Never Give Up!
  Breaking Free Chizuk#1615  
In Today's Issue
Prevention: The Magnitude and Root-Causes of Today’s Kedusha Crisis
Video of the Day: Never Give Up
Prevention: Sleepwalking Along the Derech
12 Step Attitude: Preventing a downward spiral
90 Day Journey
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The Magnitude and Root-Causes of Today’s Kedusha Crisis
Part 7/12
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

Rabbi Y.W Responds:

Dear Dov and the GYE Team,

You are among the heroes of our generation.

What R' Dov has written (on the previous page in bold) in my opinion and experience is right on the mark.

I think that as a Kehilla we have to openly accept that pornography (and watching pornographic material in movies and TV series – today some of the most popular TV shows feature graphic nudity and relations. In the words of one Baal habos I spoke to on Sunday: "everyone in the religious community watches these programs") is the main Nisayon and avodah of our generation. It is the modern day "Shabbos Nisayon". It is the modern day Haskala.

If we think it's a problem only for fringe elements and teens at risk, we are helping to perpetuate the problem. In most religious circles people are deathly embarrassed to even utter the word pornography out loud. And pornography is just the tip of the iceberg. Frum people are using all the popular social media platforms to have affairs and act out with z’nus. Frum people are spending hours and hours a day watching graphic sexualized movies. A Baal habos told me on Sunday, "It’s good the Rabanim don't know about Netflix, because then they will stick their nose into it. They found out about pornography and got their nose involved in that".

Companies such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime give unlimited access to streaming television and movie programs. Very popular programs have something like 7 seasons, with 15 episodes each. It's like one long movie with 105 parts. Each part is 45 minutes long. This means that to finish the "long movie" you have to watch close to 80 hours of videos. Netflix is designed to encourage you to watch them all consecutively. (See this powerful video clip on GYE's video site about this point). Programs are written to be addictive. Many people watch them over one or two long weekends, watching for 8-10 hours straight. They can be watched on a phone, tablet, or laptop.

This of course has disastrous consequences on shalom bayis and chinuch. It also leads to chillul shabbos, and a general sense of depression.

In the past, when one watched television, they watched for an hour and the story was over. When one went to a movie theater, he watched one movie and was done. But now the story is not over until one goes through all of the scores of episodes. It's similar but much more interesting than a soap opera, like an action movie never ending. And soap operas had very small budgets, usually shot on a single set. These programs sometimes have a million dollar budget for one episode. So they are much higher quality than anything ever shown on TV in the past. They are therefore much more addictive. Every episode ends with a cliffhanger and it is extremely difficult to stop.

And this is in everyone's pocket; and it's free for anyone who uses Amazon!

In fact, movie studios are shifting away from theater programming to streaming episodic content, like the ones I described above.

One Hollywood figure described the function of these long episodic, 100 episode long programs in the following terms. "Movies are for a short escape. But Episodic content is to "fall in love and make a relationship with the characters". Another said: "Movies should not be a place to escape to recharge, but a destination". In other words, their express goal is to make people leave the real word, with their "boring lives" and join them in the digital world, where things are much more exciting.

Binge Watching ( is part of an internet addiction "conveyor belt", a continuum of compulsive behaviors. Binge-watching can lead to compulsive porn use, that can lead eventually to meeting with prostitutes and other physical sexual encounters. Binge-watching also leads to Chillul Shabbos.

To be continued...
Video of the Day

Never Give Up
Sleepwalking Along the Derech
The closing session at the Agudah Convention 2014
By the.guard

The need for strong passion and emotion in our yiddishkeit is a topic that has been heavily discussed in recent years, including at various forums at the Agudah convention. However, at the special “Sleepwalking Along the Derech” session, despite the alarm and awareness, a few premier mechanchim offered a strong sense of hope and optimism as well.

Read more
12 Step Attitude
Preventing a downward spiral

"Yehuda the Addict" Posted recently on the forum:

I had a bit of a slip on Purim. I have not let it pull me down though, Hashem is still part of my life (in the past this would have led to a downward spiral), and I think I may even have learned from it.

One of the things that helps me is the acknowledgment that this is an addiction. This enables me to realize that the buzz/rush/excitement that I feel when engaging in these things are simply chemicals that are secreted in the brain and I am addicted to them, and this helps put things in perspective.

This morning I already put this realization to practice: I postponed my response to a trigger by waiting a few minutes and seeing it for what it really was. And lo-and -behold, the buzz was gone!

Thanks to all of you once again.

Some Words of Wisdom...

There's going to be pain in life. Accept that. But it is up to you to decide which pain you want.

Do you choose...

  • temporary pain, or eternal pain?
  • healing pain, or the pain of the disease getting worse?
  • pain of failure, or pain of growth?

Don't look where you fell, look where you slipped.

I asked G-d to take away my addiction. He said: "My son, it's not for me to take away, but for you to give it up".

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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