The Chanuka Surrender
  Breaking free Chizuk #1785  
In Today's Issue
Image of the Day: A Gute Woch!
Personal Stories: From Slavery to Freedom
Sayings: Let go and let God
Daily Dose of Dov: Holding Hashem's gifts with an open hand
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Image of the Day
A Gute Woch!
A Gute Woch!
Personal Stories
From Slavery to Freedom
By Anonymous

Although this is my first post, I have benefited from the GYE community for the past 2 years. My purpose in writing is to share with my brothers what worked for me in the hope of helping. I was lost in a very severe lust addiction for 30 years, starting pretty much from puberty. Gazing, flirting, p-rn, fantasy, self-pleasure, intrusive thoughts, obsession with various women. When the internet came around, I quickly harnessed it to further intensify my addiction. Numerous cycles of teshuva every Elul invariably ended in relapse soon after Succos.

All this while raising a frum family, learning Gemora daily, listening to hashkafa tapes and attending shiurim.

Read article
Let go and let God.
Daily Dose of Dov
Holding Hashem's gifts with an open hand
Part 1/2
By Dov

Sifrei chassidus, including B'nei Yisos'char, elaborate on the fact that the light of the Chanukah menorah contains ohr haganuz and is miraculous. For this reason, "ein lanu reshus l'hishtamesh bohen, ella lir'osom bilvad." We have no permission to behave as though it's ours by using it in any way. Like the 25 hours of Shabbos about which we say "chafotzecho bo, assurim."

It seems that if we used the Chanukah light, we would be crossing a dangerous boundary of some sort. I believe we would be acting as though we were it's masters and owners - as though Chanukah was due to us: is'arusa d'l'satto. Which would be a big mistake. Obviously, we mustn't take credit for Chanukah. For the truth is that it was is'arusa d'l'eila, and definitely not ours! S'forim tell us this is one reason why the menorah gets all the attention rather than the amazing battle. For the focus on the battle is likely to turn our heads and lead us to miss the message (see Chaza"l on Dovid Hamelech vs. Assa vs. Chizkiyahu and their progressively shrinking hishtadlus in battle due to their respective madreigos - same idea).

This is what surrender is, in general: Letting ownership go. And in my case it includes the surrender of my sobriety itself: It's not mine, but G-d's gift to me. The literal translation of 'Surrender' into loshon kodesh is: mesiras nefesh (see "im yeish es nafsh'chem" in the story of Avrohom and Efron and elsewhere). I can't afford to act as though "it's mine and I made me."

Sobriety is a miraculous gift. Ultimately my long-term success is a miracle and I know it as well as does anyone who knows my story. And therefore, the Good Life that I get as a result of living sober must be understood as a miraculous gift, too. It isn't mine, for I can't possibly provide it! So it's silly for me to try to take credit for it. Were I to pretend that I got myself sober and/or that I keep myself sober, I would surely lose my connection to reality - and my sobriety. And I would lose the Good Life soon after, c'v. Dishonesty and arrogance aren't compatible with reality. So as long as I surrender the glory and credit of my success, I get to keep it.

As RMCha"L writes, the way things function is reflected in how they were created. When we start to change that, things stop working right. It's not a punishment of some sort c'v, just reality.

The same goes for the s'char of my tahara, 'Teshuvah', or tikkun: When I expect s'char in Olam Haboh or credit in Olam Hazeh for sobriety or for the outcomes of remaining sober, I naturally doom myself to losing even sobriety itself. And this is just the natural result of twisting reality. I didn't get sober to be 'good,' Heaven knows that was a failure. Rather, it was stopping the pain, confusion, and fears of living a double-life that finally got me willing enough to get the help I really needed - to quit. Enlightened self-interest. Derech Eretz. There's no sin in that, tho!

To be continued...
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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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