The Shmiras Ainayim Chizuk List
Jump Into His Arms
sin of the Meraglim was that they believed "it could not be
done". It is so easy to be guilty of the same sin, especially when
dealing with the powerful desires of the Yetzer Hara. We must
realise that even if people might think that it's not physically
possible to be truly holy in today's crazy world, G-d is not
limited to their abilities. Many people who originally thought it
was impossible, learned to put their full trust in G-d and give over
their desires to Him. Just like a child trusts his father and jumps
into his waiting arms - even from a height - without the slightest
fear, we need to be able to just "let go" of our desires and trust
fully that G-d will take care of us.
If we do this, then Hashem will indeed bring us through the desert
and into Eretz Yisrael. As it is written:
"Zacharti Lach Chesed Ne'urayich - Lech tech
remember the kindness of your youth i.e. how you gave over your trust [when
I said to you:]
"follow me into the barren desert"...
The Chafetz Chaim's Letter
the year 1927, at a time of world depression and widespread
persecution of the Jews, the Chafetz Chaim wrote an appeal to world
Jewry to speak out on the dangers of immodesty, in order to stem the
sufferings of the Jewish People. We quote here some excerpts from
....However, today, because of our great sins, bitterness surrounds
us, and when a person looks around him at the state of his life,
there is not a day that is not cursed more than yesterday. And when
he examines his situation regarding Torah and mitzvot, he sees that
there also he has absolutely no success. And even though every Jew
beseeches the Holy One Blessed Be He to answer his pleadings and to
grant him respite, no one hears - this is the true situation.
I have said that the main reason is that we ourselves distance the
Holy One Blessed Be He from us.
...."Behold, our Sages stated, 'A handbreadth exposed in a woman, in
a place that is usually covered, constitutes sexual unchastity' (Berachot
24A). And today, due to our many sins, this matter has very greatly
spread, and the evil inclination seduces women to walk around
without covering their hair, and to go out with their arms exposed
in sleeveless dresses. And many of their garments expose the chest.
Everything is exposed so that in whatever place a man should look,
he is confronted with unchastity....
"In summary, this terrible fashion of the times brings a man to have
evil imaginations, and sometimes also the emission of semen in vain,
G-d forbid, (and in doing so, he endangers his small children, as
the brilliant Torah scholar, the Yaabetz, wrote in his prayerbook).
And almost because of this terrible fashion alone, we ourselves
negate the admonishment of the Holy One Blessed Be He, as it
says, "Therefore your camp shall be holy, that He not see in you any
... "And due to our many sins, a great blaze has erupted in His
vineyard in several places because of this terrible fashion. For the
power of impurity has considerably strengthened because of this. As
our Sages have said on the verse,"And you shall guard yourselves
from every evil thing" (Devarim, 23:10), that a man should not have
sexual thoughts during the day and come to pollute himself at night
(Ketubot 46A). For if this should occur, all of the blessing and
Divine flow to this man's deeds will be cut off, and because of this
he will be surrounded by evil tribulations, as is written in the
holy books of wisdom.
"Therefore, every man has the obligation to extinguish this terrible
fire, and to rectify the situation in his home so that everything
will be according to the law, and not to allow licentiousness, G-d
forbid. And in doing so, he will merit to have upright and exalted
..."These words are written in the honor of G-d and His Torah, out
of anguish over the tribulations of His nation Israel, with the
longing for redemption, speedily in our time, Amen.
Yisrael Meir, the son of Areyeh Zev, the Kohen
Imagination & Shmiras Einayim
person usually thinks of imagination as something that runs wild on
the occasions that he isn't careful with shmiras einayim.
Imagination, however, can actually be an extremely powerful weapon
in the battle against the yetzer hara and its desire to run
around unchecked in our minds.
Instinctively, a person may glance a second time after seeing a
sight that he finds enticing, despite the fact that it may be
improper to look at. The mind hasn't fully processed what the eyes
have seen in the first split second, yet it knows that there is now
something worthy of its attention and desires to get a better look.
This brief moment in time between the first and second glances is
where employing the power of imagination is crucial. At this moment,
a person must tell himself that he did not see anything at all.
Once the brain receives this command signal, it looses its desire to
look a second time. A person can than proceed along his way as if
nothing happened and maintain his thoughts focusing on matters of
The Virtues of Purity & Holiness
(Part 1: 20
out of 80)
highlight the supreme stature of living a life of holiness, we will
list [in the coming days] 80 outstanding virtues of shmiras
habris, as compiled by the Torah giant, Rabbi Aharon Rata, in
his book, "Taharas HaKodesh." In the original Hebrew text, Rabbi
Rata brings sources for each entry in the list.
who guards the Brit is the pinnacle of Creation, and the world
is upheld by him.
There is no
nation in the world that can rule over Israel, in the merit of
those who guard the Brit.
It is as if
he kept all of the Torah.
He will merit
to see HaKadosh Baruch Hu in the future world, and this is the
greatest possible pleasure.
He will merit
to achieve the completion of his soul.
He will merit
that the Shechinah not depart from him.
aspect will also be illuminated.
He is called
a man of valor.
Baruch Hu attires him with the attribute of splendor.
He merits to
cleave to G-d.
Baruch Hu will heal him from all of his ailments and pains.
favorable blessings on himself and his family.
Baruch Hu guards over him, and nothing can cause him harm.
Baruch Hu takes pride in him each day.
Baruch Hu remembers him every day.
first come to him, and then to the rest of the world.
The angel "Duma"
and all of the destructive angels do not have permission to come
The Virtues of Purity & Holiness
21 - 40 (out of 80)
bring here another 20 out of the 80 outstanding virtues of shmiras
habris, as compiled by the Torah giant, Rabbi Aharon Rata, in his
book, "Taharat HaKodesh." In the original Hebrew text, Rabbi Rata
brings sources for each entry in the list.
blessing to the Shechinah.
pleasure in his service of G-d.
Baruch Hu grants him more honor than anyone else.
He merits to
be spared from the tribulations of Mashiach's coming, and from
all kinds of punishments, and he merits to be redeemed.
redemption, at the time of the great day of judgment, he will be
Baruch Hu establishes the world to come for him.
He is joined
to the Shechinah, and she bears witness for him to save him from
all of the accusing angels - during his life and after his
He unites HaKadosh
Baruch Hu with the Shechinah.
permission to enter the gate of the Tzaddikim.
The Angel of
Death has no permission to approach him, and his death comes not
at its hands.
He merits to
experience the holiness of Shabbat.
The Name of
G-d rests on him.
many souls from Gehinom.
the partner of G-d.
He merits the
He merits to
vanquish the four impure klipot.
inscribed in the highest world.
The upper and
lower celestial beings tremble before him.
The waves and
storms of the ocean become calm before him.
The Virtues of Purity & Holiness
41 - 60 (out of 80)
bring here another 20 out of the 80 outstanding virtues of shmiras
habris, as compiled by the Torah giant, Rabbi Aharon Rata, in
his book, "Taharat HaKodesh." In the original Hebrew text, Rabbi
Rata brings sources for each entry in the list.
Baruch Hu shelters him from enemies and from the evil eye.
angel can damage his soul.
He merits to
reach exalted levels.
He is called
the work of G-d's hands and the goal of Creation.
He is called
a member of the King's court.
The Names of
G-d protect him.
about the sweetening of bitter decrees.
He is called
the complete man.
He fills the
holy sefirot with Divine influx.
From this, he
himself receives constant blessings.
His image is
imprinted in the Shechinah.
When there is
suffering in the world, the Patriarchs join with him to cancel
the evil decree.
All of the
evil spiritual forces and the Sitra Achara take distance from
factor in the coming of the redemption is Shmirat HaBrit.
of the House of David and the building of Jerusalem depends on Shmirat
death, he is worthy of an aron, the internment befitting a
righteous man like Yosef.
He is saved
from all harsh judgments.
He causes the
renewal of the stream of blessings to the world which was dried
up because of sins.
He is called
an unblemished, righteous man.
His body does
not return to dust.
The Virtues of Purity & Holiness
(61 - 80)
bring here the final set of 20 outstanding virtues of shmiras
habris (out of the 80 we brought over the past few days), as
compiled by the Torah giant, Rabbi Aharon Rata, in his book, "Taharat
HaKodesh." In the original Hebrew text, Rabbi Rata brings sources
for each entry in the list.
He is spared
the sufferings of the grave.
the transcendental land of the living.
and ascent of the angels are all in his behalf.
In his merit,
many Jews are rescued from blemishing the Brit.
He is worthy,
like the High Priest, of bringing an offering on the altar.
of knowledge expands and his thoughts are purified.
He merits to
become a chariot for the upper Yesod.
Baruch Hu opens the fountains of wisdom for him.
He merits a
broken heart and all good attributes.
He merits to
bring merits to others, and his words are accepted.
He merits to
perform acts of kindness in the proper manner.
He merits to
pray in the proper fashion.
He merits to
sanctify himself even in matters that are permitted.
He merits to
feel the fear of G-d.
Divine Providence more than all the world.
considered like one of the Prophets.
all of the Jewish People merit to attain these exalted virtues.
this page at www.jewishsexuality.com
True Nature of the Yetzer Hara
There once was a king wanted to see whom
among his servants was truly brave and
strong. He had one of his foolish court
jesters dress up in a large dragon
outfit that looked strong and fierce.
The king then called in his mightiest
warrior and his wise advisor to fight
this dragon in front of him. The warrior
entered the arena to fight, but when he
caught a glimpse of the frightening
monster coming towards him, he fled.
However, the wise advisor thought to
himself "the king is beloved to me and I
am beloved to him, it can not be that
the king would send me to fight such a
monster and surely be killed, it must be
a trick". And as he thought thus, he
went forth and with a great gasp from
the crowd, he pulled the costume off of
the foolish jester in front of everyone.
And the king awarded his wise advisor
the highest honors.
I was reading your website and
discovered that is forbidden to gaze at
women and admire them for their beauty.
Does this to apply to non-married men
Most certainly. While a man must look at
a potential marriage partner to see if
he likes her, he shouldn't go around
gazing at women on the street, in the
movies or TV, on the Internet, or in
magazines. The eyes are the windows to
the soul and they must be guarded in
A famous poet once captured in words the
sensation experienced by gazing at an
glance has given me sudden rebirth,
see you again only in eternity?
This momentary rush of passion is
destructive to the Jewish man, his
household and family.
A Jew must walk the streets with his
eyes focused on the few yards of
pavement in front of him or on the
rooftops, but not at the "fleeting
Initially, you will find it extremely
difficult to ignore curiosity's
calling to see who is out and about, to
glance in the car passing by, etc. But,
once you practice the guarding of your
eyes for several days, you will begin to
sense control over the intake of your
eyes. Your sense of sight will no longer
be given over to chance and
happenstance, but rather you will be the
master. You will feel a new dimension of
strength and self-control.
This mitzvah of not "going astray
after your eyes" is one of the
hardest, but one of the most
One member wrote:
"I used to lust after
everything and my mind was
full of fantasies all the
time. I thought I just had a
huge yetzer hara but as I
learned to control my eyes,
I felt the lust just fade
away. I don't even want to
get aroused any more and my
mind isn't filled with
fantasies like before. It
seems clear to me that
there's a direct correlation
between a person's actions
and his desires. No matter
how big the yetzer hara
seems, if you ignore him for
a while, he just goes away.
I'm amazed at my progress. I
never believed I could feel
All Encompassing Desire
R' Nachman writes that every Jewish soul
is connected with the 70 holy souls that
went down to Mitzrayim with Yaakov Avinu,
which correspond to the 70 facets of the
Torah. And on the side of impurity there
are the 70 nations of the world, with
each nation representing another evil
trait or worldly desire. But the desire
for sexual transgression is the
all-encompassing trait that represents
all 70 evil traits and desires. And then
R' Nachman writes, that he who succeeds
in conquering this desire will find all
the other desires of the world easy to
conquer, and he will be worthy of having
the secrets of the Torah revealed to
him. (Lekutei Maharan, 36)
Never underestimate the power of
heartfelt prayer before G-d. Without G-d's
constant assistance, we would not be
able to win the battle against this
tenacious enemy. Prayers from the heart
can be said in the language you know
best. To illustrate, here is the
translation of a prayer based on an
excerpt from the writings of Rabbi Natan,
the foremost student of Rebbe Nachman of
Breslov, from the book, "Likutei
"May it be Your will, my G-d and G-d of
my fathers, that I merit in Your great
mercy and kindness to cleanse my mind of
foreign thoughts and false wisdoms, that
I not pollute and derange my mind with
lusts and sexual fantasies, G-d forbid.
And that I not infest my brain with
lusts and evil fantasies, and that I not
have any unholy thoughts at all. Rather
let my thoughts be clean, refined, and
pure, without doing anything to cause
unholy thoughts to lodge there in the
holy chamber of my brain, which is like
the Holy of Holies. Give me the strength
to overcome all evil thoughts and
fantasies that come to confuse my mind,
especially the evil thoughts that I have
brought upon myself by not guarding my
sight, and by looking at illicit images.
"Let me not give room at all in my mind
to such polluted thoughts and deeds,
which distance me from You with a
horrible distance. Have mercy upon me,
my G-d, for I know the terrible damage
these evil thoughts cause in all of the
upper spiritual worlds which are always
connected to my mind through the awesome
interconnectedness of Your creation, and
which sever me from Your holiness, and
from the holiness of Israel, the source
of my life. You alone know the great and
terrible lust which overcomes me,
confusing my mind again and again,
polluting my very being until my mind is
completely filled with evil fantasies.
And not only have I not overcome these
evil inclinations, but I myself brought
them upon myself through my wanton
doings, when I knew that this unholy
behavior wasn't Your will for Your holy
Jewish People. Woe is me for the days
that I have wasted in sin."
"Therefore, my G-d, and G-d of my
fathers, I come before you with a broken
and sorrowful heart, humbling myself
before Your Kingship, appealing to Your
mercy like a poor man at the gates, that
You forgive me in Your abundant
kindness, though I be undeserving, and
that You bring me from darkness to
light, and that you help me from this
day forth to sanctify my thoughts. May I
be successful in banishing these
polluted thoughts from my mind, and
avoiding like fire anything that awakens
evil fantasies and lust in my heart and
my brain. Give me the strength to
overcome my evil inclinations, and may
my thoughts be always holy and
sanctified in Your service. Amen."
("Likutei Tefillot," 1:4)
Translation taken from www.jewishsexuality.com
Avraham Twerski sent this to us to
inspire our members:
here for many great articles and
correspondence that we've had with Rabbi
Twerski in the past.)
Our Neshama is Holy Too!
A man told me that he was at the
airport, and he had his tallis and
tefillin in his carry on. "I had to go
to the men's room, so I left my carry on
outside the men's room, because I didn't
want to take my kedusha items in there.
Then it occurred to me, that my neshama
is kedusha, and if I don't take my
tallis and tefillin into the bathroom,
how can I take my holy neshama into an
indecent place? Sure, I take my neshama
into the bathroom because that's how G-d
created me, so He wants me to do it. But
he doesn't want me to take the holy
neshama into the cesspool of the
internet. Because the neshama is part of
G-d Himself, it's the worst insult to
G-d to take it into immoral places".
Rejoice in the Struggle!
Excerpted from the Tanya, Chapter 27, by
the first Admor of Chabad, the Baal
HaTanya, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi.
"However, should the sadness (in serving
G-d) stem not from worry over sins, but
from evil thoughts and desires that
enter his mind - if they appear not
during Divine Service but while he is
occupied with his own affairs and with
everyday matters, he should, on the
contrary, be happy in his portion that,
though they enter his mind, he averts
his mind from them in order to fulfil
the obligation, That you seek not after
your own heart and your eyes which lead
you astray (Bamidbar, 15:39).
"This verse does not speak about
Tzaddikim, to refer to them as going
astray, G-d forbid, but of people of
intermediate standing (benonim) like
him, in whose mind enter sexual
fantasies, whether of an innocent nature
or otherwise. When he averts his mind
from them, he is fulfilling the
commandment of the verse. Indeed, the
Rabbis of blessed memory have said, 'He
who has passively abstained from
committing a sin, receives a reward as
though he had performed a precept' (Kiddushin
39b). Consequently, he should rejoice at
his compliance with the injunction as
when performing an actual positive
...For this is the nature of the service
of the intermediate level (benoni) - to
subdue the evil impulse and thought
rising from the heart to the brain, and
to completely avert the mind therefrom,
thrusting the temptation away with both
hands, as has been explained (Tanya, Ch.
12). And with every thrust that he
expels the fantasy from his mind, the
sitra achra down below is suppressed,
and since "the stimulus from below
causes a stimulus from above" (Zohar
135b), the sitra achra above which soars
like an eagle, is also suppressed, in
accordance with what is written, 'Though
thou exalt thyself as the eagle, thence
I will bring thee down, says the L-rd' (Ovadia,
1:4). Thus the Zohar, Parshat Trumah,
extols the great satisfaction before the
Holy One Blessed Be He when the sitra
achra is subdued here below, for then
the glory of the Holy One Blessed Be He
rises above all, more than any other
praise, and this ascent is greater than
all else (Zohar 128b).
"Therefore, no person should feel
depressed, nor should his heart become
exceedingly troubled, even though he be
engaged all his days in this conflict,
for perhaps because of this he was
created, and this is his service -
constantly to subjugate the sitra achra."
Translation from www.jewishsexuality.com
Make it Disgusting in
The Medrash says that Pinchas drove his
spear straight through the genitals of
Zimri and Kuzbi the Midyanite, as they
were sinning together. Then G-d gave
Pinchas divine strength and he was able
to lift both of their their dead bodies
up out of the tent, while still on the
for all to see
that they had been
killed for their sins.
The Holy Ohr Hachaim Hakodesh writes,
that through doing this, Pinchas made
the sin of illicit relations
in the eyes of the
Yidden and thereby caused a tremendous
On a similar note, the Ohr Hachayim
writes as well in another place, that
after the Midyanites brought the Jews to
sin in illicit relations, G-d commanded
es Hamidyanim Ve'hikesem Osam"
the Midyanim hated in your eyes and
destroy everything of theirs"
the Ohr Hachayim asks, why do we need to
hate them and destroy everything, why
not be able to benefit at least from the
booty of the enemy? Answers the ohr
Hachayim, that when it comes to immoral
sexual conduct (that the Midyanites
caused the Jews to sin in), the only way
for the Jews to receive G-d's
forgiveness and atone properly would be
turn their hearts to hate these sins
and destroy all that is related to it.
For as long as the lust of the sin
remains alive in a Jew's heart, he
cannot properly atone for sins of this
nature. Instead, he must try to first
arouse a disgust and hatred of these
sins in his heart - and only then he can
achieve a true Teshuvah.
For a similar thought related to
this week's Parsha Ki Seitzai
please see today's Chizuk e-mail from
e-mail list: #568 on
"Measure for Measure"
Advice from Rebbe Nachman of Breslov
(Likutei Etzot, Thoughts and
"Therefore, when sexual fantasies come
upon one's thoughts, and the person
breaks his passion and averts his
thoughts from them, this is his main
t'shuva and the principle manner that he
rectifies his past transgressions to the
Brit, each person according to his
deeds. This is doing repentance "measure
for measure". Thus, a person shouldn't
become depressed when he sees that
wicked and ugly fantasies are
overwhelming him. On the contrary - this
is his way of repentance and
rectification, for precisely when these
fantasies come to him now and he
overcomes them, this is his main t'shuva
and tikun, and in this manner, he
liberates sparks of holiness that fell
into impurity through transgressions to
the Brit. This is the way he merits to
rectify the Brit."
You Can Do It
Tikunot and Hadrachot, Ch. 31
"This is a rule that you should know, my
son, the Holy One Blessed Be He does not
test a person beyond his powers and his
ability to withstand the trial, because
the Holy One Blessed Be He does not
needlessly cause his creations to
suffer. On the contrary, the Holy One
Blessed Be He only tests a man to his
benefit, to elevate him, and to bring
him praise, and to rectify his soul. For
a person is brought into this world
precisely to undergo trials. Holiness is
not awarded to a person from Heaven as a
gift without the withstanding of trials.
And when a person knows and believes
that Holy One Blessed Be He is with him
during all of his trials, then this
faith strengthens his mental and
physical powers, and all evil forces are
scattered before him."
The Easy Way & the Hard Way
One way or another, we are here to work.
Our sages say
"adam le'amal yulad -
a man was born to toil". There's
no escaping it and there are no two ways
about it. As the Torah makes clear, if
the Jewish people try to shirk their
obligations to serve G-d through joy,
they will serve their enemies through
And as it is on a national level, so it
applies on an individual level. Each one
of us has his job to do. If we decide
that it is too difficult to fight our
evil inclinations, we will find
ourselves fighting much more difficult
and bitter things down the line, G-d
forbid. One who gives up on his fight
with the yetzer
hara may find himself fighting
his wife, fighting poverty, fighting
illness or any combination of these, c"v.
(Conversely, the Steipler points out in
the first volume of
D'igrisah that anyone who keeps
away from forbidden pleasures is
promised to receive the pleasures of
life from other areas instead).
This world is like a hallway to the
next. It is only a means to
the ultimate goal of
"Lachazos Be'noam Hashem -
to bask in the glory of G-d". The
Kabbalistic books write that every Jew
will have to come to his Tikkun (rectification)
by hook or by crook. So why do it
through many reincarnations and so much
suffering, when we can much more easily
serve G-d with happiness and accept the
yoke of heaven
So next time the Yetzer Hara comes to
us, we should tell him that
have a choice whether to work or
not. Because in any event, somewhere
down the line - we will have
to do the work we were given. So
instead of making it hard on ourselves,
let's do it the right way, the first
time, with joy!
Where are you Heading?
According to Kabbala, from midnight
and on is considered a time of Rachamim (divine
mercy) even though it is still
middle of the night. Yet from
midday and on is considered a time
of Din (divine
judgement), even though the sun is
still high in the sky. Although this
seems strange, the reasoning is
beautiful. From midday and on, the
sun has already began it's journey
to setting; we are already facing
towards the night and is therefore a
time of Din.
On the other hand, from midnight,
the sun has began its return journey
and we are now facing towards the
morning. Therefore it is considered
a time of Rachamim -
though it is still the darkness time
of the night.
From this we can learn a big Yesod.
It is the direction that a person is
heading that matters to G-d,
where he currently stands.
Let Go & Let G-d
The great David Hamelech recognized
that only through Hashem's divine
intervention can one succeed in
subduing the evil inclination. He
mentions this theme many times in
Tehhillim - see below for three
examples. Moshe Rabbeinu as well,
was only able to take the Yidden out
of Egypt and split the Yam Suf by
virtue of his absolute nullification
before G-d, as he said "Va'anachnu
What are we?"
So, if we want to split our own
personal sea and leave the bondage
of Egypt behind, the first step is
to recognize that ONLY Hashem can do
it. And only Hashem is strong enough
to take us out of Egypt. We alone
are not strong enough.
Along these lines, Chaza"l say that Moshiach can't
come until the time when the Yidden
"Ein Lanu Al Mi Lesha'ain Ela Al
Avinu Shebashamayim -
We have no one to rely on but our
father in heaven".
This is a recurrent theme in all of
the Torah and Chaza"l. And as it is
on a national level, so it is on a
personal level. True redemption of
any kind can not be achieved before
a person truly knows that he has no
hope but G-d Himself.
Examples from Tehillim:
Rasha Latzadik umevakesh
le'hamiso - Hashem Lo Ya'azvenu
The Rasha (the Yetzer Hara)
gazes upon the tzadik and
desires to kill him, but Hashem
will not let him fall into his
And Chaza"l say on this:
"Yitzro Shel Adam Misgaber Alav
Bechol Yom Veilmalai Hakadosh
Baruch Hu Ozer Lo, Aino Yuchal
The evil inclination of a man
strengthens himself upon a man
each day and desires to destroy
him, and if G-d wouldn't help
him he would not be able to
"Lulai Ezrasa Li, Kima'at
Shuchneh duma Nafshi -
Had you not helped me, my soul
should have been laid rest by
Dumah (the angel of Gehenom)"
"Ani Amarti Bishalvi bal emot
le'olam, hashem birtzoncha
he'emadeta learri Oz.. histartah
panecha hayisi nival -
I had thought in my peaceful
times that I shall never falter,
but Hashem, it was your will
that did uphold me to show
strength. Had you hidden your
face, I should have been
"If there's no water, you
can't put out fire"
One struggling member wrote us
something beautiful and true...
I need Kedusha to counteract Tumah.
I need it regularly, and it will
replace filthy thoughts with
powerful desires to grow in a
positive way. I know it works, I've
experienced it and tasted the
exhilarating sweetness and freedom
that living "confined" to the
guidelines of Torah truly
represents. I've seen a lot of
information on Jewish websites
describing the struggle between the
yetzer tov and the yetzer hora but
they don't really describe a
substitute for being filled with
filth. If there's no water, it's
hard to put out fire - even if you
know it burns.
Make sure to learn Torah every day.
- There's nothing like a Daf
Yomi Shiur. Gemara is "Sechel
Hayashar - straight
thinking" and when a person is
thinking straight and G-dly, the
Yetzer Hara can't get a grip on him.
- Infuse your soul with holiness and
read a few minutes of
Zohar once in a while. Even
if you don't understand it, your
soul will feel the holiness and it
will cleanse you out.
Zohar is known to be a
special Segulah to
save one from the grasp of the
- For a little taste of the entire
spectrum of the Torah, read each
for a little Torah,
Nevi'im, Kesuvim, Mishnayos, Talmud
All together, it's the perfect
potion to keep the Yetzer Hara far
of our website for many more
Torah ideas and on-line Shiurim.
"Barasi Torah Tavlin" - take advantage
gentlemen. It's the only foolproof
system. Torah is always the key. Shteig!
Learn up a storm on a Tosfos! Demand
truth of the world and of yourself! Grow
and Learn and strive to live up to the
truth of the Torah, for that is the only
way. See past the lies and live for the
challenge. We are going to daven soon
for the "sefer hachaim - the book of
life" - a life full of meaning away from
the challenges of the past and living up
to the challenges of the present. What
does Hashem demand of us? T'mimus - be
other way from the Y"H menuval
and live with simplicity and kedusha.
Ok, running now to night seder :-)
Some people claim it's too hard for
them to guard their eyes because
they have many hours on their hands
and are therefore drawn to
Others claim that there is not
enough Kosher entertainment out
there and they need interesting and
stimulating material to unwind and
kill-time with, so they gravitate to
non-kosher movies and news sites.
Obviously, these claims have some
truth to them and for those who feel
this way, it makes guarding the eyes
It is important to realize though,
that we can't hold on to both sides
of the stick. If one truly wants to
stay away from poison that destroys
our souls, we must be willing to
make some difficult sacrifices
and find kosher and healthy
outlets for stimulation,
entertainment and for spending their
this entertaining article
the dangers of today's Movies by
And that is the purpose of the
Help us provide kosher and healthy
outlets for people struggling with
internet addictions, to replace the bad
outlets they have been using until
your ideas for Kosher
activities, Kosher websites, Kosher
Books and even Kosher Movies!
Obviously there are millions of Kosher
web-sites and Kosher books out there,
but we are looking more for the ones
that could truly help someone in these
situations by giving them good
stimulation, good entertainment, and
also good personal growth!
I will bl"n put up on our site whatever
ideas I get from our members on these
Today's e-mail is an excerpt from an
e-Book on Shmiras Habris called
entire PDF (right-click and choose "Save
"He who comes to purify himself is
granted Heavenly assistance"
When you make an effort to deliberately
not look at something (either whilst
knowing it's there and avoiding it, or
accidentally seeing it, but then
immediately looking away), Hashem
rewards you by eventually making it
easier to not look next time.
This is like a 401k where Hashem matches
your efforts in the form of spiritual
contributions so that one day you
realize that you are much stronger than
the sum of your total efforts should
logically have been by your own efforts
We see the same Siyata de'Shemayim in
other areas as well. For example, if you
make a concerted effort to avoid Lashon
Hara, then not only will you be less
tempted to speak it, but you will also
find that people will not speak it to
you as well. This can be easily
evidenced by the periodic realizations
that relatively 'monumental' events may
have occurred around you that you were
never aware of until later (e.g.
divorces, firings, neighborhood scandals
(Chas v'shalom) and yet you never found
out until long after the fact. This can
be considered a "receipt" of your
efforts being favorably accepted by
(What may also be relevant is a
statement made by the Chofetz Chaim
regarding studying the laws of Lashon
Hara. Regarding the importance of
studying these laws, he said, "The
Midrash (Bamidbar Rabbah 14,4) states
that if one studies a subject intensely,
Hashem removes the Yetzer Harah from him
with regard to that subject." - Cited in
Chofetz Chaim - A Daily Companion, 2008,
By knowing that the road you must travel
to accomplish this goal will be
shortened for you at the point that you
deserve it, the knowledge that you will
receive this assistance will strengthen
This is like the "runners' high" that
marathon runners experience and come to
expect with long runs (like marathons).
Were they not to experience this
'boost', then they likely might not be
able to complete the lengthy course by
way of their own intended physical
Today's e-mail is an excerpt from an
e-Book on Shmiras Habris called
entire PDF (right-click and choose "Save
in me, G-d, a pure heart""
Regarding looking at forbidden things;
what you see is a contaminant for your
soul, especially in the ideas & thoughts
that arise from the glance ("The eyes
see and the heart desires"). But even if
the desire could somehow be contained,
the mere 'seeing' of the forbidden
blemishes the soul and the efforts you
have put forth thus far.
E.g. When I was a young child and I was
in the midst of a foul odor, I remember
that I didn't want to breathe through my
nose and smell it. I also remember
thinking (with my 5-year old logic) that
breathing through my mouth, while not
resulting in the experience of the
unpleasant odor, had me fearing that I
was somehow bringing the 'dangerous
"stink" molecules' into my lungs where
it would poison me from within'.
This is a somewhat valid metaphor for
looking at forbidden things. Even if we
could look at a forbidden image without
immediately running to act on it
('wincing from the odor'), we have still
taken in the 'stink molecules' by
looking, and these will most certainly
"poison us from the inside". Just like
the only solution for me back then was
to close my mouth and hold my breath, so
too the only solution here is to close
your eyes, look away, and keep the foul
If my analogy is too
far-fetched or abstract (or ridiculous),
then use pulmonary disorders like
inhalation of asbestos as your example.
Had they taken the necessary precautions
and closed off their mouth (similar to
'shutting your eyes'), the intrusion of
the aggressors' influence in the form of
tiny asbestos particles (similar to the
unholiness of viewed forbidden image)
would not have entered them and
progressively become aggressive to the
point that their physical (in our case,
'spiritual') well-being was damaged.
Today's e-mail is an excerpt from an
e-Book on Shmiras Habris called
entire PDF (right-click and choose "Save
have set Hashem before me always..."
When you are inclined to look at
inappropriate material, you always make
sure that "the coast is clear" (i.e.
ensure that the curtain is closed, the
door is shut, computer monitor facing
away from door, etc.), but did it ever
occur to you that HASHEM CAN SEE YOU?
How Chutzpah'dik is that? Hashem gives
you money, a loyal wife, healthy
children, a beautiful place to live,
etc. etc. etc., yet you ignore him to
make sure an ordinary person doesn't see
[This is like if you are in an elevator
with the President of the company and
the janitor, and you wait for the
janitor to step off of the elevator
before feeling comfortable enough to
pass gas, completely ignoring the fact
the President of the company you work
for is still standing right there with
On his deathbed, Rabbi Yochanan ben
Zakkai gave a bracha to his talmidim,
among them Rebbi Eliezer and Rebbi
Yehoshua, that: "Your fear for Hashem
should as great as your fear from
people". When asked why he shouldn't bid
them to fear Hashem even more, he
correctly acknowledged that: "If only
people would have the awareness and fear
of Hashem's presence as they do of other
If you truly feel that Hashem is there
when you pray for parnassah, children,
health, Shalom Bayis, etc., then why
wouldn't he ALSO be there when you do
A major turning point that you should
strive to experience is when you are
truly unable to proceed with this act
because of the awareness that, no matter
how alone you are with all precautions
taken, you know that Hashem is watching
you and DOESN'T WANT YOU TO DO THIS.
You are fully aware that Hashem is
staring at you.
Tips to Guarding the Eyes
Tip #1. Every time you see something
that causes a strong feeling of desire,
say these few words: "G-d!!
I want to love you, not flesh and
blood!". You may feel at first
that you are lying to yourself. But if
you learn to do this often, you will
start to see wonders! Not only does this
relieve the desire somewhat (in that
you are transferring the rush to
G-d), it is also a great spiritual feat
that gives G-d great pleasure and can
shake the Heavens!
Tip #2. Stay home as much as possible.
If you have to take the kids and wife on
vacations or outings, limit it as much
as possible, and insist as much as you
can on going to areas with less people
or religious crowds, preferably
Tip #3. If we must go into an area with
non-religious, mixed crowds - Here are
some tips to help guard our eyes. We can
try to accept upon ourselves (not
forever, just for "x" amount of days or
weeks, at first) that every time we take
that second look at something
triggering, we will (either):
- give ourselves a pinch that
- give 25 cents to tzedaka,
- or give our eyes a "time out" by
closing them for 6 seconds.
"How does one know that Hashem has
accepted his Teshuva, especially for
Shmiras Ainayim and Shmiras Habris
Here are three possible answers, all of
which are true.
that true Teshuvah is achieved
"Ki'sheme'id alav yode'ah talumos shelo
yashuv lekislo od"
G-d, who knows all hidden things, bears
witness on him that he will not go back
to his bad ways again"
. But how
can a person know when G-d bears witness
on him? The Ba'al
explains that when a
person truly feels that it would be as
bad for him to go back to his old ways
as sticking his hand into fire, that is
a sure sign that
on him that he will
never go back to his old ways!
The Ramba"m writes that true Teshuvah is
achieved when we have the same
opportunity to sin as we did before -
and the same desire, yet we don't. If
that happens, we will know that we have
done a true Teshuvah. (That's one reason
I heard, for why we say in the
"Kichlois Koicheinu, al Ta'azveinu
when our strength has left us, do not
Because once we do
not have the same strength that we used
to have in our youth, complete
is no longer assured).
The holy Chassidic master, Rabbi Mendel
of Vitebsk writes (in his sefer
) that true Teshuvah can
come about only through
(to be ready to
die for it). He explains that a person
can reach this level if they feel so bad
about their sins that they would rather
to be dead than to do these sins again.
If a person feels this way about their
past deeds, they can be sure that they
have done an exalted Teshuvah.
Hashem help us all achieve a true
Don't Ask, Thank!
A Member posted on
The best advice for success in
is Tefillah. But instead
of asking Hashem for all the things YOU
for all the things he
has done for you lately, like giving you
a day of success in
. Keep doing this every
day, and you will see and feel the
results of calm and serenity. When
you're calm and serene, living
, instead of being
angry or ashamed of your past and
worrying about the future, you will not
feel a need to stray.
I once heard from Rav Akiva Tatz shlita
to describe the difference
between serving Hashem and serving Avoda
pray to their false G-ds to
do for them what
. We Pray to Hashem for the
strength to do what
The Michtav M'Eliahu (R. Dessler zt"l)
writes that the mind is like a vast
empty field. This field will not remain
empty. If you do not fill it with good
positive thoughts or busy yourself with
worthy pursuits, whether it be learning,
working, etc, the yetzer harah will
surely fill all of this empty space. And
conversely, if we keep ourselves
intellectually busy, there will not
remain any empty spaces for the yetzer to
From Reb Nachman's Wisdom #6
The evil urge is similar to a
prankster running through a crowd
showing his tightly closed hand. No
one knows what it is he is holding.
He goes up to each person and asks,
"What do you suppose I have in my
hand?" Each person imagines that the
closed hand has in it just what he
desires most. They all hurry and run
after the prankster. Then, when he
has tricked them enough, that they
are following him, he opens his
hand. It is completely empty! The
same is true of the evil one. He
tricks the world, fooling them into
following him. Everyone thinks that
his hand contains what they need. In
the end, the evil one opens his
hand. There is nothing in it and no
desire is ever fulfilled. Worldly
pleasures are just like sunbeams in
a dark room. They may actually seem
solid, but when a person tries to
grasp a sunbeam they find nothing in
their hand. The same is true of all
All About Connection
Before the Yidden entered Eretz
Yisrael, Moshe Rabbeinu said to them
"And Hashem will wipe out the goyim
from before you slowly but surely,
but you cannot destroy them quickly,
lest the animals of the field
increase upon thee". I always
wondered about this. After all, if
Hashem can bring the 10 plagues on
Egypt and split the sea, why can't
he wipe out the goyim in Eretz
Yisrael in one fell swoop? Is Hashem
really worried about the increase of
the animals? Is that something
harder to deal with then getting rid
of these great nations?
It occurred to me that maybe there
is a far deeper meaning here. All
the creations of the world have a
connection to Hashem based on their
needs. The more someone "needs"
Hashem, the more
connection they have with
him. Hashem told the snake after the
sin of the Etz
Hada'as "and you shall eat
the dust of the earth all the days
of your life", and Rashi explains
that Hashem wanted no connection
with the snake and therefore gave
him his food wherever he goes.
However, the other animals of the
field need to ask Hashem for food
every day, as it says in Tehillim,
"Livakesh Mikel Ochlam -
ask from Hashem their food".
Hashem wanted human beings to have
even more connection with Him than
the animals do, and therefore humans
don't have a natural way to get food
like the animals do, but rather,
they are dependant on owning land,
toiling the soil, rainfall, and on a
good crop and harvest. One of the
praises mentioned of Eretz Yisrael
"Limtar Hashamayim Tishteh Mayim
From the heavens you will drink
water", and the Pasuk goes on
to say -
Yisrael is not like Eretz Mitzrayim
which drinks like a watered garden
from the Nile". But why is
that a praise? It would seem that
fortunate than Israel! The
answer is, that Hashem wants more of
a connection with
than he wants with the Egyptians. To
them, he gave the Nile river so that
they don't need rain fall at all and
don't need to come on to Hashem as
much at all. However, Eretz Yisrael
drinks from the heavens, and like it
eyes of Hashem are on the land [of
Israel] from the beginning of the
year until the end". Eretz
Yisrael needs special divine
intervention for water, and the
praise of this is that the Jewish
people living there are always
dependant on Hashem for rainfall and
therefore remain strongly connected
with Him. After all, like it says (Devarim
"and you will receive buildings that
you didn't build, wells which you
didn't dig, vineyards that you
didn't plant, etc..." So the
Yidden will have everything they
need in Eretz Yisrael. If they
weren't dependant on Hashem at
least for rainfall, they would no
longer need Hashem and quickly
The same applies to our enemies. And
that is why it says, that although
Hashem will wipe out the goyim from
before us slowly but surely, still,
He will not destroy them in one
"lest the animals of the field
increase upon thee". What
that perhaps means is, that if
Hashem would wipe out our enemies
all at once, we would no longer feel
dependant on Him. The words "lest
the animals of the field increase
upon thee" mean to hint perhaps,
that if Hashem would destroy our
enemies quickly then even the
animals of the field would
"increase" over us, meaning that the
animals would have even
more of a connection with
Hashem than we would.
And that is why Hashem has given us
the Yetzer Hara as well. He
wants a connection with us! He
wants us to know that we need Him,
and that without his constant
help, we are lost. And that is also
why Hashem doesn't destroy the
Yetzer Hara in one fell swoop once a
person decides to do Teshuvah.
Instead, each time we think we got
rid of him, he keeps coming back
again and again. Only "slowly but
surely" does Hashem wipe him out
from before us. For if Hashem would
get rid of the Yetzer Hara all at
once, we wouldn't need Hashem any
more and we wouldn't feel dependant
on him. And this "connection" that
we have to Hashem through our
struggles with the Yetzer Hara, is
more important to Hashem than
the falls that we have as a result
of Him not removing the Yetzer Hara
altogether, as soon as we want to do
sum it all up: The most
important thing to Hashem is not our
progress in destroying the Yetzer
Hara, but rather our
dependency on Him, and our
constant knowledge that we need Hashem
every day anew to help us succeed
against our #1 enemy.
Who's Pursuing Who?
Once, when Rabbi Pinchas of Koretz
entered his Beis Medresh, study
hall, he noticed that his students
stopped conversing and then started
again. He asked them what it was
they were talking about. They told
the Rebbe that they were saying how
they were afraid that the Yetzer
Hara would pursue them. The Rebbe
responded, "Don't worry. You aren't
on such a high level. You're still
When I first heard this story, it really
hit home base for me. Every time I have
told it over, it has almost shocked the
listeners. It's funny how the simple
words of rabbi Pinchas of Koretz
contain, for most, the antidote for
overcoming much of their struggles with
their Yetzer Hara.
The Yetzer Hara, guided by
the Satan, is said to get stronger
everyday as one grows in their level
of Yiddishkite. Someone once said to
wish I had your Yetzer Hara."
The Rebbe taken aback said strongly,
in a stern voice,
"Chas V Shalom, G-D forbid!".
The student had innocently thought
that because his rebbe was so pure
it must be that his Yetzer Hara,
evil inclination wasn't so strong.
But the real truth is that the
higher one's level of piety, the
stronger their Yetzer Hara has to
become. After all, aren't we
supposed to struggle in life with
free choice? Without a Yetzer Hara,
being a pious man would be easy and
therefore have little value to Hashem and
ourselves. To value something, we
must work for it.
So if it feels like the Yetzer
Hara is just getting stronger each
day, take heart! It means you are
growing each day!
Chazal tell us that when the shofar
is blown, the Satan gets confused
and thinks that the Moshiach is
coming and he fears that he will be
slaughtered. The question is asked,
how is it that the Satan keeps
getting confused, year in, year out?
Shouldn't he have learned by now
that it's just the Shofar of Rosh
I heard a beautiful answer recently
from the Toldos (A talmid of the
Ba'al Shem Tov). He says that just
like there will be a redemption on a
national scale, there is also a
personal redemption that every Jew
can achieve. As it says,
"Karva el Nafshi Ge'ala -
bring my soul close to redemption".
The Satan doesn't fear the national
redemption when he hears the Shofar,
instead, he sees that the soul of
every Jew is awakened by the Shofar
and achieves a certain level of
"personal redemption". And it is
THAT redemption that he fears
That is the power of the Shofar.
When we declare Hashem as King over
the world; when we recognize that
there is NOTHING else but Him, a Jew
is able to reach a higher state of
consciousness. He no longer feels
his "wants" and "needs". He no
longer lives confined within his own
personal world of desire. Instead,
all he wants is for the honor of the
King to fill the world! And this is
truly a state of "personal
redemption" - which the Satan fears
Ironically, Rosh Hashana is the day
that our Parnassa and sustenance for
the whole coming year is decided. It
is precisely when we
go of all our "wants",
"needs" and "desires" and wish
for Hashem's Kingdom to fill the
THAT is when Hashem turns to
us with love and says,
"Here my son, take all the goodness
of the world. I created it all
Here are some excerpts from
a beautiful and holy "battle cry" on
from "Mevakesh", from
right before Rosh Hashana last year!
Cry, Baby, Cry!!
Rabeinu Yonah quotes a Yerushalmi in
Brachos (Perek 1 Halacha 5) which
"There are two channels with which a
person sins, his heart and his eyes.
Therefore, the sins that were
performed with each channel need to
be atoned for in the way in which
the sin was performed. Sins that
came about through the channel of
the heart, need a broken heart to
facilitate atonement. And sins that
were committed through the channel
of the eyes, need TEARS to
Rabbeinu Yonah continues, and quotes
a Pasuk in Tehilim (119) "Palgei
Mayim Yordu Eini Al Lo Shamru
rivers of tears flowed from my eyes,
because I have not guarded your
Torah". Rabbein Yonah
explains this Pasuk to mean that not
guarding what our eyes see is
considered as if we have not kept
the Torah, and indeed warrants
rivers of tears for atonement!
My dear brothers and sisters,
Rabeinu Yonah is talking to us all!
Our eyes have caused us to
"Lo Sasuru Acharei Eineichem"!
Baruch Hashem we are all on the road
to Tesuva Shelaima (some of us just
starting, some of us well along, but
the main thing is that we are on the
However, Rabbeinu Yonah is telling
us that we need
more than just Teshuva. We
need to cleanse the very channels
with which we have sinned, with
CRY MY DEAR BROTHERS AND SISTERS,
CRY YOUR HEART OUT TO OUR FATHER IN
HEAVEN. HE AWAITS OUR SINCERE TEARS
AND WILL USE THOSE TEARS TO MAKE THE
MORTAR WITH WHICH HE IS BUILDING THE
BEIS HAMIKDASH HASHLISHI.
Never in the history of Klal Yisroel
have we stooped to such low and
degenerate levels of znus, filth
and such an impossible environment.
But, as Hashem always keeps the cure
close by, NEVER in the history of
Klal Yisroel has there been such a
power of good ready to combat the
evils of the street. We all owe a
tremendous Hakoras Hatov to
GuardYourEyes, who has started a
movement of good. A movement of
Teshuva like never before. A
revolution of Anti-filth! A real
army ready, willing, worthy and able
to fight, capture and slaughter the
My dear brothers, Rosh Hashana is
less than 24 hours away! CRY!!!
CRY!!! CRY!!! CLEANSE!!! CLEANSE!!!
CLEANSE!!! CHANGE THE WORLD!!! I
CAN! YOU CAN!
A KESIVA V'CHASIMA TOVA. PLEASE
DON'T FORGET DO DAVEN FOR EACH OTHER
AND THIS YEAR WILL BE THE YEAR THAT
MOSHIACH TRIUMPHANTLY ARRIVES AND
ALL THE FILTH WILL BE ABOLISHED
FOREVER AND EVER.
"Why doesn't Hashem come down to
You've helped me so much to subdue
my unhealthy habits. I am so glad to
be done with this. However, quite
frankly, I would like to know that
all the suffering I have given
myself over by not pursuing these
things has some meaning on High. Why
can't I simply feel something
special when I serve G-d, for
example when I put on Tefillin? I
have no joy from doing these things,
but I do them anyway. Why don't you
ask Hashem to help me have joy and
simcha when serving him? He never
answers my cries anyway. And while
you are at it, tell Him that I feel
that He doesn't care about me at
all, and that I feel alone without
Him, and that it would do a lot of
good if He could just stop by from
time to time and say "hello."
Dear mighty spiritual soldier!
Your e-mail brought tears to my
eyes! You should know that you have
a great soul and great strengths,
and you are from G-d's select few in
today's world who are able to remain
clean in these areas. You are
shaking the upper worlds with your
self-sacrifice. But if Hashem would
stop by and say hello, it would be
all over. Hashem is loving it too
much, and he doesn't want the great
game of "Hide-&-Seek" that he is
playing with you to end so fast.
Hashem is SO awesome and exalted -
and your reward is SO great, that
when Moshiach comes (any day
now!) or after 120 years, you will wish you
could go back to those days where
you had a chance to serve Almighty
G-d even though he was so hidden. If
you would actually "know" what you
are accomplishing by serving Him, by
going against your nature for him to
the extent that you are, if you
would only know, you would beg once
again not to
This alone should give you
- The fact that you have the
great honor to serve such an
awesome G-d, who created
everything that exists in the
universe and in all the upper
- The fact that you have the
honor to be one of his great
warriors on this dark Earth,
where he has hidden himself so
- The fact that you are
giving Hashem such Nachas
Ruach with your self
This should all be enough to make
you want to dance!!
Chassidic literature often
emphasizes how important it is for a
Jew to value each and every deed
that he does for Hashem, no matter
how small. It is brought down from
Tzaddikim that more a person values
every little thing he does for
Hashem - the more precious it is in
the eyes of Hashem
well. One great Chassidic
Master went as far to say that a
Jew should feel that he wouldn't
sell the smallest thing that he did
for Hashem for all the riches in the
world! If we would only be
successful to internalize
this, we would be the richest people
on earth! Think about it. You said
"no" to the Yetzer Hara today, or
you put on Teffilin. Even though
we are not on the spiritual level to
feel the "divine light" of
the Mitzvah that we did, still, if
someone would come and offer us a
million dollars to sell him that
Mitzva, would we sell it? No! So in
a very real sense, every Mitzva is (or
should be) more precious
to us than winning the lottery. So I
ask, how can one feel down when he
is winning the lottery every day?!
As far as feeling lonely and not
feeling a connection with Hashem,
one can indeed feel this way if we
view Hashem as some sublime essence,
detached from us lowly humans and
somewhere up there in Heaven.
However, the most central theme in Chassidus, and
perhaps the Ba'al Shem Tov's
greatest revelation, was that Hashem
everywhere and in
everything, even in the most
Let me explain how far this goes...
In every bit of "desire" or "love"
we feel, even in sinful ways, there
lies the "fallen" light of "G-dly
love and desire". If we understand
this great secret, we begin to feel
G-d in everything we see, and in our
own hearts as well. Instead of being
pulled after the "fallen" love and
pleasures that tempt us every day,
we learn instead to turn our hearts
to the source of all love, pleasure
and beauty - G-d Himself. One who
learns this great art merits to live
with G-d all day, every day.
He doesn't need G-d to come down
from Heaven and say "hello" because
G-d is right there with him at all
A Tip From Rebbe Nachman on
It is written in Pirkei Avos "Let
the poor be members of your
household and don't talk much with
women". R' Nachman says
that the Mishna is hinting to us a
secret, namely, that Tzedaka is a
segulah to protect one from
immoral fantasies. But even so,
continues R' Nachman, the Mishna is
exhorting us not to talk much with
women, because this
segulah is only good to
save a person from fantasies if he
does not talk with women more than
he needs to. And R' Nachman
continues, this is also the meaning
of the words "Tzedaka
Tatzil Mi'Maves -
Tzedaka saves from death". For
immoral fantasies, explains R'
Nachman, are death itself.
On a practical level, if one commits
(for a week at a time, for
example) to donate 25 cents to
Tzedaka each time he lets himself
dwell on an improper fantasy for
longer than a few seconds, he will
likely see good progress. Not only
may this help psychologically to
prevent him dwelling on such
thoughts, but by donating the money
to Tzedaka one will also
be fulfilling the
segulah and thereby prevent
further thoughts from coming as
"And when you will come close to
It says in Parshas Shoftim:
"When you will go out to war on your
enemies and you will see horses and
chariots, a multitude greater from
(than) you, do not fear them for
Hashem your G-d is with you, who
took you out of the land of
Mitzrayim. And when you will come
close to the battle... etc...".
The holy Sefer Beis Ahron of Karlin explains
"When you will go out to war on your
enemies" - this is the battle
with the Yetzer Hara
"and you will see horses and
chariots, a multitude" -
these are all the klipot (impure
husks) that surround a man because
of his sins.
"greater from (than) you" -
the words "from
you" are used, to imply that
all these klipot of impurity indeed
come "from you", i.e. from a
person's own sins. Still...
"do not fear them for Hashem your
G-d is with you, who took you out of
the land of Mitzrayim" - just
like in Egypt we were surrounded by
the impure klipot and Hashem took us
out of there.
"And when you will come close to the
battle", explains the Beis
when you will come close to Hashem because
of the battle, for this is the main
closeness to Hashem".
These are subtle but powerful words.
The Beis Ahron is saying that the
main closeness to Hashem (the
Hiskarvus" to Hashem) is
though the battle with the Yetzer
Hara. That means, even more than
davening and learning Torah!
It's Considered Mesiras Nefesh
When One Forgoes Even A Single
Posted by "Tomim" on
I'm reminded of a vort from the Tzemach
Tzedek (the 3rd Lubavitcher Rebbe) in
regard to bittul
Once, at a farbrengen that took place in
the Rebbe's sukkah shortly before his Histalkus,
the Tzemach Tzedek stood up on a bench
and said: "Regarding damages incurred on
a vessel, the Gemara states
kotloh plagah , mah li kotloh kulah?".
"When Reuven damages the vessel
belonging to Shimon, Shimon comes before
him with the complaint 'What do I care
if you partially damaged it ['kotloh'
literally means killed], or if you
damaged it!? You're responsible for the
whole thing!'" When even a small hole is
punctured in the bottom of a cup, it has
to be considered as if the entire cup is
destroyed, regardless of the size of the
"The same is so with regard to
said the Tzemach Tzedek.
"When a Yid forgoes his will on a single
is synonymous with the
giving up of the will, as explained at
length in Chassidus) and surrenders it
to Hashem, it is considered as if he has
entirely given up his life for Hashem."
It is true that there are levels of
which require that the
individual surrender his entire being -
total disintegration, but at the same
are accomplished even by
the small things that we forgo just for
the sake of avodas
. Every time we turn away
from seeing something that we want to
see but know we shouldn't; every want
and desire that we give up for Hashem's
sake, is considered
on our part!
OUR FATHER! OUR KING!
"Sorry yetzer hara, we are busy
now with much more important
A Post by "Battleworn" on
At Mincha today I thought about all the
HUNDREDS of times that we say AVINU! and
all the hundreds of times we say
MALKEINU! during these days.
AVINU - our loving Father who loves us
totally, completely, unconditionally and
MALKEINU - our King! We are the King's
soldiers! We represent Him in this
world! Regardless of what happened in
the past, we have a shlichus
fulfill right now, as a representative
At this time of year, when so much is at
stake and the Y'H is working overtime to
get us down, we repeat hundreds of
times, "AVINU! MALKEINU!" OUR
FATHER! OUR KING! That's the main
message we need to get in to ourselves.
It's not for nothing that we repeat
these words so many times! Try to think
about these words each time you say
Each time we say this tefilah we ask for
each of the 44 things
But these holy, special, key words, we
repeat 44 times!
RABOSAI! IF THE Y'H WANTS TO GET YOU
DOWN THIS WEEK, TELL HIM THAT YOU ARE
MUCH TO BUSY WITH YOUR FATHER AND KING!
Yes, maybe it's true that I'm a loser, a
lowlife. Yes, maybe it's true that
Hashem is angry at me. Maybe it's true
that I can't do what others can, maybe
it's true that ...... (the Y'H never
runs out of ideas on how to get us
IT'S THE JOB
OF EVERY JEW TO PROCLAIM HASHEM KING!
Take a moment to think about it. You're
busy with the with the coronation of the
Creator Himself - Who happens to also be
your Father, and this scumbag comes and
starts pestering you about his
insanities. Here I am, the "Ben habichor"
of The King of Kings, The Creator
Himself, busy with His coronation, and
this jerk somehow manages to get me in
to the most ridiculous conversation
RIGHT NOW, IT'S THE JOB OF EVERY JEW TO
REMIND HIMSELF THAT HASHEM IS HIS FATHER
AND KING! THERE'S NO TIME FOR THE Y'H'S
"VERY IMPORTANT" DISCUSSIONS RIGHT NOW -
IN MIDDLE OF THE CORONATION OF MELECH
MALCHEI HAMILACHIM BY HIS DEAR CHILDREN!
We Are the Chickens
Many Yidden use chickens for the
Minhag of Kaparos on Erev Yom-Kippur
(or in the days preceding it). One
may ask... before Yom Kippur, we
immerse in the Mikvah and supposed
to be all clean and dressed in
white. So why do we need to get all
dirty with the smelly chickens and
watch the blood and filth as the Shochet slaughters
them, right before Yom-Kippur?
The purpose of Kapparos - and indeed
the proper way to do Teshuvah - is
to be humbled and broken hearted by
remembering our feebleness and how
temporary we are. As we say in the Vidui on
Ani Bechaya'i, Kal Vachomer Bemisasi
am dust in my life, and much more so
in my death". And like it
says in this week's Parsha Ha'azinu - "Ani
Amis Va'chayeh, Ve'ein Miyadi Matzil
- I put
to death and give life, and there is
no being saved from my hand". Everyone
will die. Doing Kapparos with the
chickens, seeing and "feeling" the
trembling chickens, smelling the
filth and watching the slaughter, we
are forced to remember that our
bodies are not different than the
chicken's. And indeed, when doing
the Kapparos we are saying
that we should have been slaughtered
place of the chickens. We are
the same flesh and blood and we
experience the same life and death,
dust and rot. One day, our eyes that
gazed at improper things will be
eaten by the maggots, and our
brains, which thought improper
thoughts and desired other flesh and
blood, will rot and disintegrate in
Normally we don't focus on these
things and try to serve Hashem with
Simcha all year round. But on
Erev Yom-Kippur, the Kapparos help
us remember this truth once a year,
and inspire us to do Teshuvah with a
humbled and broken heart.
The Yidden In Kiev
Didn't Need Chickens That Year
Exactly 68 years ago, towards the
end of the Eseres Yimei Teshuvah,
leaflets were distributed around the
city of Kiev, the capital of
Ukraine, a part of the Soviet Union
at that stage under Nazi control,
informing all Jews that they were to
report the following morning to a
section of the city near the
cemetery and that they were to take
with them their valuables, warm
clothes and personal documents. The
leaflets also warned that any Jews
that didn't would be shot.
the next morning, on the 8th of Tishrei,
over 30,000 Jews had congregated near
the cemetery as instructed. Rumours
abounded as to what was going to happen
to them. They were understandably
scared, but tried to calm each other
with assurances that everything would be
general consensus was that they were
going to be deported. Yes, that was it,
they thought, they were going to be sent
away and resettled. After all, they had
been told to bring their personal
documents, right? Some even arrived
early to get a good seat on the train.
couldn't have been more wrong. There was
no train; neither was there any plan to
resettle them. Instead, they were led
through the cemetery, where their
documentation was checked. They were
told to leave their baggage and that
they would be reunited with it at their
were then pushed through a corridor of
German soldiers, who beat them with
sticks and kicked them, all the time
laughing and mocking their victims. A
famous eyewitness account said the
soldiers "seemed to be drunk with fury
in a sort of sadistic rage".
leaving this corridor, bleeding,
screaming and crying uncontrollably, the
Jews were led to an overgrown area near
the edge of a ravine, called Babi Yar.
There they were shot and their bodies
dumped into the ravine.
whole process was executed with military
precision. Most of the victims had no
idea what was going on until it was too
in groups of 10 or more, they were
machine-gunned and then pushed over the
edge. Then soldiers walked among the
injured and dying lying in the ravine
and shot them at point-blank range.
Over the next 36 hours - throughout
the day, into the night and
throughout the next day - a total of
33,711 Jews from the city of Kiev
were massacred. Assuming it was a
non-stop process, that works out at
about 15 men, women and children
killed every minute - simply because
they were Jewish.
(Taken from www.vosizneias.com)
Yidden! Let these holy martyrs
of Kiev be in our minds this
Yom-Kippur. Let our hearts be
broken before Hashem, and let us
remember that we are mere flesh
and blood, slaughtered by our
enemies for Hashem's sake
throughout all the generations.
Let us get ANGRY once and for
all - REALLY ANGRY - at the
Yetzer Hara who causes us to sin
against the Almighty and abuse
the gift of life that we were
given, for the mere 80 years or
so that we spend on this
temporary earth. Let the tears
come. Let our hearts be broken
and humbled. For this is the
real Teshuvah, as it says in
Elokim Ruach Nishabra, Lev
Nishbar Ve'nidkeh Elokim Lo
Sivzeh - The
(true) sacrifice of Hashem is a
broken spirit, a broken and
humbled heart Hashem will not
And may we all be written in the
book of LIFE and be Zoche to a G'mar
People spend their whole lives running
after happiness and thinking,
only I had this or that I would be
. But happiness through
physical pleasure disappears the moment
the pleasure is gone. One can never get
enough and is never happy. This has been
shown time and time again, with the
world's most popular and richest people
often being the most depressed people
A person who wants happiness needs
to learn to "let go" of the pursuit of
physical pleasure and instead seek the
"true happiness", which Rabbi Avraham J.
Twerski defines as "self fulfillment".
That means to fulfill the
that you want to be deep
down; closer to Hashem, a better person,
a better father and a better spouse.
for an interview with
Rabbi Twerski on this topic -
click and choose "Save Target As").
compares the Yetzer
Hara to an "itch". We keep scratching
because it itches, and it feels good to
scratch, but the scratching only
makes the itch worse, until it finally
bleeds. However, if we decide in our
minds that we will not scratch the itch
any more - come what may, it will burn
with a powerful itchiness for a short
while, but then suddenly the itch just
disappears! That is the nature of the
Let's take that leap of faith and stop
Our Thoughts Go Where We Want
Chaza"l say that when one says Krias
Shema he should gaze at his Tzitzis.
Seeing his Tzitzis (which were blue
from Techeiles in the time of Chazal)
will make him think of the sky,
which is blue, and thinking of the
blue sky will lead to thoughts of
Hashem who made the sky, and this in
turn will lead to thoughts of
serving Hashem, etc...
Somebody once told Rav Dessler Zt"l
that he doesn't understand the above
"Which person", he asked,
"when seeing his Tzitzis will have
this whole domino effect in his
mind to lead him to think of Hashem?!
That is so far fetched!"
Rav Dessler responded: Chaza"l say
that one should not walk behind a
woman, as walking behind her will
lead him to think about her, and
thus to think about other women and
thus to think of sinning, and
eventually lead him to sin. Asked
Rav Dessler, "Can you identify with
that thought process?" When the man
responded in the affirmative, Rav
Dessler explained: A persons
thoughts go in the direction that
the person is heading, in the
direction that his heart leads him!
If you are a person heading in the
direction of sin, everything you
see, hear or say can easily lead to
thoughts of sin! If you are a person
heading in the direction of Hashem,
then everything you see, hear or say
can easily lead to thoughts of
So caress your tzitzis and think of
Hashem; see the blue sky and think
of Hashem! And when you look up at
Scach of your Sukka this
year, see the
Ananei Hakavod that protect
the Jewish people with Hashem's
eternal loving embrace!
it Really So Bad?"
My Yetzer Hara keeps trying to convince
me that looking at erotic images is not
so bad, as long as I am careful not to
be MZ"L... Can you help me get him off
As far as the prohibitions are
concerned, anyone who is religious and
has learned any Torah, should be aware
of the severity of these sins. The Torah
"Thou shall not go astray after your
hearts and after your eyes which lead
. This applies to any
image that arouses one's evil
inclination, and erotic images of any
type are definitely forbidden. The
Rabbis state that anyone who
purposefully brings himself to an
erection is to be banished (Niddah 13A).
The Gemara there even goes as far to say
"Better one's stomach should burst
than he should touch the area of his
bris (and possibly bring himself to an
. And another Gemara
"better to walk behind a lion than to
walk behind a woman"
. And yet
"whoever brings himself to an erection
is destroying the world"
. This is
not Mussar or Chassidus, this is regular
Gemara. Our Sages were fire about this!
The Medrash says that anyone who is not
careful with gazing at women will come
to sin with them in the end. Viewing
these images is also included in the
"Lo Sikrevu Legalos Erva, Ani Hashem
Do not come close to revealing
nakedness, for I am Hashem your G-d".
There is no other Mitzva in the Torah
where such terminology is used. Even in
the case of idol worship, the Torah
doesn't say not to come
Only in this area, the Torah exhorts us
to stay far away from it. It is also
interesting to note that the Torah uses
come close to reveal nakedness"
. This implies that
) is, on some level, as
if one had already done the act.
This little test can be your meter - if
an image triggers a rush, a stronger
heartbeat, sweaty palms, or even a
silent, "Wow!" then you are polluting
your soul, damaging your
the ability to know G-d, and cutting
yourself off from the Divine Presence,
the Shechinah. The eyes are the windows
to the soul and they are the vessels to
receive the light of the Shechina. One
who has damaged these vessels will not
be able to bask in the glory of the
Shechinah in this world, nor in the
So with all these sources, how can a
religious person even ask such a
question? The answer is in Parshas
"Ki Hashochad... etc..."
"For bribes make wise men blind, and
twist the words of Tzadikim".
Yetzer Hara, who offers us bribes of
false and fleeting pleasures, blinds us
to the obvious truths and makes us think
we have real "questions". But he is just
them as questions.
Don't be fooled, and realize that these
are not questions but really his
(R' Elchanan Wasserman used this Pasuk
and idea in an essay he wrote, to
explain how the multitudes of non-Jewish
wise men and scientists from around the
world, fail to see the obvious and
glaring hand of Hashem in all
Never Have To Be Alone Again
the Sukkot (booths) you shall dwell for
- Leviticus, 23:42
The Sukkah remind us of the Clouds of
Glory that surrounded and protected our
people after leaving Egypt. During their
forty years of wandering through the
desert, on the way to the Land
of Israel, these Clouds of Glory
continuously protected them. It inspires
us to believe that today,
too, G-d protects us in His special and
The protection in the desert was
primarily from the elements -- the sun
during the day, the hot sand, and the
harsh winds. Today we are not threatened
on a daily basis from the hazards of
such a hostile climate. Nevertheless,
since Judaism must be relevant, since
the commandments of the Torah are not
just commemorating the past, there must
be a lesson that is applicable in our
lives. So what does this holiday mean to
I know how fragile many of us can be.
Both the addict and the non-addict alike
may feel vulnerable and fearful, feeling
that they are totally alone. Who doesn't
need reassurance at times? We need to
know that G-d is taking care of us, and
can always be counted upon. This
reassurance is needed -- especially if
there has been any personal history of
feeling rejected, abandoned or hurt. It
could be very difficult for such people
to trust anyone, let alone an invisible
While I am sitting in the Sukkah this
year, I realize that we know exactly
what we need protection from. It's not
what is outside -- the heat or the cold,
but it is what is on the inside.
Self-doubt, fear, ego and resentment are
the problem areas, just to name a few.
protect me from my own thinking? Can G-d
protect me from myself?
Along comes the holiday of Sukkot, which
allows us to tap into that deep
knowledge that G-d Has been, Is and
there for us. The Torah tells us to
"dwell" in the Sukkah. I need to dwell
on how I am not alone, that I can always
count on G-d. And no matter what my
negative thinking says, I need to
remember that I am worthy of G-d's care
-- simply because I am His child. If I
can enter the Sukkah and sit still,
study, pray and expose my
self-sabotaging thoughts for what they
are, I can hopefully experience what
this holiday is all about -- a 7-day hug
from my Father in heaven.
World is Hashem's Sukka
I received a ride today from an
interesting character (Israel is pretty
full of interesting characters).
This guy asked me:
is the hardest mitzva on Sukkos?"
The mitzva to be happy on Sukkos is an
On Sukkos, we are not supposed to be
We are not supposed to be down.
We are not supposed to be sad.
I smiled at the man and got out of the
car at my destination.
I was thinking, that is impossible.
What's that guy even talking about?!
But then I realized.
What is the idea of a Sukka?
A Sukkah is there to remind us of the
"Clouds of Glory" that protected us.
We go into the Sukkah and we remember
that those "Clouds of Glory" are always
above us, even if they aren't in the
shape of "clouds".
We really can live in a "Sukkah" the
whole year round.
This world is Hashem's Sukkah.
And we're in it.
We're His special guests;
And that's the only way to achieve that
serenity and happiness that the Torah
demands of us.
And when we have that security, that
is really not so
hard at all!
We can let go of all our desires and
Hashem is taking care of us.
We'll be fine.
Trust Him in your
I want to discuss a
that I feel is a very
important yesod. The pasuk says,
is my strength and my shield, in Him my
heart trusted and I was helped."
What does that mean, "my heart trusted"?
Obviously, there are different types of
One is intellectual, and the other (the
higher level) is trusting with one's
When dealing with strong desires, there
is a famous phrase:
and let G-d"
I think that line is completely
so, so very hard.
It could be because they are missing the
of that saying.
They are trying to "let G-d" without
What that really means, is that their
is really just a form of trying to be
We must drop the control. Yes,
And then, let G-d take over.
It really took me so long to finally get
For years, I could never get
down in the slightest.
The Brisker Rav was known to say all the
is the awareness that
"ein od milvado
there is nothing besides Him".
We must first acknowledge that there is
has any power without His
We should try letting go of the need to
control; the need to always feel that we
are "stabilizing" every situation... and
This is Sukkos, my friends.
The Sukkah = Clouds of Glory = the
Reality of this World.
When we realize this, we will stop being
frightened by the body's strong desires
We will stop feeling that we must make
sure we are "Ok" and "in control".
And instead, we will let Hashem do what
He does best:
Run this world.
Yosef's Ushpizin & Torah Tavlin
(From IsraelNN.com) Thursday
night is the night of Hoshana
Raba, the final day of the
week-long Sukkot holiday, on
which Jews traditionally remain
awake throughout the night and
study Torah. Special study
sessions will be held around the
country and around the world,
while tens of thousands more
plan to simply study at home or
with a friend.
We may find that the Yetzer Hara
felt stronger over Sukkos than
usual. Because it's
vacation-time, people are often
not learning as much Torah as
they usually do.
"barasi Yetzer Hara, barasi
torah tavlin -
I created the Yetzer Hara, and I
created the Torah as a medicine"
... And the Zohar (Chadash, Ki
Setzai) says there is nothing
i.e. defends against) the Yetzer
Hara like learning Torah. The
Zohar brings the Pasuk
"if your enemy is hungry, feed
him bread"... bread,
meaning Torah, as it says
"Lechu Lachmu Bilachmi -
Go eat of my bread"....
We will notice consistently,
that the Yetzer Hara gets
stronger when we are learning
less. For the final
Teshuvah of Hoshana Raba,
let's commit now to learn more
Torah this year; to sink our
heads into a
shtikle Gemarah every
day, without exception. The
"Sechel Hayashar -
straight thinking", and
when a person works hard on a
Blatt Gemarah to
understand it well and figure it
out by asking questions, finding
answers, etc... his mind becomes
holy and "straight" thinking.
Immoral lusts on the other hand,
come from crooked thinking. The
Yetzer Hara can't find his way
in to a "straight thinking" Yiddishe
Also reading the Holy Zohar for
a few minutes each day, even
it, is a big
Segulah to chasing away
the Yetzer Hara.
Tip: The Holy Sefer
"Chok Liyisrael" provides
a daily dose of Tanach, Mishna,
Gemara and Zohar. The perfect
combination to keep the "Menuval"
for more great
ideas to making your life more
full with Torah! (Scroll down
the page for many great sites of
The Beis Ahron of Karlin writes that
we take a
for the whole year from
Rosh Hashana; we take a
for the whole year
from Yom Kippur; we take a
for the whole year from
Sukkos; and we take a
for the whole year from
Today is the Ushpizin of
of the "Yesod" is
directly connected to the
and Torah of Hashana
Rabba and Simchas Torah.
May we all be Zoche to true Teshuvah,
in Torah, and to a Gut
Yesterday was the Ushpizin of Yosef
Hatzadik, and today - Hoshana
Rabba, is the Ushpizin of
David Hamelech. The Zohar in
Parshas Lech Lecha
discusses the merits that both
and David had that
enabled them both to achieve
Here is what the Zohar writes:
The Pasuk states "And Yosef said
to his brothers, come close to
me, and they came close". Why
did Yosef call them, were they
not already close? But when
Yosef said to them, "I am Yosef
your brother" they were
wondering, for they saw Yosef
in the celestial kingship
(through Ruach Hakodesh). And
Yosef said to them, this
kingship [that you see], because
of "this" I earned it, come
close to me, and they came
close, and he showed them the
sign of circumcision, and he
said "this caused me the
kingdom, because I guarded it".
From here we learn that one who
guards this sign of the
circumcision, kingship is
guarded for him. From where
(else) can we know this? From
Boaz, because he swore (when
Ruth came to him alone at night)
"By the life of G-d, lay here
till the morning". Because his
Yetzer was strong upon him until
he made a Shavuah and guarded
this Bris, and because of this,
he merited that kings came out
from him (David and his
descendants); kings that ruled
over all other kings - and the
Melech Hamoshiach who is called
in the name of Hashem.
We also see from Boaz the power
of vows. The Zohar says "his
Yetzer was strong upon him until
he made a Shavuah". That
implies that once he made the
vow, his Yetzer no longer
bothered him even though Ruth
was still there alone with him.
The reason for this is because
often our urges are
psychologically tied directly to
what we "perceive" as our
"ability" to act out. However,
if one is able to convince his
mind that various behaviors are
simply not an option, the entire
urge vanishes. That is why vows
are so powerful. Because for a
G-d fearing Jew, once a vow has
been made, it is simply "not an
option" any more.
Normally making vows is frowned
upon by our sages as with
someone playing with fire, but
when it comes to girding oneself
from temptation, we find that
making vows is praised by the
Torah and by Chaz"al. As the
"Nishbati Va'akayeima, lishmor
I have vowed and will uphold it,
to guard your righteous laws"
And also it says
"Nishba Lehora Velo Yamir - Oseh
eileh lo Yimot Le'olam
He who swears to prevent bad and
does not nullify... he will
(However, making vows is
tricky and risky business. See this
for tips and advice on
how to make vows in safe and
Today's is the last day of
Sukkos. Sukkos is a time of
(Repentance through Love).
The Gemarah (in Yummah 86b)
says that when a Jew does
Teshuvah through Love, his
past sins become merits. It
says in the Torah about the
first day of Sukkos: "Take
for yourself on the first
day" - and Chaza"l write:
"Rishon Le'cheshbon Avonos
The first day of the
accounting on one's sins"
But why would we want to
make an accounting of our
sins, and what does this
have to do with Sukkos? The
Husiaterner Rebbe, Reb
Ya'akov zy'a from Rhizin,
writes that (based on what
we wrote above) this cryptic
Chaza"l can now be
understood in a new light.
Since a Jew does Teshuvah
through Love during these
days, on Sukkos he starts to
count all of his PAST
Are you stronger than Reb Amram?
In the news on Motzai Yom-Tov:
The Gemara in Kidushin 81/a
tells a story:
Some women who had been taken
captive were redeemed and
brought to Nehardai. They were
kept in the attic of Rav Amram
the Chasid and the ladder was
removed. At night, a beam of
light reflected off one of the
women, revealing her beauty. Rav
Amram was seized with lust and
he moved the ladder (which
normally needs 10 people to move
it) to ascend. As he was halfway
up, he screamed "There is a fire
in the House of Amram!"" and
the Rabanan flocked to his
house. After they saw that there
was no fire they said to him
"You embarrassed us (with your
behavior)!", answered Rav Amram:
"It is better to suffer
embarrassment in this world than
in the next".
We see from this what a terribly
difficult test it is to be
faced with lust
. So much so, that
Amram - the Rebbe of all the
Chassidim, was not enough to
until he brought it into the
Who can be left
alone with open internet access
today and have no fear that they
will stumble? Are they stronger
than Reb Amram Chasid?
See our filter section
For one free and reliable
filter - along with
instructions on how to
install it (and give away
the password), see
All 248 in 1
In honor of e-mail #248, I would
like to point out the following.
Chazal say that every human has 248
limbs that correspond to the 248
Mitzvos Lo Sa'aseh
, and 365
sinews that correspond to the 365
. Altogether =
. The Sefarim bring
down that the
) is the one limb in a
person that reflects all the other
247 limbs. Why? Because through the
, all the other limbs of
a person are created. The
contains within it the
power to create all the other limbs.
Therefore, the Sefarim say, the main
test of a man in this world is in
relation to the
, and when one
successfully guards it, it is as if
his other limbs as well!
Our sages called Shmiras
"Foundation". The foundation of a
building is "underground" and no one
sees it, yet it holds up the entire
is the hidden part of
a Jew, it's the
you. If the foundation of a Jew is
weak, his whole spiritual structure
is fragile and in grave danger of
collapse. And if the "foundation" is
strong, one can build sky-scrapers
on top of it!
They Lower Down the Ladder to
Someone posted something
Ahhh, the Yetzer Harah. Yes,
this shmendrick IS stronger than
us, and without Hashems help, we
have NO chance of overcoming
him. I personally have
experienced this over many many
years. I realized that the ONLY
chance I would have against him,
would be to get closer to Hashem
and find things that would
bolster my ratings in Shemayim
so that I would merit extra
As the Michtav M'Eliahu says,
you cannot fight the Yetzer
Harah head on, you will lose. He
compares it to a spring. The
more you push down on a spring,
the stronger its tension will
be to spring back on you. So, it
is almost like a no-win
situation. If you try to fight
him by facing him straight on,
you are finished. He is too
So, what did I do to deserve the
heavenly assistance that we
need? I took it upon myself to
tovel (immerse) in the coldest
mikveh in Israel (even colder
than the Arizal's). Every Erev
Shabbos I went to this mikveh
with all of the kavanos of the
Arizal, and even in the winter,
no matter how cold it was, no
matter how rainy or windy, I
would enter this Mikveh. It was
so cold that I felt as if my
legs were being crushed, until
finally, after about 2 minutes,
they became completely numb. I
welcomed this numbness. But, to
dunk my head - this was
difficult. I had to do it so
quickly without thinking about
it. Then, when I dunked my head
for the 4th time, it felt like
it was being squeezed in a vise.
I thought my skull was going to
I told Hashem that I was able
and willing to to cause myself
physical discomfort, just please
don't let me have to fight the
Yetzer Harah with my mind! I did
this the entire winter, and what
happened? IT DIDN'T HELP!!! As
soon as I thawed out, the
menuval was there.
So, I gave this up and came to
the conclusion, that there is no
way out, we are obligated to
with our mind as well.
There's no shortcuts. I saw in a
sefer by the Shomer Emunim Rebbe
(Taharas Hakodesh) that avodas
hashem is like being far down
under ground. You look upward,
and you can see light.... the
way out. So you try to climb up
the sides of your pit, carefully
fitting your feet into the
crevices, and little by little
you get closer to the light...
the way out. You carefully watch
your footing, and then... all of
sudden, you slip and fall all
the way down again. Once again
you start all over, seeing that
light up above. And again, just
as you get closer and closer,
you lose your footing, and you
fall all the way down again, and
this keeps happening again and
again. BUT, he says, after NOT
giving up, then min
hashamayim (from heaven),
they lower down a ladder to you
and you climb all the way up.
What is the point? Yes, we
cannot possibly defeat the
Yetzer Harah on our own. Hashem
only one that can help
us. But before he does, he wants
us to be moser
nefesh for him. I have
learned that being moser
nefesh is not a choice,
it is the only way that we can
win; it is the only way that we
will get the heavenly assistance
that we need. After we continue
to try and try and try again,
then... they lower down a ladder
for us and we climb right up!
Caterpillar your Way to New
Growing in purity is often like a
caterpillar climbing a staircase.
For the caterpillar, stairs are a
challenge. After a short upwards
incline, the caterpillar reaches a
plateau, a long flat surface that is
not going up at all. Things go
smoothly for a while as the
caterpillar traverses this surface,
until the he hits a wall. It seems
like the end of the road. The
journey has reached a dead end.
But after bumping into this wall,
the caterpillar looks around and
realizes that the journey is not
over at all. The only way is up. So
the caterpillar starts climbing. He
then understands that this was not a
dead end. It was the next step
upwards, to reach a new height. What
seemed like an obstacle was actually
an invitation to go higher.
The same happens in our Avodat
Hashem. After an initial high, we
come to a flat period where things
coast along. Suddenly, the Yetzer
Hara attacks again and new obstacles
appear that seem to threaten
everything we've gained until
now. It looks like we've failed and
the journey is over. But this is
normal. We are being beckoned to go
to a higher level, to raise
ourselves above our current state
and reach upward. It is at this
moment that we need to look up and
Growing closer to Hashem is not
always a steep incline. That would
be too exhausting. The plateaus give
us time to reenergize, and they are
just there to prepare us to go to
the next level. But the challenge is
in front of you. Grab it, and
caterpillar your way to new heights!