“The Last Gasp of a Drowning Soul”

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Rabbi Dr. Abraham Twerski Zatza”l read out this disturbing letter from a Yeshiva Bochur that he received, at a Guard Your Eyes event:

I’m a twenty-one-year-old yeshivah bachur. I went to prominent American yeshivos all my life. Modesty aside, I was at the top of my classes and shiurim, widely respected by my friends and rebbeim. I was the frum community’s model son. 

When I was in the first year of beis midrash (age sixteen), my parents brought the Internet into our home, and my secret life began. To condense the story, I was very quickly hooked on devarim assurim. Like any person who becomes addicted to something, I quit many times, once for a whole year, for months, many times. I buried my head in the Torah to save myself as best I could. But it always came back. Going against everything I’d ever learned, I slowly trained myself to shut Hashem out whenever I wanted to. That led me to more and more aveiros, Rachmana litzlan.

I’m terribly ashamed of myself, because I am not a loyal Jew anymore. As much as I want to help myself, I’ve realized I can’t, but I can’t get help either; I can’t bring myself to discuss my dark side with anyone. The only difference between me and others who went off the derech is that because I am afraid to face the people who would lose respect for me, I pretend to toe the line. And therefore, I am unhelpable. 

There are thousands of yeshivah guys who are seriously addicted to a secret life such as mine. I know. It takes one to know one. 

My question to you is, how do I get out? Without being overdramatic, you are reading the last gasp of a drowning soul.

After reading out this letter, Rabbi Twerski concluded as follows:

“This letter was extremely provoking to me. When I got it, I felt helpless and I had nothing to answer him. Guard Your Eyes wasn’t around then. But that was years ago. Now I can do something about it. Baruch Hashem, we have Guard Your Eyes.

Having had some experience in addiction, I know that addictions never stay still; they always progress and get worse. The number of divorces that are resulting from women feeling betrayed because their husbands are looking at inappropriate material is very high. It’s very, very difficult for that kind of wound to heal.

But for those who are interested in getting better, we now have a source of help in Guard Your Eyes.

Guard Your Eyes has a method; to put people in touch with each other where they can remain anonymous. You can have group meetings without anybody knowing who you are. You can talk to people to give you chizuk. And there is now a part for the spouse of the Internet addict, to help her with what she has to go through, and hopefully save marriages.

We are talking about an affliction that is hitting thousands of families and if it continues to be swept under the rug, not only will the families suffer but the children will grow up in undesirable conditions.

So I don’t know that there has ever been a more serious problem in klal Yisrael’s kedushah than that which we have now. And the only weapon we have against it, the only one, is Guard Your Eyes. And that’s why it’s a pikuach nefesh.

So, I believe that anybody who has a chelek in this mitzvah is really doing something for netzach Yisrael.”

Watch this video tribute to Rabbi Twersk zt”l.

Get a complimentary copy of the new book, “His Final Mission: Rabbi Twerski’s Fight Against Internet Addiction.”