Bedikas Chometz in our Souls
  Breaking Free Chizuk #1654  
In Today's Issue
Editor’s Note
Announcements: Free Book
Torah: Searching for chometz in our souls
Chizuk: Hilchos Pesach and Recovery
Daily Dose of Dov: Sometimes Low Self-Esteem Comes From Pride
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Editor’s Note


Recording of Dov's Thursday Call:

"Addiction and Recovery Concepts in the Pesach Seder

and the Avodah of Pesach" 

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Free Book
Searching for chometz in our souls
From Avodas Isroel by the Kozhnitzer Maggid
By obormottel

Every place where the chometz was brought during the year, requires careful inspection (bedikah). This means to say that everyone needs to inspect his soul for place that the "chometz" (i.e. the Evil Inclination) dwells there, each one according to his or her level. For example, someone who habitually violates the bris, G-d forbid, or desecrates his eyes, G-d forbid, by looking where one is not allowed to look, needs to inspect, and get rid of, and return with complete repentance and contrition so as not to do this sin again, and for what had been done, let him repent completely and FOR SURE G-d will forgive him.

Hilchos Pesach and Recovery
By Nat

I learned two halachos recently that relate to some beautiful things about recovery.

The first one is: If chometz is sent to you in the mail on Pesach, you do not have to accept it. Basically, this is the same message that a friend of mine in the SLAA group says: "If someone gives me a gift of emotional intoxication, for example, if he is angry, annoyed, etc, or he wishes to discuss gossip with me, I don't have to accept someone else's 'chometz.'" I can say 'No.' If someone wants to give you a gift and you don't accept it, to whom does it belong?

To be able to do this, I pray daily for courage and use breathing techniques that I learned. I can - and do - choose which presents to accept.

To be honest, I am far from perfect in this regard and I have self-esteem issues myself, but hey, my Higher Power is granting me some awesome blessings so far :) I have been able to do this in reality with people who are scary and believe they have financial control over me, never mind the fact that some of them are addicts.

The next halacha actually follows the first, in dealing with someone else's chometz:

The Nodah B'Yehuda and some other Rabbonim would sell the chometz of each person in their city even if unasked, using the principle of "zachin leadam shelo befonov." So too, I can pray for each person I resent or who is still suffering. When I ask Hashem to relieve them of their chometz, they lose their chometz in my eyes and instead of being huge ego's who can hurt me, etc, they are just diseased people who really need my prayers!

And most importantly, this year Hallel is going to be a huge part of the seder (contrary to previous years, unfortunately)... I mean, boy, I really have what to praise and thank Hashem for. I am finally free!!! Never mind all the other gifts that have come along with it: self-respect, empowerment, self-love, family stability, financial stability, just to name a few... (It's hard to believe that sometimes I'm still like "oh, I wish I could get some free cucumbers in Mitzraim" (zacharnu es hakishuyim asher achalnu beMitzrayim chinam :)

A Pesach Kosher ve'sameach!

Daily Dose of Dov
Sometimes Low Self-Esteem Comes From Pride
Dov Talks About Step 4: "We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves."
By Dov

I believe that one of the main reasons that I was always hurting so much inside and felt so down on myself, was that in the things that really mattered, I honestly and innocently expected unrealistic things for myself. It was torture. I felt it was a great injustice that I was not considered one of the best guys in the beis hamidrash - yet I am a mediocre lamdan. My guts felt that I was such a loser that I was not on as high a madreiga as some others I saw - yet I really am in need of much growing up and other work. It all put the spotlight on my weaknesses and I needed to shift the blame and find a nechoma. Everyone deserves a nechoma from pain. Even innocent fools.

But once I finally got comfortable with the facts about myself, I began to get comfortable with my life, with the people around me, and of course, with Hashem. See, I was helped to see that the thing that made me feel so sure that I was a pathetic excuse for a yid was: my Pride! I had an inflated self image that was killing me, not just a deflated one. I expected R' Akiva status - though I am just Dov, and need a lot of basic work.

This perspective has shocked the heck out of more people than I can count, for we were always led to believe that 'poor me' is a symptom of low self-esteem. That is often a lie. So pumping up the self-image is the exact wrong way to go, if I want to really stop needing artificial things to alleviate me of my great disappointment.

And I believe that the common taina that "once I am convinced that I have (oversensitivity, and inflated self-image and expectations, fear, and other) character defects, I will give up and just not try to grow at all in the beis midrash, learning, avodah, and lose ambition" - is not true, either. Quite the opposite happens to everyone I know who has ever done their 4th step. They feel that for the first time they now have the tools to be realistic and effective and to grow, unfettered by irrational and childish thinking. I started to slowly get happy after my 4th step, more than any other.

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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