Break the Habit Before It Takes Your Soul
  Breaking Free Chizuk #1387  
In Today's Issue
Image of the Day: Porn Takes Your Soul
Announcements: Seminar by Rabbi Harris
12 Step Attitude: Miri Shares
Practical Tips: The Science of Habit Change
Q & A: How can I know if I am an addict or not?
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Image of the Day
Porn Takes Your Soul
Porn Takes Your Soul
Seminar by Rabbi Harris

The 3rd Annual Innate Health Conference, Jan. 3-5, 2016 - Tenafly, NJ & via Web

Rabbi Harris is a contributor to GYE. You can listen to his recorded audio shiurim.

12 Step Attitude

Miri's share was linked to in yesterday's email. If you missed it, you can find it on our site.

Miri Shares
Part 3/3
[The words in parentheses below are not Miri's words]

Duvid Chaim wrote us the following inspiring e-mail in response:

I appreciated Miri's Sharing about completing the 4th Step. I remember how difficult it was for me as well. How could I actually put down on paper all the history and "stories" that I had that I considered to be so shameful? And how could I possibly share it with another person; my sponsor; who was practically a stranger??

I even remember telling my sponsor that I was such a happy and easy going person that I didn't have any resentments! After he stopped laughing, he asked me to be really honest with MYSELF.

And that's when it really hit me. It wasn't bad enough that I being deceitful with my wife, my children and my friends, but I was also lying to MYSELF! Yes, I couldn't even tell the truth to myself. It was as if I had taken my poor Neshama and locked it in a dungeon - in solitary confinement, far away from the light.

My sponsor told me - and I share this with others today - that each of the 12 Steps is like a KEY. A key that unlocks the dungeon in which we incarcerated our Neshama. Each Step is a KEY that gives us the freedom and the light to achieve sustainable and progressive recovery from our addiction. Each Step is a KEY that opens the door to make room in our lives for Hashem. (In case you think you are already so religious and have Hashem in your life, just read chapter 4 of the Big Book called "We Agnostics").

Once I started working B'Emes - with real honesty - on my resentments, I found that I filled up two pages on my Resentment worksheet. And then, as if I was having an out-of-body experience, I (a man of great emunah-or so I thought) completely filled up multiple sheets on the Fear worksheet. And I don't have to tell you how many ugly and regret-full experiences ended up on my Sex-Conduct Worksheet!

And when I was done, I felt like I had tossed a huge weight off my back. Like the story in the Gemara about the man who placed a baby calf on his shoulders without any big deal. And he fed the calf while it was still on his shoulders. And as the calf grew, so did the man's strength and ability to keep the growing calf on his shoulders. With the passage of time, the calf grew into an ox. Yet thanks to the gradual growth of the cow and the man's "conditioning" that allowed him the carry the weight; he spent a lifetime walking around with a huge ox on his shoulders.

The "ox" in our lives is the lustful addiction that we carry on our shoulders. It grew over time, starting off like a sweet innocent calf and then becoming the nightmarish burden that most of us resign ourselves into thinking that we can never get rid of. And who's surprised? Not only was the calf (addiction) growing into an ox, but so was the "acceptance" and resignation of our condition growing along with it.

Fortunately for us, the 12 Step Program gives us the tools and the Keys to unload this burden from our shoulders and give it over the Ba'al Ha'Milchama - the Master of Wars - who can carry this - and any - burden we have, as long as WE LET HIM.

So to Miri I shout: "Yasher Koach on working the 4th Step. Be honest. Unload your Burden. Feel the Freedom, and enjoy the Light!"

"Keep coming back!"

With warm regards,

Duvid Chaim

Practical Tips
The Science of Habit Change
Part 1/14
By the.guard


When we speak of the struggle with pornography, the word “addiction” is often used. Addiction sounds like a scary word, but it’s really just another way of describing habits that have become deeply ingrained in our brains.

The New York Times Best Seller book “The Power of Habit ” by Charles Duhigg, can help us gain a deep understanding into how habits work and how they are susceptible to change. With the understandings from this fascinating book, based on up-to-date scientific studies, we can hopefully gain valuable insight into how we can regain control over our unwanted lustful behaviors.

In the coming pages, we will attempt to bring you a summary of the parts of this book that are perhaps most relevant to our struggle.

Read article
Q & A
How can I know if I am an addict or not?

This is a common question, but the answer is simple. Whether you are an addict or not is really not relevant, it's just semantics.

Let me ask you this, if you aren't addicted, why don't you just STOP?

If you feel OUT OF CONTROL (even sometimes).

If you set BOUNDARIES that you cross.

If you say YES when you want to say NO.

If you act in a way that goes against your principles.

Then you are dealing with some level of addiction.

Even if you manage to stay stopped for long periods of time, the fact you keep falling back to it means that there is likely something going on here beyond just a regular "struggle with the Yetzer Hara".

The video on the homepage of can help you decide what LEVEL of addiction you are dealing with and which tools would be best for you to try (blue, orange and red).

Ok, so let's assume you have an addiction. So does that mean you are helpless? Of course not! Although we may be powerless over the addiction, that does not absolve us from responsibility to deal with it AT ALL. For example, if someone has diabetes, they may be powerless over the disease but they are fully responsible to take their insulin! The tools available on our website (such as the TaPHSiC method and the 12-Step program) give us a simple set of steps to take, which, if done properly, return us to sanity and sobriety. Like a farmer with his crops; he will till, plant, water and pull the weeds, but ultimately the growth of the crops is in G-d's hands. The farmer may be powerless over the fruition of his plants, but he needs do whatever it takes from his side and leave the rest to G-d. That is how it works with addiction. On GYE you will learn how to plant, nurture and pull out the bad so that G-d can do for us what we could not do for ourselves.

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 to schedule a time to talk. For more information visit (Hebrew: / Yiddish:

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 to schedule a time to talk. For more information visit

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