The Shmiras Ainayim Chizuk List
Alone in the Hotel
Sent to us by an anonymous writer
I would like to recount a story that
happened to me a year ago on Rosh
Chodesh Elul. I was in a very low mood
with bad thoughts in my head. I was on
my way to Israel for the Chaggim. I had
to take a stopover. The first plane I
was on got delayed for a few hours and I
missed my connecting flight. The airline
put me up in the Hilton hotel for the
night. In the room was a clear lucid
wide-screen TV. I started looking
through the options on the TV and found
what I wanted. I had never seen real
movies like that before. I was literally
one click away from these pleasures. I
thought to myself, "here I've got a
opportunity laid on a silver platter,
without no one in the world knowing".
About to press the button, I felt that I
had reached the hardest nisayon in
my life. Suddenly I took hold of myself
and decided I was not going to give in.
I showered, and while doing so, I was
mechazek myself. After the shower, I was
lying on the amazingly comfortable bed
and suddenly the desires came back with
tenfold force. A powerful battle was
going on, "yes, no, yes, no". Suddenly a
voice inside me says, "I am sorry yetzer
hara, but this time I won". It was the yetzer
hatov speaking. The next morning I
got up and had to hurry, as I was put on
a early morning flight. I felt like I
was in the seventh heaven. Suddenly I
felt above all the physical desires
surrounding me. I had to daven shacharis by
the gate. It was the first day of Elul,
and although I did not have a shofar
with me, I had had my own wake up call.
The euphoria lasted through the whole
Elul, and through all the Yomim Tovim
My Chupah With the Billboard?
Talmid Chacham who is recovering
through our website, wrote me today
the following insight:
As I was driving today, I passed a giant
immodest poster. I was naturally tempted
to take another look. I then thought of
how I will find myself engulfed in the
world to come with all of my "friends"
from the immoral sights that I have seen
in this world. And how I will have the
"pleasure" of introducing them to the
Kabbalistically, every time a Jew looks
at a girl a certain Yichud (connection)
is formed that remains until rectified.
I can just see my chupa in the next
world with this giant billboard. By
looking at these women, you not only
damage yourself but you hurt them as
well. They are now on the black "Lifney
Iver" list, for having caused a Jew
to stumble. If, however, you use the
temptation to rise to the challenge and
overcome it, then these women also have
a part in your renewed vigour. They will
still get what they deserve, but they
will also be a tinge rectified by
allowing a person to renew his
connection with Hashem. For example,
Penina was nasty to Chana and was
punished. All of her children died.
she had a positive effect on Chana and
drove her to pray with tears. She
actually has some stock in the birth of
Shmuel. In the next world, that has some
When I see that I can help rectify these
wretched women, it makes it a lot easier
for me not to look, as a kind of
altruism. I know that there are simpler
reasons and formulas, like not staring
because it insults my wife - or because
it insults me - or Hashem. But
nonetheless, this thought seems to help
me more than others.
I know that to clean up my infested
chupa I have a lot of work to do, but
the Chazon Ish says that great mountains
are climbed with small steps.
The Burning Bush
"Pintale Yid" on
When Moshe first saw the Sneh (burning
bush), he didn't understand why the bush
was not being consumed. When Hashem saw
that he was coming closer to look, he
told him to take off his shoes because
he was standing on holy ground.
My Tanya Rebbi explained this as having
to do with a person struggling with his
Tayvos. The Yetzer Hara keeps burning,
but the bush is not destroyed. When a
person is struggling, they might think
that their Neshamos are being destroyed.
But if they take a closer look, the bush
is untainted - it isn't even blackened
by smoke. Your Neshama is as clean as it
was before the fire started, it is all
an allusion that the Y"H has concocted
for you, so that you should give up and
be his best friend for life.
Take off your shoes - dump the Y"H,
struggle is nothing less than holy
ground. The holiest of the holy. Use
your past falls to propel yourself to
greater heights. Know that while you
were struggling, every time you said
"no", the Shechina soared on high and
was receiving tremendous bounty from the OHR
Now when you dust yourself off and start
the climb again, be assured that you
will shlep many others out of the mud
does one attain JOY?"
Let me bring a Mashal from the Dubno
Yankel the pauper was ecstatic.
The wealthiest man in town, Zelig, had
invited him to his daughter's wedding.
Yankel was dreaming of all the sumptuous
foods he will eat.
In his foolishness, he decided to fast
for 3 days in order to "build up an
The day of the wedding arrived, but
Yankel could not move - he was about to
faint. His wife said, "you must eat
now!" and she prepared him a "meal" of
moldy bread and rotten vegetables, some
onions and oil. Uchh.
Yankel comes to the wedding smelling
from bad breath, his food coming up from
The waiters serve the finest entrée.
"uchh, it taste like mold".
"The soup tastes rotten".
"The steak tastes like old moldy
The people around him finally say,
TASTE AND SMELL MOLDY AND ROTTEN!"
"THE FOOD HERE IS DELICIOUS!"
MY DEAREST FRIENDS,
TORAH & MITZVOS BRING A JEW TO THE
GREATEST JOY POSSIBLE. SO WHY DON'T WE
FEEL IT? Hmmm... Maybe
we are filling up on Yankel the beggar's
Do we have free choice or not?
Someone asks on the forum:
Chazal say that "everything
is in the hands of heaven besides for
the fear of Heaven". How does this
fit in with the idea that we should just
give over the fight to Hashem? Doesn't
"free-choice" mean that Hashem gives the
fight over to us?
You asked a question that really
requires a whole discussion, but for now
let me try to answer in short.
free choice is only in our "ratzon"-
"desire". We have
free-will to get pulled after the
desires of our body and make that our ratzon;
or we can get pulled after our soul and
our wisdom and make that our ratzon.
(practical efforts) is
this - because if we truly want
something, we will act towards
it. We need to put our ratzon into
make it real. But whether we succeed or
not is only in the Hands of Hashem.
often have free-choice to stay out of a
situation, but once we get ourselves
into the situation already, we may not
have free-choice any more.
goes without saying that every person's
free-choice is only within certain
limits, depending on his level. For
example, if someone never learned a word
of Torah in his life and has always been
wasting his time on nothingness, he
obviously doesn't have free-choice to
not be mevatel
all. Of course, with time he can get
there, but right now there's nothing to
talk about. The same applies to the
Yetzer Hara. In fact, the Ohr
Hachaim Hakodosh says
explicitly that once someone got used to
sinning in this area, he can't stop al
pi derech hateva (i.e.
by using natural means), rather only by
using the power of Hashem (see this
amazing peice from the Ohr
here). When we have the wisdom to
realize that the Yetzer Hara wants to
destroy us and we run to Hashem to save
us, then He makes a miracle for us and
Back on the Horse
By "Will" on
As soon as you get a bit too cocky and
think "Hey, I'm doing it!", Hashem gives
you a fatherly pat on the back with a
serious nisayon and says, "Chill".
That's what happened to me today... I
was doing great with the few errands I
had to run, in a semi crowded Israeli
mall, keeping my head down and looking
away immediately upon
inappropriateness... I was thinking, "Yetzer
Hara, bow down to your king." Then, for
reasons I cannot elaborate on, I was
forced to go to the airport and surprise
an arriving friend. Surprising at the
airport means waiting at the arrival
hall and watching every single person
that comes out of customs. I was doing
well for a while... keeping my eyes in
check. But after 45 minutes of this...
my eyes became a bit "loose". I looked
twice at a few women. Very upsetting. I
basically ate treif a
few times while I was casually waiting
at the airport! But sometimes, says R'
Tzadok, Hashem gives a person a nisayon that
he cannot handle just to see how he
recovers. Does he get depressed when he
falls, staying on the ground and
thinking "this is impossible"? Or does
he jump right back onto the horse?
Baruch Hashem, He has given me the
strength to continue with this struggle
right where I left off.
Making Nedarim (vows)
can be a very powerful tool in this
struggle, and Chazal indeed encourage Nedarim for
these type of tests. However, vows must
be made very carefully and only for
short periods of time (at first) to
assure that they can be kept under all
circumstances. See this
page and this
our site for advice on how to make vows
safely and effectively to help in this
"Cleareyes613" wrote on
Today, I tried out a small neder (first
time). I was alone in a house (b"H
someone took the laptop so I didn't have
internet) but there were plenty of
non-Jewish magazines. The length of my
neder was just for the afternoon; that I
would do 25 push-ups before opening any
non-Jewish material. After the fact, I
think it helped keep the pestering
voices out of my head pretty well!
A Bochur recently wrote:
I realized recently that I need a
stronger commitment to stop dwelling on
inappropriate thoughts. So right then, I
made a neder (which
I knew I could keep) not to allow ANY
lust for 2 weeks. That means not
visiting any website with any lustful
intent, or even allowing any lustful
thoughts to remain in my mind at any
time. (I vowed that if I allow any
lustful thoughts to linger, I will do 30
push ups). It really seems to be
helping! On only a couple of occasions
unwelcome thoughts have come to me, but
because I made a neder, they cannot
stay, and just like on a fast day I have
no problem fasting and my stomach
doesn't growl like it would on a regular
morning because it "knows" it can't eat,
my mind lets go of the thoughts
immediately because it "knows" it can't
"eat". Soon the two weeks are up and I
will renew the vow for another 2 weeks.
Like Queen Esther,
You Are the Tikkun For Klal
By "Ovadia" on
I would like to quote a beautiful piece,
which I saw in the Sefer from Rav Shlomo
Brevda Shlit"a on the story of
Purim. (Below is a virtual word by word
quote from Rav Brevda):
We find a
startling statement in The Gemara (Megilo
13). "Esther was of a greenish
complexion; however a thread of Chesed
was drawn over her". (She was given a
touch of grace by HaShem Yisborach which
made her find favor in the eyes of all
the nations and the king).
Gaon asks, how can the Gemara say such a
thing when the Megilah states explicitly
that Esther had perfect features?
answers that originally Esther was very
beautiful, however the extreme
materialism surrounding her plus the
lavish kindness shown to her by the
Resho'im disgusted her and caused her
such grief that she developed an ugly
greenish complexion. However a thread of
Chesed was drawn over her by HaShem
Yisborach and she found favor in
people's eyes. (The Gaon pushes this
point by arguing that a truly beautiful
person does not have to find "favor" in
explains the Posuk that states "when
Esther's turn to appear before the king
arrived, she requested nothing to
accompany her." The Midrash relates that
Esther was so non-cooperative all along
that Haigi was in great fear that she
would be executed by the king..
when Esther was taken originally from
Mordechai's home to the women's
quarters, the Megila states "Vatilokach
Esther" which means that she was taken
against her will. The Gaon notes that at
the end after having months of beauty
treatments, luxurious living and lavish
gifts, when the time comes for her to go
to the king, the Megilah again uses the
same terminology "Vatilokach Esther".
She was completely unmoved by all the
materialism which surrounded her, day
and night for many months.
HaShem yisborach put Esther in such an
unusually materialistic situation,
saturated with temptations and
reason for this is, that this was the
Tikkun for the Aveira committed by the
Jews of Shushan in going to - and
deriving pleasure from - the unholy
Seuda of Achashveirosh.
was put through a situation comparable
to this unholy Seuda, which had
corrupted thousands of Jews within a few
hours. Her Seuda lasted not a few hours,
days or weeks, but rather many months
day and night. It was potentially much
more dangerous and corrupting for the
Jewish soul, yet never did she waver.
She accomplished a giant step in
rectifying the sin of those who had
derived pleasures and had been corrupted
by the unholy Seuda of Achashvairosh.
What remains to be said? We too are
being bombarded with materialism and
Nisyonos today on the level of Esther
HaMalkah. May she serve as an
inspiration to us all, and maybe we here
on GYE will be the Tikkun for the rest
of Klal Yisroel - just like she was.
Click here for some Chizuk from
the Megillah by "Bardichiver".
Tips for Guarding our Eyes this
1) Wear dark, non-see through
sunglasses, and color the insides with
permanent marker, leaving only a small
hole to see through.
2) At the Purim Se'udah, make sure to
sit down facing AWAY from the women. And
have a Sefer to look into in between
3) When out in the street, get back in
4) Where a big hat that covers your eyes
(most of the time).
Use the revolutionary "bionic filter"
called 'Eyelids'. After many years of
painstaking research, the most gifted
minds of our generation have found a way
to filter the content viewed by our eyes
(the most sensitive organ of our body).
Teams of researchers have discovered
that by training the human eyelid to
close, one can effectively block-out all
unwanted content. Coupled with such
exercises known as squinting, and
peripheral vision, mankind has found a
way to bridge the gap between internet
content filters, and real life sight.
Ki Be'Simcha Taitzai'u!
For with Simcha you shall
go out (of your struggles)!
out jokes from close to 50 pages of our
Person's Chill Spot"
to read over at your Purim Se'udah and
get everybody ROLLING!
short-term memory is not as sharp as
it used to be.
short-term memory's not as sharp as
it used to be.
statement below is true.
The statement above is false.
is only an illusion
occurs due to a lack of Alcohol.
With all the sadness and trauma
going on in the world at the moment,
it is worth reflecting on the death
of a very important person, which
almost went unnoticed last week.
Larry LaPrise, the man who wrote
"The Hokey Pokey", died peacefully
at age 93. The most traumatic part
for his family was getting him into
the coffin. They put his left leg
in. And then the trouble started.
I may be schizophrenic,
but at least I have each other.
A Freilichen Purim to one and All!
"Who's the Dirty One Here?"
An anonymous member who calls himself "Nurah
(His nickname and his calling "Fire" is
based on a story in the Gemara Kidushin 81a,
see Tool #9 of the
GYE handbook) calls
"FIRE" on the forum!
Recently I passed through the city of Sedom
and Amorah on the Hudson. I try to minimize
my visits to that lovely island, but when I
do pass through there I make it a point of
taking the FDR drive instead of the West
side highway because I believe there is less
"view" there and less billboards etc. (all
those unfortunate enough to travel there can
The advertisers on these "un-holy"
billboards don't spend millions of dollars
for nothing - they know exactly what they
are doing. I make it a practice of keeping
my eyes strictly on the road and cars
ahead.... Nevertheless, there were two
huge-multi-story billboards at which I sorta
glanced at from my peripheral vision...
Perhaps because I've been in a good state
with Guarding-My-Eyes for the past few
months through the kindness of Hashem, I
believe that I may be in heightened state of
sensitivity, and I can't get these images to
stop replaying in my mind!
So I'm going to YELL: "NURA
BEI AMRAM - FIRE IN THE HOUSE OF AMRAM!!"
I pray the Ribono shel Olam should douse
this fire... NOW!
"Dov" responds to the cry on the forum:
Dear R' NBA (Noorah B'Amram),
Here's a water-bucket for you, Be"H:
Yesterday, walking through the very
unholy-appearing NYC (from the Megabus
dropoff three squirmy blocks to Penn
station) and then to my parents' home in
Queens, I had the peripheral vision
experience you described at least 10 times.
It's one thing driving around at home where
I'm used to the:
very brief eye-closing,
diverting my mind to reality,
the surrendering of curiosity to Hashem,
the choice of safer routes to avoid
It's an entirely different experience having
the sewage poured on
me as I go through that town! Now, I do
believe Hashem has the "brawn" and the
"brains" to save me from that too if push
comes to shove, but I wasn't used to that
So, here is my share to you, NB'A:
I became aware that I was starting to feel
"dirty" at some point, after getting
"splashed" by a few "lust-puddles". I
started to feel quite the victim. Not good.
But what was worse was that I started
to feel dirty.
Dirt attracts only more dirt, of course. I
realized that no matter how "dirty" I was,
it'll do me no good at all to live in the
Then the thought occurred to me, that Chazal
talk about "Im
paga BOCH menuval zeh - if
this pervert accosts you....".
And with Hashem's loving help (He is wild
about me, you know), it dawned on me that
Chazal are calling the
Yetzer Hara the "menuval", not me. I'm
the "boch" who
they are referring to, of course. But on a
deep level, I realized that while feeling
"dirty" I was actually identifying/confusing myself with
As soon as I became aware of that, I
chuckled again at how goofy we can be
sometimes and I asked Hashem for help, being
that I am an easily tricked man. Then we
(Him and me) went on to my parent's home and
had a great time with them, feeling clean as
He really is the best Friend one could ever
ask for, no?
And I don't care how low any Yid goes; as
soon as he doesn't want to be
is not really dirty at all!
So if I ever feel farschmutzed (dirty)
again, I guess Hashem will help me just
"close my eyes" to my own silliness and help
me have simple
faith that I am actually a holy
man with a blazing, ancient light inside,
and a burning flame in his heart, walking
through this "big city filled with people
who don't know their right from their left"!
Sorry about waxing poetic. Hope you get the
I Don't WANT It
"Will" posted on
Shabbos was amazing. Baruch Hashem, not many
struggles except for a few inappropriately
dressed - so called - "tznius" women. When I
would spot them in the distance, my head
went down and I kept thinking, "Their
mode of dress is disgusting. I will not
contaminate my holy Neshama, my gift from
I've been thinking a lot about what Rav
Miller discusses in Day 4 of "Windows
Of The Soul"; that we are a holy nation,
and keeping our eyes in check should be done
to keep ourselves holy - like we are meant
to be. This has made Shmiras
lot easier for me to deal with, because I no
longer view it as "combating the
Yetzer Hara"... Rather, I see it as keeping
myself holy because that is what Hashem
created me for. Like many people have
said on the forum, its not about wanting
lust and running away from it; it's about
wanting lust because it repulses us.
A person should not be thinking to himself, "I
really want to fantasize about this woman,
but I won't because it's against my morals",
rather he should be thinking "That
is absolutely disgusting to me".
I like this approach a lot, especially since
it means that I won't be running away
my entire life... I won't be walking with my
head down everywhere I go until I'm 90.
Hashem will have transformed me into a
different person, a person who despises lust
because it goes against the very grain of my
essence - holiness.
Like someone else so beautifully posted
without any price...
even for free... even if they'd pay me...."
And I beg Hashem to lead me to that holy
Excerpts from "Sefer Hachassidim" (173)
To see the full piece in Lashon Kodesh, click
Should a sin come to a person, he should
think to himself that if they would decree
upon him to convert he would willingly let
himself be killed for Kiddush Hashem, so if
he would let himself be killed - which is
such a difficult test to withstand, how much
more so should he not let himself sin in
this far easier test!
And if one should have fantasies in middle
of prayer, he should press his big toes into
the ground strongly, and lean his whole
weight upon them without holding on to the
wall, and this will remove from him all
types of fantasies...
... And should a sin present itself to a
person, he should pray for Hashem to save
him from it with all his heart; for on
temporary suffering a person prays, so on
eternal suffering which has no end and no
measurement, how much more so should a
person pray a lot!
And if one succeeds to overcome his urge and
not sin, let him not give himself credit and
a Tzadik I am, that I withstood this test",
rather let him praise Hashem that he didn't
sin, for all hearts are in Hashem's hands,
as it says in Mishlei (21:1) "rivers
of water, the heart of the king is in
Hashem's hand, to wherever He desires he
turns it", and it says in Bereishis
I have also withheld you from sinning to
... And the Yetzer Hara is similar to an
"itch". If one continuously scratches the
itch, it will bring up scars, but if he
holds back from scratching the itch will go
Two Types of Fascination
two types of "fascinations" that we human
beings are capable of experiencing.
Type 1) Allowing ones self to indulge in the
fascination of human beauty and form by
following the natural instincts and wiring
of the brain to become enthralled by the
lust in human flesh. This type of
fascination is fed and intensified through
inappropriate pictures, lusting in the
street, reading today's magazines and
watching movies and TV shows.
Type 2) To
be spellbound by the beauty in
nature, fascinated by the splendor and
wisdom in G-d's handiwork, amazed at - and thankful for - one's
own body, captivated by the magnificence and
spirituality in our holy Torah and the
depth of wisdom therein, awestruck by G-d's
greatness and enthralled by the
blessings that we experience everyday of
family, health, sustenance and good fortune.
that these two types of
"fascinations" cannot co-exist. The human
mind is only capable of maintaining one
of these two types. The second type of
fascination is obviously far more spiritual,
enjoyable and fulfilling, but it is also
much more "subtle" and therefore cannot
be experienced by a mind that is under the
influence of the fascinations of type 1.
It's like trying to listen to
a beautiful symphony while a jack-hammer is
banging right next to you!
The Four Parshos
"Weigh" Your Actions
"Remember" (make a cheshbon hanefesh)
If you do the above, you will be like "NEW"!
Parshas Parah (1)
"MosheW" posted on
This coming Shabbos is a big one: Parshas
The seforim say
that not only did the Parah
Heifer) spiritually clean you up back in the
day, but it continues to do so each year
when we read the parsha. So
just sit back a feel those winds of kedusha.
Parshas Parah (2)
"Yosef Hatzadik" posted on
The eastern wall of the Har
shorter than the other three so that the
Kohen who was preparing the Parah
look at the Pischei
Shel Heichel while
spraying the blood. As Rashi says, Ro'eh
U'mischaven k'neged pischei shel heichel.
This can be
alluding to anyone who is being osek
in preparing teharah for tumah.
He should concentrate on seeing / imagining
the Beis Hamikdash. How so? Perhaps as
I heard a p'shat in the words of shmone
eineinu b'shuvchah letziyon berachamim, we
ask Hashem that our eyes may see his return
to Yerushalayim. But if we don't GUARD OUR
EYES, how can we expect to see the Shechinah
with those eyes?
concentrating on preparing our eyes to see
Hashem's return to the Beis HaMikdash is
part of making a teharah for
To Glorify G-d Through Pleasure
We recently sent out an e-mail (#363)
describing how the fascination with lust
cannot co-exist with the more subtle
fascinations, such as the beauty in nature,
taking joy in one's family, and the
spiritual beauty that can be found in Torah
and Avodas Hashem.
Someone replied by e-mail that perhaps when
it comes to marital relations, the two types
of "fascinations" can
To clarify this point, I would like to bring
a beautiful comment from the
Holy Sefer, Noam Elimelech from Rav
Elimelech of Lizensk - who's Yartzeit is
today, the 21st of Adar.
He writes that Yaakov Avinu's attribute was
that of Tiferes, meaning "Awesome Beauty".
This implies that Yaakov Avinu had the
ability to be awestruck by G-dly beauty in
all he saw. For example, the Noam Elimelech
continues, "When a person eats a tasty food,
he should say to himself, "if this food is
so good in taste, is it not obvious that all
the good and pleasantness is to be found in
the Creator--may his name be
blessed--without any limit or
boundary!"..."and this is the secret of the
Pasuk "and Yaakov kissed Rachel".
it is to try to apply this midah of Yaakov
Avinu to ourselves. Whenever we see
something that normally turns our hearts
away from Hashem, we need to tell ourselves,
"If this woman is so beautiful and I desire
her so much, how much more beautiful it must
be to connect with G-d - who is the infinite
source of all beauty, pleasantness and
And indeed when it comes to marital
relations, one can use this concept to both
enjoy the beauty and pleasure in the act,
but at the same time, use it as a means to
be "mispa'er" (glorify) Hashem, who is the
true source of all pleasure, beauty and good
in this world!
The Mind Rules the Heart
"ZalmanDuvid" wrote today on the forum:
The Hebrew word for dog is Kelev. The name
Kelev comes from the words "Koolo Lev",
which means "it is all heart". And it is
true, dogs truly are all heart. They are so
full of love. They are always so happy to
see their owners. That is why people love
their dogs so much. They always love you no
matter what imperfections you have. They
will always run to the door to greet you and
lick you all over, even if you are smelly,
ugly, dumb or obnoxious.
On the flip
side, dogs (animals in general) are
constantly fulfilling their carnal desires,
the desires of their heart (Lev). They do
whatever they want, whenever they want to.
They are truly animals. They are Koolo Lev.
being, on the other hand, was given the
power to rise above his carnal desire. We
have a Seichel with which to dictate and
control the whims of our heart. Not only
that, but the Seichel of a person By
the Ruler of the heart (Moyach Shalit Al
Halev). When we know that by nature our
Seichel controls our heart's desires, this
will make it easier to fight the urges that