AN OPEN LETTER OF WARNING TO FRUM WOMEN AND GIRLS
It is very difficult for me bare my heart to you about this very personal matter. Nevertheless, I am doing so in order to save you from making the same spiritually fatal mistake that I made, and in the hopes that sparing others through my painful and regretful experience, will serve as a `kapparah’ for what I have done.
If you were in danger of being killed or hurt, I would not hesitate to do my utmost to save you. I would snatch you away from an oncoming car, or knock the cup of poisoned drink out of your hand, to save you from harm or death. I am writing this letter to save you from a fate that is far, far worse — the spiritual death of your neshamah r”1, which is much more severe, and which bears greater eternal consequences than mere physical death or harm.
I am a frum woman. In fact, many people consider me extremely frum, due to the way I dress, my lifestyle, my actions. So I am writing to you from the vantage point of someone to whom nobody would believe this would ever happen, and which therefore should trigger a red flag to all of you that NOBODY IS IMMUNE. Many people would, in fact, think that I am the last person to whom this would happen.
I am referring to the dangers of the internet — the very lethal, wily tool of the yetzer hara, which has won him great success in this generation, and which he has widely used to entrap so many unsuspecting neshamos r”1 into the worst possible aveiros. Now you may decide to stop reading this letter right now and say — this does not apply to me or my family, after all, we are very careful about not having internet, about not looking where we are not supposed to, about keeping our knowledge about the world wholesome and pure. And I will tell you that I could have said the same about myself, but it did not help. Let me explain, painful as it is for me to do so…
I was working in a frum office during the time that I became entrapped. I heavily utilized the computer for my work. Internet access was available and necessary for the employees, but at the time there was no filter installed. I had to look up something on the internet related to a health issue, figuring that the bountiful resources on the internet would resolve my questions about the matter. Those were my initial steps into this most dangerous territory. One thing led to another, and I was slowly sucked in to reading and viewing the most abominable texts and sights possible, those which I would have been mortified to be viewing if others in my family or circle of acquaintances saw me, but which I was not hesitant to look at knowing that Hashem Yisboroch was watching and recording every moment of what I was viewing. But I was not thinking about Hashem. One of the wily tricks of the yetzer hara in magnetizing you to the Internet, is drawing you into unrelenting curiosity about things you never read or heard about, or which you may know about but choose not to read about, so that even high levels of Yiras Shomayim and frumkeit will not be strong enough to prevent you from diving into the darker side of the internet.
While I was involved in looking at all these things on the internet, I was davening, saying Tehillim, and doing all the avodas Hashem that I always did — but I still could not control myself from looking at these things. I fell deeper and deeper and it affected me in ways that I cannot even deem to describe. My family life was severely and detrimentally affected, not to mention that I sold out my entire neshamah to the yetzer hara, who claimed great victory over me. I became an easy customer for him.
After an extended period of living with this burden of sin, I felt it too great a burden to keep to
myself, and I told my husband what had happened to me. We have a very Torah-dik home, and
my husband is a talmid chochom, so this was a very severe thing for him and our family. I, with
my own hands, brought the worst tumah into my life, and thereby into our home. It had terrible
effects on my marriage and on our family life. And Hashem has sent me painful reminders, the
kind that wake you up out of your sinful life to do teshuvah — the kind of reminders we hope not
to ever get. I am working on doing teshuvah, but how I wish, how desperately I wish that-I could
| do things over again differently, that this dark chapter in my life had never happened. I live with
the pasuk in Tehillim, “my sin is before me always.” I daven constantly to Hashem to help me
eradicate from my mind and heart the terrible effects of what I saw, as all that ‘shmutz’ was left
glued into my brain, and I shudder every time I recall it.
You may justify your use of the computer because it is filtered, but the filter is not fool-proof, and
you will inevitably see things that will leave a destructive imprint on your mind and neshamah,
and negatively affect your life in the worst possible way.
You may justify your use of the computer because you can shop for items that are cheaper or are
only available online. Think for a moment, and weigh the consequences of the bargains you may
be getting to the benefits of these bargains. Certainly, certainly it is not worth it! Don’t trade
away your eternal neshamos, your very life, for a few dollars!
You may justify your use of the computer as you need it to earn a living. If so, I hope you will a
heed my above warnings and take every precaution possible, even to the extreme, to avoid viewing
anything remotely inappropriate. It is the remote, presumably “kosher” items, which the yetzer
hara uses to have you view first, which suck you in to the darker side of the internet. And don’t
fully rely on a filter. They are not fool-proof at all.
Chazal clearly state that one cannot fight against the yetzer hara without Hashem’s help. You
need to constantly daven to Hashem to help you fight the yetzer hara from the dangers of
technology. Hashem will help, but you must complement your request to Him by showing that
you are taking steps to do something about it — by putting up “fences” against the dangers of the
internet in every way possible, for you and your family. The best way is not to let computers or
internet into your life at all. Believe me — very few, if any people at all, are strong enough to
withstand the lures of the internet.
I am writing this letter to you because I want to save you from the agony I have endured. Please, I
urge you in the strongest of terms, from a broken and pained heart — don’t take the warnings
about the internet lightly! Treat them with the utmost urgency, even more urgent than the most
severe life-threatening health warnings. And never trust yourself. This is not only a danger for
men, but equally so for women. It is a danger for every single person. EVERYONE!
I ask that you share this letter with others, so as many people as possible can heed my warning
and learn from my personal, painful experience. May it be a kapparah for my aveiros, and may
we all merit וטהר לבינו לעבדך באמת .