Honesty in Gehinom
  Breaking Free Chizuk #1414  
In Today's Issue
Image of the Day
Editor’s Note: Get out of isolation, connect with others!
Daily Dose of Dov: What's worse?
12 Step Attitude: I choose honesty in Gehinom over dishonesty in Gan Eden
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Image of the Day
Editor’s Note
Get out of isolation, connect with others!


Hi Everyone,

In the hopes that members will use GYE's main public chat-room more to connect with each other, we made some changes and updates to the system. The updates mainly affect the public chatting. (BTW, if you see anything weird with the chat-rooms, it's probably just your cache. Delete your browser's cache and refresh the page).

Here are some of the new features:

1) We got rid of the Lobby where it's easy to get lost. Now there is only ONE public chat-room, where you can see all the public chatting. Men no longer have a choice to leave the public "Men's chat-room" and get lost in the "Married Men's chat-room" or "chat-room for teens". Instead, these rooms can be opened in ADDITION to the main public chat-room, but you will always have access to the main men's chat-room. The same goes for women and spouses. Each group has ONE main public chat-room that you can't leave.

2) You can see everyone who is logged on to GYE on the right of the public chat-room, not just people using the chat. If you try to chat with someone who is not verified yet for private chatting, you will get an alert explaining how you can send him a PM but can't chat with him yet.

3) All additional rooms now appear in a drop-down instead of in the lobby.

4) You can now detach the public chat-room window and expand it as large as you'd like. The pop-up window will stay open even if you leave the GYE website (although private chatting isn't possible from the pop-up window).

5) Creating new public chat-rooms doesn't take you out of the main public chat-room, it simply opens an additional pop-up chat-room. This keeps the public chat-room always available. And even if you detached the main public chat-room window, multiple pop-up chat-windows are possible. As explained before, you can never leave the public chat-room.

6) We changed the icon for public-chat on the chat-bar to call more attention to it, and moved all other distracting icons like "settings" to the far right of the bar.

7) We changed the notification sound in private chatting. If you don't like the water-drop sound, please send us an MP3 or Wav sound that you think would be better (you can search for free sounds online).

If you see any bugs or have any suggestions for improvements, please let us know at gye.help@gmail.com


Daily Dose of Dov
What's worse?
What's worse, porn or masturbation?
By the.guard

Someone wrote:

I act out with masturbation more often and more rarely do I spend some time browsing dirty sites (like once a month or once in 2 months). Is there a point to make a TaPHSiC shvuah for the shmutz if I anyway can't stop the masturbation?

GYE Responds:

From an halachic point of view, masturbation is probably the worse of the two evils. Also in SA, watching shmutz is not considered a fall, but "sex with self" is. However in my humble opinion, from an addiction-stand-point, the viewing of shmutz is what feeds the addiction like fuel on a fire. The porn increases our "tolerance" and constantly demands more. It warps our view of sexuality and is the biggest destroyer of marriages. It seems to me that the worship of the human body is the main component of the addiction. And since Chaza"l say חמירא סכנתא מאיסורא - and addiction is a סכנה, it seems to me that the shmutz is even worse than the masturbation (not to mention that the viewing of shmutz will almost inevitably lead to masturbation anyway!)

We asked Dov his opinion and here was his response:

I don't really grasp what relevance there is in what's worse. Some guys really use only a little porn. They mainly masturbate - and surely fantasize their brains out while doing it....which is anyway what everybody who uses porn a lot uses porn for: fantasizing their brains out. So what's the difference? I see them as equally sick, because the ikkar problem to me is the insanity of it. That's what causes all the pain for the addict, I feel. Being very sick in the head and acting very stupidly. And the porn-users may masturbate very rarely sometimes... especially if they are using their wives bodies to relieve themselves a lot (which is of course very common). So who cares what's worse or better? Either way, he is firmly in the position to be a "loser at life". Is there a difference who would be a bigger loser? Maybe there is, but I don't pay attention to it. If I did, I'd be making p'shoros with all sorts things and endorsing lots of dirty stuff, no? I'd be giving in here and ok'ing that, to save a guy from being worse in something else.... Sick position to be in, no?

Regarding the 'fall' in SA, it's really not so simple. Many SA'ers are now restarting their sobriety if they use pornography. I know of a few guys who restart their sobriety date if they fantasize (and they have years sober, btw). So It really is not true that GYE is at a higher standard than SA because GYE considers looking at porn a fall. Instead, I see anyone who is more open and real with others, as a person who will become more real with themselves and with Hashem... So guys who go to meetings and participate in them honestly, even if they are not sober, can be on a higher madreiga than people who only participate hidden behind a username.

12 Step Attitude
I choose honesty in Gehinom over dishonesty in Gan Eden
Dov writes to someone on the forum:
By Dov

You asked about SA's use of the term "Lust". You are bringing up chazals to understand the term, rather than using examples from your own personal experience - with your own problem. I'm all for chazal, but if we are trying to uncover what is really going on within us, it would seem that being honest with ourselves is far more important than what a sefer says.

If folks say this borders on apikorsus, then my response to them is that I'll gladly choose honesty in Gehinom over dishonesty in Gan eden, any day. Why? Because the only thing that saved me from my personal gehinom in addiction - and it was gehinom (I need no chazal or sefer to tell me that) - was honesty. And in my case, I needed also a chevra (group) and a sponsor to help me do that. I found that in SA.

Besides, chazal tell us that this world is an olam hafuch (upside-down) - those who are high here, are low there. To me, that includes us when our frumkeit that is external - only in our brains, like Eisav's big head. Trust me, when we inject some shameless personal honesty into the mix, Torah becomes incredibly more powerful as a force in our lives. V'anavim yirshu aretz. The one's who seem low on the outside, are really high. Kapeesh?

On the other hand, being frummer did me no good, it was doomed to forever be a half-measure (and as they say in AA, "Half measures availed us nothing") because - after all - I was the one defining and enacting the "frumkeit". (Torah is like water, it takes the shape of the vessel it's in. So if the vessel is crooked, well...)

Do you get what I mean?

What do chazal mean when they tell us: "Derech Eretz Kodmah L'Torah"? To me, this is exactly what they are talking about.

Don't look to the Torah to save you when you are insane. How can you expect to succeed while you'll be the one applying and measuring it? The basis of all frumkeit is personal responsibility. Darf men zeyn a mentch, ershtence (we need to be a mentch first). The yidden at Har Sinai had to be healed before they could accept the Torah, right? Yidden need to have some basic mental health - specifically self-honesty - to use Torah successfully as instructions for living. Otherwise it's known, but not applied. Hey, kind of like in our case, right? The typical GYE-Jew: a frum yid who just can't "get frum" in this area... drives us nuts, doesn't it?

In fact, a true shoteh is totally patur from the mitzvos. We in addiction are not true shotim, only we are full of "ruach shtus". We are not p'turim, but we seem doomed to fail at it. This insanity is clearly discussed in all 12 step literature.

If you want to talk about it more, I'll gladly share my insanity with you (that sounds funny, doesn't it?).

So, I ask you (as chazal put it): how can a prisoner extract himself from prison?Chazal inform us that he can't. And who is more of a chavush (prisoner) than an addict? No one, to me.

Isn't the self-application of Torah exactly what all of us do for years and years until we make enough of a mess of things that we finally reach out for help, as you are?

Well, keep reaching for help. It's here.

Now, maybe we can talk about lust a bit.. ;-)

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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