16 Av 5780 / Thursday, August 06, 2020 | Torah Reading: Eikev
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Run for Your Life    

Run for Your Life

When something is so dangerous that you can be killed in one second, even while trying to avoid danger, then it is best just to run for your life…


Things are really heating up over here at Breslev Israel during this year’s Shovevim period, which is a time in Chassidic custom to focus on aspects of holiness, purity, and modesty. Make sure to check out the first articles in this series if you haven’t already, since each one responds to the article before it.  


And if you’re reading this during another part of the year, don’t worry – Rebbe Nachman says that sexual lust is the “general sin,” so working on your holiness, is the “general mitzvah”! That would be after emuna, of course – but Rabbi Arush explains that holiness and emuna go hand in hand, and you can’t have one without the other. So as you strengthen one, so too will the other naturally be strengthened. Therefore, working on your holiness IS working on your emuna in a real way. 


I was moved once again by Batya Rosen’s emotional story she submitted in response to the first two articles in the series. I also received this comment on the article: 


What you wrote is powerful. It is also regretfully accurate. We lose so many "good" people to pornography.  


Unfortunately, we aren’t just losing people. We are losing marriages. We are losing families. We are losing young men and young women. I heard a story about one boy here in Israel who got his hands on a smart phone, and shared it after school with his classmates. The entire class ended up off the path of Torah and mitzvot! 


Did you know that the letters of “Iphone” in Hebrew can be rearranged to spell neuf – the Hebrew word for sexual lust! It is not a coincidence!!! Hence, I call them “sin phones,” or “neuf-phones,” not “smart phones.” Indeed, they are anything but. 


Even more: The Gemara mentions a number of names for the Yetzer Hara (Evil Inclination). Rebbe Nachman said that he renamed this evil angel: “Koach HaDimyon – the power of imagination.”  


There is a lot to say about this incredible chiddush (new insight), but one of aspect we can understand only in our generation: Anything with a screen is – an imagination! What is it, really? A reel of pictures, of bunch of cables hooked up to a screen and weird green parts covered by a keyboard, a funny round thing with a hole in the middle…  


The entire Internet is a fiction created in the imaginary space of computer-land. It’s just rooms of square boxes called servers and cables. You check out of the “real world” and check into an imaginary world that doesn’t exist in any physical sense whatsoever – it’s just a bunch of code. It’s the most imaginary thing that could ever be. Thus, it is certainly in the realm of the Power of Imagination. 


Now, let’s take this one step further. The Evil Inclination is an angel, and he has another name too – The Angel of Death. Yes, that’s right. On a simple level, he tries to entice you to sin. Sin is death, in that it disconnects you from G-d, the source of life. On a spiritual level, death comes as a result of sin.  


And on a global level – anything that is in the realm of the Evil Inclination, is in the realm of death. By definition, they lead you towards physical and spiritual death. 


This is also true of the Internet and porn in particular. These are all an imagination, which comes right from the Power of the Imagination – the Evil Inclination, which is The Angel of Death! Therefore, there is no such possibility that anything connected to a screen, including movies, especially computers, and even more so porn which completely feeds off of and corrupts the imagination - can ever bring you to life and truly living! Not in this world, and definitely not in the Next. Rather, these things are bringing you towards death! They are killing you! RUN FOR YOUR LIFE! 


Perhaps it might even help you to imagine to yourself the real truth – You want to open up Facebook? Imagine the Grim Reaper there, staring back at you! You want to click on that link? He beckons to you with his other hand! Now, tell me – do you still want it?! 


My impassioned plea to readers – Don’t risk your life! Don’t risk the lives of your children! Don’t play with fire! You will get burned!!! 


I repeat again: Rabbi Arush says that such images completely burn up the holy soul, leaving just a shell of the body left. Although it is always possible to start over and do teshuva, it is serious business to get out of the deep pit of spiritual impurity and lust that can be created with even seeing just one single image, let alone one hour, or one day 


This is an all-consuming fire. The fences and filters must be incredibly high, the separation wide, the walls thick – because this fire won’t just give you a little burn on your finger. It completely destroys the mind and soul.  


Therefore, stay far away from all forms of unfiltered Internet, be it on computers or smart phones. If you already have a problem, get help. It is a real addiction, and you need help – both in the form of God (as in prayer every single day) and practical help and advice, a buddy, etc. There are wonderful resources out there, in particular guardyoureyes.com 


Pray about it every single day – and certainly Hashem will help you get out of it! You can even “want to want” – say to yourself, “I don’t want a strong filter right now! I want Facebook/Instagram/X Y and Z! I am used to my Iphone! But I want to want holiness, and I want to want to get clean! I want to want a strong Internet filter! I want to want to really live life! Help me!” Rebbe Nachman says even a desire filtered seven times – “I want to want to want…” - even that he can use to help a person truly achieve it! 


And no matter what the form, even filtered – get off the screen, and start living real life! 



Rachel Avrahami grew up in Los Angeles, CA, USA in a far off valley where she was one of only a handful of Jews in a public high school of thousands. She found Hashem in the urban jungle of university. Rachel was privileged to read one of the first copies of The Garden of Emuna in English, and the rest, as they say, is history. She made Aliyah and immediately began working at Breslev Israel.  

Rachel is now the Editor of Breslev Israel's English website. She welcomes questions, comments, articles, and personal stories to her email: rachel.avrahami@breslev.co.il. 



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  Help for women and for spouses of those who struggle with porn
Yehudit2/10/2020 8:22:59 AM

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