Saturday, 21 January 2012

A Respected Marbitz Torah and Mashpiah Ruchani

Part 2/2 (to see other parts of the article, click on the pages at the bottom)

by Dov, Elya (See all authors)

"FrumFiend" responds:

Thank you very much for all your replies. It is a very weird feeling to have a part of your life that is so compartmentalized that no one (including yourself in a certain way) are aware of, has become part of a public forum.

Something Elya mentioned made me feel very sick. He mentioned video stores. I had totally forgotten the years before the internet, sneaking into those stores, hoping no one recognized your car. Taking of the frum uniform. Sneaking into clubs in Manhattan. Ordering the movies to your address and hoping your wife doesn't happen to come home early and check the mail. Oy Rebono shell Olam, in those days I felt stupid. The broadband internet has made the process so sterile that I could write that it doesn't affect my life, but in those days, Oh Boy! I have more to say but that's enough for now. Meanwhile haven't looked at anything since I found your site. Over Shabbos, I sat and learned for a few hours B'hasmadah Gedolah and B'eiyun Nimratz.


Dov Responds to "FrumFiend"

You write "In those days" as if the lust is not destroying your life today.

Now I don't mean this as a smarty-pants at all, but as someone who has been there himself, is there, and watched many other people's lives crumble, r"l: When it comes to this problem, or sickness - if you will, most people remain as stupid as ever. They just dress it up real smartly.

The ones who do gain sobriety, soon learn that they may be smart right now being 'oh so sober', but become shockingly stupid in a hurry (RMB"N in K'doshim as an example of the "shockingly" aspect). If you are so inclined, consider reading the experiences of the early alcoholics in the second chapter of "Alcoholics Anonymous". If you've never read it, I would wager that by the time you read a bit there you'll see yourself... (based on what you have shared above, that is).

As far as having part of your life on a public forum - don't worry, you are still anonymous! But the point is this: What you and I do is on the most public forum there is: Einei Haborei b"H.

In more personal terms: What we actually do is reality; it is recorded simply and openly in reality, forever. Living with that awareness is called "integrity" and is behind the RMBM's p'sak that kiddush and chillul Hashem are even bein odom l'atzmo, without anyone seeing him at all. That's what "v'yad kol odom bo" means to say. It helps us take life as the precious thing it really is. (Though 'integrity' is only a byproduct of sobriety, and will not usually stop most of us from messing around with the schmutz, in the end).

What we do is far more important than what we get caught doing. Do you hear this? Our wives hear it. What drives them crazy with pain is not what they find out about, but what their husbands did. The damage was in what we did, not in what we got caught doing. While this may sound obvious, it isn't - the proof is that rarely would we do anything schmutzy if our wives or children (or almost anyone) were going to see it.

Now that is a perspective that I could never have related to at all, till sobriety.