Hoshana Rabba/Shmini Atzeres
  Hoshana Rabba/Shmini Atzeres  
In Today's Issue
Image of the Day
Daily Dose of Dov: Living in the solution
Torah: Last Chance
Torah: Valiant battles
12 Step Attitude: Bringing G-d back into Yiddishkeit
Torah: Ahavas Hashem & Addiction
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Image of the Day

This Simchas Torah, work on the one person you can change for the better.

Daily Dose of Dov
Living in the solution
By Dov

Member asks:

I just feel like all of a sudden every second of my day revolves around this specific aspect of my life. It was never like that before.
I don't necessarily relate it completely to my increased involvement on GYE, but I'm just nervous.
My fall last night was pretty bad. I texted a few guys immediately after it happened which I have never done before.
I'm just confused/frustrated.

Dear Confused!

Of course, it can be related to your involvement with GYE! The problem we have is obviously increased when we keep thinking about it all the time. It does not matter if we are thinking about naked people - or about not thinking about naked people - either way, we are walking around thinking about naked people all the time!

In the program, we call that 'living in the problem, instead of in the solution.' The problem is fighting and struggling against lust. The solution is surrender. Giving up the fight... unless you are really winning.

'Let go and let G-d' sounds like Chinese, at first. Success in 'letting go' takes time, takes practice, and takes connection with others who are actually doing it successfully. I have not met people who have learned how to do it from a book.

Get me? You can do this, as long as you realize that you can't.

Last Chance
By the.guard

Hoshana Raba is the last chance of the year to make a difference in what is decreed for us in the coming year. Some people stay up all night learning, and some of the Teffilos are said with the Nussach of the Yomim Noraim.

Read more
Valiant battles


Dear Chevrah,

I just have to share some of these incredible posts from our forum since after Yom-Tov. There are so many valiant battles going on there, so much inspiration, Teshuvah and Ahavas Yisrael!


12 Step Attitude
Bringing G-d back into Yiddishkeit
By Dov

You know, some say that the reason why Shavuos and Shmini Atzeres/Simchas Torah don't have mitzvos like the other holidays is because they are about everything - the whole package deal. A specific mitzva observance would narrow it down, and that would be antithetical to the message. It's the same with this addiction. It's all about mis-connection and isolation. It's like taking G-d out of yiddishkeit, but keeping the religion "looking" just the same. I think it's tragic that yidden allow that to happen as much as it does, and we - as addicts - are lucky to be unable to survive that way. In a sense, my addiction caused me to be "thrown" at Hashem.

Ahavas Hashem & Addiction

The Beis Ahron of Karlin writes that we should take a reshima (a mark) of:

  • Yiras Shamayim for the whole year - from Rosh Hashana,
  • Teshuva for the whole year - from Yom Kippur,
  • Ahavas Hashem for the whole year - from Sukkos, and
  • Torah for the whole year - from Simchas Torah.

As we enter the last day of Sukkos, let's look at the idea of Ahavas Hashem. The question is asked, "How can Hashem command us to love Him? Love is something that you either have it in your heart - or you don't!"

The Belzer Rav answers with the Pasuk "Kamyim Panim el Panim..." Human nature dictates that when we feel someone else's love for us, we love them back. The way to boost our Ahavas Hashem and fulfil the Mitzva of "ve'ahavta es Hashem elokecha be'chol levavecha", is to first try and feel Hashem's love for us. That is why we say "Oheiv Amoi Yisrael" before we say Shma in Ma'ariv, and we say "Habocher be'amo Yisrael be'Ahava", right before Shma in Shacharis as well. By drilling in how much Hashem loves us, we are then able to feel love for Hashem when we say the words"ve'ahavta es Hashem elokecha be'chol levavecha" in Shema.

That is perhaps why Hakaras Hatov is such an important part of Yiddishkeit, i.e. we are always saying Brachos and thanking Hashem. We need an "Attitude of gratitude" because the more we realize the good that Hashem does for us, the more we can feel his love for us, and then naturally, we'll feel love for Him back.

In healing from an addiction, we need to develop a personal relationship with Hashem, and feel his constant love for us. Even when we sin, Hashem still loves us. As the Pasuk says, "Hashochen itam be'toch Tumosam - who dwells in their midst, within their iniquities".

For many people, this is a paradigm shift in thinking. Instead of viewing Hashem as a vengeful and distant G-d - which often leads an addict to despair, we need to start viewing Hashem as a personal and loving G-d, Who loves us even when we act crazy. This attitude shift is the underlying secret to the success of the 12-Step program. Once we have a personal and loving relationship with the "G-d of our understanding", we can truly give our lives and will over into His hands and trust Him to care for us as we let go of our addictive behaviors, one day at a time.

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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