A Bochur Describes One Year Clean
About a half a year ago an older Bochur sent me this story where he described how he has been clean for a half a year, working together with other Bochurim on Shmiras Habris as a group. His story was so inspiring that I included excerpts from it in the GYE handbook (Tool #10). We received an update from this Bochur, who is happy to share that he reached a full year clean. Here is his e-mail to us:
Baruch atah Hashem shehechiyanu v'kiyemanu! I am in a bit of disbelief right now. What began as many attempts to go for just forty days, and what was always an ongoing battle for me, has turned into one complete year. I wrote to you a few months ago in regard to some friends of mine and our small group devoted to the ongoing struggle of shmiras habris. Over the past few months, the members have grown tremendously in their own avodah, and the group has grown into a larger network, growing larger still, as members of the group discuss the importance of the issue with friends of theirs, who in turn talk to friends of theirs. B'ezras Hashem we will soon lose track of how far this network has grown. It's still very hard for me to believe that all this has taken place over the course of this past year. The stories of each and every individual are both heart-breaking and inspiring at once.
We say "Achas sha'alti me'eis hashem osa avakesh... shivti b'veis hashem - I asked only one thing from Hashem.. to sit in the house of Hashem (all the days of my life)". I really feel that it is the sole motto and underlying desire of this network of young men. This unmarried group who so desire to connect to Hashem that they are willing to do all that it takes to repeatedly tear their thoughts away from sin; and from the vise-like grip of today's yetzer hara which threatens to engulf us all.
There are no words to describe the success, which is shared by us all. If one falls, we all have fallen, and if one holds off just one time, we are all that much stronger because of it. Chazal say, "Kol machlokes leshem shamayim sofo lehiskayem - every argument that is for the sake of Heaven is destined to endure". Well, if that is the destiny for arguments, imagine what is destined for a group that is unified in their avodas Hashem sharing one positive and necessary goal. "Sofo lehiskayem - it is destined to endure" is probably as big of an understatement as it gets in regard to the level of success to be expected, be"h.
All the members of your site are aware of the importance of the on-going battle, and the inspiration I get from the stories on your site shakes me to the core.
It is said that when a soul is questioned on its final day of judgement, it will try various excuses, such as how poor or wealthy it was, and in response, it will be shown various lives of hardship and struggle and preoccupation; people who nevertheless ultimately succeeded. The neshama will have no response. When we are in that courtroom on that final day, I shudder to think of what we will answer if we don't fight with all of our strength. The stories on your site... Jack, who is now going strong for a full year, after years of fall after fall, kept going strong! What will we answer? Sure the battle is hard, but did we have it as difficult as Yosef Hatzadik, tempted as a young man, day after day? Perhaps in some sense we do. And perhaps if we continue with the same on-going level of desire, hope, devotion, siyata d'shmaya and vigor, perhaps our neshama will be able to respond with a resounding "YES!... We did have it hard, and look how far we went".
B'ezras Hashem we will all continue to grow to tremendous levels in this area. "Never give up!" is the banner we carry. With tefilla anything is possible. Baruch Hashem for GuardYourEyes and its members. Chazak v'ematz.