Jewish Sexuality dot Com

Home arrow Kabbalists' Writings arrow How to Stop Masturbating
How to Stop Masturbating PDF Print E-mail
Written by Tzvi Fishman   
Friday, 23 May 2014
Much of the material on this website concerns overcoming varying forms of sexual transgression including masturbation. Helpful advice for ending a habit of masturbating can be found in several other articles and in Questions and Answers.

In this article, we are presented a general guideline, including practical tips for kicking the habit and an Eleven Step Torah Plan that is certain to help if applied in a committed and fervent fashion.

BOREDOM
Many people maintain that boredom leads them to masturbate. If this is the case with you, then keep busy. Find extra work or study. Take up a hobby, join a club, do some volunteer work, and engage in more sports. Keep yourself busy and keep out of the house.

FEELINGS OF LONELINESS
Other people report that feelings of loneliness drive them to masturbate.  So try to be with people. Join a men-only sports club. Once again, get out of the house so you won’t be alone. The best thing you can do is start spending time in the study hall of a yeshiva and learning Torah. There you will meet happy, friendly, and positively people who will surely help bring you out of your darkness.

FEELINGS OF DEPRESSION
Also high on the list of things that lead people to masturbate is melancholy and depression. Rabbi Kook explains in his book the “Lights of T’shuva” that sin is the source of depression. The soul of a person whose life is filled with wrongdoing has a natural feeling of sadness which turns into depression with continued sin and the passing of time. The solution, Rabbi Kook writes, is a sincere course of repentance. Once a person abandons his mistaken behavior and returns to the pathways of Torah, the light of G-d will enter his life and drive his depression away.

Another thing is to avoid feelings of guilt and to do things that make you feel happy – activities in line with the Torah, of course. Another helpful thing is to realize that masturbation doesn’t make depression go away. The fleeting pleasures soon passes and the depression remains, and is even strengthened because of the guilt and sorrow in the heart, and because of the damaged caused to a person’s spiritual channel of “Daat” which is associated with the workings of the brain.

SEXUAL URGE
The sexual urge is one of the strongest of man’s passions. Often people who indulge in masturbation describe powerful physical sensations and actual physical pangs in the groin that (they believe) can only be quenched through sex or masturbation. To reduce these feelings to normal levels that can be overcome in other ways, it is important to reduce the stimulations that trigger lust. Most important on the list is to avoid gazing at women, or at videos or photographs of women whether on the Internet, television, movies, or in newspapers, magazines and the like. The old adage, “out of sight, out of mind” is very true. Exotic literature and other things that arose sexual fantasies are also to be avoided. Certainly one should avoid being alone in the house with a computer, and any computer one uses should have an anti-porn filter, of which he doesn’t hold the password and code. Once again, physical activity, exercise and sports are important elements in reducing tensions that can lead to feelings of lust. On the spiritual side, sin, especially sexual sin, creates harmful spiritual agents called “Kelipot” which act as spiritual mosquitoes tormenting a person into more and more sin. This creates a physical tension that drives people to look for sexual release. Going to a mikvah as often as possible helps to drown out these negative forces. The study of Torah is also a very powerful tool in driving these “demons” away in the Torah’s healing, laser-like light. The more one studies Torah, the more he purifies his being and sheds the layers of spiritual impurity and pollution which encase a transgressor and drive him on, like an addict, to additional sin.

Of course, single men are advised to get married. In addition of fulfilling the great commandment of marrying, embodied in the first commandment of the Torah to be fruitful and multiply, the love, happiness, and life-sharing business of marriage keep evil forces away and provide a holy outlet for the sexual urge.

Married men who admit to masturbating as well need follow all of the advice above, including not gazing at other women, and not viewing forbidden things on their computers and cell phones, and not engaging in immodest sexual relations with their wives which serve to fire their lust rather than to douse it. They also should increase their study of Torah when they have free time, since the study of Torah weakens physical lusts. They also need to work on a greater reverence for G-d, and to work on improving character traits. Especially important is learning to be happy with one’s lot, and not to seek after extra personal pleasures.

LOOKING FOR A HIGH
Often people say they masturbate to experience a high. This is related to feelings of boredom and in not being contented with one’s lot. Modern capitalist, consumer society, with its constant bombardment of commercials and new products that “you can’t live without out” has created a need for constant and instant gratification. People waste their lives running from one new “high” to the next. For many people, being alone in a room without television or a computer would be a painful incarceration. Masturbation offers a cheap and readily accessible high. Only it’s really a down.

Once again, learning to be happy with one’s lot is the key. Learning to enjoy the simple pleasures in life. Interestingly, since the craving for attachment to G-d is the ultimate basic drive behind all of life, and the ultimate high, people who are driven toward illicit pleasures, are really searching (unbeknownst to themselves) for the “high” of connecting with G-d, which is the greatest pleasure there is. The true place for this exquisite connection with G-d is in the World to Come when the soul isn’t limited by the physicality of the body, but a taste of its great joy can still be had during our life on earth through the attachment to the Torah. The solution is to re-channel misguided lusts into a longing for G-d. Once again, spending time learning Torah with others in a yeshiva, or at Torah classes, or with a regular study partner, and connection with Torah scholars will bring about the happy, “high” feeling of connectedness with the Divine.

WHEN TORAH LEARNING DOESN’T DO THE TRICK
There are many yeshiva students who will admit that they still masturbate even though they study Torah. This is a sign that they haven’t done real repentance for their youthful sins and are learning in a blemished state, still surrounded by “kelipot” or impure husks that are dulling their spiritual sensitivities and the joy of their learning. The answer is a concentrated period of t’shuva, designed to rectify blemishes to the Brit caused by their masturbation. In addition to their Torah learning, going to the mikvah on a regular basis and the recital of special prayers called “Tikunim” are highly recommended by the masters of the secrets of the Torah. Examples of these prayers are posted in the Kabbalah section of this site.

Another thing that causes Torah learning to seem flat and joyless occurs when one is concentrating the brunt of his learning on sections of the Torah that don’t give him the “high” that he could find in other branches of Torah learning. For example, some people prefer learning Aggadah more than Halachah. Others prefer learning mussar and emunah. Others enjoy Tanach. And there are souls which only find true happiness and rest when engaged in the secrets of Torah. While the goal is to learn everything, our Sages tell us that a person can only properly learn Torah in the place where his heart desires. If a person spends too much time learning matters that cause him inner tension, he should lessen his time in this branch of the Torah and fill up the time with learning that gives him pleasure.

ADDED REVERENCE AND LOVE OF G-D
Coupled with everything is developing an added love, along with an increased reverence and fear toward G-d as our Maker and King. This comes through prayer and Torah study. One must pray with all of one’s heart and begged G-d to bring him to this higher level.

One must live with the awareness that G-d is always with us, wherever we are, outside on the street and in every room in the house. Just as a person wouldn’t masturbate while someone else was watching, all the more so when he is aware that the King of kings is observing all of his deeds. Imagine that a “Google-earth” satellite camera was recording your every move – would you masturbate? Would you masturbate if you knew that a video of your doings, along with your name, was going to be posted on “youtube” for all the world to see?

THE ELEVEN TORAH STEPS
A compulsion to masturbate is an addiction like every other addiction and can be treated accordingly. In the Pornoholics Anonymous section of this website, we took the famous Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and applied them to pornography addiction, with the added powerful perspective of Torah. These same steps, with a little modification, can be applied to a masturbation addiction as well. When adopted over a course of time, they can be used as a guide to weaning oneself from the habit.

1. We admitted that we were powerless over lust -- that our lives had become unmanageable.

2. We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves, the One and Only Creator, who gave the Torah to His nation Israel, could restore us to sanity.

3. We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of G-d, and to cling fast to the commandments and the teachings of His Torah.

4. We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to others, especially to a Torah scholar, the exact nature of our wrongs, and made a commitment not to repeat our mistakes.

5. We were entirely ready to put our trust in G-d and have Him remove all of our transgressions through our heartfelt repentance, and to trust Him to help us correct unhealthy character traits, and to rectify our moral shortcomings and the spiritual damages we caused. We humbly begged Him to remove our shortcomings and forgive our sins.

6. We took upon ourselves to immerse in a purifying mikvah as often as we could, and to stop gazing at women, or pictures of women, whether on the Internet, on TV or the movies, in magazines, or in the street.

7. We set upon a course of constant repentance (t'shuva,) making a daily personal inventory, and if we erred and sinned as before, we promptly admitted it to G-d.

8. We fervently prayed to forge a constant, joyous connection to G-d, and spoke to him out loud, on a regular basis as a man speaks to a friend, admitting our weaknesses and fears, and asking for His help in all of our doings, placing special importance on the recital of Psalms, and the Bedtime Shema with great intention, and the midnight lamentation "Tikun Hatzot" over the destruction of Jerusalem, and special prayers called "Tikunim" like the “Tikun HaKlali” and Rabbi Leon Levi’s “Tikun HaYesod,” designed to rectify the damage we caused to the Brit.

9. We took upon ourselves a loving, joyous, and diligent commitment to Torah study for its own sake, including the study of the secrets of Torah, applying ourselves to the learning with the same fervor and passion we once wasted on vanity; and we sought out inspiring Jewish sages who could help illuminate our learning, knowing that it was in the power of the holy Hebrew letters of the Torah to heal the damage we caused to our souls, to the world, and to the letters of the Torah contained in our holy semen which we defiled because of our selfish deeds.

10. We took upon ourselves a new heightened level in the fear and reverence of G-d, including a heightened concentration in our daily prayers, in the recital of blessings, and in the proper performance of the commandments, including (for married men) the sanctification of the marital union, accepting stringencies upon ourselves, rather than pretending that immodest behavior was perfectly all right.

11. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to others, and to practice these principles with all of our strength and with all of our hearts, with the supreme joy of knowing that G-d has forgiven us and created us anew.

A patient, steadfast commitment to these 11 Torah Steps is sure to bring healing to ones soul. An important thing to remember is, "Don't worry - be happy." As Rabbi Nachman of Breslov teaches, "The whole world is a narrow bridge, but the most important thing is never to be afraid at all."        

 

Last Updated ( Friday, 23 May 2014 )
 
< Prev   Next >

JoomlaStats Activation


Fatal error: Class 'JTEXT' not found in /home/jewishse/public_html/components/com_joomlastats/count.classes.php on line 885