Jewish Sexuality dot Com
|Can I Ever Be Forgiven?|
|Written by Michael|
|Friday, 26 April 2013|
I am 22-year-old baal t'shuva (returnee to religious lifestyle). I was not raised very religious, and early on I was exposed to pornography and sexually impure images. Over time I became obsessed with pornography, and later, during my teens, when the internet started to become popular, I quickly became addicted to internet porn.
Beginning two years ago, I have slowly become more and more religious. About a year ago, I stumbled across the teachings of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov and my life has never been the same.
I began reading about guarding the brit, and I have made enormous progress. I have been attending 12-step meetings to help stop masturbating, and I am on my way to finishing 40 days of not viewing any porn or wasting seed. I am grateful for your website because I know first hand that many young Jewish men have become addicted to internet porn and waste seed a lot. This is something that many rabbis won't talk about. Many Jews don't realize the severity of this sin and many of my Jewish friends who view internet porn and waste seed laugh at me when I try to teach them about what the Zohar and Reb Nachman have taught about this horrible transgression. My question is, and I really want you to be honest in your answer, is there truly any t'shuva (repentance) that someone can do to turn this kind of transgression into something of merit?
Over the years I have filled my head with very much garbage, looking at porn since I was 11 years old. Over the years I have wasted seed maybe tens of thousands of times. When I was young, many people surrounding me said that it was ok, and I fell into their trap. I have been making great progress, and I will never despair and will always keep striving to be a good Jew and help others to break their porn addiction, because I know it is truly like a drug that addicts.
But in the back of my mind I feel that I have done so much damage over the years that there is no way I can be fully rectified. I know Rabbi Nachman says that the yetzer hara tries to fool you into thinking you have sunk lower than anyone else and that t'shuva is only for people who have done minor transgressions. But I am not giving up. I know that young people today are being fiercely attacked by the sexual urge because this is the time of Mashiach, and the yetzer is fighting its last battle. But for me, every day is a struggle and even though I have been making progress I still have this question. For someone like myself who has wasted seed thousands of times and viewed horrible pornography, is their any way someone can still be forgiven if they have committed so much transgression?
Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai has assured us that someone who feels deep, sincere repentance like you do, and who commits himself to a holy path of Torah and constant t'shuva, always striving to get closer to G-d, is not only forgiven but his transgressions are transformed to merit. The simplest way to understand this is to realize that it was precisely your wrongdoings that brought you to this great yearning for purity and attachment to G-d. Thus the negative energy, holiness, and life force that was lost is transformed into positive energy, and the wasted life force and souls are returned to their Source.
This rectification is enhanced by your efforts to spread the light of Torah and teach others about guarding the Brit. Be happy that you have found the right path, and rest assured that Hashem is very pleased with you. Don't get down on yourself for your past.
If you are in Israel, it would be good for you to meet Rabbi Eliahu Leon Levi to see if you need any fine tuning. Some years, Rabbi Levi will spend several weeks after the high holidays receiving audiences in New York.
In addition to the Tikun HaClalli of Rabbi Nachman, it is good to say each day, the Tikun HaYesod Yeshuat Eliahu, formulated by Rav Leon, to give you added strength for the future [This Tikun or rectification of the sexual covenant consists of 13 Psalms in the following order followed by a confession: Psalms - 69, 55, 22, 129, 27, 125, 13, 124, 89, 85, 72, 28, 29].
May Hashem bless you with an increasing attachment to Torah, with a burning love for Him in your heart, with a true and lasting fear of Heaven, and with continued success in the never-ending battle against the yetzer. And may He bless you soon with a modest and loving wife.
|Last Updated ( Friday, 26 April 2013 )|
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