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What's special about the Torah approach?
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A Board for Yidden who are not as addicted, and for whom Torah/Chizuk/Chassidus can still help them stop.
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TOPIC: What's special about the Torah approach? 5545 Views

Re: What's special about the Torah approach? 05 Jan 2010 22:10 #42530

  • tester613
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Ykv_schwartz wrote on 05 Jan 2010 19:18:

Rav Noach Weinberg once said:
"Being created in the Image of Hashem is to have Free Will.  That is what makes me a human being.  Until I figure out how to use that power, I have not unlocked the key to my humanity"

Harav Battleworn  spoke about the idea of "Growing from the struggle".  I have learned a lot about myself, mankind, and the world around me through my recovery and have grown from it.  Amongst the many lessons and "life tools" that recovery gave me is learning how to use bechira.  I have turned  myself from powerless and helpless to powerful.  I am far from perfect.  But I  feel that by learning how to overcome my struggles and challenges of life, I was able to "unlock the key to my humanity".



and yes yaakov if being powerless shoots you down the sewer because the powerless

can fall into what the sforim call fake anivus (which is gaava) then you better become powerful



Shakoyach Bardichev.  Very beautiful.  Though I think you misunderstood me (or maybe I misunderstood what you were trying to say). I was referring to the idea of self control.  For my own personal avodah I try to separate issues and work on them one at a time.  The ballence between gaavah and anivus is for me a different avodah than self control (bechira) and bitachon. 

Allow me to explain in greater detail what I was referring to.  The following I wrote to a friend of mine who was struggling with P**n addiction just like me.  I was trying to share with him what worked for me.  Keep in mind I wrote this March 20, 2008 (Almost a whole year ago).  At the time I was just above 40 days sober.  Today I am close to one year sober.  This letter is amazing to me, because this has been a major cornerstone in my growth and I see that my shitah has not changed and it actually worked (who knows, I could still be wrong). From the start of my journey I have put my focus on learning to maintain self control. Learning to regain my bechira.  Here it goes:

"So let’s begin with action.  When it comes to action, you realize that the person you know to be YOU is not in control of your actions.  The fact that you do things that you do not want to do means that you are not in control.  This means you need to change the person in you to a person that does control the actions.  This already should make you pause and think about what was just said.  I think for some this may be a chiddush and for others it if not a chiddush it least has been stated in a clear and defined manner.  Let me clarify what I am saying.  We know from all our mussar seforim that there are many kinds of middos.  We have gaava, kaas, cruelty, etc.  Whenever we talk about about changing ourselves in terms of actions we try to zero in on the midah that the action is associated with.  So lets ask ourselves what midah is this.  And the answer is self-control.  An addict is powerless and lacks control.  He knows right from wrong very clearly but cannot put it into action.  He gives in to his impulses even though it is ludicrous.  This is lack of self control.

So now we clarified for ourselves the main midah responsible.  Yes, of course, there are other midos involved.  And hopefully these will be addressed later.  Like desiring physicality (desiring lust is just the ultimate expression of that physical desire).  But the main issue here, I believe is, self-control.  Now I could be wrong about you, but that is what I thought it was by me.  When I realized and clarified for myself the underlying midah, it was liberating.  I used to think it was some sexual disorder but I will explain shortly how I knew this was not true.  By clarifying this, you just put the spotlight on this midah and can therefore focus on uprooting it.  But what will happen is a real change in the person.  You change from a person who lacks control to a person with control.  Now I am only 40+[NOTE:TODAY I AM close to a year sober] days clean and it is hard for me to say that I am truly changed, but the small change that I made in myself in these last 40 days was in fact a major change in my entire person. My desires and urges all mellowed with my change.  This is how I knew that my main problem was not some sexual disorder.  At the moment I made a real conscious decision that I am not doing this anymore and began to daven my heart away, my whole being changed.  It was quite amazing. 

So now back to you.  How are you going to change yourself?  So when it comes to self control you need to work on two contradictory things.  First is, you need to believe in yourself that you are in control of your actions.  Hashem gave you a body to control and you can control it.  You make a strong decision that you will not do this anymore and you will stop it.  But this comes after you realize that you can control yourself.  With strong determination you are capable of overcoming the y"h.  We think it is impossible but in fact it is very possible.  When you look at the y"h this way he all of a sudden becomes small and you gain self control.  The other thing is to realize that in fact you lack complete control and only Hashem can help you.  You realize that only Hashem can give you the control that you need.  To do this means to constantly daven to Hashem to protect you and grant you self-control.  You need to internalize Hashem's control over the world and you.  You need to work on "mekable ol malchus shamayim".  I continue to work on saying shema wih proper kavana.  It takes effort.  There is a lot more to say, but I would like to move on to something very important..."


This is a very dear yesod to me. I was always under the impression that Guard did not agree with this yesod.  But after speaking to him today I realized I was wrong (I think).  We seem to both agree that a fundamental change an addict has to undergo is learning to regain his bechira.  He needs to learn to take control.  I am hoping one day to write an article entitled, "Taking Control and Learning to make Decisions".
Last Edit: 05 Jan 2010 22:20 by .

Re: What's special about the Torah approach? 05 Jan 2010 22:26 #42540

  • the.guard
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Bards, that was the most beautiful post I have ever read from you yet!!

I am starting to understand why Reb Dov considers you his Rebbe  :D


I have turned  myself from powerless and helpless to powerful.


I know you didn't mean it that way, but these words are a little misleading, Reb Yakov. Duvid Hamelech never would use such words    His entire Koach was from bitul... he always stresses in tehilim things like "ki ani ve'evyon ani"... "anochi tola'as velo ish"... "ki ata kochi, umagini, vi'keren yishi" etc...

The entire Koach that David had, that enabled him to overcome all his enemies - was the Koach of Yehudah - which is the letters of the name of Hashem with a daled in middle. The Zohar says that the daled stands for "de'leis lei migarmei klum"...
Webmaster of www.guardyoureyes.org - Maintaining Moral Purity in Today's World. We’re here on a quest ; it’s really all a test. Just do your best and G-d will do the rest.
Last Edit: 05 Jan 2010 22:28 by .

Re: What's special about the Torah approach? 05 Jan 2010 22:58 #42552

  • bardichev
holiest battle
yankev schwarts
guard

I NEED NO INTRO YOU GUYS ALL KNOW ME

I JUST THOUGHT OF A SWEET MASHAL


I COME HOME

I SEE A TABLE
SET FOR SUPPER
AND THERE IS GOOD FOOD ON THE TABLE

BUT.. BUT.. ALL THE KIDS ARE EATING NOSH

(it happens some times in bays bards)

I YELL  NOSH!!!

MY WIFE SAYS THE KIDS WERE CRYING

I YELL NOSH BY SUPPER??!!

SHE SAYS "THEY NEED TO CALM DOWN FIRST"

I HOLLER AT THE KIDS "I AM THE TATTY GIVE ME YOUR LOLLIES AND EAT YOUR SUPPER"



WHO IS RIGHT??

LET

ME

KNOW


Last Edit: 05 Jan 2010 23:10 by .

Re: What's special about the Torah approach? 05 Jan 2010 23:35 #42570

  • tester613
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Guard,
I do not know what you are getting at. it is hard to misunderstand my words in context.  Allow me to repeat from Rav Noach zt"l:

"Being created in the Image of Hashem is to have Free Will.  That is what makes me a human being.  Until I figure out how to use that power, I have not unlocked the key to my humanity"
Think this over.  This is simple yet deep.

Also read my post above especially the line that reads:
"So when it comes to self control you need to work on two contradictory things..." Read the rest above.  It does not seem like you read it. 

Also, be sure to read Harav Battleworn's post:
"But our job is still to try to control ourselves. The work is our job, Hashem gives us success."


Click this link to see more about this yesod.

Becoming powerful is learning how to regain your bechira.  I am not sure why Dovid Hamelech would deny his power of bechira.  What do those pesukim have to do with self control and bechira.  Is it based on some Chidah that I do not know about. 

If you want a more comprehensive understanding of the idea of control see Rambam's shemone perakim chapter 8. 
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Re: What's special about the Torah approach? 06 Jan 2010 12:33 #42768

  • battleworn
Dearest Bardichev and Trying, it pains me greatly, that this whole discussion started over here.

THE REASON I ASKED THAT OTHER APPROACHES NOT BE MENTIONED, IS THAT NEITHER I NOR GUARD NOR YOU ARE AN EXPERT ON THOSE APPROACHES. IT TOOK ME A LONG TIME TILL I FOUND OUT WHAT I DO KNOW ABOUT SA, AND THERE IS STILL A LOT MORE THAT I DON'T KNOW.

WHEN ONE JOINS A GROUP, HE IS TRUSTING THE GROUP TO LEAD HIM IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION. NOBODY CAN TELL YOU WHERE A PARTICULAR GROUP MIGHT TAKE YOU. NEITHER YOU NOR OUR ESTEEMED RABEINU GUARD HAS ANY WAY OF KNOWING HOW ANY PARTICULAR GROUP DEFINES POWERLESSNESS OR DISEASE OR ANYTHING ELSE.

THAT IS WHY I FELT THAT ALL I CAN DO IS TRY TO CLARIFY THE TORAH VIEW!   Tzar li me'od

But being that my heart is cracking to pieces, I have to tell you, Trying, that a post less than a week ago from a dear friend of ours about how our thirsting for Hashem is a problem etc. is coming straight from the group that our friends therapist went to. A powerhouse of dveikus who has the potential to affect the world in a big way, is having his wings cut off by foreign hashkofos.

SO PLEASE MAKE SURE THAT IT DOESN'T HAPPEN TO YOU!  

Last Edit: 06 Jan 2010 13:36 by .

Re: What's special about the Torah approach? 06 Jan 2010 15:57 #42876

  • TrYiNg
I'm sooo sorry R' battleworn.
Nothing i said was meant to hurt anyone. In fact, i read through your torah approach, and it sounds great. I'm not even sure it really contradicts anything major in the 12 steps. Maybe I should read through some of the older threads.
Again, I'm sorry. I was a bit confused yesterday , as not thinking of it as a disease brought up all that guilt and ugly feelings again..I was just trying to clarify. I can delete it if you want..

oh, and I just realized that the chizuk email from guard was all on this and he says it better than I could ever..
Last Edit: 06 Jan 2010 15:59 by .

Re: What's special about the Torah approach? 06 Jan 2010 16:27 #42904

  • battleworn
Trying, you didn't hurt anyone.

As far as the guilt and ugly feelings, I can't understand what that has to do with calling it a disease. You can still blame yourself for making yourself sick. And if you don't blame yourself, why should you feel guilty - even if it's not a disease. Furthermore if you are going to feel guilty and get down on yourself every time you make a mistake in your life, you will never get anywhere.

Blame is destructive whether you are blaming yourself or someone else. The only way, is to realize that Hashem runs the world and all that's left to me, is to do my job. The past is gone (except for teshuva which is the most amazing gift that Hashem has given us - we can actually change the past) and the situation that I find myself in right now was given to me by Hashem to do His Will in this specific situation.

Every second of your life Hashem puts you in to the exact situation that you need to be in, in order to accomplish what you need to accomplish. We have to change our whole perspective on life from "How good am I? - What do people think of me? - What do I have? What do I want? What do I not have? What was done to me? How do I compare? etc." To  "WHAT DO I NEED TO DO NOW!?!"

If I'm missing something, please tell me.
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Re: What's special about the Torah approach? 06 Jan 2010 16:36 #42917

  • TrYiNg
brilliant . and so true.
About the blame, I need to know that my bechira is compromised to a certain point (even if that is my fault) cuz its too much to bear that heavy guilt every time I mess up. It only hinders my progress and makes me want to medicate myself even more..
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Re: What's special about the Torah approach? 06 Jan 2010 16:53 #42944

  • battleworn
You know that a guy is mechuyav to put on Tefilin every day. What happens if he has the flu and it's hard for him to get up and put on Tefilin? Hopefully, he does it anyway. That is what me might call a standard nissoyon. Now what happens if he is really really sick and it's very very very hard for him to do it. That is a major nissoyon and I don't thing you would be disgusted if he didn't manage.

Now what happens if he thinks he really can't ,or, if he is actually to physically weak to move? Or what about if he thinks that Tefilin is derabanan and a sick person is patur?

It's quite obvious (and also mefurash in chazal) that Hashem judges according to the circumstances, and we should too. Or better yet we shouldn't judge at all, it's far to complicated. The only business that we have with the past, is to learn from our mistakes and to fix them.
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Re: What's special about the Torah approach? 06 Jan 2010 16:57 #42950

  • TrYiNg
I get it. But that's what I'm thinking..Any difference to what I said? ( If the guy's physically sick, then his bechira is compromised)
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Re: What's special about the Torah approach? 06 Jan 2010 17:41 #42976

  • battleworn
Yes, sick or any other circumstances that make it especially difficult, nearly impossible or impossible. You know better than anyone else how weak you are at the time of a nissoyon. Someone else putting the label of "disease" doesn't change anything at all. They don't know if you could have done better or not, only Hashem does.

It's not an issue of disease or not, it's an issue of whether you could have done better or not. If someone (again a boy moshol) is used to spending his whole entire day on nothingness. He's been doing it for years. Is he expected to suddenly start learning Torah all his spare time and not waste a minute? Bitul Torah is a very serious sin. Is he sick? Not in the least, but he is weak in this area. And that must be taken in to account.
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Re: What's special about the Torah approach? 10 Jan 2010 12:53 #44015

  • battleworn
I want to apologize for kvetching. What is done is done, now I want to sum up the discussion.

It seems that all those that posted on this thread agree to the following.

A) The work is up to me and then Hashem will give me success - I can't possibly do it without Him.

An addict is clearly not in the same situation as a non-addict, and he should not blame himself (or anyone else).
It's the responsibility of the addict to change the situation.

If you call (A) powerlessness, that's fine - as long as you know that the work is up to you.

If you call ( disease, that's fine as long as you know that it's your responsibility to get yourself out of  it. As mentioned before you can only do this with Hashem's help. The more you realize that you're dependant on Hashem, the more success you can expect Hashem to give you.
Last Edit: 10 Jan 2010 15:29 by .

Re: What's special about the Torah approach? 10 Jan 2010 16:37 #44066

  • battleworn
I want to address two more issues.

1) Any approach that you take is going to have to involve a serious investment. (Including time, emotional energy etc.) The only way one would invest so heavily, is if he feels that his situation is desperate enough to warrant such an investment.

So one may feel, that speaking about the great nachas ru'ach that your efforts give Hashem etc., can be harmful to the addict - making him feel that it's okay that he's addicted and he doesn't need to do anything major about it.

Here again I feel very strongly that balance is in order. Every addict must know (most people that come here know this already) that if he doesn't take very serious action, the addiction is liable to totally destroy his life in this world and the next. Being so completely involved in taivoh, is by far the greatest threat to any Jew. Of-course we can go on about this all day and not get to the end of it.

But it's also very important to know that the situation that you find yourself in, is not c'v a mistake or a stroke of bad luck. You must know that Hashem put you there for a reason. Just like a commando soldier that is secretly working within enemy territory; although your situation is extremely dangerous, at the same time it helps to know that if Hashem sent you there, it means He believes in you! [The overwhelming majority of strugglers have a huge self-image problem and it is [b]crucial [/b] for them to know what Hashem really thinks of them.]

And if you care enough to DO something about it, then you ought to know what your efforts mean to Hashem. You must know that your situation is only as desperate as you let it be. Because if you take action, you will succeed.

And of-course you also need to know that if c'v you find yourself in a situation that is impossible for you, then every bif of effort and every bit of not falling (even if one fell partially) is a tremendous accomplishment. Not only does it give a great nachas ruach to Hashem, but it also merits you more siyata diShmaya in the future and brings you a step closer to holiness.

2) Some people are under the impression that the Torah approach is that the battle must be fought with "white-knuckling". This is as far from the truth as you can get. We were always taught "bitachbula taaseh milchama" don't fight the y'h head on. That's why we must avoid temptation as much as we can.

Furthermore, when dealing with lust-addiction, it's blatantly obvious that you can't stop while being connected to taivoh - which is synonymous with being distant from Hashem. You need to make an about face and direct your life towards Hashem instead of away from Him.

Personally I'm sure that if one let's himself remain the same old baal-taivoh that he was and just tries to use brute-force to stop himself from sinning, it won't work! At least that was my experience.

But whatever situation you find yourself in, you always have to do what you can. That might mean turning your head away each time it turns itself towards pritzus even if you have to do it a thousand times in a row. It might mean stopping yourself even after you let loose. It might mean forcing yourself to think when your taivoh is not letting you.

It's important to know that every effort that you put in -whether it's white knuckling or otherwise- is a tremendous accomplishment and a tremendous investment.
Last Edit: 10 Jan 2010 16:40 by .

Re: What's special about the Torah approach? 11 Jan 2010 09:40 #44297

  • the.guard
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battleworn wrote on 10 Jan 2010 12:53:

I want to apologize for kvetching. What is done is done, now I want to sum up the discussion.

It seems that all those that posted on this thread agree to the following.

A) The work is up to me and then Hashem will give me success - I can't possibly do it without Him.

An addict is clearly not in the same situation as a non-addict, and he should not blame himself (or anyone else).
It's the responsibility of the addict to change the situation.

If you call (A) powerlessness, that's fine - as long as you know that the work is up to you.

If you call ( disease, that's fine as long as you know that it's your responsibility to get yourself out of  it. As mentioned before you can only do this with Hashem's help. The more you realize that you're dependant on Hashem, the more success you can expect Hashem to give you.


Excellent Summary!
Webmaster of www.guardyoureyes.org - Maintaining Moral Purity in Today's World. We’re here on a quest ; it’s really all a test. Just do your best and G-d will do the rest.
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Re: What's special about the Torah approach? 11 Feb 2010 16:55 #52692

  • Ineedhelp!!
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Where's Harav Hagaon Battleworn been? :-\ :-\ :-\ :-\ :-\

-Yiddle
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