Shovavim is an acronym for the six weekly Torah portions Shemot, Vaera, Bo, Beshelah, Yisro and Mishpatim. The word Shovavim alludes to the Pasuk in Yirmiya (3:14), “Shuvu Banim Shovavim” – “Return, wayward children”… The Arizal taught that these weeks are especially auspicious for doing Teshuvah in the area of Kedusha since these are the parshiyos about the slavery in Mitzrayim and our subsequent redemption. It’s a time when there is special divine assistance for every Jew who wants to be free of the shackles of the Yetzer Hara!
- Part 1 (Shemos, Va’eira, Bo): The Makos and the Yetzer Hara’s refusal to submit to Hashem’s will.
- Part 2 (Bishalach): Kriyas Yam Suf – When the sea finally splits for us!
- Part 3 (Yisro): NAASEH VE’NISHMA AND SURRENDER
- Part 4 (Mishpatim): THE SECRET OF THE BRIS
As long as you are in the program for 50 days within the 100 day period from the beginning of Shovavim, 19th of Teves (Dec 31, 2023) until the grand event on Rosh Chodesh Nissan (April 8, 2024). That means the cut-off date for joining is the 9th of Adar Alef (Feb 18, 2024).
The most important thing is to brush yourself off and get right back up on the horse! The 50 days clean should ideally be consecutive, but it’s not me’akev, as long as it’s 50 days within the 100 days of the period from the beginning of Shovavim until Rosh Chodesh Nissan (the big event).
You can always catch up on the days you missed by going to the “50 Day Program” link on the menu.
GYE has a hotline for chizuk and tools to help you get through urges. Dial 646-GYE-6600 (646-493-6600) and then press 2, then 5.
We highly suggest signing up to guardyoureyes.com to gain access to the tools and strategies that have helped tens of thousands of people! There is a special page of support options for teens, and a series of animated videos that can teach you methods and strategies for breaking free.
It is also suggested to download this 50-Day chart and print it out.
To read the daily chizuk tips, you only need to have email or text. The rest of the guidelines do not require internet access.
Next year we hope to have printed versions of the 50 day Chizuk program as well, be”h.
The Guard Your Eyes organization has many Rabbanim and Gedolim behind it, from across the spectrum of our community (see here). In addition, the material that is being sent out daily is being taken from sefarim that have haskamos from Gedolim like Rav Elya Brudny, Rav Matisyau Solimon zatza”l, Rav Shmuel Kaminetsky, etc.
Hopefully we’ll have other incentives for those who can’t be in the US for Pesach. We will also have a few exciting events, kumzitz and raffles in Israel as well. We’ll let you know.
Download the poster / flyer and hang it up in the shuls and Yeshivos in your area!
- Poster US Size (11 X 17)
- Poster US Size with Bleed (for Printer)
- Poster Israel Size (A4)
- Poster Israel Size with Bleed (for Printer)
You can also donate towards the cause here. Your donation will go towards advertising the initiative, raffles, gifts and events.
Sure you can join! Doing this together as a group is indeed much more powerful, as we can see in this video by Rabbi Gamliel Rabinovitz Shlit”a. However the incentives (i.e. the raffles and events) are only for bochurim. (Don’t worry, you’ll get your full reward in the World to Come).
The Arizal revealed the way to fix the negative impact of wasting seed. The most powerful way is to fast. The Arizal revealed the amount required: 84 consecutive days (eating only after night-fall). This is called the fast of “Peh Daled.”
For most people, however, 84 fasts is beyond perceived possibility and even attempting it may lead to failure and despair. But there is another option.
Instead of 84 fasts, one can compensate by fasting one day and redeem the 84 fasts with charity. We suggest redeeming the fasts for at least $2/day X 84 = $168. This also comes out to the approx amount it costs to sponsor a GYE member’s recovery. (The money can come out of maaser). Click here to donate.
Here are some suggestions of how you can help:
- If the boys in Yeshiva have internet access, download and print out this flyer. Then hang it up in the Yeshiva and/or give it out to the boys and encourage them to sign up.
- If the boys don’t have internet access but you do have somehow (for example, through the Yeshiva office) you can download and print out this poster which has a blank white space at the bottom for you to put in your name (and phone number?). You can write something like this in the white space: “Boys who want to join should contact Chaim Goldstein (example name)”. When the boys come to you, take down their info and sign them up at shovavim.org. If you don’t have access to shovavim.org, you can sign them up using this Google form.
- Print out the guidelines and show them to the boys who ask to sign-up.
- Click here to download a 50-Day Chart for printing, to help you keep track of your success.
Btw, you may not know this, but any Yeshiva that has at least 25 boys in the program is eligible for $100 to raffle off sefarim each week, just for that specific Yeshiva! If your Yeshiva qualifies, let us know at email@example.com.
Important Note: Even though the program started at the beginning of Shovavim, bochurim can join in the middle as long as they’re in the program for 50 days until the grand event at the American Dream Mall on Rosh Chodesh Nissan (April 8, 2024). That means the cut-off date for joining is the 9th of Adar Alef (Feb 18, 2024), because after that there will be less than 50 days left until Rosh Chodesh Nissan.
Here’s what you can do:
- The best option would be to send the poster to a local print-shop. In the U.S. you could download this flyer (with bleeds, specially created for a print-shop) and email it to the print-shop near you. For Israel, download this size. Ask the printer to print as many posters as you think you can hang up around your area. If you need help to pay for the print-job, reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Or you can simply download this flyer (without bleeds) and print it out yourself to hang up and distribute. (In Israel, download this size).
Here’s what you can do:
- Download this flyer and print it out to show your mashgiach or Yeshiva staff. Ask them for permission to hang up the posters in Yeshiva.
- Print out the program guidelines and show them to the Mashgiach as well.
If your Yeshiva doesn’t think Shovavim initiatives are appropriate for Bochurim, you can share that Rav Simchah Zissel (Der Alter) of Kelm wrote a letter to a group of bachurim who had undertaken special improvements in their avodas Hashem during the weeks of Shovavim. (Kisvei HaSaba MiKelm, Chanukah U’Purim p. 29.)
I rejoiced upon learning that you have been inspired in the path of kedushah, to go in the way of righteousness during these holy weeks of שׁוֹבָבִים תַּ”תּ. If only I could become part of your wonderful group!
However, our generation is not like the generations of old, who afflicted themselves physically, as is well known. The suffering that we endure by avoiding evil, by controlling our desire to speak that which is forbidden;by minimizing mundane chatter and by controlling our thoughts, whether during tefillah or as we go about our activities — this is more honorable and beneficial [than physical affliction].
… How pleasant is your lot, for you have bonded together to strengthen yourselves during these holy days. While it is not within our abilities to fast and afflict ourselves as in previous generations, without a doubt the discomfort of controlling our desires is more exalted and beneficial than the discomfort from withholding food and drink from ourselves.
Here’s what you can do:
1) If you can share your phone number with me at email@example.com, I’d be happy to call and discuss your offer more in depth.
2) You can also make donations towards this initiative at guardyoureyes.com/shovavim
Right now, we are looking for sponsors who can help with the following expenses: