Serving G-d with Joy!
 
 
  Breaking Free Chizuk #1775  
 
 
In Today's Issue
   
Editor’s Note: Smile a bit, it won't hurt!
12 Step Attitude: Enjoy the Little Things!
Daily Dose of Dov: Ever Smile At Yourself?
Announcements: What to buy the kids for Chanukah?
Torah: Hashem Knows How Hard it is
 
 
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Editor’s Note
 
Smile a bit, it won't hurt!

Someone wrote me:

"Just because you're trash doesn't mean you can't do great things. It's called a garbage can, not a garbage can't."

I replied:

Yeh, but what about those people who call it a garbage bin? I guess to them we could say: 

"Just because you garbage bin, doesn't mean you'll garbage be."

 

I hope that gave you a smile. In this issue, smiling goes a long way. From smiling innocently as a child to smiling at yourself, the articles below bring you the cheer you need. The importance of serving Hashem with joy is underscored in "Hashem Knows" article. Even though it was written originally for parshas Ki Savo, I felt its message was too important to postpone till next summer.

And of course, nothing makes a child smile like a loveable doll. See the very special Spielman family of dolls at the bottom of the email.

Best wishes for continued recovery,

Mottel

12 Step Attitude
 
Enjoy the Little Things!
 
By Letakein

I went on a class trip recently and acted like a second grader! It was awesome! Ahhh, the innocence of childhood. Duvid Chaim says that so much of our "restlessness" is because we forget about enjoying the little things in life and just get caught up in the adult world. Everybody, go jump into the colorful balls!

Daily Dose of Dov
 
Ever Smile At Yourself?
 
By Dov

Someone writes on the forum

Lately, I'm practicing looking at my wife and smiling for a moment. In almost nine years of marriage, it's something I've hardly ever done. It sounds like a weird thing to 'practice' - but for sick people like me... what can I say?

Dov Responds:

Super!

Here is another idea... since you are working on looking at her and smiling for a minute, how about trying looking at your own face and into your own eyes in a mirror for ten seconds - and smiling. When was the last time you did that? Hey, we all are shelo lishma - we are first motivated by self-love rather than by love of another or of Hashem.... but I wonder where is all that self-love?!

I mean, how does it feel for most of us to spend 10 seconds looking at our own faces and into our own eyes in private in a mirror and trying to actually like that person we see. To feel what it is like to say (and mean), "Hey, you sweet, misguided child of Hashem. You are so sweet and good inside, so special and beautiful - and so confused. Nu. Keep trying. You are really a wonderful b'riyah and I love you, so I will do anything for you."

...what will you not do to save your life? Well. Why have so many of us never been really comfortable looking at our own faces and into our own eyes? After all, we are living with ourselves, aren't we? "Nine years of marriage", you say? I understand...but it wasn't until after about thirty-seven years of life, that I first succeeded looking at me and liking myself.

Nowadays, when I take a peek in the looking glass for a few seconds, I usually smile with an understanding smile and feel a mixture of nachas, pity, regret, and yearning for success, all rolled together. I leave the bathroom with a bigger smile than when I came in. All because of my step-work, thank-G-d.

Announcements
 
What to buy the kids for Chanukah?
 
www.theshpielmans.com
 

Our children love to play, but today's dolls are often not the type you would want to bring home with you. Introducing: The Shpielmans!

Adopt a frum doll family with all the bells and whistles. Your children will love the Shpielmans!

Note: One of GYE's warmest supporters is involved in this project and asked us to help spread the word.

Torah
 
Hashem Knows How Hard it is
 
By Rabbi Dovid Yosef Kidybinski

One of the greatest challenges in the life of a Jew, especially in the generation we live in, is the concept of hotza'as zera levatalah, emitting seed in vain. This is an extremely difficult prohibition that many, many struggle with, often unsuccessfully. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most important prohibitions. Chazal are already very extreme about it, such as the Gemara in Niddah that states “anyone whose hand travels below his waist, it should be cut off.” In the Zohar Hakadosh, this sin is portrayed extremely negatively, and it is stated that for this sin, repentance is ineffective.

The Arizal explains that repentance is effective in certain circumstances and prescribes a system for atoning for this sin. However, the Arizal goes along with this same general approach and reveals to us the severity of this sin and how it damages much in the higher worlds. According to the Chassidishe sefarim, this sin is one of the greatest obstacles to having one's prayers answered (see Likutei Moharan, Torah 2).

In this week's parsha, Ki Savo, we are given a list of 98 terrible curses which could befall the Jewish people in their exile, Rachmana l'tzlan. The Arizal explains here in Likutei Torah that the reason why there are 98 curses is because the way of writing 98 in lashon hakodesh, tzaddi-ches, makes the word chetz, which means an arrow. Says the Arizal, “this alludes to the sin of zera levatalah, spilling seed in vain, for the seed shoots like an arrow.” Thus we see that according to the Arizal, these curses are ultimately a result of one's not being meticulous in this area.

However, what is puzzling is that the Torah itself appears to indicate a different reason for why these curses should befall the Jewish people: “tachas asher lo avadta es Hashem Elokeicha b'simcha,” literally, “because you did not serve Hashem your G-d with simcha (joy).” How are we to understand this?

The truth is, that both of these things are connected. As R' Nachman of Breslov explains, there is a direct relationship between this sin, and sadness. Sadness brings a person to this sin, and this sin itself causes sadness. It is literally a vicious cycle.

There is a simple way of understanding this psychologically. The action of intimacy is very much a drug. It causes euphoria and is a stress reliever like no other. When a person is depressed and down, that brief rush of euphoria helps him cope with his sadness, or at least it seems to. Of course, a person could do this in a permitted fashion, by being with his wife. But what should he do if he is not married, or if his wife is not currently permitted to him, or not currently available? Unfortunately, this causes people to fall into the trap of this sin. However, the solution is illusory – if a person has a long-term sadness, whatever the cause may be, it will not cure or help the sadness in any way to be given a brief high which lasts for a few seconds at most. This is purely a trap from the person's evil inclination. Not only that, but once the person has transgressed this, he feels even worse, because not only is he sad for whatever reason he was sad before, but now he also feels like a loser.

Thus, we see that the 98 curses are because “you did not serve Hashem your G-d with joy” which is bound up part and parcel with the sin of zera levatalah. Thus, the only solution we have, the only way to help ourselves get out of this trap, is to serve Hashem with joy. Be happy, do things that make you happy, be with people who make you happy. Stay away from people who speak negatively and bring an air of darkness and bitterness into your life. Do not be this person yourself, either. Always look at things positively and speak positively. When doing mitzvos, be happy. Remind yourself how great each mitzvah truly is and how much it makes Hashem happy when we are doing His will, especially in such a world when the challenges are so great. And above all, when a person fails, whether in this challenging area of shemiras habris or in any other area, he should not let himself get down. He should remind himself that Hashem knows how hard it is for him, and Hashem will always give him another chance because of His tremendous love for him. This way one will have more siata d'shmaya and hatzlacha in fighting this extremely challenging battle.

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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