7 Cheshvan 5781 / Sunday, October 25, 2020 | Torah Reading: Lech Lecha
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Slaves no More    

Slaves no More

We must remember that we were once slaves, like those individuals who are slaves to their passions. We were once idolaters, like those who profane the Holy for impurities.


The Battle for Your Wife, part 2

I am a recovering sex addict. For over 2 years, I have actively kept myself off the bad sites. I have done this through web filters, giving my wife total access to my computer so she can check where I have been online, and through personal restraint.
Still, there are times where all I want to do is go onto these forbidden places. It is usually viewing a sexy web ad on a “good” site that sets my urges off. It is so difficult to overcome the desire to click on the ad, or on to another site with more.
What stops me is my family. After researching these stats I know what porn is – the destruction of my marriage. I love my wife. I have a wonderful son and I couldn’t survive a day without seeing him. Going on to one site will begin a process that will destroy my family. It’s that simple.
Resisting these urges also brings my family closer. The bond between a husband and wife is a spiritual one. The more I exert myself spiritually for the love of my wife and son, the more spirituality Hashem blesses our relationship. Our bond to each other becomes closer and stronger with each spiritual victory. Shmirat HaBrit truly brings peace to the family.
It is a joy that is beyond almost anything imaginable. It is a love that we all strive for with our loved ones, and with HaKadosh Baruch Hu. This love is not possible if one is hooked on porn and not making any effort to change. You get one heart in life. this wonderful gift that Hashem gave us can only be attached to one specific love at a time.
It is of the most critical importance that you install a good internet blocker. If your blocker can prevent you from getting to porn, it most likely can block your children. Give your wife the password. Manually enter into the blocker the keywords and sites you like the most. In merely communicating to your wife that you are going to fight for her, you are telling her how important she is to you. This is one of the best ways you can tell your wife how much you love her, and what being with her means to you. Your wife will return this affection to you 10 fold – I promise!
On a national level, the sin of pgam habrit has severely suppressed the growth of the Jewish People.
Just two generations ago, a couple would get married, have 2.2 kids, and celebrate their 50th anniversary together. Today, the allure for marriage – even for a day - is gone. A lack of sexual morality is the core reason why people are not getting married. It is causing mass devastation on the Jewish community. The 2007 census of the Jewish People revealed that the U.S. Jewish population has decreased over the last year. In a country with no form of deadly anti-Semitism, how can this be?
The statistics for Israeli youth are no different. Where is the physical link between Shmirat HaBrit and national defense? Stagnant birth rates among the non-Haredi public in Israel has upset the demographic balance between Jews and Arabs living in the Land of Israel. It is this demographic imbalance that has been the chief argument for the State of Israel to evacuate huge swaths of Land and bring our enemies that much closer to our civilian population centers.
Let’s try an exercise. Which are the two regions of the world that use the most pornography? America and Europe.
Which are the most promiscuous empires known to man? Rome and Greece.
What was the most promiscuous nation in the Torah? Egypt. Egypt represents impurity. Egypt represents every ideal that goes against the core of what it means to be a Jew.
Let’s review the list of emotional calamities associated with too much internet porn and other forms of sexual immorality in one’s life and compare them with the value systems of the Jewish People, and contrast them with the nations who have tried to destroy us: First is the devaluation of monogamy. Where mistresses and extramarital sex have been a part of virtually every western empire, including the United States, the Torah specifically includes the commandment, lo tinaf, or don’t commit adultery. Not only is this a Commandment, it is one of the 10 Commandments. It is also one of the seven universal laws incumbent upon all men, Jewish and not-Jewish. Extramarital romance of any kind is seen as an abomination. Next, it decreases satisfaction with a partner’s affection, and physical appearance. While the Talmud requires a man to be physically attracted to a woman in order for him to marry her, we do not place emphasis on a woman’s physical appearance. Each Shabbat we sing Ashet Chayil, A Woman of Valor. At the end we sing, ‘false is grace, and vain is beauty, a G-d fearing woman, she should be praised.’ Jewish values do not place emphasis on a woman’s looks. The body is seen as nothing but a mere placeholder for the soul and it is the soul that defines a person. It is a woman’s modesty that has kept the Jewish People strong since our national birth.
Since the first Jewish couple, where Sarah had a higher level of prophecy than Avraham, it is the women who are on a higher natural spiritual level than the men. The men were complacent in the sin of the golden calf, but the women refused to participate. It was the men who listened to the 10 spies’ evil report and surrendered their place in Israel. The women wanted to press on and enter the Land. One of our greatest Rabbis, Rabbi Akiva, would have been content to remain a simple shepherd all of his life. It was his wife, Rachel, who convinced him to pursue a life of Torah. She was a wealthy woman who gave up everything for the sake of her husband. Over the last 2,000 years, how many tens of millions of Torah scholars have increased their Torah knowledge and brought Divine light into the world because they learned from the works of Rabbi Akiva? We have this through the sacrifices his wife made? The Talmud specifically attributes Rabbi Akiva’s greatness to his wife. For a Jew to see a fellow Jew as merely a physical object is the deepest abomination imaginable. To deny the spirit of someone in favor of their physical makeup runs contrary to our very existence. Jews get their name from one of the twelve tribes of Israel. Jews are descendants from the tribe of Yehuda. The tribe itself contains the very Name of our Creator! At our essence we are spiritual beings and not physical objects. It is the nations like Egypt, Greece, Rome, Europe, and the United States that have tried to convince us otherwise.
Excessive porn leads to doubts about the value of marriage and a decreased desire to have children while viewing non-monogamous relationships as normal and natural behavior for married men. The nations of the world have upheld these values since Egypt and Greece. Our nation stands in direct confrontation to these debaucheries. The first mitzvah in the Torah is the commandment that Hashem gave to Adam, Be fruitful and multiply. Over the last 20 years, the growth of the Palestinian population in the Land of Israel and the growth of the Jewish population in the Land of Israel have been virtually identical. Despite Arab claims to the contrary, the Palestinians are not changing the demographic nature of the State of Israel. It is true that statistically, the secular population growth of Israel significantly lags the Arab population growth, the population growth among the religious communities in Israel more than makes up for it. It is estimated that the average Haredi family in Israel has more than 8 children. The religious community takes very seriously every mitzvah, including the mitzvah to be fruitful and multiply. Core Jewish values include marriage, monogamy, fidelity, loyalty, and lots, and lots, of children. This mitzvah has maintained the Jewish People through every exile, as it saves the Jewish People to this day! It is only now that we have all assimilated into Western culture that we consider 2 children as the normal family. In Jewish terms, this is not the case. Hashem said to us in Sefer Devarim, “I have set before you life and death, Choose life! We can be like the Holy in Israel who strengthen the Jewish people with this mitzvah, or mimic the nations of the world and literally waste away.
The values of ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, Europe and the United States place supreme emphasis on the body and physical pleasures. The Jewish world has combated each and every empire from then until now by placing our focus on the neshama, the soul. How do we do this today? How do we escape the bonds of the world we are living in and regain our spiritual identity as Jews?
We remember the Exodus from Egypt.
Every day, we are to recite six remembrances after our morning prayers. The first two remembrances both specifically state that we have to keep in mind these miracles all of the days of our life. Both of them have directly to do with leaving Egypt, and standing before Hashem and receiving the Torah at Sinai. Every day we are commanded to remember that we are not like the nations of the earth. We are commanded to focus on breaking the boundaries of what we see, and to focus on a spiritual existence. We are commanded every day to stand before Hashem at Sinai. We must all constantly leave our immediate surroundings and resist the temptation to be like everyone. We must remember that we were once slaves, like those individuals who are slaves to their passions. We were once idolaters, like those people who profane the Holy for impurities. G-d took mercy upon us. He brought us out of Egypt, and out of Greece, and out of Rome. He gave us the Torah, which is the perfect manual on how to escape the physical lie we see before our eyes and to focus on Him and His universe. Each day we successfully resist the temptation to so much as look at an immodestly dressed woman, we are not merely averting our eyes. We are reliving the Exodus of our ancestors. We are revealing Hashem’s Oneness at Sinai. Gradually weaning oneself off of a sex based existence is the true key to freedom. Each day we break free of our surroundings to follow the Torah is a day where we escape Egypt and stand before Hashem at Sinai.

Dovber Halevi is the author of the financial book, How to Survive the Coming Decade of Anxiety. He writes for Breslev Israe and The Middle East Magazine. He lives with his wife and two children in Eretz Yisrael.

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