What is the use of all this?
  Breaking Free Chizuk #1321  
In Today's Issue
Image of the Day
Editor’s Note
Announcements: New conference call
Q & A: What is the Use?
Torah: Where do we start
Daily Dose of Dov: The Cheftza & the Gavra of Lust
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Artwork courtesy of Maydel

Editor’s Note

GYE member Newaction wrote to us:


"I wanted to share what came to my mind while listening to a certain Jewish song.


I think that in the following posuk the whole essence of sobriety is described in very few and short words in addition to alluding to the founders of 12 step program of spirituality. 


ואני בחסדיך בטחתי יגל לבי בישועתיך.


So look at this : ואני בחסדך בטחתי the first letters make up בוב or BOB יגל לבי בישועתך the first letters make ביל or BILL.


The whole of sobriety depends on how much we trust Hashem and have faith in His Infinite Chesed, and that will entitle us to His speedy Delivery."                                                              




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  • Q & A
    What is the Use?
    By GYE

    In Shabbos 54b we learn that it is impossible to say that Reuven sinned, because his children would never have been on Har Aivol if he had sinned. But you say in the Handbook that teshuvah is accepted in any situation, and so I don't understand the Gemarah. It could be that he sinned but did Teshuvah!

    In addition, on the same page, the Gemarah says that someone who sins, if he is a Kohain, his children won't serve in the Beis Hamikdash, and if he is a Yisrael, his children won't be Talmidei Chachamim. So, how should I feel?

    Feeling like Giving Up

    My dear Giving Up ,

    Chazal also say about the churban of the second Beis Hamikdash that Hashem was willing to forgive the murder, adultery and even avodah zara, but he couldn't forgive the bitul Torah.

    And Chazal say that if someone is walking outside and learning, and he stops to say "how beautiful is this tree" he is mischayav binafsho.

    Have you ever been guilty of bitul torah?

    Another Chazal says that 3 people have no chelek in olam haba, a murderer, an adulter and someone who serves avodah zara. But one who speaks Lashon Hara is worse than all of them.

    Have you ever been guilty of lashon hara?

    So why is it that specifically the Chazal about this issue is making you want to give up?

    The answer is very simple. It's AGAIN the Yetzer Hara. He WANTS you to feel YIUSH so you should feel so low. This way he can get you to continue sinning!

    So how can we know if it's the Yetzer Hara or the Yezter Tov? It's simple! If we feel that it's HARDER to sin again after hearing these kind of Chazals, then we know that it's the Yetzer Tov. But if we feel like giving up, it is obviously the Yetzer Hara!

    It's BALONEY. Teshuvah helps in ALL cases, especially with a sin that is so common, and with the huge nisyonos of today.

    Hashem is extremely proud of anyone who takes this battle seriously and makes progress in this area. Progress, not perfection.

    Also, it is important to understand that in the case of addiction, it is unhealthy to view this as a "terrible sin" (is an alcoholic a sinner when he drinks?). Rather, we need to realize that this is a disease that will destroy our life in this world and the next. We need to realize that it is in OUR BEST SELF INTEREST to break free of this, even if it WASN'T a sin.


    Where do we start
    By GYE

    It's Elul and we all want to start doing Teshuvah, but we ask ourselves "Where do we start?". Someone posted on the forum yesterday something simple yet profound from the Chofetz Chaim (and we added it to our Teshuva page). The Chofetz Chaim says that the essence of doing Teshuvah is to make a careful reckoning of what things brought us to sin or made it possible for us to sin, and to avoid those things from now on. One who does this, is fulfilling the Mitzvah of "doing Teshuvah" properly.

    Read more
    Daily Dose of Dov
    The Cheftza & the Gavra of Lust
    By Dov

    Dear GYE,

    I got two contradictory messages from reading your emails. On the one hand, Dov says that lust is under greater control during the later stages of recovery, but you say that a mild sight that was NOT a trigger yesterday DOES become a trigger today. Which is correct?

    Bewildered by Lust

    Dear Bewildered,

    Good question, I asked this of Dov once. The answer is, that we get MORE sensitive to lust triggers when we LET IN even a little bit of lust. However, we are LESS PRONE to letting it in at all because we recognize how poisonous it is for us. So even if a very triggering woman walks by, it gets easier over time to simply ignore her and not let the lusting to START.... (But if we do start taking peeks at her and lusting, we will find ourselves triggered faster and feeling more powerless - over time).

    And here's Dov's answer:

    You are equating improperly dressed women, porn, etc, with lust.

    But they are two completely different things. One is in me (my reaction, wishing for partaking, feeling it out, enjoying it and using it), and the other is out there - reality - "pretty women". They exist, and they are not lust themselves. My daughter is a pretty woman - she is not lust, and no one can transform her into lust. R' Chayim zt"l might say that one is a din of a cheftza (porn laying in the street, a pretty neighbor's wife, jogger, etc), and one is a din in the gavra (lust - what you or I may do with it).

    The recovering person's ability to accept that distinction is what makes the difference in the reaction itself! As long as a sexaholic is very sick, he automatically sees a pretty woman herself as a lust 'thing'. That is what she really is to him, as far as he can tell. It's his truth. So his tolerance to her presence is very, very low. Her very presence is a painful problem! He lusts for her and does not stop. Great shows of willpower are noble, but silly - for his reality is twisted. It's not a matter of willpower or yir'as Shomayim - he is just nuts, and sees pretty women as what they are not - as sex objects. All he can do is hold his breath... eventually he will fall.

    But in recovery, we pray for these people by name, we work our steps for sanity, and admit our lust to each other openly, and surrender it... and we begin to see these people and things as what they actually are: people and things... not 'lust objects', unless we 'make' them into that to us. Slowly, pretty women become real people and we can function with them at work, see them in the supermarket, etc. and tolerate them. For there is nothing to 'tolerate' - they are, b'ikar, people.

    That is why none of the steps are about "how to hold back." After the 1st step (which is about the problem), none of them mention anything about sobriety. All the solution steps (2-10) are only concerned with achieving sanity ("a Power greater than ourselves that can restore us to sanity"). Because the addict's main problem is neither alcohol nor lust, but insanity. And it is the gift of sanity that allows a recovering person to connect with integrity to people around him and to his G-d, and have the vital spiritual awakening (step 11) that makes lust, alcohol, or heroin unnecessary - the gift of long-term recovery.

    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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