Tish'a b'Av
  Breaking Free Chizuk Tish'a b'Av 5777  
In Today's Issue
Chizuk: Do you REALLY Believe?
Torah: Holocaust Documentaries
12 Step Attitude: The SA approach to Tish'a b'Av
Testimonials: Loosening its hold on me
Practical Tips: Yes, We CAN!
90 Day Journey
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Do you REALLY Believe?

Rabbi Menachem Mendel Futerfass was imprisoned in Siberia for eight years. He went through unspeakable torment and suffering there, yet he came out so strong in his Emunah and religion. Throughout his stay, he was always hopeful that he would be released, and eventually he was.

He was asked how he stayed so strong for so long. He replied that he took a powerful lesson from a scene that he observed one day in Siberia.

"During a short break, one of the other inmates asked us if we wanted to watch him walk a tightrope between two mountains. We all said no, because we were too afraid for him. But he was stubborn and did it anyway. As he progressed, we were afraid to even look. When he finally made it, he called out and asked us if we wanted to watch him go back. Again, we all said no, but he did it anyway. When he came back, he asked if we wanted to see him do to again with a wagon attached to him. We protested, but he was stubborn and attached a wagon to himself and walked across the abyss. Our hearts were beating a mile a minute, as we watched, until he made it to the other side.

"Then he called out to us to see if we wanted to see him come back. We knew that if we said no, he would do it anyway. So we all said, 'You already proved yourself. We know that you can easily come back. There's no need to do it: He called back, 'You really believe I can do it?' 'Yes, we really believe!' we responded. 'If you really believe, then you come up and sit in the wagon, and let me walk you across.' Nobody budged. 'See," he said, 'You don't really believe.'

"During the rest of my difficult stay in Siberia, I constantly reflected on that scene and asked myself whether I would be willing to sit in that wagon if Hashem was pulling me across. Would I be able to sit calmly and look down, knowing that I am in the most loving and merciful hands? If I believe that Hashem is always pulling me, and that He is always with me, even in the scariest and most troubling of times, then there is nothing ever to fear. That is how I got through the tough times."

Even when I walk through the valley of" death, I have no fear because "You (Hashem) are with me.

Holocaust Documentaries

Follow this link to a Google Drive with Holocaust documentaries.

12 Step Attitude
The SA approach to Tish'a b'Av
By Duvid Chaim

As we know, we are mourning the destruction of our Temple. And we also know that G-d expressed some level of mercy in destroying the Temple, which is a building and not destroying the Jewish People.

Read more
Loosening its hold on me
By Uri

Chevra, as I approach the end of day 14 Iy"h, I look back at the last 2 weeks and smile. Ok, now I am crying (slightly embarrassing, as my little sister is standing near me watching me). I am starting to breathe fresh air again. My emotions aren't all soiled. I'm starting to feel truly relaxed and content for the first time in what seems like forever. I know it sounds like I'm overdoing it, but I'm starting to feel the disease loosening its hold on me. Maybe I'm imagining this, but I feel that I'm starting to break the addiction, and I feel very free. I am now starting to imagine a life with no pressure for lust, a life in "the here and now", not in fantasy; a life without constant fear, a life without constant shame.

I'm like a blind person who can't see fully yet, but is introduced to the idea of sight for the first time. In only 2 weeks! Imagine 90 days! Imagine a year! Thank you Hashem for giving me the opportunity I never thought I would have and for making it so much more geshmak than I dreamt it would be. May You give me the strength to not just hold back from having a peek, but to have the full thing - the gift called LIFE. Tisha be'av was a time of reflection for me. The past 2 weeks of sobriety feel like the first 2 weeks of my life.

With a heart overflowing with love.
- Uri

Practical Tips
Yes, We CAN!
By Aish.com

When the spies came back and declared "we can't" inherit the land of Israel, the entire nation wept that night in their tents. And Hashem declared that "since you cried on this night for nothing, you will cry on this night for generations". The crying for generations that we cry, is the mourning over what we always said "we can't" do.

This notion of "we can't", is the source of all mourning. It is the source of all physical and spiritual failures. Hashem is behind us. There is NOTHING we can't do. But we are intimidated and afraid to try hard enough. We don't believe in ourselves and in Hashem enough. And that is what causes us to fail again and again. That is the root cause of all destruction.

So on this Tisha Be'Av, while we mourn the times we thought "we can't", let us focus our mourning into a powerful resolution for the future: "YES, WE CAN". Yes, it seems that the addiction is so much stronger than us, just as the fortified cities and giants appeared to be much stronger than the Jewish people's military capabilities in the desert. But if Hashem is with us, if Hashem is behind us, WE CAN DO ANYTHING.

This idea was taken from the following video clip from Aish.com

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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