Baruch Hu is looking down at
everyone on this sight and kvelling with unbelievable simcha and
nachas. All we ever try to do is the ratzon Hashem, and right
now, right here, on this website, you guys are smashing the
samech mem (evil inclination) to pieces and spreading the glory
of Hashem's malchus in the world, precisely the point of Rosh
Hashana. Thank you and let this be the reason you are all
written in the book of Bracha, simcha, Parnassa, and all good
We all need support, but bechira is a
precious gift given by the Creator to each of us. Without
bechirah we can have NO reward. As a matter of fact, without
the yetzer hara we can have no reward! I must tell you,
although the yetzer hara wants us dead, he at the same time
is our BEST FRIEND! Fighting him and winning is what Hashem
wanted!! There can be no reward without the struggle! The
bottom line, after all the support we are getting from the
fine, fine people on this site, the bottom line is that we
have to defeat our own personal yetzer hara with brute
force. No one is following me around to see what I do or
don't do. I know there are people here who are with me in my
struggle, but when push comes to shove, I'm alone. During
lunch, I can do one of 2 things.... but I know that
"guardureyes" and "elya" and "mevakesh", and "niceguy" and
"battleworn" and everybody here are 'watching' me. But in
reality, I'm alone at that moment. So don't give me so much
credit, take some for yourselves every time you win. By the
way, today I'm starting day # 21 of sobriety. My warmest
wishes to all of you.
think its twelve strong days and going strong! i'm going
with what you all said and counting all the way till 90. I'm
feeling better but i still have this feeling in the back of
my head that i could slip back any time. But B'H i am
feeling good and i started helping others with this issue .
I'm determined to break this into the open so people don't
suffer in silence. We need to get people to open up, to
share. The hiding is the most deadly part of it, and once
that is behind you a huge battle is already won. People need
to know how many were suffering like them but have beat it.
I told someone that and they didn't believe me!
day clean. One day I'll be saying I haven't touched myself
in an asur way in 8 yrs. 8 yrs ! Can you imagine the
kedusha! I've just started down the road and I already feel
big Siyatta Dishmaya in my life and learning! I want this to
When we say
"no" to the Yetzer Hara and we feel pain, that is not our
pain. That is the Yetzer Hara in pain. We are striking HIM where it
hurts. And sometimes, when it takes real Messiras Nefesh to
turn away from the bad things we used to do, that taste of
"death" we may feel is the Yetzer Hara DYING. The only reason we
feel it so strongly is because he has become so attached to us
through the addiction. But he is dying, we are
feeling HIS "death throws" while we
are beginning to LIVE!
So when you
feel pain, rejoice!
"Zeh Hasatan Holech
Le'misah - Va'anachnu Nikanes Le'chayim Tovim Aruchim U'leshalom!"
Satan goes to his death, and we enter to a long and peaceful life!"
something really nice today on the forum to strengthen a fellow
The fact that you are
struggling is not a chidush (it's nothing new). But the fact the
you're waging war against such a powerful force, now
a chidush. And that you haven't given up even though you're feeling
weak, that's a
chidush. The midrash says (shir hashirim 7, 1) that those who stand
up and prevail over the despicable menuval, the whole generation
depends on them.
When someone overcomes
the sex-drive it is considered (for obvious reasons) "lemaala
miderech hateva" - supernatural, and in turn Hashem does
supernatural things for him. If you take the passion and turn it
towards Hashem (who is really deep down the source of the desire)
you can experience immense spiritual pleasure and develop an
intimate relationship with Hashem.
Dear Yidden, attached
is a small PDF
flyer. Help others be inspired as well, and begin their journey
to Teshuvah and recovery. Print out the flyer and distribute it
discreetly, in your shuls, neighborhood bulletin boards and
community outlets. And if you can afford to send it to your
neighborhood weekly paper and sponsor an ad, who knows how many
hundreds of Yidden you can be helping? What greater merit could
there be for this Rosh Hashana, to atone for the past and face
Hashem with hope for true Teshuvah, than having helped others in
May we all be worthy
to be written in the book of LIFE.
A Jew needs to use both the attributes of humility AND
haughtiness - but both, for the service of Hashem! As the Pasuk says
"Vayigbah Libo Bedarkei Hashem" - "and his heart was proud in the
ways of Hashem" (about one of the kings of Klal Yisrael). One of the
previous Karliner Rebbes once said, that when a Jew wants to serve
Hashem he should feel humble and broken hearted that he hasn't even
started to serve the Almighty as is worthy of such a great and
awesome G-d. However, when he goes into the street, he should arouse
his pride and remember that he is a ben-melech - A son of
the King, and that it isn't appropriate for him to be pulled after
the lowly desires of this world.
This follows the Ba'al Shem Tov's teachings that every Middah
(attribute) needs to be used for Kedushah. The same applies to lust and
love for forbidden pleasures. It is our job to learn to transform our
lust for flesh and blood to lust for Hashem... And the Ba'al Shem Tov
also explains how the "love" we feel for forbidden things is actually a
"fallen" love of Hashem. For Hashem is the source of all love, all
beauty, all pleasure and all desire. All of the Middos are rooted in the
upper worlds and they all come from places of holiness. But they have
fallen to the Klippos and been downgraded in this world of
darkness. As children of the king, it is our job to uplift these
attributes and return them to their source, by using them for
So when the heart is pulled after the things we see or things our Yetzer
Hara wants us to do, we need to cry out to Hashem and say "Hashem!
... All this love I feel, all this lust and desire! It belongs to you.
You are the source! Help me, help me please Father, to direct my lust
and love towards you, for you are the source of all beauty and all
desire!" And when we walk in the street, arouse your pride as the
"son of the king", and don't let yourself be pulled after the filth and
grime of the Yetzer Hara!
We just read this week:
"Atem Nitzavim Hayom Kulchem..." -
"You are standing today, all of you, before Hashem
your G-d". The Meforshim say that "Hayom-Today" is
a remez to Rosh Hashana, where we all stand before Hashem to be
judged. And the holy Ohr Hachayim says that the "treaty" that Moshe made
with the Yidden there, was to make each Jew responsible for his friend
- "from the Elders and Judges to the Wood-Choppers and Water-Carriers".
We are all responsible for one another!
In honor of the first birthday of the GuardurEyes Chizuk List, and in
honor of having reached the 150 member-mark, we turn again to our dear
spiritual "comrades-in-arms", with an appeal to
help us help others. There is no
greater Teshuvah than to help other Yidden in the areas that we
struggled, and there can be no greater Segulah to recieve
divine help in the areas that we are still struggling, than to give
others hope in these areas as well. If each member of the Chizuk list
would donate a mere $10 or $18, we would have enough to purchase ads
in many major outlets in the Orthodox community, on-line and in-print.
What greater merit could there be for Rosh Hashana than help other
Yidden retun to Hashem and to spread glory of Hashem in the world?
That's what Rosh Hashana is all about!
Note: Besides for PayPal
now have various anonymous
donating options as well.
Also, some people expressed a reluctance to hang up the flyer (that we
sent out recently) in Shuls and the like, because of some of the
sensitive wording. We are attaching to this e-mail
a DIFFERENT flyer
where we replaced the words "pornography addiction
with "internet addiction
" and the words "sexual
" with the words "moral purity
". So now
there's another way you can help other Yidden, print out and spread
around the flyer!
And the merit of helping others in these areas, may Hashem
grant us all true sobriety and inner-peace this year, and may we all be
written in the book of life, happiness, and true fulfillment!
From the Book "Windows to the Soul"
by Rabbi Zvi Miller. Chapter 3.
have not properly guarded our eyes in the past, we can change our
behavior and Hashem will help us to improve our ways.
Hashem sent us an uplifting and encouraging message through Yechezkel
HaNavi: "Throw off all of your aveirot and make a new heart
and a new spirit for yourselves." (Based on Yechezkel
Yona (Yesod HaTeshuvah) illuminates the path of return to Hashem:
"If a person has acted improperly and wants to take shelter beneath
the "Wings of the Shechinah" and enter into the gates of repentance, I
will show him the way to proceed.
day that you lift your heart to return to Hashem, throw off all of your
aveirot as if they never were. Consider yourself as a newborn child,
having neither merit nor culpability. Today is the beginning of your
deeds. Today you will reflect on all of your ways so that you do not
stray from the good path. This outlook will facilitate your complete
return to Hashem because you will be unburdened from the weight of all
of your aveirot.
be hindered by thoughts that hold you back from returning to Hashem. For
you might feel, 'How can I have the nerve to return to Hashem, after I
acted so inappropriately so many times? How can I come in front of
Hashem? I feel embarrassed, like a thief who was caught in the act of
stealing. How can I enter His courtyards; how can I observe His Mitzvot?"
allow these negative thoughts to enter your heart! These feelings of
despair are the influence of the negative impulse.
Rather, know the attribute of our merciful Creator is that "His arms are
always open to welcome those that return to Him."
more, He releases us from the psychological barriers to repentance by
urging us to "throw off our misdeeds." Therefore, Hashem grants each one
of us the opportunity to rectify our ways, regardless of our past
conduct. He lets us renew ourselves and gives us a fresh start.
throw off the burden of your past aveirot and start over. Hashem gives
everyone another chance!
This morning on Erev Rosh Hashana, we stopped by the Kever of Shmuel
Hanavi and I davened for all of us... I mentioned all the "spiritual"
names on our forum that I could remember, Mevakesh, Chasdei Avos,
Jack, Snax, Battleworn, Me, Elya, Niceguy (ben Nicedad), etc... and
also all those on our e-mail Chizuk list. I davened that in the merit
that all of us are "Habah Letaher" - simply by being on this
list and posting on the forum, and in the merit of Shmuel Hanavi, we
should all be worthy of special Siyatta Di'shmayah this year to
break free of the Yetzer Hara's clutches and come closer to Hashem!
And I ask you all as well, dear spiritual warriors, to daven for
all of us this Rosh Hashana. And in this merit, we should be
zoche to what our Sages have said, that "he who davens for his
friend will be answered first!"
Here are some excerpts from
a beautiful and holy "battle cry" from Mevakesh for right before Rosh
Cry, Baby, Cry!!
Rabeinu Yonah quotes a Yerushalmi in Brachos (Perek 1 Halacha 5) which
says: " There are two channels with which a person sins, his heart and
his eyes. Therefore, the sins that were performed with each channel need
to be atoned for in the way in which the sin was performed. Sins that
came about through the channel of the heart, need a broken heart to
facilitate atonement. And sins that were committed through the channel
of the eyes, need TEARS to facilitate atonement!"
Rabbeinu Yonah continues, and quotes a Pasuk in Tehilim (119)
"Palgei Mayim Yordu Eini Al Lo Shamru Torasecha" - rivers of tears
flowed from my eyes, because I have not guarded your Torah. Rabbein
Yonah explains this Pasuk to mean that not guarding what our eyes see is
considered as if we have not kept the Torah, and indeed warrants rivers
of tears for atonement!
My dear brothers and sisters, Rabeinu Yonah is talking to us all!
Our eyes have caused us to reach the low levels to where we reached, as
we didnt keep the "Lo Sasuru Acharei Eineichem" properly!
Baruch Hashem we are all on the road to Tesuva Shelaima (some of us just
starting, some of us well along, but the main thing is that we are on
However, Rabbeinu Yonah is telling us that we need more than just
Teshuva. We need to cleanse the very channels with which we have sinned,
CRY MY DEAR BROTHERS AND SISTERS, CRY YOUR HEART OUT TO OUR FATHER IN
HEAVEN. HE AWAITS OUR SINCERE TEARS AND WILL USE THOSE TEARS TO MAKE THE
MORTAR WITH WHICH HE IS BUILDING THE BEIS HAMIKDASH HASHLISHI.
Never in the history of Klal Yisroel have we stooped to such low and
degenerate levels of znus, filth and such an impossible environment.
But, as Hashem always keeps the cure close by, NEVER in the history of
Klal Yisroel has there been such a power of good ready to combat the
evils of the street. We all owe a tremendous Hakoras Hatov to
Guardureyes, who has started a movement of good. A movement of Teshuva
like never before. A revolution of Anti-filth! A real army ready,
willing, worthy and able to fight, capture and slaughter the Yetzer
My dear brothers, Rosh Hashana is less than 24 hours away! CRY!!! CRY!!!
CRY!!! CLEANSE!!! CLEANSE!!! CLEANSE!!! CHANGE THE WORLD!!! I CAN! YOU
CAN! WE CAN!!!!
A KESIVA V'CHASIMA TOVA. PLEASE DON'T FORGET DO DAVEN FOR EACH OTHER AND
5769 WILL BE THE YEAR THAT MOSHIACH TRIUMPHANTLY ARRIVES AND ALL THE
FILTH WILL BE ABOLISHED FOREVER AND EVER.
Battleworn posted his story on
and he writes one of the best pieces of Chizuk that he heard as a Bachur, which
helped him not to give up:
I heard back then, I think in the name of R' Abramski zt'l, what I think
might be the most important yesod in
chizuk. He said that when a person is itching to say loshon
horoh (it's easier to talk about that) and he holds back 1,2,3
times and then it just bursts out. He thinks "I blew it, I messed up, it
was a waste of energy. But that's not the case at all. Because,
(although he must do teshuva for the fall), for each "regah" that he
overcame the urge, he will merit "Or haganuz sheain kul malach
uberya yecholin leshaer" ("The hidden light of Hashem that no
Malach or creation can fathom").
This idea was extremely relevant to me because the evil menuval would
always say to me "you might as well give in now because you know that at
the end I always win."
And somewhere else on
Battleworn posted something similar:
Someone once came to the "Steipler Gaon" to complain about this problem.
So the Steipler asked him "Are there times that you're misgaber?"
so he answered "usually I fail". So the Steipler asked again "And are
there times that you're misgaber?" so he answered "Yes, but
rarely" so the Steipler explained to him that the times that you fail
are erasable, but every time you pass the test - it's a Kinyan
that's yours to keep.
This the exact opposite of what the devious, sly menuval always tells
us: that it's all worthless if we eventually fall. Don't believe him,
it's a big lie.
Taken from an
article by Rabbi Avi Shafran on
for the full article).
Among the collected letters of Rav Yitzchok Hutner,
zt"l, is one that was written to a talmid whose own, earlier, letter to the
Rosh Yeshiva had apparently evidenced the student's despondence over his
personal spiritual failures. The Rosh Yeshiva's response provides nourishing
food for thought.
Citing the saying that one can "lose battles but win wars," Rav Hutner
explains that what makes life meaningful is not beatific basking in the
exclusive company of one's yetzer tov" but rather the dynamic struggle of
one's battle with the yetzer hora.
Shlomo Hamelech's maxim that "Seven times does the righteous one fall and
get up" (Mishlei, 24:16), continues Rav Hutner, does not mean that "even
after falling seven times, the righteous one manages to gets up again." What
it really means, he explains, is that it is only and precisely through
repeated falls that a person truly achieves righteousness. The struggles –
even the failures – are inherent elements of what can, with determination
and perseverance, become an ultimate victory.
One of the users on
claims that two pieces of Chizuk helped
him as a Bachur never to give up. See yesterday's Chizuk e-mail
for the first piece. Today, we
bring you the second piece, which happens to be this very letter from Rav
Hutner. Here are his words:
R' Hutner wrote to a talmid that
complained to him that the rotten menuval was giving him a hard time. He
discusses the pasuk "Sheva yipol tzadik vekum" and he explains that it's
the falling (7 times) that makes the person in to a tzadik. It's a very
powerful letter, and he ends off saying (based on Chaza"l in Biraishis
that "tov meod" refers to the "yetzer harah") and he writes: "Had I
received a letter from you saying that everything is great in your
avodas hashem I would of said it was a good letter. Now that you wrote
me what you did, I say it's a
very good letter."
This was a great chizuk to
"Rabbeinu Yonah discusses various
barriers to teshuva in Sha'arei Teshuva. But perhaps the greatest barrier
most of us experience is a lack of belief in our capacity to change"...
Yonason Rosenblum in an article on
here for the full article).
The Biggest Obstacle
Just about anyone who acts sexually addictive has made
some attempt to stop. It might have been only for a day, but they tried -
and they failed. If you've tried to overcome sex addiction before and
weren't able to, the biggest barrier to your success is believing you cannot
Let's imagine you wanted to teach a kid how to ride a
bike. You've taught lots of kids and you're sure this kid can make it. He
doesn't believe he can. He tried to learn before but was not taught
correctly. Now he's sick and tired of failing. You know that the only thing
holding him back is his belief that he can't do it.
Let's change the problem from learning to ride a bike
to learning how to overcome sexual addiction. Remember that the kid felt
hopeless because of his past mistakes. This same problem can become your
biggest obstacle to success. But, you are not doomed to failure. A good
counselor can help you identify those mistakes and help you correct them
before they get in your way.
But what if you don't believe that you can correct
your mistakes? Ask yourself this question: What if I'm wrong? What if my
situation isn't hopeless? What if I really can overcome my addiction?
Here's what it takes to overcome sexual addiction:
- Free will
- Hard work.
Good counseling will provide you the knowledge. Good
counseling will also help motivate you to make the free will choice to stop.
Providing the effort is up to you. Just like the kid who can learn to ride
the bike if he makes the effort, you can overcome sexual addiction, once
your efforts are properly guided.
Don't let past failures defeat you. Learn from them.
Don't give in to hopelessness. Use it to build motivation.
The first obstacle to overcoming sex addiction is not
in your genes, your childhood or your environment. The first obstacle is
the decision not to try. If you're willing to make the effort, good
counseling can guide you to success. The decision to make the effort and
find the right guidance doesn't apply only to sexual addiction. It
applies to accomplishing anything.
Dear fellow warriors,
We were at the Me'aras Hamachpelah and
Kever Rachel this morning after the Slichos of the Yud
Gimmle Midos. I davened long and hard for everyone
on the Chizuk e-mail list and the forum, and for all
those who are "Ba'im Letaher" (coming to be purified), that we
should all have special Siyatta Dishmaya this year to break
free of the Yetzer Hara's grasp once and for all. And I also davened,
that the GuardUrEyes website, chizuk list and forum, and all those who
have joined and are part of it - and who post on
the forum and have a sincere desire to come closer to Hashem, that
this entire network should all come together as one entity
before the Kisai Hakavod and should silence all the
prosecutions on Klal Yisrael in the coming year and be
Mevatel the bad decrees and bring great mercy on the Jewish people.
Yidden! So much Teshuvah is going on in the Chizuk
the forum! So many people are giving their hearts over to Hashem
and sacrificing their deepest desires and life-long habits on the
Mizbe'ach of their hearts for Hashem's glory!
United, we have a tremendous Koach. All those who
consider themselves part of our community of Yidden striving for
Kedusha, I believe that one day we will be shown incredible, earth
shaking decrees that we were able to be mevatel from Klal
Yisrael, and the tremendous chesed and shefa that
we were zoche to bring down to this world! We are cleaning out
the grime and dirt from the very bottom of the barrel, in this last
generation before Moshiach's time. We here on this list, were found
worthy by Hashem to do this job, and we rejoice in our ability to do
something so precious and important for the king!
It doesn't matter where you are holding in your
struggle right now. It is not the progress that counts, it is the
SINCERITY of each individual struggle that counts. If you are sincere in
your desire to make progress and you rely on Hashem and trust that he
will help you, then you will get there!
pre-Yom-Kippur Battle-Cry from "battleworn" on
Dear Holy Brothers, Precious Yidden, great warriors,
Yesterday we read in the Haftoroh, "Shuva Yisroel ad Hashem Elokecha Ki
Chashalta Baovonecha". The Gemarah points out that "avon" refers
to sinning intentionally while "chashalta" (you stumbled) implies
that it was unintentional. The message is, that once we've sinned, we're
bound to keep stumbling. And the solution is, to return all the way till
Hashem. Don't try to go half way, because it won't work. We don't need
to turn off our passion, rather we need to turn it to Hashem.
The "Reishis Chochma" in shaar haahava tells this story. There
was a Jewish man who got this crazy crush on the king's daughter. He managed
to tell her that he wants her, so she answered that they'll meet in the
cemetery. She meant that only when they're dead will he get anywhere near
her, but he understood what he wanted to understand. So he went to the
cemetery to wait for her and of course he waited and waited. Eventually he
came to his senses, but then something interesting happened. He decided to
take all that passion and desire that was welled up in him, and redirect it
to Hashem. He became a very great tzadik and all his berochos would be
And then the Reishis Chochma says, that one who has never had
desire for a woman, is like a donkey and even less than that. The powerful
drive that we have is not a "problem" that needs to be cured. We were given
it for a purpose, it just needs to be redirected. If we use it in the right
way, the wicked menuval won't even be able to get near us. If we learn to
experience spiritual pleasure, the despicable menuval has no chance of
enticing us with his garbage. When we have an intimate relationship with
Hashem, we don't get depressed, anxious, bored or unfulfilled etc. (Of
course the war is never over, and he will do anything he can to get you out
of that position of being close to Hashem).
Now is the time, "Dirshu Hashem bihemutzo" is referring to
the Aseres Yimei Teshuva, grab the opportunity. Perhaps find a dynamic rebbe
or at least a sefer that can change your life (they most definitely exist).
You will be shocked when you see what a great person you can become.
This is what Hashem is waiting for, and this is the greatest Nachas Ruach
for Him: To go from the lowest of the low to the highest of the high. And I
believe we can all do it.
Gmar Chasima Tova!!! and a very very successful year!!!
Just an interesting note from something I read
in the news:
"Boris Yefimov, a Russian cartoonist despised by Hitler and beloved by
Stalin, just passed away now, during Aseres Yimai Teshuvah. He was 109, old
enough to have seen the last czar pass in a coach, become friends with
Trotsky, have Stalin personally edit his cartoons and vote for Vladimir
Putin. When Yefimov was just 107, several Israeli newspapers reported that
he was very likely the oldest living Jew, though he began to practice his
religion only when he was 100".
Did you hear that Chevreh? He started keeping Mitzvos at
100 years old! It occured to me, that perhaps Hashem took him back davka
during the Aseres Yimai Teshuvah to teach us all that it is never
too late to do Teshuvah!