Do we have free choice?
  Breaking Free Chizuk #1442  
In Today's Issue
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Announcements: GYE is Looking for a Professional Fundraiser to Expand our Operation and Reach
Q & A: Hands of Heaven
Prevention: 25 Steps to Beating Porn Addiction
12 Step Attitude: Procrastination
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Q & A
Hands of Heaven
Do we have free choice or not?
By Battleworn

"Snibril" asks on the forum:

Chazal say that "everything is in the hands of heaven besides for the fear of Heaven". How does this fit in with the idea that we should just give over the fight to Hashem? Doesn't "free-choice" mean that Hashem gives the fight over to us?


Battleworn replies:

Hi Snibril! You asked a question that really requires a whole discussion, but for now let me try to answer in short.

1) Our free choice is only in our "ratzon - desire". We have free-will to get pulled after the desires of our body and make that our ratzon; or we can get pulled after our soul and our wisdom and make that our ratzon. "Hishtadlus" (practical efforts) are part of this - because if we truly want something we will act towards it. We need to put our ratzon into action to make it real. But whether we succeed or not is only in the Hands of Hashem.

2) We often have free-choice to stay out of a situation, but once we get ourselves into the situation already, we may not have free-choice any more.

3) It goes without saying that every person's free-choice is only within certain limits, depending on his level. For example, if someone never learned a word of Torah in his life and has always been wasting his time on nothingness, he obviously doesn't have free-choice to not be mevatel Torah at all. Of course, with time he can get there, but right now there's nothing to talk about. The same applies to a lust addict. In fact, the Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh says explicitly that once someone got used to sinning in this area, he can't stop al pi derech hateva (i.e. by using natural means), rather only by using the power of Hashem (see this amazing peice from the Ohr Hachayim over here). When we have the wisdom to realize that the lust is killing us and we run to Hashem to save us, then He makes a miracle for us and saves us from the addiction.

25 Steps to Beating Porn Addiction

Please check out the full guide to beating porn addiction in this and upcoming issues (For the first in the series, please refer to issue #1436). The creators of theinfographic have taken each of the 25 strategies and provided clear practical actions to take in detail:

  1. Block Access To Porn At Source – Beat The Connection

  2. It is essential that you block your access to online porn. Don’t rely on your will power. You need to create the space to break the habit. Block it now!

    High-speed internet has created a generation of men with access to highly addictive porn.

    It this immediate accessibility to a limitedness supply of pornography that is the root of the problem. Deny yourself this access and you will give yourself the space and time to
    re-establish healthy behaviors and habits in your life.

    So put this at the top of your plan. And start doing it today without delay.

    Not sure how to do? Below we reveal the most effective solutions to blocking access to porn. They’re the best and they will work.


12 Step Attitude
By Avraham

The 12 step program, specifically step 5 (addressing my list of fears), really helped me overcome procrastination. I was holding myself back from doing so many things that I knew I should be doing. But after the chevra on Duvid Chaim's call helped me let go of my fears, I took my responsibilities head-on and dealt with them. Or as Duvid Chaim says, "I grew up".

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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