Keeping Your New Year's Resolutions
 
 
  Breaking Free Chizuk #1747  
 
 
In Today's Issue
   
Image of the Day
Torah: Did You Keep Your New Year's Resolution?
Testimonials: I'll always be a GYE member
Prevention: Pornography is Human Trafficking
 
 
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Image of the Day
 
Torah
 
Did You Keep Your New Year's Resolution?
 
By Moss, Rabbi

Question of the Week:

Why do we celebrate the festival of Sukkos immediately after Yom Kippur? Wouldn't it be better to space out these festivals? Or is there some connection between fasting on Yom Kippur and eating in an outdoor hut for a week?

Answer:

The first thing we do in the new year is make resolutions. The second thing we do is break them. At a moment of inspiration we promise to curb our temper, become more generous, speak to G-d more or quit a bad habit. But soon after we go back to our old ways as if nothing happened. Often a sincere resolution is forgotten as quickly as it was made.

The reason: compartmentalization. Our personalities are divided. We have a holy soul, and we have a physical body. My soul has good intentions and wants to change and improve and grow, but my body is lazy and complacent and can't be bothered.

On Yom Kippur I put my body aside and feel my soul, and so I want to soar to new spiritual heights. After Yom Kippur my body reasserts itself, and the yearnings of the soul are forgotten. My soul suggests a resolution; my body vetoes it.

The solution: enter a Sukkah. We sit in the Sukkah with our entire being - our body and our soul, our lowly side as well as our lofty side. It is one of the only mitzvos that we do with our whole person. And what do we do in the Sukkah? We eat and drink.

Unlike Yom Kippur, when it is a mitzvah to fast and ignore the body, on Sukkos the mitzvah is to indulge the body with food and drink in the Sukkah. On Yom Kippur we neglect our body to allow the soul's true nature to shine forth; on Sukkos we invite our body to join in and be inspired too. On Yom Kippur we see the body as being an impediment to the soul; on Sukkos, by bringing our entire being into the holy space of the Sukkah, and doing a mitzvah with our body, the body becomes a partner to the soul. Then the good resolutions of the soul can be implemented by the body.

The Sukkah experience is one of wholesomeness. By making the body a partner in our soul's enterprise, our resolve from Yom Kippur can be translated into reality. Don't miss out on this festival, the one that brings the High Holydays down to earth.

Good Shabbos and Good Yomtov,
Rabbi Moss

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Testimonials
 
I'll always be a GYE member
 
"Kollel Guy" posts a goodbye:
 
By Kollel Guy

Hey everybody,

In case you're wondering where I was, I recently decided that the computer is lately the main and central obstacle in my life right now. I have decided to cut the computer out of my life completely (my wife is typing this for me). I haven't touched the computer for a few days already, and today was my second day in Kollel, learning normal sedarim (I hadn't been going to Kollel for months).

When I get my printer working again, maybe I will get my wife to print out the White Book of SA and the Big Book of AA, so I can read it without the computer. I still have a phone sponsor, so I am out of isolation, and I'll have my wife open up GYE here and there for me to see what's been going on recently.

I'll really miss you guys. You got me to places which I never thought I would get to. Both with your advice and suggestions - when trying to help me and others, as well as with your questions and calls for help, which helped remind me that I am normal and struggling with a very common problem, and not just a mess which "me the loser" ended up with.

The truth is, I am not leaving GYE. I can never do that, even if I never post again. I'll always be a GYE member, and I'll always take pride in that.

Hatzlacha Rabba with your own goals, and Hatzlacha with your avodas hakodesh of helping other Yidden with their goals.

Kol Tuv,

Kollel Guy

Prevention
 
Pornography is Human Trafficking
 
By Obormottel

One of the tools used in sex offender treatment (SOT) is called "victim sensitization," i.e. teaching sex offenders (not addicts, mind you, but actual predators, who not only get triggered but actually violate vulnerable others, including children) about the human side of their victims. Humanizing women is what we (sex and porn adicts) should learn about, as well: about their pain, about their being human, about long-term destructive consequences of our behavior.

For our own healing, it is important to consider that our watching of pornography perpetuates violence against women. Until we learn that women are human too - that they bleed like us, hurt like us, suffer like us - we will treat them as garbage, as objects, and we will continue acting out to their glamourized images, forgetting the real people and real pain hidden behind them.

Instead of closing our eyes to the truth behind porn and prostitution, we need to learn about their effects on the so-called willing participants - "actresses," escorts, call girls, etc. Instead of blaming the women for our perverted need of pleasuring ourselves to someone else's shame and disgrace, we need to look at ourselves and realize that we are predators who exploit women, abet rapes and violence against them, and perpetuate kidnappings and slavery of young (very young) girls around the world, as well as in the US.

At my sponsor's direction, each time I pass a strip club, I pray for the women who work there. Perhaps, this is what you might call "more healthy than the rest," but I would recommend that you make a routine out of it, too, instead of pretending the establishment is not there and closing your eyes. You'll be better and healthier for it. And the abused women can use your prayer, too.

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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