Sunday, 12 February 2012

Shmiras Habris - or - Staying Alive?

by Dov (See all authors)

Someone wrote on the forum:

I've been avoiding shabbos naps ever since the time change. You're better off staying up through shabbos, learning and spending time with family and friends - and then going to bed at a normal hour. Otherwise, you end up awake and alone at the computer at 2 am when everyone else is sleeping... and we all know what that leads to... What does everyone else think? Avoid Shabbos naps for the sake of shmirat habrit?

Dov Responds:

Dear Yid,

If you are asking a halachic question, maybe ask a Rav.

If you are talking about advice to avoid doing an "aveira", nu, maybe ask a Rav, too.

But if you are talking about saving yourself from putting you life into the toilet of insanity again by going down the road of compulsive sexual acting out... hmmm... then I ask you: What in the world does that have to do with "shmiras habrit"?

I can't speak for you, but for me, what you are referring to as "shmirat habrit" has to do with whether I have a chance at having a real conscience, at being a father to my children, a husband to my wife, a sane yid (an insane yid doing mitzvos? Is a shoteh even yotzei, I wonder?), and in my particular case, staying alive at all.

To me, this is not at all like avodah zora, which chazal tell us is like breaking the entire Torah. It is much, much worse than that: It is giving up my entire tzurah of a mentch and accepting insanity into my life. And insanity of this disease, for me, is "memaleh kol almin and sovev kol almin" - it fills, poisons and perverts my entire life (and the life of those around me). At its root, sobriety and the program is not there to create holy yidden out of us. It is to create useful mentchen. From there, I can become a yid, if I want. But without it, I have no choice and remain basically a mess.

At least that is the way it is for me and others. I'm not alone in the feeling that to act-out is to die. I do not particularly care exactly which "lav" suicide is. I'm not interested in it for other reasons! ;-)