21 Reasons to Speak to Your Kids about Online Dangers
 
 
  Breaking Free Chizuk #1284  
 
 
In Today's Issue
   
Q & A: Looking at the Sun
Links: Addicted to the 12 steps?
Daily Dose of Dov: Good life isn't about having it good
Links: 21 Reasons to Warn Your Kids about Porn
 
 
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Q & A
 
Looking at the Sun
 
By GYE

Question:

How can I go in the streets in Brooklyn or in Manhattan when the women are dressed the way they are? What does Hashem want from us!? We are not malochim??

Answer:

This is a very good question. Let me try and answer with a parable.

Imagine you suddenly developed a strong desire to look at the sun. Every time you went out to the street you would feel the pull and look up at the sun. After a few days though, you felt your eyesight was starting to fade. The rest of the world began to look dark, colorless and blurry. So you went to see a doctor and the doctor tells you that looking at the sun is dangerous and harmful to your eyes. He warns you that if you continue sun-gazing, you will lose your eyesight completely! You leave his office shocked, and you make a strong decision to stop this nonsense. You finally understand that the harm and pain it causes you far outweighs the pleasure of looking. From then on, even though the sun is still there every time you walk outside, you keep your eyes down. Within a few short days you are delighted to find that your eyesight is healing, and you can once again enjoy the beautiful world around you in full clarity and color.

It is the same with Shmiras Ainayim. Yes it is true that we naturally have a strong desire to look at these things, and yes, they are there every time we walk outside. But it is only difficult for us as long as we don't fully accept how harmful it is to us. As long as we keep battling in our minds whether life without lust is truly better, we will keep struggling mightily with this nisayon. If we haven't made a strong decision yet in our minds that this is bad for us, then each time something tempting walks by our brain tortures us with questions: "Why do I ignore lust? Why do I not give in to it? It looks so good! Maybe I've been wrong all along? Maybe this is where it's really at?"

But when we think deeply into it, we realize that even if we would get all our desires, the pleasure would last only a short moment and leave us feeling empty afterwards. We know from past personal experience and from so many other people's stories that a life of lust is a life of emptiness and pain. The more we feed it, the more it wants. It is never satisfied. Even if we would have all those "tempting things" out there, we would be left afterwards wanting only more and more, desperate to fill the huge void that it leaves in us... And we know that lust takes us away from all the good that Hashem has in store for us. It severs our relationship with our Creator, with our wives and children, and even our relationship with ourselves.

When we realize all this and come to the conclusion that lust is really DEATH, we are finally able to make the decision in our minds that we don't WANT this. It is poison for us. At that point, even though the temptations may surround us all over, we won't find it so hard to gently close our eyes and turn our hearts away. Because we know that even if we would HAVE all that our eyes are pulling us to see, we would only be left with darkness, pain and void. We would lose all that is truly precious to us and still never be satisfied.

So long as we haven't made this strong decision though, even our Avodas Hashem is with half a heart. We still "aren't fully sure" that this is what we really want. And when we see something tempting in the street, we suddenly find ourselves struggling ferociously and asking ourselves if perhaps that is really it.

But once we reach the understanding that lust is poison and darkness for us and we finally make a strong decision, we will no longer feel such a struggle. And as we learn to surrender the lust, our "eyesight" will begin improving. The world will start to become a happier and better place. Our davening will become more real, it will be with a FULL heart instead of half-heart. Our love for our wives and children will become more beautiful and meaningful than ever. Shabbos will feel like Shabbos, learning Torah will become more meaningful. We will finally be zoche to understand what it means to serve Hashem "bechol Levavcha" - with a full heart.

Rabbi Mordichai Lechovitcher, one of the great Chassidic masters once said "How bitter is the world when one lies inside it, and how good is the world when one is on top of it".

Hashem has placed before us two paths. Let us choose LIFE with a firm decision and a full heart.

Links
 

By Rabbi Shais Taub

Rabbi Shais Taub is an internationally known speaker, writer and teacher on topics of Jewish spirituality who has become known for his work in the field of addiction. NPR dubbed him “an expert in Jewish mysticism and the 12 Steps” and The New York Times called him “a phenomenon.” His bestselling book, G-d of Our Understanding: Jewish Spirituality and Recovery from Addiction was the #1 selling Jewish book on Amazon.com and was praised by Publishers Weekly as "a singular resource for those in need."

Hie runs a nonprofit organization, Conscious Contact, which helps individuals and families to find spiritual healing from addiction and other problems.

Addicted to the 12 steps?
Daily Dose of Dov
 
Good life isn't about having it good
 
By Dov

"Noorah" posted on the forum:

I find that the more holy the day or season, any time we are enjoined to be happy, the Yetzer Hara will go to great lengths to pull me down. The seforim all say that when we say that a Tom Tov is a "zman" for something, it means that this time is segulah from Heaven to acquire that specific item.

Sukkos is called "a time for our rejoicing" - meaning, that this is when they hand out out joy/simcha. The question that I ask myself is, why do I feel that I'm missing the ability to acquire this tremendous Heavenly gift?

Why am I mired in the petty worries of the solvency of my bank account? Why can't I internalize all the lofty concepts of the Sukkka?

Why am I stuck with all the petty resentments of my day to day life? What happened to all the lofty ideas that I read and learn about in the holy seforim?

I can read all these noble lofty thoughts of bitachon, I can even teach them convincingly to others, yet when it comes time to "putting the rubber to the road", why am I left face to face with little ol' me?

WHY? WHY? WHY?

I know that Dov who works the 12-Steps, said recently that "Life gets good in a hurry when we are living for the right reasons, even if we are not doing it perfectly". But how in the world is the 12 steps going to meet my payroll?? ...The Big Book don't talk about the aforementioned banks, suppliers and customers!

 

Dov replies:

I'm would like to share with you, Noorah, that there is not much written in the AA "Big Book" about not drinking, not much in the 12-Steps about not lusting, and b"H there is not much space in my head given to how not be'simcha I am feeling this Sukkos so far.

It's ALL about the resentments, ALL about the horrible customers, ALL about the fears, worries, and nuttiness of life. That is what the steps are ONLY about. Finding sanity in a beis medrash (or a test tube) is not going to do me much good in real life if I'm out of the beis medrash.

Living the "good life" isn't about having it "good", it is about really having it - whatever it really is, then owning it, and learning how to let Hashem work with us to live it right. Then, it gets "good" in a hurry.

And, by the way, "being left with little ol' me" is actually huge. You are not running into fantasy (which is something I have done hundreds, maybe thousands, of times). It may not be pretty, but it is the only game in town. Now play it.

- Dov

P.S. All the brocha of the years and years that Hashem loved us in the desert with those clouds, the mon and the sukkas; that huge older generation was dying-out slowly under the heavy gezeira of the cheit haeygel and meraglim. That was the setting for the training-period of the next generation. It was not pleasant, and not idyllic, to be sure. But the love of Hashem was still there. They were surrounded by the clouds of glory and getting the mon each morning! So they just focused on the positive, did their jobs, and grew.

P.P.S. My apologies if what I wrote did not sound loving, but it is the best I have for you, chaver, and I do love you.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

To join an anonymous & frum 12-Step SA phone-conference group, see this Page.

Links
 

This list comes from the book What’s the Big Deal about Pornography? written by Dr. Jill C. Manning, Ph.D. It’s based on social science research from the United States, Canada, Europe and Australia.

"...

  1. Increased risk of believing rape is not a serious crime
  2. More exposure to incorrect information about human sexuality
  3. Increased risk of developing unhealthy views about sexuality
  4. Increased risk of thinking less common sexual practices happen more often than they do
  5. Increased risk of getting involved in sexual behavior that is risky, unhealthy or illegal (hiring prostitutes, for example)"

Click the link for the full list. Plus a bonus!

Viewer discretion is advised: while we vetted this site for any objectionable imagery, please be advised that the link will take you outside of GYE network.

21 Reasons to Warn Your Kids about Porn
Do you think you may have a porn addiction?
 

Do you have a problem with obsessive and compulsive porn use? Have you seriously tried the tools on GYE and feel that you are not getting better? Maybe it’s time to consider joining a 12-Step program.

Porn Anonymous (PA)
If you’re compulsively acting-out with pornography and masturbation we suggest you explore joining Porn Anonymous (PA). If you need help deciding whether to join PA, call Michael at 347-699-2368, or email help@pornanonymous.org to schedule a time to talk. For more information visit pornanonymous.org (Hebrew: p-a.org.il / Yiddish: pa-yid.org).

Sexaholics Anonymous (SA)
If your compulsive acting-out has progressed beyond the screen (with other people, paid sexual services, etc.) we suggest you explore joining Sexaholics Anonymous (SA). To figure out if SA is for you, call Dov at 917-414-8205, or email Dov at dov@guardyoureyes.org to schedule a time to talk. For more information visit www.sa.org.

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