How to have a decent day in few easy steps
  Breaking Free Chizuk #1659  
In Today's Issue
Links: Dorosh Dorash Moshe
Image of the Day
Rabbi Twerski: Just Say 'No!'
Torah: Working Hard
Daily Dose of Dov: Dov's "Decent" Day
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Dorosh Dorash Moshe


Click above for a 10 minute inspirational talk from Yaakov

Although this talk is mostly divrei Torah, there are a few messages in it for those who struggle with the yetzer hara:

1 - Why can't we just find one eitza that works and just stay strong forever? Why do we keep slipping and struggling?! 

2 - Where does Hashem hint to the power of group support in the Torah?


Image of the Day
Rabbi Twerski
Just Say 'No!'
Part 2/4
By Twerski, Rabbi Dr. Avraham

How can we convey to our children that life is intended to be more than a search for pleasure? The answer is provided by the sifrei mussar: demonstrate mesiras nefesh. It has been said, “If there is nothing worth dying for, there is nothing worth living for.” Mesiras nefesh does not mean only martyrdom. Mesiras nefesyh means making a sacrifice for what you know is right.

There is a remarkable Midrash (Eicha Rabba) that at the time of the chruban, the patriarchs pleaded to Hashem for mercy. Avraham Avinu said, “Ribono shel olam! How I had longed for a child, and age 100, You graciously gave me a son. When you told me to bring him as an olah offering, I did not hesitate to do Your will. Do my children not deserve a better fate? Yitzhak Avinu said, ‘I was 37 years old. I could resisted being brought as an olah, but I was ready to give up my life for You. Don’t my children deserve something better?’ Yaacov Avinu and Moshe Rabeinu made similar pleas, but Hashem did not acknowledge them.

Then Rachel Imeinu said, “Ribono shel olam! You know how much I loved Yaacov. I knew that my father was a scoundrel and could substitute my sister for me. I gave Yaacov a secret code whereby he could detect the ruse, but when I realized that if he used the code he would expose the ruse and Leah would be publicly humiliated, I gave Leah the secret code. I was willing to surrender the man I loved to my sister in order to prevent a few minutes of humiliation. Don’t I deserve better than to see my children suffer?” Hashem responded, “In your merit, Rachel, your children will one day be returned to their land.”

Think of it! The enormous sacrifices of Avraham and Yitzhak were not adequate merits. Rachel did not yield her life, but her willingness to give up Yaacov for all her life in order to spare her sister a few moments of humiliation was a greater mesiras nefesh than the martyrdom of Avraham and Yitzhak. One need not die in mesiras nefesh. If one has a strong desire for something and suppresses it because it is halachically wrong or ethically appropriate, that constitutes mesiras nefesh. Mesiras nefesh is thus the antithesis of “If it feels good, do it,” and of naval birshus haTorah.

We have abundant opportunities to perform mesiras nefesh. The chapter on zerizus in Mesilas Yesharim is an essay on mesiras nefesh. Ramchal points out that the Torah prohibition of lo tikom, to refrain from taking revenge, is something one can logically expect of the heavenly angels, not of mere mortals. “Taking revenge is the sweetest feeling a person can have, yet the Torah forbids it.” This is mesirqs nefesh at its best. Inasmuch as the urge to “get back at someone” occurs even in grade-school children, this is an excellent opportunity for parents to teach young children mesiras nefesh. But of course, parents must model it in their own lives.

If one has a juicy piece of gossip and would love to tell it to a friend, but refrains from doing so because that is lashon hara, that is mesiras nefesh. We may refuse to eat something a friend offers us because we are unsure of its kashrus, but have our children heard us say to someone, “I’d love to hear what you have to say, but I can’t listen to you because I think it may be lashan hara?”

It is very tempting to converse during the reading of the Torah or the repetition of the amidah. To refrain from doing so is mesiras nefesh. To avoid telling a lie when telling the truth is a disadvantage is mesiras nefesh. To avoid an anger outburst is mesiras nefesh. There are many opportunities in daily life to exercise mesiras nefesh. When we do so, we demonstrate to our children that we are willing to forgo pleasure for the sake of doing right, and this is a teaching which our children can accept, not in the form of a lecture, but by actual life.

Children are able to have mesiras nefesh. In one shul, through an error in scheduling, two boys were to have their bar-mitzva on the same Shabbos, and both had invested much effort in learning the haftorah. The son of the more prominent member willingly yielded to the other boy. This was an opportunity to praise him for his mesiras nefesh.

Kibud av voem, respecting one’s parents, is a great mitzva, and there are abundant opportunities to set aside one’s own desires in favor of kibud av voem. You may be engaged in doing something, when your father or mother asks you to do an errand. Although you are annoyed by this interruption, you do what your parent has requested. This is mesiras nefesh.

To be continued...
Working Hard
By Todaystheday
By GYE Member

To add to the testimonial regarding "The movie theater up in heaven," I too think like that when it comes to fighting the ultimate fight against my yezter hara. I recently installed a nanny cam in my house which saves clips on a cloud, and I sometimes watch myself learning in my kitchen, and I am able to visualize what that video of me living my life would look like. I always think that after 120 I want to sit back and enjoy the video without being ashamed of certain portions, wishing it didn't happen. If I'm faced with a challenge, I try to think what would the video look like and would I be happy with it.  

Read more
Daily Dose of Dov
Dov's "Decent" Day
By Dov

For me, having "a decent day" means that I was useful to whoever I could be useful to.

That list includes:

Hashem (by noticing Him, using Him, and caring about what He says),
Ourselves (by staying sober and avoiding the tortures of lust, self-pity, resentment and other stupid but quite natural crapola),
Our spouse (or spous es, if you are Muslim or Mormon :-),
Our children (if you got 'em),
The people we work for (by doing our jobs to help them),
The people we work with (by respecting and spreading pleasantness),
The people we lust after, c"v (by davening for them m'umka deliba),
The people who treat us like garbage (cuz they are sick in the head),
Our families (by just being present and giving),
Our friends,
The people in the shuls we daven in (like by davening on time, and politely, perhaps)
The cashiers (by not being a jerk)

Goodness gracious! There are a lot of ways we can live to be helpful... but the main things are to be be helpful and giving to Hashem, to ourselves, and to those we are beholden to most of the time. The entire Chovos Halevavos is about being giving and helpful to Hashem. It's called hakoras hatov. And that's why writing out gratitude lists are such a mainstay of sanity.

For me, staying sober is the bottom line requirement for being useful. Acting out always, always screws up my life. So to stay useful, I need His help to keep away from the curiosity and stupidity (lying) that would get me back into it c"v.

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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