The Power of Elul
 
 
  Breaking Free Chizuk #1313  
 
 
In Today's Issue
   
Image of the Day
Editor’s Note
Announcements: GYE Event with Dov and Duvid Chaim in Jerusalem
Links: The Tosher Rebbe, Ztz"l
Torah: Turning Our Whole Lives Over To Hashem
Torah: How can I make this Ellul different from every other Ellul?
 
 
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Image of the Day
 
Editor’s Note

Month of Elul, as brought down in Ari Z'L and chassidus, is the month when Yud Gimmel Middos Horachamim shine with utmost force. It is by Hashgocho Protis that the issue of our newsletter #1313 (twice Yud Gimmel!) comes out today.

May Hashem, in His ultimate Mercy, bestow upon all our readership a brocho for complete and speedy recovery!

Ksiva V'Chasima Tovah l'shona tovah umesukah!

Announcements
 
GYE Event with Dov and Duvid Chaim in Jerusalem
 

Good News! Dov (from the Daily Dose of Dov) is visiting Israel.

We'll be having a special GYE event this Thursday evening in Jerusalem where you can meet Dov - and Duvid Chaim from the 12-Step calls - in person!

Under the Title: "Recovery is not a spectator sport!"

Dov and Duvid Chaim will discuss their experiences and practical insights into the Action Steps of Recovery.

Spouses are invited too, to join Duvid Chaim's wife Miriam for a special Wives's Q&A Get Together in an adjacent room.

Please RSVP by e-mail to: gye.help@gmail.com so we can know who will be joining us.

Dov and Duvid Chaim will be answering all your questions - you are welcome to send them to Duvid Chaim in advance at duvidchaim@gmail.com.

This Thursday, August 20, 2015 at 9 PM at "The Place" in Jerusalem

2/19 Rechov Sheshet Hayamim
Ramat Eshkol, Jerusalem
Israel

Suggested fee to help cover costs: 20 NIS

Links
 

Last week, Klal Yisrael lost one of the last great tzadikim of the previous generation.

 

It's well worth reading this article, just to get a small glimpse of what we lost. Hard to believe such people still lived in our day and age. 

 

May we all learn from him, even a tiny bit, what it means to live completely for Hashem.

The Tosher Rebbe, Ztz"l
Torah
 
Turning Our Whole Lives Over To Hashem
 
By Rav Avrohom Schorr
 
By obormottel

"One thing I've asked from Hashem, that I dwell in the house of Hashem all the days of my life..." -Psalm 27

Read more
Torah
 
How can I make this Ellul different from every other Ellul?
 
Part 2/3
 
By Boruch

Rav Avigdor Miller Zt"l was once asked whether it was OK to read Dale Carnegie's "How to win friends and influence people". He asked in return whether it was OK to read a Driver's manual.

Alcoholics Anonymous is not about morality: it is about recovery. It is about what works to keep the alcoholic sober.

If so, how does religion get involved? The answer appears frequently in AA literature. AA says that selfishness and self-centered behavior is what condemns the addict to relapse. Most people are neither 100% selfish nor 100% idealistic. Most people are somewhere in between. An addict, however, who indulges in outright selfishness, even if only some of the time, will, sooner or later, as much as most of the time he knows that he absolutely cannot afford to relapse, in a moment of emotional pain and crisis, he will be unable to distinguish true from false and he will go right back to his drug and relapse totally. That is the problem of addiction.

What is AA's solution? The addict must avoid selfishness at all costs and instead of looking to satisfy his own self-will he must constantly seek G-d's will. That way, crisis or no crisis, he will never get confused and "drink" again. One thing the addict knows -once he has accepted AA's prescription - is that G-d does not want addicts to go back to their drug. If an addict wants to recover he must constantly seek G-d's will. Of-course "constantly seeking G-d's will" is very religious, that's what the Mesilas Yeshorim in Perek 18 calls Chasidus. And that's where AA is religious.

How about selfishness for the non-alcoholic? Just like drinking for the non-alcoholic is no concern of AA, so too with selfishness. Most non-alcoholics will take a few drinks and then stop and nothing terrible will happen. So too with selfishness. Most people are disciplined and trained to some extent. Even in their more selfish moments, non-alcoholics will generally behave within reason, and even if in selfish moments they behave badly, they will not spin out of control in a self-destructive cycle. As long as these non-addicts can use their more idealistic moments to improve, they can become very religious and very good people.

Not so the addict. The experience of millions of addicts who have adopted the AA program is that living with selfishness - even part of the time, is a recipe for certain relapse and assured disaster. The experience of millions of addicts is that recovery can only be achieved by shifting to G-d's will instead of self-will.

That has nothing to do with religion. It is simply a fact of addiction and recovery. And that's a fact that I never knew when I learned the musar seforim. Yes, I knew all about Chasidus of the Mesilas Yeshorim. But I always thought that before I worry about Chasidus in perek 18 of Mesilas Yeshorim I first have to get Zehirus in perek 2 of Mesilas Yeshorim and avoid the outright aveiros I am doing in my addiction. Meanwhile, I was still operating on selfishness and I was doomed to relapse repeatedly. And all the while I was thinking, "First things first; first keep Shulchan Oruch, then get to midas Chasidus". I never realized that was all very true and fine for the non-addict, but for the addict it was a sentence to a lifetime of addiction.

Until - bechasdei Hashem - I found the AA program which taught me that if I wanted to avoid relapse, for practical purposes, I have to replace self-will with G-d's will. In teaching me that key fact, the AA/SA program is exactly like a Driver's manual or a Carnegie book. It is information about addiction, not opinion on religion.

So this Ellul I know that in order to keep from addiction I have to especially focus on what the musar seforim say about Chasidus. If I am not being mamlich Hashem (making Hashem king) to the utmost of my ability today, I am in danger of relapse. That's a preparation to Rosh Hashana and a kabolas ol malchus shomayim that I never knew would not only save me from my addiction - but give me the potential to become the oved Hashem (divine servant) that I always wanted to be.

To be continued...
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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