Acceptance and Gratitude Tips
  Breaking Free Chizuk #1249  
In Today's Issue
Torah: Only Shavuos: A Chametz Offering
Sayings: Gratitude
12 Step Attitude: Acceptance is the key
Daily Dose of Dov: Saving the day by getting married
90 Day Journey
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Only Shavuos: A Chametz Offering
Is fanatical separation of men and women ideal for us?

Q. "I wanted to ask you what you thought about the fanatical separation of men and women in Arab countries. Is this the ideal for Jews as well in terms of separation of the sexes?"

A. The approach in Judaism is not one of extreme separation from the temptations of this world. We don't advocate locking the women up so that the men should not come to sin. The approach in Judaism is rather to be able to live in the world we are in, surrounded by temptations, and yet uplift this world along with its pleasures by keeping ourselves holy.

This idea is illustrated well by the following idea. On Pesach we bring an offering of barely - without Chametz, which is the symbol of the Yetzer Hara. On Shavuos we bring an offering of wheat (the two loaves) made out of Chametz. Shavuos is the only time of the year that we offer Chametz in the Beis Hamikdash. Otherwise, Chametz is banned as an offering. What is the deeper meaning behind the barley offering on Pesach and the wheat offering on Shavuos?

The holy Alshich explains that on Pesach we had not yet recieved the Torah. Instead, G-d shined his light upon us without us having worked for it. Barley is a food of animals (like Chaza"l explain that a Sotah brings a barley offering to symbolize that she did an act of an animal). Although we reached very high levels on the night of Pesach, we were still a bit like animals in that we had not yet worked for the high levels that were bestowed upon us. In such a situation, one must cut themselves off from worldly pleasure in order to retain their spiritual level. This is symbolized by barley, which contains no Chametz, i.e. no Yetzer Hara. However, after Pesach, G-d took the light away from us so that we could work towards the high levels that we had received on our own. During the seven weeks of Seffirah, we correct different attributes of ourselves each day (Chessed, Gevurah, etc...). By the time we get to Shavuos, we are worthy of receiving the Torah. Once we get the Torah there is no more need for "barley" offerings. We can now offer G-d even the Chametz. After getting the Torah, we are now able to DEAL with the Yetzer Hara. We can be involved with the Chametz and instead of sinking into it, we uplift this world with all its pleasures to G-d. Through the Torah and Mitzvos, we are able to use this world, together with our human instincts and inclinations, for the glory of G-d's name. This is the power of the Torah.

While acknowledging your gratitude, indulge in the feeling of joy and peace that comes from living in the moment.
12 Step Attitude
Acceptance is the key

I would like to bring some quotes from an eye-opening story called "They stopped in time" from the AA literature. It is one of the most widely quoted stories among addicts, since it contains the secret to changing our entire outlook in life. And with the proper outlook, we find that we no longer have to battle the addiction head-on, but rather it falls away on its own.

Read more
Daily Dose of Dov
Saving the day by getting married
Part 2/2
Won't Marriage Solve my Problems?
By Dov

Dov Responded:

Dear friend,

You post openly and clearly about the hole in yourself, and you seem to believe you are an addict. Me too, so let's talk...

If you read some of my posts on the forum, they are never about fighting at all. They're about struggling to LIVE, yes, but not about beating - winning - or fighting against anything.

Lust was my buddy, my anchor and my guide in a painfully confusing world. Basically, it was my god. I served it privately and daily without fail, for many years. And right through the middle of all that, I discovered and hung onto yiddishkeit, sensing it had something I needed. Something real.

I'm not here to tell you anything new about yiddishkeit though. I don't believe you need to hear "just the right vort" at all. You posted once that you have already spoken to lots of Rabbanim etc, about this and related issues. I assume they mostly told you what you'd expect to hear, no? For me, predictability is now a sort of litmus test. I guess you know what I mean. Maybe I'm cynical.

So I'll tell you something that may not be predictable.

I got married too early (so did she) and I had a rotten time of the sexuality (so did she). I grew into a guy who acted out - or struggled with not acting out - full time (she didn't). The struggle unfortunately defined my avodas Hashem too, at the time.

I eventually got sober with Hashem's help using the 12 steps (my story is here).

Me and my wife were fighting often during most of the years before sobriety, and only after 1.5 years of hell in sobriety did our boat started to even out its keel. The next few years were full of natural growth, as individuals and as a couple. Oh, yeah - and also full of just plain "quiet" too, for a change. We are so intimate now, and still getting closer. We are really sharing a life. We understand each other in the physical parts of intimacy too now, and we are able to really enjoy this for the first time.

Now this is happening even though my wife has no connection to recovery, no association with any program, and is quite different than I am spiritually. For the first ten years of marriage I never expected to ever see what we have now. Frankly, I thought I had screwed up in marrying her at all; I even had two panic attacks over it. She didn't understand. But now I have the rest of myself and am at rest. I don't need to drool over her and she doesn't need to worship me. We are not fighting either, cuz we get plenty of each others attention without fighting. And all those years I was sure I'd eventually die an old and lonely man, filling a hole in the ground with my own bigger hole...

I'm telling you all this, if you are still reading this long megillah, because I know what a difference sanity resulting from simple sobriety means to having a happy marriage and a happy life. Simple sanity finally allows marriage and life to fill that hole we felt; that need for true connection and "togetherness" that sex and lust can never fill. As an addict, I could not get it without sobriety and the 12-steps.

Now, I do not condone acting out in any way (ha, not that I matter! and who am I to talk for G-d?) but perhaps the only thing that will truly convince an addict that his hole won't be filled with what he is lusting after, is trying it over and over until he gives up trying (if he's still alive). I've heard sober recovering alkies say, "it took each and every drink I took, to get me where I am today". That is the way it was for me. I hope you are better or "luckier" than I was, and can "hit bottom while still on top". I caused a lot of wreckage for myself and others, but I could have done a lot more. Finally, I gave up and got help. Now, Hashem, my Best and Eternal Friend, helps me out daily and - well, you know how it is...

My wife and I have two "sobriety babies" now (babies born after I got sober). One is six and the other three. Our first three kids had it rough - and they know it. But they see a completely different home now. Too bad we all had to wait for it so long.

Maybe a 20 year old like you can get the help to "even his keel" before adding another person to your boat.

Whatever your journey looks like, we hope you will let us be a part of it.


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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