The Chicken Lady shows the way out
  Breaking Free Chizuk #1610  
In Today's Issue
Prevention: The Magnitude and Root-Causes of Today’s Kedusha Crisis
Announcements: Dov's Q&A Thursday Call
Video of the Day: The Chicken Lady
Practical Tips: The Porn Trap
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The Magnitude and Root-Causes of Today’s Kedusha Crisis
Part 2/12
What is the magnitude of the problems that have arisen as a result of digital technology, and how can we address the core roots that lead to these problems?
By Yaakov from GYE

Response from Rabbi Y.W:

Dear GYE,

Thank you so much for your information. It was extremely helpful.

I was recently asked to write an op-ed about this issue. I also strongly feel that this issue is the greatest threat that we have today. But for some reason many people have become tone deaf to this issue.

I also believe that the issue will not be solved with filters alone (they are of course critical), but we have to find a way to address the core roots that are creating an emotional emptiness in frum people's lives, that they are seeking to escape that emptiness and pain with unhealthy digital behaviors like binge watching, illicit images, and promiscuity.

Based on what you said, is it accurate to say that around 70% of frum people who have internet still have unfiltered devices?

Also you mentioned that "hundreds of people have been referred to SA therapy because of sexual promiscuity, beyond illicit images. Can you tell me how many hundreds that is. Is it 200. Is it 900?

Also you said that GYE is connected to 20,000 religious Jews who are trying to do teshuva (get help) for viewing illicit images and acting out. Do you have a general sense how many of these 20,000 live on the east coast of the US?

Also what is your estimate of how many more are struggling with these issues and are not ready to try to do teshuva for it? Can one make a projection such as "if there are 20,000 religious Jews trying to change, then there are likely ---- (40,000? or 100,000?) who are trapped but not ready to change?

I also think the fact that many frum people have started watching rated R movies on a regular basis on their phones or tablets is an underreported problem. Based on my anecdotal interviews, I suspect that between 40-50% of religious Jews are watching R rated movies or shows at least twice a month. This will surely lead to further unhealthy internet behaviors and undermine the level of yiras shomayim in the religious community. These behaviors may not lead someone to the GYE community, and our resources are not currently being directed to them

Thank you so much, and tizku lemitzvos. You are literally saving klal yisrael

GYE Responds:

Hi. Please see replies below:

> We have to find a way to address the core roots that are creating an emotional emptiness in frum people's lives, that they are seeking to escape that emptiness and pain , with unhealthy digital behaviours like binge watching, illicit images, and promiscuity.

Agreed 100%. Please see this article from the Mishpacha called "The Next Frontier" that came out in 2010 that addresses this very idea.

In our work on, we put an emphasis on trying to help frum Yidden strengthen their emunah and their sense of purpose. I wrote an article recently called "The Secret of Happiness" that was published in Rabbi Twerski's latest book called "Teshuvah through Recovery". I was hoping to perhaps give frum yidden a deeper understanding about what Yiddishkeit really is all about, as well as a deeper appreciation for the Torah and Mitzvos. I don't know how much we succeeded, but at least one person seems to have enjoyed it, since he wrote me the following after reading it:

I have just read your essay (The Secret to Happiness) in the new book by Rabbi Twerski, Teshuvah Through Recovery. This has changed my life. You have taken some of the most complex and stumbling questions faced by every Jew and organized it in straightforward essay. The levels and metaphors were concise, and relevant! This has truly changed my life and fired me up on how to look at EVERYTHING IN MY LIFE! I want to carry this with me wherever I go. This is why we do what we do, each and every day! I have read dozens, if not hundreds of articles and Torah vorts over my Yiddishkeit... but, this one is different. This one is for me. This one is for many others as well :) Would it be possible to get your permission to print this en masse to distribute in shuls around my area, as well as any other Jews in need? I really think this will change people's lives for those who need to hear it.

We also added a section in our video website called "Strengthen Your Emunah" and under the title we wrote the following:

A lack of Emunah can exacerbate addiction. When a person is missing meaning in life they tend to fill it with anything that feels like it gives them a reason to live, often resulting in unhealthy behaviors. A strong Emunah can motivate and empower us to fight addictive tendencies.

I believe that some of the videos on that page can really inspire people to appreciate the value of being a Torah Jew, for example, "The Mystery of the Jews" and the amazing video about Yishai Cohen (in Hebrew). "Jewish NDE" is also powerful.

I'd be happy to hear any other ideas you might have on ways to address this "emptiness" in frum people's lives. I think it really boils down to chinuch. If parents and teachers are true examples and live inspired lives, they will pass that on to the children in their care, and at least the next generation will hopefully be healthier and more fulfilled adults. This is indeed an area that needs a lot of work. Rabbi Dovid Sapirman in Toronto has attempted to partially address this problem by creating the Ani Maamin Foundation that helps inspire Emunah in today's youth.

To be continued...
Dov's Q&A Thursday Call


This Thursday, Dov will be talking about "Shovavim and Addiction."

***Also, on the subject of Shovavim:***

Dov's new "Desperados" cycle began this Sunday, on the first day of Shovavim 5777.

It's not too late to join by being in touch with Dov:

Dov's New Call: Q&A

Monday - Thursday8-9AM EST

Dial In Number:
From U.S. 515-739-1294
(For all other countries, click here).
Participant PIN: 382530#

Read article
Video of the Day

The Chicken Lady

  • The so-called "chicken lady of Jerusalem" feeds 900 children.

    This video is featured on the recenltly added page on GYE Video Site. The newly-added category of videos includes videos about selflessness, outward focus, gratitude, letting go of resentments, forgiveness, etc.

Practical Tips
The Porn Trap
Part 3/3
By Wendy Maltz

Q & A from the authors of "The Porn Trap"

The authors offered to answer a number of questions that our readers would send in. Here are two questions that we presented them with, along with their enlightening answers:

1) How can we stop? The world is full of it, everywhere we go. We can get around the filters and we have wi-fi and can access it anywhere with the click of a mouse. And Movies and advertisements are all full of promiscuity, the street is like walking on a beach, and the slightest triggers make a lust addict go wild. What hope does he have to stop in today's world gone mad?

Yes, we live in a world filled with commercially-driven sexual images and unprecedented easy access to pornography. We also live in a world with unprecedented amounts of and easy access to junk food. In both cases, choosing and maintaining personal health means making smart decisions about what we allow ourselves to take into our bodies - through our eyes and ears with porn - and what we choose to stay away from and reject.

In our recovery book, The Porn Trap: The Essential Guide to Overcoming Problems Caused by Pornography, Larry and I outline a number of strategies that you can use when dealing with everyday temptations. These include spelling out your reasons for not using porn, developing a support network of people you can call on at anytime, reducing unexpected exposure to porn, and using specific techniques such as the "eye bounce" (described on pages 175-176 of The Porn Trap):

Hank uses what he calls an "eye bounce" whenever he unexpectedly encounters porn images or materials that remind him of porn. "My mind and my eyes instinctively go to porn because I've always gone there and they're trained to go there," he said. "So when my eyes see something sexy now, I bounce away. 'Oh there's a picture of a sexy girl,' BOUNCE, I look elsewhere. It felt strange doing this at first, but now looking away has become a new habit. The more I do it the easier it is. For most of my life I walked around with a kind of low-grade sexual fever. But lately, for the first time, it's starting to diminish and almost disappear because I'm no longer feeding it. It feels like a part of me has been set free to do other things and it's fabulous."

In porn recovery, it is also very important to learn about healthy sexuality, so you have a clear idea of how you can re-channel your natural sexual drives and needs in ways that support positive self-esteem, healthy sexual thoughts, and a satisfying sexual relationship with your spouse.

2) What does someone who is trying to quit porn do when the withdrawal symptoms set in? How does he fill the inner "void" that he used to fill with porn? Many people use it as an escape from boredom, anxiety, stress... Now that they are giving up their "drug", how do they learn to deal with all these emotions and their free-time?"

In general, the most effective way to deal with urges is to move out of isolation. Reach out and talk with someone who understands and respects what you are working to accomplish. Share the difficulty and pain that you are feeling. Talk with someone who is farther along in his recovery and can help you to normalize your reactions and get ideas for how to shift your attention into other kinds of activities and pursuits that are enjoyable and that relieve stress.

Many of our clients tell us that quitting porn is a humbling experience because you need to realize that you can't go it alone. It's about moving out of self-centeredness and letting go of the notion of "I'm in control, I can do this myself," and admitting that porn is extremely powerful and is capable of taking over your sexuality and seriously damaging your integrity, relationships and your future.

In "The Porn Trap" we have a whole chapter devoted to "Handling and Preventing Relapses." Here we explain why people relapse, how relapses progress, how to reverse a relapse, and how to prevent future relapses. It contains a powerful exercise called "If I Were to Relapse" that can help you identify and reduce thoughts, feelings and behaviors that might trigger a relapse. We also include many examples of specific changes that recovering porn users made, that reinforced new ways of dealing with emotional needs, boredom, and stress.

Wendy Maltz LCSW, DST,

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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