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Unread 01-10-2003, 09:59 AM   #1
icewolf770
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addictions

so... to my way of thinking lubavitch is very progressive in the fact that they have rehab centers (like the one in california)... and that it is something that is very important, especially today when alot of people have multiple addictions....
but what i am writing about is that i have also noticed that lubavitch as a whole consumes more alcohol... its like its part of our heratige or something that for everything there is a l'chaim...
what are we doing for those who cannot simply have one l'chaim? what if someone is an alcoholic or has another addiction... in the context of lubavitch and all that we learn in chassidus how do we go about handling these situations? and what about the times that people come to a program for the alcohol? are there any ideas out there?
or are we simply to say that it is not our problem but that individual persons... if we say that it is like we are letting a child run into the street with an oncoming car and saying .... oh the kid will see it before we do... they'll be fine... so i really want to know...
aside from the teen programs... what is being done for adults who need this help and their families???
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Unread 01-10-2003, 10:19 AM   #2
BrookAve
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My family from Galicia in poland had a kretchmer, an inn, rooms and the best vodka. Having 17 children in the family with 12 girls, they ran the place. My grandfather made vodka when he came to the US. In my fathers house there was always bottles out. It wasnt forced on any of us, yet L'chaims were always made and the house always had farbeisen, munchies! My father had lchaim every night and he always had a clear head. It is in the blood, 3 generations thay I know of. When my cousins came over, it was party time. A l'chaim is a special thing. It can give you brachos, advice, comfort and hope. What is wrong with bringing a group of yidden in from the cold and give them a warm vodka drink and at the same time learn chassidus or the parsha hashavua? Many shteibelach give a cholent on shabbos to get a minyan of seniors. L'CHAIM !!!
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Unread 01-10-2003, 11:00 AM   #3
stamayid
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Drinking was and is very much part of the culture in Eastern Europe and Russia, both for Jews and non-Jews. Lubavitchers are just carrying on the way of Lubavitchers from the old country, as are many other chasidim and old-timers.
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Unread 01-10-2003, 11:22 AM   #4
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In the Anash fabrengens where I live...it is so dry, you would think lhavdil prohibition was being observed...
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Unread 01-10-2003, 11:56 AM   #5
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http://www.chabadtalk.com/forum/show...=&threadid=412
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Unread 01-10-2003, 04:06 PM   #6
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Talking

Quote:
Originally posted by BrookAve
My family from Galicia in poland had a kretchmer, an inn, rooms and the best vodka. Having 17 children in the family with 12 girls, they ran the place. My grandfather made vodka when he came to the US.
Now THAT'S Yichus!!!
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Unread 01-10-2003, 06:02 PM   #7
icewolf770
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ok.... i appreciate all the replies but i think that my point was lost.... what it was is this... yes part of lubavitch custom is to give a l'chaim to one and all... what about those who are alcoholics? what do we have for those of us who are sufforing from addiction? yes it is part of our heritage and yes many shuls do have vodka and other spirits available as well as in the home... but my question is for when we have someone who is not able to have that l'chaim... and for those who do and should not.... what then?
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Unread 01-11-2003, 08:12 PM   #8
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Grape Juice!
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Unread 01-12-2003, 11:13 AM   #9
icewolf770
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cute real cute.... but the question still has not been answered.... what resources are there?
or does the average shliach not get any classes on how to deal with addictions and addicts? at all?
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Unread 01-12-2003, 12:14 PM   #10
BrookAve
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I dont get what answer you want to hear. Do you expect the Rav to approach members that get CHAI and out of hand? If it makes them happy why interfere? My shul has many sleeping it off from after kiddush till havdala. Come on Iceman, we are all adults here. IF I know I have medical problems and the doctor says "one more and your liver is gone" who is shuldig if he takes a drink? YOu may kindly suggest or point it out IF you know his medical history. I agree, have a case of grape juice on hand.
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Unread 01-12-2003, 07:29 PM   #11
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dear fellow members,
in particular brookave..... first of all i am not an iceMAN second of all i am saddened and appaled at the lack of feeling for a fellow jew who has a disease...
if we know someone who is dying of cancer and yet they refuse treatment do we say... well that is their choice, we are happy for them with whatever decision they make?
no... we do not say that instead we press this person as to why they don't get treatment and try to coerce them into treatement using any and all means necicary...
well in our shuls and home and schools we have a large group of people who are dying from a disease... this disease is harder to see it is more like aids or the hiv virus which takes time to come to the surface... ontop everything looks normal but underneath its a festering wound... and yet people say... its ok, they'll sleep it off, their fine, nothing is wrong... untill what? cirocius of the liver?
no it is not ok to stand by and watch our fellow jews commit suicide slowly...which what an addiction is...
we need to reach out to them... tell them to get help, offer our support, and in general be there for them when THEY need us, not when we require them....
addiction is like the yetzer hara... it infiltrates in all areas...if you think that someone who is sleeping it off in shul... or an addict of any other means is just an addict to that specific drug, your wrong... addiction crosses over, into our personal, professional, and spiritual lives... so an addict when not addressing the issue of his or her addiction and they let it progress is like a tinok shenishba... they don't know that they are causing harm to themselvs and their families and inturn thier comunities...
now... if those communities decided to be of help and did something productive, instead of ostricizing them and causing them to fall deeper into their addiction then that would be wounderfull....
and if one thinks that it is NORMAL to sleep off a drunk in shul after davening and to miss out on the joys of shabbos and yom tov with their families then i would suggest that person look again at their own life and reevaluate their progress...
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Unread 01-12-2003, 07:35 PM   #12
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I have to concur with you icewolf.I think it's another one of the problems being brushed under the carpet under the guise of 'Chasidishkait'
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Unread 01-12-2003, 07:38 PM   #13
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thank you pretzel... i am just sad that with all the steps forward that we (lubavitch) make we still seem to have the pink elephant syndrom... we ignore the gigantic large pink elephant in the middle of the room, namely addictions in our community and with the people that we are going on shlichus to.....
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Unread 01-13-2003, 12:30 AM   #14
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I know in my Chabad House we do address these issues by limiting alcohol, even on Simchas Torah. We have a designated pourer.

I think in general the attitude is that we have to have consideration for addictions in moderation- it's easy for it to take over the whole Farbrengen, making it a 12-step program more than a time for spiritual growth.
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Unread 01-13-2003, 10:28 AM   #15
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I hear what you're saying icewolf, yet isn't this something that the person himself has to be ready to deal with, and that all the well-meaning and well-intentioned desires to help are worthless if the person himself isn't interested or denies the problem?
I think that our main sphere of influence is in the area of prevention, in teaching children what the Rebbe's gezeira is and adhering to it, and not looking away or condoning those who disregard the gezeira, particularly when it involves bachurim and those who ensnare them, which is utterly reprehensible.
btw - I find the word "disease" when applied to addictions a misnomer, despite its popularity, but that's a diff. discussion.
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Unread 01-13-2003, 11:17 AM   #16
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i agree on the aspect that we can only do our part that for the actuall work the addict needs to do their own...
but, when we have people who need to reach out about their addictions are the shluchim and the rebbis of the shuls prepared for it?
sad to say, no they are not... not many of them even know the resources to refer them to... what i am saying is that part of the process of becoming a rabbi should include recognizing diffrent addictions and the resources for help...
i am not saying to exclude those who are addicts, just give them an opportunity to get better....
and as for the use disease in refrence to an addiction...look it up... it is infact a disease... it is not a misnomer...thanks...
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Unread 01-13-2003, 04:00 PM   #17
Jude
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I’ve read extensively on the subject and whether or not addictions are illnesses is still up for discussion in many circles. One thing all can agree on though, is that addiction to drugs or alcohol will almost certainly lead to ill health and disease.

The word “addictions” is being applied wholesale these days to many sorts of behaviors that used to be called bad habits, laziness, problems of ordinary life, and poor impulse control. The words “dysfuction” and “codependency” are being used inappropriately to describe quite normal behavior. There are gurus in the business who have declared that ALL of us are dysfunctional, we’ll always have this disease, and all we can do is work on recovery. Not on getting over it (i.e. recovered), but recovery (in the present tense).

You would like Rabbis and others to know to whom people with problems should be referred. Perhaps you have 12 Step programs like AA in mind. I hope nobody reading this has actual need to know this, but I’ll share what I’ve learned, as I think the “disease and recovery” model is affecting us all.

If I have a cold and I get better, you can’t even tell I was sick. If I had the chicken pox and recovered, you can’t know I was sick though my immune system developed antibodies. Sometimes you get a bad cut or bruise that heals and leaves a scar. Your arm or leg works as good as it did before you cut or bruised yourself, but a mark remains.

The same is true for psychological issues. We want to recover in a way that makes us the same as we were before, though this is not likely to happen. What we usually get is a healing or recovery in which we’re not the same people we were before. The effects last a lifetime, but they don’t need to define our lives or continue to be the center of our lives.

There are people who quit smoking or drinking, and smoking or drinking become non-events in their life. The 12 Step Recovery programs don’t believe this is possible. Typical is the person who is “in recovery” for 25 years who defines himself as an alcoholic, goes to meetings a few times a week, who lives “one day at a time,” and whose entire life is defined by his non-drinking. His goal, thanks to the program, was to be “in recovery”!

In recovery programs you proclaim your powerlessness over and over again. You keep telling yourself you’re out of control, addicted, diseased. There’s nothing you can do. In group sessions, people are encouraged to repeat what they did wrong or what wrong was done to them. Inaction is excused because what can you expect from someone who’s diseased?

People who go to recovery groups feel better. It’s a good feeling to know that you’re not alone, that others are in the same boat. But this kind of relief doesn’t fix or cure anything. In recovery groups, people feel better even if they don’t actually improve. Recovery becomes the center of one’s life, and because there’s no cure, only working the program one day at a time, there’s no end in sight. You are expected to focus your energy on your never-ending recovery.

There has been no evidence that people in recovery groups actually get better, only anecdotal evidence. No rigorous research has been done to assess which treatment procedures are effective, yet it doesn’t seem like recovery groups would be proven as most highly effective because people are not encouraged to take charge of their lives and make serious and permanent changes.

Here's a related thread:
http://www.chabadtalk.com/forum/show...ght=medication
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Unread 01-13-2003, 08:05 PM   #18
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jude,
thank you for your reply... i see your point but let me just add something of my own experience... people who quit drinking, drugging, and excessive behavior on thier own are commendable for doing so, but their chances of staying on the "straight and narrow" are slim... yes, remaining clean is hard and working at it takes a lifetime...i do not profess to know you and your situation... but saying that the 12 steps and their related ideals don't work is wrong... yes scientifically it has not been proven.. but neither has many of the aspects of our beliefs from the torah... not that i am comparing the two... but what i am getting at is that it has worked for many, it may not be for all... but it is for an individual to decide what and if the program is right for them...
but what i am writing about is the lack of support and resources in the "frum"community... there are such places like jacs and other organizations, but in the mainstream frum community it is regarded as an odity, when in fact it is becoming a sad majority... now, from what i have learned about physical effects of addiction the drug that was taken is always in your system at some level, unless compleate abstinance for a specific amount of time has occured (this is reffuring to the cellular adaptation and the ability of the body to restructure itself)...
i just hope that if you or someone in your family needs help that they can get it... based upon your previose response i do not see that being a supportive decision for that family member on your part.... but that is just my opinion.....
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Unread 01-14-2003, 11:26 AM   #19
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Here's a story told by a psychotherapist:

"When it comes to taking charge of a behavior or habit, we can also make permanent changes. We can be healthier or more fit. I'm not suggesting changing habits or behaviors is easy, or is as easy for everyone. Some people find it much harder than others. Or sometimes we'll find one habit really hard and another much easier to change. Nonetheless, we can change even those activities that seem uncontrollable. Being recovered is possible.

"One of the most common behaviors people have learned to control is smoking. Hundreds of thousands of people have stopped smoking in the last 20 years, most without formal behavior-change programs, therapy, self-help groups, or medication. And for the most part, former smokers report that they no longer think about smoking, want to smoke, or enjoy being around people who smoke. They're nonsmokers. They're finished with smoking.

"I am one of those nonsmokers. While in college, and for a few years afterward, I smoked a lot. And then I quit one day. I haven't had a cigarette for more than thirty years. I no longer want to smoke, think about smoking, or enjoy being around smokers. I don't let people smoke in my house, I always sit in the nonsmoking sections of restaurants, and I don't even own an ashtray. Most of the time I don't even think about smoking or not smoking.

"Recently in a seminar on behavior change, a participant confronted me and said, "Once a smoker, always a smoker." There was no such thing as a former smoker. Only a smoker who wasn't smoking today. I tried to tell her I would never smoke again. Her smirk and comment said it all: Just for today you are not smoking.

"Later I reflected on my smoking and not smoking. She was in recovery. I was done with it. For the woman in the seminar, not smoking was a decision she made every day. For me, the decision was for a lifetime. No more cigarettes. Ever.

"I want to have long-term goals, to take charge and craft my life for the long run, not live from day to day with the sword of Damocles, of smoking, hanging over my head. I don't want to define myself as a nonsmoker. I want smoking not to be an issue in my life.

http://www.chabadtalk.com/forum/show...ighlight=click

http://www.chabadtalk.com/forum/show...ghlight=coffee
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Unread 01-14-2003, 02:44 PM   #20
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some people can do that... make a life long decision once and stick too it... others cannot... like i said before... it is an individual decision which route to go... for some people they need that everyday reminder... others do not...
i wish that everyone that i worked with was like that psychoanalyst and would be able to put their past behind them and move on, but not everyone can do that... and those that cannot do that should be treated with the same respect and curtisy that those that can are....
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Unread 01-14-2003, 02:49 PM   #21
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"but not everyone can do that" - true, but everyone should know that it can be done
knowing that it can be done goes a long way to making it happen, as does talking to people who encourage and support this attitude

(and those who say they have done it, should be respected too. The woman telling her story (smoking) was not respected, and her "claim" was disdained and disregarded)
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Unread 01-15-2003, 01:10 AM   #22
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i'm sorry... i don't follow the bit about the woman and the smoking story... please reiterate... thanks...

i disagree that everyone can do it... we change at each step in our lives and to think that those changes won't affect us and our behaviors and thought patterns is wrong... they will... and we need to be able to deal with them when they occur....

read some of the books that dr./rabbi twerski has written and you will see my point....
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Unread 01-15-2003, 10:47 AM   #23
Jude
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i don't follow the bit about the woman and the smoking story... please reiterate
the woman who hadn't smoked for 30 years and for whom non-smoking was a non-issue was on the receiving end of cynical remarks from a participant in her seminar (see 4th paragraph of that post).

I was just presenting the other side of the coin to what you had said about being respectful. BOTH should be respected, i.e. those who have moved on and those who still have to deal with it

Quote:
i disagree that everyone can do it
to that I had written "true"!
then I added, but people have to know it CAN be done
let it be presented as a possibility, let people who have moved on in life tell THEIR story, so people know they CAN move on

Quote:
we change at each step in our lives and to think that those changes won't affect us and our behaviors and thought patterns is wrong
of course! I'm in absolute agreement with that. The question is where do we go from here?

Here's an example: a person comes to the Rebbe and says I've done teshuva, I no longer eat non-kosher food. What tikkun can I do to make up for the non-kosher food I used to eat?
The Rebbe's response: teach others about kashrus

in other words - the person's tikkun does NOT include daily mortification and penance for having eaten non-kosher in the past. His shlichus is to teach others the RIGHT way to eat. He will have GREATER success than those who always ate kosher, BECAUSE he used to eat non-kosher, and they can relate to him.
So his not eating kosher in the past defines the present in that it shapes his shlichus, but not in the sense that he daily fights with himself to eat kosher, or fasts etc. to do teshuva.

re Twerski - I have read a number of his books and disagree quite strongly with many of his ideas regarding self-esteem, spirituality and Chassidus. And naturally, since he promotes the 12 step approach, with
his ideas about that.

Surely people have been helped by him (and 12 Step), but that doesn't make his approach THE ONLY approach, or the BEST approach.

(if you click on Search on the top of the screen and put in Twerski, you'll see other posts about him)
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Unread 01-15-2003, 11:49 PM   #24
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ok,
so we have established that in the majority of these posts we have opposing view points... now, lets get one thing together... we both agree that there is a problem in the communities with addictions, what we don't agree on is how to deal with them, and/or treat them....
so...
i am proposing a truce, you will put forth your opinion and i will do mine... ok?
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Unread 01-16-2003, 02:39 PM   #25
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you will put forth your opinion and i will do mine... ok?
isn't that what we've been doing, and what it's all about here on the forum?
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