Fire in the House of Amram!
May the light of this holy "Nura" (fire) continue to be an "Ohr Hachayim - a Light of Life" to all of us on the forum for years to come!
In honor of Nura's Simcha we ask everyone to download this Niggun and rejoice together with him. It is called the "Bardichever Niggun" and I chose it because Nura considers another member on our forum who calls himself "Bardichev" to be his virtual "Rebbe" :-) This niggun is a mixture of simcha and yearning, a tune of deep longing for Hashem; perfect for this celebration!
Why does he call himself "Nura Be'amram"?
The Gemara in Kidushin 81a brings the following story of Rav Amram Raban Shel Chassidim:
Some women who had been taken captive were redeemed and brought to Nehardai. They were kept in the attic of Rav Amram the Chasid and the ladder was removed. At night, a beam of light reflected off one of the women, revealing her beauty. Rav Amram was seized with lust and he moved the ladder (which normally needed 10 people to move it) and began to ascend. As he was halfway up, he screamed "Nura Bei Amram - There is a fire in Rav Amram's house!" and the Rabanan flocked to his house. After they saw that there was no fire they said to him "You embarrassed us (with your behavior)!". Answered Rav Amram: "It is better to suffer embarrassment in this world than in the next".
Please see tool #9 of the GuardYourEyes handbook where we use this story as one of the strongest demonstrations in Chazal of the power of "human accountability", and how we should not to rely on "Fear of Heaven" alone when dealing with lust. After all, even the biggest Tzadik and Chasid like Rav Amram, was forced to use human accountability when faced head-on with lust. (And a lust addict is faced head-on with lust many times a day!)l
I ask the genteel reader to forgive me in advance if my literary attempt may not adhere to the rules of grammar and diction, and this "rant" may even come up lacking in style and prose, for its not literary awards that I seek, nor is fame and glory my goal, rather this is a very humble attempt to present a few snapshots of my life and my tremendous Debt of Gratitude to der Heilega Guard and all the holy chevra of the GYE network.
It is my deepest wish, that the following "ramble" give others who read it succor, comfort and maybe even a little strength to continue our mutual upward climb on the proverbial "ladder" leading to the "House of Hashem"!
By nature I'm an introverted and intensely private person who likes the pleasure of his own company (pun unintended). This is a precursor to lonesomeness, which in turn is lethal when it comes to p**n addiction!
I also struggled all the years with what today I recognize as a mixture of low self esteem coupled with very high aspirations; a toxic and deadly mix. My work also doesn't allow me to tap into the wellsprings of strengths that can be found in camaraderie!
My struggle with mast**n began in earnest when I was about 15 years old - maybe even earlier, (yes, those ubiquitous infamous Sears catalogs are what I owe my chinuch to; all you parents out there BEWARE, I beg you to get rid of the catalogues from your house!!!! You know which ones I mean!)
I remember as a young man going to Manhattan in middle of the night to buy p**n magazines - I probably even wore my white shirt but made sure to take off my yarmuka! (as if it didn't say across my forehead in bold letters "ORTHODOX JEW" hiding from no one other than myself). In my excitement/nervousness I locked the keys inside the car. I didn't think I could've called Chaveirim (A HUGE network of chesed in The NY Metro area), I doubt they respond to Times square/42nd street area in middle of the night. But the Ribono shel Olam was with me even in Times Square, as the Pasuk says "I am Hashem who dwells with them within their impurities" - literally!
I come from a family of Talmidei Chachamim and Tzadikim, some of my ancestors are actually household names (talk about GUILT). Some people consider me a learned person or maybe even a bit of a Talmid Chacham, some may even consider me a tzadik, who knows? (It's now ringing loudly in my ears the oath that I took before they let me loose upon this world: "swear that you will be a tzadik and you won't be a rasha, and even if the whole world tells you that you are a tzadik, in thine own eyes know who you really are!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!). But all my lineage, knowledge and erudition; all my alleged piety, was - and is - no protection from a very real p**n addiction. On the contrary, it only made the addiction worse. No need to belabor that point!!!