The Zohar in Parshas Tetzava brings an encounter between R' Shimon
Bar Yochai and a old Holy Jew who came out of the dessert. R' Shimon
asked him why he had been in the dessert and he replied that he
dwells there the whole year round and learns Torah, explaining that
he did this because the dessert belongs to the Sitrah Achrah.
Therefore, by serving Hashem there, he was subjugating the "other"
side. And the old man went on to say how the Torah can only settle
in the dessert, for the following reason (here are the words of the
there is no light besides that which comes out of darkness. And when
the "other" side is subjugated, the Master of the World
is elevated and his honor is increased. And avodas Hashem can only
be through darkness, and there can be no good, only though bad. And
when a person goes into a bad path and then leaves it, the Master of
the World's honor is elevated. And therefore, the "Shleimus"
(completion) of everything, is good and bad together - and then to
leave to the (side of) good. And there can be no good but that which
comes through bad, and from such good, Hashem is elevated. And this
is called an "avodah shleimah" (a complete service of Hashem).
Two holy Jews on our
90 Day Chart, "Be Holy" and "Ano-nymous", have
both reached yesterday 3 weeks of sobriety. They post their progress
on the "Wall
of Honor" section in the forum every day and give each other
Guys, this is what it's all about. Sincerity, Teshuvah, Ahavas
Yisrael and giving our hearts to Hashem!
I want to share with you below, two beautiful posts from "Be
Holy" (edited for clarity), where we can see how powerfully
true are the Zohar's words above. What beautiful good and what
shining lights come out of the darkest darkness!
Dear Ano, we are all together here - i am at 3 weeks and was feeling
down but i thought to myself - smile and pray! We are offering the
most important thing in this world to hashem. Until we are "rewired"
with a "ruach chadash", I try to make sure not to harp on thoughts
of wanting to act out. Instead I decided to dance until I was about
to break a sweat. I just kept smiling because that was against my
feelings. We must believe that we are bringing hashem so much nachas
- especially in our generation that is so steeped in all kinds of
immoral things. Don't you think hashem looks at us and says, this is
your mission in life and I am so proud of you! Keep up the good work
and here is a gift- a little more closeness and true joy...?
Think how amazing Chanuka will be clean! Think more about your
brachos- if you wanna act out, grab something to make a bracha on
and say it very slow, concentrating as much as you can on every
word. This seems to help me, along with spontaneous singing and
dancing, or anything active. By the way, do u do any physical
activities during the day? This is very important.
strong! The light of chanuka is coming to guide us through our
darkness. Hold on, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
huge bonus for everyone who is working in their purity is that you
begin to feel things more. Shabbos becomes real, you feel closer to
your friends, you yearn to be by other people's simchos. Your
blessings to hashem and other people take on the whole inner self.
Sometimes we may think that porn and chat lines and such things have
become part of us and how futile it is to try to get rid of them,
and we say "they are so ingrained in me!" Personally, my porn habit
goes back to my early childhood, almost 20 years!! The illusion part
of my brain and porn had become my best friends. I felt that i can
never change and thought that it's time to face the fact that I will
live with these things my whole life. Well now I scream a battle
cry! IT IS NOT TRUE!!
Hashem give us strength, and send us simple compassion! We may fall
at the battles but the war will go on and be won!!
People, this is not living!! The addiction takes over our entire
being, thoughts, actions. We feel guilty, and never feel like we are
being true to ourselves. We want to live and be free once again to
FEEL. To feel joy, pain and love. It's time to stop forgiving and
forgetting ourselves, to stop feeling bad about what we have done.
It's time to become the real me!! We know it will be hard- but that
is what life is about. We all are "wired" differently, but that is
our test!! We shall not fall at the first hurdle! Keep going and we
will be blessed with life!
"Battleworn" recently posted to someone on
our forum who was struggling with falling and trying to get back
up again. What he writes below is perhaps the most important Yesod
in beating this addiction in the long term.
of the great tzadikim rendered the pasuk "Velo sosuru acharei
levavchem ve'acharei eineichem" as follows. Don't untie your kesher
with Hashem after (acharei) you went after your eyes and after your
heart. The greatest nachas ruach for Hashem is when we keep fighting
even after we've been beaten.
What really counts, is not how long you can stay clean, rather
how consistently you keep trying your hardest!!
And here's another powerful post from Battleworn about his own
(edited a bit for clarity).
I was really starting to feel "up" lately.
hit 90 days it gave me an additional boost, then came the R' Tzvi Meirs
daughters chasuna and I really started feeling like I'm getting back
to the good days of Davening, learning, shmiras einayim and simcha.
The menuval was of course not ready to give in without a serious
fight though. So first he got me down with his usual weapon of some
trouble at home. Then he filled up my regular email box with a bunch
of spam, which were all links to bad sites. I didn't click any of
them but having it put in front of me like that was very unsettling.
Then he got me super curious about the kind of stuff that I wrote
about in my story (like "what happens if you search in images with
this or that word with safe search on?"). Baruch Hashem I wasn't
MZ'L - not even close, I didn't go to any porn sites and I didn't
gaze at bad stuff. But I did see a lot of bad stuff in passing, and
of course I was left even more unsettled and desperatly curious than
before. There was this one thing that I just desperatly wanted to
check out the next time I was by the computer, and I didn't feel
like I could control it.
Then I went to the last Sheva Berochos (of R' Tzvi Meir's daughter).
As I danced my kishkus out, I realized that I'm totally ready to die
for Hashem, but to shecht the y'h is harder than dying. But after
dancing enough, I made two very strong kabolos. I will not play
around with searches and stuff like that at all for the next two
months (I will only search for something that I specifically need),
and I will not ever pursue this stupidity that I was so
curious about, even if I have to suffer or die from it. I came out
of that Sheva Berochos a new person, and right now I'm realizing
that once I made these kabalos, this stupid curiosity that wouldn't
leave me alone for a minute for two days, suddenly went away.
We can all learn from what Battleworn writes above, what makes a
The Chassidic Sefarim speak about how we are able to learn true
Ahavas Hashem from Shechem Ben Chamor in this past week's Parsha.
The Torah uses four different descriptions for Shechem's infatuation
with Dinah, in the following order:
interesting to note that the order of Shechem's "infatuation" with
Dinah seems to diminish as the Pesukim go on. At first the Torah
uses the Lashon of Deveikus, which means "one with" and "Completely
Attached to". Then the Torah uses the word "love", then "desire",
and lastly the word "Chafetz" is used, meaning simply "wants".
Perhaps in teaching us how to love Hashem, the Torah is first
teaching us the nature of "false" infatuations so that we can
fulfill the Pasuk
"Ohavei Hashem, Sinu Ra". When it comes to "Ra" - the fleeting passions of the
Yetzer Hara, the order of intensity diminishes quickly over time. As
all addicts will tell you, the first time was the best. Often an
addict will spend the rest of his entire life sunk into the
addiction, trying to recapture that "first time". As we see in the
Eulogy that Rabbi Twerski sent to Jack on
this page, the addict writes: "You played games with me and
teased me. You never did make me as comfertable as you did at first".
But when it comes to love of Hashem, the order is reversed. The
first step is "Chafetz" where the person "wants" to get closer to
Hashem. And if they "want" enough, Hashem helps them to find true
"Cheishek" in Avodas Hashem. And that leads to "Love of Hashem",
which ultimately leads to the highest Madrega - a complete Deveikus
with Hakadosh Baruch Hu - as the Pasuk says
See also Chizuk E-mail #17 on
this page, for something beautiful along a similar
you've tried everything and still can't break free - you need a week
off, to get away from the computer, cell phones, etc. and focus on
Elya K - the moderator of our 12-Step phone groups and hot-line,
would like to invite you to a week of group therapy and a trauma
healing workshop in the Experiential Healing Center in Tennessee.
This is an intense week of therapy, mindfulness, relaxation and
healing. There will be a charge (in the $2000 range) but as Elya
says: "I can tell you from personal experience that it is worth
See here how
just such a group helped Elya himself, a few years ago.
will be only religious men, from our forum, chizuk e-mail lists and
phone groups. It won't be over Shabbos (probably Sunday - Thursday).
GLATT KOSHER FOOD WILL BE PROVIDED, cooked by Elya's wife.
There is a Minyan some 8 miles from the site, and transportation
will be provided at least once a day. Sleeping will be at the
center, and there will be group therapy most of the day. Early
morning is for davening, lecturing and meditation. Night time is
usually free time and a fun activity.
would like to see if there is interest before we set a date. Write
Elya K or email@example.com.
In previous Chizuk e-mails we had brought parts
of a fascinating article called "The Psychological Factors in
Sexual Acting Out" by Dr. Benzion Sorotzkin, a religious
psychologist and therapist. Understanding the root of the
subconscious nature of the addiction can help one to fight it
better, either on his own, or preferably
Chizuk e-mail #248 (scroll down)
Chizuk e-mail #251
Chizuk e-mail #348 (scroll down)
We bring the final section of this article here below:
Other factors that
enhance the illusion
There is often another factor that makes it
especially difficult to control these impulses by some people. Those
who grew up in homes that were especially harsh and punitive were
often led to feel that the Torah's limitations on sexual expression
exist for the sole purpose of depriving them of pleasure. No one has
attempted to explain to them that it is for the person's own
benefit, even in this world. When a person experiences multiple
emotional deprivations in his life, this additional perceived
deprivation can seem intolerable, thereby enhancing the appeal of
If the family puts undue emphasis on external values, such as
physical beauty, or impressing others, this can also enhance the
appeal of pornography (the ultimate chitzonious). Sadly, this
emphasis is not limited to secular culture. It is alive and well in
the religious community as well.
Another manifestation of a simplistic and
superficial perspective on this issue is the wide-spread belief that
getting married will solve these problems. Here too, if we were
dealing with a normal yetzer hara, this would likely be true. Since
we are dealing with a manifestation of a frustrated emotional need
this "solution" is, unfortunately, not effective. Understanding this
point will help us be less surprised that a person would seem to
prefer to act out in a solitary manner because of the illusion of
intimacy rather than by interacting with someone he professes to
love where he could enjoy true intimacy. However, if we appreciate
that adult intimacy is bi-directional where each partner needs to
consider the needs of the other in addition to their own, we can
better understand this phenomena. The emotionally deprived person is
looking for the intimacy of a parent with a small child where the
caring is unidirectional. Often he can only find it within the
illusions accompanying solitary self-soothing.
This seeking of a unidirectional relationship is sometimes
manifested by a person in a committed relationship acting out with
another person who is being paid. The payment obligates the provider
to focus totally on the needs of the customer. Of course, the fact
that the provider's motivation is purely financial makes this
"solution" as short lived as the illusion.
between acting out and "emunah issues"
Chazal speak about the association between
sexual acting out and emunah issues (e.g., Sanhedrin 63b). I would
like to briefly touch upon a psychological aspect of this
association that I have encountered in my clinical work. A frum
person who is acting out sexually (or in any other serious manner)
will experience intense guilt and profound shame. He will see
himself as worthless and deserving of severe punishment, especially
if his parents responded to his childhood misbehaviors with intense
criticism and/or rejection. This will drive him to intensify his
efforts at controlling his behavior. Unfortunately, these efforts
will most often turn out to be ineffective since the effort involves
suppression due to terror as opposed to change resulting from
growth. The failure to change intensifies the self-loathing and
terror of retribution. At some point the person will develop a
strong resentment toward Hashem/Yiddishkiet for putting him into
this untenable situation and so he becomes alienated from
Yiddishkeit. Or as one young man put it: "It's not that you don't
believe in G-D, it's just that you don't want anything to do with
Him. Just like I don't want anything to do with my [abusive] father,
even though I believe he exists!"
In conclusion, to be successful in overcoming addictions to
sexual acting out, it is important to understand the psychological
factors that can transform a "normal" yetzer hara into an addiction.
Even more importantly, is the role such an understanding could
play in prevention. When children are raised to be emotionally
healthy, they are spared from dealing with yetzer haras beyond the
For the full article by Dr. Benzion Sorotzkin on-line
"Battleworn" recently posted the following powerful
the forum from a Shmooze by R' Tzvi Meir Zilberberg - Shvi'ee
Shel Pesach 5759 (edited for clarity):
The Chozeh from Lublin, The Beer Mayim Chaim, R' Hershele of
Ziditshov, R' Tzadok Hacohen and other tzadikim all said:
When a person feels "I blew it already, I messed up this time", and
yet he still doesn't give up and keeps trying to salvage what he
could - ignoring the fact that he already failed (R' Tvi Meir calls
"Kum B'palgus Laila -
getting up in middle of the night"
in the words of the Zohar Hakadosh), then the Nachas Ruach that he
makes for Hashem is even greater than when one is completely
successful. And this is the epitome of
Shechina Ba'tochtonim (bringing the divine presnece into the lower world) which we know
is the purpose of creation.
This type of Avodah is the greatest form of mesirus nefesh,
because it is completely against human nature, as there is no short
The yesod is hinted to in parshas Vayishlach. The Pasuk says
"Vayei'avek ish emo ad alos hashachar -
and the Malach faught with him until the morning broke". Chazal say that the Lashon of
comes to teach us that
"He'elu avak ad kisei hakavod -
they lifted dust until the Throne of Glory".
R' Tzvi Meir explains that through the struggle that Yaakov Avinu
had with the "other side", he uplifted the lowest situations - the
dust of the earth - all the way to the
Kisei Hakavod ! [As a matter of fact, we don't find any hint
in the pasuk that Yaakov overpowered the malach. On the contrary,
the malach actually wounded him. But because Yaakov wouldn't give up
even after he was wounded, the "other side" was forced to
"agree" to bless him. This is to show us
(Maseh Avos Siman La'banim) that the tikun hashalem will ultimately come through our not
Perhaps the greatest illustration of this, is by Yoseph Hatzadik, in
this weeks Parsha. The gemoroh (in sotah 36b) says, that Yoseph
actually came in to Potifar's house to sin (as Rashi brings). And
the Gemoroh says that he actually spilled seed at the time, thereby
losing Ten Shevatim that were supposed to come from him. Yet, when
after all that, he still held back from sinning, he became the great
Yosef Hatzadik (the Merkava for Midas Hayesod and one of the seven
R' Tzadok and other tzadikim explain that this is what really
constituted the nisoyon. The menuval said to Yoseph: Don't you see
that you already messed everything up? And don't you realize what a
goner you are? Your brothers the Shevatim, already paskened that you
are chayav misa, and they even included the Shechina Hakidosha in
their Beis Din. (Even Yitzchak Avinu who knew where Yoseph is,
didn't tell because Hashem had been included in the Shvuah not to
reveal it to Yaakov). Nobody cares about you any more. You're lost
and cut off from this world and the next. And now you failed so
badly. Face the facts, it's over!
But Yoseph Hatzadik said "No! I don't care about anything - not
even about being a tzadik. The only thing that concerns me is:
What do I need to do at this moment? What does our father in heaven
want from me right now?
And it was in that zechus that he was zocheh to everything. That is
why he is called Yosef Hatzaddik. And even Krias yam suf was
in his zechus, as Chazal say
"Hayam raah vayonos - ma raah? arono shel Yoseph!
sea saw and fled. What did it see? The coffin of Yosef".
When the sea saw before it a human being that had completely defied
his nature for the will of the Almighty, the sea defied its own
nature for the Almighty too, and split.
A Bachur posted his story recently on our
forum along with the tips that he uses to help him stay clean.
The story is particularly inspiring due to the fact that he is a
Ba'al teshuvah and received no Jewish Chinuch from his parents. He
is clean already for almost a year. If he can do it, we all can!
Since the story and tips were too long for one e-mail, we brought
the first part in Chizuk e-mail #350 on
this page (scroll down to the bottom). We bring you the second
part here (edited for clarity). The third and final part will be
hopefully sent in the coming days.
Knowing that I was made with a tzelem elokim and have a holy mission
in this world, is one of the devices I use to keep myself away from
taivos. These things are not fitting for a person, any person, but
especially not a Jew!
Another idea which helps, is understanding that whatever I'm
attracted to is only because my brain was wired a certain way.
Either because when I was a kid and someone saw a certain type of
woman and said 'wow, she's beautiful' or something along those
lines, or because of the media, advertisements and such. Either way,
it's all a facade and an illusion. If I was born in Kenya, I would
think fat, dark women are attractive (African kings have
disgustingly fat wives who they think are beautiful). If I were born
in Asia, I would think short, straight-hair women are attractive,
and so on. The bottom line is, none of it really means anything in
Another idea that helps is what the Ibn Ezra says on the mitzvah of
Lo sachmod. He asks, how can the Torah command us to not be jealous?
It's not really in our hands, and it's so easy to stumble in, so how
can it be a mitzvah? The answer is - says the Ibn Ezra - that just
as a pauper knows that it's not shayach for him to marry a princess
and hence he does not desire her, so too, each one of us must not
desire things that the Ribono shel Olam has not given us, since it's
not shayach for us to have them. And we should know that if we in
fact had them, it would not be good for us anyway. This idea helps
me, by understanding that at the root of the taivos is kinah
(jealousy). I find that working on uprooting kinnah, at least for
me, is easier than hand-to-hand combat against taivos and much less
"Habib613" posted the following yesterday on
Baruch Hashem, today is day 9. I cannot believe I made it this
It's incredibly difficult, especially at night when there is no one
around. But this site has helped tons! I listen to music while I
work, and it blocks out the yetzer hara!
In honor of today being Habib's 10th day - and since music
helps him so much, I added a new beautiful Niggun to the
Music Page (#20) in his honor.
To hear the tune directly
click here. It's a Soulful "Meiron" Niggun played by
Clarinet. While listening to it, picture the flames and sparks of
Rabbi Shimon's holy fire in Meiron heading skyward, and all the holy
Yidden dancing with all their strength and love for Hashem.
That fire you see in your imagination is your soul's yearning for
d'veikus with Hashem! Put on the niggun, close your eyes and FEEL
IT. Lift your arms to heaven and dance a Chassidic dance. Your soul
is yearning to fly upwards in the sparks of the fire!
Many people are accomplishing great feats of Teshuvah and turning
their lives around on the GUE network B"H. And we can all watch this
happening LIVE on
our forum every day! Here are some recent inspiring posts
(edited for clarity):
"Ano-Nymous" (a Bachur) writes:
Today is a month!! I understand now why it gets so much easier.
Unlike the drive for food and drink, this drive doesn't NEED to be
fed in order to stay healthy and happy (of course the YH tries to
convince you that it does need to be fed). The less you feed it, the
less you need it.
Before I started working on this I wasn't davening with a Minyan
very often. With Maariv tonight though, that will be 9 straight
tefilos with a minyan!
Whenever a bad thought comes in, I think of an image of a beautiful
waterfall, and the bad images leave immediately. I'm working on not
staring in the streets. A couple times I had to literally tear my
head away. This is so hard sometimes that it hurts me to do it. But
stopping the other behaviors is not nearly as hard as I thought it
would be. The YH tricks you by getting you to look into the future.
He says "look how much you enjoy this! How are you going to go
without this for such a long time?". He used this to keep me from
seriously trying to stop for years, but now I just look at today.
And I also look backwards and see how far I've come. But I try not
to look ahead at the difficulty. I only look forward to the
milestones. Trying to imagine how hard it will be for the next 60
days is like looking down from atop a tightrope. You will fall and
severely hurt yourself. So, DON'T LOOK DOWN! Just look at today.
Here are three inspiring posts by "getting
I feel so relived to finally get the help I
need. I am excited that I am slowly getting there, to a place where
I can feel really feel positive about my entire life. For over 30
yrs I have been a slave to porn and other unhealthy things. To say
that I am really making big strides in overcoming this, is such a
comfort. I want it all, the happy family, the great relationship
with my wife and kids, success at work, spiritual growth and a
special closeness to Hashem. Yes, I know it is all possible now!
Thank G_D I have made it thru this day. I was
tested, but usually I would get lost in hours of hours of internet
porn, instead I went here to post my thoughts. It is truly amazing
how much I can get lost in escaping to the internet, and for what?
The feeling of despair and self loathing is so not worth it. I hope
I have the strength to do this on a daily basis. Getting clean and
feeling better are feelings that I can take home with me, rather
than the guilt I used to take home when I would spend hours online.
Whew, what an eye opening day!!!!
Made it to day 7!!! I have installed a K9 filter which is quite
good. I am finally starting to feel deserving of Hashem's mercy and
chessed. I am so much more relaxed and calm. For some strange
reason, this being my first week, I feel very accomplished and
closer to myself. I know that the future probably has many pitfalls
waiting for me, but B"H I have my Rebbe, my Doctor and this site to
get the help I need. The desire to still get online and surf from
site to site is still really strong. But it is overwhelming to think
how much the y'h can seduce me into soiling my neshama, even at the
risk of losing it all - my wife, kids, job, friends. Never do I want
to be so low again. I am starting to feel clean and healthy for the
first time. The fact that I am laying the foundation to a pure and
clean life is such an amazing inspiration for me. I never realized
that by keeping away from this garbage I can feel so good about
myself. I guess the way I am thinking and acting recently has
enabled me to be a proper and clean "kli" to accept Hashems help.
Like we mentioned in yesterday's e-mail, B"H many people are
accomplishing great feats of Teshuvah and turning their lives around
on the GUE network. And we can all watch this happening LIVE on
our forum every day!
Here are three inspiring posts by "Be Holy"
from the beginning of the week (edited for clarity):
Here I am on day 24, may Hashem fill all of
our hearts with love. I went to Karlin Stolin this Shabbos morning
for davening. They don't sing but they do scream for pesukei d'zimra.
It was amazing, I was almost sweating - "nishmas kol chai" was so
real! We are like malachim people. If we believe we can do it, we
will. R' Zvi Meir says that the problem today is that nobody has any
goals anymore!! This web site helps up reach our goals. A friend
told me a good saying: "A goy hopes, a Jew believes!".
Believe that Hashem wants to test us only in order to give us schar
I feel Hashem is testing me from all sides,
but if we do not work to get holy eyes, how will we ever see Kedusha?
Like we daven every day, "v'sechazena eneinu" our eyes will
see Hashem's return to tzion, but will impure eyes see??? No they
won't- but a promise from Rebbe Zvi Meir is that if someone is
working on an avodah now -even if they have not obtained it yet-
when moshiach comes they will be mashlim (complete) that avodah. Let
us all bring ourselves together - we must daven for each other.
Let's thank hashem for everything he gives up - see the miracles of
health, wife, children, ect... then we can thank Hashem and ask that
we be able to serve him wholeheartedly. He will listen!
25 - be strong! We must believe we are being tested. We have energy
but it was misused.. Do not fall at the first hurdle!! Keep going-
Hashem has great things in store for us in this generation, that's
why the y"h is on high alert. Imagine you are the battle chief, talk
to your generals and commanders. Look them in the eye and say "we
are headed for hard times but there is light at the end of the
tunnel". Explain to them the reward and satisfaction they will
receive when we get to the other side. I really mean this. Do it
during davening. Speak to yourself, but let Hashem listen. He is the
King and you are his general. All the powers of the world are at
your command, they really are. Look your self in the mirror for two
minutes and tell your eyes and soul "we will not fall today".
In avodas Hashem, all we need to do is want and try
and Hashem opens the heavens. Today, day 25, I need extra help - my
internet is not guarded (having trouble with my filter), my wife is
sick, and there are other things triggering me, I want to act out
and get back to what I always considered my "comfort zone". But
be'ezras Hashem I will take that fire of desire that is in me and
give it to Hashem. And hopefully at the end of the day I will post
again and laugh at this post. I am so close to falling, but let's
try just once when we feel we are going to fall, to go that extra
mile. I believe we will be laughing at the end of the day that we
even considered giving our loneliness to porn - because today my
love and loneliness goes to Hashem.
I tell myself, just as a test, daven with the fire- learn with fire,
greet and treat everyone with fire. This will change the "Aish" of
the ruach tumah to a "Aish" of ruach tehara- b"h. WE WILL SUCEED!!!
Chaunka is coming- let's get ready, starting today.
Here is some powerful Chizuk from General "Battleworn" on
the forum in honor of Chanukah (edited for clarity):
The Me'or Einayim and many other tzadikim
The Gemarah says, that we must light Ner Chanuka:
1) at night
2) lower than 10 tefachim
4) on the left side
5) starting at the end of the month (when the moon, which represents
Am Yisroel, is disappearing)
6) on the longest night of the year
(GUE comment: I personally verified this by
checking sunrise and sunset on an Israeli calendar).
All these things represent darkness, distance and weakness. The
night, of course, represents darkness and galus. Lower than 10
tefachim is the place where the gemarah says, the Shechina never
goes. "Outside" represents distance and tumah, and "Reshus Harabim"
is, according to kabalah, the place of the "sitra achara". "Left"
represents weakness and harshness.
We are told to go davka to that place and at that time, and
to light a candle. Not to banish the darkness, though that will
indeed be the end result, but just to light a little candle. The
darkness is still there and the candle even burns out. But tomorrow
we'll be back, ignoring yesterday's seeming lack of success, and we
will light two candles...
It is these little lights in the darkness that will bring to the
world the ultimate light like it says -"B'orcha nireh ohr".
And it these little lights, that Hashem was referring to, when He
told Aharon Hakohen, "Shelcha le'olam kayum - yours will last
forever" - even in the darkest of the dark there will always be the
little lights. And this pacified Aharon, because he knew the super
power of these little lights.
The GUE network is one of the great Neros Chanuka of the world, and
the stronger the wind blows, the more we will be mischazek
together!! All of you on the forum and Chizuk e-mail lists, are
candles lighting up the darkest night!
Wishing you all a happy (in the true sense of the word), powerful,
meaningful, fruitful, successful and lechtiger Chanuka!
"Mevakesh" sent us recently the following
insight which can help awaken our yearning and hope that Moshiach is
indeed very near!
This is written in the Zohar in Parshas Balak:
"The Divine Spirit (Hashem) will go and return to Moshe Rabenu for
70 days. At the end of the 70 days, the pain of Am Israel (the
Jewish People) will ascend to the Holy King. One Synagogue in the
South will be destroyed and lost, and five true Tzaddikim will be
amongst them dead.
the end of the 32 days from the murder of the people in that
synagogue, Hashem wil put on a garment of outrage and Mashiach ben
Efraim will spread, like a ram whose horns go upwards.
the Shofar will blow three times and a tremendous noise will descend
on the world from the blowing of the Shofar and the whole world will
see & hear.
The Sitra Achara (the impurities) will be completely wiped from the
Holy Land and Yishmael will make three wars with Mashiach. Then they
will come and bow down to the Master of the Universe in Yerushalayim,
and these wars will be in the sixth millenium"
The terrorists attacked and murdered the five Kedoshim in Mumbai on
Wednesday night, November 26,2008 - Cheshvan 29.
70 days prior to November 26 was September 17, 2008 - the day the
Stock Market plunged 449 points and Islamist Militants attacked the
US Embassy in Sannaa - The capitol of Yemen.
Thirty Two days after the five Kedoshim were murdered in the Mumbai
attacks - is the 8th & Last day of Chanukah.
Once again, this doesnt mean that it WILL happen, but if if it
does, will YOU be part of it? Will YOU be one of the lucky Jews who
gets to go with Mashiach? It's up to YOU to prepare NOW. Spend time
purifying YOUR soul and making amends for sins of the past, rather
than wasting time with mundane (or worse) things and continuing to
live in sin.
Achakeh Lo B'Chol Yom SheYavo. He can arrive ANY day now, and
only those deemed worthy will go along with him.
Chanukah is all about Messiras Nefesh, which means fighting
the evil against all odds. How did the Jewish people survive for so
many thousands of years surrounded by so many enemies? It is those
few Yidden who are ready to "die" for Hashem that make all the
difference. When Hashem sees them, he steps in and saves us from our
When we feel we'd rather "die" than give in to the Menuval and
continue to be his slave, at that point Hashem steps in and fights
for us. And then, it makes no difference any more how powerful
the Yetzer Hara is, because Hashem is MUCH stronger than him.
That is the lesson of Chanukah.
~ Rabim Bi'yad
~ Giborim Bi'yad Chalashim! ~
Below is a part of a story taken from the
Hamodia (of July 17,2008) about one Iranian Jew's messiras nefesh
for Mitzvos. This story is not from many years ago, nor is it from
some super-man or Gadol. It's just the Messiras Nefesh of a simple
Jew in our day and age.
Does our Messiras Nefesh of saying "no" to the shmutz and garbage
(which is anyway bad for us!) compare to the Messiras Nefesh of this
man? How fortunate are we that Hashem has given us an opportunity to
show him at least "something", each time we turn our hearts away
from false desires!
Let us all decide today, on Chanukah - the Chag of Messiras
Nefesh, that we would rather die than continue to be
slaves to the Yetzer Hara! And then we will be Zoche to the great
light and Yeshua of Chanukah, where Hashem will step in and
give over the great and powerful Menuval into our hands!
About a month ago, a Bachur posted his story on our
forum along with the tips that he uses to help him stay clean.
Like we mentioned before, the story is particularly inspiring due to
the fact that he is unmarried and a Ba'al teshuvah, having received
no Jewish Chinuch from his parents. He is clean already for almost a
year. If he can do it, we all can!
Since the story and tips were too long for one e-mail, we divided it
into 3 parts. The first part was in Chizuk e-mail #350 on
this page (scroll down to the bottom). The second part was in
Chizuk e-mail #356 on
this page, and we bring you the third and final part below:
Here are some other tips that help me.
Thinking of my Hebrew name
- Thinking of my Rebbe standing right next to me
- Thinking that by resisting, I'm saving my children from being
tempted with this problem (maysah avos, siman lebanim)
- Thinking that flesh is the same as the chicken I ate last night
for supper, and that it's just a bunch of chemicals that G-d put
together in seamless fashion to protect our bodies, not to hurt our
- Thinking about olam haba, and how the "kav hayashar" says that
your limbs in the next world are affected by what you do here. So if
you look at bad things, your eyes will be gauged out, and you will
walk around with them hanging from their sockets
- Thinking about the damage it does to my avodas hashem and my
- Knowing that Torah and Taiva are enemies; one forces the other
out, and they cannot coexist
- Thinking that the prutzos are meant for the goyim and people who
are lowly; not for the loftiness of klal yisroel
- Knowing that when moshiach comes, or when, after 120 years, I
stand before Hashem in Din, there will be no excuses
- Thinking that a tzelem elokim, a piece of G-d himself, cannot be
submerged in this tumah - the Tzelem must leave when the tumah comes
- Thinking of the 'ohr haganuz', the hidden light for people who
control themselves, that is promised in olam haba
- Having the privilege and zchus to be among those of klal yisroel
who are fighting the good fight for kedushah
- Thinking of what the "kav hayashar" that says, that when you look
at a girl, she robs you of your kochos; I need my kochos for
learning and davening; I'm tired enough as it is in shiur, I can't
afford to give up any more kochos!
- Two words: Yosef HaTzadik
- Imagining what they're saying in shomayim, besha'as mayseh, and
imagine what they'll say if you try hard not to fall!
- Sheva pa'amim yipol tzadik, vekam - the letter from Rav Hutner
about this helped me incredibly, imagining that I've fallen so many
times, again and again, even when I was trying, and yet, I can still
be a tzadik, there's always still hope! And it is davka
because of the falling that when I rise, it will be all the better!
hope someone will be helped by my story; many others here have been
through worse than mine, but I felt that being a baal teshuvah made
things different for me. I'm sure there are others in similar
situations who need help, and I hope this will reach them.
Dear Holy Bachur! Halevai we should all be Balei Teshuvah
Below are excerpts from the SA pamphlet called "Why Stop Lusting"
www.sa.org. Rabbi Avraham J. Twerski believes that joining a
12-Step SA group is the most powerful and sure way to break free of
this addiction. However, even Rabbi Twerski agrees that it is not
for everyone. It is for people who have decided that they can no
longer live this way. They have come to the conclusion that even
death itself would be better than continuing to be a slave to these
destructive behaviors. For such people, the SA groups and 12-Steps
are the most sure way to success.
However, regardless of whether the groups are for you or not, much
of what is written below can be helpful for anyone trying to
understand the nature of the addiction and how to break free. We
have divided the pamphlet into two parts. Below is the first half,
tomorow we will bring the second half IY"H.
Why Stop Lusting?
Many of us came to Sexaholics Anonymous (SA)
driven to total despair by our destructive sexual thoughts and
behaviors. Within the meeting rooms of SA we discovered, to our
surprise, that lust was the driving force behind our acting out.
Sexual lust is an inordinate thought or feeling that drives us to
use ourselves, others, or things for self-centered destructive
purposes. The spiritual sickness of lust wants sexual stimulation at
that moment instead of what a Higher Power or God is offering us.
Later we come to see that lust wants anything other than what is
offered us each moment. At first it was hard to believe. As we
began to accept this fact, we wondered how we could live without
lust. It became clear that we had to give it up, yet we doubted that
life without lust was possible. In this fellowship of SA, we met
people who had found a way to stop their destructive sexual
behaviors. That too was unbelievable. Yet, by their honesty and
shining faces, we knew it was true. They had the answer we
Why Can't I Lust,
Just A Little?
From the earliest days of our disease, we thought lust was our
friend. We used it for many reasons: entertainment, as a refuge from
pain, or to escape dealing with problems. Somewhere along the way we
realized that lust had become a bigger problem than the problems we
were trying to avoid. The medicine became our poison. Our "solution"
became the problem. We were out of control. Lusting, for us, is like
riding a roller coaster. Once started, it is nearly impossible to
stop. Therefore, lust must be stopped where it begins, with the
first drink. Getting out from under the influence of lust,
therefore, would require us to avoid getting on board in the first
place. That meant forsaking the thrill and the risk-taking. But how
could we turn our backs on something that we had allowed to dominate
our lives for so many years? How could we succeed now where we had
failed a thousand times before? Our addiction to lust is like the
alcoholic's problem with alcohol. Just as the alcoholic cannot
tolerate one drink of alcohol, we sexaholics cannot tolerate even
the smallest drink of lust. Lust always leads to more lust,
eventually making us drunk with it. Once drunk, the urge to act out
sexually is impossible to resist. Even worse, lust keeps taking us
deeper and deeper into behaviors we promised ourselves we would
never do. The shame that these behaviors caused us required more and
more lust to mask it. Just a little lusting simply doesn't work for
sexaholics like us.
Below are excerpts from the SA pamphlet called "Why Stop Lusting"
www.sa.org. We divided the pamphlet into three parts,
the first of which we brought yesterday (see #362 above). Below is
the second part and tomorrow we will bring the last part IY"H.
It is important to note that this was written by non-Jews. How much
more so does this apply to us Yidden, children of Avraham Yitzchak
and Yaakov, chosen by Hashem to be a "a light unto the nations"
and a "Mamleches Kohanim Ve'goy Kadosh"!
How Can I Stop
First, we accepted that our entertaining lust
leads to sexual acting out. The idea that we could stop the
undesirable sexual behaviors while allowing lust to live in our
minds had to be destroyed. The conclusion was inescapable: lust
had to go if we were to quit the sexual acting out.
Second, we admitted we did not have the strength within ourselves to
stop and that we needed a power greater than ourselves. Recognizing
our weakness, we acknowledge our need for
the 12 Step recovery process, the support of other recovering
members and the power of God.
Third, we made a decision to follow SA's simple program of recovery.
These became the keys to experiencing progressive victory over lust.
We stopped fighting lust and started surrendering it to God. Having
moved beyond the point of despair, we were finally able to give
ourselves completely to this program of recovery known as the 12
But What Will
Happen To Me?
We who have lived with the problem of lust know
all too well what it does to us. Lust is a wall that separates us
and keeps us from enjoying full relationships with God and the
people around us. Lust drives us deeper and deeper inside ourselves
and leads to isolation, loneliness, and despair. But, as we break
the cycle of lust by taking the Steps of recovery, our experience of
life begins to change dramatically. As we begin to recover, we gain
a new sense of integrity that makes us happy to be alive. No more
hiding! No more lies! No more double life! As the burden of guilt
and shame is lifted, we have more energy available for family and
friends, work and play. A troubled and dark countenance gives way to
a life that is happy, joyous, and free.
Today, Ephraim posted on the "Wall
of Honor" section of the forum:
not that new to this site, but I finally have the courage to commit
myself to this project. I am single and have been trying to overcome
this for many years. I just started going to SA meetings and have a
sponsor and it's been a big help. I was a bit apprehensive at first
but once I got used to it, It feels so good after each meeting. I
want to join the wall of honor. I've been clean for 6 days and I'm
going strong. I haven't been clean for this long in at least a few
months. I try not to go online so often, so this will only be
updated every few days. There are so many people here making such
great strides and I would like to add to the momentum.
good piece of
Jewish music can always help banish the Yetzer Hara.
Click here to download a beautiful Niggun from
Ma'oz Tzur, sung in honor of the Kedoshim of Mumbai, India.
Below are excerpts from the SA pamphlet called "Why Stop Lusting"
www.sa.org. We divided the pamphlet into three parts.
The first two parts we brought in e-mails 362 and 363 on
this page. Below is the last part.
This Shabbos is a very powerful time to make changes in our lives
for the better. Shabbos on its own is already the holiest day of the
year. Add to that Chanukah - the time of
for Hashem - and Rosh Chodesh -
"Z'man Kappara Lechol Toldosum",
and you have an atom bomb of Kedusha!
Let's make descisions this Shabbos Rosh Chodesh Chanukah - that will
stay with us for LIFE.
Breaking The Lust
From personal experience we know lust is cunning, baffling,
powerful, and patient. In the day-to-day grind, we wonder how might
we win against such a foe that never sleeps and never quits?
In the past, when lust came knocking, we always opened the door. It
was as if we had no other option. But today in recovery we do have a
choice. There are many tools that we can use to keep the door closed
to lust. Here are a few:
For so long, we were afraid to tell anyone what was really going on
in our heads. By keeping it a secret, we allowed our addictive
thinking to grow and spread. By sharing our thoughts and actions
with others in SA, we discovered that much of the power of lust was
removed. Therefore, members of SA are encouraged to share honestly,
both in and out of meetings.
Avoiding Triggers - Many things can trigger lust: movies, magazines, swimming pools,
the Internet, even some things in the morning newspaper. Certainly
there are endless opportunities to lust. By examining our personal
lives closely and honestly, we can identify the thoughts, persons,
places, and things that regularly cause us the most trouble. Having
identified them, we now make decisions to avoid them, thus reducing
our temptation to lust.
We use prayers of all kinds to drive away lust. One quick prayer is,
"God, help me." Many of us ask God to bless the person we are
wanting to lust after. We ask God to provide that person with all
the good things we desire for our own lives. By doing so, we stop
making that person a lust object, but rather a child of God. Another
simple prayer requests, "God, whatever I am looking for in that
person, may I find in you."
A sponsor is a more experienced recovering person who guides us
through the Twelve Steps of recovery. Ideally, a sponsor is working
the Steps, going to meetings, and has a sponsor himself or herself.
A sponsor can help us use the Steps to surrender the obsession with
lust in order to live a balanced and joyful life.
How do we know these tools work? The experience of thousands of
recovering Sexaholics indicates it is working in their lives, one
day at a time.
There Is Hope!
Progressive victory over lust is possible. We call on God for help;
we lean on others for support; and we take the Steps of SA to
recover. Anyone who follows this plan is sure to find great relief
from the onslaught of lust.
Remember, lust will not disappear overnight. Take it one step at a
time, one day at a time. Lust is tenacious; it does not give up
easily. Our experience, however, has shown that anyone afflicted
with sexaholism can get better if he or she is willing to be honest
about the problem and follow the Twelve Steps and Traditions of SA's
program of recovery. A life of freedom is available to all.
Remember, you are not alone! There are many others who share your
problem but are in recovery and are waiting now to help you walk
down this path. You need never be alone again.
Come, join us.
Today, Ephraim posted his second post on the "Wall
of Honor" section of the forum:
sponsor has just put a filter on my computer, and I'm adding another
SA meeting to my schedule. I haven't felt this great in so long.
Yes, there are still many times in my day that I feel the need to
act out. But I notice that I only feel that need when I'm nervous
and fidgety. So I tell myself that I just have to wait for the
anxious feeling to subside and I won't feel that urge. And it works!
So now I just have to work on knowing when those feelings come and
how they go away. And hopefully through that, I will understand
what's triggering my need to act out.
Thank you for your encouragement and for giving me this forum to
clarify my thoughts and feelings.
Taken from today's news at
Israeli cabinet this morning approved the mobilization of thousands
of reservists to support Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip.
Ministers okayed defense officials' request to call-up of 4,500
reserve troops, in addition to 2,000 who were mobilized on Shabbos.
The additional troops were to be allocated to the home front as well
as the reinforcement of ground forces.
What does this have
to do with us?
This world and the upper worlds are directly connected. Whatever
happens in this world is only a branch of the
root in the upper worlds. On Chanukah there is a powerful
spiritual force of good winning over evil.
This manifested itself in the time of the Chashmona'im in the
physical reality, through the merit of the Messiras Nefesh of
the Yidden to fight evil. And ever since then, the same great light
comes down to the world on Chanukah each year and dances in the
lights of the Menorah, lighting up the night and banishing the
Today in Eretz Yisrael, the Jewish people are under attack once
again and the forces of evil have reared their ugly head. And once
again - on Chanukah, the Jewish people have begun a war to strike
back and vanquish the evil.
But Yidden! This battle is not fought only in the physical world.
Having begun on Chanukah, this war clearly has its roots in the
upper worlds. The forces of evil may manifest themselves today as
Islamic extremists, but whenever evil rears its ugly head it takes
it's strength from the darkness of the Yetzer Hara.
THIS IS A BATTLE CALL
TO US ALL!
Are we going to let the 6,500 Jewish soldiers who were just called
up to risk their lives and enter the hornets nest in Gaza - to fight
alone?! Their entire strength comes from the spiritual battle that
we Yidden fight with the Yetzer Hara each day. Each and every one
of us bears the responsibility to make sure that Klal Yisrael
triumphs over evil. Every time we say "no" to our Yetzer Hara,
the side of good is strengthened and our enemies fall!
But just saying "no" once in a while is not enough. Why did the
Israeli government finally decide to go to war now? Because they
tried leaving Gaza, they tried making peace, they even tried
extending the so-called "truce", but in the end nothing helped and
so they finally decided enough is enough!
It is the same with the Yetzer Hara. Enough is enough!! We
have tried everything and yet we kept falling. He claimed that all
he wants is "one more time" but he is never satisfied. He promised
us pleasure but he brings us only pain. He claimed that he is our
friend, but he wants our very souls. It is time to take the gloves
off and decide finally once and for all, we will do whatever it
takes not be slaves to the Yetzer Hara any more!
We will bomb from the air and charge from the ground. We will join
weekly phone conferences, we will look into
therapy options, we will call
the hotline, we will read the
Chizuk e-mail archives and
Tips section when we feel weak - a little each time, we will get
accountability partner and we will post a log of our progress
on the forum. We will not rest our laurels anymore. We have
learned the hard way that one cannot make peace with the Yetzer
Who knows if this war now in Eretz Yisrael is not the last war
before the Moshiach finally arrives? (at the end of e-mail #359
this page we brought an interesting Zohar that implies
big things for the last day of Chanukah). The Zohar also says
that the final redemption will come about thrrough the merit of
Shmiras Habris. Let us join forces with the Yidden in Eretz Yisrael
in this trying time. Let us mobilize our strengths, all of us on
this e-mail list and forum, and let us fight together with the
Yidden in Eretz Yisrael and win, WHATEVER IT TAKES!
"Chanukah War" picture below to see it full size.
40th day clean on
the forum (and also
40th day clean!) we bring to you an inspirational niggun called
"Kah Echsof" composed by R'Ahron of Karlin - a Talmid of the Magid of Mezritch.
R'Ahron made over 70,000 Ba'lai Teshuvah in his short life.
Huge crowds of yidden used to gather around him when he used to
speak and daven in the market places and in the Shuls, and he used
to bring them all - including the biggest sinners - to a complete
Teshuvah, through the fire of his Avodah and intense love and
fear of Hashem.
"Kah Echsof" is a song of the deepest yearning for Hashem.
Click here to play the Niggun.
(Put it on as you read the e-mail below)
Taken from today's news at
Arutz Sheva :
Deployed at Gaza Barrier;
Barak: War to the Death.
our Chanukah "war picture"
It says in a lot of sefarim that "Zos Chanukah" (the eighth
day of Chanukah) is the last chance for Teshuvah, as far as the
judgment of Rosh Hashana is concerned. A person's final chasimah
(the sealing of his fate) can still be altered on "Zos Chanukah".
Battleworn posted on
Divrei Chayim says, that on zos chanuka every yid can accomplish
(through tefila) what only a great tzadik can accomplish on Yom
Daven! Cry! Do Teshuva! Now is the time!!!
Dear Yidden, this Chanukah war in Israel is going to be fought soon
by thousands of Jewish soldiers on the ground. Gaza is is
booby-trapped with hundreds of Hizbullah-like underground bunkers
that killed many soldiers R"L in the Second Lebanon War two years
ago. They need our help. Klal Yisrael needs YOU,
NOW. Let us fight this battle in the spiritual realm.
What we do there, directly impacts the physical reality. Why should
only these soldiers be Mosser Nefesh?! It's time for US
to show a little Messiras Nefesh as well!
Let us all shout inside ourselves: THIS IS A WAR TO THE
DEATH! Decide today: It's either me or him. Only one of
us is going to survive.
As soon as we show that type of Messiras Nefesh, Hashem will
step in and give over the
Giborim Biyad Chalashim.
And Zos Chanukah is the most opportune time for this
People, if you had falls on this Chanukah, don't feel down about it.
"Hakaras hara" (recognizing the evil) is a prerequisite to
Teshuvah. Hashem often lets a person fall, only so that he should
realize how insidious the addiction is and how he must take new
and better steps to protect himself!
Jack once posted on
important aspect that is emphasized on this site is that a person
gets up 7 times after falling BEFORE he becomes a tzaddik. It's only
after the 7th fall/getting up cycle that he's called a Tzaddik! Why?
Because falling is part of the process! But we have to get
up. I failed for 38 years. I'm not at all saying that I'm a tzaddik,
but I AM saying that I knew this posuk, and therefore I NEVER lost
hope in myself. The successful person, in ANYTHING, is NOT someone
who never fell, it's the person who fell and then got up! The
failure is the person who fell but DIDN'T get up. The people on this
site will help you get up - use them, that's what they're here for -
they're not here for ANY OTHER REASON!
Elya once posted on
addiction (YH) tells us that we can do Teshuva by passing by places
we used to go, just to say we passed by and didn't go in again, or
didn't meet that person again. But this is a setup, because when
you do it enough times you will go back to it.
It's like this story in 6 chapters:
Chapter 1: I walk down the street, I see a hole, I fall in.
Chapter 2: I walk down the street, I see a hole, I fall in, I get
Chapter 3: I walk down the street, I see a hole, I walk around
Chapter 4: I walk down the street, I see a hole, I cross to the
Chapter 5: I walk down the other side of the street
Chapter 6: I walk down a different street.
This is the story of recovery... setting boundaries, falling
sometimes, getting back up, learning from the falls and yet you keep
Zos Chanukah, let us decide finally that we will walk down
a different street!
We should never think that we are above falling and let our guard
down. "Jack" posted recently on
the forum a story of Rabbi Avigdor Miller zt'l.
Rabbi Miller was once in the hospital and asked for a male nurse.
The doctors said to him "but you're an old man already!".
"Yes", replied Rabbi Miller, "but I don't want to become
Someone asked us recently after a fall for an incentive to restart
his clean count to 90 days. Off the top of my head, I wrote him the
Our sages say two things:
1) "Repent a day before you die". Since we
don't know if we will be alive tomorrow, we must always repent
TODAY. Like a saying I once heard, Lehavdil: "Live each day as if
it was your last. One day, you will be right". So if you
knew you had only one day left to live, would you continue these
self destructive behaviors?
2) And Chaza"l also say: "One must wait for Moshiach
each day". If you knew Moshiach will be here tomorrow, would
you not do your best to do Teshuvah NOW? A Jew is supposed to
live with this Emunah - that he can come any day! And once Moshiach
will be here, it will be too late. We will wish we could go
back to the time when we had Nisyonos and could still show
Hashem how much we wanted to do for him!
Both of these above are BIG incentives.
Take it one day at a time. Imagine today was your last day to live
and/or the last day before Moshiach comes. You can make it through
TODAY! Tell yourself that no matter what, just for TODAY I
will stay clean.
have a non-Jew on our Chizuk list for a long time already who has
totally broken free from the addiction to masturbation and porn for
over two years already. When we asked him what was the secret of his
determination, this was his reply:
have no secret other than the memory of the ordeal of suffering -
both physical and mental, that I went through as a consequence of
masturbation. To be quite frank, I'd rather die than experience that
living death again. Even the shame would be enough to kill me. I
know from personal experience that what the Rabbis say is true
regarding the absolute need for sexual self-control. It truly is the
foundation of manhood- and everything associated with being a more
complete human being.
I also found this passage from a book that I intend to read to be
rather inspiring. From "The Jugurthine War" by Gaius Crispus
is the unfounded complaint of mankind that they are naturally weak
and short-lived, and that it is chance, not merit, that rules their
destiny. So far is this from the truth.... The mind is the guide and
commander of life in mortal men. Where it has become the slave of
low passions and has succumbed to sloth and bodily pleasures, a
short submission to the fatal influence of lust suffices to fritter
away strength, opportunities, and intellect, in idleness, and then
the weakness of our nature receives the blame, and the doers charge
circumstances with the defect that lies in themselves... The mind is
pure and eternal; itself ungoverned, as the guide of man, it moves
and governs all things. Hence we may be the more astonished at the
degradation of those who surrender themselves to bodily pleasures,
and spend their life in luxury and sloth, while they allow the
intellect, the best and noblest factor in man's nature, to become
inert from indolence and neglect..."
Staying happy, upbeat and positive is one of the biggest keys to
success in this struggle. Chanukah is over, there's war in Israel,
the cold winter lies before us and there have been falls and slips
here and there. The Yetzer Hara wants more than anything to
drag us down into depression. For an injection of SIMCHA, I just
uploaded a Leibidik niggun collection (6.30 minutes) from "Shirei
Ho'Admorim" by Piamenta.
Click here to put it on and start to dance!
matter what, we can always start again from TODAY. We need to be
PROUD of our past accomplishments. We need to be HAPPY that we are
doing the work of the King of Kings and are ZOCHE to struggle in
this, where most other people in our situation just don't care. We
are from Hashem's elite soldiers! And every second we hold back is
Let's rejoice that Hashem has chosen us for his front line battle
against the Yetzer Hara. If he chose us, it means he TRUSTS us. He
knows that in spite of the falls, we will emerge victorious. He
waits and waits for us to do Teshuvah, sometimes for many years. But
in the end it is all worth it, for in the process of breaking free
we learn how to give our hearts to Hashem and grow so much!
Did you ever stop and think of the implications of us, mere mortals,
having the honor of serving the Master of the entire Universe? The
universe has about 100 million galaxies, and each galaxy has in it
about 100 million stars! And each star is as big - or bigger - than
our Sun (which itself could fit a million Earths into it)! And
that's just the physical universe. Need I even mention the millions
of spiritual words, Malachim, Serafim and Chayos Hakodesh?!! And
this Almighty G-d - who created ALL THIS, has but one desire. He is
looking into the hearts of his beloved people, and seeking someone,
anyone, who is willing to do something for him with pure motives,
hard work, and a little messiras nefesh. And he has chosen YOU
Rejoice!! Simcha is the Key!
"Battleworn" posted once on the forum:
Keep in mind that when Hashem invested in you, He knew what he was
doing. He knows exactly who to choose for the very sensitive and
dangerous mission, of penetrating the enemy's territory. If he
chose you, then you can definitely succeed. And remember, it's a
tremendous honor to have been chosen by Hashem for this mission. R'
Tvi Meir always says: Chazal tell us, that the malachim said to
Hashem "Don't give the Torah to lowly people, "T'na Hodcha al
Hashamayim -- The Torah should be for the malachim". So Hashem
answered "Do you have a yetser haroh? If not, the Torah is not for
you, but rather for the people that have a y"h. So we see that our
entire claim to the greatest gift of all - the holy Torah, is based
on the fact that we have a y'h. And so whoever has a bigger y'h,
has a greater claim and a greater right to the holy Torah!!!
REJOICE! we are the ones that will bring Moshiach!
Simcha and a positive attitude are the key to success. Rabeinu Yona
says in Yesod Hateshuva, "On that day [that you make up your mind to
do teshuva] throw away your past and consider yourself like a baby
that was just born"
Take some time to think about how chashuv you obviously are in the
Eyes of the Master Of The Universe, if he chose you for this
mission. And then put on some good music and DANCE!!! Transform
yourself from a worrier in to a warrior!!! (the
spelling is very close, it's like the little difference between the
letters of the words "chametz" and "matzah").
"Me" posted to someone once on the forum :
main advice I have for you is: "Simchah". You mentioned that you
are full of anxiety, and this is one of the major causes of this
taivah. In fact I saw it written, that the first thing the yetzer
does with us is to fill our minds with worries and anxieties, and
then when we feel sad, etc, this is what allows the klipot of arios
to cling to us and over take our minds. I believe that your first
step is to conquer your anxieties, and try to be b'simchah as much
as possible, and remove every and any anxiety causing thought that
enters your mind.
Baal Shomer Emunim said, that we have a mitzvah of "Ivdu Es
Hashem B'Simchah". Then the yetzer comes in to our minds and
says, "what do you have to be happy about, just look around you,
look at all of the sickness, poverty, suffering in the worlds
etc....But, we must know that this is the yetzer telling us this. He
goes on to explain. "Who is it that taught us "Ivdu Es Hashem
B'Simchah"?.... None other than Rav Shimon Bar Yochai in the
Zohar. And he says, "If anyone had reason to be down and sad, he
did, since he lived right after the time of the Churban Beis
Hamikdash, and yet, it was HIM that taught this to us!
Some important points of Chizuk from "Battleworn" on
the forum to someone who was having a hard time guarding his
eyes and who found that focusing on guarding his eyes made it even
harder for him:
Your life's focus must always be on the positive. You absolutely
can't go around the whole day concentrating on what you're not
going to do. Someone who does that is simply not living, and of
course it can't work. The first thing is to make sure you know what
you are trying to do with your life and then you can
concentrate on accomplishing that goal and starting to really live.
When you think of guarding your eyes as a means of getting where you
want to in life, you won't have that problem. It's tested and
R' Avigdor Miller zt'l said that shmiras einayim is pointless, if
you are not also guarding your thoughts.
The mind set has to be that it's all a bunch of nothing and
stupidity. Not guarding your eyes allows the menuval to get in and
make something out of nothing. But if you think "It's paradise out
there but I'm not looking" then you're doomed to failure.
"Shomer" once posted on
Just wanted to share something I saw in the Michtav M'Eliyahu from
Rabbi Dessler z"l.
Chazal tell us that "im puga buch menuval ze, mashcheyhu l'bais
medresh" (If you encounter this 'mevuval', drag him to the bais
medresh). Rabbi Dessler is medayak in the lashon of this statement
and asks ... why does it say if you encounter this 'menuval'.
It should say if you encounter the yetzer hara, drag him to
the bais medresh.
Rabbi Dessler goes on to explain that in order to fight the yetzer
hara, you must first realize that he is a 'menuval'. Rabbi Dessler
elaborates that the yetzer is "oseh meseh nivlus" (performs
actions of nivlus). The yetzer promises a person that he will bring
them satisfaction and contentment, but leaves them only with sorrow
and despair. There is no bigger Nivlus than that.
Never let the Yetzer Hara convince you that this struggle is too
hard for you, or that Hashem didn't give you the strength or the
tools or the nature to be able to over come him. Human beings are
capable of the most amazing things when they put their minds to it.
For a strong example of this,
the way, it's not a Chr-stian song, see
Tanks, armored and specialized vehicles, artillery, foot soldiers
and special forces are seen along the border (of Gaza), all
preparing for the incursion, which according to a Channel 2 News
report may take place anytime after Friday morning.
We are fighting a vicious war with a merciless enemy. Our fight with
the Yetzer Hara is very similar as Israel's fight. Israel's enemies
are so determined to hurt Yidden that they do not care for
their own lives. The Yetzer Hara is the same. He is so determined to
make us lose our kesher with Hashem, that he causes us to harm
ourselves. By becoming his slave, we stand to lose everything, both
in this world and the next. But he doesn't care.
can we fight such a relentless enemy, who is SO determined?
With lots of Mitzvos
With lots of Tehillim
with lots of Simcha!
These three eitzos; Mitzvos, Tehillim and
Simcha, are tried and proven weapons against the Yetzer Hara.
Together we will prevail! We need soldiers; battle-hardened and not
afraid to fight to the death!
Let's follow King David's advice from the Eighteenth Psalm: "I
will chase my enemies and catch them and I shall not return until I
Today: Accept upon yourself to do another Mitzva, to say a
few Perakim of Tehillim and remain happy no matter what!
I came across an awesome song called "Moishi On-Line" by
Click here to listen to it.
The song is a great example of how a person sometimes must take
drastic measures to save his soul. Although most of us can't afford
to smash our computers, there are other things that we CAN do. For
example, I know one guy who was so desperate to quit that he vowed
to give $200 to tzedaka every time he fell. After falling twice and
giving $400 to Tzedaka, he never went back to it again. Another guy
kept matches next to his bed and vowed to burn himself before giving
in. Another made a vow to go to the Mikva for a month every time he
fell, another vowed to go to the kever of a tzadik and daven for at
least an hour each time he fell. These type of vows are not
dangerous to make, because they can be kept (unlike vows to
just NEVER do it again, which - because of the nature of the
addiction - make it often impossible to keep). And these type of
vows are very helpful because they force the Yetzer Hara to agree
with the Yetzer Tov and say, "heck, you know what, it's just not
To use vows safely and effectively, see the following pages for
"GettingHelp" posted on
is truly amazing to see that when I stop and think before doing
anything, good or bad, the few seconds of really thinking through of
what I am about to do or want to do, helps put me in line. If I
could only think before I act, I would be so far ahead of the game.
I know that I am only human, and this will take some hard work.
am like a kid before his birthday, I can't wait to actually have my
brain think in a clear and holy way after 90 days. I so desire to
be a holy yid!
"PoshutYid" wrote us an e-mail:
IY"H by Monday morning I will have a full month under my belt. I can
say without a doubt that this group has helped me tremendously and I
owe you all a huge amount of hakaras hatov. I cannot tell you how
much more in control of my life I feel.
has not come without challenges, but B"H with S"D I am still
determined to fight this all the way. In fact, the yetzer tried to
get me to go onto Facebook and look at some of the pictures over
there with the rationalization that it is not pornography. I
actually listened and went but I shut it down before I could really
focus on it. I know this is his way of getting me to do something
seemingly innocent which will lead me down a horrible path.
a positive note I am davening better lately and I started a shiur
this week. IY"H the Torah will replace the Tumah in my head and I
will be able to be mekadesh my body, mind and speech.
Yidden, Hashem is making miracles miracles for us! There's a huge
war going on in Israel, hundereds of rockets have been shot at
Israeli cities, many thousands of soldiers are deep in enemy
territory, over 500 enemies have been killed, and yet - bli aiyin
hara, there have been less casualties on our side than can be
counted on the fingers of one hand (two of which were Druze Arabs -
one construction worker and one Druze in the IDF). Of-course, every
life is priceless, but it could be / have been much much worse R"L
and Hashem is obviously protecting us! For example, they showed on
the non-religious Israeli TV (Arutz Sheva had a live stream link for
the war coverage) a house in Sderot that was TOTALLY destroyed, and
yet the old woman inside was completely unhurt besides for some
smoke inallation! And as they showed the destroyed house yesterday,
a sign could be seen hanging on the broken walls that read:
"Ain Lanu Al Mi Lisha'en, ela Avinu
Yidden! Every time we say NO to the Yetzer hara, another LIFE can
be saved!! Another enemy bunker or weapons cache is blown up and
another miracle happens! We are fighting along side our brothers in
Israel and we are helping them in ways we could never imagine!
The Beis Ahron of Karlin writes that Torah and
Mitzvos need to feel fresh and new in our eyes every day. So he
asks, how can we instill this in our hearts? Answers the Beis Ahron,
we can learn a Kal Ve'Chocher from the Yetzer Hara himself. The
Yetzer Hara tempts a person to sin and he listens to him and falls.
But after the person sins, he becomes disgusted with the desire (and
resolves never to fall again). And yet the very next day, the Yetzer
Hara tempts him once again with this same desire and he renews the
desire in his heart R"L, just like before. So how much more so,
the Torah and Mitzvos, which are the life source of all the worlds
and a person's very life - should feel new to a person every day!
Here's the original text:
Unfortunately, 4 IDF soldiers were killed last night by friendly
fire in two separate incidents. What is Hashem trying to show us?
The fact that this happened on Asara bi'Teves is very
significant. Just like all Jewish suffering throughout the ages, the
message of Asara bi'Teves is that is that we bring
suffering upon ourselves when we forget Hashem and fall into
sinful ways. The fact that these soldiers were killed by friendly
fire and not enemy fire, brings out this message loud and clear.
When we give in to the Yetzer Hara, we are not just going against
the will of Hashem, but we are actively destroying ourselves in both
this world and the next, as the Pasuk says "Tiyasreich Ra'aseich
your evil will afflict you".
Let us take heart at this tremendous tragedy, and resolve to do a
sincere and lasting Teshuvah. A fast day is a special time to
repent, and in light of this tragedy it is all the more so incumbent
upon each and every one of us to ask ourselves: "what new
boundaries or approaches to break free of the Yetzer Hara's grasp,
have I not tried yet?"
After the e-mail two days ago (#371) about taking drastic measures,
"Mevakesh" sent us the following e-mail:
I'll tell you something that I have been doing for a while and it
seems to be working and may work for others.
Every time I find myself looking at a woman for more time than I
should, or if I find myself taking a second glance, I slap myself in
the face or give myself a big pinch (yes, it hurts).
know it sounds weird, but it serves a dual purpose: 1) It reminds me
to be more careful next time, as I don't want another slap in the
face. 2) It punishes me down here on earth, so that it will
hopefully not need to be punished in the next world, which is much
worse. As the Sefarim point out, that one who gets punishment down
here doesnt get punished again for that aveira in the next world
din limata, ein din limalah - when their is judgement below, there is no
this article for a strong lesson in how important
Shmiras Ainayim is.
"Poshut Yid" posted today on
have failed! I have fallen. After 32 days I lost it. I knew I was
losing it and I couldn't stop myself. It started with Facebook and I
spent the whole day on the computer surfing. I even went home for
supper and came back and thought I would control myself, but I
didn't. I don't even want to look in the mirror I am so embarrassed.
I just want to cry. After all that hard work, I have thrown it all
Of-Course there's hope!! You know when hope is lost? After 120. As
long as you still have a breath in your lungs, you can turn your
entire life around to Hashem. Every one of the great warriors on
this forum has been exactly where you have been and have fallen
countless times. The difference between a successful person and a
failure is not that the successful person doesn't fall and the
failure does. They BOTH fall again and again. But the successful
person is the one who gets up again each time and resolves to do
better next time and learn from his mistakes!
Think about it, if you were watching a great fight between a man and
a Lion, would you be more impressed if the man had a sword and he
slew the lion in one fell blow, or rather if the man used only his
bare hands and there was a huge fight, and sometimes the man was
down and the lion was at his throat and yet he managed to push off
the lion again and again and finally he overpowers the lion and wins
the fight?! Hashem gave us a beast inside us to slay. He could have
made us mighty as the Malachim, but he wants us to earn true reward
and bring down his Shchinah to dwell in the lowest places. And this
can only be done by human beings, who fight with their bare
hands in the darkness of this world. The fact that you fell now
after doing so well means you are in the game for real, and Hashem
is looking down at you with love and the Malachim are roaring and
cheering to see how fast you'll get back up, because that's the
name of the game!
Dear not-so-Poshut-Yid and all of us in the holy GuardUrEyes
community on this Chizuk list and Forum; The first step in
joining our community is to
the concept of "giving up" out of your lexicon. There is no such thing.
These three sayings of Rebbe Nachman are our motto:
1) If you believe you can destroy, believe you can fix.
2) There is no such thing as Yiush in the world.
3) As long as the candle is lit, one can still fix.
So Poshut yid, where do we go from here? It's Poshut! A fall
doesn't just happen. There were various things that led to it (in
your case, it was Face-book this time). We need to make a careful
accounting of where we went wrong and how we can prevent this from
reoccurring. In this way, we take the fall and uplift it to Hashem.
We use the falls themselves to get STRONGER!
Small Example: I know someone who was doing very well for a long
time, but one day he came across a movie that he happened to open,
unaware that it was not Kosher. But since he had already started
watching it, he couldn't control himself and pull himself away, and
before he knew it he had fallen. So what did he do? He make a vow
for a year never to open any movie video file on any computer unless
his wife checked it first and told him that it was Ok for him to
see. In this way, he made a strong barrier for the future to assure
that this wouldn't happen again. He had learned from his fall that
once he had already opened the video file, he was too weak to pull
away. But with the new fence in place, he wouldn't have to face the
Yetzer Hara head on in the same way again.
Every fall has a reason, and for every reason there are barriers
that one can make to be sure he doesn't have to fight the Yetzer
Hara head-on again next time. To all of us here, if you know that
certain things keep bringing you to fall, sit down and think what
you can do to assure yourself that you don't have to face these same
desires head-on again in the future. And if you can't think of a
sure enough way on your own, post your dilemma on
the forum and together we'll all help you think of ways.
Continuing the theme of yesterday: Having a fall is no reason
at all to give up!
from YeshivaWorld.com today
"We're Fighting for Our Survival"
From interviews with soldiers and parents, one
can discern the attitude is a positive one and the soldiers are
calling to push ahead and eliminate the enemy...
Interviews with the wounded carry the same undertone,
with soldiers asking doctors when they will be well enough to
return to their units to get the job done.
Battleworn posted on
Please understand that you haven't thrown it all away at all!!! You
ask if there's still hope. There is certainly hope. Actually,
there's even more hope now than ever before!! Let me explain
why. The Gemoroh says
"Habah letaher misaayen lo -
he who comes to be purified will be helped"
"Biderech she'adom rotzeh leilech molichin osoh
the way a man wants to go, they help him"
Why do Chaza"l speak in plural form:
they help him"
they lead him". Shouldn't it just say that Hashem helps him? So the Maharsha
and the Kedushas Levi explain that every resolution and every effort
a person makes, creates a Malach (an angel). And when the army of
malachim gets large enough, it has the power to help the person
overcome all the obstacles and lead him to where he wants to get.
all times you held back and desired to be holy over the past period
you were clean, has created tens and hundreds of Malachim that will
help you now to stay clean for much longer! That's why there's even
MORE hope now than before.
Yes, it hurts to fall (I know the feeling very well) but the nachas
ruach that we give Hashem when we ignore the fall and get right back
up, is the greatest there can be!
the fall to learn from. Learn to always keep your guard up, etc...
And then the fall itself will become a zechus and turn you in to a
Mevakesh posted on
Though you are starting again from "day 1", don't think for a second
that your past accomplishments are down the drain! Quite the
contrary: Every Hisgabrus you have over the lousy Yetzer Hara is
yours forever! Even if you fall again after that Hisgabrus.
Steipler writes that one who was Misgaber over the Yetzer Hara of
Hashchosas Zera L'Vatalah, even if he goes on to fail and fail,
time and time again, it is that initial Hisgabrus which will
guarantee him an ultimate triumph in this matter over the Yetzer
Hara, no matter how long it takes.
can attest to this personally. I tried and tried so many things so
many times. I had already basically given up on myself and resigned
myself to the fact that I will live my life as a sinner. Yet, now
that I look back and I marvel at being clean for 10 months
(B'Chasdei Hashem) there is no doubt in my mind that that initial
Hisgabrus I had for a very short time a very long time ago is what
propelled me to finally win my battle many years later.
Keep strong. Don't listen to the Yetzer Hara's stupid logic. You
are winning the battle and will ultimately win the war!
Someone sent us this cute "number Cheshbon" below, based on the ABC.
Although obviously this is not a "Gematria" with any real meaning,
the lesson it brings out is a powerful truth.
(Pictures from the war in Gaza were added for illustrative
If you can't see the picture below,
Pass this on to your friends!
HOW to beat the Yetzer Hara is
96% of winning the battle. It can be found on
Chizuk list archives.
and it must be done by each individual alone.
and is what will really get you there! This includes; enjoying
the challenge, understanding that this is what we are here in
this world for and the great reward that awaits us, and NEVER
GIVING UP. (See "Mind
Tips" for more attitude shapers).
But it is the
and will really take you OVER THE TOP. Happy is he who learns
to transfer his deepest desires and love to Hashem. In the process
of the struggle towards this sublime achievement, one becomes
transformed into an altogether different person!
Chaza"l say (Lehavdil):
"One who reviews his learning 100 times can
not be compared with one who reviews it 101 times".
this battle for our very souls, we need to give it 101%!
Today begins the six week period known as "Shovavim", which is an
acronym made up of the first letters of the Parshios of these 6
weeks, Shmos, Va'era etc... Shovavim is a very auspicious time for
Teshuvah, based on the Pasuk
"Shuvu Banim Shovavim
return, my wayward children". Many Sefarim bring down that these weeks are an especially
opportune time for doing Teshuva on aveiros in the area of Yesod
The parshios of the six weeks of Shovavim deal with the enslavement
of the Jewish people in Mitzrayim and their subsequent redemption
and salvation. Many Sefarim talk about how a man's struggle with his
Yetzer hara is symbolized by the enslavement in Mitzrayim and
Hashem's ultimate help in redeeming him. The Pesukim in this week's
parsha describe the hard work and bitterness of the oppression in
Mitzrayim, and in next week's parsha we see how the yidden didn't
listen to Moshe
"mi'kotzer Ruach ume'avodah kasha
due to oppressiveness of spirit and hard work".
Those who are enslaved by the Yetzer Hara know well what these words
mean. The Yetzer Hara causes one's entire life to become
"Kotzer Ruach" and his obsession doesn't let him experience the
"Nachas Ruach" that life has to offer.
One frum addiction therapist that I know, uses meditative techniques
with his patients to help them break free of this addiction. His
"Nachas Ruach" and one of the techniques he teaches his patients is that when
they feel weak, vulnerable or overwhelmed with the struggle, they
should take four slow deep breaths, breathing in
with each breath, and breathing out
"Kotzer Ruach" with each breath. His approach tries to
teach the patient how to flow with life and not fight against
it. After all, Hashem doesn't want us to have to fight our whole
lives, instead he wants us to learn how to flow with the beauty and
happiness that life has to offer, instead of trying to seek pleasure
and happiness in temporary and illusionary ways which only lead to
Here's an example of one meditation technique that you may be
able to do on your own. Try it three times a week, for a few
weeks. It should take about 20 minutes each time.
Sit in a comfortable chair. Close your eyes. Completely relax.
To help you relax and enter a meditative state, breath in slowly,
hold for a few seconds, and then breath out. Repeat this 10 times.
Afterwards, imagine you are diving into a deep pond. See yourself in
your mind swimming downwards, deeper and deeper. (This will help you
access your subconscious mind). Then, picture yourself in a field,
holding a balloon. The balloon contains all of your sexual tension
and pain in it. Picture this well. Then, release the balloon in your
mind, with all the tension and pain inside it. Watch the balloon
slowly climb away, higher and higher, count the feet it rises in
your mind, until the balloon is finally out of site. When you are
done with the balloon, imagine again that you are at the bottom of
the deep pond. Start swimming back up, slowly coming closer and
closer to the surface. Then, break out of the water. Open your eyes,
get up from your chair and walk away feeling free!
here for more self-therapy ideas and options.
The contact information of the therapist mentioned above is:
Dr/Rabbi Naftali Fish - Jerusalem, Native English Speaker
Torah Based Psychotherapy, combined with meditation and hypnosis
"Healing the Inner Wounded Child"
Cell: 052 2639325
Every Midah (attribute) that Hashem created, can be used for
either good or bad. How can the attribute of "laziness" be used for
good? Well, one powerful way to fight the Yetzer Hara is simply to
be LAZY about sinning. The Yetzer Hara wants us to act out, but what
if we just say: "heck, I don't have strength for this.
"Shev Ve'al Taseh Adif
- sitting and doing nothing is better".
That's using laziness in the RIGHT way.
The Medrash Yalkut Shemoni (click
here) writes: "Who ever turns himself away
from aveira (sin), then even if he is a Israelite, he is worthy of
bringing a sacrifice on the alter like the Kohen Gadol"...
"And who ever is lazy to sin and doesn't sin, he merits to
enjoy the shine of the Shechina like the ministering angels".
"Mevakesh" replies to someone on
the forum who had a fall:
In my book, failure is only when we fail to realize that we
have slipped, and fail to muster the courage to start again.
If one slips off the mountain, shrugs and walks away, he will never
reach the summit. If one slips off the mountain, and resolves to
climb again (yes, with better gear and with safety nets) then he
hasn't failed at all. He has merely has taken a small detour,
strengthened himself and made the summit all the more in reach now.
It's his for the taking!!!
"MDM" responds as well:
"Mevakesh" does it again: to the point. Well, I myself fell through
on the holy Chanukah days, which started so great. I was devastated
and I could not calm myself and continued to indulge in these
suicidal acts. Until my friends here made me realize that I still
am on a higher rung of the ladder I was a few months ago. I
decided to take this fall to greater height. No more using the
internet for fun, except Guardureyes.com.
The sefer "Zera Kodesh" explains that a smart person advances after
a fall. He compares this to a ball thrower. The more he lowers his
hand before the throw, the higher the ball will ascend.
There's a fundamental and elementary piece from the holy Ohr
Hachayim that gives a clear perspective on the powerful nature of
carnal desire, and helps us understand how Hashem expects us
to remain holy in spite of it being against human nature. In honor
of Shovavim, I would like to bring this Ohr Hachayim now in a
few stages. To see the original text in Hebrew,
click here (the important parts are marked in
yellow, and the VERY important parts in red).
Ohr Hachayim (Acharei
It is known that all the Mitzvos that Hashem commanded his holy
nation are Mitzvos that a man can stand by and cause himself a
desire to do, besides for the Mitzva of staying away from arayos
(illicit sexual relations) which is something that a person craves
and his desires forces him to act, unless one makes an effort to
stay far away from two things: 1) Seeing with the eyes, 2) Thinking
about it. However, if a person does not keep away from these two
aspects (sight and thought), a man will not be able to control
himself and rid himself of it.
As long as one does not stay away from looking, even if he
stays away from thinking about it, he will not be able to control
himself and rid himself of the inevitable desire. As we can see from
the story of R' Amram, the Rebbe of all Chassidim (Kidushin 81a),
that even though he was far from thinking about these things, he was
won over by the aspect of "sight" (to see the full story see Chizuk
e-mail #275 on
this page). And we can also see this from the story of Reb Masya
Ben Charash (Yalkut Shimoni; Veyechi) who chose to blind himself
when he felt that he would be forced to come to bad deeds through
the sight of his eyes, even though he was surely far from thinking
of these things - as is clear in the story (see the story in Chizuk
e-mail #46 on
And if one does not distance himself from thinking about
these things, his thoughts will also force him to seek out and lust
after the deed. As we can see from the story in the Gemara (Avodah
Zara 22b) of a non-Jew who bought a thigh of meat in the market
place, cut into it, used it to pleasure himself, and then cooked it
and ate it. This comes from being steeped in the aspect of "thought"
which forced him to do these deeds even without seeing anything.
So we see, that with either of these two aspects, sight or thought,
it becomes close to impossible for a person to control himself in
this area. And it goes without saying that if one looks AND thinks
about these things, he will be very weak when facing this desire.
And it also goes without saying, that if one actually begins to
taste from the bad, he will be completely given over into the hands
of his desires.
(To be continued in the coming e-mails, IY"H).
I would like to bring an important message today from Elya K
(moderator of the free
12-Step phone conferences) that he posted on
was recently at a conference, and one of the groups was having a
discussion about internet filters and someone brought up the point
that there is a huge difference between simply being "sober" or
being in real "recovery" from lust.
When we are living a spiritual life, when we are not worried about
the future and we have come to terms with our past... we live in the
present moment, take one day at a time. When we are living like
this... in serenity... there is little chance we will act out... no
matter if we have a filter or not.
(Webmaster Comment: Obviously though, until we really get there, a
filter is essential).
this is the end goal. The filter cannot be the end goal. Recovery
is the end goal. And that means working a program of perfecting our
Middos so we don't hold resentments, anger, fear, etc. We trust
Hashem that whatever he has dealt us, moneywise, healthwise,
Shidduch wise, is meant to be.
get rid of our resentments and fears by examining them for our part
in them. We make amends to people we have hurt and help others
tools are all here on
the forum and on the
GuardUrEyes site. The tools are in your communities at SA & SLAA
meetings. There were 595 goyim at this conference and 20 Jews from
all spectrums. Chassidim, Misnagdim, all walking around with their
Yarmulkes making a Kiddush Hashem. We had a minyan on Shabbos with a
sefer Torah, all arranged by the conference.
they can do that publicly, you can go to a meeting. If they
can LEAD meetings and get up and speak in front of hundreds
of people as a proud yid, you can too.
all depends on whether you REALLY want to get better or you're happy
living on the cliff of the slippery slope, where the Yetzer Harah
continues to convince you that it's OK to just peek just as long as
you don't go all the way.
takes anonymous calls on
the Hot-line. You can also write Elya for more info on the SA
groups and recovery at
"Ano-nymous" comments on Elya's message with an intelligent
parable. (Ano-nymous is a Bochur who is already clean for
approximately two months and is well on his way to the "Wall
of Hashem's Honor"!)
WOW Elya, this is powerful stuff. I can't agree more with the
message. When you have a dumpster full of garbage in your house and
you don't want to smell it, you don't cover up the dumpster with a
towel and you don't spray a deodorant and leave it that way. If you
really want the smell to go away, you need to take the dumpster out
of your house. While you move the dumpster, it is wise to cover the
dumpster and spray deodorant to stem the tide and make it smell a
little better. But the goal is obviously to take out the garbage,
because if you don't, as soon as the towel falls off or the
deodorant wears off, it stinks again. Consider the filter the towel
or deodorant. It is a great help, but if you don't fix YOURSELF the
problem will arise as soon as you have an opportunity without the
filter. This is the attitude all of us really need to have to truly
succeed. Good luck to everyone (myself included)!
We continue below the insightful piece from the holy Ohr Hachayim
that we started in e-mail 379. The Ohr hachayim explains the
powerful nature of carnal desires and helps us understand how
Hashem expects us to remain holy in spite of it being against human
nature. To see the original text in Hebrew,
click here (the important parts are marked in
yellow, and the VERY important parts in red).
Ohr Hachayim (Acharei
And the only way that a man can wage war with this powerful desire
is by removing from himself these two aspects (1. improper sights
and 2. lustful thoughts). And by doing this, one instills within
himself that he should not lust after this, and he will be able to
control his natural desires. And this is the reason that Chaza"l say
(Brachos 34b) "In the place that Balei Teshuvah stand, even the
completely righteous cannot stand". For the natural good will of
the completely righteous wins over their desires without great
effort, which is not the case with a Ba'al Teshuvah.
And if one should ask, "How can a natural person be in control of
his desires which "force" him to act? After all, it does not make
sense that Hashem would obligate all men equally to guard themselves
in this area, only people who can stand up and have the will power
to deny this desire! And these are people who never came into the
tests of seeing improper sights and thinking lustful thoughts. Only
for such people did the Torah command these Mitzvos. But for people
who already fell into these things, it is naturally impossible for a
man to control himself and hold back from this craving that forces
him to act!"
To counter this claim, Hashem wrote in the Torah with pleasant words
of life, and the Parsha of Arayos starts out with the words
"Speak to the Children of Israel and say to them, I am Hashem
your G-d". For it is true that in the human race, besides
for the Jewish people, they can claim this complaint and say that
they did not find it in their strength to deny the power of this
intense desire from themselves. However, with you, the Children of
Israel, because I am Hashem your G-d - that is, you can achieve
understanding and awareness of G-d - and through this G-dly
strength, you will win over the natural physical drives.
(To be continued in the coming e-mail, IY"H).
The Ohr Hachayim has touched here on the "core" of the 12-Step
program, which is that without bringing G-d into the picture, we are
powerless to overcome this powerful desire. See also
I've given up the bad stuff already for a few months, but I still
feel far from learning to control my eyes. When we see a beautiful
girl, and we really KNOW that it's really nothing, but it affects
our senses, how in the world can we deal with that? I mean, it feels
like we have to forgo the most beautiful things in this world! I
know it's possible, but it's so painful sometimes.
R' Nachman once said that the entire strength of the Yetzer Hara is
through "dimyon" - imagination, and he said that we should
change the Yetzer Hara's name to "Ha'Medameh" (Likutei
Maharan; Torah 25)
This whole desire is a blown up bubble of hot-air, built around what
we see and imagine in the mind. Experience has shown us all, that as
soon as we get what we thought we wanted -- what we thought was
going to be absolutely incredible (according to what we saw and
fantasized), the bubble pops and all that's left is "hot air". And
we are left shaking our head and not believing that for this we were
willing to sell our very souls.
So in essence, the fact that we struggle so much with shmiras
ainayim and all these powerful fantasies, and the fact that it
feels like it takes such effort give our hearts over to Hashem -
this all is really Hashem's greatest gift to us. Let me explain
what I mean:
If we would just be like those who don't care and give in and get
all that they desire, we would have NOTHING at the end. Do you think
they have joy from this? Did you ever see a non-Jew walking around
happy because he gets whatever he wants? The minute it's over, they
are left disillusioned and seeking other pleasures to fill the void
they feel. So think about it. Hashem has chosen us and uplifted us
from the filth of the world, and given us the opportunity to make
all these "valiant" struggles every time we turn away from looking
at something the Yetzer Hara wants us to look at - just so that
Hashem can embrace us and reward us with eternal divine light. But
what is the alternative, i.e. if we would give in? Nothing!
Emptiness and disillusionment! The Yetzer Hara promises so much, but
he delivers nothing! So this whole blown up desire that we have and
all these difficult struggles not to look, etc... it's really all a
"game" that Hashem is playing with us. He makes us feel as if
we are "ripping out our hearts" for him - and he indeed rewards us
AS IF we have sacrificed our hearts on the alter, and he allows us
to come closer to him than any non-Jew could dream of coming, and
yet, it's all a game. Because if one would be able to see in
advance the way he would feel after he would give in, he wouldn't
even have a struggle!!
That is perhaps what Chaza"l meant when they said that one day the
Tzadikim will weep with joy that they were able to overcome the
mountain of the Yetzer Hara, and Resha'im will weep that they
couldn't overcome this little string of the Yetzer Hara. One may
ask, how could the Yetzer Hara be both things, which is the real
truth? Well, based on the above, it could be that the Tzadikim are
talking about the "mountain" that the Yetzer Hara "FELT LIKE" - when
they didn't give in. But the Resha'im are seeing the little
"nothing" that the Yetzer Hara really was when they actually gave
So it's really all a game of Hashem's kindness and love for us.
Hashem is only asking of us to over come a "small string", but he
makes it LOOK like a mountain so that we can be worthy of coming
close to him and receive the tremendous reward he wants to give us!
If you remember this important idea, you will stay be able to stay
strong even in what "feels like" the most difficult moments!
For today's Chizuk e-mail, I want to share an inspiring story that
someone sent us today. (By the time I had finished reading
the story, I was crying).
I first discovered masturbation at about age
15, when a fellow yeshiva student showed me smut. Before hand I had
never even considered it at all, I had never even thought of women.
This went on for years, and every Rosh Hashana I would swear that I
would stop. When I got married I was certain that I would find
salvation, but I became even worse, convincing my wife that she
could even help me masturbate (when she was ASSUR to me, or didn't
want to be intimate) and that she was saving me from AVERAH by the
fact that she was involved (so it was "love"). This came after a
point when the Yetzer had already convinced me that there was no
possibility of abstinence, and I was sure that it was an impossible
test made up by some Rabbis, based on an obscure passage in the
Torah. I only used the computer to finish the job.
My Torah life, which was very dry and had no connection to Hashem,
slowly started to come alive through the very medium that all the
Tumah was coming through, and slowly Rebbe Nachman entered my life.
Both me and my wife loved hearing shiurim together and I was slowly
becoming a better person, husband and father, but I was still was
living with the conviction that masturbation was inevitable.
Then one Shabbos, a friend of mine taught me
about HITBOBEDUT (Torah 25 in the second half of Likutai Moharan)
and he admitted to me how he had once spent time in front of the
computer doing forbidden things. "You too?!!" I asked. "But you're a
big Tzadik!" He told me how he had been religious on the outside but
his inside was totally devoid of Hashem. He had gone to Uman and
begged to be cleaned, and at the point of our conversation he was
clean already 10 months.
I took this to heart and realized what was
missing. I HAD NEVER EVEN CONSIDERED ASKING HASHEM FOR HELP, I WAS
TRYING TO FIGHT MY YETZER WITH A PEA-SHOOTER. Over the next 3 days I
cried out to Hashem until I felt that I had nothing left in me. I
called my friend and he said that I should try learning Torah 282 (Likutei
Moharan). After learning it, the excitement was immense. I couldn't
sleep till 3 AM, I had never felt so high or positive in my life. At
that point, I started to see incredible help from above. I felt that
I could beat it hands down. When I was working on the computer and
the pre-urge came about, I would leave the computer and do
Hitbodedut or make myself coffee. When I came back to the computer,
the urge was gone B"H.
I have since been trying to keep my eyes and thoughts clean (not
easy), and as both my wife and I become more connected to our
Neshamos, we have decided only to be intimate on Shabbat. It's not
easy, but B"H it has been already a year now.
Somehow though, I knew that the struggle would continue. I have been
abroad lately for over 3 weeks on matters of Parnasah. Hashem has
taken all parnasah from me and I am unfortunately returning home
with nothing for my family. At one point I discovered a certain
fashion publication (underwear) at the home of my hosts, and due to
my Ye'ush (hopelessness and despair) I found myself ready to go!
I even started touching myself, when I realized what I was doing! I
would be cheating on my wife (it doesn't matter that most people
don't see self-pleasuring as cheating, IT IS), and I would be
cheating on Hashem, destroying a year's worth of hard work for a
second hand pleasure that would bring to more Ye'ush the moment I
cleaned up. I don't know what miracle saved me, but I have since not
allowed myself to be alone until I return home tomorrow.
From my humble experience, as a BENONI, we have
not yet destroyed this urge. It is only in check, and the more Torah
you learn and the more you keep away from it, the easier it becomes.
But the best medicine is LE'HIYOT BE'SIMCHA TAMID (to always remain
happy) and connected to Hashem Yitbarach. And if you are, the Yetzer
Hara can't even get within your Dalet Amot (4 cubits).
Be sure about one thing. Hashem always loves
you and his people are always around, just open your real
eyes and you'll be OK.
Someone sent me a nice article from www.jewishworldreview.com By
Rabbi Zelig Pliskin. Tne philosophy behind this idea can help us in
our struggle with the Yetzer Hara.
Words: 'What Can I Do Now?'
Develop the habit of asking yourself, "What can
I do now?"
This is an antidote to two problematic patterns: wasting a lot of
time being upset about things that are over and done with, and
worrying about something that might happen in the future. Even if it
seems that an undesirable outcome is likely, worrying just prevents
you from doing what you can to improve the situation.
If something is over and done with, it is over and done no matter
how much time you waste being upset. But if you're going to be
upset, at least be upset about it for only a short amount of time.
Then ask yourself, "What can I do now?" If your first thought is
that you can't do anything about the situation, then at least do
something constructive about something else. But sometimes you might
think of something creative that will turn the situation around.
Having the thought of, "What can I do now?" on your mind might lead
to ideas that will at least partially solve the problem. When you
can't think of anything on your own, ask some friends or a mentor
for suggestions. Other people might think of something that you
People with a pattern of thinking worrisome thoughts should think of
practical things that can be done. This will save them from much
Just taking action makes you feel better. When you feel better, you
will think more clearly. You're more likely to think of something to
do now that you hadn't thought of when your mind was focused on
worrying. So remember to keep asking yourself, "What can I do now?"
This state of mind can be hard sometimes, but it is vital to our
ultimate success. Don't dwell on past failures - even if it was five
minutes ago, and don't let yourself worry about future tests. Always
live in the present moment and ask yourself: "what can I do NOW
to make Hashem happy, and to move towards holiness, recovery and
We finish below the insightful piece from the holy Ohr Hachayim that
we started in e-mail 379 [and continued in 381]. The Ohr hachayim
explains the powerful nature of carnal desires and helps us
understand how Hashem expects us to remain holy in spite of
it being against human nature. To see the original text in
click here (the important parts are marked in
yellow, and the VERY important parts in red). The Hebrew text can be
printed out and read at your leisure.
Ohr Hachayim (Acharei
The mind can control the matter. So when a Jewish person accepts
upon himself to be "one" with Hashem his G-d (di'veikus), he will be
in control of his nature. As Chaza"l say, "The hearts of the
Tzadikim are given over in their hands, but the hearts of Resha'im
control them". The meaning of this is, that desire and lust are
in the heart of a man, yet his "will power" is in his mind. And
these are the two levels that the Master of the World has given man
(to work with). And when a person sees something of a sexual nature,
his heart will crave it, but this is not the end. The "will power"
in his mind can deny himself the desire and he will not act upon it,
even though he covets it... And that is the meaning of the words
"For I am Hashem your G-d" (in the Parsha of Arayos). This means
to say, that since Hashem shines the light of his Shechinah into the
soul of a man, through this, one has the strength to win over his
desires with his will power...
So to return to what we were saying... The aspect of thinking about
sexual matters strengthens the desire. And one cannot win over this
desire unless he distances his mind and thoughts from these things
and does not look upon these things. But should his eyes gaze upon
them, he is in grave danger, like the story of David Hamelech A"H,
that when circumstance brought him to see what he saw, his heart,
which had been empty of desire (as the Pasuk says "and my heart is
empty inside me") was aroused and he acted.
And even if one just "begins" to think about these things, it will
cause a strengthening of his natural desires. And therefore the
wisest of all men, Shlomo Hamelech A"H, wrote in Mishlei (1); "My
son, if the sins will persuade you, do not listen" - meaning, do
not even enter into negotiations with your Yetzer Hara, for the
longer you think about it, even in a negative light, the more the
desire is strengthened and will turn his will towards it.
And this is also why Hashem says; "Tell them that I am Hashem
their G-d", because (those who guard the Bris) are on the level
that Hashem wants to unify his great name upon them. For he who
guards his Bris is on a great level. Indeed, there is no greater
level than this.
Jack sent me an
couldn't improve in any area without resistance to what we are
trying to achieve. It's that push, that brute force, that makes us
martial arts theory, we see an enemy not as an enemy, but as a
chance to perfect ourselves. So if we get hit, the response is NOT -
"I hate him"- but rather "why couldn't I block it? Could you please
throw that punch again - I want to see if I can block it this time".
Without a yetzer hara, life would be meaningless.
have discovered 3 things that I finally understand and would like to
share with you.
If we listen to Rebbe Nachman and live only this moment to
its fullest, then a week or a month or even a year are all the same,
because you are only living one day and dealing with its challenges.
Tomorrow doesn't exist. As soon as you think "I am not certain I can
last that long", that is SITRA ACHRA!!!
A person only sins if a RUACH SHTUT enters him. I saw that this is
really literal recently when I was close to falling, in that I was
willing to take a chance on a full year's worth of work, my wife's
faith in me, and the despair that would obviously follow the sin.
It finally makes sense how the Y"H gets his foot in the door, he
makes you think that whatever you see now as a reality is the
only reality, and that it will last forever.
People commit suicide over monetary matters that any person with
eyes in his head knows how it comes and goes.
I think that the RUACH SHTUT (that Chaza"l refer to) is that a
person loses sight of everything important to him, and instead sees
only the "now" and thinks that is all he can act on. Like if someone
thinks "I have no money now, and this will be forever", then he will
despair and seek an outlet for his despair and frustration. And we
all know which outlet the Y"H wants him to use.
Read "The Garden of Peace" by Rav Shalom Arush (translated by Rav
Brody) if you can. It puts the role of the husband in a totally
different light than you have ever seen. It doesn't really talk
about sexuality, but anyone with eyes in their head will realize
just how warped the modern view of sex really is.
also heard this lecture by Rav Moshe New from Chabad.org which
helped me understand what a woman really is on a spiritual level (here
is the link).
Also, with you guys here, I feel I am able to draw coach from you
even though we have never met.
"Why am I so easily aroused and triggered by
everything I see? When I walk in the street or even see a children's
movie, there are just so many triggers. Have I messed up my mind for
Almost anyone who was once addicted to these things has indeed
warped his ability to look at women in a normal way and must make
barriers and fences for himself that perhaps others don't have to
make. We need to be much more careful with Shmiras Ainayim
than most people. We simply do not have a choice. This includes not
watching non-Jewish movies of any type. There is almost no movie
today that does not have in it attractive women dressed
provocatively or some sort of romance or love scene, even in the
most "parve" children's movies. And these things are strong triggers
for us. Also browsing the web is very dangerous. Even regular news
sites like CNN, ABC and Fox news, are just full of triggers. As
addicts, we also need to be much more careful about where we go and
who we interact with in our every day lives. And TV? Forget about
it. We all know that would be a disaster for any of us.
But Yidden, is this a drawback or a disadvantage? Quite the
opposite! We are the fortunate ones! Having fallen so many
times and having felt the pain of addiction, we are FORCED to avoid
all these things if we want to stay Erlich at all! This is a
GIFT from Hashem. After all, think about it. Most Yidden want to be
holy deep down, and they know that watching TV, movies and browsing
the web indiscriminantly are detrimental to this effect, and yet
they simply don't have the strength to stay away from these things.
And it's hard to blame them. Movies, TV, internet, magazines,
they're just everywhere, and they beckon to us from every medium and
outlet, everywhere we go! But we, who have been down these
paths of addiction, pain and distance from Hashem, know what happens
when we let ourselves enjoy all these seemingly "harmless" behaviors
and pastimes. And we have no choice but to make drastic
life-style changes to remain sober. And in the process of doing so,
we are finally able to lead the life Hashem anyway wants EVERY YID
Hashem knew we would be in this situation. He knew we would fall and
fall and he waited for so many years until the time would be right
and we would learn to give him our hearts. We were given a much
greater potential for true "ahavas Hashem" and personal growth than
most other Yidden. We have the ability to shoot up the spiritual
ladder at a faster rate than others who don't have this intense
struggle. We must rejoice with this challenge and learn to focus all
our yearnings to the source of all beauty, all good, all pleasure
and all love: Hakadosh Baruch HU!
Here's a nice vort for the Shabbos table, as well as a profound
understanding into our struggle with the Yetzer Hara. It is not for
nothing that these Parshios of "leaving Mitzrayim" were chosen to be
SHOVAVIM (which are weeks that are especially opportune for breaking
free of the Yetzer Hara and Tikkun Habris).
the end of last week's Parsha, Moshe asks Hashem "Since I have
come to Pharaoh to speak in your name, it has only become worse for
your people and you have not saved your nation?" And Hashem
answers Moshe, "You shall see what I shall do to Pharaoh, for
with a strong hand they shall send them out and with a strong hand
they shall banish them from their land".
We need to understand how Hashem's reply is an answer to Moshe's
question? Moshe wants to know why, just when it should be getting
better - it's getting worse, and Hashem answers: "you shall see that
they will banish them with a strong hand", but how does that answer
the question of why it is getting worse now?
Chaza"l say that when it came time to leave Mitzrayim, many Yidden
didn't want to leave. Four fifths were struck down by Hashem during
the days of darkness, and even with the remaining Jews, the Medrash
says that the Egyptians had to chase them out with sticks!
According to this, Hashem's reply to Moshe was the perfect answer!
Moshe wanted to know why it's getting worse, so Hashem tells him,
"you shall see that the Egyptians will need to chase out the Yidden
with a strong hand (with sticks!) even after it has gotten so
much worse!" In other words, if it wouldn't get worse now, how much
more so would the Yidden not want to leave!
This is a profound lesson to understanding our struggle with the
Yetzer Hara. For years we simply didn't want to leave Mitzrayim. We
didn't have the willpower or the strength, and the temptations were
too great. But Hashem didn't send us to this world to keep us in
Mitzrayim. He wants to give each Jew a chance to do Teshuvah and
break free of the servitude to the Yetzer Hara. And so, to awaken
our hearts to a true and proper Teshuvah, Hashem makes it start to
get WORSE just as we are ready to do Teshuvah. We start to have real
pain from our addiction, our lives often start to fall apart and we
feel ourselves falling even farther. And we ask Hashem; "WHY?!",
since we came to Pharaoh to speak in your name, since we decided we
want to do Teshuvah and break free of the Yetzer Hara's grasp, it
has only gotten worse?! And the answer fm Hashem is that we didn't
REALLY WANT to leave Mitzrayim yet. A person needs to "Hit Bottom"
before they are ready to surrender to Hashem and finally let Hashem
take us out of Mitzrayim. And "Hitting bottom" means that the person
can no longer bear to live the way he has been living until now.
And that is what it says in this week's Parsha; "I will
take them out from sivlus Mitzrayim". R' Bunim of Psische
explains, what does the word "sivlus" mean? It means
to tolerate, to accept, to swallow, to bear. Before Hashem can take
a person out of Mitzrayim, he needs to first take him out from the
SIVLUS Mitzrayim. In other words, one is not ready to leave
Mitzrayim until he can no longer BEAR the enslavement of the Yetzer
To take this lesson to a practical level, we need to daven to Hashem
every day that he take us out of the Sivlus Mitzrayim without it
having to get worse. Our constant Teffilah to Hashem should be,
that he should put into our hearts NOW, that we can no longer
tolerate (be sovel) the Yetzer Hara.
Daven: "Help me Hashem to "hit bottom" without having to
fall anymore, take me out of the SIVLUS MITZRAYIM and help me
already today to hate the Yetzer Hara to the point where I can't
bear it anymore.
And as soon as we reach that point, we are ready to leave
Mitzrayim for good.
Dear Members, the
GuardUrEyes Forum is a vibrant community of Yidden determined to
break the addiction and purify themselves. The amount of Teshuvah
and Chizuk that goes on there every day is enough to banish the
Yetzer Hara to the ends of the earth! If you haven't joined the
forum yet, sign up today and begin to post a log of your struggles
and progress every day.
Here are some recent inspiring posts:
have known for a long time what I know today, but such is man's
ability to delude himself, and it was not until last Monday that I
realized that I really was addicted. Until then I made excuses,
Yetzer Hora, stress, occasional lapses, etc. When I discovered last
Monday that I was indulging in forbidden activities and was unable
to pull away despite very important scheduled commitments that I
just let lapse, I knew that I was addicted. At that point I realized
that half-hearted measures would not work anymore and I am now
applying everything that I have, on every level, to break this
Just a couple months ago I thought I could never get to where I am
now. I've found that the feelings of "I can't" are just an illusion
created by the Yetzer Hara to keep people from an earnest attempt to
quit. I had those feelings at the outset, and I just ignored them. I
wish you all the success in the world. Every person who joins this
forum and fights makes it easier for me to win when I am tempted.
Remember what Hashem said to Yehoshua right
after Moshe Rabbeinu died. Yehoshua was about to embark on the
conquest of Eretz Yisrael. And Hashem said to him (among other
things): "Did I not command you, be strong and have courage, do not
fear and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you
wherever you go." So how does this apply to us? We are not
conquering Eretz Yisrael. No, indeed, but we are striving to
conquer our own "holy land," our own bodies. Our bodies are
"occupied" by the Y"H, which must be driven out. So be strong and
courageous in your battle with the Y"H, and remember that this is
B"H on all fronts things are really quite
good. I find that my desires are not as strong as they were in the
beginning. I am just waiting for the y'h to kick up his heels and
try to trap me. I now have some new ways to avoid his traps, thanks
to GUE. For instance, today I had a really late start and started to
get upset and anxious over it. A perfect way to escape into the
internet. But B'H I pushed myself and was able to get into a much
better frame of mind. It was harder than I thought, but the minute I
made up my mind not to give in, the positive energy I created within
my neshema multiplied.
writes to encourage another member:
Keep building your foundation of success.
Each day of success is one more solid brick you are using to build a
mansion that is you. A big beautiful home filled with shalom bayis
and bracha after bracha. Each clean day makes me feel that
much closer to my wife and kids, and therefore closer to Hashem. I
think that all he (Hashem) really wants us to do is to use our minds
and bodies as a means of getting closer and more in touch with our
true selves, thus enabling a better and closer relationship with
Hashem. It's so hard and painful at times to overcome past
experiences that influence us today. But this is the life Hashem has
given us to live, each one special and tailored, made for us and
only us. We have the power within ourselves to reach levels of
kedusha we never dreamed we could. Just by being on GUE, you have
already reached a new level of kedusha!
We've started a new section on
the forum for women. If you are a struggling woman, join today!
for information on why this is a useful and important step.
"Jack" posted on the forum to someone who is
struggling with certain times of the week that he feels very
vulnerable to falling:
a sponsor who you can call anytime and call him when you feel
the urge coming on. Put your head between your knees and brace
yourself. Bite into a sponge, go into a room where no one will hear
you and scream your head off. Hit your bed with a tennis racket.
Take a hammer and bang nails into some wood. I assure you, the urge
Even better, meditate. Slow down your thinking, concentrate on your
breath. The urge will pass.
yes, it will be back.
Do one, or all, of these things every time you have the urge. I am
extremely serious. Call up your sponsor, first tell him you don't
hate him, and then scream at him! You have to get rid of the urge
somehow in a permissible manner. I used to get rid of it by
masturbating, then I found the forum, and with it, I found a
I wonder if his ear still works after all the things I've said to
Seriously, try these things.
I went around for 25 years thinking that I have a problem with self
control. It was only recently that I realized that my self control
is actually way above average. (When you're always fighting the
addiction/drive, your self control gets a whole lot of exercise!)
The problem is not at all with your self control, the problem is
with the power of the addiction. And the only solution is to fight
it consistently and completely. Behavior patterns and thought
patterns cannot be changed suddenly. It takes thought, diligence and
never giving up. It also takes a lot of Siyata Dishmaya, so be sure
to daven as much as you can.
Thank you, everyone. Last night I went to three shiurim. Reb Zvi
Meir Zilberberg, a Shovavim shiur and then another chumash shiur.
You guys make me feel like I'm not alone. This is crucial. Last
night I had a gift of clarity while walking with a friend. The past
was not there and we were just in the moment. This is a rarity for
me. May we all go higher and higher everyday.
(our dedicated 12-Step
phone conference moderator) offers below a Frum "10 Step
Program" as an alternative to the
12-Step program, for anyone that - for whatever reason - doesn't
feel the 12-Steps "talk to them". Elya writes:
I just attended a convention with 650 people who were all working
the 12 steps. Twenty of them were Frum Yidden. Some of these frum
yidden have already 4-10 years of sobriety. They have completely
saved their marriages and their lives by working the steps. Anyone
who has this much sobriety and has NOT worked the steps, please
raise your mouse and let us know about it. PLEASE! But if you insist
on a "Frum" alternative, here's one that can perhaps have the same
Admit that you have a problem - you do, or you wouldn't be reading
If you can't stop the problem on your own, think about the
reasons/causes you can't, and then explore if you can find
alternatives (to those causes).
Find a friend (even from
the forum), and either call or meet with them to discuss your
Explore the root of your disease. Why are you doing this and not
drinking or gambling?
Do a Chesbon Hanefesh: Are you helping your fellow man? Are you
holding grudges? Are you angry? The Torah says, anger is like
worshiping Avodah Zorah. How do you get rid of the anger? How do fix
your low self esteem? How do you get rid of fear? Discuss these
issues with your friend or go to a counselor.
Tell your friend everything you've done. Viduy!
Learn mussar to perfect your character traits. Take a different
trait and work it for a full week, recording your progress. Then do
it over and over again. See the sefer "Chesbon Hanefesh" for
Admit when you're wrong and make amends to anyone you've hurt. We
do this before Yom Kippur, but you can do it anytime.
Now that you've learned mussar, made amends and done a Chesbon
Hanefesh everyday, you should be a pretty sober person, healthy
mentally and happy.
A new warrior who calls himself "Boruch" has joined the forum. After
coming to the realization that he is dealing with a full blown
addiction, he is strongly determined to break free of it. We quoted
him in e-mail #389 as saying:
now realize that half-hearted measures will not work anymore and I
am now applying everything that I have, on every level, to break
Boruch has begun a log of his journey on the "Wall
of Honor" section of the forum. We encourage everyone to do he
same. Here is Boruch's first inspiring post (edited a bit) that I
think we can all learn from:
Thank you all for a life-saving and life-giving forum. Thank you
Guard for caring and being there for all of us.
This will not be a journal about struggling daily with tempting
situations and near misses. This will be a journal of a different
type of struggle entirely. A struggle to steadfastly refuse to
get caught up in the cat and mouse game of revolving door cycles of
urges and relapses and to keep absolutely, totally and
single-mindedly focused on the big picture --- developing day,
by day, with Hashem's help, the inspiration, enthusiasm, strength,
energy and determination to ultimately emerge completely victorious
in a lifetime conquest of addiction, beginning today --- with no
Hashem should help me in my quest to achieve from today a lifetime
conquest of addiction and to inspire others to strive for what they
had best only dared to dream of. To achieve what they were totally
convinced was impossible. With your Will Hashem, we should in great
numbers prove that what many and even most had believed was
impossible is really very doable if we only learn how to turn
directly to You for Guidance and how to implement your Will, one
step at a time.
days of Old when Jews like ourselves desperately needed Guidance
from Hashem they would approach the local novi or prophet who would
show them how to use their personalities, gifts and talents to
follow Hashem's Will and Plan. Today, sadly we have no nevi'im,
prophets and so we cannot get access to such ready-made and
customized Divine Prescriptions.
However we still have a Torah, and if we know how - with Hashem's
help, we can look directly and genuinely to the Torah for guidance
and go much further than we ever dreamed was possible.
Perhaps the starting point can be the most striking description of
extreme addiction that we find in Chaza"l (to my knowledge at
least). The source is the Gemara in Avodo Zoro 17a dealing with
Elazar ben Durdia, who, the Gemara tells us, was so addicted
that there was no prostitute anywhere with whom he had not sinned at
recorded by the Gemara, after a life of total and absolute failure
to curb his worst instincts, he finally confronted his sexual
addiction and cried out with tremendous intensity, "I have no one to
rely on but myself" (Gem. Avodo Zoro 17a). He then put his head
between his knees and began to weep, until he achieved such a
complete Teshuvah that his soul left his body. (For in that short
time, he was mesaken (fixed) all that he had come to the world to
fix). The Gemara records that a voice from Heaven announced that
Elazar had, in that moment, earned himself a prominent place in the
World to Come. Rebbi (R' Yehuda Hanasi) adds that not only has
Elazar ben Durdia earned himself a prominent place in the World to
Come, additionally he is now referred to as Rebbe Elazar ben
Durdia because he serves as a role model in the fight against
addiction and in the power of teshuvah.
Inspired by the example of Rebbe Elazar ben Durdia and enlightened
by the insight revealed by the Holy Tanna, Rav Yehuda Hanassi, my
personal first step in fighting this addiction is: "Personal
Responsibility" -- I take 100% ownership of my addiction.
Yesterday, two great warriors on the forum hit
Level 6, their 70th day clean! They call themselves "BeHoly"
and "Ano-nymous" - a Buchor. We are looking forward to making a big
Le'chayim for them when they reach the 90 Day
"Wall of Honor" chart.
They both posted very inspiring posts on
the forum yesterday that we can all be inspired from:
Posted (edited for clarity):
Good morning fellow warriors.
Battle log day 70 - be"h!!
Today is like no other, yesterday is gone, who knows about tomorrow?
We are here today, that is why it is called "the present" - a gift
We have all done wrong in our lives (that we thought would bring us
happiness), yet we had no happiness. We lived in fear and
depression, yet we couldn't get out. We lived in shame and we saw no
end. We yearned for closeness, but could not focus on what type of
closeness our souls really yearned for.
To everyone reading this... Hashem will help us. We can gather
strength together and fight our battles and win this war. But
fighting is not enough, we need Torah and we need Emunah that Hashem
is with us on the battlefield and will guide us through thick
What do we get from fighting this war? We get our lives back. We can
feel Shabbos again. Torah has the opportunity to become sweet again.
Our davening really talks to us. We don't live in shame. We can
stand up with our friends and relatives and not feel like we are
second class citizens always hiding something in the closet. We are
not inferior to society as much as we used to think we were. These
are just to name a few. Life becomes alive again.
Today is the day to make an advance on the enemy. We are half
way through Shovavim, the clock is ticking. Today is one day closer
to Moshiach, and this moment is the only thing we have. Let
us gather strength together and take one day at a time. Not
yesterday or tomorrow, but with tears in my eyes, I plead with you
my fellow warriors, make that day be today! Seize the
moment! We are living in erev moshiach, we don't have time to
waste. Make that push today, for the sake of Hashem and for the sake
of all that is dear to us. Believe that we can leave it
behind and build a better future.
May we all stand together outside of Mitzrayim with our souls and
bodies intact. May we be able to retain clarity as to what the
Y"H really is (the #1 enemy), and may HASHEM grant us all the
Siyatta Di'shmaya to get closer to him, one day at a time.
Well today is day 70. I really don't believe that I have come this
far. I had never even gone 1 week clean, and now I will have
completed my 10th week!! Yesterday was a hard day. The thoughts all
invaded my head at once, and I couldn't completely resist them. But
even though my head was full of poison, I refused to act on it. I
kept fighting it until I fell asleep. I hope that after the 90 days
have passed these kinds of attacks will become less frequent and
less powerful. One thing I noticed is that the images, while still
there (they may never go away), are much less vivid than they used
to be, and I think that helped me fight it off.
Yidden! Hashem and all his Malachim are dancing with divine delight
at the beautiful struggles of Yidden striving to come closer to
Hashem. Start your journey today and join those Tzadikim who will be
marching at the head of the line to greet Moshiach Tzidkeinu
This Shabbos is perhaps the most powerful Shabbos of Shovavim
since we read about Yetzias Mitzrayim. In a spiritual sense,
everyone of us is given a chance this Shabbos to leave the Mitzrayim
of the Yetzer Hara behind us once and for all.
I heard an adam Gadol speak this week, and he mentioned that
the Beis Ahron of Karlin says that this Shabbos - Parshas
(door) opens up already to the coming
Pesach (Passover Holiday). And the adam Gadol also spoke about how a
person has to stop being "Poseach
al Shnei Hase'ifim" (as Eliyahu HaNavi asked Klal Yisrael - "until when will you hold
on to both sides of the stick? If Hashem is G-d, go after him, and
if the idols [read: Yetzer Hara], then go after them).
Instead, he said, let us all fulfill the verse: "Pesach
and make a jump over to Hakadosh Baruch Hu, leaving all the
foolishness behind us.
"Struggling" Posted on the forum:
What I don't miss today about my addiction:
Feeling shame and guilt.
Trying to cover my tracks
Sneaking around and trying to think of excuses
Lying to the people I love and who love me!
Having to turn the sound off on my computer to quiet incoming
messages or IMs.
Trying to think of ways to pay for my addictions without those dear
to me finding out.
Instead, I feel clean and pure and have nothing to hide - because I
Rabbi Nachman says that in order for a person
to connect to Hashem on any level, this person must have Emunah, one
must "believe" in Hashem. And R' Nachman explains that the #1 wall
that prevents one from having Emunah in Hashem is.....SHEKER
(Falsehood). If one has a need to live a life of lies, then this is
proof that they are NOT relying on Hashem. They are not trusting in
Hashem.... (and that is why they need to use lies).
the very first step in getting to Hashem (which is what we
absolutely must do in order to heal ourselves from this sickness),
is to work on the middah of EMES (Truthfulness).
the list you wrote above of lies, cover ups, hiding etc... we have
all been there, and we know personally how terrible and shallow it
has made us feel. Why? Because we were as far as we could be from
our Father in Heaven..... and all because of the Sheker.
when we miss out on the middah of Emes, we totally miss out on our
kesher with Hashem.
Thank you "Me", what a great perspective!
Yes, those "bad old days" of living a lie are OVER, and I am not
afraid of my own shadow anymore! I love my wife more and she loves
me more! I am a better father and a better person. Most of all, I am
a better Jew. I don't need to rationalize anymore. I can LIVE! I can
LIVE FREE! I can LIVE THE TRUTH!
Hashem is great! His Torah is great! His people are great!
Here are excerpts from an inspiring post by "Boruch" on
the forum (edited a bit for clarity):
Until recently, deep down, I believed that I was really in control
and if only I wanted to enough... But that was the
critical error. Because what I thought was my single greatest
strength, "if only I wanted to enough", was my single
greatest weakness. Because I indeed could only do things
if I really wanted them enough, and that was why, much as
I tried, I was so out of control.
At that moment, and I speak here not of theories and hypotheses but
of deep and searing personal experience, I realized that I had
gotten so out of control and had sunk to such depths, that that
Monday night 12 days ago, when it was time for a certain publicly
observed mitzvah that was extremely important to me, much as I
wanted to break free and much as I had every incentive and enjoyment
to be involved in that mitzvah, I was imprisoned, hiding in
isolation, viewing forbidden material, unbeknown to anyone, my
accountability partner included, and much as I tried to break away,
the mitzvah came and went and I was unable to do anything about it.
So what did I do? Well, I have many faults, but wallowing in
self-doubt and despair is not my problem, Baruch Hashem. So I did
the one thing that I knew I needed to do. I knew that I needed to do
teshuva. Not the motions of teshuva. Not, what for me, with my
personality and background, would be a half-baked, temporary let's
see how it goes, baby steps teshuva. But a teshuva that proclaimed
from the depths of my soul:
"horeisa derech teshuva l'amcho
you have taught the path of teshuvah to your nation, Israel".
You, Hashem, have showed us the way to Teshuva in your Torah. The
words of your Holy Torah are Eternal and can be applied ABSOLUTELY
AND LITERALLY IN EVERY GENERATION, if only we do teshuva as you have
told us to, Hashem,
levovcho uvchol nafshecho -
with all your heart and all your soul".
I said, somewhere deep down in my heart, Hashem, you have taught us
through your Chossid, Rabbenu Yonah, that for frequent and addicted
sinners, after a fall, there is no time and no place for
and that the absolute total focus is to first do a complete
abandon the sin" with all one's heart, for life, once and for all, right here
and right now.
I cannot explain it, other than to say
"HaBo LeTaher Messayin Osso min
He who comes to be purified is helped from
Heaven", how I even got such feelings. Obviously, years of mussar and
inspiration do not really ever go down any drainage system. But
thanks to Hashem, deep within me I heard the stirrings of a lifetime
commitment with no relapses at all. Of course, I knew that in
implementation, it would be not just "one day at a time" but
sometimes as little as "one second at a time", but deep down I felt
that I was developing a commitment for life.
And so I went out there and did everything that would come to
mind. I confessed to my accountability partner. I signed up on
the forum. I divulged my addiction to the therapist I was seeing
for ADD treatment. I built up a fearful array of filters and
accountability software which I have further, extended and fortified
in these last 11 days. And I put everything I had into the
And in the past days, I have been building and growing my commitment
and building and growing my sobriety, and I really became convinced
that with Hashem's Kindness I would be able to follow through on my
internal notions of a lifetime commitment.
"Habib613" posted on
starting to feel the yetzer hara following me around, telling me how
disgusting and fake I am. I am trying not to let it get to me. I am
Never let the Yetzer hara tell you that you
are fake. Chaza"l say that Moshe Rabbeinu was wondering in what
merit the Yidden could leave Mitzrayim, since he had seen that they
were steeped in the 49th level of impurity. So Hashem showed Moshe
Rabbeinu the burning bush to show him that even when a Jew is bare
as a thorn bush, he has a burning fire inside him. And no matter how
low a Jew falls, he always has a great holiness and yearning deep
down that is just waiting to burst into flames. The moment a Jew
decides he wants to become better, he becomes alight with a flame of
And listen to this: Chaza"l say (in Kiddushin), that if a Rasha
Gamur marries a women on the condition that he is a Tzadik
Gamur, she is indeed married to him since we say that maybe the
Rasha had a thought of Teshuvah when he made the condition. Do
you realize what this means? This means that with ONE thought of
sincere Teshuvah, a Jew can turn himself from a Rasha Gamur
to a Tzadik Gammur!!
That's really interesting actually - that one
thought of real teshuva can turn someone into a tzaddik gamur. The
only problem is, we are always doing to teshuva - admitting,
regretting, resolving never to do it again. I myself have done it
countless times. But I always went back to my old ways. I truly feel
like a faker. On the outside everyone thinks I'm erlich. But on the
inside though, there is constant turmoil, a never ending fight
between physical desires and a desire to serve Hashem. Liars are a
to'eva (abominable) to Hashem, right? Well I am a liar, in every
sense of the word. I am trying really hard to make my life into a
life of Emes (truth), but for the time being, it's still a lie. And
so I feel I am disgusting to Hashem.
Chas veshalom to think you are disgusting to
Hashem! Hashem loves you more than you can imagine. And the truth
is, any human being that is not a Tzadik Gamur still has Sheker
inside them. As long as the Yetzer Hara is in our hearts, as long as
we don't live every second with full Emunah, as long as we don't
spend our every waking minute serving Hashem with all our beings -
we are, in a sense, liars. All of us are embroiled in a
"never ending fight between physical desires and a desire to serve
Hashem" (as you so eloquently wrote). That is why Hashem created
humans as opposed to only creating Malachim. He created the Yetzer
Hara for the purpose of us being able to grow. And it's all worth it
in the end for people like you, Jews who are genuinely yearning to
break free of the Yetzer Hara and come closer to Hashem. That is the
whole purpose of all this sheker, because there is nothing as
beautiful in Hashem's eyes as that.
The first step to becoming better is "Hakaras Hara" - recognizing
the bad. Most people don't even recognize it and therefore never
even take the first step. Hashem has granted you vision to see the
bad, recognize it, and cry out that you want to LEAVE it. That is
already a high level.
I just saw this past week in Rav Tzvi Meyer's
sefarim on Hischazkus (parshas Shemos - Shovavim) that sometimes a
person didn't even have full bechirah in the past, and his sins were
like a "Shogeg" (mistake) . But the Yetzer Hara always tries to make
him feel that his "Shogeg" was a "Meizid" (purposeful) so that he
will get down and give up hope.
Never let the past or future concern you at all. Live only in
the moment. If that is the ONE thing you learn from the entire
GuardUrEyes network, it will have been worth it.
Hashem understands how hard it is. He put you in this struggle so
you could learn how to love him truly, one step at a time. And each
time you make a new push for it, each time you do any small thing
to try and get holier and break free, it gives Hashem tremendous
nachas ruach and it does much more than you can imagine in helping
you to ultimately break free forever.
In this weeks Parsha we read about Kriyas Yam Suf - the
splitting of the sea. Even after the Yidden had left Mitzrayim,
Pharaoh chased after them. And they would have indeed been lost if
not for the Emunah and Messiras Nefesh of Nachshon Ben
Aminadov, who Chaza"l say went into the water up to his nose before
the Yam Suf finally split and the Yidden were saved.
Each one of us can experience our own personal Kriyas Yam Suf.
Indeed, even after we have left the Mitzrayim of addiction behind
us, the Yetzer Hara continues to chase after us and try to drag us
back into Mitzrayim. He asks as Pharaoh did: "How could we have
let the Bnei Yisrael out from our servitude?".
And it is only with pure faith and Messiras Nefesh, like
Nachson ben Aminadov, that we can be successful in truly breaking
free of the Yetzer Hara's grasp forever.
But as long as we still haven't done all we can on our own, Hashem
says to us
Titzak Elai? Daber El Binei Yisrael Ve'Yisa'u! -
Why do you cry out to me, tell the
Children of Israel to move forward!". One may ask, "Where should the Yidden have gone, into the
sea??" And the answer is, YES. Hashem indeed asks of us Messiras
Nefesh and Emunah in our personal struggles to break free
of the Yetzer Hara. Even if it looks hopeless and we don't believe
we will succeed, we must MOVE FORWARD and do all we can with
complete trust in Hashem (even if what we are doing seems
insignificant to achieving the goal).
So how do we fulfill
We must be ready to enter into the deep waters of commitment by
doing things that take what feels like Messiras Nefesh. This
includes putting in strong filters (and giving the password to
someone else), telling someone close to us about our struggles and
being brutally honest with ourselves and with Hashem. And when we
have done all we can and then we cry out to Hashem
"Hatzilaini, Ki Ba'u Mayim Ad Nafesh
- Save me, for the waters have come until my soul!",
at that moment
Yilachem Lachem Ve'atem Tacharishun
- Hashem will fight for you and you shall be
silent" and we shall experience a miracle as great as the splitting of the
Someone brought to our attention a wonderful accountability system
that was set up by frum Yidden, for Frum Yidden. It
uses the well known "Eye Covenant" technology, but it is being
offered at a large discount price. Check out
Sign up today and let this be your first jump into the Yam Suf!
A beautiful post from "Chasdei Avos" on
the forum (after not hearing from him for a few
I am indebted to everyone here for all
eternity, because bli ayin hora with ezras Hashem always, I have
been clean almost as a whistle, since rosh chodesh Elul. Hashem
should continue to give us all the strength we need.
Around Elul time I lost my job, and although I was not unhappy bec I
really didn't enjoy it that much, I got down and frustrated a lot.
However, I spent a few hours each day writing and reading on this
web site. Since then, I feel like I have broke free (hopefully from
the menuval). I now see that I must kiss Hashem and hug Him a
trillion times for giving me the opportunity to be unemployed so
that I could spend time on this website. I davened for many years
that I should overcome this particular Y"H, and now, (as Hashem
always does, we just don't always see it), Hashem answered my
tefillos by taking away my job, so I could focus on this addiction
(which I never ever thought was an addiction until I came to this
website) and now I see the Yad Hashem.
Part of what has been working for me is a complete ban on TV, no
matter how clean the show or movie is. For me, just getting near a
TV (with cable) is dangerous. So I have not even watched 2 mins of
TV Bezras Hashem since then. The hardest is on vacation, where I
always used to kick back and watch a movie. But I realized that
would be too dangerous. Not to mention that the hotel TV's are X
rated even if you don't officially watch anything X rated, because
just scrolling is terrible.
Thank you all and thank You Hashem, and please let our struggles
(not just our victories) be a zchus for all sick and jobless in the
the people that think they are not doing well because they are still
falling: it is a process. In the beginning of the process, you think
you're not doing well because you still fall. But falling and
getting up is PART OF THE PROCESS. What do you think, you start
right away with no falls? I fell for 38 years, until I finally,
finally, was ready to stop falling. Have patience, and you WILL
SUCCEED. In the yomim noraim davening it says
yom MOSO techakeh lo letshuva - until the day of his death, he waits for him to do
Teshuvha". I hope it doesn't take you as long as it took me, but
be prepared for the long haul, and be prepared that it's going to be
hard. And don't think about tomorrow.
"Mevakesh" Responds to "Jack":
Dear Jack. I read your words, and it brings tears of joy to my eyes
and heart! Just a few months short ago you didn't believe that you
could change. You thought the Yetzer Hara had you in his wicked net
forever! Yet, with hard work, Emunah and perseverance, you are here
today a changed man, telling others that IT CAN BE DONE!!!
WOW! You are awesome Jack! A real Tzaddik!
"Jack" Responds to "Mevakesh":
Dear mevakesh until 120, may Hashem shower you with blessings ad bli
dai! As you know, I agree with everything you said except one thing
- I dont think that you should call me a tzadik. I really look for
the truth and i'm really not a tzadik - just trying to be one.
Response to "Jack" from GUE:
Jack it, won't help you. "Trying to be one" is what ALL Tzadikim do
:-) Listen to this, I once heard an amazing vort. It says -
Hashar laHashem Tzadikim Yavo'u Vo - This is the gate to Hashem, Tzadikim
will enter in it". The question is, WHAT IS
Hashar"? The answer is found in Pasuk before that says "Pischu
li Sharei Tzedek avo vum Odeh Ka - Open for me the gates of righteousness, I
shall enter them and praise Hashem"...
When a person feels that he is still outside the gates and is
begging Hashem to let him in saying:
"Zeh Hashar" - that precisely IS the
(gate) to Hashem of all true Tzadikim. (But those who feel they
already ARE Tzadikim are missing the boat :-)
I want to share with you a beautiful story of recovery that someone
www.jewishsexuality.com. The story contains tips and ideas that
can help us all in this struggle, but what I found the nicest about
it, is the simple no-nonsense outlook that the writer has, accepting
the fact that Hashem put us in this situation for a reason, and that
with hard work -and over time- we can fully break free.
Along a similar vein (to this outlook), someone recently shared with
us a beautiful Shiur that offers some really important perspective
and YESODOS in dealing with these struggles (many of the ideas are
from the Steipler). I hope to send some Chizuk e-mails in the future
about the main points of the Shiur, but whoever would like to listen
to it can download it
from here -
very highly recommended!
am a religious orthodox person who has grown up with a religious (frum)
education and social circle but tragically fell victim to internet
pornography at about 16 years of age.
years of yeshiva followed by further education, and until recently I
really struggled with internet pornography.
am a very sensitive and spiritual person. I also have many good
qualities and have seen many wonderful opportunities and employment
taken away from me - as a consequence of low self esteem and low
confidence that has resulted from pornography. It has been so severe
the I have twice become depressed and suffered great mental anguish
However, in hindsight, these are some of the moments that now give
me the greatest STRENGTH and DETERMINATION to remain clean.
always felt that I had inner power of strength and determination,
but truth be told I did not understand what such qualities (and
blessings) really were... until now.
many years, the temptations of internet pornography were too strong
to resist on a weekly if not daily basis. I often think about the
quantity and quality of time that could have been better spent, in
addition to the waste of holy seed. I always made an effort to
correct my ways, but grew complacent.
However, through light meditation and heartfelt prayer on a regular
basis, I was able to slowly but surely intensify both personal power
and my decision making ability to recover from this problem. The
pornography had become a habit that possessed me for many years, day
and night, but I knew that G-d, Hashem (Bless His Name) wanted me
(like He does every one of his people) to correct my misdeeds and
recover from this temporary sickness.
Internet pornography may be difficult to resist, but my personal
story and reflection PROVES that any person CAN and MUST gain
confidence in him or herself and increase oneself in EMUNAH (belief)
through light meditation and prayer.
Baruch Hashem I am now able to honestly and with dignity say that I
feel ready, strong, healthy (emotionally and mentally) and close to
Hakadosh Barach Hu to pray for and - PLEASE G-D - be blessed with a
suitable women to marry under the chupah.
Hakadosh Barach Hu bless you and grant you success and energy in
your endeavors and effort in acheiving a Teshuva Shleimah.
2" (more tips from this writer) will be sent tomorrow IY"H.
Someone recently shared with us a beautiful Shiur from Rabbi Yisroel
that offers some very important perspective and YESODOS in dealing
with these struggles (many of the ideas are from the Steipler). We
strongly encourage everyone to download the Shiur
and listen to it.
Yesterday we sent out a beautiful story of
recovery that someone posted on
www.jewishsexuality.com. Below, the author shares tips
and advice on how he succeeded to break free of this addiction.
What a person needs when struggling with desires or temptations that
are self destructive physically and spiritually, is primarily
STRENGTH and DETERMINATION. Ultimately, the aim is to live your own
life in accordance to HASHEM'S RATZON (will).
is best defined as persistence in overcoming obstacles and avoiding
to meet the enemy on the same path. We all have personal challenges
and problems, but how to respond is the key to the success. The main
purpose of life is freewill - CHOICE (bachira). A person needs to
understand the root of each behavior and action, i.e. the cause of
the desire, and the desire itself. This is best understood through
internalization, by way of meditation and prayer. Determination
follows from the above.
In the repentance (Teshuva) process there are three main stages:
CONFESSION, FORSAKING SIN, and REGRET.
Once a person forsakes the sin and resists the temptation that is
clearly evil and self harmful, only then can the determination to
abandon such harmful misdeeds really kick-in.
course, the temptation is extremely strong and to be able to resist
wrongdoing is painful at first, especially once it has become a
habit. It is important to know though, that the strength of the
desire to sin is more powerful at first due to the fact that the
root of the sin has not yet been corrected, i.e. through complete
However, prior to any chance of the possibility of overcoming
temptation, a person needs to make a firm DECISION and take measures
or make barriers not to cross the RED LINE. Simply consider the
CONSEQUENCES in both the short and long term. These may include loss
of self esteem and destroyed confidence, which ultimately negatively
affects personal relationships, employment, life-opportunities,
etc... and can go as far as leading to broken marriages, G-d forbid.
of the above should be applied on a momentary basis. That is, for
some people such a decision or act of strength (gevurah) may be once
a week, every day or even on an hourly basis.
is vital that if a person slips up, G-d forbid, that he retain a
positive attitude and perceive it not as failure or weakness but as
a step forward.
such circumstance, such a person must make every endeavor to immerse
in a ritual bath (mikveh) at the earliest opportunity. It is taught
that a person should ideally stay under the waters (when immersed)
for at least a few seconds and to concentrate (kavanah) on Teshuva
as part of the repentance process.
Understand further that when a person has immersed in the waters (of
the mikveh) in addition to a purification, it is also a change in
status from impure to pure.
This is an opportunity for such a person to follow by praying with
the depths of one's heart and to call out - ideally with tears, as
part of the repentance (teshuva) process.
Such a person is truly on the way to making progress and building a
foundation of strength and determination, which will ultimately
bring them closer to Hashem.
Please understand that this typically does take time to
'learn oneself'. The objective, in summary, is to understand the
root of the misdeed in order to find inner power and strength to
take responsibility - via a strong decision - and to better one's
life by being much closer to G-d, Hakadosh Barach Hu, who has
blessed His holy sons and daughters with an ongoing opportunity for
The Gates of Repentance (Rabbeinu Yonah of Gerona), Waters of Eden
(Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan), The Garden of Emunah (Rav Shalom Arush/Rabbi
RECITE 10 CHAPTERS OF TEHILLIM (CONCENTRATE!):
16, 32, 41 ,42, 59, 77 ,90, 105, 137 ,150)
sincerely pray that you find INSPIRATION (chizuk) and BLESSING (baracha)
in your yearning for strength and determination to become close to
Hakadosh Barach Hu.