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THE TORAH APPROACH!
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A Board for Yidden who are not as addicted, and for whom Torah/Chizuk/Chassidus can still help them stop.

TOPIC: THE TORAH APPROACH! 23506 Views

THE TORAH APPROACH! 30 Jun 2009 13:49 #7739

  • battleworn
In this thread I want to discuss (among a few other things) what the “Torah approach” to dealing with lust addiction is. Of course I don’t have any sort of monopoly or superiority on Torah knowledge and everyone’s Torah input is welcome.

First of all, what is NOT the Torah approach?

The Torah approach is not “just stop doing it” and it is not to just learn more Torah and mussar.

It is not to just do some segulos and it is not to largely stay the same person you were until now.

It is not at all:


to just learn the Torah Tricks, Torah advice, as long as they can remain the same Yid they are now and somehow solve this problem in the "beis medrash" together with a group of yidden.  

So what then is the Torah approach? The Torah approach is (1) to recognize that as the Gemoroh says in Avodah Zorah 17a: כיון דאביק בה טובא כמינות דמיא –once one got so entrenched in promiscuity, it is the same as “minus” in that that one that stops and does Teshuva, will die. I think we all agree that that’s a pretty heavy statement. Death is usually considered serious business.

So do we all have to die in order to stop?

The Rambam in Hilchos Teshuvah 2,4 provides an answer:
מדרכי התשובה להיות השב צועק תמיד לפני השם בבכי ובתחנונים ועשה צדקה כפי כוחו ומתרחק הרבה מן הדבר שחטה בו ומשנה שמו כלומר אני אחר, ואיני אותו האיש שעשה אותן המעשים , ומשנה את מעשיו כולן לטובה ולדרך ישרה וכו'  
 
According to the Rambam’s prescription the sinner indeed dies and a new, bigger and better, person is born instead. But the addict of today needs practical advice on how to accomplish this change. (It’s crucial to understand that “crying always in front of Hashem” is not something to dread. It’s the farthest thing possible from that. In fact it’s paradise, it’s חיי עולם הבה in this world. “טעמו וראו כי טוב ה' “- you have to taste it to understand)  

The Torah approach is (2) to make recovery the focus of your life.

The Torah approach is (3) to stop listening to the y’h’s lies and to internalize the following truths:

a) The purpose that Hashem sent you to this world was to work on this very issue!

b) The reason we are given a lifetime is because that's how long it takes until we get it right. And it’s not supposed to be easy!

c) Hashem doesn't make bad investments and when He gave you this mission, He knew what He was doing!

d) Everything depends on the eyes, the heart and the mouth!

e) Every effort that we make is worth infinitely more than anything in this world EVEN IF WE FELL IN THE END!

f) The only thing we have bechira on, is Ratzon (Hishtadlus is part of ratzon); success is only in the hands of Hashem!

g) Our job is to do everything that we can. What we can’t do, is not our problem. And if we can’t do anything, all we need to do is have pure Emunah and leave everything up to Hashem! The clear realization that אין עוד מלבדו has the power to bring tremendous Heavenly assistance and at the same time, it destroys the lust at it’s source!

h) The only way to fight the y"h is to learn how to avoid him!

i) Not only is this nissoyon not a hindrance to your success, but in fact it's the only way possible for you to reach your goal!

j) Hashem is totally and completely on your side, and he's NOT disgusted with you!

k) Every yerida is always a preparation for an aliyah!

l) The greatest nachas ruach for Hashem is when someone who is in the grip of the y'h still tries to fight -This is the ultimate Shechinah Betachtonim which is the purpose of all creation!

m) Hashem does not expect you do it alone! In fact isolation breads lust as it says in Mishlei לתאוה יבקש נפרד That’s why Hashem gave us this Holy Holy network!

n) Every effort end every good ratzon adds up, and at the end Hashem brings the yeshua in the zechus of everything together!

O) The great efforts that we invest in this area have unparalleled significance and have the power to merit things like Krias Yam Suf. It is called Midas Hayesod and it’s the very foundation upon which all other Avodas Hashem is built!

p) Every time we hold back from sinning, is many many times more significant than the times that we c’v stumbled. (There are a few reasons for this.) It’s on these successes that we can and must build, while being careful not to concentrate on the falls (Except lito’eles). There’s no place at all for the “All or nothing” attitude!

q) Hashem wants our hearts! We must realize how much lust distances us from Hashem and we must want to give it up completely. If we try to stop sinning and continue lusting, it won’t work. This is the very core of Torah life!

r) All the lust is only a “levush” that the y’h puts on to our longing for Hashem. At the source, it’s holy of holies – a powerful all-encompassing yearning to be close to Hashem. By constantly fulfilling this inner desire and always developing a closer and closer relationship with Hashem, the lust will disappear. It also follows, that by weakening this “levush”, the inner desire (the longing for Hashem) will be able to shine through. We therefore need to work on both aspects at the same time.  

s) We need to have “Bitachon” that Hashem will save us if we do our part. Bitachon means that we need to be calm and rely on Hashem, while at the same time putting in maximum effort. Stress is detrimental to your battle, besides being a contradiction to Bitachon. Effort is our only duty, results are up to Hashem! It also follows that even if we didn’t “succeed”, if we tried our hardest then it was indeed a total success!

{Impotant note: To a "goyishe kup" Hishtadlus-effort is a contradiction to Bitachon. If it's all in Hashem's hands, why fight? But we know that it's quite the opposite. Hashem gives us the nissoyon, because our fighting is worth so much in his eyes. This fighting is a very integral part of the purpose of creation. The value of one second of fighting is  more than the value of the whole material world in it's entirety. And it has the terrific power of bringing us so close to Hashem and His Torah! It's the stress and the notion of כחי ועוצם ידי that we have to get rid of.}

t) We are Holy! Even if we sinned thousands of times, inside we are purely good. The obvious proof to this is that we are looking to brake free. The y”h’s main objective when he makes us sin, is so that he can thereby “prove” to us that we are lowlifes. That way, he can weaken our avodas Hashem. We need to expose the fallacy, and keep reminding ourselves how holy we are!

u) We were chosen by Hashem for this sensitive mission (of revealing the Shechinah in the darkest places). We are Hashem’s special force soldiers and we should be extremely proud of it! We need to embrace this mission with great Simcha Shel Mitzvah and remember that we are emissaries of Hashem Himself!

v) When one sins, he is not “annoying” Hashem, rather he is hurting himself and distancing himself from the Source of all good. It’s not “me and the lust” with Hashem on the outside, rather it’s “me and Hashem” and the lust is the outsider.

w) When faced with a test, we must always think “What does Hashem want from me at this moment”. The past and the future are not the point. When we realize that every moment is given to us by Hashem for the purpose of doing His will in that moment, without any dependence on the past and future, there’s no room at all for “yi’ush”

x) If we find ourselves in the midst of a fall and we stop right in the middle, the accomplishment is even greater!

y) If we were doing well and we c”v had a fall, the gain was not lost. All we have to do is learn from the fall, bounce back up and continue going even higher.

z) If you searched hard and long and Davened your heart out for so long and still couldn’t find help. This should not surprise you. Because Hashem in His infinite wisdom knew, that for our good there needs to be a tremendous all-encompassing darkness before Moshiach comes. (I’ll be”H discuss this at length below) And by doing what we can and not giving up even in that situation, we are accomplishing the greatest “tikkun” in history and THAT is what will bring Moshiach!

(If someone could volunteer to compare this list with the GYE attitude and prepare a list of what's here that's not there, it would be a big zikui harabim. Thank You!)

The Torah approach is (4) to develop an intimate relationship with Hashem. R’ Pinkus Zt’l used to say all the time: “Hashem is not waiting (to bring the Geula) for us to be more midakdek in Halacha – we’re doing well enough in that. Hashem is waiting for us to have an intimate relationship with Him.” (Whatever is true about the Geula of Klal Yisrael, is also true for each ones personal Geula)

The Torah approach is (5) to make use of any tool that can be effective.


The Torah approach is (6) to step up your Avodas Hashem in all areas as the Rambam, Quoted above, says.

The obvious question is: If this is the Torah approach, why isn’t that common knowledge? Why do so many Rabonim not know all this? The answer is – of course- that this information was never organized or codified. Widespread addiction is a totally new phenomenon among Torah Jews. In fact, I’m sure that if you would ask a Talmid Chochom from a few generations ago, what a lust addict should do, he would say that he should cry until he dies like the simple meaning of the Gemoroh quoted above.

It’s not, c”v, by accident, that this hit us unprepared. To the contrary, it’s the very essence of “chevlei Moshi’ach” Before we quote some sources, let’s look at a moshol. We know that the holy avos, served Hashem with perfect mesiras nefesh. We can’t fathom at all, their total devotion to Hashem.

And then what happens? Hashem sends the family down to Egypt and they sink down to, one second short of, totally complete Tumah! Some of us might have said: “You see where that path gets you. Absolutely nowhere! Everything is gone – total loss!!!”

But looking back we know that it was all a preparation for the greatest thing that ever, ever happened in this world. Hashem married us at Har Sinai!!! Please try to really contemplate that before reading farther!

The same exact thing is happening right now. The Zohar says that before the great light of Moshiach comes, it will first get incredibly “dark”

The Gemoroh in Sandedrin 98b says: אמר עולא ייתי ולא איחמיניה וכן אמר רבה ייתי ולא איחמיניה  and later on וכן אמר רבי יוחנן ייתי ולא איחמיניה The literal translation is “He should come and I shouldn’t see him” In other words they were saying that they don’t want to be alive when Moshi’ach comes. And the Gemoroh goes on to say that Hashem Himself will “kaviyochol” suffer great pain like a woman in childbirth. The מהרש'א explains: דמדמה ישראל בעת גאולתן לקטן שנולד והקב'ה מולידן as we find in many pesukim. And he continues: וכמו שהיולדת מצטערת עצמה בחבלי לידתה כן הקב'ה מצטער כביכול בחבלי משיח שיהיו אז לישראל The Gemoroh is telling us that our pain is going to be so intense, that כביכול it will be as if Hashem is in labor. This is more than it says about any other time-of-suffering that Am Yisroel ever experienced.

Although, as mere –very limited- mortals, we can’t understand why it has to be this way, we can indeed understand the mechanics of it. In order to merit the unfathomable light/pleasure of the Tikun Hashalem, we first have to exert superhuman efforts to search for that light while it’s hidden in the darkest of the dark.

The harder we search, the more rewarding it will be and the more we will appreciate it. Of course if we were given the choice we might say “no thank you”, spare me the pain and I’ll have less pleasure afterwards. But Hashem in His infinite mercy doesn’t give us a choice. Instead he just gives us what’s best for us without asking for our shortsighted opinion.

All this is a most basic rule of nature. Night comes before day and קליפה קודם לפרי the shell comes before the “fruit” And the bigger the fruit is the bigger the shell seems to be. It’s really not nearly as big as it looks, because it’s just a shell. But boy does it seem huge.

When Moshiach comes it will be ומלאה הארץ דעה את ה' כמים לים מכסים Such a great all-encompassing light, such a perfect state of existence, that there won’t even be the slightest possibility of any pain! There won’t even be the slightest possibility of lack of pleasure! Because, we will have such an open connection, with The Source of all good and all pleasure. Anything that we try to imagine is not even a thousandth of it!

And the only way to get there is to first deal with the huge shell that is covering that great all-encompassing light. Think about the size of this קליפה. It’s big enough to hide that great complete all-encompassing light! That’s absolutely mind-boggling. But to us it’s nothing new. We had the “honor” to get to know this קליפה intimately.

We were chosen by Hashem for the greatest mission of all! To crack this great קליפה by not giving up, even in the darkest of times. Even when everything seems hopeless. Klal Yisroel seems to be a bunch of dry bones (as illustrated in the prophesy of Yecheskel Hanavi) we can search and search and seem to get nowhere. The world is totally flooded with the lowest levels of tumah כמים לים מכסים, the pain and darkness are so great – completely beyond description. AND WE JUST DON’T GIVE UP! HOW STUBBORN COULD A PERSON BE? It’s our job to answer that question. And we are doing a great job at it! This is the final frontier. This is what will bring the Tikun Hashalem!


I heard that R’ Nosson the pupil of R’ Nachman of Breslov said about the Gemoroh in Sanhedrin quoted above: “They were afraid of chevlei Moshiach because they didn’t have R’ Nachman. But now that we have R’ Nachman we need not fair. Because he gave us the tools, to survive even in the darkest times." I’m not Breslover chasid and R’ Tvi Meir taught me how to understand such statements in context. R’ Nosson was a Talmid Muvhak of R’ Nachman, so to him (and to most Breslover Chasidim) R’ Nachman is everything. But to us, the bottom line is, that in the later generations Hashem provided us with what we need to survive.

He didn’t give it to us on a silver platter. That would have defeated the whole purpose. But it most definitely exists. It exists in the words of all sorts of Tzadikim from various generations. It exists by a few “Yechidei segulah of our generation. And with this Holy network, we can work together to organize it and spread it to the world. There’s a lot of work to do. The question is do we care enough to do what we can?

                -------------------------------------------------------------------------
  The question was already asked, how do we go about developing an intimate relationship with Hashem? Of course the answer goes on forever just like applying it goes on forever. But perhaps we can try to give some outline on how to start.

The first step is to want to develop such a relationship. That means to come to understand how miserable it is to be distant from Hashem. How utterly foolish it is to do things that distance us from Hashem. How everything else out there, is nothing more than an empty illusion.  
We have a head-start in this, because we saw where it leads to. We experienced how fake it all is. We learned the hard way how desperately pathetic “life without Hashem” is.

The second step is to begin to “live” whatever it is that we are doing. Perhaps start with any one part of the day. On that one part of the day, concentrate on what you’re doing. Whether you’re saying a Brochoh, spending time with your spouse/child, eating or whatever. Think what you’re doing. E.g.: I’m feeding this body that Hashem gave me in order to serve him. Concentrate on the fact that you are doing Hashem’s will. If you’re saying a Brochoh, concentrate on what you’re saying.    

It takes a lifetime to perfect this, but as soon as you start working on it, you start reaping the benefits. Also here, we have a major advantage. We learned the hard way where being passive leads to. We know that the y’h is always ready, very willing and able to take the steering wheel. With a bit of “hisbonenus” we come quickly to the conclusion that we have to start being active instead of just watching life go by.  

Another first step, is to talk to Hashem often in a very personal way. R’ Nachman, the Chofetz Chaim and other Tzadikim stressed this very much. The Chofetz Chaim himself spent -literally- hours every day doing this together with cheshbon hanefesh.

In general we have a great advantage in that as soon as we decide that we want to give up all lust and totally return to Hashem, we become ba’alei teshuva. This automatically brings us close to Hashem as it says גדולה תשובה שמגעת עד כסא הכבוד. We can go on forever about this alone; so I think I’ll stop here.

The Torah approach is (7) to make full use of מחשבה דיבור ומעשה - thought, words and action all at the same time time, in order to effect the all-encompassing transition from "Baal aveiroh" to "Baal Teshuva"; and in order to redirect all our energy towards developing an intimate relationship with Hashem. For more on this see:
rehab-my-site.com/guardureyes/forum/index.php?topic=614.0
 
Last Edit: 29 Dec 2009 15:53 by .

Re: THE TORAH APPROACH! 30 Jun 2009 14:17 #7744

  • 7yipol
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I love it Battleworn.

You've written some very basic yesodos; the foundations of bitachon.
I cant wait to read more.
Hashem is addicted to you! Feel His hugs!"Sheva yipol tzaddik VKUM"
Last Edit: by .

Re: THE TORAH APPROACH! 30 Jun 2009 15:13 #7751

  • Efshar Letaken
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Dear Reb Battleworn,

It's a pity that the alpha bet ends at "Z" or we would get some more gr8 tips.

Please elaborate on every thing you said this way we can focus on one at a time as to how we can internalize them.

Thanks,

E.L.
Last Edit: by I will win the battle.

Re: THE TORAH APPROACH! 30 Jun 2009 15:56 #7760

  • the.guard
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WOW, this is so powerful and beautiful! I will try and send these Yesodos out as a series of two or three Chizuk e-mails bl"n...

You wrote up once 13 principles over here as well.

Just a quick note... you wrote:

The Torah way is not to just do some segulos


One of the karliner Rebbes once said, the biggest segulah is "Ve'heyisem LI segulah - and you shall be for ME a Segulah". (like you wrote in Torah Approach 4).

Very profound.

Thank you battleworn, you are doing a tremendous job of summarizing the yesodos of the proper Attitude for us. Keep up the great posts and Chizuk!
Webmaster of www.guardyoureyes.org - Maintaining Moral Purity in Today's World. We’re here on a quest ; it’s really all a test. Just do your best and G-d will do the rest.
Last Edit: by nycontroller9.

Re: THE TORAH APPROACH! 30 Jun 2009 15:58 #7762

  • me
"Hashem is waiting for us to have an intimate relationship with Him.”


I think that this contains the entire from A-Z.

So what do we do? We need this "initimate" relationship. BUT, yes it takes alot of work. So, the y"h convinces us to have a much shorter "intimate"  relationship...with ourselves so to speak...which lasts a few seconds, and in the end, nothing was gained or benefited.

This intimate relationship with Hashem, would heal all of our wounds, and it would last a lifetime.
Last Edit: by maalin bakodesh.

Re: THE TORAH APPROACH! 30 Jun 2009 16:40 #7772

  • battleworn
Thank you all so much for your warm words, it means so much to me!

I added an other installment to the original post.
Last Edit: by .

Re: THE TORAH APPROACH! 30 Jun 2009 19:25 #7794

  • tester613
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Battleworn,

A tremendous yashar koach to you.  My elevator shot to the heavens while reading this. 
I will definitely read and reread this.  Thanks.
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Re: THE TORAH APPROACH! 30 Jun 2009 19:43 #7796

  • battleworn
Thank you so much for your warm words!

I just added another installment to the original post.
Last Edit: by chulentking.

Re: THE TORAH APPROACH! 01 Jul 2009 02:21 #7815

  • Noorah BAmram
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Battel"never"worn;)

WOW!!!WOW!!!WOW!!!

I read in between the lines a lifetimes worth of wisdom earned thru very personal growth!
The proverbial "he who blows, blows from his inner essence"!

My only complaint is you almost didn't leave over anything for anybody else to add

With tremendous admiration and amazement for all the work that you've put in
I remain

Noorah from the house of Amram
[b]כי שבע יפול צדיק וקם[/b] 
A Tzadik is he who continues to  bounce back after he hits bottom, even a hundred times !!!!!Rav Don Segal Shlita
Last Edit: by flash.

Re: THE TORAH APPROACH! 01 Jul 2009 08:20 #7833

  • battleworn
Noorah, Thank you so much for your chizuk!


My only complaint is you almost didn't leave over anything for anybody else to add


Reb Noorah, the exact opposite is the case. I gave you the framework, now you can say a whole shiur on each of the principles!!! And I mean that seriously!
Last Edit: by StrivingJew2.

Re: THE TORAH APPROACH! 01 Jul 2009 08:45 #7836

  • battleworn
It's a pity that the alpha bet ends at "Z" or we would get some more gr8 tips.


Actually, in some of the letters, I squeezed in more than one point. But yes, there are definitely a lot that I missed. Maybe we have to do the alphabet twice.


Please elaborate on every thing you said this way we can focus on one at a time as to how we can internalize them.


That is definitely what needs to be done, but it's a tall order for me. Everyone is invited to help!

BTW I added a very important note under "s"
Last Edit: by outnowpls.

Re: THE TORAH APPROACH! 01 Jul 2009 10:25 #7850

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Battleworn,

Wow! What a very impressive post. Did you get ruach hakodesh? How did you come up with such an amazing post?

I love your post sooo much, I took the liberty of adding a line from it to my signature! Kol hakavod. Thank you!!!

We, who are doing the great battle, are all superheros!

--SuperMomo  :D
Last Edit: 01 Jul 2009 11:56 by A Talmid Of R Yochanan Ben Zakkai.

Re: THE TORAH APPROACH! 01 Jul 2009 12:33 #7861

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I want to just tell everyone that I had a long talk with battleworn today by phone and I now understand that he is looking for a way to take the most profound Yesodos of the Torah and of the 12-Steps and build a program that will have great success in rebuilding even a real addict, from the ground up. Just like the 12-Steps does, but with a Torahdik approach. This is a profound undertaking and we hope to work together with him to do this. Who knows, maybe one day, even the most hopeless frum addicts will be able to join frum groups that work with this NEW approach and be even MORE successful than the 12-Steppers are today. He wants to take out of the Torah all the Yesodos of rebuilding a person, learning to get honest with ourselves, letting go of the self, being born anew, etc... I believe that if we can build such a program it would be a great To'eles for Klal Yisrael.

But until such a program exists - with a clear set of guidelines, and until there are groups and sponsors that work with these ideas, we will have to go with the second best option for those who really need a "remake", and continue suggesting the SA groups for those who have tried the first 13 steps of the handbook and are still not seeing success, just like Rabbi Twerski has been doing for the last 20 years - in absence of anything better. Battleworn, do you agree?

I believe that people like Boruch and Yakov can be instrumental in helping battleworn and me develop such a new program. And I think that the yesodos in this thread are already a great start. But it needs a lot of polishing. Also, there may be some perceived disagreements in Hashkafa between the 12-Steps and a Torah approach. At least battleworn thinks there are (see his "Important Note" in "s"), although I disagree. My view is that there is no disagreement at all, it is a matter of perception. But that's no big deal. In such cases, we can bring our question to Rabbi Twerski for resolution. In general though, I think we may be onto something BIG.

Thank you battleworn. I am here to work together with you on this monumental project. And all who want to join are welcome. Klal Yisrael needs you!
Webmaster of www.guardyoureyes.org - Maintaining Moral Purity in Today's World. We’re here on a quest ; it’s really all a test. Just do your best and G-d will do the rest.
Last Edit: 01 Jul 2009 12:46 by ahuva391193.

Re: THE TORAH APPROACH! 01 Jul 2009 13:42 #7870

  • battleworn
Taireh Momo, thank you so much for your warm and enthusiastic words.


Did you get ruach hakodesh? How did you come up with such an amazing post?


Reb Momo, I'll tell you the answer. By nature I can't really write anything. In school, I never wrote compositions, I couldn't get past the first sentence.

When Paroh said to Yoseph, "I heard that you can interperet any dream" Yoseph answered it's not me האלוקים יענה את שלום פרעה. We are taught that we can learn humility from this. But ever since I was a child I wondered: Does a humble person say "I'm a navi and I can get nevu'ah whenever I  want"? To me (and I may be a bit strange) it didn't sound so humble.

I recently discovered the answer. You don't have to be a navi; all you have to do is keep your negi'us out of the picture. If you don't mess things up, then whatever words Hashem wants you to say is what you'll say. That's what בלעדי means, I'll stay out of the picture and "mimeilah" Hashem will answer. [It was clear to him that Hashem wants him to interperet the dream because Hashem brought him there.]

I felt that I need to post something but I didn't know exactly what. I davened to Hashem that he should save me from ulterior motives. As I was saying it, of course the y'h came right away and started telling me that I'm a really great guy that davenes that he shouldn't have ulterior motives.

So I had a whole talk with Hashem about it. I said I know that this filthy jerk is not going to let up. I know that he'll keep trying until he finds a place to hide. But Your goal is not to trap me, You want me to succeed and that's also what I want. [Because at the source we allways have pure motives, all the ulterior motives are just what the y'h "clothes" on to our real motives] So please take pity on Your Holy Shechina and on Your holy children and save me from the filthy menuvals mean tricks. Save me from all sorts of ulterior motives even though really I'm not even close to being on that madreigah. Do it for You Name, do it for your children... I did this a few times.

Yesterday, when I wrote it, I was tired as I couldn't sleep well at night. I sat for many hours typing and editing and it just kept flowing. It just kept coming and all I needed to do was to exert my physical strength to keep typing. So it's not Ru'ach Hakodesh; that's for special people, this is for everyone. 

I don't know if all this makes sense to you, but at least I tried.
Last Edit: by .

Re: THE TORAH APPROACH! 01 Jul 2009 14:01 #7871

  • the.guard
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hey Battle, did you see Boruch's reply #18 on this page? He's in it with us!! And that's great because he read all the 12-Step literature and knows it well and is brilliant. What could be better than that?  :D

I think that if we want to really succeed, some of us (either me, you, Boruch, Yakov) should also read R' Twerski's book called "Self improvement? I'm Jewish!" - which he claims is a Torah approach to 12-Steps. I want to see what we can take out of that too. No?
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