While we know that hotzoas zera levatalah is one of the most serious aveiros one can be oiver, if one had a unintentional seminal discharge at night (“wet dream”) does that also carry the same seriousness, with the need to do tshuvah, etc?
Thank you for your question on this sensitive, personal topic.
While being motzei zera levatala unintentionally is infinitely better then when it is done intentionally, nevertheless, it is considered an Aveiro, even though at that point the person is an ones. The gemora says that a person should be careful not to have improper thoughts during the day, because it will cause him to be moztei zera levatala at night. We see from this, that although we are commanded to take preventive steps to make sure that this won’t happen. Having said that, on the other hand we have to understand that almost everyone has occasionally mishaps, and this is why Hashem make teshuva. It is important to mention that unless someone has a major issue with this, we generally don’t want to make too much of an issue of this. The reason being because the actual dealing with these topic cause the person to think about it. For example, if I would tell you not to think about a purple elephant and would tell you numerous times not to think about a purple elephant, that is exactly what you are going to think about. Therefore, the way to deal with this is specifically not to make an issue of it and instead, concentrate on learning torah better. This is for a number of reasons. First of all the Rambam says that a person whose mind is concentrating on learning will not have such thoughts, and secondly, because it is brought in numerous seforim (see sources) that torah learning is the best teshuva for this aveiro (even if done on purpose). Therefore, try the best you can to divert your mind to torah, and IY”H you will have siyata dishmaya.
Kesubos 46a, Keser Rosh (R’ Chaim Velozoner) 133 writes from the Vilna Gaon that if a person toils in torah he has nothing to worry about for his past sins. Also see introduction to Iglei Tal. Tzidkas Hatzdik 108 and 96. This is also written in the Mishna Berura 615-3, Shar Hatzion 615- 5. Also see Pele Yoetz (Topic- Chidush) that a person should toils to be mechadesh something in torah. As a side point he also says that if a person learns something clearly, that that is also considered a chisddush, because it is something new to him.) Also see Igeres Hakodesh from the Baal Hatanya chap. 9, Maharsham 1-58, Ginzei Hamelech ( R’ Y. Abuchatzeria) Chap. Tikun Habris, Kovetz Otzros Yerushalayim 4 pg. 634 that brings a story regarding a boy who was very down because of this and R’ I. Z. Meltzer zt”l told him this. Also see Ohr Latzadikim – Hilchos Talmud Torah 22 that when a person sweats from learning that it is atones for the sweat that he had due to improper thoughts. Also see Shevet Mussar chap. 44, Krayana Digrisa (old version) 1-11, Zos Brisi chap 6.