I recently went to a party with a lot of people. And people were drinking and having a good time, and there were many girls. I started to remember my past before I became a Baal teahuva and there was something inside me that felt like I was missing out so badly. I wanted to interact with girls and do what everyone else was doing, and it was hard not to look at the girls, but I knew I shouldn’t so I decided to leave. I don’t know what it is but it felt like there was a pit in me like something wasn’t right and I know it’s probably the yetzer hara just trying to pull me away but it’s hard because I remember how much fun it was. Is there any advice you can give on how to deal with this?

Answer:

Firstly, allow me to commend and admire you for taking the courageous step of leaving the party. This was surely the right thing to do, and it shows your strength of character and your commitment to doing the just and the good.

Of course, the issue is common both for baalei teshuva and for all of us.

Men are naturally drawn to girls and want to interact with them. This is basic to human nature, as all know – whether you call it the “yetzer hara” or otherwise.

Jewish morality, based on the mitzvot of the Torah, urges us to transcend human desires and to raise them to a level of holiness. In the case of sexual desires, this means that these should be reserved for the holiness of a marriage and the elevation of a deep and meaningful relationship – and not as a mere derivation of pleasure that ultimately leaves us empty and without fulfillment.

Beyond what you managed to do, the only advice I can give is to seek to avoid trying situations: for instance, refrain from parties that will bring up this issue, and from similar circumstances. At the same time, you can and should maintain normal human interaction with the world – Judaism requires us to sanctify the world, and not to shun it and reject it.

Good luck and best wishes for the future.

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