Why doesn't the Torah address addiction?
  Breaking Free Chizuk #1663  
In Today's Issue
Image of the Day: May 4th is World Give Day
12 Step Attitude: What’s Your Excuse?!
Links: Priorities vs. Goals
Rabbi Twerski: All My Needs
Daily Dose of Dov: Why doesn't the Torah address addiction?
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Image of the Day
May 4th is World Give Day
May 4th is World Give Day
12 Step Attitude
What’s Your Excuse?!
By Duvid Chaim

Everyone admired Sam. Especially his family. Of course, his mom considered him the “apple of her eye.” And his father bragged so much about Sam that even his brothers got jealous. His wife adored him and felt like she was the luckiest woman alive to score such a good catch! Sam had four kids and each one tried their utmost to get their father’s attention. It really didn’t matter where Sam went, whether it was in the coffee shop or the boardroom, everyone liked to be around him. And admired him for his leadership capabilities and his generous and thoughtful nature.

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 A short 2-minute story from GYE's Hotline today


Priorities vs. Goals
Rabbi Twerski
All My Needs

I heard Rabbi/Dr.Tweski speak a couple of days ago and he asked, "why is the bracha of 'she'asah li kol zarki - He did for me all my needs' in past tense, when the other birchos hashachar are in present tense? He answered that chazal didn't want people to make the bracha while thinking, "hey, I don't have this and I don't have that, and Hashem still hasn't fixed this or that problem". Only when we look back on things later can we realize that we had everything that we needed, and that He did indeed provide it to us.

Hopefully, very quickly, we will be able to look back and see how far we have come and things will start being better for us. And hopefully we'll even merit to see that this struggle was good for us all along!

Daily Dose of Dov
Why doesn't the Torah address addiction?
By Dov

The Torah does not talk about any mental illnesses directly. The main reason this omission vexes so many and is a recurrent topic on GYE is simple: this particular addiction happens to involve a sin, while alcoholism and drug-addiction do not. Suddenly, an emergency ensues for frum people: "How can the goyim help so many frum Jews out of this while the Torah and Rabbis fail miserably?!" But the reason that the gentiles came up w AA and the 12 steps and we did not, is simple: we don't want to deal with true failure. We are fine with dealing with partial failure, with sinning. But when the failure is essential and not just blamable on the environment - when the person really is sick in the head - we see it as a shame. Shames are ignored as much as possible. I agree 100% that Rabbis who have private sex addictions and other psychiatric skeletons in their closets should not be speaking freely about it from the pulpit, just as they should not be publicly freely admitting their own inner doubts in G-d's existence or in Torah min haShomayim that they may have (and sometimes they do, of course). Our leaders have a responsibility to uphold a Standard - even though they may not be able tolive up to it fully all the time. They are humans, but MUST uphold a standard - like Royalty must not cry in public. Agudas Yisroel and Lubavitch, for example, are never going to be open about the experiences that Rabbis and other advanced members in their ranks have with wife-beating, drug use, and nasty divorces. True failure is a sign that the organization has failed. Therefore, it is forever seen as an anomaly. And I am not convinced that this is a bad thing. But it is bad for addicts themselves, and we DO need a safe place where we can stop being Royalty, where we can be ourselves and have no need whatsoever to uphold any standard for anybody.

That place is AA, SA, NA, etc. I enter the room as the Jew I am, but leave my personal pride at the door and admit that after all, I am still a human. It is a place where Derech Eretz reigns supreme, and Hashem is definitely there. Were the answer found in Torah, only Torah-people could get it, G-d forbid. And I am a sick man. Having this kind of group - not a Torah group - is the reason I am sober today and for the past 20 years of todays. For those who must disagree, I ask if it is really just their pride holding the door shut. I do not believe for a second that the Torah prefers Derech Eretz to come second, and neither did our Chaza"l.

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 help@pornanonymous.org to schedule a time to talk. For more information visit pornanonymous.org (Hebrew: p-a.org.il / Yiddish: pa-yid.org).

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 dov@guardyoureyes.org to schedule a time to talk. For more information visit www.sa.org.

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