What's a big deal? It's just pixels on the screen.
  Breaking Free Chizuk #1797  
In Today's Issue
Image of the Day
Member's Chizuk: Vort on Tahara
Q & A: What's the Issur of looking at pixels of light on the screen?
Testimonials: Would you want to be blind?
Chizuk: Teshuvah in the Mind vs. Teshuva in Action
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Image of the Day
Member's Chizuk
Vort on Tahara
By E. S.
By GYE Member

The Rambam that says that a Mikva doesn't make us pure while we immerse ourselves, but rather when we come out of it, we are purified.

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Q & A
What's the Issur of looking at pixels of light on the screen?
By the.guard

Someone asked:

I have a funny question. If all looking at a picture is just lights coming from the screen, then is it really assur to look at it?


The Rambam in Hilchus Issurei Biyah (21:2) writes that someone who gazes even at the small finger of a woman with the intention to enjoy it, it is considered as if he looked at her "place of filth". But in the 21:2 he writes, that one can look at a woman to see if she may be fit to be his wife, but only if he does so in a non-promiscuous way. We see here clearly that the difference between what is permitted and what is not permitted has nothing to do with WHAT you are looking at, but rather whether it is for the purpose of gazing with lust, or without.

See also this pamphlet on hilchos shmiras ainayim and technology written by a leading Posek. He brings the Halachos in Shulchan Aruch that it is forbidden to gaze even at the colored clothing of a woman (lest he come to think about her) and the issur of reading romantic novels, etc... So kal vachomer images of actual women!

See also this page: http://www.guardureyes.com/GUE/FAQ/FAQ6.asp

Bottom line: Anything that brings a person to arousal, in any way, is strictly forbidden.

But... the REAL danger of looking at these kind of images is that they feed the lust, the addiction and the disease, more than anything else. Even more than the actual masturbation. They are like a hard drug. Seethis articlefor the effects of porn on the brain.

So it's like asking if drinking alcohol is assur for an alcoholic. Even if it would not be a Halachic problem, for an alcoholic it is much more stringent! It's pikuach nefesh. And Chazal say "Chamirah Sakanta Me'issura - a physical danger is even more stringent than a prohibition". The same goes for these images. Even if they wouldn't be assur, they are a dangerous drug which leads to needing more and more, and ultimately destroys the person's life in this world and the next.

Would you want to be blind?
By GYE Member

I'm currently going through the beautiful and incredible GYE Handbook, and I really find it helpful. I read a bit of it every day or so.

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Teshuvah in the Mind vs. Teshuva in Action
By Kedusha

The Rambam (Hilchos Teshuva 2, 1) says that, if a person faces the same Nisayon, and overcomes it ONCE, that is Teshuva Gemura. The Rambam also says (Hilchos Teshuva 2, 3) that Teshuva (here he doesn't use the stronger term "Teshuva Gemura") is where Hashem testifies that the person will never return to the sin again. How can this be? It seems that the Rambam is requiring a much higher standard for regular Teshuva than for Teshuva Gemura, which makes no sense!

The answer, as explained in a recent Navi Shiur by Rav Yisroel Reisman, is that there's a huge difference between the Olam Hamachshava and the Olam Hama'aseh. If a person only does Teshuva in his mind, but does not actually overcome a Nisayon, then Hashem has to testify that he will never do the aveira again and, even so, it's only a standard Teshuva. But, if someone actually overcomes a Nisayon, that is considered a Teshuva Gemura - so much so, that if he does the aveira again, it's as if he did it for the first time in his life! (Of course, the person can't plan to do the aveira again, but as long as he accepts upon himself to try to avoid it - and he overcomes the same Nisayon a single time - that is Teshuva Gemura). Imagine, then, how great a person's Teshuva can be if he is Omed b'Nisayon day after day (one day at a time, of course)!

Rav Reisman noted that the second Rambam (Hashem has to testify that he will never do the aveira again) is quoted far more often than the first Rambam and people, therefore, assume that Teshuva is very difficult. That may be true in the Olam Hamachshava. However, in the Olam Hama'aseh, we are given constant opportunities to do a Teshuva Gemura. What a tremendous Chizuk!

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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