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Religion and addiction

answered 09:03 PM EST, Tue January 24, 2012
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My husband has begged G_d for help with his addiction for years. We all have. Still he has never managed to beat the monster of addiction. Is religion powerless, what does the Torah teach us? We are at our wits end, please help...

Ari Hahn Says...

Torah teaches us that we are put on this world as imperfect beings. That is one of the lessons of the Bris, that we need to "fix" ourselves through the covenant. That is also one of the lessons of Shabbos, especially in the wording the Torah uses "asher barah Elokim laasos" meaning "to do."

However, the Torah tells us the way to rectify the world and ourselves- through recognition that everything is under G-d's control. There are many details and this forum is not amenable to go through all the details.

I certainly do not know any details concerning the efforts your husband has made over the years. My first question would be if he has tried a 12 step program. the twelve steps, while not originating in Yiddishkeit, are compatible with very Jewish values. Rabbonim who are familiar with that format encourage going to meetings. And there are actually Jewish AA meetings (as well as other 12 steps meetings.) 

Twelve steps is not the whole story. Other support is usually needed. That will depend on where you are located and what help is available.

Torah teaches us that G-d never places a task on somebody that he or she cannot accomplish. It might take a huge amount of effort and require help and support. The help and support are all gifts from G-d.  But it can be done. Work in the right direction and it is forbidden to give up hope. Our sages said that even if a sharp sword is on a person's neck he should not give up hope. The important thing is to keep on trying. 

If you need more direct answers, contact me more directly.

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Page last updated Jan 24, 2012

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