#1463 Self-Sacrifice - What's at Stake?
  Breaking free #1463  
In Today's Issue
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Chizuk: The Secret to Happiness
Chizuk: What is Freedom?
Links: Video #6 - Using Powerful Techniques
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"The Secret of Happiness" will be published in a book by Rabbi Twerski about Teshuvah and Recovery, coming out hopefully in Elul. As the GYE member, you get to read it first!

The Secret to Happiness
Part 4/8
By the.guard

Said the student to his Rebbe: “I want happiness”. Replied the Rebbe: “First remove the I which is haughtiness. Then remove the want which is desire. After that, all that will be left is happiness.

Part 4: The Secret of Messiras Nefesh

The Pasuk says (Tehilim 86:4): שמח נפש עבדך כי אליך אדני נפשי אשא - “Give joy to your servant, for to you G-d, do I lift up my soul. The Beis Aharon of Karlin explains that “lifting up his soul” to G-d refers to messiras nefesh. When we give over our will to G-d, we are essentially letting go of the ability / illusion of being able to control our own happiness in any way. But no human can live without at least some happiness or motivation. That is why Dovid Hamelech asks G-d, please give me joy G-d, for I am totally yours with complete abandon. When a person let’s go of the self, they are basically saying to G-d, "I will no longer attempt in any way to make myself happy. I throw myself into Your arms, and You G-d, will care for me and provide me with the joy and motivation necessary to live and be of service to You." When we do this, G-d Himself provides the happiness. And when G-d provides happiness, you can imagine that it will be a much greater and truer happiness than when we attempt to bring it upon ourselves by running after our own petty desires.

What indeed is messiras nefesh? Many people think it means throwing oneself into a fire ‘al Kiddush G-d’. This is true as well, but there is a common misunderstanding regarding this concept. After all, there are many terrorists who are willing to detonate suicide belts and kill themselves for “Allah”. What differentiates them from a Jew who is ready to die for G-d? The answer is simple, yet profound. Messiras Nefesh has nothing to do with what you are willing to sacrifice, even if it is your very life. As long as you are sacrificing it ultimately for your own self, it is a selfish act. When a terrorist blows himself up, he believes that he will go straight to Heaven and be given 72 virgins. He is actually doing the most selfish act possible - that of killing other human beings for what he imagines is his own personal ticket to eternal bliss. This is the very opposite of Mesiras Nefesh! The words Messiras Nefesh mean ”Giving over of the soul” and this does not require death or pain to be real. It can be achieved even during the highest levels of Simcha (joy). It is simply the desire deep in the Jewish soul to give everything away to G-d, to let completely go of the self, as Dovid Hamelech said “to you G-d, I lift up my soul”.

Of course, when a Jew dies al Kiddush Hashem and cries Shema Yisrael, he is also achieving true messiras nefesh. The real meaning in the words “Hashem Echad” are that there are no other desires or “self” other than G-d. The words “Hashem Echad” don’t just mean that there is only one G-d. Every 5 year old can tell you that. “Hashem Echad” really means that we want to give ourselves completely over to G-d so that our will no longer exists as separate from G- d, but rather that there only exists G-d’s will. When a Jew gives up his very life with this intention, he is giving up his entire self to G-d and causing the greatest “unification” of G-d possible. “Hashem Echad” really means to say that all I have, all I do, and all I desire – it should be G-d’s will. I am His; there is only Him. That is why Kriyas Shema is called “messiras nefesh” in the holy books.

When we read Kriyas Shema twice a day, we can have lofty thoughts of messiras nefesh while either imagining that we are being thrown into a fire for G-d’s sake, or while we are rejoicing in being children of such a great and awesome G-d. It doesn’t matter, for when a person truly gives themselves over to G-d in his heart, they wouldn’t care anymore whether they are given everything by G-d (even all the pleasures of the world!) or whether they are being thrown into a fire. Because when it’s not about “me” anymore, there is only G-d's will.

Of course this is a very high level to reach, but perhaps this is similar to what we can reach on Purim through drinking and rejoicing until the point where one no longer knows the difference between "cursed is Haman and blessed is Mordechai". What do our Sages mean to say with this example? When a Jew is at the level of messiras nefesh – which is made easier on Purim through the high levels of joy we reach (and with the alcohol also helping us forget the “self”) then there no longer exists any evil. For no matter what happens, all is G-d.

To be continued...
What is Freedom?
By Bas Melech: For the teenagers in the same place as me
By GYE Member

My struggle for freedom goes like this,

My fight with Internet was not a bliss.

Having a lack of direction too,

A day without Internet I could not do.

But one day I was listening online,

Till I heard this amazing line.


Suddenly it all clicked into place,

I soon realised I really was enslaved.

Freedom was not what I thought,

A 'no restriction policy,' which I was taught.

My first major change came 2 years ago,

Only one day I told myself so.

Till it became two

Then four

Slowly but surely more and more…

For nearly a year I did it hard and well,

Even though I forget to mention the times I fell.

Time has passed and as I reach my destination,

One thing I learnt during this duration.

That only when I broke free,

Did I learn what was really happy.


These 19 short videos clips are excerpts from a series on theshmuz.com by Rabbi Ben Tzion Shafier called "The Fight - A Frank Strategy and Pan for Conquering Desire".

Gathering from the wisdom of chazal, this series presents a solid understanding of the mechanics of desire, and offers us a strategy and plan to winning The Fight of our Generation.

Video #6 - Using Powerful Techniques

"A fellow once called me up that he was working with a young man who had an irrepressible desire for a particular woman, a married woman. He couldn't help it, he constantly would see her, wherever it may be, and he couldn't stop thinking about her. He couldn't get her out of his mind. He was a frum (religious) boy, he was in yeshivah doing well up until this point, but these thoughts were consuming him. He constantly thought about her, day in and day out. And this fellow called me up, what eitzah (advice) can you give him?"

Click the link above for the full story and video.

Email us if you don't have internet access, and we will send you the story by email. (sorry, we can't send the video.)

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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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