Yom Kippur 5777
  Yom Kippur 5777  
In Today's Issue
Editor’s Note: G'mar Chasima Tova!
Announcements: Pidyon Kaporos
12 Step Attitude: Making amends = betten mechila
Torah: Adam Yesodo Me'Afar
Torah: A Diamond is a Diamond is a Diamond!
Links: Treasure Trove of Torah Thought
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Editor’s Note
G'mar Chasima Tova!

G'mar chasima tova to all our members, volunteers, and supporters!

If you benefited from GYE last year, make sure to spread the word. If you have supported us, thank you! If you have not done your share yet, it's not too late - you can even get an autographed book by Rabbi Twerski if you act now.

Either way, whether you are a beneficiary or a benefactor, we love you and wish you a G'mar Tov and a year of sobriety, serenity, and prosperity.


Pidyon Kaporos





12 Step Attitude
Making amends = betten mechila
Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. --Step Nine
By GYE Admin

It is customary to ask forgiveness (mechila) on Erev Yom Kippur from those whom we may have hurt in the past year. The rationale being that G-d only forgives the transgressions made against Him, but He will not forgive offenses against other human beings if the offended person does not forgive.

Here is a take on asking for forgiveness (making amends):

When we make amends we need to be clear about what we're apologizing for and the best way to say we're sorry. What we are really doing with our amends is taking responsibility for our behavior. We need to be sure that the process itself will not be self-defeating or hurtful.

Sometimes, we need to directly apologize for a particular thing we have done or our part in a problem. Other times, instead of saying I'm sorry, what we need to do is work on changing our behavior with a person.

There are times when bringing up what we have done and apologizing for it will make matters worse.

We need to trust timing, intuition, and guidance in this process of making amends. Once we become willing, we can let go and tackle our amends in a peaceful, consistent, harmonious way. If nothing feels right or appropriate, if it feels as if what we are about to do will cause a crisis or havoc, we need to trust that feeling.

We deserve to be at peace with ourselves and others.

Today, I will be open to making any amends I need to make with people. I will wait for Divine Guidance in the process of making any amends that are not clear to me. God, help me let go of my fear about facing people and taking responsibility for my behaviors. Help me know I am not diminishing my self-esteem by doing this; I am improving it.

Adam Yesodo Me'Afar

Schecting a Chicken

We all know the truth. We all die. We are nothing but flesh, blood, veins and bones; here today, dust tomorrow. Our eyeballs are delicate balls of mushy fluid. And the objects of our desires are also flesh, blood and veins. If we could see what is underneath the thin layer of skin that covers these sacks of blood, would we desire it? Yet this is what our our brains make us run after. This is what our addiction makes us slaves to! Is it for this we have sold our souls? Gevald! What a farce!

How pathetic it is to make our physical aspects dominant over our spiritual souls. When we sin, we are using a body that don't belong to us, to chase after imaginary pleasure with other bodies that don't belong to us - nor to them! (After all, if anyone belonged to themselves, could Hashem take their bodies away from them whenever he so desired?)

Yom Kippur is that one day a year when we reveal the FARCE of our bodies for what it really is. On Yom Kippur we say, "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH" to our bodies. We don't feed it, and we afflict it in five different ways. On Yom Kippur we rise ABOVE our bodies and connect completely with our souls - and with Hakadosh Baruch Hu.

Know, my friends, that the desires we have are really the yearnings of our souls for a true and deep connection with Hashem, for the true safety and comfort of His loving embrace. But the "white-matter" in our brains messes up these signals and tricks us into believing that we will find all that we are looking for by running after lust. Many foolish men spend their lives chasing this ever-elusive comfort and "connection", continuously sure that they will find it in their "next" fix....

Let us realize that ONLY HASHEM HIMSELF can truly fill the deep yearnings of our souls. Let us return to the warm and loving embrace of Hashem and tell him on this Yom-Kippur: Hashem, we don't want ANYTHING ELSE but you, dear Father, forever more!

Tip: If bad thoughts come to us on Yom-Kippur, let us imagine the object of our desires cut up into pieces, the two legs torn off and laid alongside a legless body; guts and bones protruding. For this is all the Yetzer Hara really is; a big bubble of hot air and imagination. (And yes, we need to fight dirty sometimes - with a menuval who fights even dirtier - on the holiest day of the year).

A Diamond is a Diamond is a Diamond!
By Bresinger, Benyamin

On Yom Kippur we ask forgiveness for what we have done; not who we are. Our sins (or our S elf-I mposed N onsense) are the actions that get in the way between us and G-d. There are certain things about our personalities that give rise to self-destructive behavior. The Talmud says that the only way we could do anything contrary to G-d's will is because we are under the influence of a state of "folly" or "nonsense."

Over the year we have done plenty of things that cause dirt to gather on our precious soul. The challenge is to communicate this to the struggling addict: That the dirt is acquired and not what defines us. We may be dirty, but we are not dirt!

How to get this message across to the people I work with, people suffering from addiction, is not only a challenge -- but it is the main challenge. There is so much self-loathing that they find it impossible to believe that G-d wants a new and intimate relationship. Addicts are usually filled with shame and guilt. Guilt is healthy and necessary for the recovery process to take place. Shame is different; it is not a regret of what I have done; it is a regret of who I am. "I am bad" vs. "what I have done in the past is wrong." The difference is that our character faults cannot define who we intrinsically are.

The essence of who we are remains unaffected; it needs dusting. And that's what Yom Kippur does. It's the annual buffing of the soul. The soul, like the diamond, always remains precious.

Recovering from addiction includes being able to see ourselves rightly. It is distorted thinking that can cause a person to continue to use (or act out). One of the thoughts that is so dangerous is that "I am bad." This thinking takes on a life of its own. It's called shame-based self-perception. I see myself as my actions and that's it. But, in reality, I am so much more than my actions and my speech -- and even more than my thoughts.

I need to own my own dirt. I need to go over all the actions that need cleansing. I also need to see myself as a diamond. My character defects are acquired; they are not me.

On Yom Kippur we stand before G-d. We have looked at ourselves rightly; we have repented and committed to a positive future. Our Creator now embraces us as only a parent can embrace a child.

Our true essence shines. The angels dance, and the world rejoices. And, finally, I am okay being me.


Over two dozen articles on the subject of Yom Kippur, Mechila, Slicha,  and Kapporah.

Treasure Trove of Torah Thought
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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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