What is the New Tobacco?
  Breaking Free Chizuk #1245  
In Today's Issue
Image of the Day: Need we say more?
Links: Porn Is The New Tobacco
Announcements: Upcoming London Trip
Torah: Sfiras HaYesod
Announcements: Planning Israel Workshop
Daily Dose of Dov: We are really fighting ourselves
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Image of the Day
Need we say more?
Need we say more?
Porn Is The New Tobacco
Upcoming London Trip
Sfiras HaYesod

Yesod represents the area of Shmiras Habris, so today is a very auspicious day for progress in these areas.

The week of Yesod in the Sefirat HaOmer corresponds to the rectification of the holy bris. Shabbos is Malchus She'biyesod. "Malchus" is the all-inclusive day, which is the highlight and culmination of the week of "Yesod".

Each day of the counting, we are called upon to rectify another sefirah. This is an integral part of the process of inner purification that we are to undergo as we approach the holiday of Shavuos. We are not only to mention the day, but also to undertake the detailed, laborious toil of perfecting our character traits and the channels of celestial blessing that are directly parallel to them, just as a marionette puppet is connected to the hand above, or just like the keys of a piano are connected to the chords inside the piano's lid. Each time a key is hit, a different sound is produced. So too, each time we improve a character trait, a channel of blessing is cleansed in the spiritual worlds above, releasing a flow of blessing to our world below.

Today and this Shabbos (Malchus She'biyesod), is an especially auspicious time to take upon ourselves more stringency in purity, in preparation for the giving of the Torah!

Planning Israel Workshop
Daily Dose of Dov
We are really fighting ourselves
Part 2/3
By Dov

Dov posts things on the forum sometimes, that might not make full sense to everyone at first glance. But that's because he is sharing what he "earned" through so many years of sincere determination, and not all of us can relate to his level. There's a treasure trove of experience in his words, and I have found that if we are willing to try and understand what he is saying carefully, we can learn some of the deepest secrets of how to remain sober and achieve true serenity:

Dov writes:

Whenever I have a fantasy, I turn to Hashem as quickly as possible and say "Help Tatty!"; and then I move right on to my business and say Thank-You as soon as I realize that the struggle is way behind me somewhere. Where did it go? I cannot afford to turn back and analyze whether I did it or Hashem did it, or if my heart is purified or not. The heck with my heart! Let Hashem take care of it. The only thing that concerns me whenever I'm in any trouble is: "am I doing what Hashem wants right now?" Later, when I feel no struggle (that might be in the next hour, day, or month) I can afford to go back and look at it, sometimes.

The answer my life has been teaching me to the question of "who are we fighting in this struggle?" is: we are really fighting ourselves. Only with help can we succeed. As long as I dug my heels in and insisted that I was engaged with the Yetzer Hara, my behavior just got worse. I had more secrets from the people (I acted like) I was close with, and that was living a lie. Hashem obviously does not want me to live a lie and trick my wife for the sake of Teshuvah! That NEVER occurred to me, as the preciousness and importance of fighting this struggle far overshadowed everything else in my life. (Even my learning and davening was focused on it 90% of the time). It never occurred to me that Avodas Hashem (divine service) is not supposed to be a heavy package to bear! (There is a beautiful Dubno Maggid parable to this effect, that Hashem's "package" is not a heavy one. It isn't supposed to be "hard to be a Jew". But often we make it such!)

Once it became clear to me that I was quite nuts, I got the help that the fellowship and 12 steps offer, and I learned how to become simply honest with my problem and accepting of Hashem's help in an uncomplicated and basic way. I simply couldn't do it before, even though I was asking for it frequently from Hashem! Everything was a deep and profound religious issue for me then!


Ahron asks Dov on the forum:

When you say "Everything was a deep and profound religious issue for me then!" do you mean that it was an impediment to true recovery?


Dov Answers Ahron:

Yes, it was a big impediment. As our sages have said: "Lo hamedrash haikkar, ellah hamaaseh - the main thing is not the philosophy, but rather the doing". This applies more to addicts than to anyone else perhaps.

Rule #62 of AA is: "Don't take yourself so damn seriously". It takes lots of tefilla and siyata dishmaya to get better at focusing on doing what needs to get done for others and for myself, without getting lost in the reasons, motivations, and outcomes. Yes, I need to take what I do very seriously, but not myself. Pick anyone else who needs you, and take them and their needs more seriously, and you'll get more sobriety -and have more fun, too! This takes siyata dishmaya and I don't really understand how it works, but it sure makes a person more effective!

Relationships with others become very frustrating for both parties when too much emphasis is given to details like:

  • "what I am really thinking?"
  • "am I really a tzaddik or a rasha?"
  • "what is the deeper meaning of what I/they did?"
  • "why did I/they do that in the past?
  • "what will be in the future?"
  • etc...

Does that make sense to you? Is this addressing what you were asking at all?

Uh-oh! Am I taking this too seriously? Ahhhhhhh!!!

To be continued...
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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