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How can I make this Ellul different from every other Ellul?

GYE Corp. Tuesday, 21 February 2012
Part 3/3 (to see other parts of the article, click on the pages at the bottom)

"ClearEyes" answered Boruch as follows:

Boruch - great post. You have tremendous insight with this addiction. Please share with us some more!!!

I had the same Elul experiences as long as I can remember. Sometimes I would start earlier, sometimes later. Fall before Rosh Hashanna, after Rosh Hashanna, before Yom Kipper. I don't know if I ever made it to Sukkos. But this Elul is already different. Why? Because I have GYE. My Elul is already different. But the real answer to your question is another question. "How can I make this Tishrei different than every other Tishrei?" (Isn't that the point of Elul?) We need to stick with the cure. I guarantee anyone who stays with GYE through Tishrei past Yom Kippur will experience the Elul they always wanted - and more importantly - have the year and become the person they always wanted!!

Hatzlacha to all. Let's all do this together and elevate this experience to an even higher level. - Kisei Hakovod, here we come!!!!!!

Boruch replies:

Cleareyes, Thank you for your kind words of chizzuk. The truth is that there is more. The single yesod of the whole AA/SA program is replacing self-will with G-d's will. But the question becomes, "how do we make that happen?"

One possibility would be, for example, working the sefer Mesilas Yeshorim from the hakdama (introduction), through perakim 1-18. But there is a serious problem with that:

The Mesilas Yeshorim writes that while everyone can get to Nekiyus (cleanliness from sin), Perishus - (separation from this world) is not for everyone, and never mind Chasidus (a high level of divine awareness and piety). And he was writing for the Yidden of his generation who were far more pious than the Yidden in ours.

And even more problematically, he was writing for non-addicts. Perishus (separation) on anything - can be an almost insurmountable challenge for any addict. An addict in active addiction is often in "instant-gratification mode" on all enjoyments, even those to which he is not fully addicted. So if Perishus is difficult for the non-addict, it is not too hard to imagine how difficult it would be for an addict. For all but a select few, it is probably close to impossible for the addict to use Mesilas Yeshorim to get to Chasidus. But herein lies the problem. And addict needs Chassidus to stay sober (Chasidus is the idea of replacing self-will with G-d's will).

So what we addicts would really need, is a crash course on the Chasidus of the Mesilas Yeshorim for addicts. This may sound slightly similar to the goal of the Chasidus of the Baal Shem Tov, which was to have a basic form of Chasidus that works even for the most simple Jew. The problem is, we need a Chasidus that is both a practical program of action for the body and also a program of changing our way of thinking for the soul, in which the main idea would be to internalize the simple and essential "All for the Boss". And this program has to be something that even an addict could implement.

When I first came onto GYE back in January of this year, I was working with Rabbenu Yona Shaarei Teshuva and various maamorei Chazal. At that point I was flying totally blind on both what to stop (I thought I needed to stop the pornography and masturbation but had no concept that the real addiction was "the lust") and how to stop (I thought it was all about determination and willpower). I did not even have the first understanding of addiction itself. All I knew was that I had used everything at my disposal that I knew of, and that I was desperately praying that I should succeed in remaining clean for life.

Today I have come to believe that Hashem saw how clueless I was and He saw that somewhere within me there was a "pintele Yid" trying to return to his Father in Heaven. I have come to believe that in his great mercy and kindness, He chose me, not because I deserve it but because He had mercy on me, to allow me to put the 36 years of my addiction to good use by sharing my story with others.

I have come to believe that is also why He directed me in a miraculous way (with multiple "coincidences") to a very specific SA group that was at a very specific period of their growth, which enabled me to share a system of adopting a very simple, practical and basic level of Chasidus - so simple and basic that even a non-Jewish drunk could get started within just 4 weeks. No previous religious background, knowledge or idealism is required, no prior Emunah (faith) is required, in fact nothing at all is required except for a determination to go to any length to get sober.

And even greater than the kindness that Hashem has done for my eating and financial problems, and even more critical to my recovery, is this ability Hashem gave me to share with fellow addicts a foolproof system for addiction-free living that takes nothing more than a readiness to do whatever it takes. That's what I got from the 12 Steps of SA.

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