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Last Chance, Friends!

By Tzvi Fishman
2/8/2011, 12:00 AM

While repentance is always praiseworthy and acceptable before the All Merciful One, this is the final week of “Shovavim” when repentance over sexual sins is especially worthwhile. So everyone should make a last-minute effort to do something to make amends for past mistakes, and to start out on a new beginning.

As we have written here, and on, there are many paths of t’shuva, whether it be fasting, giving tzedaka, learning more Torah, jumping in a mikvah, reciting the “Tikun HaKlali” over the spilling of semen in vain, or the “Tikun Hatzot” over the destruction of Jerusalem and the exile, or simply pouring out one’s heart to G-d in heartfelt sorrow.

It's worse than eating pork!


One thing is certain - nightly cyberspace tours through the lingerie department at eBay must stop, along with the bikini competitions on youtube, and the hot celebrity photos on Yahoo, ad infinitum. Most of you won’t eat pork – why pollute your souls with watching all kinds of immodest ham shots? The damage you cause is much worse!


This is what happens every time you look at something you shouldn't.


At the very least, if you don’t yet have a filter on your computer, download one now, and give your wife, or your best friend, the code, so you can’t sneak peeks whenever you get the urge. Not to mention getting rid of cell phones that can pick up all the smut in the world.

And remember, for those of us who are married – our wives are to be treated lovingly and respectfully according to halachah, and not like whores off the street, G-d forbid. Do yourselves a favor while the gates of penitence are wide open, and brush up on the laws covering the holy marital union as well.

The Zohar tells us that the Holy One Blessed Be He hates sexual immorality more than anything else. Now’s the time. Don’t wait for the thunderbolt to strike. Take advantage of this unique opportunity. Even one seemingly small improvement. Remember, someone who sanctifies himself even a little in this world, is sanctified a great deal from Above.

I know you don’t like hearing it, but what can I do? Our Sages teach that someone who has the opportunity to rebuke wrongdoers and doesn’t, he is punished first (Shabbat 54B-55A). Even if he feels they won’t listen, he still has the obligation to fulfill the mitzvah of rebuking his fellow (Vayikra, 19:17-18). What I say to you, I say to myself as well. No one is free from this matter, as our Sages teach, “There is no tzaddik who does good and doesn’t sin.”

So remember the address: Tell all your friends. You’ll be doing them a big favor.