Can't sharing hurt me?
  Breaking Free Chizuk #1612  
In Today's Issue
Testimonials: The New Video Site
Q & A: The Magnitude and Root-Causes of Today’s Kedusha Crisis
Practical Tips: The Torah Approach
Daily Dose of Dov: Sharing With a Partner
90 Day Journey
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The New Video Site
By GYE Member

The new GYE videos section has been a big chizuk me. The clarity that internet scenes are not compatible at all with real life is a really big concept.

I especially liked the videos that describe how addiction is formed, through electronic pathways directed at brain. They are not natural.

To be specific, the ones that really spoke to me were the short ones in the "Understanding Addiction" section:

01 We Need To Talk....

02 Pornography is a drug

04 Everything we think we know about addic...

08 What You Need to Know About Porn. The "fight the new drug" theme was very powerful.

Your site is really beyond exceptional in so many ways. Thanks!

Q & A
The Magnitude and Root-Causes of Today’s Kedusha Crisis
Part 4/12
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

> 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?

We have about 22,000 members worldwide. Of those, about 11,000 are English speaking. I did a quick check in our system of 1,000 random users (see the map below) and I see that over 90% of our U.S. based members are in the East Coast. About 60% of our world-wide English speaking members are on the East Coast.


> 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?

Please see the chart below for some recent stats. Indeed we have over 22,000 members, of which about 6,000 signed up in the past year (2016). But this is likely still just a drop in the bucket. I'd be surprised if even 1 in 10 frum people who struggle from around the world actually sign up as members to GYE. So I think it's safe to estimate that upwards of 200,000 frum Jews are struggling/falling, if not more. (We've had over 100,000 unique visitors to our English website in the past year alone!)

Listen to this powerful 4 minute audio file from Rav Yosef Viener from back in 2009. If it was as bad as he describes then, just imagine how much worse it must have gotten in the past 8 years with smartphones in practically everyone’s pockets! At 1.48 min in the recording he says "keep in mind that the people who come to me are so frum and so upset about what's going on that they're willing to talk to their Rav. That means that there are thousands of people who would never even think of speaking to their Rav...". I think that a similar sentiment can be expressed regarding GYE.


> 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.

Yes, this is yet another tragic consequence of the prevalence and ease of viewing these kind of things. One used to have to go to a shop to rent videos, and there was still some level of shame to rent R rated movies. But today it's so accessible and in private, and once the line between kosher and nonkosher becomes blurred, it is so easy to slip into viewing things that no frum person would once have dreamed of viewing!

I think the solution to these problems needs to be twofold, (1) strengthening ourselves inside--as discussed above, and (2) better chinuch and awareness about technology in general, especially for our youth.

I happen to be close with the Stoliner Rebbe who holds that the approach that many Rabbanim took to "banning technology and the internet" back in the day (and even today, on some level), caused damage in Klal Yisrael, because it led people to just learn to disregard what the Rabbanim say, since they felt they needed it. And once they felt that they were anyway a "sheigitz" and doing something assur by using it, they felt they may as well do whatever they want. This led to terrible breaches in kedusha that perhaps could have otherwise been prevented with proper foresight and education to the masses about HOW to use technology responsibly, instead of just trying to ban it.

Recently, one of the Rabanim discussed the issue in depth with the Stoliner Rebbe, after which he gave a beautiful shiur on the topic (at which I was present). I had the zechus of translating the shiur from Yiddish into English, and it made a lot of waves in the frum world. You can see the translation on over here. This shiur came about 10 years too late in my opinion, but it really is a breath of fresh air and gives much needed clarity on this cloudy issue.

To be continued...
Practical Tips
The Torah Approach
By Battleworn

I want to try to clarify some of the fundamental differences between the Torah approach and other approaches. I do not want to discuss any particular approach. I only want to try to add clarity to what the Torah approach is. The things I discuss may or may not be contrary to any particular approach.

Read more
Daily Dose of Dov
Sharing With a Partner
Could sharing with a partner problematic thoughts serve as a trigger?
By Dov

The GYE set me up with a partner... I gather that we're supposed to tell each other exactly what we're thinking and want to do in our lusty moments (I got that from your posts). My question is, if we're at the same level, is there not a danger that we could trigger each other?

Dov Replies:

Thanks for asking. Well, if a guy is sharing his craziness with me in such a way that it's clear that he is using me to help himself surrender, it's rare for me to get triggered. Actually, his shedding of shame and prioritizing honesty will help me to do the same when I need to, rather than hold onto 'privacy' (secrecy!) and "struggle with it" it out of 'self-respect' (shame!)... After all, for me, Lust is not purely a moral issue that I can really successfully control anyway, is it? I am sick in the head, body, and heart. So that shame just has to go anyway! It is priority #1. And what better way to get past it than admitting my sickness fully, whenever possible, by helping someone else do the same?

On the rare occasion that I do get triggered, I stop the guy and tell him that I am getting triggered and have to stop listening to the details - I usually ask him to keep talking but just leave out the gory details. And that usually works fine for him, cuz it is about taking the actions needed to admit the truth - not necessarily being heard by any particular person, it seems.

(Disclaimer: Sometimes people can sense that the person who is sharing is not breaking through shame at all, rather, it seems that they are actually engaging in a type of creepy 'exposure', advertisement, or showing off. Just because admitting the unadulterated truth about ourselves to another is in our best interest, does not make it into a 'rite of passage' or gang initiation, and it is certainly not a badge of honor. It is just the truth and need not be made a big deal of. I have gotten the creepy feeling (rarely) in meetings - and I walk out. Or if it's on the phone, I just stop them or take the phone away from my ear. Depending on the relationship we have, it may or may not be possible to talk about the problem when I sense it.)

So, it is not a complicated issue. Just do what your heart tells you and daven to Hashem for a straight heart.

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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