Sanctify yourself through the permissible... Yevamos 20a

Divrei Torah to provide Chizuk in the struggle to balance spiritual and physical needs.

L'Iluei Nishmas Mirkah Bas Yosef

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Bringing a Personal Redeption

This Shabbos while davening I suddenly realized that all these years when I davened "L'Yisuatcha Kivisi Hashem" (I am waiting for your redemption Hashem) that I had thought of it as a passive act.

I suddenly realized that if you use Shira Smiles' Dvav Torah (listed in a previous post) about Naaseh Adam, let us make man, that we have to be an active participant in bringing this redemption.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Amazing Tool for Serenity

Also from Rabbi Weinberger on naaleh.


Since the beginning of time Hashem has been making shiduchim. Not just husband and wife, but every person that we encounter was custom selected by Hashem to help us complete our Tikun. That is why Hashem gave us an Ezer K'negdo, to highlight our shortcomings.

Learning from Everyone

From a Shiur by Rabbi Weinberger


Many people think that we should be humble as a form of Tzidkus but the real Emes is that each person has something that is very elevated that we can learn from. In every person there is something great that is crucial to our growth.

While non of us are experts or proffessionals in substance abuse we all help each other more then any one expert can.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Still More From Shira Smiles on Lech Lecha

In Yidishkeit there is no such thing as happily ever after We believe that life is about growth and that struggling is part of growth, but -- EVERYONE HAS TO STRUGGLE NO ONE HAS TO SUFFER.

More From Shira Smiles on Parshat Lech Lecha

Reb Shira Smiles on Parshat Lech Lecha says that the greatness of Avraham was not the actions that he took, but the love and dedication that he had for Hashem when he did them. Through the years many people unfortunately sacrificed even more then Avraham did in the Akedah. The thing that made him so great was the way that he did it out of love for Hashem.

This points out that our motivation in doing an act is greater then the act itself. When we follow the program, losing weight is a nice thing but our focus and benefit should be on abstinence and serving Hashem by taking care of ourselves.

The way to fool the yetzer Harah is to let him think that you are trying to reach a goal that is physical when your real goal is spiritual.

We can begin the program saying that we want to loose weight, but our higher motivation should be to serve Hashem by being healthy.

Avraham's essence was chesed. The greatest chesed that a person can do is to give something that the person does not have. The greatest chesed we can do is to give to Hashem. What is the thing that we can give to Hashem? To improve ourselves. If Hashem would improve us without our effort, then we would be robots not people. Therefore, working to be Misaken our own tikun is a tremendous gift that we can give to Hashem.

How do we improve ourselves, by making a concrete specific plan and sticking to it. By breaking out of our old habits and growing. When we do this, we will find that Lech Lecha means go out of our old selves, L'tovatcha, for your own good, L'atzmacha for yourself and for Hashem.

Monday, October 26, 2009

D'var Torah from a meeting

In a meeting tonight someone shared with us:

Hashem told us that he is giving us the choice between good and bad, between life and death, and that we should choose life.

For us choosing life means giving up compulsive eating. We are "killing ourselves with food" and it is time for us to choose life, and stop compulsive eating.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Parshat Lech Lecha

From a Shiur by Shira Smiles on Lech Lecha


A person is like a tree. His branches are the mitzvot that he does, but his roots are his midos.

While working the program we can not think just about our food plan, working the program means working on our character.

We are involved in a lifetime struggle to bring out the positive inside of ourselves.

Our stuggle is for a lifetime. We can not think that it is a temporary struggle.

When we learn something that really resonates within us we should try to turn it into a tefilah and ask Hashem to make it part of our lives.

We have to ask Hashem to help us to make the program part of our lives not just pay it lip service.


From a Shiur by Shira Smiles

Noach was a very great man and he saved the world but he was not as great as Avraham. Avraham began Judiasm because he brought other people to worship Hashem. The reason Hashem says let us make man is because when we teach Torah to other people we make ourselves greater and them greater. " Naaseh Adam" means that each person has a responsibility to help others to grow in Torah. It is as if Hashem is asking each of us to be a partner in creation.

This is a perfect explanation of why service in OA helps us to keep abstinent.

Trying to find a Tikun for the Chet Harishon

A collection of Parsha Insight that reflect the conflict of Ruchnious and Gashmiuos in our lives.

Bereshit:Rav Itamar Schwartz, from a Shiur on Tu Beshvat talks about how Adam Harishon destroyed the world through eating one fruit wrong and we can begin to be mistaken this Chet by eating correctly. He says that it is very important when we eat that we eat from need and not from desire.

Before I began OA I did not think that this was an attainable goal. I thought that it would be lovely to do it, and a Tzadik like Rav Schwartz could do it, but me-forget it. Now that I am working the program I feel that this is what I am doing.

Rav Schwartz talks about the need to balance the physical and the spiritual in his book “Da Et Atzmacha”He says that you should seek to develop your creativity with spirituality not through the material world. He even says, it is good to eat the same thing every day.

This was an eye opener. I could not imagine that this was a good thing. Now that I have a set food plan every day I see how important this is. I do not have to waste spiritual energy on thinking about food. I do not even think about how much food to eat. I am abstinent. I do what my sponsor tells me to do. I know that the plan works, I see with my own eyes that it works for so many people, I can save my spiritual energy for what really counts.


The lesson for October 14 was: “The path is smooth that leadeth on to danger” …Shakespeare

This was talking about the fact the the easy way is not always the good way.

I was lisenting to a Shiur by Rebbetzin Heller about Yichud Hashem She was explaining that good and bad come from Hashem. It is important to understand that the source of everything is Hashem and that the reason that we need bad in our lives is to help us grow.

I was having problems with the idea that I had to look to non-Jewish sources for wisdom. I kept thinking that everything that I need is in the Torah so why do I have to look elsewhere. It is comforting to see the same ideas discussed in my learning it make me feel that I am going in the right way.


In a Shiur on Parashat Noach Shira Smiles says that one of the reasons for the Mabul was that people had started to become imprecise in their talk and in their action.

I find that one of the most important things that I am learning while working the program is that I need to be more precise. I have to measure my food. I have to tell my sponsor exactly what I am going to eat.I find that this is spilling over into my life. My desk at work is neater and I am being more careful of details.


Rabbi Lazer Brody in a Shiur on Parshat Noach said that the reason that the Dor Haflagah did not get destroyed was because of Unity and that they did not speak Loshon Harah.

One of the things that is most impressive on the program is the mix of people. They range from modern to the most chasidic. It is really beautifulOne of the important things we talk about in meetings is anonymity. To me this is so similar to shmiras Ha Lashon. YOU Can not tell someone what someone said in the meeting, you can not even tell someone that another person is in OA. This follows that laws of Loshon Harah. IT is assur to tell someone what someone else said, or what you saw someone else do.
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