Readers’ Scoop: I Was A Serious Internet Addict

Readers-Scoop-Logo smallDear TLS. I would like to tell your readers about a dark issue I had which I believe can help many. A few years ago, I got my first cell phone which had Internet. It wasn’t long before I began to browse the options and eventually the Internet which ultimately led me to browse sites which were not for the lowest people, to say the least. Before I knew it, my life was being destroyed.

To make matters worse, I was married and had several kids. My wife had no idea what was going on with my dark secret life, but she knew something was wrong. I was not acting myself to myself or to her.

But it didn’t stop with my cell phone. Eventually, I got hold of a computer, for business purposes of course, and without going into details, I was sinking like a huge rock in the ocean.

I needed help, but I was afraid to get it, lest my wife find out and end our marriage. So this continued for several years. Yes, years.

And it wasn’t only those sites. One thing led to the next and I started getting involved with interactive sites where I took low to a new low. I even started going places which had I been caught, I would have ruined myself and my family forever. Again, I don’t want to get into details, but anyone suffering from these addictions knows what I’m talking about.

There was no question, I was a serious ‘Internet Addict’, but going for help was a scary thought.

And then I was caught. My wife tells me one day she knew what I was doing. I felt the blood draining from my body. I figured I obviously didn’t cover my tracks good enough or someone saw me and told her something. I thought my marriage and my life was over. When my wife started telling me what she knew, I realized she didn’t even know a small percentage of my issues. But she knew enough.

Seeing my life quickly going down the tubes, I told her how sorry I was and that I was seeing a therapist.

I realized this was the only way to save my marriage and life, and found a therapist.

It was quite costly, but I am now on way to recovery. I do not go online anymore, unless my wife is present, and although the temptations are there, I’m beginning to piece my life back together again. What I find helps most, is keeping myself occupied with real life.

I still have a long way to go, but I’m beginning to see the light and my old self again. I’m beginning to find happiness in my life again and appreciating what I have in life.

All I can say is that it’s a scary and dangerous world out there, but if you want to gain control over yourself again, get help, and fast.

And to all those parents out there who think their innocent children ‘need’ a cell phone for whatever reasons, use caution.

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  1. I have a right to be sceptical of this article. Being a computer pro, I must say here that the issue is not the machines, rather the lack of hashkafa on the part of the users. if their only hashkafa is do what everyone else does, then when they hookup on line, they will do what “everyone else” does. Not enough is being done in this area of hashkafa and when people have a nisoyone they just fold. Not a good mehalach. This article, using fear techniques, will make some people think twice, as they should, but it does not address the core issue of why this fellow fell. if our yiddishkeit, and part of that is the ability to stand up against the outside world and say NO, is so weak that we can’t use the net without falling, I dare say we have a major chinuch problem that banning the net won’t solve. Only a Torah Hashkafa based on Tanach, and the mussar works can help us weather this storm.

  2. I am really impressed with u finaly someone is facing realtiy and working on himself instead of blaming everyone else You are doing the best thing possible everyone should learn from you and you will be a true happy person 1 day

  3. To #1: So you feel that Hilchos Yichud are not necessary? Why would it be? Everyone should have proper hashkofos to be able to hold strong. What about all the gedarim the Chachomim made? Those were also not necessary!

  4. Like an ostrich with his head in the sand, you come across as just another “mechanech” that’s ignorant and ‘eingeret’. I can tell you that this story is 100% possible and prevalent in our community and beyond. Speak to a ‘Yishareini’ rep and you will quiver and shake of the stories they’ll tell you.
    Chinuch may help for our kids, but for the adult community that has not been geared to deal with these issues when they were younger, its a serious problem that’s only getting worse- much worse.
    There are solutions out there for site-track/control (CovenantEyes- Jnet, etc etc) and books that help deal with these addictions. Rabbi AJ Twersky has a book on Alcohol Addicts which are one and the same.
    Mi Yaaleh Behar H’…. Nekii Kapayim u’vaar leivav…

  5. Temptation is everywhere – and the internet provides an unlimited amount of doors to choose from. I personally have internet access solely at work – in a common area. Good luck!

  6. #3 yichud is to prevent a spur of the moment nisayon, which even a pious person may be nichshal. But to get to the degree of an addiction, that usually means that you don’t have a strong moral compass, and strong conviction in what’s right and wrong. A man with strong hashkafa’s, would catch himself after he falls and not let it continue. Like it says im ra’esa Talmid chacham she’avar aveira alal teharher acharav shebevadai asa teshuva. But you do have a point that using the Internet can be a problem of yichud, so there is a need for filters and/or a yishmoreini type of program.

  7. why do you let these idiots post. i personnaly know those who have fallen to this, its too big of a nisayon for ANYONE, please stick your head back in your sand and let those who need help get it. they feel guilty enough without your mussar

  8. I would like to point out how anyone who doubts this article is so far from facing reality, it’s scary. I personally know of many people addicted to this garbage. People say it’s our chinuch that is the problem; and let’s say it is? What’s the difference what the problem is? After all, practically speaking, it’s a tremendous problem and no matter what you may blame it on, the problem won’t go away!. But, the first step in fighting such problems, is facing reality. Facing the fact that there is a tremendous tremendous problem.  if you are not somehow involved in the parsha, you have no idea how far it goes. It goes beyond all parameters. People from all walks of life and every age group. I wish it weren’t true.
     How about one of the yeshivas that is considered from the “top yeshivas” in america having such a big problem that one bachur said “I have no more taivah to view any of these things, because I’ve already seen everything there is to see”. (He obviously was lying as the lust doesn’t go away after becoming involved, it just gets worse. As the Gemara says “eiver kuttun yeish liadam…”).
     Now, my point of this comment was not to frighten people, my point is that maybe someone out there who doesn’t realize the issues will face reality. Another point was to give hope to those suffering from the terrible addiction. There is an AMAZING website run by frum torahdik yiddin by the name of There one can truly find help in every way. From information to support groups, this website is a trailblazer in places noone has gone before!
    P.S. Anyone who doesn’t believe that the problem is so rampant can also checkout this site and see how many people are signed up and actively fighting this addiction on this one relatively obscure site.

  9. Anybody know of a good filter that doesn’t crash and slow down your pc? I had k9 but kept on crashing and ruining my pc.

    I would appreciate the olem to reply of they have a very good one….i am very interested.

  10. Number 12 if you have not already tried consider there may be another issue and not the k9 I have it and it works flawlessly as well many many others who use it and being it’s free and likely the most secure software option it would be a shame

  11. #14: So what do you suggest? I tried K9 approx 5 times. It used to work great until it crashed my pc a couple of times. Every time, i need to have a specialist optimize the pc to make it work fast again.

  12. If you are in therapy and improving,why are you posting on the internet. get a kosher phone,get rid of the computer and stay includes the scoop.

  13. It was couragoues of the guy to write and couragoeous of the scoop to post. THIS IS A PROBLEM THAT REQUIRES A SUPPORT GROUP NOT THERAPY though. To those who reply that chinuch and hashkafa is the issue, you may mean well but it is entirely off the mark. I worked at a yeshiva for troubled kids. many were drug addicts. Addicts can have good hshkafas. It’s there bodies that are doing the wrong thing! (LIke esav’s head wound up in the right place but his body didnt)

    Most addicts really hate themsevles for what they do as well. They dont need to be put down by others on a high horse telling them that their hashkafa stinks. MOst likely this fellow (and I wish him well) is an addict, and deserves respect for coming to admit his probkem. He can find alot of help on GUARDYOUREYES.ORG ad frum website for addicts. Addiction can strike anyone- male female old young, frum, frie, modern etc…. Not only that, but people on this site have also gone the next step and met in person to begin the process of healing.

    This is the crisis of our times. i pesonally saw a young kid end his life due to addiction. He was a young talented guy who had a problem, but so did a lot of kids at that school.. No one would have thoght he would have ended wehre he did. Since then remained invovled in trying to help addicts where I can. Addiction- whether its internet , alcohol, drugs, gambling , eating, or whatever, is a deadly progressive disease. The only sustainable cure for it is group therpay with the 12 steps recovery process.

    Dear yid.. congratulations on taking the first step and may your step be an inspiration to others and yourself as well.

  14. Do you think the first step is to go back on the internet and post something? shouldn’t it be to stay away and work on it? Not everything has to be publicized,especially on the internet.

  15. Our Sages caution us about judging others. We can bring about the same tests or worse upon ourselves. After a wisp of sin one is in the challenge: “One more time or one more chance.”

  16. I don’t think that it is an addiction, I think any man that access to these things will eventually fall. We are all human!! What I do is I have Yismareni on my computer and I DON’T have internet on my phone. If I wouldn’t have Yishmareni I WOULD be going to sights that I should not be going to, that’s the truth.

  17. I am scared to begin to think about the fact that there are thousands of frum yidden out there that have Smart-Phones with internet. Most authorities are usually condeming the house computer internet. What about the BlackBerries and the like that are much easier to hide?!!?

  18. Its hard for me to dig back to some of my no good deeds…

    But I was one of those “really good girls” in BY that nobody in their good old mind ever imagined new what garbage existed out there.
    And truly I really was a good kid, I did want to do what was right.

    But I used the internet in my house for homework all the time and my parents TRUST for me was more than any other kid I’ve seen! I was their angel.
    Well I never meant to do anything wrong on there- but i was fascinated with some sites where you can literally ask anything anonomously – and I became exposed to many “yucks” out there. Some how from there I ended up speaking to guys online (NOBODY ever imagined!!) and it was never to do anything bad – in fact I kind of had discussions with them on musar or who knows what but I ended up stooping so much lower than I ever would have dreamed (even tho I never past any assur limits BH) but I was living a hidden life. BH I got into a great Sem and got married and nobody ever knew and I pulled myself away from this garbage but to this day I am affected by it. I completely lost certain sensitivities and I know I have the potential to get addicted to even the “kosher sites”.

    I know I need the internet for work and also for other things but it hurts me to watch others stoop into a pit like I once did myself.

  19. Why don’t all you low-lifes criticizing this writer for going on line to post this courageous letter think that maybe, just maybe he wrote the letter and asked someone to send it in or maybe mailed it in?
    Why can’t you bring yourselves to be mechazek a Yid instead of trying to belittle him?
    Your (#5, 16, 18) posts are despicable!

  20. If anyone is still out there that thinks there is not a huge problem of this in our communities today, he may be liable to cheirem or whatever power the Rabbanim have when someone publicly declares their words to be lies. I can quote many dozens of Rabbanim (probably your Rav too) on this issue but I need not point to any other speech other than the one given by Rabbi Yosef Veiner (Rabbi Yosef Veiner: Tisha BAv Our Responsibility Toward Others (07/30/2009) I personally have had my ENTIRE life changed by the use of as many others have also. I am not referring to a change that took place over the course of many years such as a 12 step program very often requires. I am telling you that in the span of a short 2 months, I have curtailed this issue. If you want to tell me that I wasn’t an addict than you are insulting my Promises made to Hashem on each of the last 4 Yom Kippur’s and about 50 times in between (and for your info I manage to keep EVERY other one of my promises on Yom Kippur). I had such a problem that I was nichshol on Rosh Hashanah itself, it caused me to be Mechalel Shabbos (which actually stopped me for a bit, but that was because I was horrified that I had been Mechalel Shabbos, nothing to do with being nichshol), and I wasn’t stopped even when I had been caught the day before. After over 10 years of all this, turned my life around in a mere two months and it had nothing, absolutely nothing to do with an increased Yiras Shamaim. In fact, my Yiras Shamaim has increased as a result of my success rather than being the cause for it.

  21. I can truly understand the writers story. I can say that the unternet has grabbed me too! I have internet in the house and my wife doesn’t even know. I fight with myself and can dig out for a while and then fall back. Then dig out.. Then try again. To be honest the temptations of the internet itself is easier for me to avoid. Its so common to me that its not even much of a tayvah. However the yetzer horah doesn’t give up. When the fakeness of the internet gets too easy to avoid. The yetzer made me start digging and looking for more. I don’t care much for the internet I just use it to find places to go that I never knew exsited before. Unfortunately I’m now a “boki” in traifa that is boring too! And now is where I need help. Because to go any further downhill is too much for me to even fathom but I’m scared! Each time I felt I had broken one habit it lasted a few months and then some obscure moment led me down new paths to lowness. I am sure I speak for many but If you meet me in shul I’m more likely to tell you about the sugios I am learning in kollel but I don’t need a threapist! I need some yiras shomayim and I need to get rid of the cell phone! I am now going to be mekabel not to visit bad places anymore. I’ll see how lond it lasts. I have lost all sensitivity to shmutz. I just hope this struggle doesn’t last my whole life.

  22. Personally I don’t think there is anything ‘posistive’ to be gained by publicizing your story. If I can just give you my two cents- and I dont mean to be lecturing you, because who am I, but you are going to need more then just a therapist to as you say get your life back on track ande start seeing the light. There is only one thing and ONLY one thing that will get your life back on track and that is Torah. In case I wasn’t clear; only Torah – Abaya and Rova….. that’s the only thing that will give you back your simchas hachayim and your dignity and the respect of your wife and you will see tremendous siyata dishmaya in everything else. Dont waste your time and money with therapists. Much hatzlocho.

  23. The point the writer forgot to make is that its a gradual slide. Each time I shut the computer or come back from a place I don’t belong I cry and do REAL teshuva I realy mean it. And I am mekabel to stop. Ita easy then because the nature is ita easy to feel the “ichieness” then but unfortunately the nex week or month I’m reading an innocent news article and some shmutzy story catches the eye. Or a person in the street that is dressed inappropriately(yes even frum ones) and boom I’m back in the ground. I climb out again. But the main thing I’ve come to realize is that I need a kosherphone. I have went through a stage of having such charata that each time I used the internet in the wrong way I called up verizon and blocked the web on my phone the problem is that a week later I called back to enable it again. It got to a point where they wouldn’t do it for me anymore they thought I was nuts. I actualy explained it to them and thet laughed! But I was given a choice leave it on or off! I chose…..on unfortunately. But the real thing I need is to shut the web off the phone for good. I don’t need therapy I don’t need anything I need strength to shut of the phone for good. Then learn mussar and fight the yetzer like the rest of the world. But I can’t fight with a phone in my hand! Let’s get rid of the cellNET! Its being machriv us all!

  24. If you don’t think this is a problem in our communities, see this article from the Jewish Press last week, by Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, president of Nefesh (if the Lakewood Scoop would like to publish this article too, I can send you the text file):

    As a matter of fact, this article was so shocking that it was sent first to Rabbi Avraham Twerski to review before publication, and this was his reply:

    “I was sent this article to review before it was submitted for publication in our communities. I would like to endorse everything in this article, which is unfortunately true, and the time has come for this kind of article to be written.

    Let me go further. The Talmud says that anyone who can prevent a sin from happening and does not do so, is held culpable for that sin. If we have the ability to alert the community about this spiritual cancer and we do not do so, then we share in the guilt of the lives and families that are being ruined. This plague respects no-one. There is no immunity.

    Unfortunately, the world is becoming more dependent on internet every day. Filters are important, but they are not the answer.

    I am also personally close with the founders of the GuardYourEyes organization and can vouch for their work, which has helped hundreds of Acheinu B’nei Yisrael turn their lives around and is so necessary in today’s world. May Hashem save us from Michshol.”

  25. I am poster #1. I wish to clarify what I said so there is no misunderstanding. I said I have the right to be sceptical of the post. I did not mean to say there isn’t a problem, what I meant is that this generic warning has been seen many times before and If it is authentic I beg mechila if I have caused any tzaar. If it is not authentic then I still hold by the discussion at hand that bans are not the whole solution. A Torah Hashkafa is the solution. Implimenting it is a hard thing called WORK. The frum olam was caught off gaurd by the rapid changes in technology and while many bans have been issued, it is obvious from this post they didn’t all work. My point was and is, that bans are not fulproof and do not address the core problem or problems. They are mere bandaid fixes. What will happen if a new internet enabled device in the form of a pen comes on the market? Will we then have a kosher pen? Will we ban pen use? It’s not the pen but what you do with it. For the record, I deal with teens at risk. They use the net and do not have a solid reason not to. They do not have a solid hashkafa. Yes they view goyish sites including pornography. Yes, some realize it is wrong. No they do not know where to turn because they feel there are to few if any that could or would help them.
    Even if they go to at risk yeshivas many times they are exposed to bachurim with worse problems then they themselves have and are dragged down further. We as a community have alot of work to do. Hashem should help all of us. There are no easy answers.

  26. I too, have struggled mightily with this issue for some time now. There is one question I do have though. I do not think that the problem is JUST with the internet when it comes to these issues. I find that in order to really get a hold of my life, aside from getting the internet out of my life, I had to stop going to some FRUM stores in town where the tznius nisyanos are just horrible. You can not separate it. Either you watch your eyes and control yourself or you don’t. I have begun to go to non jewish florists and groceries on Fridays to watch my eyes and ears as amazing as that may sound. A clean break is the only way! It should not have to be that way.

  27. TLS gets kudos for posting this honest, sincere and courageous post.
    Chazal teach us that no one knows the power of another’s Taiva’s nor do they know another’s Nisyonos. Each person must find their own way as each person is individual (See Rambam). What works for one may not work for another. If one is A: Not a professional in this area; B: not completely honest about themselves, they will inevitably cause more problems than good will. Each Jew is likened to a unique gem that has specific facets that they are given to cut and polish to reach their individual potential. The writer deserves encouragement and support and not unprofessional advice and unsolicited opinions. What is astonishing to me, is not the publishing of this extremely important and courageous post, but the hurtful and self-important comments that never fail to appear on just about every article. Here, it shows the insensitivity of self-appointed “Chachamim” who are, perhaps, addicted to posting their self-righteous comments on blogs thinking that they are helping someone other than themselves with their Narishkeit. TLS really delivers the larger “scoop” in the comments. Again I salute the author and TLS for their courage.

  28. Dear Mr. say what,

    You are hopefully involved with as few at risk kids as possible and I hope that you fail to continue to do work for the tzibur as soon as possible, so that worthy people can fill your position. To quote YOU: “Being a computer pro, I must say here that the issue is not the machines, rather the lack of hashkafa on the part of the users.”
    As a computer pro you have NO RIGHT to decide what is and what isn’t hashkafically correct. If you are a Rebbe as you claim to be in your later comment that you posted (“For the record, I deal with teens at risk.”), you would never have stated: “The frum olam was caught off gaurd by the rapid changes in technology and while many bans have been issued, it is obvious from this post they didn’t all work.” This is a direct stab at the gedolim such as Reb’ Shmuel that have worked tirelessly on trying to stop this issue to whatever extent possible. I know for a certain fact that no Rav will ever claim that all other Rabbanim were wrong and now everyone should listen to him (which you insinuated by saying “For the record, I deal with teens at risk….there are to few if any that could or would help them.”).

  29. I agree,
    Actualy im at a point that the nisoyon is not the internet.!! I will control myself from the internet for a week and then some lady (usualy frum but not always) will be waiting on line in the store dressed so purutz that she will do more harm to me than the internet. When will frum ladies realize that they are harming the community when they dress in tight clothes? I dont think that the non frum stores are better but if anyone knows where i can shop without having to guard my eyes too much please let me know. It would do me a lot of good…..gotta go now on the way to night seder. adayos

  30. is the Yetzer Tov that will help you combat the Yetzer Haras of this generation.

    I personally got a lot of chizuk from that site, and from Guard, Mevakesh Hashem, Jack and all the other Tzadikim who give up their time and energy to help yidden struggling with this addiction.

  31. I don’t feel its appropriate to post this letter in this forum. This letter is for an internet addiction support group. You have a serious problem and you are dealing with it, bravo! However we as torah jews should be more tznius and not bare all our terrible shortcomings on such a public forum.

  32. Believe me you are not alone. I feel the same way that you do. And I know that others do too. It is a very real problem. There are so many nisyonos generated by the outside world. It is a pity that people have to bait the jewish men too just to get business at times. I probably know which store you are referring to and I have stopped going there too. It was just too inappropriate. Let’s be honest. The women can not be blamed for everything. People have to take responsibility. But there are certain gedarim of tznius that are basic and some store owners need to learn them and practice them. Certainly in public. So guarding your eyes is on your computer AND out in your own community. Yes, the standards have dropped all over. I probably noticed the same thing you did. But I did something about it. I was advised to do my purchase elsewhere. Hatzlacha!

  33. I know how the athor feels. I wish someone would print this blog and show it to the gedolim . there are so many “in the closet” who are addicted. This is the new haskolah movemnet. and its even better because u can get an ishur which makes it all kosher. I think though the problem is we are really unprotected and strong in Toirah from wthin . I hope I can get out from my addiction one day .

  34. This is not a new issue. When Bnei Yisroel in the Midbat were exposed to Bnos Moav, they were nichshal. There is no easy answer. It is all over the place, on the internet, in the stores, and on the streets.

    I offer two eitzos in dealing with the problem, not solving it.

    1) This eitza comes from the gemarah for when one is eino yochol lichvosh. Keep it private. Don’t flaunt it, share it (without da’as Torah), or be proud of it.
    Be very aware that it is wrong and stupid. Give a good cry over it on Yom Kippur (and from time to time), but don’t let it destroy you. Your nisoyon right now is to survive it.
    Don’t view this as a “heter,” but as a way with dealing with something bigger and stronger than you.
    It is also a know method in the phycology world that one should come to terms with things that are out of your control. Teshuva is very often a slow process of recovery.

    2) Very often, we are nichshol because of our gayvah. Kol hamisgaeh, sofo…. Gain the needed humility. The benefits of humility are endless. Sometimes it is forced upon us through chet. Change your outlook of how important and strong you are, and you are now on the correct path to recovery.

  35. I am so past this stuff! I’ve been looking at this stuff since like 15 and now after about 15 years I can honestly say its so fake and so gross its not even a tayva for me. Its just a shame it took about 13-14 years on and off to get it out of my system but its true. So don’t give up. Get it out of your ststem and you will lose the tayva. To be honest the problem is now I have much worse niayonos because my yetzer H. Isn’t interested in the net now I have worse and stronger nisyonos. May I have koach to withstand them! The moral of my story is…internet aheen internet aher. The suton is out to get us and if its not the net its the lady in the store. Or the one at work, or the one in the extended family, or the one in the bungalow colony, or the one in the development. There is only one answer, its called yiras shomayim and it starts with learning torah and keeping ones mind occupied with good things, and askanus is a good way to keep busy for those that aren’t able to learn all day. Hatzlacha everybody.

  36. One second- there is tznius and there is lack of it.
    I dont think the women all dress not tznius around town… I think that some do but many just like to look put together… so if a girl is put together then she is responsible for causing avairos?
    That is really freaky.

    And when it comes to anyone saying that therapists arent necessary and only torah etc… you are so wrong. Yes, torah is the ultimate answer, but when someone needs a doctor cuz they are dying of cancer— although torah should be learned as a zechus for them… they are WRONG not to go to a dr and get help!!
    Im sorry to compare addiction to such a thing but if someone has a terrible addiction, to internet, smoking, alcohol drugs, or who knows what THEY NEED TO GET HELP!!!!
    If you want to have someone learn as a zechus for you or wanna learn as a zechus for yourself… cool— it’ll help. but you need to go to a DR or someone qualified to help you set your life straight!!!!!

    And for the guy that keeps SHUTTING THE PHONE ON AND OFF…… I hate to break it to you but when you say you dont need to get help you just need to shut off your phone- I hope we dont add you to the statistics one day of divorced drunk on street corners… WHO ARE YOU KIDDING??? you think you will be able to control your desires when you clearly see YOU HAVE A PROBLEM!!!???!!
    Your poor wife! (if you have one!)
    Go get the proper help and disconnect your phone service and get a kosher phone. Otherwise you will stoop lower than low cuz you will keep playing games with yourself!
    hello, all you guys that sign that you dont have internet in your home- you are on your phones all the time… I see you around town on those things and my heart goes out to your wives and kids!!!! my foot you dont have it in the house… youre worse than ppl who openly have it in the house cuz you live a sly secret life and LIE to your relatives.

    Its not worth it…

  37. I wish someone would show this to women. Then maybe she might have a clue there’s more serious health issues at hand. I once had a rebbi who told me “every person is choshud on anything” don’t think my husband ia too choshuv to look at stuff. As the sayin’ goes “all man was created equal” and I personaly don’t believe that too many people with unsupervised internet access can withstand the test. Yes you might be able to break the addiction one day but to never be nichshol? I don’t believe it and we can all sit here and sympothize with this person and give advice and mussar but I chalenge anyone here that has constant unfiltered unsupervised internet to tell me with a straight face that they were never nichshol! I might sound brash and harsh but the bottom line is I’m not saying everyone is addicted but to never be nichshol a few times here and there is like defying gravity. I’m sick of hearing all the people sitting on their computers darshaning about all the musser and eitzas. There is one eitza and it is getting rid of it! Yes I wasn’t nichshol today and yesterday but never? For that there is one eitza. Its called guard your home from the machshil.

  38. Unfortunately I know good and well what the writer is talking about. And I’ve been to therapists(notice the plurality). With willpower made of steel we will prevail. It is well documented in seforim that this would be the biggest nisoyon before Moshiach’s times.
    That being said; The only benefit I can see,is if there happens to be someone who never heard of etc.

  39. Dear ms. Lkwd girl,
    I don’t think it is your place to give advice and mock people about an issue that you don’t and cannot have any understanding of. If you read my commen, I myself said that the only eitza is to get a kosherphone. Its easier said than done. I am highly insulted at the mockery you tried to make of me. The shutting off and on the internet is typical of someone who is struggling with a very hard nisayon. Each time he is nichshal he does teshuva and wants to have nothing to do with the avaira again. Then the next test comes. I’m actualy crying now at your nasty words. I was trying to share my chalenges and I thought someone could learn from my experience. I didn’t mention that I got a kosherphone this past elul and have not been on the net unsupervised since. I didn’t want others that still struggle to be hurt. My wife is sitting beside me as I type and she asked me to respond and to mention that a woman that can just mock and bash a tayva that they can’t understand should seek guidance before getting married. Good night and I hope you reconsider your hurtful words.

  40. I don’t get what’s with all these therapistin? Can they take away my tayvah? My biggest nisayon in my life had nothing to do with the internet. There are stumbling blocks everywhere. I don’t get what therapists can do for me?

  41. #43 -lkwd girl. You started off very calm and collected and then it was all downhill from there on. You changed cause and you went on attack mode – not to mention that you disagreed with me. It seems to me that you must have some personal greiviences otherwise it’s hard to understand why a ‘lkwd girl’ would be so hard on men or boys out there on cell phones when you have no idea what theyre doing or who they are speaking to or texting. My suggestion to you is take it easy for one and be a little easy on yourself.

  42. I was once so addicted that I wouold be watching my kids in the afternoon looking at my phone..I would drive around looking at it I would be on it all the time. My mind was one big pair of shmutz. The worst part was that it didn’t affect my marriage so there was no incentive to stop. It got to the point where it wasn’t even driven by lust it was just a plain addiction. My wife gently made a comment once that I might be addicted to my blackberry and I turned pink. She had no clue. She just thought I was addicted to sites like tls and sports etc. But that one gentle comment hit me like a wall of bricks. I hadn’t even realized it myself. I was addicted. I told her you are right and I’m getting rid of it! It was so hard but I did it. And I didn’t need any therapy. Just determination. And I succeeded. But like so many others mentioned. The world out there is tough and life is a chalenge and I’m still confronted with chalenges in this area even without my blackberry. I pass most of them but I atumble aometimes too! You need to gey back up and do real teshuva and erase the past. But let me tell you not having that crackberry in my hand helps a lot!

  43. The women posting here do have a point. As a woman myself, I can vouch for it too. There are women who just want to look “put together”. That is true. And many times it is just that. Not looking disheveled and sloppy. However, I can tell you that I myself am uncomfortable at the absolute breach in tznius by some people. And I am not living under a rock somewhere. It does not always have to do with dress. As a matter of fact, many times it does not. It has to do with the way you throw yourself at the customers that walk into the store. Or the manner with which you talk or behave. Tznius is a responsibility that we women have. We have to consider the nisayon that men have. If I walk into your store and you are talking inappropriately to a man, it is a VERY uncomfortable situation. It is wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Men have enough problems with the internet etc. Why do you have to add to the fire? What exactly do you gain?

  44. to mr. #35
    I guess you need to learn reading comprehension. I did not take any stabs at the gedolim. I don’t know what planet you are on. The olam was caught off gaurd. No one knew how widespread a danger this was when it started. Only AFTER tradgedies started to happen did we have Rabbonim, askonim, etc step in and start reacting. No Net, No Text, No public Library, etc. I am not nor was I critisizing their actions, all I said was it didn’t completely work because you see all these posts here prove the point. As far as the words of the gedolim go, Harav Mattisyahu Solomon shlita said at the 1st internet asifa in Lakewood “the schools need to teach more Yehadus”. That means they WERE NOT TEACHING ENOUGH in His opinion. I stated my opinion as an observation of working with these boys. Will you now say that I didn’t see what I saw? I shouldn’t comment on it? It is because of narrow minded people like you that these boys feel they have no one to go to. We have yet to hear your solution. Only bashing me may make a hero in your own mind, but YOU HAVE STILL NOT Pproposed a solution. I never said don’t have bans, don’t listen to the Gedolim, etc. What i said was IT HAS NOT COMPLETELY WORKED. What do you want, I should lie and say it worked when it didn’t? Stop your knee jerk reactions and READ.

  45. Good point #50. While it is wrong to blame everything on women and shirk responsibility, I have a hard time understanding women who just feel they need to BEG for attention. If you need to beg for attention then there are other insecure things going on in your life. It is time to grow up. You are not an uncontrollable teenager. You have a husband. You have a family. You would like to marry off your children one day soon. Yes, YOU have a responsibility to create a frum atmosphere in your house and place of business. The saddest part is that while we’ve seen the mature people here who are now careful which stores they walk into, unfortunately too many people still go into those places BECAUSE they receive the non tznius greeting. It’s a lopsided world out there. A very false one too.

  46. “Lkwd Girl”
    I think it’s you who needs some help. Help in controlling your feelings. Help in understanding others feelings.And help in your Ahavas Yisroel. Try to feel for someone else struggling with whatever it may be. Your hurtful words are shocking to say the least! I wish you lots of luck in married life. You’d better get some HELP before you head down that road.

  47. This is all great stuff. I love the authenticity of so many of
    these posts. Thank you TLS for bringing this important issue to us.Its wonderful to see so many yidden trying to improve themselves. The ribono she’ll oilam loves each and everyone of us nichshol or not nichshol. All that he wants is for us to be the best that we can be. Hatzlocha and broccha to all.

  48. REPLY TO MENCH: I would just like to quote the RAMBAM in the 3rd perek of his “shmonoh prakim”: The Kadmonim said that just as there is healthy body and sick body, so too there is a healthy nefesh and sick nefesh. The term “healthy nefesh” means that it’s attuned to do good and to do good always (it’s tchunus are to do good). And the translation of a sick nefesh is that it’s attuned to always do bad and lowly actions. And like a sick body so is a sick soul, just as a sick body seeks out what’s bad so to a sick nefesh seeks out what in truth is bad. And just as by a sick person when he knows he is sick and doesn’t know the cure he goes and asks the doctors, so too a person who has a sick nefesh must ask the “wise men” who know the act of curing nifushus to direct the person on the correct
    Path. To tell him of what is truly good and what is truly bad, and to heal him of his choli hanefesh. But those that know that they are sick and don’t seek out a cure the Torah says “ki bishriris libi eileich”
    I did a great job butchering the words of the rambam (I wish I had a Hebrew font to just quote his lushon) but I am trying to bring out the point that therapists are supposed to be the chachamim who guide one who is a “choli hanefesh”
    I butchered the words so anyone who is interested should see it inside and not rely on my cryptic words!

  49. #42 i agree with you that its gross and it makes me sick to just think about these things but the pirki avos says dont belive in your self until the day you die

  50. If we girls dress properly(and we girls know pretty darn well exacttly what that means) and a man is still nichshal, we are not held responsible.but if we are inappropriately dressed….boy wil we have an awful aveirah to shoulder. So I feel safer dressing btznius…its my insurance policy. ! I have noo interst whatssoever in having any part in such severe aveiros.there’s actually a mini tefillah that a famous girl in gemarah would say before she left her home that noone should be nichshal because of her.I’ve benn atta seminary too long.forgot the source.more girls should daven for such things.May Hashem remove the overwelming nisyonos….

  51. Jnet has a very sophisticated program for the blackberry web. Not sure about the other phones. Tel (718) 437-9071.

    It will be very helpful if someone can post info with a phone that has email w/out web capabilities.

  52. To #59 and whoever is looking for a phone with email but limited Internet access – I recommend a phone with a QWERTY board but no Operating Software (not a Smartphone). I had the choice to get a free Smartphone and chose to pay for one without an OS. I don’t waist time on apps any longer and my access to browsing is very limited. I’m also careful not to add any addictive websites such as TLS or YWN to my Favorites!

  53. i work a 12 step program for food addiction, and i believe that it could work for any addiction out there! it has saved my life! i was so involved in food that i just could not stop eating it or dreaming about it! thank G-D i lost the weight and now i am living in recovery! anyone batteling with any kind of addiction should look online (with supervision!) and find the closest meeting of peopel that gather together to overcome their disease of addiction- Hashem should help all of us!

  54. I have a smartphone and I can control myself so can you. Were not a bunch of teenagers here. I have a great wife and family and there is nothing more I would find on the net. Let’s just all grow up and stop being uncontrolable babies. Its not that hard and there isn’t any need for therapy. Maybe marriage therapy but that’s it!

  55. One of the great roshei yeshiva in eretz yisrael didn’t want to sign on a ban against obtaining licenses saying that yiddishkeit is not about banning but rather about teaching the right thing…

  56. To all of you out there who think that self-control is that easy, and that “we’re not teenagers anymore” is a response that is going to help anyone, you’re sorely mistaken.

    First of all, any nisayon is very difficult to get over, and yet, once you win the yetzer hora and prevail, you look back and say, “hey that was not that hard, what was so difficult?!” Thats actually based on a gmorah that says; l’osid lovoh….the tzaddikim will cry and the reshaim will cry. The r’shoim will say that the yetzer horo now seems like a small mole hill, while the tzaddikim will say that the yetzer horo seems like a giant mountain…..

    The point is that nobody should belittle someone else’s nisayon, even if it seems so low or so impossible.

    I myself, have, and continue to have these nisyosnos. It all started when I was as young as 13. The nisyonos were treacherous, and for some reason the opportunities kept surfacing. I didnt even have to go and find things to be nichshol in….things literally found me. The best years I had were the years spend learning in E’Y. There, I found freedom….freedom from the yetzer horoh. I immersed mysellf in learning, and for almost 3 years, i stayed clean from shmutz!
    I got married and B”H didn’t have any major nisyonos untill we brought internet into the house.

    Once we did that, i was uncontrollable. it was as if all I wanted to do was find sites with filth, or chat with others who shared the same desires.

    The big problem was, that I never got over my addictions and ta’avos. I only ran away from the opportunities for a short time. But once they presented themselves again, I was helpless against the yetzer horo. I had no game plan! I was lacking basic training and not to mention…genuine yiros shomaim and yiras chet.

    This was in the early 90’s. before all the gedolim came out to against everything. Today i’m 40 years old and never fully recovered. During the last 18 years of marriage, I have a beautiful family, a great tzaddekes for a wife, but a poor marriage. Somethings are too difficult to hide. My wife sort of knows of my internet addictions, but she senses my other activities as well. I do not want to disclose these activities on this site, but suffice it to say that it involves meeting other people. She doesn’t repect me, and i can’t really respect myself either. I am in and out of therapy, but It doesnt really help.

    Believe or not, I am an active member of my kehilla. I go to shul 3 times a day. My children respect me, I’m a great father who’s thoughtful and helpful. I bring home a nice parnossa and I can learn…..I actually finished shas twice with daf yomi (i even got tested on many chalokim of shas b’eiyun). I learn 3 hours a day, morning and night. Yet I have this dark side that doesnt allow me to become who I can become.

    So The moral of the story is…..don’t judge! just give chizuk. I want to be clean, Its just so much easier not to work so hard.

    I had a thought, that maybe, just maybe this epidemic might just lead to the coming of moshiach. If people start realizing how wide spread this problem is, maybe each one involved can some how get together and giving each other chizzuk to #1 get rid of the web, no matter what they’re need for it is, #2 get rid of the phones, and #3 stop any inappropriate relationships and not look back. All together we can have the koiach to bring moshiach. Imagine the kiddush hashem!

  57. One thing that is quite obvious from all the comments to this letter is that there are ALOT of people struggling with ALOT of things. It also seems that most of the people would really like to conquer this yetzer harah and feel free from the shakles of this taava. I am one of these people. But today I feel different than I did yesterday. I do not feel alone. I see that I am struggling with something that so many others are dealing with too. I thank everyone here for their ideas and Chizuk. We all should know that we have an obligation to pull for each other. Yes, we can hope that the woman in the florist or the grocery will act as a frum person does. But we can only hope. Don’t count on it!! Don’t rely on them to change. You MUST do something to help YOURSELF! Listen to #66. Stop the inappropriate behavior. Put limitations on your access to the bad material. I know that I have gotten alot of chizuk and have set some new rules for myself. I hope they last. The prospect of being free and having my life back seems to really tempt me. Hatzlacha to all.

  58. #66 – it doesnt add up I’m sorry, someone who finished shas twice and yet as you say you never got over your addictions and tayvos. I’m sorry but it does not make sense. I never finished shas yet although I B”H learn plenty and I never found myself running to these sites EVER. I’m trying to understand how if you are this upstanding talmid chochom and asken that you say you are that you cannot get over this sickness. I am sorry its pathetic really, you say in your own words how it costed you your marriage and yet ……. Whats with you guys???

  59. To # 67 This is #66.
    Thanks for the chizzuk.
    And to #68….I even rotate with someone in my morning kollel saying chaburos twice a month., and I used to say chumash shiur to mesivta boys in a prominent moisad. I know you thinkit doesn’t add up, but that’s the crazy part of this ta’ava… can practically lie to yourself and remain totally annonymous. You think your life is pretty perfect, and just needs alittle fine tuning in this area. You think you’ll gett over it any day, any week, maybe next yom kippur. Before you know it. People are reading shidduchim to your daughter, and then you ask yourself how is it possible that all this time has passed, and you’re still as miserable as 25 years ago!?
    I can’t answer that question. I won’t even bother! But believe me its true. I am everything I said I am.

  60. #69 I must tell you, I read your post twice and I see sterling middos in you. Many people would have attacked me and worse. The way in which you responded with such class and real mentshlechkeit tells us all what a special person you are and therefore that may explain why you have had remarkable hatzlocho in learning Torah. You have my admiration and respect and the other thing is going to be a thing of the past. Much hatzlocho in all that you do.

  61. #70-thankyou! My middos is probably the only reason why I still have a wife & family. I wish good middos was enough to break away from all the garbage I’m into….

  62. I just want to say that this article realy helped me a lot. To see the genuine charata most people have gave me a lot of strength. I’ve been good for 48 hours and counting I know this sounds like nothing but my wife is away 2nite and that’s usualy a big test and 2nite I’m pulling through with ease!

  63. First of all, Raph and any others offended,

    IM SORRY!!!… didnt mean it to be hurtful…

    Sometimes I find that using CAPS letters helps a post stand out so the ppl that need to find it will… please dont interpret the caps as yelling. Its more a crying out that really… we cant trust ourselves. I watched too many people I know think they can overcome their problems on their own or say “this time” I’ll be good forever and it lasts until… the next tayva comes in. I happen to have a close friend that started to piece her life back together and yesterday told me she went right back down to the dumps when she was constantly letting me know that she was getting back in control…

    So when you say that just shutting off the phone on your own will work the next time, I cant bare it…. dont you see the pattern? Obviously you are struggling with this nisayon. Obviously the only way to help yourself from becoming a statistic is to make it not possible for you to put internet on your phone altoghether and you will see how you can really live without it.
    Im sorry about the harsh words… I was so hung up by you really thinking you were gonna stop yourself when you see that you obviously have a had time when it is you in control— that I guess I wanted to shake you… and anyone else— to feel like “WOaH!!! thats a far cry from me… I wont ever fall that low!” thats why I came out harsh. I see i did shake you but I didnt mean to hurt you and please forgive me if in fact I did cause you pain.

    Its amazing (and freaky) to me how strong taaiva really is.

    Somehow we generally can manage not to eat treif even when we are hungry but we lose ourselves when it comes to not doing wrong things on internet and phones. If I would find that my husband was doing some of these things…….. I wouldnt know where to turn. I would feel lost and like I have no one left but Hashem. I would lose trust even tho I would know it wasnt done to hurt me but out of taiva. And so when i see just how common the men of our torah community get drafted into this taiva i just cant bear it to see people not recognize that they have a serious “situation” that needs drastic help. and not always can we help ourselves.

    AGAIN, please openly accept my apologies… I was worked up and should have thought about how I was expressing myself.

    please please please… the more you hide the more trust you lose when they find out by accident what you do.
    Be open and communicate! catch it in the bud before its too late, one of my friends husbands has his wife in charge of the internet password and she puts it on for him so he can use it when he needs.

  64. #66 may sound like it makes no sense but booy do I know it exists!my family member also finished shaas learns alll day and is marrying off kids all while stooped in unfortunate addictions listed above in the commments!Baruch Hashem he has a fabulous wife who stands by his side and he doing much better…but yes addictions don’t leave a person evvver.#66 u can be my abba(just mine isn’t 40s anymoreee)

  65. Actualy the story I related was not my own it was the story of a chavrusa of mine who happens to be a rebbi in a yeshiva who after I borrowed his phone to check an important email and i was shocked by what I saw(he was fumfering around trying to delete it as I watched in horror( he broke down and told me his story as I related it.I said it as my own story because I thought it would have more of an affect if it was like “coming from the source” rather than second hand info. I don’t and never had a cellphone with internet and don’t know and don’t want to know how I would withstand the test. But I’m smart enough to listen to my gedolim and not put myself into it. I have filtered internet with a program that let’s my rov see any site I or my wife go to. So don’t feel so bad. But your words were still full of haughtiness and selfishness to those that struggle. Yes I have nisyonos but this is not one of them. Bec. I don’t put myself in the position. But if you and all your friends would not dress to atract my attention in the store or street that would be bost helpful to my personal chalenges. You see the halacha of shmiras eynayim isn’t specific to internet. In my particular case a real person does most harm to my neshama yes I try not to look but its impossible to always be perfect you know..they don’t exactly announce before a prutza enters the store.

  66. thank you for this article. the amount of sweeping under the rug the community at large does is insane and scary. we are too scared to talk about these things and that is a very big problem. #66 there is hope out there its never too late. just shutting off the internet on our phones or computers or filters is not enough, there are ways around them, and other ways to get our “fix” when we need it. dont get me wrong, putting filters on or shutting down net is a very important part of the process but not the only one. this is a very real and prevalent problem in our comunity and the world at large. therapy is not something to take lightly or say doesnt help or is worthless because thats not true. most of the time people just think that going to therapy makes them “crazy” and that they will be viewed differently by others. ABSOLUTELY FALSE. therapy is very helpful and can and does help us see what going on in our lives when we are in complete or partial denial about it. if it is very striong then torah will not necessarily help you. ive been there done that tried it all and nothing ever helped. rabbis never helped bec they didnt know what it was, what to do, and were uneducated, besides for just not willing to believe there is a problem. thank god for the most part that is changing in the world. when people just say to stop and have more control or learn more or “daven” more, and thats all we need they are gravely mistaken and need to face reality, and realize that bashing wont help nor will criticizing others. the best thing to do is to find someone to speak to who u trust and maybe nowadays even a rabbi will know more about these issues, get to a therapist, and get help. and in closing realize that if u tried to stop all different ways and went right back to it then u have a problem and need help. ADDICTION KILLS. this is coming from someone with personal experience in all these matters.

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