|Addicted Teacher Seeks Help|
|Written by Rabbi Elyakim Levanon, Rabbi of Elon Moreh|
|Sunday, 16 December 2007|
In every generation, the Almighty sends a temptation, an evil inclination specific to the times, and this causes many people to fall. In the distant past, there was an evil inclination (yetzer hara) to worship idols. The Talmud relates that King Menashe said to Rav Ashi in a dream, "If you had lived in my generation, you would have raised the hem of your robe to run to worship idols." Subsequently, the Sages used their powers to wipe out this temptation, such that today we no longer feel tempted.
In our time, sophisticated, modern enticements have taken the place of idol worship. The greatest of all is the Internet. On the one hand, it offers outstanding technological advancements that can improve our lives - but it can also bring about many terrible downfalls.
As an educator, you should know that a teacher cannot truly teach as long as he himself is morally ill. There are professions where a person can get by with his work in this condition, as if nothing were the matter, but education is not one of them. Students recognize that their teacher has a problem.
A person must be directed by his intelligence and reason, and not by the pull of his emotions and imagination. These faculties of emotion and imagination are wondrous powers that afford us great expanses of experience and thought, joy and warmth. But one must use them at the proper time and place.
Furthermore, a man has to take responsibility for his behavior. Spending one's time playing computer games or surfing on the Internet stems from an unwillingness to take responsibility for our actions. It is like running away from ourselves. One can run away for a short time, but it is similar to the usage of drugs or alcohol. They also take us away from our real situation to another distant and unreal place. But when their influence wears off, we wake up to a damaged life that sometimes cannot be healed.
Therefore, when you are immersed in the Internet, you completely forget that you have a wife and children, and in place of the happiness that you spoke about in your question, you have a passing pleasure that takes you out of your real situation.
Imagine that your dual life would be discovered by them, as happens in many families - all of your life and the life of your family would be devastated. You would lose your standing as a husband and as the head of the house, your wife would lose her trust in you, and your children would cease to honor you as before.
[This question and answer appeared in the weekly newsletter, "Komimiot," December 15, 2007.]
|Last Updated ( Sunday, 16 December 2007 )|