Your wife and your purity
  Breaking Free Chizuk #1505  
In Today's Issue
Image of the Day
Q & A: Is Nocturnal Emission (Keri) a Sin?
Q & A: Slippery Slope
Daily Dose of Dov: Keep Your Eye on the Ikkar
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Image of the Day
Q & A
Is Nocturnal Emission (Keri) a Sin?

A nocturnal emission is something that occurs by itself, against a person's will, and therefore the person is not considered to have committed a willful transgression and there is no punishment involved.

Nonetheless, t'shuva is certainly appropriate, especially if a person looked at things he shouldn't or had lustful thoughts during the day.

If you engage in heartfelt t'shuva over these mishaps, you can feel assured that Hashem accepts your remorse and forgives you each time. Don't brow-beat yourself, and reject feelings of failure and depression. This is an old strategy of the yetzer hara to sabotage your service of G-d. Adopt an attitude of happiness instead. It could very well be that these mishaps are occurring to inspire you to do more and more t'shuva so that you can completely atone for all the sins of your past. So you should feel happy rather than sad, that you have the opportunity to clean your slate completely. Try thinking that these occasions, and the feelings of t'shuva they cause, are getting you closer to G-d, not drawing you further away.

The holy Baal Shen Tov teaches that if a person has an emission without any cause or lustful thoughts, he should not worry because he was under a sentence of death for some other sin, and now, because of the great sorrow he feels in his heart over the wasting of semen, his broken heart takes the place of death, and he is absolved from the decree that was upon him.


Preventing Keri

1) Always guard your eyes carefully during the day.

2) Guard yourself from lustful thoughts.

3) The Kitzor Shulchan Aruch offers advice on preventing keri like reciting the first four Psalms before going to bed, and not overeating before retiring to sleep, and avoiding spicy foods..... The Arizal advises the concentrated recital of the Shema before going to bed as both a preventative measure and as a rectification of the souls that were taken captive by the waste of semen in the past. He also advises wearing a tallit katan while sleeping as further protection.


After Keri

If you can immerse in a Mikva, it is praiseworthy, but it is not an Halachic obligation.

If the Mikva is hard for you, it would be good to at least wash yourself off in a shower. If you can keep the water pouring over your head for a few minutes straight, it can be considered like a Mikva in some ways.

But even without washing yourself off, you are allowed to daven and learn Torah since we pasken that אין דברי תורה מקבלין טומאה - "The words of Torah do not become impure".

Q & A
Slippery Slope

I got a sort of halacha question. I know and feel like I'm in serious danger of falling right now, and I want to know if it's allowed for me to "reward" myself by doing wasting seed with my wife. Like if I can go 6 months without falling, then can I in turn do something that is not mutar? Thank you,

Read more
Daily Dose of Dov
Keep Your Eye on the Ikkar
By Dov

Someone wrote on the forum:

I don't feel clean and I feel like I need to go to the Mikvah but I don't know how to go by asking without people becoming suspicious. I feel really bad because a few times I have watched porn right before learning.

Dov Responds:

I'm for going to the mikvah, in general, as long as you are comfortable with it... but irrespective of that, please consider this:

In the "bad old days", going to the mikvah seemed to help me feel better after acting out. But then, I'd use my drug (porn and masturbation, etc.) again in a couple of days! I was truly shocked. And things just kept getting worse over the years. It was clearly not the solution for me.... so, do you want to get better, or just feel better? A good question, in general, as feeling better is related to the solution and the goal, but is surely neither the solution - nor is it the goal, really.

Furthermore, in my own case, I went to the mikvah and did lots of other stuff along those lines (cold showers, not looking out of my 4 amos, hiding in a yeshiva, saying tons of tehillim, learning seforim about zera levatoloh [written 150 years ago for 1850's-yidden! ]). Sometimes they gave me a feeling that "what's past is past - it's over! I am now starting fresh!". OK. Now, living in the present is an absolutely essential part of my recovery. Nevertheless, it comes with some real risk for an addict who is not yet in serious recovery. In fact, it can be a devastating handicap at that stage.

It was for me.

Thinking in those terms then, made me able to delude myself that there really was no pattern. I was able to remain in denial of the fact that there was really something in me that had to change. Gimmicks allow us to seem as though we are changing while remaining exactly the same inside. "See, I am better!"... not quite. That derech distracted me from the ikkar while I worked really hard on the peripheral. And I see this pattern over an over. All manner of mesiras nefesh-like behaviors abound, while the very thing that got us so screwed up in the first place -i.e. our own very best thinking - remains at the steering wheel!

Our motivations have not truly changed.

Do you get me so far?

Until we face that there is something very screwy with our thinking, we don't seem to start getting better. And this is what the 1st and 2nd steps of AA's 12 principles of recovery are about. Accepting the facts about myself was the essential seed for recovery - whether one is an addict or not.

Mind you, I am not at all implying that you are an addict. But if you are convinced that you use schmutz compulsively, that for you it is like a drug, and if you come to see that you cannot seem to really stop, then I suggest you consider that the problem is no longer the women on the street, your father's computer, nor even what you did yesterday! These are all tofel (secondary)... just triggers - not the problem, at all. Rather, the problem is in you yourself, period. You are not bad, and it's not your fault - it's just the way it is. Nu. I've got it too, buddy... and life is fantastic (in recovery)!!! Besides, now is as good a time as any to get free of it - and you can. For that, I need a lot of Hashem's actual assistance, and help from people (like other addicts in recovery) to learn how to get it.

So... keep using the mikvah if you want to, or don't, but whatever you do peripherally, keep your eye on the ikkar and don't get tricked by behaviors that imitate real change. Consider opening up to safe people, staying open and honest, getting the help you need, and doing the work. Always talk to Hashem as you would to your very best freind, cuz He is and always will be. He needs nothing and has only our best interest at heart forever. After all, He's G-d!

Get started today.

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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