The Twelve Promises
 
 
  Breaking Free Chizuk #1724  
 
 
In Today's Issue
   
Image of the Day: We will be amazed before we are halfway through
Q & A: Mutter in my eyes
Torah: What a Different Life We Would Have
Testimonials: Taking the Plunge
 
 
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Image of the Day
 

IF WE ARE PAINSTAKING ABOUT THIS PHASE OF OUR DEVELOPMENT... (Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 83)

We will be amazed before we are halfway through
 
We will be amazed before we are halfway through
Q & A
 
Mutter in my eyes
 
Part 1/3
 
Is it ok to look if I won't act on it?
 
By GYE

Dear GaurdYourEyes,

I will give you a challenge. I look at porn sometimes but I am B'H not addicted. I have abstained for months at a time but I keep coming back to it. The reason I can't stop altogether is because I believe it is halachically permitted to look at porn if your going to have relations that night anyway. Now I Know that is not good for me, but since it is "mutter" in my eyes, I find it hard to hold myself back. I would like do discus this issue with a talmid chacham who will prove to me that it is "osser". If I know beyond reasonable doubt that there is no "heter", I will bezras Hashem be able to get myself out of it. Thank You.


GYE Answers:

Dear Anonymous,

A non-religious man once told the Brisker Rav that he doesn't believe in G-d because he has many questions. The Brisker Rav told him, "you don't have questions, you have answers". So my friend, if this question you ask is really an "answer" to why you aren't working on yourself, then I don't know if I can help you. However, I believe that the fact you are asking us this question, especially now in Elul, is because you genuinely want to stop these behaviors. You just feel you need to understand more how dangerous and sinful it is, so that you can convince the Yetzer Hara to leave you alone.

Last night, right after I received your e-mail, I happened to be speaking about our website with Rabbi Avraham J. Twersky, a world renowned leader in addictions and a true pioneer and Gadol in Klal Yisrael. He was very happy to hear about the things we are doing and offered to spread the word around, and even possibly to contribute some material to our website. I figured that while I had Rabbi Twerski on the line, I would ask him your question to hear his point of view. I read your question to him and his reply was unequivocal, that there's no question that any Posek you will ask will tell you that it is prohibited. He explained that your question was really the "addiction" speaking, and that this is one of the tricks of the addiction. Rabbi Twerski, being the founder of an Alcoholic Rehabilitation Center, compared your claim to an addict who says "I was just trying beer, I wasn't drinking whiskey"... I tried to explain to Rabbi Twerski that you claim you are not addicted and can abstain from these behaviors for months at a time. "So why did he have to go back to it?" he asked me. "I have a lot of people who will refuse to go to AA, and they'll find a hundred reasons not to go to AA. The underlying thing is, they don't want to hear what AA has to say, which is "you can never take a drink again".

That is Rabbi Twerski's take on the matter. Now I will also try to address your question as well, to the best of my abilities. As far as the prohibitions are concerned, anyone who is frum and has learned any Torah, should be aware of the severity of these sins. The Torah says "Thou shall not go astray after your hearts and after your eyes which lead you astray,". This applies to any image that arouses one's sexual inclination, and erotic images of any type are definitely forbidden. The Rabbis state that anyone who purposefully arouses his sexual organ is to be banished (Niddah 13A). The Gemara there even goes as far to say "Better one's stomach should burst than he should touch the area of his bris (and possibly bring himself to an erection)". And another Gemara says "better to walk behind a lion than to walk behind a woman". And another Gemara: "whoever brings himself to an erection is destroying the world". This is not Mussar or Chassidus, this is regular Gemara. Chaza"l were fire about this! The Medrash says that anyone who is not careful with gazing at women will come to sin with them in the end. Viewing porn is also included in the prohibition of "Lo Sikrevu Legalos Erva, Ani Hashem Elokeichem" - "Do not come close to revealing nakedness, for I am Hashem your G-d". There is no other Mitzva in the Torah where such terminology is used. Even with idol worship, the Torah doesn't say not to come close! Only with sexual matters, the Torah exhorts us to stay far away from it. It is also interesting to note that the Torah uses the words "do not come close to reveal nakedness" and not "to sexual relations". This implies that "revealing nakedness" (i.e. even looking) is, on some level, as if one had already done the act.

This little test can be your meter - if an image triggers a sexual twitch, a stronger heartbeat, sweaty palms, or even a silent, "Wow!" then you are polluting your soul, damaging your "Da'at," the ability to know G-d, and cutting yourself off from the Divine Presence, the Shechinah. The eyes are the windows to the soul and they are the vessels to receive the light of the Shechina. One who has damaged these vessels will not be able to bask in the glory of the Shechinah in this world, nor in the next.

So with all these sources, why would someone find himself even asking such a question? The answer is in the Torah."Ki Hashochad... etc..." .. "For bribes make wise men blind, and twist the words of Tzadikim". The Yetzer Hara, who offers us bribes of false and fleeting pleasures, blinds us to the obvious truths and makes us think we have real "questions". But he is just disguising them as questions. Don't be fooled, and realize that these are not questions but really his "answers"! (R' Elchanan Wasserman used this very Pasuk in an essay he wrote, to explain how the multitudes of non-Jewish wise men and scientists from around the world, fail to see the obvious and glaring hand of Hashem in all of creation).

To be continued...
Torah
 
What a Different Life We Would Have
 
By Haleivi76

I wanted to share something with you. It has put in a nutshell what I have been thinking about for some days now, and I hope it can help us all:

I learnt a little with my Rebbi last night and we were reading a chapter from the Steiplers Sefer 'Chayei Olam'. It was all about a man's Taivos in this world and why he can never be satisfied; no matter how much he has, he wants more. This is the same whether his taivos are for money, food, or any other physical pleasures. The Steipler asks the question, why are we built in such a way as to have these incredibly strong taivos? Surely it would be better if we did not have them and therefore be more able to resist temptation. The answer given is that HASHEM gives us some wonderful character traits; love, desire, passion etc. But as we have bechira, it is entirely our choice as to how we use them. HASHEM wants us to use them to serve Him and to love Him. This is why the taivos can be so strong; because as strong as they are, that is how passionately we should be seeking to serve Him. If we choose to use them to pursue material, physical desires, they will be just as strong, but because of the nature of man and the world we live in, they will NEVER EVER be satisfied, as a man will always be left wanting more.

If only we could use the passion to chase HASHEM as we chase these shtusim, and that we should never be satisfied - no matter how much of HASHEM we have in our lives, what a different life we would have!

Testimonials
 
Taking the Plunge
 
By GYE Member

A woman wrote to us:

I got rid of my computer last year because I felt it was a constant distraction, and rather than addressing everything I needed to, I was distracting myself. But to do that meant quitting my job - which was an easy, work from home well-paying position - having no idea how I'm going to find another job that is workable for me (i.e. that won't compromise on my time with my kids and doesn't involve having internet access).

Through pure hashgacha pratis, I got an incredible job for this coming year with flexible hours, in an area which I excel at and enjoy. I would have never gotten this position if not for a crazy turn of events (too long to type out) and it doubles my previous salary.

I really am seeing how Hashem helps when you take the plunge and do what you know you need to do.

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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