Guard Your Eyes

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


Rabbi Twerski shared with us the following beautiful inspirational tips:


Keep it Simple

Here is something you might add to my "tips":


One of the slogans of the 12-step program is "Keep it simple (stupid)". It is important to keep things simple. We make things difficult by complicating them.


"Simple" does not mean "easy." A command to lift a 100 pound weight is simple, it's just very hard. If we keep things simple and are willing to do hard work, we can triumph.


Before Rebbe Yohanan ben Zakai died, his talmidim asked him for a bracha. He said, "May you fear Hashem as much as you fear other people". There are things a person would be ashamed to be seen doing by others, but is not ashamed to be seen doing them by Hashem."


People who would be afraid to look at pornography in a smut store because someone might see them there, have no shame in being seen by Hashem. The first paragraph in the Shulchan Aruch instructs us to constantly be aware that we are in the imminent presence of Hashem and behave accordingly.


That is simple. There is nothing complex about it. It is just very hard to do.


We must work hard to attain yiras shamayim. Mesilas yesharim points out that we must work diligently to get it, "like one who searches for silver and digs for treasure." If you don't find the treasure at first, you don't give up. You continue digging, even exhausting yourself in order to find the treasure. That's how we must work for yiras shamayim. It is not going to just drop down from heaven.


Pray hard and tearfully for yiras shamayim. Our lives depend on it. Read the essays in mussar on developing yiras shamayim. This is a prayer that is always answered, provided that we really want it.


In Truth

There was an incident that taught me something about turning to Hashem for help:

At a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous in Jerusalem, one man who was seven years sober related that he had resisted AA because it was God-oriented, and he was an atheist.

"One day", he said, "I was walking along the beach in Tel Aviv, thinking whether I should just walk into the ocean and end it all. I had nowhere to go. My wife threw me out of the house. In desperation, I looked toward the sky and shouted, "If You're up there, then help me!"

And He helped me. Now, with the help of G-d, I am seven years sober."

When I heard this, I thought of the verse in Tehillim: "Hashem is close to all who call upon Him, who call upon Him in truth".

That's the clincher: in truth.


Guarding the Tongue Helps Guard the Bris

There are many people who are desperate and say that they would do anything to be free of the compulsion. Here is something that will indeed take much effort, but if one is really ready to do anything, this can help greatly:

WATCH YOUR SPEECH! Be meticulous in avoiding ALL lashon hara (defamatory talk), any untruth, and any coarse language.

In order to know what proper speech is and what is forbidden, avail yourself of the Chafetz Chaim's "Guard Your Tongue."

This may seem simple, but it really takes great effort, because we are in the habit of talking without giving much thought to what we say. To become conscious and watchful of speech is anything but simple, but if one is really interested in being free of sexual compulsions, this can be of great help (see source below).



To receive daily lessons in Shmiras Halashon from the Sefer Chofetz Chaim, send an e-mail to with subject "subscribe".

Sources: Many Chassidic works are replete with the idea that "bris halashon mechuvan negged bris hamaor" and that shemiras halashon leads to shemiras habris (see Sefer Chareidim 66:9). The most common Posuk quoted in this regard is "Al titein es picha l'hachti es bisorchoh".... See also the mafteach in the Yad Ramah edition of the Shaloh hakadosh for something a bit earlier than chassidish, and this concept also comes up quite a few times in the out-of-print Peleh Yoaitz from the Hornisteipeler (Rabbi Twerski's grandfather).



You Are My Child


A young man asked a gadol what he can do to keep himself from looking at the indecent things on the billboards, store windows, etc... The gadol responded:

The verse in Proverbs 3:11 reads: "Mussar Hashem, bni al timas" which is generally translated, "My son, do not despise Hashem's chastening education."

However, it can also be translated as:

"Mussar Hashem" - this is not mussar delivered by another human being, but the musaar delivered by Hashem Himself, who says

"Bni,"  - you are My child, therefore

"Al timas" - do not do anything that is despicable.

Remember who you are. The standards of behavior for a prince are more exacting than for others, and a person should remember that he is a child of Hashem, and hold himself to a high standard of behavior.

It is good to repeat this verse when feeling tested: "Mussar Hashem, bni, al timas." I am a child of Hashem, and I must behave accordingly.



On Chanukah, Rabbi Twerski sent us:


Now that it is Chanuka, there is a tikkun, that after lighting the Chanuka candles (or oil), one should look at the lights and meditate, "hanerot hallalu kodesh heim - these lights are holy." The sefarim say that they represent the original light of creation. Concentrating on the kedusha of the Chanuka lights helps prevent misuse of one's eyes. Some people mediate on the Chanuka lights for the full half hour that is the minimum time the candles should burn.