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How Lucky Can a Man Be?

"Battleworn" posted a beautiful series of posts called "The Torah Approach" to breaking free of addiction, and he asked "Dov" the following question: "If he (Dov) had known the Yesodos of the "Torah Approach" before he joined SA, would he have still needed the 12-Step program in SA to find freedom from his addiction?"

GYE Corp. Thursday, 22 March 2012

Dov Answers as follows:

The answer of my heart to your question is "no", I did not know these things. Furthermore, I believe that had I known them, I would never have needed SA.

But let's get honest here and define "knowing these things". The emphasis is on the quality of the knowledge. Yes, I was aware of them, and yes, if you'd have asked me back then, I'd have answered that I believe they are all true. But guess what? I would have been lying.

Why? Wasn't I supposed to believe they are true? A person is not supposed to believe kefirah - and it's even worse to say it, no?

Did I put on tallis and tefilin? Of course. But I also masturbated, went to establishments on ill-repute and trashed the life of my wife and my kids by putting them in the back-seat to lust. I was clearly worshipping lust over Hashem.

The Chofetz Chayim writes, that a person doing an aveira is also guilty of some kefira (in Hashem, the Torah, whatever) along with it, because how could he do a thing Hashem doesn't want him to do? He must lack something in the

So although I was "aware" of these things, my Emunah was obviously defective. How do I know this? The answer is, that through working the steps I have come to a certain amount of (growing) in true Emuna.

How do I know I have this Emuna? Because I see that I do not need to act out because I feel Hashem answering me, caring for me and living with me; all as a result of the steps.

Do you think I am just being gullible?

So you ask me if I "knew" these things, but I think you really must mean: "were you 'aware' of these concepts?" The reason I say that is; do you think that these concepts - any of them - are things that you or I could have been told about to have any real effect on our lives? For example, "Oh, I never knew Hashem was on my side, thanks for the information!"

I believe that perhaps most yidden around me may just be "aware" of these ideas, and that is enough for them. But that is not how it worked for me at all. I had to learn that each of these things are a reality, not just be aware of them.

As Chuck C. said: "A belief in G-d is good, but it is not enough for alcoholics. An Alkie needs to live in the constant awareness of the living presence of the Creator." Sounds suspiciously like d'veikus, but what do I know about such things really?

I couldn't get it through the normal channels. Yiddishkeit's values apparently had to be presented to me as I stared down the barrel of the gun of lust!

Now let me ask you: How lucky can a man be?!


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