Your pain = Your strength
  Breaking Free Chizuk #1696  
In Today's Issue
Image of the Day
Editor’s Note: Your Declaration of Independence
Daily Dose of Dov: Does the Torah understand my plight?
12 Step Attitude: Recovery & Addiction
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Image of the Day
Editor’s Note
Your Declaration of Independence
From Which Tyrannous Habits Will You Declare Your Independence?

For those of you in the States celebrating today, Happy Independence Day. For everyone else around the world, Happy 4th of July!

Of course, today we’re celebrating Independence Day.

But it’s important to note that we’re not celebrating the day we *won* our independence.

We’re celebrating the day we DECLARED our independence.

Of course, there was SEVEN YEAR’S worth of blood, sweat, and tears that went into the Revolutionary War to back up that declaration (!!), but that’s a pretty cool distinction when you think about it for a moment.

So, Today’s +1.

Two parts.

First, let’s celebrate all the little Independence Days of our lives. Those moments when we declared our Independence from the bad habits that were tyrannizing our lives.

With that in mind: What are three bad habits from which you’ve won your independence?

  1. ___________________________
  2. ___________________________
  3. ___________________________

Fantastic. High fives. Fireworks!

Now, it’s time to make a new Declaration of Independence.

From which keystone bad habit will you Declare your Independence from this day forward?

I think the preamble to your Declaration goes something like this:

“When in the Course of an individual’s life it becomes necessary for that person to dissolve the bands which have connected them with bad habits and to assume among the powers of the earth, the self-mastery and virtue to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the scientific wisdom of the ages requires that they should WOOP their plans to win their Revolutionary War within themselves.

As such, I [ INSERT NAME ], hereby declare my Independence from THIS bad habit: _____________________________.

I hereby WOOP the successful Revolutionary War against said habit.

This is my Wish: _____________________________

This is my Outcome; I shall experience these Benefits: _____________________________

These are my Obstacles: _____________________________

This is my Plan to deal with those Obstacles: _________________________.”
Enter: A powerful “necessity to act.”

Here’s to winning that Revolutionary War and honoring your Declaration of Independence!

Daily Dose of Dov
Does the Torah understand my plight?
By Dov

Duvid Chaim asks:

It’s always been a frustration of mine and many many men I talk to - that the Gemaras don’t “seem” to address addictions. No frum struggler wants to feel like the Torah doesn’t understand his plight. If you or anyone else has some insights, please share.

Yaakov responds:

The closest story to lust addiction in Shas that I can think of off-hand is the story of Elazar Ben Durdaya.

But in general, the Torah talks to normal people, not addicts or sick people. That's why we don't find much about it... We also don't find much in the Torah about alcohol addiction, bipolar, schizophrenia, and other mental disorders... Although, in the Tochacha it says "And also many diseases which are not mentioned in the Torah will come upon you"... In another place it says "and you shall become insane from the things you see". This may also be hinting to lust addiction, no? :-)

Dov responds:

The "Doctor's Opinion" (in the Big Book) basically clarifies the issue. I have spent much of my time on Guard Your Eyes from the first day I have been there, helping men and women and rabbis with the very issue that DC is vexed by. And have discovered and helped many other people discover a thing that is as important as it is unpopular: A person who is compulsively porning and masturbating usually insists on using 'Torah' to fix his or her problem because they aren't taking their problem seriously enough. Ultimately, people resort to gimmicks and half measures for a problem that is a small one. And when the problem blows up out of proportion or suddenly is seen to be life-changing, they run not to the rabbi, not to the chiropractor, not to the herbalist - but to an emergency room doctor. Often the shift to 'taking the problem seriously' is that the spouse caught them... Till then, 'Torah' was fine to rely on, but not anymore. All that changed was that the problem became real. The doctor's opinion is explaining that recovery is not for sissies, while 'studying the issue and working on myself' (including Torah) certainly caters to sissies as much as it does to everybody. But as soon as a person begins to take their problem really seriously they usually become open to taking real actions, and the fact that 'Torah' does not work for addictions no longer bothers them as much. Just like it no longer bothers them very much that Torah will not help heal their appendicitis or cancer.

12 Step Attitude
Recovery & Addiction
By Yosef


My SA sponsor has been sober for 26 years. He says that if he could be cured of the addiction he probably would decline the offer. That's how much of an opportunity for growth it has been to him. He says that most of the "old timers" in SA and AA say the same thing: It was G-d's will. If G-d created me an addict then so be it.


Recovery is freedom from the bondage of self... from the slavery of obsessive thoughts and actions.

Recovery is being able to finally do nice things for the soul and let the body wait.

Recover is discovering one's buried talents, interests and purpose for living.

Recover is being able to know what is right and what is not.

Recover is being able to see oneself and others - as they really are.

Recovery is being excited about relationships, new and old.

Recovery is about learning and being able to remember and use the new learnings.

Recovery is the ability to feel, enjoy and appreciate what I have.

Recovery is a recognition that there is Divine Justice and that it is unquestionably a good thing.

Recovery is honesty with self, others and above all G-d.

Recovery is the progressive delight of recognizing how G-d is running the world.

Recovery is the pleasure of being less focused on "me".

Recovery is surrendering the materialistic drive to possess, control, and impress.

Recovery is the moral obligation to honor and respect spiritual wisdom and right-living in others.

Recovery is simplicity, purity and quietly influencing others to live spiritual lives.

Recovery is a deep gratitude to G-d for another chance.

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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