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Kedusha and Sanity
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A platform of recovery for Jews who find themselves struggling with addictions to pornography, masturbation or other sexual problems. Post anonymously about your struggles without fear of anyone finding out who you are. Ask questions, post answers and be inspired! Get tips and guidance from the experts who moderate this forum, as well as from fellow strugglers.

TOPIC: Kedusha and Sanity 15379 Views

Re: Kedusha and Sanity 23 Aug 2013 01:05 #216929

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Skeptical,

I think I understand what Dov is saying here (and I am going to have the chutzpah to try to put words in his mouth ).

Let's take an example. There is something called marriage. At its most fundamental, basic level, what is the definition of marriage? When a man and a woman decide to merge their lives and live together. When was the institution of marriage invented? When there were human beings of the male and female varieties who wanted to get married (like Adam and Chavah). Would you call this a Jewish, Torah, concept? The Torah certainly recognizes the concept of marriage, and in the case of the Jews after Matan Torah, the Torah gives it the structure of kiddushin and nesuin, and legislates and enforces it through gittin and associated punishments for zenus. But the institution of marriage itself is something that exists even outside the framework of Torah. The first Rambam in Hilchos Ishus explains that before Matan Torah, and even for the goyim now, there is still something called marriage. There is something called zenus of an eishes ish (punishable by death), even by goyim who don't have chuppah v'kiddushin. It is one of the sheva mitzvos bnei noach, that you don't need a Torah to understand and be held accountable for.

Let's take another example. I have a nose. (Recently I couldn't find it, but it turned out that it was right in front of my nose!) Is a nose and 'having a nose' a 'Torah concept'? No, it just part of being a person. The Torah doesn't disagree and say that I don't have a nose, the Torah might tell me how to use my nose, but the nose is not defined by the Torah itself.

One more example. The Torah says "Honor your father and mother." First you have to know what a father and mother is before the Torah can tell you to go honor them.

'Kodmah Latorah' doesn't mean that the Torah "doesn't hold of" the concept. It means that it is more basic and fundamental, and the Torah is built on top of these concepts. But for the same price, you could understand the concept outside of the realm of Torah, just as we don't need the Torah to define the words nose, father, and mother. (Although sometimes the goyim may try to distort and redefine certain terms, like the definition of marriage in current events).

The same is true with the 12 steps. The male human drive to be attracted to shmutz is part of humanity. The ability or inability to fight that drive is just a human condition. The turning over that fight to God who is stronger than you is consistant with Judaism, but does not only operate within the confines of a Jewish Beis Medrash.

Does that help?
"ויעזור ויגן ויושיע לכל החוסים בו ונאמר אמן" -- ArtScroll Gabbai's Handbook

Re: Kedusha and Sanity 23 Aug 2013 02:41 #216939

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There are some people on here who think that I am at war with Dov.
I'm not. I have learned a lot from Dov and I consider him a friend.
I'm just trying to understand, and I think that it will benefit others who, instead of engaging on the forum to ask, are just turned off.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

tryingtoshteig,

Thank you for your clear post.

It still does not answer the questions I asked though.

To me, and to Rabbi Twerski, it seems that the 12-Steps mirror the Torah approach. Yet, Dov and some other 12-Steppers on here seem to think that the Torah approach is just the same old same old and is dangerous for addicts.

I am trying to understand how the 12-Steps differ from the Torah approach.

If you want to say that people have a skewed vision of what Hashem is and what it means to "fight" their yetzer harah, I don't think that is a problem with the Torah approach. It's a problem with the person and how he was taught.

I have seen people on here who think they can just give away their problems to their higher power and life will be peachy. Obviously those people are not doing the 12-Steps properly. They need someone to explain it to them better, so they can work them properly. If I were to tell such a guy, "Hey, you tried the 12-Steps and failed. There must be something wrong with the program!" or "Following the 12-Steps is dangerous for you because you keep failing!" I'd be wrong. The 12-Steps does work if it's worked properly.

In any case, my questions to chaimcharlie were not defining anything. They were simply asking him to clarify the differences he has found in the 12-Step program that has helped him as opposed to what he found to be dangerous in the Beis Medrash.

Re: Kedusha and Sanity 23 Aug 2013 03:24 #216944

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I just posted a big, fat post elsewhere on exactly this...anybody here know how to copy or move it to here?

Thanks Skeptical!

Admin put these lines here cuz he likes 'em:
"The heart needs to be broken when will-power is not enough"
"Get off the 18-Wheeler and onto a tricycle!"
"The heck with me, what can I do for you?"
"I do not particularly care exactly which "lav" suicide is. I'm not interested in it for other reasons!"

Re: Kedusha and Sanity 23 Aug 2013 03:26 #216946

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Well, lots of ideas can be helpful to non-addicts...but then what do you call it?

Recovery?

'Recovery' refers to recovery of sanity, as the 2nd step clearly sets as the problem and goal. But non-addicts truly never lost their sanity. And even if you say they are recovering their self-respect or whatever, that's just not what the goal of the 12 steps is: Recovery of sanity through a spiritual (not religious) experience as the result of working these steps. That's just a simple reading of steps 2 and 12, not any 'drosho'.

So again: why bother calling it the 12 steps at all, or recovery? I just don't see it.

The label, '12 steps' is being used to mean what, exactly? I don't get it.

Why would a non-addict ever want to divulge the exact nature of all their wrongs (relating to 'addiction' or not) to any other person as step 5 recommends? That really seems like overkill for most people and is debatably wrong to do (for them). Why go to these lengths if they are not really sick people?

And besides, people who are not really sick will simply not do these things, I think. Do you really think they will...or will they adopt a 'conservative judaism' method of 'using' these ideas...? Is that 12 step recovery at all, or just liking the label?

And why would they need to learn - or even want to learn - how to only ask G-d for the knowledge of His Will for them and the power to carry that out as step 11 recommends, rather than for all their daily needs and stuff? That's just not normal. Clearly Torah does not teach everyone to do that. Yes, there are many sforim that do speak of living this way and there are many tzaddikim who were noheig exactly like this...but normative, party-line yiddishkeit clearly does not sell this path for the average Jew...and the 12 steps of AA is mostly selling it to goyim who are among the biggest losers on the face of this earth: drunks, heroin, sex, gambling, and pill addicts!

Yet these extreme ideas and practices are mainstays of 12 step recovery for pretty much all successfully recovering addicts out there.


***************

And regarding the 'black hat' comment, I think the above is exactly the same issue l'havdil, with insisting on calling it Torah:

Calling these 'Torah ideas', or as you asked that guy, "Why do you say it was a lesson from the program that you were not G-d - why couldn't you find that in Torah?", is just all about labeling it Torah...but how is good sense 'Torah'?

All good chochma is Torah? I think not.

Bear with me here, OK? ...

There are plenty of frum Jews who R"l go through an amputation of a limb, a terrible illness, a spinal cord injury, or any other tragic loss, and become more mature people, as a result. Deeply changed people, in their approach to Toah and avodah, childraising, loving their spouses, tefiloh, and even to just sitting on their porches. They do those things differently now. A higher consciousness fills them. They gained an new flavor and perspective on life while meeting with other heart transplant recipients who were goyim and JUST LIKE SOME OF THEM, gained some new perspectives on life. And they being frum, become better Torah-yidden, better ovdei Hashem.

Was that a 'Torah' experience?

And by the same token, was it a 'christian' experience for the goy there, who goes to church more now, or cries when he reads his religious stories?

Sure, it is comforting to label things the way we like. But I suggest to you that it is small of us to do that.

I think the reality is that it is a human experience we can share, and interpret each in our own way - but it is still human and if we experienced it together, it connects us no matter who we are. This is Bills comparison of all the members of AA to the survivors of a shipwreck (in the book, AA). They do not ignore each other based on race, religion, socioeconomic status, or anything else for their connection with each other is not based on those. They are humans and they survived together, period.

Does a real ben Torah cry together with the goy husband of the woman next to his wife in the hospital who is a new breast cancer amputee and grow immeasurably as a human being - but then disreetly deny/ignore a relationship with any sheigetz as soon as he is with his frum yeshivish friends? Is he embarrassed afterward to get a call from an African guy named 'Phil' on the phone at home in front of his kids? Or does he stand proud to say, "Kenny is a special man. I met him at the hospital when his wife was dying. I understand his pain and fear - and he understands mine"? I know of many tzaddikim who did this way, simply because they were genuine. And genuine comes first, even before Torah. It's the floor it stands on. There is no need to be so small as to 'kick the goyim off' that floor!

Is it 'the Torah way' to call the growth the yid had in the hospital 'Torah'? Well, I can call them Torah ideas becs a mishnah or vort mentions it...so? This is what I wrote a long time ago, "I don't particularly care what lav suicide is - I am not interested in it for other reasons!" Let's not pretend that all good sense is Torah. And it would not be the Torah way for the Yid from the hospital to later shun the man who was there cruying with him, as a sheigetz - for now that he is out of his hospital gown and into his good levush he can say: "how could a sheigetz possibly understand the pain and fear of a good chissidishe man who's wife is in surgery for breast cancer R"l? I mean, that guy is not even a yid!"

Ridiculous. Disingenuous. Fake. And all based on comfort with labels.

Labels are what makes frum life in Eretz Yisroel so hard for many people - a denial of Jewish unity because that guy wears a spodek, not a shtreimel/is a 'sroogie' not a normal black hat yid/is a litvak/is Hungarian...(ok, I understand the problem with the Hungarian - but the others? - Just kidding! )

This is why I maintain that recovery is just plain Derech Eretz - humanity. A thing we (holy masturbating yeshivah guys) share with the (very unholy masturbating) goy exactly. There are: 1- those who resist calling The Big Solution anything but Torah and so, rebel against any recovery and stay on the sidelines sick - and then there are 2- the ones who 'agree' to use the 12 steps...but 'conspire' that as soon as they get well (using the tool of those goyim) they plan to deny that it was ever anything but Torah and develop a 'Torah-framework for recovery'! Why bother? Gevalt, why? Is it that bad to just admit you are human? Human is OK. It does not deny our Jewishness. Once a addict gets some sanity back, he can use it to be Jew just fine! Or he can be in these two groups and stay holy with the rest of the holy masturbating Yidden.

And I am not denying other tools than the 12 steps that can help a person. I am just talking to those who are vying with the 12 steps, now.

Self-honesty is the key, and it is forfeit when faking is done - even if it is 'lishmoh'. Faking is worse than treif. Midvar sheker - tirchok: if I fake or lie, I will become separated and far from others, from G-d, from myself. It's numero uno.

There is nothing and cannot be anything 'holy' or 'Jewish' about the core of sobriety, at all: honesty, surrender, and connection. These are just human. Derech Eretz is kodmah laTorah in time and for a reason: it's the first priority and must be in place before Torah. Sakantoh chamira me'isura. And I think that the guy who needs to label it Torah will end up denying the humanity of his recovery experience go right back to the bad old days when he was 'struggling with the yetzer hora'. He will 'make it holy'...and be masturbating in the shower again, eventually anyhow. But will deny it because it would be such a chillul Hashem or something like that...
Admin put these lines here cuz he likes 'em:
"The heart needs to be broken when will-power is not enough"
"Get off the 18-Wheeler and onto a tricycle!"
"The heck with me, what can I do for you?"
"I do not particularly care exactly which "lav" suicide is. I'm not interested in it for other reasons!"

Re: Kedusha and Sanity 23 Aug 2013 04:28 #216950

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Dov,

Your post has so much in it, it's difficult to decide what to tackle first. B'ezras Hashem, I will pull it apart when I have the head for it.

Re: Kedusha and Sanity 23 Aug 2013 14:42 #216975

skeptical wrote:
There are some people on here who think that I am at war with Dov.
I'm not. I have learned a lot from Dov and I consider him a friend.
I'm just trying to understand, and I think that it will benefit others who, instead of engaging on the forum to ask, are just turned off.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


thank you Dov and skeptical.
being as since at least the time of Mattan Torah us Jews have been pulling apart, discussing, arguing, thinking etc about the Torah (and everything else!) i really appreciate the richness i see in this discussion.
that being said, naaseh comes before nishmah. i have some experience for a few years now with 12 step groups (not SA but its the same steps) some particularly unpleasant experiences. ask any of the OINKERs about my rants. so lets say im right. congratulations! ive earned the right to sit alone in my room with my escape of choice and be right. alone and miserable but right. i need help and this is something that helps. so i go to meetings. sometimes i will walk out of one. it happens. getting frustrated is a part of being human. i dont like many things about the program. but i go. i have a sponsor. im doing the steps (again). i also philosophize (i.e. complain. usually) and dissect, discuss, argue etc. all the gishmak things Jews have been doing for 2 thousand years. i dont think its possible or right for me not too. but i as much as i may sometimes not like to, i have to take action. i know this. i have proved this to myself by slipping and falling over and over and over. when i do what i need to im okay.

so Dov and skep, please continue your discussion. i enjoy/need it. im gonna go call my sponsor now
i used to look back all the time saying "oh no! what have i done! Hashem help me erase the past." and i never heard a response.
finally i started looking forward saying "Hashem i'm leaving the past to you and i'm forgetting all about it. help me have a good future. help me from here and on be the person You want me to be." and that's where i realized Hashem had been waiting to help me all along

Re: Kedusha and Sanity 23 Aug 2013 16:06 #216976

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I agree with nitzotzeloki. I try to understand different points of view and different approaches and I do get involved in debates sometimes, but the only thing that actually matters to me is am i doing the right thing today or not.

Re: Kedusha and Sanity 23 Aug 2013 16:16 #216977

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ultimately it is up to the individual to forge his way
if, however, he finds himself falling along the way, he must re-evaluate and take stock
the method and the mindset is extremely important to help one's actions

mindset without action is useless debate
action without mindset may help for a while and it may not

action with mindset....ahhhhh....b'hatzlachah
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Re: Kedusha and Sanity 23 Aug 2013 18:31 #216998

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Dr.Watson wrote:
I agree with nitzotzeloki. I try to understand different points of view and different approaches and I do get involved in debates sometimes, but the only thing that actually matters to me is am i doing the right thing today or not.


Can someone here - anyone - teach me how to say anything as complete as this...in so few sentences?

Please?
Admin put these lines here cuz he likes 'em:
"The heart needs to be broken when will-power is not enough"
"Get off the 18-Wheeler and onto a tricycle!"
"The heck with me, what can I do for you?"
"I do not particularly care exactly which "lav" suicide is. I'm not interested in it for other reasons!"

Re: Kedusha and Sanity 23 Aug 2013 22:41 #217062

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Dov wrote:
Dr.Watson wrote:
I agree with nitzotzeloki. I try to understand different points of view and different approaches and I do get involved in debates sometimes, but the only thing that actually matters to me is am i doing the right thing today or not.


Can someone here - anyone - teach me how to say anything as complete as this...in so few sentences?

Please?

Copy and Paste.

Re: Kedusha and Sanity 23 Aug 2013 23:24 #217069

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If I'm understanding this whole (long and headache inducing) discussion correctly then no one is arguing. Dov is maskim that if one chooses to then he can see the 12 steps in torah. Therefore if one chooses to, he can call the 12 steps a torah approach.
However just because it is in torah does not mean it must be called a torah approach and Dov doesn't want to call it such since he feels it engenders fakeness because it can make a person consider this a holy fight when it should be regarded as a necessary thing to live regardless of it's relationship to holiness and religion.
The people who are saying that they tried the torah approach and it didn't work for them and then the 12 steps did, are simply saying that they used the parts of torah normally used for aveiros and it didn't work for them.They aren't saying that the torah doesn't have the solution because the 12 steps can be found in torah which means that they were just using the torah incorrectly until then.

I do realize that I may not of said this with all the nuances but unless I missed the boat (not a far fetched idea at all) then this is the basic idea.

Please everyone agree to this so that this thread can end and we can go back to the holy work of the just having fun section.

Thank you

Re: Kedusha and Sanity 23 Aug 2013 23:30 #217070

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inastruggle wrote:
If I'm understanding this whole (long and headache inducing) discussion correctly then no one is arguing. Dov is maskim that if one chooses to then he can see the 12 steps in torah. Therefore if one chooses to, he can call the 12 steps a torah approach.
However just because it is in torah does not mean it must be called a torah approach and Dov doesn't want to call it such since he feels it engenders fakeness because it can make a person consider this a holy fight when it should be regarded as a necessary thing to live regardless of it's relationship to holiness and religion.
The people who are saying that they tried the torah approach and it didn't work for them and then the 12 steps did, are simply saying that they used the parts of torah normally used for aveiros and it didn't work for them.They aren't saying that the torah doesn't have the solution because the 12 steps can be found in torah which means that they were just using the torah incorrectly until then.

I do realize that I may not of said this with all the nuances but unless I missed the boat (not a far fetched idea at all) then this is the basic idea.

Please everyone agree to this so that this thread can end and we can go back to the holy work of the just having fun section.

Thank you
I can buy that.

Just having fun section, here we come!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Re: Kedusha and Sanity 24 Aug 2013 01:40 #217089

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I pretty much agree with inastruggle, so I'll leave it at that.

Re: Kedusha and Sanity 25 Aug 2013 00:17 #217100

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Dov? youre the only one left on the other side... coming to join us?
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Re: Kedusha and Sanity 25 Aug 2013 08:56 #217124

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inastruggle wrote:
If I'm understanding this whole (long and headache inducing) discussion correctly then no one is arguing. Dov is maskim that if one chooses to then he can see the 12 steps in torah. Therefore if one chooses to, he can call the 12 steps a torah approach.
However just because it is in torah does not mean it must be called a torah approach and Dov doesn't want to call it such since he feels it engenders fakeness because it can make a person consider this a holy fight when it should be regarded as a necessary thing to live regardless of it's relationship to holiness and religion.
The people who are saying that they tried the torah approach and it didn't work for them and then the 12 steps did, are simply saying that they used the parts of torah normally used for aveiros and it didn't work for them.They aren't saying that the torah doesn't have the solution because the 12 steps can be found in torah which means that they were just using the torah incorrectly until then.

I do realize that I may not of said this with all the nuances but unless I missed the boat (not a far fetched idea at all) then this is the basic idea.

Please everyone agree to this so that this thread can end and we can go back to the holy work of the just having fun section.

Thank you


Thanks for the invitation Lizhensk!

I invite anyone here to do the following:

Try speaking to any one of more than 25 former GYE guys with whom I have posted and spoken, who are now sober and leading much better lives because they finally recognized that they were not resho'im, but just sick in the head. Each one of these guys finally got clean when they went and sat down with their peyos and yarmulkes in SA meetings[/i] Just tell them that "you are using Torah - you simply found the aspects of Torah that you were not 'using properly' [i]until you got that sober goy (or yid) with a few years of real sobriety to open up with and learn about really trusting G-d instead of your penis for a change."

Just try it, see what he says. His experience will tell you that "all that is nice. Now - are you still masturbating yourself? If so, would you like to come to a meeting with me?"

1- Sincerity is not Torah.

Honesty and integrity are not Torah.

Even the real decision itself in the heart of a man to be a ma'amin or boteach baShem is not Torah, at all.

It may be what the Torah recommends...but the doing of it is not using 'Torah' any more than making the decision not having sex with an animal is not Torah - even though beastiality is a befeirusheh lav in the Torah. We do not say that the decision itself not to mess around with the animal is 'using Torah' - and I see no seichel in insisting that the recovery in the heart of a man or woman who is addicted to heroin, or gambling, or even sex, is 'Torah'.

2- And if he or she is a goy - then recovering from alcoholism/sexaholism/whateveraholism is called Torah, too? How can it be? He is calling on Yoshkeh, for crying out loud(and it works)! How could we call that Torah? Yet suddenly if he is a Jew on GYE and 'calling on Hashem', then it is Torah? Why? Why the need to label it bichlal? Cuz it makes one feel like a tzaddik? Cuz then it 'fits'? If he is an addict, then he is a nut (like me). The entire labeling of it as Torah makes no sense to me.

But there is more to it. It is actually poison for addicts, and I will explain.

Yes, I know that we frum guys are romantic about the Torah fixing everything (hafoch boh vehafoch boh dekula boh!)and would like so much to believe that the tzaddik/the Torah can fix any problem - especially one that is even remotely moral (like an aveiroh habit)! But Torah simply does not work (and is not expected to work) for crazy people, period. Yes, yes, it helps many people here who are sinning - but it will not save an addict who is sinning, because he or she is sick. Yes, it may help (even) addicts with the sinning 'part' of their problem a bit - but not with the sicko part....so they will (and do) remain sick and sinning, nonetheless.

A sweet, great, white-kneesock-chassidishe guy once told me on the phone (after I shared my story with him and he opened up and admitted what was going on with him): "I just got honest with myself, Dov, and realized: I always thought I was just a rosho. But what kind of Rosho is it that regrets his sin so much that he cracks the porn video he just spent $30 on, then goes out to buy a new one, and then breaks it again after watching 5 minutes of it, and knows that he will he go out and buy another one soon...? What kind of rosho is this? A very strange rosho. Obviously I am mainly sick in the head. Whether I am a rosho too, is not my business. My business is to first get straightened out in the head." He is now sober about two years and his wife is 100% with him in his recovery, he has no secrets, and his life is entirely different than it was cuz it's on an honest basis. All because he realized that his ikkar problem had nothing to do with yiddishkeit and the solution has nothing to do with getting frummer. Yeah sure, if he quits somehow, that would mean living frummer...but that did not fool him. He was missing exactly what they goyim addicts are missing, nothing different at all: sanity.

So I maintain that calling it Torah and calling the issue in the addiction Torah, is perhaps the greatest obstacle to recovery that a frum addict may have.

And none of this applies to frum guys who are sinners that are not addicts. For them, Torah should indeed work, and I recommend them to open up to their rebbis, rebbes, or whoever...as R' Elimelech of Lizhensk recommended almost 250 years ago in his Tzetl Kotton (#13). After all, the Torah is certainly the antidote to the YH...not to addiction.
Admin put these lines here cuz he likes 'em:
"The heart needs to be broken when will-power is not enough"
"Get off the 18-Wheeler and onto a tricycle!"
"The heck with me, what can I do for you?"
"I do not particularly care exactly which "lav" suicide is. I'm not interested in it for other reasons!"
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