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Monday, 19 Tammuz, 5779
  |  July 22, 2019

    Frum & Sober in Crown Heights

    Yaakov Mark, a Baal Teshuva and a recovering alcoholic, writes about the hardships of staying sober in a community like Crown Heights. Full Story

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    Anon
    Guest
    Anon

    Thankyou for sharing this. So important for people to hear . Wishing you much hatzlocho

    Good for you...
    Guest
    Good for you...

    to explore, acknowledge, and share this personal challenge, and keep it down, like the nefesh bahamas. Don’t ever think it will go away – it will always be there. It’s there for a good reason – you wrote this article, for example. So, keep strong, yedid, kol hakavod!

    ur such a chachom .
    Guest
    ur such a chachom .

    U see when the rebbe said no more then 4 and people/bochrem don’t care ,you think some flyer in a Yeshiva will do the job ?
    Come on and let’s get real .

    A New Reader
    Guest
    A New Reader

    I must say, well written!

    3246
    Guest
    3246

    you tell me when and where there is a sober farbrengen, and ill be there

    Very brave article!
    Guest
    Very brave article!

    Thank you for posting.

    WOW!
    Guest
    WOW!

    GO U!! EVERYONE SSHOULD LERN FROM U!

    Hey, look
    Guest
    Hey, look

    If the 12 steps, and the necromantic avoidance of alcohol, works for you, that’s great. However, the 12 step program is far from being scientific, and as you yourself discovered, accidentally ingesting wine did not magically re-render you a raving alcoholic. The very terms ‘alcoholism’ and ‘addiction’ are not very Torah’dik as you’ve indicated, and I’d argue that external factors, and not wine and brandy, are to blame for destructive behavior. If folks are pushing large quantities of alcohol on you, then you’re simply with the wrong crowd; I have practically grown up in Crown Heights and I’ve never encountered… Read more »

    wonderful
    Guest
    wonderful

    No matter what any negativity comes out of these comments….good for you. First for coming to the realization that you have this issue and for recognizing it in a public forum. I know G-d hears your heart and perhaps through this publication, can speak to those with similar issues. May Hashem bless you and heal your heart.

    Hat's off to you!
    Guest
    Hat's off to you!

    I am happy for you that you achieved such a great accomplishment. Please don’t let anyone talk you into drinking for “the right reasons” . There is no right reason for a recovering alcoholic to drink, and I am proud that you stay strong. And, by the way, you can live in Crown Heights and be Chassidish and not drink. I know many men who don’t do well from the alchohol and don’t drink. Don’t feel guilty as if it’s something that you are doing wrong. I think many more chassidim should learn from you and say “no” to alchohol.… Read more »

    Mitzvahs over Mashka
    Guest
    Mitzvahs over Mashka

    Stick to it. Mitzvahs over mashka. One can say l’chaim on anything. The empahsis is on the chaim, living, to life as a yid.

    Wife
    Guest
    Wife

    MY husband -a shliach- is not a drinker. He hates drinking. However, his fellow people who love to farbreng on many a Shabbos afternoon, “push” the mashke, and he drinks under “peer” pressure.

    He is made to feel that is the “Chassidishe” thing to do. Do you want him to drink more and more at farbrengens, just because he feels he has to.

    I don’t get this connnection between drinking and Chassidishkeit.

    Can someone please explain it to me??

    to Mr. Mark
    Guest
    to Mr. Mark

    chazak ve’emotz!

    and to collive, yshar koach for caring for the community

    13
    Guest
    13

    i agree with 13 second half of the comment ..

    Not really...
    Guest
    Not really...

    Peer pressure of any sorts is wrong. True.

    However, in every farbrengen we went to with the Rebbe l’chaim was said. If it were a wrong thing, the Rebbe would not let it happen.

    to #8- you are WRONG WRONG WRONG!
    Guest
    to #8- you are WRONG WRONG WRONG!

    Thank you Mr. Mark for bringing up a topic that is so taboo in lubavitch- the disease of alcoholism. Countless families, marriages, child-parent relationships are hurt tremendously because of the horrible effect of being addicted to drinking. Drinking is so common, especially in crown heights, that it is almost impossible for anyone to stay sober. An alcoholic cannot make an innocent l’chaim or a kiddush on wine- for an alcoholic this inevitably leads to another drink which leads to another which ends up in total intoxication. It’s a real disease that leads to death and anyone who tries to make… Read more »

    Yashar Koach Yaakov
    Guest
    Yashar Koach Yaakov

    you’re doing great, this was a very pro-active article, good job, we’re proud of you!
    the Carroll St. Brummels

    to # 3
    Guest
    to # 3

    You Lubavitch?you call yourself a chossid?let’s just do whatever we want,let’s get real…….???????

    understand
    Guest
    understand

    some of the comments don’t realize that alcoholism is a disease. would you push cup of sugar on a diabetc? some people can’t have ANY alcohol, or else they relapse. nothing to do with being a chosid .

    Food Addict..
    Guest
    Food Addict..

    As a baal tshuva with a serious food problem. I empathize with you.. Its very difficult to be faced with this nisayon. Good luck to you

    #3 Where's the solution you contribute?
    Guest
    #3 Where's the solution you contribute?

    Don’t complain if you can’t offer how to help.

     A  Crown Heights Resident Wife
    Guest
    A Crown Heights Resident Wife

    Cheers for being brave enough to post this!!!!!!!!!!!!!The drinking is a disgrace a violation of the way the Rebbe would have wanted one to drink.A chilul Hashem!Bad role model for children and young boys! i constantly dicuss with my teenage sons my distaste for boozing and being strong enough to refuse a L,chaim.Its often a poor excuse for a shot of something often causing stress, distress, lack of harmony and dysfunction in the home. one can fabreng and be b,simcha without the drink and give/wish l,chaim with a beautiful verbal blessing to the baal simcha. Lets all be responsible adults… Read more »

    Stop pushing alcohol on bochurim
    Guest
    Stop pushing alcohol on bochurim

    In addition to the excellent points the author raises, we need to respect the legal drinking age in this country and stop pushing mashkeh on young bachurim at farbrengens. and I mean young–barely bar mitzvah, and their rebbis and mashpiim are encouraging them to drink. My boys don’t like alcohol and don’t WANT to drink and it’s being pushed on them.

    Inspired
    Guest
    Inspired

    Mr. Mark, I am really inspired by your journey and your successful struggle. Thank G-d I have not been cursed with the challenge of being an Alcoholic, but I know others who are afflicted with other diseases. I’ve accompanied people to OA meetings.

    Stick to it. Unfortunately you’re not going to change anything with this article. But be proud of who you are and what you’ve accomplished. Wear sobriety as a badge of honor. Other Chassidim just learn about iskafya and ishapcha. You live it.

    Good luck and thank you for sharing!

    read Rabbi Shais Taub's new book
    Guest
    read Rabbi Shais Taub's new book

    for all those who have no idea what the author is talking about, and in general to understand what alcoholism/addiction is etc, and from a jewish perspective, i’d strongly recommend Rabbi Shais Taub’s new book God of Our Understanding.

    It’ll help you understand just a tiny bit.

    http://www.amazon.com/God-Our-Understanding-Spirituality-Addiction/dp/1602801533/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1294779411&sr=1-1

    to #19
    Guest
    to #19

    They don’t acknowledge it as a disease because they haven’t bought into that line of thinking. It’s handy to call it a disease and to compare it to real illnesses but as R’ Benzion Twerski conceded to me, it’s merely a metaphor.

    Please Help
    Guest
    Please Help

    Can you post information on Jewish support groups?

    MASK advises going to AA or Alanon around the city, but most are held in churches. Are there Jewish programs that parallel the 12 step system?

    @8 & 15
    Guest
    @8 & 15

    Firstly, to Yakov, my hat’s off to you for your courage to notify the public of this issue. It is imperative that people realize that this problem does exist and something must be done about it. @8: You “practically” grew up in CH. I actually did. I attended the yeshiva conveyor belt system and went to simchas and lchayims and can frankly attest to the fact taht there is lchaim pushing going on in a very insensitive manner in the community, At farbrengens where “well intended” mashpiim mock students for not publicly drinking lchaims and students are degraded for not… Read more »

    Yasher Koach
    Guest
    Yasher Koach

    Yaakov, Kol haKavod to you. You have a strong resolve and a great strength in staying sober. You are right that you shouldn’t have to break anonymity in order to steer clear of the alcohol.

    Keep on turning it over to your higher power.

    Beautifully Written
    Guest
    Beautifully Written

    I commend the bravery and insight required to share this personal matter with the general public. Thank you for aiding in our sensitivity to this matter. I hope that your efforts are well rewarded and that you encounter sensitivity rather than aggression.

    Chana Lew

    Outrageous claims by #16
    Guest
    Outrageous claims by #16

    The Verboten Tactic: “a topic that is so taboo in lubavitch- the disease of alcoholism.” Typical attempt at gaining sympathy and hoisting your opinion on the masses. Of course, this issue (just like all the other supposedly taboo issues) is already much discussed, and in fact, COLlive recently featured an article by Rabbi Schonbuch on this very topic. The Hyperbole Tactic: “Drinking is so common, especially in crown heights, that it is almost impossible for anyone to stay sober.” Yep. Dozens of alcoholics crawl daily up Kingston Ave. licking the boxes outside Eber’s. I mean come on, you ought to… Read more »

    to # 18
    Guest
    to # 18

    I’m not trying to say don’t chas visholom listen to the rebbes takonoh ..I’m trying to bring out that this writer does not mention at all the fact that the rebbe said no more then 4 as a solution .
    A little strange no ?

    #8 You need scientific proof to know something is emes?
    Guest
    #8 You need scientific proof to know something is emes?

    Do you have emunah? The Torah is not “scientifically proven” either …so Torah is not true for people and you put it down? You sound like the goyim – and their worship of scientific method, emperical evidence, and logic – as being the only truth/the only way. We humans are the ultimate purveyors and determiners of what’s true in the universe? …Chutzpahdik. Here’s something to THINK about in creating your precious science – every experiment is subjective to human error and influence. And everything “discovered” by your precious science has already always been there. Hashem created everything already. We, humans,… Read more »

    Rochel P.
    Guest
    Rochel P.

    First off, to #3, instead of offering a rude reply, I invite you to offer another solution. If you don’t have one, then there’s really no purpose to your comment. Sorry. Moving on to person #8, I trust you have never been addicted to anything, either are an addict and in total denial, or have never been INTENSELY addicted to something for so long, that practically every choice you make in life is disastorous. I don’t mean this in a rude way at all. Please allow me to add my insight. This is not about the man not wanting a… Read more »

    Your Name
    Guest
    Your Name

    Yaakov, Thank you for your article and thanks for signing your name. If people have something to say they should sign their name to it. May Hashem bless you with a long, healthy, and chasidish life. I totally agree with what some others noted. The point of drinking at a farbrengen is to loosen the tongue to allow words that flow from the heart to flow out and to allow those words to penetrate the hearts of the listeners. There is nothing chasidish about drinking per se. This is why the Rebbe said not to drink more than 4 l’chaims.… Read more »

    Food for thought
    Guest
    Food for thought

    Well written and heartzig article. It is also great to see that the comments here are not as hateful as in some posts where someone expresses their thoughts and feelings.

    As frum yidden we wouldn’t dream of eating something that was treif or even of doubtful kashrus. For some people alcohol is treif. We should recognise that and not assume a person who refuses to drink is ‘cold’.

    No way
    Guest
    No way

    If the Rebbe said “no more than 4 glass of Mashke” and nobody cares, so how is it that Lubavitch will listen to that guy? And you didn’t die because you drank a drop. I’m not advocating that you should drink anew, but that you should fix some limits. There are two ways to deal with a danger: to give up or to go away from evil. Chasidus teaches that neither of both ways are good. The best way of living is using evil to make it into good. This is only when you transform evil into good that you… Read more »

    I think you should
    Guest
    I think you should

    Get in touch with rabbi Lipsker, from PA, he’s a rabbi and specailizes in this area.

    He said it all
    Guest
    He said it all

    #31 said it all.

    balance
    Guest
    balance

    The solution is not avoiding mashke but finding a good balance and to fix some limits.

    So now people who have a eating disorder should avoid farbrenging with the community? It’s not a solution.

    Rochel
    Guest
    Rochel

    BTW–comment #33, you made me laugh!

    To #31
    Guest
    To #31

    Why get so carried away? You wrote an entire article to prove what? The fact is that addiction is very real. I’ve seen it first hand. It’s almost like being possessed. Obviously it’s not a disease like cancer, but it is a serious mental disease, that yes, can lead to death. If you were to take crack cocaine a few times, you might learn a little about addiction, and perhaps you would be a little more sensitive. You obviously have the right to your opinions, but why would you want to pour cold water on a person who has found… Read more »

    anti-biotics
    Guest
    anti-biotics

    many times also someone who is on constant medication also ends up being pushed to drink by total strangers forcing him to reveal personal things.
    just a less extreme and more common example than that of an alcoholic.
    thank you for the article.

    I like #37
    Guest
    I like #37

    Very sensible.
    Maybe for someone who has gone to one extreme, drunkenness, he needs to go to the other extreme, no drinking, but only for a period of time. Then, as the Rambam says with middos, you’re supposed to be in the “middle.”

    elik
    Guest
    elik

    alcohol does not make one drunk…time does. 2 people can finish a bottle of mashke (mccallan 30 preferably) in one day respectively. Drinker #1 will be completely drunk and #2 will be fine. Why? Bc drinker #1 didn’t know how to say lchaim and kept drinking and drinking and finished the bottle in one hour. whereas drinker #2 spaced it out and ate farbeisen in between and drank like a a mentsh and finished the bottle over many farbrengens. ay yay yay

    To #31
    Guest
    To #31

    Bechira is the first few times you engage in addictive behavior. After that it moves on from Bechira into something nasty. I’ve met with people who are addicted, and I promise you, they are good people who are trying with all their might to break out. Many do, but it takes a long time and a tremendous amount of effort. It’s not as easy as saying, “nah, I don’t want a drink”.

    recovering addict
    Guest
    recovering addict

    i have been clean for over 3 years now in the 12 steps of NA, and was so happy to see this. I too am a chabad chossid, (and was born one). it does not shock me that there are such foolish people out there that do not understand the program or the disease, but thats ok, you gave your message and i thank you.
    chaim

    Lchaim to Mark
    Guest
    Lchaim to Mark

    Mark you are completely right, but on the same hand completely wrong. MOST and I repeat MOST, people at a Farbrengen respect when someone says that he doesn’t drink. IF they have a good reason.

    Easy Solution
    Guest
    Easy Solution

    When someone at a farbrengen tries to force you to drink, just say “I’m allergic to alcohol.”

    Works every time.

    To #25 and the rest of us
    Guest
    To #25 and the rest of us

    Yes -.and watch Rabbi Taub’s beautiful teachings in this shiur. The pace is a little slow, mostly in the beginning, but be patient and you will be rewarded with super-important insight about another, related, HUGE destructive issue among Yidden:
    http://www.collive.com/show_news.rtx?id=12404

    123
    Guest
    123

    For all those people who are commenting that he should be in the middle, take a little, loosen up remember you are not in his shoes and BH can not talk about how a recovering alcoholoic should behave, until you’ve been there you don’t know. He has been there, he knows.

    another lecture by Rabbi Shais Taub
    Guest
    another lecture by Rabbi Shais Taub

    Hitting Bottom – Finding G-d

    http://www.chabad.org/1330442/

    thank you
    Guest
    thank you

    Any rabbi telling you “spiritual reasons” to start drinking again is reckless. i don’t care how well meaning he is, drinking for you (and others) is poison and you need to avoid it like you’d chazzer, as you’ve been valiantly trying. I wish you continued hatzlacha, thank you for speaking out on this issue.

    yossi
    Guest
    yossi

    Thats my hand on the first chair.

    33 to 41/34
    Guest
    33 to 41/34

    Exactly – the overall message is L’chaim (with or without the booze)!

    …Whichever is kosher “for you”/kosher for your neshama.

    …Whichever enables you to do Hashem’s will.

    Ach tov v’chesed, anashim!

    LCHAIM
    Guest
    LCHAIM

    MR. MARK I DONT UNDERSTAND THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH SAYING LCHAIM IF YOU LOOK IN SEFER KABOLAS UNTORES,PAGE KUF YUD GIMMEL YOUL SEE THE POWERS AND WONDERS SAYING A LCHIAM DOES SO TO ALL CROWN HEIGHTS RAISE YOUR CUP AND ZOGT LACHIM

    Clueless
    Guest
    Clueless

    Thank you Yaakov Mark for a beautifully well written article. After reading most of the comments on this article it is clear how much information needs to be disseminated (this article is a great start). I am a “FFB yungerman” now living out of state in a Lubavich community. Until a couple of years ago I was just as clueless as you. A couple of years ago a friend of mine who grew up frum but had a drug problem in the past and was sober for many years had a relapse. He felt pressure to fit in and had… Read more »

    R. SHAIS TAUB OPENED MY EYES
    Guest
    R. SHAIS TAUB OPENED MY EYES

    As a Shliach, I never quite understood exactly what addiction means, and wasn’t able to relate to people who were recovering or not yet recovering in a real way. Approximately 6 months ago Rabbi Shais Taub did a session for Shluchim on this. I saw later that he did something similar on chabad.org

    If you haven’t seen it please go to chabad.org and look for Shais’ video. It’ll literally open your eyes and your mind on the depth of addiction and how to relate with addicts, their families or recovering addicts.

    A Solution
    Guest
    A Solution

    If you would tell me people that for medical reasons you are not allowed to drink no one would ask you to drink

    or just say “I am not allowed to drink” and no one will bother you

    beautiful written!
    Guest
    beautiful written!

    Thank you for posting Yaakov Mark! This community needs people like you that are not afraid to bring up a sensitive topic as alcoholism in Lubavitch. Stay strong!

    thanks for bringing this to my attention
    Guest
    thanks for bringing this to my attention

    i really never realized this major problem,
    sorry if i ever hurt you, without even noticing

    well written
    Guest
    well written

    u sound like a great guy nice and polite

    #59
    Guest
    #59

    I agree. For discreet situations where you can’t announce “hey i’m a recovering alocoholic” just say that you are not allowed to medically. it’s the truth.

    Everyone must say L'Chaim!
    Guest
    Everyone must say L'Chaim!

    When the Rebbe visited camp they gave the kids L’chaim – on orange soda.
    & to #37 the Rambam in hilchos deios says that one with a problem needs to go to the other extreme. for someone with a problem, saying L’Chaim on soda is “midarchei Hashem”.

    To #59
    Guest
    To #59

    To #59. Good effort in your answer, however, often times people get carried away, will drink and then get pushy and ignore perfectly reasonable comments or requests (such as please don’t ask again).

    i am #16 and I stand by my words!
    Guest
    i am #16 and I stand by my words!

    In response to #31: You can play fancy rhetoric games, but you can’t change the truth. 1) Rabbi Schonbuch’s article was informative but very general and from the safe perspective of a therapist. I’ve never heard people admit to or openly discuss their alcoholism. Whereas in other cultures people wear their sobriety as a badge of honor (6 years, 4 months and counting), around here it’s shameful to admit you don’t drink, as though that makes you less of a man and less of a chosid. 2) The Hyperbole was a typo, not a tactic: It should say that in… Read more »

    help
    Guest
    help

    yaakov do u have another email adress this one didint seem to go through

    yaakov mark kol hakovod
    Guest
    yaakov mark kol hakovod

    thanks for opening my eyes. We have made schools nut-free on the off chance of allergies why can’t be understanding of Yaakov and others that can’t or won’t drink for all the right reasons

    Thank you
    Guest
    Thank you

    Thank you for letting me know this address. It is an amazing website!

    http://www.jewishrecovery.org

     my husband works in drug/alchohol addiction treatment.
    Guest
    my husband works in drug/alchohol addiction treatment.

    some of the posters here are in denial just like any active addict or enabler.

    Thanks You too.
    Guest
    Thanks You too.

    I strongly support your efforts to stay sober. I don’t care who they are, those who tell you to drink are ignorant and simply dont understand your addiction. That includes anyone. They need to learn about alcoholism and addictions. I often see photos of mashke in so many pictures of lechaims and farbrengens and I always wonder why it is so necessary.

    the problem is ..
    Guest
    the problem is ..

    I think the problem is the message that once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic, EVEN if you NEVER drink, or drink moderately! They don’t believe in moving on, in the concept of teshuva. They tell you one drink can be all it takes to ruin you. They do a great job in instilling this idea and consequently, when a person has one drink he thinks “farfallen”, I’m lost, I’ve just restarted my drunken ways again. This ISN’T TRUE. This corrupt idea also ruins people spiritually. People young and old are told, if you see ONE immodest image online, you are… Read more »

    naive young kallah
    Guest
    naive young kallah

    i was engaged over the chodesh tishrei and witnessed my wondreful chosson who was an amazing bochur, top catch and very chasidish and kind, he got totally shikur in shul and passed out. for 3 days in a row. i was very upset by it so i spoke to my mashpiah and i spoke to some other people who knew my chosson and everyone said dont worry it’s normal behavior for a bochur. so i dropped it. also i grew up lubavitch so ive seen my brothers and father and zeideh drink and we hosted plenty of farbrayngins in our… Read more »

    For the families of the addicts
    Guest
    For the families of the addicts

    Thank you for raising awareness on this issue. Its beautiful to read about recovery in Crown Heights. To no. 16 You mentioned the family of the addict. Addiction is a family disease and hurts everyone envolved regardless of religion, race or socioeconomic status. It does not descriminate and it is a powerful disease. The effects of this disease can be felt whether the addict is still drinking/using or not. Today I am in Al-Anon recovering from the effects of this disease. I no longer have to try struggle with my issues aloneand my life is improving one day at a… Read more »

    to #72
    Guest
    to #72

    Is this your professional opinion or your experience as a person who makes mistakes? For most people a slip-up is cause for teshuvah. For addicts it is a spiral back into substance abuse. This has been shown to happen predictably, it’s not a matter of opinion or how the addict will feel about themselves. AA teaches that if you slip up, don’t despair and think your work towards sobriety is out the window, but you do have to recommit to a more intense recovery because you’re teetering on falling back into the old ways.

    Hat's off to Mr. Mark
    Guest
    Hat's off to Mr. Mark

    Dear Mr. Mark,
    My hat is off to you for speaking openly about your experience. How about running for public office?
    LOL!
    On a serious note, you are a welcome addition to our community.
    Bottom line people, if someone says no to a l’chaim, just accept it. Don’t push it!
    G-d bless you Mr. Mark.

    TRUTH
    Guest
    TRUTH

    MAYIM, MEM YUD MEM – IN ENGLISH – W A T E R – IS ALSO NINETZIKER,
    SO FUR SURE YOU CAN L’CHAIM ON MAYIM!!!!
    AND WATER IS GOOD FOR EVERYONE

    Oh yeah yaakov/ken
    Guest
    Oh yeah yaakov/ken

    Go Mision Viejo

    at #8
    Guest
    at #8

    The fact that you would remark how his taking a bit of wine did not bring on “the slightest inebriation”, and claim that the contents of one small amount is insignificant demonstrates how ignorant you are about the whole issue. Though posting this is undoubtedly a waste of time, because you are likely to only consider your own point, I hope some small amount will sink in. Your overt pomposity to speak about subjects you know so little about … astounding!

    to #72
    Guest
    to #72

    Sir,
    If you think you are cured, take a drink. Maybe you’re one of the lucky ones.

    YO! 56 ...
    Guest
    YO! 56 ...

    … he has an allergy to alcohol. Would you tell the guy allergic to strawberries to have only a few???

    S'yog Lachochmo Shtika
    Guest
    S'yog Lachochmo Shtika

    it is scary to see so many people belittling alcoholism as if it is just a farce. If you don’t know the facts then better just listen to those that do.

    ignorance
    Guest
    ignorance

    Many people here obviously know very little about addiction.
    The normal rules of ‘Moderation’ do not apply as the person is subject to overwhelming chemical pressures you cannot understand if you have not experienced.
    And the Rambam you misquoted is talking about a normal person. He CLEARLY says that someone who has a PROBLEM must move to the opposite extreme to uproot the bad middah, as this here poster suggests.

    And he was a rabbi and a doctor…

    My Email Is Wrong
    Guest
    My Email Is Wrong

    IF YOUR INTERESTED IN A SOBER FARBRENGHEN (NOT RECOVERY, JUST A REGULAR FARBRENGHEN) PLEASE EMAIL ME AT [email protected] . PERHAPS COL WILL PRINT A CORRECTION.

    to #73 naive young Kallah
    Guest
    to #73 naive young Kallah

    there is help out there for you and your husband
    contact one of the shluchim listed at http://jewishrecovery.org/732837 and they will be able to help guide you and support you.

    TO 73  - PLEASE READ
    Guest
    TO 73 - PLEASE READ

    The most likely way for an addict to stop is only if he has help (AA or other proffessionals / programs), and the ONLY way an addict will agree and actually change is if he feel he hit rock bottom. Your husband sees he get away with it -so will not stop. You need to seriously threaten divorce -and show him u are dead serious. If he really see’s u are divorcing him if he doesn’t stop -hopefully he’ll be motivated to change. Don’t put up with this abuse, and stop ur kids from being abused -YES this is pure… Read more »

    wow
    Guest
    wow

    im so impressed that you took the liberty to speak out so boldly, and post your name!!!

    Yaakov Mark ... where are you?
    Guest
    Yaakov Mark ... where are you?

    I tried to email you at the address listed above. As a frum therapist who works in addictions, I thought it better to offer my comments to you alone. Is there another email address available?

    interesting
    Guest
    interesting

    SORRY THIS ARTICLE IS NOT TRUE AT ALL !!! I AND MY FRIENDS GO TO FARBRENGENS WHILE NOT DRINKING MORE THAN FOUR LCHAIMS!!! IT’S NOT THAT HARD TO CONTROL YOURSELF ESPECIALLY IF YOU THINK ABOUT WHAT THE MEANING OF A FARBRENGEN IS AND HOW HOLY IT IS!!!

    To #73
    Guest
    To #73

    You are being so brave, but you MUST get help. If you truly love your husband and feel that he is wonderful in most other ways, and you think living away from all this awful temptation will help him, MOVE. Do whatever you can to save your marriage. You are correct in blaming the school system, the parents, and even your husband, however, on a sober day the two of you can decide to take the necessary steps to save your sanity, your marriage, and your children. Divorce is not fun and creates “lebidike yisomim”. If this is the only… Read more »

    Good for you!
    Guest
    Good for you!

    Dear Mr. Mark, I don’t know you, but I commend you for bringing this topic out in the open. I’m saddened by some of the remarks posted above. People are so clueless about alcoholism. As someone who grew up Lubavitch, I too was clueless. My father and brothers weren’t heavy drinkers, and so aside from seeing people getting drunk on Simchas Torah and Purim, it really never affected my life. And then I got married, and I was unfortunately enlightened. I married someone who was a heavy drinker. His Yeshiva and community strongly encouraged drinking as a means to becoming… Read more »

    my input as an OA member
    Guest
    my input as an OA member

    to #27 People in the rooms know that it is ok to have the meetings in a church because we are not going into the sanctuary and the2 steps is all chassidus. There really is no need for a “Jewish 12 steps program”

    to#40 an addict doesn’t understand balance

    Hatzlacha to all in our struggles. MOSHIACH NOW!!

    #73
    Guest
    #73

    For the sake of yourself and your children get help immediately! There are resources to help; google your city for AA and/or al-anon. Your husband will thank you one day, you need to be a hero for your children NOW.

    GOOD PIECE
    Guest
    GOOD PIECE

    What is up with this forcing. Why is no, not NO. Why can’t someone say no and it’s respected. I’m missing something. In general, isn’t the legal drinking age 21???? Why are we pushing alcohol on kids? Teachers and “Mashpiim” must back off. What’s the point?

    To the naieve Ka;;a #73  THANK YOU!!
    Guest
    To the naieve Ka;;a #73 THANK YOU!!

    I hope your husband will read your comment and come to his senses. I hope all the so called mahpiim who encourage excessive drinking will read your comment and come to their senses, I hope all the bochurim that are at the shiddich stage of life will read your comment and come to realize that over drinking is NOT CHASSIIDISH and is in fact a MIUSDIK HANHAGA! Thank you for your courage for sharing this with everyone and I truly hope your husband will finally GET IT.

    to naive young kallah
    Guest
    to naive young kallah

    I feel your pain. You are not alone. There are many of codpendants out there with similar stories who can relate. Al-Anon gives me the tools that guide me through my challenges today. There I am safe to share with others like myself in a safe environment without judgement. Jacs helped me to connect to other Jews in recovery. When I was ready to accept help, Hashem guided me and showed me the way. Dont give up hope. Now not only am I doing so much better, my family share in the benefits of my recovery. I cant control the… Read more »

    To #73
    Guest
    To #73

    To #73, There is help available for such a situation. I go to Al-Anon and learn how to take care of myself even with an addict in my house. I’m also learning how to have healthy relationships and how to set boundaries so that I no longer allow myself to be used by others. With more than 4 years in recovery, I am a stronger woman and a better person for having married my husband, an addict. There is embarrassment within our community over this issue, but within the small sub-group of women who attend Al-Anon, I’ve created a support… Read more »

    A shliach
    Guest
    A shliach

    I must say I am humbled by your willingness to “stick your head out” and write about your experience battling addiction while living in Crown Heights. I have recently had the honor to begin working with people in recovery and I am slowly beginning to understand what the disease of addiction is all about. There is very little awareness of this reality in many frum communities (especially Chassidic communities). Unfortunately I am aware of many Shluchim as well who have turned people away from their Chabad House by making comments similar to those described in your article. I’m actually appalled… Read more »

    recovering alcoholic mother
    Guest
    recovering alcoholic mother

    The fact is that we think its only our bochurim who are drinking. High school girls have started to drink at their fabrengens also. I have seen countless girls drink in excess, alcohol pushed on them by some of the irresponsible teachers we employ.

    Ad Mosai!!

    No more than 4 Kelechkelach!
    Guest
    No more than 4 Kelechkelach!

    Every must farbreng with Reb Pinyeh and NO MORE THAN 4 KELECHKELACH! It is the Rebbe’s horo’h

    estie
    Guest
    estie

    I liked #31’s post. Somewhat. Alchoholics have less control than others when around alchohol. And there are many shades, from extreme to mild. Lubavs glamorize mashke, partly becuase Lubav roots are from Russia where many used mashke to cope with life and partly becuase current Lubavs use mashke to sope with life. There’s a joke, which, in short, is – Pre-Mikve Yankel and a post-all-night-drinking Ivan cross paths somewhere in Siberia at 6 am. Ivan: Where are you going? Yankel: To work Ivan: Why work? Yankel: To make my $50 so I can pay rent for my corner of a… Read more »

    Dear naive young kallah #73 and important suggestion for collive
    Guest
    Dear naive young kallah #73 and important suggestion for collive

    The busha is great, but your suffering is greater. Yours and your childrens future is more important to consider than the embarrassment for you and your family (husband etc). I strongly urge and encourage you to turn to someone for help, even if just for yourself now, and hopefully your husband will get the help he needs too. I mean now, not pushing it off. Perhaps COL can provide a responsible list of community ppl to turn to for help. Helpf for the alcoholic and help for a family member. This is extremely important.

    Hic!
    Guest
    Hic!

    Nice article!

    THANK YOU
    Guest
    THANK YOU

    This is an excellent article, I’ve felt this way for ages, even though I grew up on shlichus and my father barely drinks and BH my husband almost never drinks.
    Still, watching my brothers who come home several times a year from Yeshiva down several cups- not shots- of mashka in a few minutes always upset- and still upsets- me.
    Yeshivas should REALLY emphasize the “not more than 4” rule, it’s a horaah of the Rebbe if I’m not mistaken. Maybe some of your suggestions can be implemented as well…

    Thanks for sharing, good luck with continuing.

    Mr. #8-#31 here
    Guest
    Mr. #8-#31 here

    To #28, if you were truly coerced at lchaims and farbrengens into imbibing more than four ‘kelishkelach’, then you too, were simply spending time with the wrong crowd. I have never been the target nor the witness of a similar experience, although I’m certain this is a regular occurrence in certain chabad circles. My point as per the Rambam is, find the right ‘seviva’ and you’ll remain safe. To #33, I’m not a particularly big fan of scientists; however, I don’t advocate ’emuna’ in the AA or the 12 step system either. As a matter of disclosure, I reach my… Read more »

    #73
    Guest
    #73

    You are completely right..but that aside.. I am a therapist.. you NEED to see one, get your husband to go with you.. even if it takes letting him know exactly what he has to lose..

    its does not have to be a jewish one or a known one..dont worry about what people think.. but if you dont speak up, for the sake of your children, it will be far worse.

    if you are looking for a jewish one, Dr. Yisoel Susskind is a great guy.. in monsey.. it would be discreet and private..

    Postscript
    Guest
    Postscript

    I’m reminded of the two incidents of “alcoholism” reported, to my memory, in Chabad literature. One is in reference to Avigdor, the infamous moser, who ultimately fell from grace and was rendered a vagabond alcoholic. The sense one gets is that this was the inevitable end for a man of such corrupt and scrofulous character, not that he harbored a particular preexisting condition. Another involves the mysterious “Volper”, a nameless pupil of the Magid who displayed exceptional promise. Yet, not much time passed and we find him a lifelong alcoholic. The Alter Rebbe rationalized this outcome by reminiscing of an… Read more »

    Rochel
    Guest
    Rochel

    Wow! So great to have so many people on here discussing this!! There were responses that I would never expect (such as telling alcoholics to take a drink) but all in all, a lot of caring people reaching out, telling their stories, giving support and encouragment. Many blessings to you all! To #73: I agree with one of the comments about threatening divorce. One of my closest friends is a recovering alcoholic and another good friend I know is married to an alcoholic. An addict does not usually change just because he wants to work on himself. Unfortunately, alcoholics have… Read more »

    To all of you
    Guest
    To all of you

    Zug lichaim ane mul far alah mul

    WTG  HOLY REB YAACOV
    Guest
    WTG HOLY REB YAACOV

    BH BSD HOLY REB YAACOV I LOVE YOU MAN HOW ABOUT TALKING ABOUT HOW YOUR GREAT DECISION HAS INFLUENCED YOUR FAMILY AS WELL WHAT WILD ACT OF CHESSED YOUR MOM HAS DONE WHAT YOU HAVE DONE TO MAKE YOUR LIFE THE GREAT ONE IT IS….HAS ITS HUGE TIDAL RIPPLE EFFECT ON OTHERS MY FRIEND…. ON HONOR AND PRIVLEDGE TO BE YOUR FRIEND SEE YOU IN YESHIVA BACK IN YESHIVA SOON…

    abused parent by the drinking system
    Guest
    abused parent by the drinking system

    do you know how upset it makes me feel as a parent when i see the underage drinking that goes on we don’t allow it in our house and that is why our son’s mesivta classes didn’t like to have fabregans here they would go elsewhere where the parents didn’t care or how about the sholom zochers that the boys get drinks at the rabbi who had a sholom zocher for his grandchild and invited the whole yeshiva to come and then proceeded to make it easy for them to drink – he had the beers outside on his porch… Read more »

    Email Correction
    Guest
    Email Correction

    Thank you for all the wonderful comments. Even the disagreeable ones. It is only a matter of time before those who are not aware will run across one of these situations to be sure as they are very common. Anyway, my correct email is [email protected] .
    Yaakov

    practical tip
    Guest
    practical tip

    for better or for worse, at a simcha, the baal simcha often will offer a lchaim as a way of sharing the simcha. refusing the mashke may be interpreted as refusing to share his simcha. i have never had a problem with accepting the cup of mashke , saying lechaim and then discretely putting the cup somewhere on the table without actually drinking anything.

    i'll drink...
    Guest
    i'll drink...

    when folks push me to drink, my standard answer is “You get the Rebbe to pour it into my cup…i’ll drink it!”

    after 12 years frum and sober, almost all of the people I know, know me well and know of my ‘allergy’. I don’t hide the fact that I found my way to yiddishkeit through 12 step recovery, but I don’t make a big deal about it either…

    to #73
    Guest
    to #73

    I grew up in a “misnagdishe” yeshiva community – and I saw the same problem. Some were young Yeshiva bochurim. If someone is more sensitive to alcohol than others, and is being destroyed by it, they need professional help, but it is not because they belong to one group over another.

    JACS
    Guest
    JACS

    Thanks for sharing your experience, strength and hope. Are you familiar with JACS (Jewish Alcoholics, Chemically Dependant and Significant Others)? http://www.jacsweb.org. It is the only place I know where orthodox Jews and other denominations gather and combine Judaism with the 12 steps. Shabbos we only serve grape juice and it is a very safe place to practice you Judaism with no alcohol.

    Please contact me or anyone else can contact me if they are interested in more information. [email protected].

    Karen

    To #73
    Guest
    To #73

    I wrote comment #91. I know your story, it was mine. I too was married to an alcoholic. I too lived with screaming, broken things and abuse. My story was many years ago, and at the time I was one of the only “young couples” to get divorced. BH, I had a lot of support from my family and Rov and got through it. I also had a wonderful therapist. Most people didn’t know the real reason we got divorced. And as much as people knew, there is still so much that I’ve never said. You need to get help.… Read more »

    Nice Article
    Guest
    Nice Article

    Seeing over 100 comments on this article, and reading through alot of them, I’m sure every angle of this has been covered already. Just one Halachic point: For those wanting to make Kiddush on grape juice, please make sure it is suitable for Kiddush. Many commercially available brands of grape juice (including heimish brands) are pasteurized, which makes it unfit for Kiddush. The reason is as follows: Grape juice is allowed for kiddush, because it is essentially young wine, missing only the maturation process to become real wine. However, grape juice which has been pasteurized cannot possible become wine, hence… Read more »

    Wow...
    Guest
    Wow...

    Very inspiring article. I will definatly be more sensitive to others after reading this article and i will also try to educate my students about being sensitive to others about this topic.

    Thank you.

    confusion
    Guest
    confusion

    I think the author was really clear, and a lot of the commentators are confusing the issues. This is not a rant against alcohol. There is nothing wrong with alcohol for non-alcoholics. This is not about underage drinking. Every country has laws that determine at what age minor can be served alcoholic beverages by adults. This is not about which method is the best to recover from alcoholism. If it works for you without AA, by all means go for it! This is about one person who came to Crown Heights to seek spirituality, Jewish knowledge, and a more observant… Read more »

    To Yaakov
    Guest
    To Yaakov

    Thank you for writing. I am so glad to see this coming out to the open. Your article may also help people who were too ashamed to ask for help to get the right contacts. i.e have rippling effects for the good. Maybe people can talk about it with the mashpiim in yeshivas, Rabbonim, and teachers who clearly do not understand alcoholism.

    drinking
    Guest
    drinking

    Thanks for posting your story!!!!

    yasher koach!!
    Guest
    yasher koach!!

    A wonderful article which clearly states the truth. We should all be more sensitive — if someone says, “no thank you”, we should accept that at face value and not push whatever our own agenda is on him/her. As someone who has a family member who is an alcoholic, I’ve watched the well-meaning insensitivity of so many who for whatever reason, will just not take “no” for an answer. Clearly many people just don’t understand the nature of addiction but the truth is that they don’t have to. All we all need to do is respect the person next to… Read more »

    addiction
    Guest
    addiction

    For those having trouble understanding addiction perhaps this example of a better understood addiction can help.
    Its abit like telling an ex-smoker to “just have 1 cigarette…”

    Also I’d like to suggest the Rebbe limited us to 4 perhaps because he saw a problem possibly rising in our community.
    Yackov TNX.

    Thank you!
    Guest
    Thank you!

    This article is SO important! Thanks you so much for publishing it.
    The Rebbe limited to 4 for people who are not Alcholic. People who are addicted are not allowed to come near these drinks.
    Yasher Koach Yakov and hatzlocho rabba.

    another wife
    Guest
    another wife

    to #73–you are NOT alone. I am married 28 years, and live with a recovering alcoholic. We went through much of what you describe, myself and our 7 children. i worried that it would forever damage my kids emotionally–but that didn’t happen, thank G-d. Bli ayin hara, they are incredible, sweet, understanding, and empathetic young people, who have clearly been shaped by the illness in our home–but for the GOOD!! My husband did finally hit rock bottom, which was horrible–and i left him in the ER of our local hospital, and told the staff in tears, “I can’t take him… Read more »

    Well Done
    Guest
    Well Done

    Wow! That must have taken lots of courage! Thanks for sharing your strenght and hope! To 8, 31, 32, 37, 40, 44, 45, 56, 72, I did not read further YOU GUYS ARE OBVIOUSLY NOT ADDICTS!!Just thank Hashem that you are not! I am an addict and it took me 2 years to admit it. It is a real disease! And no you cannot take even just a little bit , it does not work!!! TO 73 go to an Al anon meeting it will help you a lot and may Hashem give you the strength!

    Job Well Done
    Guest
    Job Well Done

    I am so impressed with the article and MOST OF THE COMMENTS. As #127 wrote thatt you who wrote the negative comments, just don’t get it.!! You’re in denial of the problems our communities are facing and our children as well.

    been there
    Guest
    been there

    Whatever your opinion of AA is, it is kosher (Reb Moshe etc.) It is the standard recognized treatment and therefore it is a fitting vessel bederech hateva for Hashem’s blessing, the true refua.

    been there
    Guest
    been there

    (Cont) even if the disease concept seems strange, acute intoxication can be a life-threatening event and the cumulative results are not so great either, not to mention “spiritual death”.

    Thank you
    Guest
    Thank you

    Mr. Mark, it took real guts for you to post this, and I believe it CAN affect our community in a positive way! I personally worry for my young teenage son who is not allowed to have alcohol due to meds he takes, but he experiences social pressure in mesivta to drink. I wish every Rosh and mashpia would think through this issue carefully and address it properly with his students.

    Your Friend
    Guest
    Your Friend

    I am so glad you wrote this. When I visited and you told me about the drinking, I guess I didn’t know how serious it is. I too would feel violated if people pushed me like this. I am very suprised in 2011 that there are still people out there that do not understand the seriousness of alcoholism or addiction. I thought everyone knew at least one person who has been affected by such a thing. More power to you for taking a stand for all of us alcoholics. i feel very safe at my Chabad because people respect my… Read more »

    Perfect Answer
    Guest
    Perfect Answer

    ” (He got quiet when I told him sarcastically that the first time I decide to test the waters will be at his house on Shabbos in front of his family.)”

    I love it! That was the perfect answer.

    Rivka
    Guest
    Rivka

    Great Article. Thank you. My husband never had a problem with alcohol, but his family members did and he therefore avoids alcohol. It can be quite uncomfortable in Lubavitch settings and others, though not as bad as it must be for you. Wishing for your sake that a societal change takes place.

    the yeshivas have a lot to answer for!
    Guest
    the yeshivas have a lot to answer for!

    my son hated being thrown up on at fabragens when he was in 14-16 years old in yeshiva. why do rebeim think this is chinuch when all it is is goyishe prustkait?

    No alcohol also with Crohn's Disease
    Guest
    No alcohol also with Crohn's Disease

    I don’t care what anyone else says, I only answer to and serve Hashem in the best way I am capable of doing. He knows.

    Facts from AMA definition of alcoholism:
    Guest
    Facts from AMA definition of alcoholism:

    In 1956, the American Medical Association (AMA) stated alcoholism was a disease, as it met the five criteria needed in order to be considered a disease: pattern of symptoms, chronic, progression, subject to relapse, and treatability.

    Fact #2
    Guest
    Fact #2

    “People who are not alcoholic sometimes do not understand why an alcoholic can’t just “use a little willpower” to stop drinking. However, alcoholism has little to do with willpower. Alcoholics are in the grip of a powerful “craving,” or uncontrollable need, for alcohol that overrides their ability to stop drinking. This need can be as strong as the need for food or water.”

    Fact #3
    Guest
    Fact #3

    “Many people wonder why some individuals can use alcohol without problems but others cannot. One important reason has to do with genetics. Scientists have found that having an alcoholic family member makes it more likely that if you choose to drink you too may develop alcoholism. Genes, however, are not the whole story. In fact, scientists now believe that certain factors in a person’s environment influence whether a person with a genetic risk for alcoholism ever develops the disease. A person’s risk for developing alcoholism can increase based on the person’s environment, including where and how he or she lives;… Read more »

    argument AGAINST letting bochurim drink, even a little
    Guest
    argument AGAINST letting bochurim drink, even a little

    From wikipedia- Cause of Alcoholism: A complex mixture of genetic and environmental factors influence the risk of the development of alcoholism. One paper has found that alcohol use at an early age may influence the expression of genes which increase the risk of alcohol dependence. Individuals who have a genetic disposition to alcoholism are also more likely to begin drinking at an earlier age than average. Also, a younger age of onset of drinking is associated with an increased risk of the development of alcoholism, and about 40 percent of alcoholics will drink excessively by their late adolescence. It is… Read more »

    Pinchos Kurinsky LCSW
    Guest
    Pinchos Kurinsky LCSW

    Mr Mark,
    Thank you so much for your courageous, important, and well-expressed thoughts!
    As a professional with considerable experience in the area of addictions and as a community member who has observed this problem for close to 40 years, I salute you!
    On a personal note, I am supposed to limit drinking due to diabetes, and I have been dismayed to find myself pressured into drinking in spite of the fact that I say that I am not allowed to drink for health reasons.
    Save me a seat at your sober fabrengens.

    Torah The Rebbe-Sobriety Bill Wilson
    Guest
    Torah The Rebbe-Sobriety Bill Wilson

    When it comes to Torah I would listen to the words of the Rebbe. When it comes to sobriety I would follow the advice of Bill Wilson. As an individual who has been around Chabad for almost 30 years I have witnessed both greatness and ignorance especially when it comes to matters of the secular world. Many of our Chassidic brethren view alcoholism as an affliction of the goyim. I can remember once walking down Eastern Parkway with a Lubavitcher after a Fabregan with the Rebbe at 770 and seeing an inebriated person. My friend looked and me shaking his… Read more »

    a recovering alcoholic in CH
    Guest
    a recovering alcoholic in CH

    i stopped reading the comments half way through because while most of the people that commented were supportive, a number of them sound like the typical things i hear every day in CH. just to clarify some of the things I have learned during my journey of recovery. 1) Alcoholism is a disease and to the person who commented about it being contagious, alcoholism is described as an Allergy with the reaction being the inability to stop, this is very real and i have experienced it first hand. 2) It was originally suggested that i join the fellowship by my… Read more »

    Proud Mama
    Guest
    Proud Mama

    I am Yaakovs mother and I went through the bad times with him. I always knew he would rise above but I didn’t expect him to become Chassid. I am so proud of the challenges he has taken upon himself and the growth I have seen in him. He is a man with a big heart and has concern for all those in need. I always thought there was too much drinking in the community and that L’chayimes were not for the intent of getting drunk. Why can’t a person do a L’Chayim with an alcohol free drink? Just like… Read more »

    Rishe Deitsch
    Guest
    Rishe Deitsch

    Mrs. Sachs, you and I have the distinction of being the only two people to comment with our real names.
    G-d bless you for your letter and G-d bless your son for his courage and eloquence.
    Number Eight, you have revealed your ignorance. The pushing of alcohol at farbrengens and other gatherings by men is so constant that even the women see and hear it.
    Hostesses: Keep grape juice on hand, so that when your guest quietly asks, “May I make kiddush on grape juice?” you can just as quietly and quickly produce the grape juice. Yasher koach collive.

    To Rishe Deitch
    Guest
    To Rishe Deitch

    I wonder if you can do a series in N’shei about alcoholism being a family disease. More often than not, the family is in worse shape than the drunk. Wives become co-dependent, and enablers, children become traumatized, etc. There is help for spouses and adult children of alcoholics in Al-Anon, but most people in the frum community dont yet know about it. Please publicize this amazing resource that has helped so many families survive the difficulties of living with an active alcoholic. Al-anon has meetings all over Brooklyn, day and evening, some with childcare, some for women only… go online… Read more »

    RE: #34 Rochel P.
    Guest
    RE: #34 Rochel P.

    I’d like to clarify my response, specifically about “other orthodox sects” that exist without such an emphasis on drinking. It just occured to me that this may be viewed as negative towards Chabad. Though there are individuals who are Chabadnics who pressure others to drink and over do it on the drinking themselves, I do not believe this is a representation of the Chabad philosophy. I am honored to be a part of Chabad, and the Rebbe’s teachings to do mitzvahs with joy while encouraging others to do the same.

    #1 problem
    Guest
    #1 problem

    Mark… I am so blesssed to have met you at St.George’s ! I knew that you have been gifted to be where you are today. I admire you for stayning SOBER and not DRY . Booze is our poison. The monkey on our shoulder never goes away. For people ( no matter how spiritual or religious they might be ) ; if they are not recovering alcoholics it is impossible for them to identify with us .They continue to ask ” why ” and offer booze to calm us down or make us feel good . Hee-hee … mistake !… Read more »

    igros
    Guest
    igros

    there is a letter in igros kodesh of the frierdiker rebbe volume 7 p. 353 to a former drunkard where he tells him to be sure not to take another drop of alcohlo. this should serve a strong chizuk and deterrent to harassers.

    I've Never Held Hands at Meetings or Do Cheek Kissing
    Guest
    I've Never Held Hands at Meetings or Do Cheek Kissing

    I’m comfortable without physical stuff and the guideline “men with the men, women with the women” . . . out of need I’ve attended mixed meetings for 20 years and one day at a time, have 20 yrs. sober

    Recovery Heter
    Guest
    Recovery Heter

    It is important to note that speaking to a Rav who understands is imperative. One should not simply decide that they have a Heter to go to a mixed meeting or one in a sanctuary without proper Rabbinical council. There are folks that go to meetings that could simply go to other meetings without any fear of dying. However, there may be those that need a Heter to be sure. Dont Moshpiach yourself. You probably wouldnt sponsor yourself would you?

    Just Say No
    Guest
    Just Say No

    I don’t drink alcohol, simply as a taste preference, but I’ve personally found that if I just say something like “no thank you, I don’t drink” then I’m usually fine. Especially if it’s clear that you don’t enjoy it, where’s the simcha in that?

    X