Wednesday, 14 December 2011

I inherited this from my father

Did I inherit this from my father?

by Dov (See all authors)

"NoWhereToTurn" writes:


Sholom Aleichem warriors,

I am a regular 15 yr old yeshiva bochur in a top yeshiva in Monsey, but I have internet at home. Besides for my own problems with watching my eyes and controlling my hotzoas zera that has been with me for years, I noticed something interesting recently. I noticed my father, a 55 yr old heimishe guy, by the computer late at night. My curiosity got the better of me, and when no one was around, I pressed ctrl+H to see the History, and found out that my porn problem is inherited from him. I also noticed a secret email address that he has, so I put my hacking skills to work, and got the password from a free key-logging program. What I found was heartbreaking - a bunch of heimishe guys from shul are all a bunch of porn addicts forwarding porn around to each other! So lately I go in and delete all unread inappropriate inbox messages, but I now realize this is just a "moire heter" of my yetzer to do it myself, as my hz"l has been worse lately, so this is no solution for me. How is a 15 yr old Yesiva Bochur from a good home supposed to deal with this? I can't confront him, and I cant let my mother know about this - she'll divorce him! So before I deal with my own shmiras einayim/bris issues, how do I deal with this without destroying my home?

Dov Replies:

Dear "Bochur from top yeshiva in Topeka",

I do believe that this problem can actually be inherited, as alcoholism clearly is. It is often also a family disease, as it certainly is in your case. Your mother is suffering from tolerance of a sick man - and you do not have any idea what is really going on between them about this, but I doubt it is marital bliss for either party. Any loving son would want to help, and I commend you for your bravery thus far!


I suggest you Daven to Hashem very simply and explicitly for your fathers benefit at least in each of the three daily tefillos. It may or may not help your father, but I tell you that it will help you gain a deeper acceptance of the situation and more acceptance of the pathetic nature of your own lust dependence. Maybe this is all Hashem's plan for you, to gain the awareness and the help that you will need to get free of your own problems, and maybe your knowledge of his problem actually has little - if anything - to do with your father getting better.

I think it is a bit much for a son to confront his father about his aveiros... And to judge whether anyone else is an addict and is ill, well, that's a bit much foranyone. I also think it is not healthy for you to nose around in your fathers business. If he is stupid and wants to have fun with porn, that is his choice. He is an adult and will have to pay the price, whatever it may be. All you can do is admit your problem to him. Your admitting his problem to him is probably useless and damaging. If you love him, then clean your side of the street and mind your own business, for G-d's sake.

BTW, cleaning your side of the street has nothing whatsoever to do with being a kadosh, and showing him kedusha will do nothing. (In fact, I wouldn't be surprised to learn that he feels that he is a bit of a kadosh, right now! The mind works in funny ways.)

Finally, with all very due respect to those who suggested that you talk this over with the Rav of your shul or your Rebbe in yeshiva, how do they know that that Rav (or the rebbe) is not one of the guys your father is sharing the porn with? Addicts come in all shapes and sizes.

Of course, I'm not saying to trust no rabbi/rebbi, c"v. But this problem, like drinking or using drugs, has nothing to do with whether the person is a talmid Chochom, Rov, good man, or whatever. It's a compulsion that goes way beyond bechirah and often has roots that grew long before anyone's gadlus in learning began. So you may want to consider backing off on giving true trust to any man just because he is the rov of your shul. Sorry.

Choose your da'as Torah the best way you can: by your heart. Ask yourself who do you really trust - not by a sign on the door. And please consider focusing on your own recovery so that your children will not have to catch you one day.

Much love,

Dov