SHELACH TORAH : NUMBERS 13:1-15:41| PROPHETS : JOSHUA 2:1-24| GOSPEL : MATTHEW 10:1-14


 

Shalom! Well, this weekend will be a very busy one for not just me, but the team and speakers that Yah brought together to do a recovery weekend called The Good Samaritan. Due to all the business that has gone into the conference, this week’s Torah Portion page is skimpy!

There is a lot of meat in this Torah Portion! Spies, bad reports, negative thinking, perspective, Yah using a woman of ill repute, giants too!! Lots of action and much we can apply to our own journey through the wilderness of being a sojourner walking a different path!

Part B) Weekly Torah Portion: 37 SHLACH L'KHA - SEND ON YOUR BEHALF - NUMBERS 13:1-15:41 - YouTubeNumbers 13- What do you see… | BlogThruDaBible

 

Idolatry – Derech HaTorah

A different spirit, a different path, a different message…

boots on the ground gospel, providing a door of hope and a way out!

 

God Can Use Anyone” Joshua 2: ppt download

 

God Has Gone Before You - Joshua 2When Outsiders Become Insiders | Joshua 2:1-24 | OMC: Family Chapel

Matthew 10:1-14 GNB - Jesus called his twelve disciples - Biblics

On Life’s Terms – Shelach

“It is a land that consumes those who settle it”—Numbers 13:32.

Moses sends scouts to tour the Land of Israel and report back with the best strategy for conquering the Land. Instead of fulfilling their mission, the scouts return with a bleak report and insist that the nation remain in the desert.

There are two questions: a) Why did the scouts disparage the prospect of entering the Land that G‑d had promised them? b) The scouts were handpicked by Moses because of their high spiritual standing – “all of them men of distinction” (Numbers 13:3). How then could they have failed so dismally to carry out their charge?

The scouts were not afraid that they could not conquer the land. They were afraid of what their lives would be like after they didOn a simple level, we may answer that the scouts were afraid of battle. But this only answers our first question and not our second. G‑d had already promised them that they would easily conquer their enemies. If the scouts were spiritual men, they certainly had faith in G‑d’s promise to grant them victory.

A deeper explanation is given which answers both questions. The scouts were not afraid that they could not conquer the land. They were afraid of what their lives would be like after they did. Being spiritual people, they had a profound fear of becoming involved in the kind of worldly affairs that would arise in the course of settling the Land—agriculture, city-building, commerce, government, etc. In the desert, they had no work, no homes, no responsibilities. They were happy to be nomads, for such living left them free to inhabit what the kabbalists refer to as the “plane of thought and speech,” rather than “the plane of action.”

What these misguided spiritualists forgot, however, is that G‑d’s purpose for them was not in the modified reality of the desert, but in tackling the holy task of settling the Land and dealing with the world.

It seems we alcoholics may have a lot in common with these men. They say that we are more sensitive and idealistic than most people and, for that reason, have found great pain in confronting the realities of this world. Whether this is true or not would be hard to say. What we can say with a fair amount of certainty, however, is that no group has ever more clearly displayed an obsession for buffering themselves from reality. No bunch has more feared facing the rigors of mundane existence and “settling the Land.” We felt ourselves more at peace in “the planes of thought and speech” than that of action. Indeed, philosophizing and debating were more readily agreeable to us than tending to everyday affairs. We wanted to live in our own heads, not in the real world. Alcohol helped us do that and, in a strange way, some of us may have even thought it helped us get closer to G‑d.

We felt ourselves more at peace in “the planes of thought and speech” than that of actionBut, also like the scouts, we were tragically mistaken. G‑d desires that He be found in reality. Whether or not we are up to the task is irrelevant. It is not on our power that we rely, but on His. What we thought to be merely an admission of our own inability to handle unmodified existence, we later came to realize was actually a most brazen accusation against G‑d—that He could not help us to deal with reality nearly as well as alcohol could. Thus, we told G‑d in so many words that we did not trust Him to help us carry out our G‑d-given mission that awaited us in the daunting Promised Land of sober reality.

Recovery has helped us correct this grave error in our thinking. We do not fear the world quite as much today as we once did. We are ready to enter and settle the Land, to “live life on life’s terms” and – with G‑d’s ever abundant help and mercy – to face head on whatever may await us there.

BEHA’ALOTCHA TORAH : NUMBERS 8:1-12:15| PROPHETS : ZECHARIAH 2:14-4:7| GOSPEL : MATTHEW 14:14-21

 

Matthew 14:14 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick. | New International Version (NIV) | Download The Bible App Now

 

Testimony time!

                                                                     https://subspla.sh/59v637r

 

Pray Numbers 8 & 12 | Pray Scripture.org

Numbers 11:31 WEB - There went forth a wind from Yahweh, and brought

Be careful what you pray for AND what you wish for…

Murmuring and complaining…gets you nowhere with Yah but in trouble!

I remember in my active addiction more was never enough. It didn’t matter what the substance was. It was NEVER enough! I was so sick in the head that I use to yearn to have a large pile of cocaine put in front of me with the ability to snort as much up my nose as I wanted. That day came. I remember being in my fiance’s apartment, he placed a pile of top-quality “stuff” in front of me and told me to do as large a line as I wanted. Dream come true!!!!

I snorted a large amount of that white powder up my nose. Tasting the bitterness of the snow-white powder was part of the sick, sweet ritual of a cocaine addict. Feeling it course through your veins, numbing out everything was the chase factor.

The only thing I remember after partaking of my sick dream come true fantasy is being in the bathroom, and having difficulties. Do not ask me with what. I do not remember. To this very day, it’s a dark shadow, a part of a dark past. I lived to tell,  many have not been so blessed.

My fiance threw me out of his apartment. To this day I do not know how I arrived home safe, but I did. I do not remember anything from that night…I believe angels watched over me that night, leading me across the street home. Where I belonged.

In the rooms of 12-step recovery, there is a saying

One is too many, a Thousand is never enough! : r/SoberOne is too many... ...and a thousand never enough

It did not matter what it was…cocaine, alcohol, even heroin. After putting the cocaine addiction down, my alcoholic drinking was amped up…I was out of my mind, out of control. Then after I put that down, my cigarette addiction rocketed off the chart. Then once I conquered that one with a lot of help from Yah, my food addiction was out of control…

As I addressed the childhood sexual abuse, that’s when I returned to my “first love”.  I returned to overeating. I could not get enough of whatever it was. I needed comfort.

I was chasing that “ahhhh” factor. My memories of momma’s chocolate cream pie set up in me a craving rivaling a crack addict seeking another numbing hit on the pipe.  My mother would comment on my father’s overindulging when she made cookies, brownies, etc. She couldn’t understand why he would eat until he was sick. I did, I got it. Yep, same driving force.

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I get it.

In this week’s Torah portion, we have a bunch of folks rescued from 400 years of slavery. 400 years of trauma. Generational trauma. Epigenetics at work. Craving comfort food, craving meat. Yearning for the familiar…seeking for their next hit of meat…

So, every Torah cycle, I am empathizing with those displaced slaves. Those trauma survivors. Cravings, yearnings to go back. To the familiar, to the well-known. Even though it is destructive and there is no freedom, it is still familiar. It is known. It is a comfort to know where your next meal is coming from, to know that you have your own bed to sleep in, and to know that it will be pretty much the same expectations for you the following day. No surprises, nope, same ol’ same ol’.

I have been in domestic abuse shelters for women, I have worked in residential facilities, and have also had experience with detox facilities. I have been in maximum security prisons. jails, and a host of other settings. I understand being removed from all that is familiar to you and having to rely on an invisible source.

I think of all the upheaval the C19 has brought into our lives. Inflation is out of control. The housing market collapsing.  People and families are being displaced out of the home they found comfort in. The homeless shelters are overflowing, The shelves are emptying of stock, and gas prices have soared through the roof.

Uncertainty.

Nothing is familiar.

Comfort ye comfort ye My people…the prophet Isaiah cried…

Ezekial had a fun job too…prophets got to have all the fun, telling the truth, warning folks about impending doom and gloom if they kept choosing to chase their own tails…wanting their own way, wanting what they want when they want it and the hell with everyone else…

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The sheep are being separated. Just like Yah did in the wilderness in our Torah portion. As was prophesied in Ezekiel 34, He is separating His sheep from the sheep.

The question is…will we trust Him? Even when we don’t have 3 meals and snacks? Even when we may not know where we will lay our heads that night to rest, even if we are pressured to take the “solution” the world has?

Miketz biblestudyresourcecenter.com. Miketz Genesis 41:1 – 44:17 Haftarah: Zechariah 2:14 – 4:7 Gospel: Luke 4:16-30 Miketz = “At the end of” The 10th. - ppt download

 

🕊Kristia🕊 on Twitter: "Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit says the Lord of hosts. ~Zechariah 4:6 https://t.co/4zbzjtnbcX" / Twitter

Jesus Feeds 5000 - Matthew 14 | Sunday School Lesson & Bible Story for Children | Sharefaithkids.com - YouTube

Trust and obey! He doesn’t change, He isn’t a liar and He is the miracle worker!! His promises are sure!

Now, a word from Big Brother Judah on this week’s Torah portion!

How Things Worked Out—Behaalotecha

If any man of you, or of your future generations, shall be unclean . . . or be on a journey far off, he shall keep the Passover to G‑d on the fourteenth day of the second month . . . (Numbers 9:10–11)

On the date commemorating the Exodus from Egypt, it is a mitzvah to celebrate the holiday of Passover. When the Temple stood—may it be speedily rebuilt in our day—this celebration would entail bringing a special sacrifice on the day before Passover, the Paschal lamb. The Torah tells also of a “Second Passover” granted to a group of men unable to fulfill their obligation with the rest of the nation on the regularly appointed holiday. Because they were ritually impure, they were excluded from performing the sacrificial offering in honor of Passover. Aggrieved because of their missed opportunity to fulfill a commandment of G‑d, they approached Moses and asked that he somehow make an exception for them. G‑d spoke to Moses and told him to establish a makeup date, one month later, after they would have a chance to purify themselves. The “Second Passover” thus became a mitzvah, a commandment of the Torah, eternalized for all time.

Why didn’t G‑d just tell Moses about the “backup plan” when He told him about the regular Passover?But if the Second Passover was destined to become a commandment, why didn’t G‑d simply relate this commandment to Moses at the outset, as He did with all of the other commandments? Why didn’t G‑d just tell Moses about the “backup plan” when He told him about the regular Passover? Why did the people first have to ask for it?

The Second Passover represents the power of teshuvah (literally: “return”). By returning to G‑d, one has the power to retroactively transform past failings into veritable merits. For it is the penitent’s prior distance from G‑d that serves as the very springboard for his current heightened desire to cleave to Him. Ironically, had he not once been estranged from his G‑d, he would never have come to the kind of yearning for Him that he feels now. The darkest moments of his past, what were once his greatest liabilities, now become his greatest assets, the source of an intense motivation for re-found closeness with G‑d.

Such a condition, however—where past misdeeds become virtues—cannot be premeditated. G‑d’s rulebook could never prescribe failure to serve G‑d properly as a way to later become closer to Him. The opportunity to transform the past must come from the penitent himself. He must ask for it, and only then is it granted.

In recovery, we’ve found a new relationship with G‑d. We have an appreciation for His wisdom, love and guidance that we are quite sure could never have been possible had we not been forced to turn our lives over to Him as the only known treatment for a disease which is progressive, incurable and fatal. We did not become alcoholics in order that we could later discover G‑d in recovery. Nor is that something that we could ever have planned. It isn’t even something G‑d would have told us to do.

A certain chassid was once chided about the fact that the chassidim tend to make a big to-do about the Second Passover. “You celebrate a holiday established for impure people,” his detractors laughed. “No,” he answered, “not a holiday for impure people. A holiday for impure people who became pure.”

We could never have planned it. G‑d would never have advised it. But this is how things worked out.Some might think it odd when they hear an alcoholic in recovery say something like “Being an alcoholic is the greatest thing that ever happened to me.” Perhaps they think that recovery is meant only to make us more like normal people, to catch us up. But we do not have the dubious luxury enjoyed by “normal people” who decide how and when to let G‑d into their lives. Such is our fortune: that we must strive to join that happy lot for whom their very survival dictates that they give themselves entirely over to G‑d.

We could never have planned it. G‑d would never have advised it. But this is how things worked out. And this is what has made us closer to Him today.

NASSO TORAH : NUMBERS 4:21-7:89 | PROPHETS : JUDGES 13:2-25| GOSPEL : LUKE 1:11-20


Finding Messiah in Naso, Numbers 4:21-7:89

And, isn’t it all about finding our Messiah in all the Tanak, and the Gospels? This week’s Torah portion is not an easy one, there are so many twists and turns!!! Sometimes it just doesn’t make any sense, how on earth does one see Him in such a maze and haze? The woman’s jealous husband, the crazy ritual to prove her innocent…or guilty…and the outcome of going through this ritual. I am no bible scholar, I am learning right along with you….but I wanted to share with you some thoughts and some things I found while doing my rabbit hole dive…

Understanding the Sotah Ritual | My Jewish Learning

John 8 - what do you think our Messiah was writing in the sand regarding the woman caught in adultery? - Quora

 

What is the Aaronic Blessing? – Summer Setting

Maybe, just maybe, you, like me, have done some pretty bad things while living as an addictive addiction. When I got clean and sober, and the cloud began to lift, the shame and guilt was enormous! I was steered to Alcoholics Anonymous by Yours Truly, and it was there that I began my healing process. Putting the plug in the jug and the drugs down was only the first step. There were many other steps, one of which was facing those things…those things I had done while living as an addict. Those activities I found myself involved in while out of my mind, under the influence. Like adultrey. That was only one of the many sins I commited.

I can tell you this, teshuva is bitter sweet! Going through the process of being open and honest about all those sexual sins commited over the course of years, brought such freedom. Forgiving myself was very difficult, I must say. Going to Yeshua (Jesus at the time) and laying it all down, accepting His punishment was humbling.

As I attempt to dive deeper into His word, every Torah cycle I learn more. This year was an amazing revelation of how He drank the bitter cup that the adultrous wife in this weeks Torah portion drank.

When the woman was dragged before Him in John 8:1-11..is Isreal and He wrote in the sand of the temple, just like the dirt from the floor was mixed with water and herbs she had to drink.

He died so the adultrous woman was free to marry again…He rose a new Man in order for her to marry Him…again…

Freedom…this is where we find Him in this weeks Torah portion!

Isn’t that refreshing? Isn’t that amazing? He came and died for our sins…yes, but it is so much more! It goes so much deeper!

I hope this has been a blessing to you, please do your own digging, because I am still learning as you are!

He is able to cleanse us all from all our sins, with the blood of the Lamb shed on the stake, for me, and for you!

Shalom!

A word from our big brother Judah on this weeks Torah portion!

Reacting to Another’s Downfall – Naso

“A man or a woman who sets himself apart by making a nazirite vow to abstain for the sake of G‑d”—Numbers 6:2.

In the book of Numbers (chs. 5–6) we learn of the laws of the sotah (suspected adulteress) and the nazir (one who takes a vow which involves abstention from wine). While outwardly these two subjects share nothing in common, the fact that Scripture places them one after the other indicates an underlying correlation. The sages explained the connection between these two sections as follows: “Why is the section dealing with the suspected adulteress related just before the section dealing with one who takes a nazirite vow? To teach you that whoever observes such a woman in her disgrace should forswear wine.”

Witnessing another’s downfall says as much about the one who sees it as about the one actually going through itOn a simple level, one may interpret this teaching to mean that when one beholds someone who is in a state of spiritual ruin, the observer is reminded of the general frailty of human nature and should thus take precautions to prevent his own moral downfall. However, this interpretation raises a question. If observing someone else’s moral failure serves as a stark reminder of our own weaknesses, then why is there a need to also take on a specific vow? Just seeing another person in a state of disgrace should be a sufficiently forceful reminder that the observer must be watchful of his own conduct as well.

The Baal Shem Tov, the founder of the Chassidic movement, explained that one never “just happens” to observe something. Witnessing another person’s downfall says as much about the one who sees it as about the one actually going through it. Despite whatever wrong the other person may have done, the very fact that the observer is so keenly aware of the other’s sinful behavior is an indication of his own glaring defect—a readiness to see impropriety in his fellow. Thus, say the sages, the person who takes notice of the grave failings of others should forswear the drinking of wine. It was not by chance that he set eyes on his fellow in an unseemly position, but rather because of his own predisposition toward spotting such things.

It seems that the sages knew quite a bit about us alcoholics. Who has been as ready to find fault in others as we have been? Who has been as indignant toward the shortcomings of others? Recovery has taught us that whenever we see bad in someone else, our reaction must not be the self-righteous anger to which we had once felt entitled, but to assess our own spiritual condition.

There was a time when seeing how others were doing wrong made us feel more holy. In sobriety, we work toward the day when—in true holiness—we will see only goodness in all of our fellows.

BAMIDBAR TORAH : NUMBERS 1:1-4:20| PROPHETS : HOSEA 2:1-22| GOSPEL : MATTHEW 4:1-17


34 B'midbar - In the desert - Numbers 1:1-4:20 — The Harvest

 

Torah Parsha Bamidbar

Hosea 2 (with text - press on more info.) - YouTube

Hosea 2:19-20 — Verse of the Day for 02/19/2020

Sometimes, life beats the crap out of us, like an abusive mean spirited man that just looks for anything to give him the ammo to put the fists to use against his betrothed. Some of us have lost hope of ever finding authentic love. A real man as many of us term it. I know that I have given up hope in that realm after so many tries that ended in horrible disaster and great damage to me, mind, body and spirit and pocketbook included.

Yeshua gives us hope, He came to die, to  free the Bride to marry her Bridegroom…He took the cup of bitter herbs…the one that the jealous husband ordered her to drink to prove herself…He Himself took that cup, and drank it…to the death…for our freedom…to free the adultrous, guilty wife…so she can be betrothed…to the new Adam. (give me some grace, this is my understanding at the time of this writing, pray for me, if my theology is mess up!)

We are approaching Shavuot and His spirit will be poured out in power. As we see the horses of Revelation  running, the seals being broken, we need an outpouring of His spirit like never before…in our frail humaness, we are incapable of running the race til the end. I know I do not have that kind of energy at 62! Even when I was young, there is no way in the frail humanness that anyone could run this race to the finish.

Matthew 4:1 NIV Illustrated: "Led" — Heartlight® Gallery

Big Brother Judah’s words of wisdom from the Torah regarding this Torah Portion:

“Bring the Tribe of Levi near and present them before Aaron the Priest that they may serve him”—Numbers 3:6.

This week’s portion, the first in the Book of Numbers, describes the appointment of the Levite tribe as assistants to Aaron the High Priest and his descendents.

There is a tradition that the verse (Psalms 92:13), “A righteous person will give fruit like a date-palm; he will grow tall like a cedar in Lebanon,” alludes to the role of the Levites as attendants to the priests.

A righteous individual may be compared to one of two kinds of trees—the date palm or the cedar. The date palm, as the verse attests, “gives fruit.” It does not, however, grow so tall. The cedar, on the other hand, “grows tall” but does not give fruit.

A righteous individual may be compared to one of two kinds of trees—the date palm or the cedarA righteous person who resembles a cedar is one whose attention to his spiritual growth lifts him to great heights. Yet, because he is primarily focused on his own improvement, he does not “give fruit.” His spiritual accomplishments are impressive but do not translate into a direct benefit for others.

The second type of righteous person is like the date palm. This is the person who takes time that otherwise could have been spent on his own development and uses it to attend his fellow. Having diverted his attention from his personal growth, he does not grow as tall, but he – like the date palm which bears delicious and nourishing fruit – provides life, energy and sustenance to others.

The character of the Levites whose task it was to assist others is like that of the date palm. Rather than concentrating solely on their own spiritual attainments, they were entrusted with the holy mission of being of service to those who performed the holy rites in the Temple. Instead of focusing exclusively on their own spiritual attainments, they made themselves of use to others.

For us alcoholics, this is the spiritual path that grants us day-by-day assurance of our sobriety. Sometimes an alcoholic may think that he might accomplish more by spending less time and energy working with others and concentrating instead on more “lofty” affairs such as prayer and meditation. It sounds nice in theory, but in practice we find that the Twelfth Step’s call for service – that we “carry this message to other alcoholics” – is not just a way of paying back to the program, it is crucial to our own sobriety.

We don’t need to be High Priests performing the holy rites in the Temple. We are grateful to act as the Levites, endowed with the sacred privilege of attending to and serving others—always giving fruit, even at the expense of not growing quite as tall.

 

THIS WEEK BECHUKOTAI TORAH : LEVITICUS 26:3-27:34| PROPHETS : JEREMIAH 16:19-17:14| GOSPEL : MATTHEW 16:20-28


Bechukotai Archives - American Torah

Bible-In-A-Year Day 37: Leviticus 26-27 – A TALE OF A T-REX

 

Audio Complete Jewish Bible] Haftarat B'chukkotai - Jeremiah 16:19-17:14 - YouTube

Jeremiah 16:19 - Prayers and Petitions

Please enjoy the fun interview I did with Chelle Wagner on Hebrew Nation Radio. Chelle is in recovery herself and we had a great time breaking down the steps of recovery! Chelle can be seen on Messianic LambTV, her show is called Heart of the Tribes.

Big Brother Judah’s Torah Wisdom

Talk it Out Before Throwing it Out – Bechukotai

“They will confess their sins and the sins of their fathers….then I will remember My covenant…”—Leviticus 26:40, 42.

This week’s portion speaks about the rewards and punishments for keeping or abandoning G‑d‘s commandments, as well as the forgiveness granted for those who repent. The traditional interpretation of these verses is that G‑d promises that as soon as His people confess their sins, He will have mercy on them. There are, however, various understandings of what constitutes proper confession.

Can one confess even before having resolved to actually change his ways?Does one confess after having thoroughly reformed his conduct? Or can one confess even before having resolved to actually change his ways?

There is a rabbinic expression: “He who confesses but has yet to decide in his heart to abandon his sinful conduct resembles one who immerses in a ritual bath to purify himself while holding a small, defiling creature in his hand.” In other words, it would seem that his attempted spiritual cleansing is futile for he still clings to his old ways.

However, if this analogy really means to say that his confession is useless, why does it compare the person to one who attempts an invalid purification? Why not say that it is like one who does not immerse at all?

The answer is that the very act of verbal confession, even when a person has yet to resolve to change his conduct, contains an aspect of good which is likened to the purifying act of immersion, albeit with a defiling animal in his hand which eventually must be cast aside. However, the fact that one has not yet undergone the process of sincere penitence should not prevent him from admitting his wrongs.

When a person says he that he has done wrong, then, even if he has not yet resolved in his heart to take action, the words themselves rouse him to feelings of contrition that will, in time, lead him to actually change.

This teaching should make sense to any alcoholic who has gone through the personal house cleaning process. In Step 4 we “swallowed and digested some big chunks of truth” about ourselves and in Step 5 we shared with another person exactly what it was that we found. At that point, we had not yet changed, or even resolved to change ourselves. But even if we could not yet bring the words themselves rouse him to feelings of contritionourselves to get rid of our flaws, we could at least lay them out there and get an honest look at them. It was only afterwards, in Steps 6 and 7, that we became ready to give up our defects of character and to actually ask G‑d to take them away from us.

Some people question the use of an alcoholic taking personal inventory and admitting to his wrongs early in sobriety. What’s the point of trying to clean house when you still have the same character defects that made the old mess? The answer, however, is clear to anyone who has worked these steps. If confession had to follow penitence – that is, if Steps 6 and 7 came before 4 and 5 – who among us of would have been able to make it?

As heard in a meeting: We had to talk it out before we could actually throw it out.

BEHAR TORAH : LEVITICUS 25:1-26:2| PROPHETS : JEREMIAH 32:6-27| GOSPEL : LUKE 4:14-22


Shalom everyone! Welcome to another Torah Portion here at SSS! I love this passage, for I yearn to live in safety. Where I am presently residing I do not feel safe. I have not felt safe for a long time and feel stuck here in swamp country as I call it. The area where I reside was once a swamp, but man came along and cut down trees, filled in the swamp and built a campground on it…in rainy season, it floods in areas, in the hurricane season, the campground dwellers live vulnerable and open to the onslaughts of the HAARP program/Hurricane season. This Hurricane season, the warnings have already begun. I lament daily, I plead for His mercy and grace, I plead for His mighty hand to guard my 86 year old mother and myself while stuck in swampsville.

Father has been merciful so far as  there is at least one righteous person that dwells in swamp country! My mother has been a commandment keeper for most of her long life. She honors He Shabbat and has trusted in Jesus since a little girl.

https://theconversation.com/bad-news-for-the-2022-hurricane-season-the-loop-current-a-fueler-of-monster-storms-is-looking-a-lot-like-it-did-in-2005-the-year-of-katrina-183197

leviticus 25:1-26:2, behar “on the mount” chiastic structure

The rainy season brings intense storms that frighten many, Florida is known as the lightning capital of the nation, the first season here, as I sat in my tiny RV listening to the booming thunder and the fierceness of the rain pounding on my roof, I used that time to cry out to Abba, claiming His promises and praising Him that He is far  more powerful than any storm.

https://www.baynews9.com/fl/tampa/weather/2022/01/09/did-florida-regain-title-for-lightning-capital-of-u-s-

When we are called to a certain place, to a certain walk, to a certain way, if it goes against the grain of the world, storms come…but the One who came before us has to power to sustain us through the storm, or, to calm the storm…whether the storm is exterior or interior…

Jeremiah 32:17 — A Reason for Hope with Don Patterson

Twitter 上的 Deo Gloria Church:"Luke 4:18 - The Spirit of the Lord is on me  to proclaim freedom for the prisoners, and set the captives free. (NIV)  #bibleverse #verseoftheday #bible #scripture #gaychristian #

Big Brother on this weeks Torah Portion:

G‑d spoke to Moses at Mount Sinai…”—Leviticus 25:1.

The traditional name used to refer to this week’s portion, Behar, is taken from the opening verse: “G‑d spoke to Moses Behar Sinai (at Mount Sinai).”

It is interesting to note that words “mount” and “Sinai” have opposite connotations. A mountain represents grandeur and stature while the word Sinai is rooted in the Hebrew word s’neh, a thorn-bush, which symbolizes lowliness and humility. The combination of the two words “Behar Sinai—at Mount Sinai” indicates a melding of both characteristics, boldness and humility together.

As regards our spiritual development, the three terms 1) Mount, 2) Sinai and 3) Mount Sinai, represent three progressive phases in our growth.

Our sense of self-nullity is so pervasive that it is obvious that any strength we may feel comes only from our total reliance upon G‑d’s strengthThe first level is that of “Sinai”—humility and self-nullification. At the beginning of our spiritual development, we must embrace our own nothingness. Any feelings of grandeur or stature at this point are counterproductive and entirely out of place.

The next level is that of “Mount Sinai,” a combination of the two words. At this stage, we have sufficiently negated ourselves so that we may actually experience feelings of power that do not stem from our own egos but rather from a sense of G‑d’s strength. At the same time, however, there still must be a clear sense of personal nullity for we have not yet come to such a degree of surrender where any sense of power we may feel is certain to be emanating solely from the power of G‑d.

Finally, the ultimate level of spiritual development is embodied by the single word behar—for which this week’s reading is named. This state is achieved when we are so entirely nullified to G‑d that it is not even necessary to mention the humility of “Sinai.” Our sense of self-nullity is so pervasive that it is obvious that any strength we may feel comes only from our total reliance upon G‑d’s strength rather than our own.

There are those critics of the Twelve Steps who say that personal humility along with submission to a Higher Power degrades alcoholics and makes them feel spiritually bankrupt. First of all, we didn’t need any steps to help us feel degraded and spiritually bankrupt. Our lives as active alcoholics had done a fine job at that already. But more importantly, what these critics fail to understand is that by admitting our own powerlessness and thereby coming to believe in a Power greater than ourselves, we have found an inner strength that we could never have dreamed of throughout all our years of willful self-reliance. Perhaps they are baffled by the paradox—that through surrender we have become strong and that by facing our own lack of power we have come to know and feel what real power is.

ACHAREI MOT TORAH : LEVITICUS 16:1-18:30| PROPHETS : EZEKIEL 22:1-19| GOSPEL : MATTHEW 15:10-20; MARK 12:28-34


Acharei Mot: A Hot Mess? - YouTube

OzTorah » Blog Archive » All on your own – Acharei MotCategory: Parasha Acharei Mot - 29-5776

Leviticus 16:1–34 (ESV) - Leviticus 16:1–34 ESV - The LORD spoke to… | Biblia

Becoming Pure - Parashat Acharei Mot - Matan

There is a saying in the rooms of recovery…

Aim for progress, not perfection – Happy Act

There are many of us who have come out of a traumatic childhood and are struggling with the aftermath of using drugs and alcohol and other forms of addictions that helped us numb the painful shame. Some of us are still struggling with those addictions.

As we strive to walk in obedience to the Fathers instructions found in Torah,  some of us may forget that we are to walk with Yeshua, the Sacrificial Lamb. According to 1 John 1:9 when we are faithful to confess our sins to Him, He is faithful to forgive AND to cleanse us for ALL unrighteousness.

Strong’s Definitions [?](Strong’s Definitions Legend)
ἀδικία adikía, ad-ee-kee’-ah; from G94; (legal) injustice (properly, the quality, by implication, the act); morally, wrongfulness (of character, life or act):—iniquity, unjust, unrighteousness, wrong.

But, if you are anything like me, that just is not good enough…that thing I did ruminates over and over in my mind, driving me to go to Him yet again,  begging Him to forgive me.

Is that necessary? Somehow I doubt it. I am thinking that is more the tactic of the trickster, harassing me, lying to me whispering to me “I am  different,  the exception, my sin is so much worse than others , I am unforgivable.” That is a lie straight from the pit of hell…you see, He IS faithful to forgive. His blood is THAT powerful. To wash even you clean from all unrighteousness. That is THE Good News!!!

 

Create in Me a Clean Heart (Matthew 15:1-20) - YouTube

Oh Abba, how we yearn for You to reach deep down inside of all the brokenness and wash us clean, heal us, deliver us from ourselves and the destructive ways within our own hearts that we not sin against you or do harm to another human being!

Pin by Tara Gordon on יהודה | Learn hebrew, Hebrew words, Hebrew lessons

The greatest joy I have had in my life is serving others, coming alongside of someone and letting them know they are not alone, they are heard and there is hope…in Him.

THE POWER OF HOPE | Dare To Believe - Inspirational & Motivational Video - YouTube

Yeshua gave us hope, giving everything He had, His very life, enabling us to cry out to Him for teshuva!

 

A word from Big Brother Judah on this weeks Torah Portion.

“And Aaron shall offer his bullock of the sin offering, which is for himself, and make an atonement for himself and for his home”—Leviticus 16:6.

This week’s portion describes the special service performed by the High Priest in the Holy Temple on the Day of Atonement.

One of the special confessional prayers that the High Priest pronounced on that day was in order “to make an atonement for himself and for his home.” The accepted interpretation is that “his home” refers here to his wife. We learn from this verse that to be eligible to perform the service on the Day of Atonement, the High Priest had to be married. The question is, if the intent of the verse is to tell us that the High Priest must be married, then why is this not stated explicitly rather than referring idiomatically to his wife as his “home”?

From this elevated perspective, the woman he married was not merely his wife but his homeThe answer is that this holiest of days demanded a special degree of sanctity. As such, the High Priest had to be on a level where he did not desire personal fulfillment but rather sought to be purely of service to G‑d. Thus, in his private life as well, he needed to see his marriage not as personal relationship but as a much greater objective in being useful to G‑d. From this elevated perspective, the woman he married was not merely his wife but his home.

Many of us have entered recovery because of a relationship with a spouse or a significant other. Perhaps we thought we could save a marriage that was on the brink of collapse. In some cases, we were already divorced and took that as our wake-up call. Some of us were trying to revive a dying relationship by making good on old promises to get our drinking under control. Others were just practicing appeasement. Whatever the case, a crisis in our most intimate of personal relationships was often a primary motivation for coming into recovery.

What a letdown it was for many of us to learn that being clean and sober was not the elixir of love that we sought. Recovery didn’t suddenly make us so irresistibly charming and desirable that we could continue our old shenanigans with impunity. To the contrary, recovery demanded that we be the ones to change. We had to be meticulously self-scrutinizing. We had to be accepting. We had to let go of resentments no matter what the other person had done. We had to be humble, admit our wrongs and make amends whether or not the other person was along for the ride of recovery. Recovery demanded from us an exceedingly lofty level of self-transcendence in our home life—a kind of selflessness that most husbands and wives never even consider attainable. But that’s what was demanded of us. We could no longer be self-serving in any way, especially not when it came to the subject of marriage. We had to let go of the illusion that love was supposed to deliver personal gratification to our doorstep and instead embrace the fact that our closest relationships are truly for the purpose of building an edifice that is of use to G‑d.

KI TISA TORAH : EXODUS 30:11-34:35| PROPHETS : 1 KINGS 18:1-39| GOSPEL : MARK 9:1-10

https://torahportions.ffoz.org/torah-portions/allportions/ki-tisa/

 

Part A) Weekly Torah Portion: 21 KI TISSA - WHEN YOU TAKE - EXODUS 30:11-34:35 - YouTube

 

 

Exodus Lesson 21 Ki Tisa

Being a person who has had a pretty severe drug and alcohol addiction in the past, when I first read this weeks Torah portions title “when you take” and then saw the Israelites worshipping the golden calf, I immediately thought of the saying in the rooms of Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous meetings ; one is too many a thousand is never enough”. If you have ever struggled with an addiction/strongholds, then you have experienced that yourself. One cookie, potato chip, etc  leads to half the package or the whole package, let’s be honest…

It is said that addiction is another form of idolatry…worshipping that thing you are relying on rather than relying on Yahshua, THE Higher Power. Addictions are just a symptom of a deeper thing happening deep inside a persons mind/heart. Fear, rejection, abandonment, shame, guilt, lust, you name it…

The Israelites left the only home they knew. That environment they grew up in, with its culture, norms, etc were their norm…worshipping idols was one of  their norms. They were surrounded by addicts, I mean idolaters.

Transitions are difficult. Learning a new way of functioning and thinking is a process. And, it can be a very difficult transition. Renewing ones mind takes time. For me, I had a lot of addictions and it took me a long time to give them up.

In my recovery journey, attending 12 step meetings have helped tremendously. Working in the field of substance abuse treatment, the  treatment plans I developed with my clients would include attending weekly 12 step meetings. These support meetings would help them develop new relationship with healthier people, assist them in developing social skills, obtain coping skills and a host of other benefits.  Some embraced the steps, seeing the beauty of them, some rebelled, refusing to open their eyes to see the power of them.

For some, the steps became their new higher power, for others, they were led to Jesus Christ, Yahshua. Many have found Him, THE Higher Power. For way too many, due to their rebellion, they lost their sobriety and relapsed, some never returning to recovery, way too many have overdosed and have died.

COME TO THE ALTAR 1 KINGS 18:30-39 - Faithlife Sermons

 

What Does Mark 9:10 Mean?

If you have lived the life of an addict, then you KNOW that when He gives you freedom, it is actually being brought back from the dead. I lived as the walking dead for many years. The first 30 years of my life was filled with trauma’s of all sorts. I sought relief in sex, drugs and rock and roll…home away from home were bars. Drugs, alcohol and men were my gods.

Then He wooed me with His love. It has taken years for me to have enough trust in Him to allow Him to peel the snake skin lies from me. . Layer after Layer. Year after year, trauma after trauma, addiction after addiction, Year after year He  removed them

He had to show to me His faithfulness so that I would see HE IS Yahweh! He is the only Higher Power that can resurrect  the dead, deliver from bondage, set the captive free!

He raised me from the dead! And, if He can raise me from the dead, there is hope for anyone~

This weeks Torah portion and recovery from big brother Judah.

“When the people saw that Moses was late in coming down from the mountain…”—Exodus 32:1.

This week’s portion describes one of the most misunderstood events in the Bible – the sin of the Golden Calf. Taken at face value, it is difficult to comprehend how the same people who had witnessed the miracles of the Exodus and the Revelation at Sinai could be led to worship a molten image. However, a deeper understanding of the episode reveals that the people did not intend to replace G‑d with the Golden Calf. What they were looking for was a substitute for Moses. As the verse states, the debacle began “when the people saw that Moses was late in coming down from the mountain….”

Moses, a human being of flesh and blood, represented the people’s tangible connection to G‑d. As Moses related (Deut. 5:5), “I was standing between G‑d and you at the time [of the Revelation at Sinai]….” Although it was G‑d who redeemed the people from Egypt and gave them the Commandments at Sinai, it was Moses who served as the visible medium through which G‑d brought about these wonders. Without Moses to facilitate their relationship with G‑d, the people were in a quandary and sought to replace him.

They took it upon themselves to choose their own way of connecting to G‑dTheir mistake was that when they thought that they had lost their G‑dly appointed intermediary, they took it upon themselves to choose their own way of connecting to G‑d. Tradition relates various reasons why the likeness of a calf was selected for this purpose, but one explanation is that the people were interested in having a connection to G‑d that they could make into their own beast of burden. The image of a domesticated animal symbolized an intermediary with G‑d that could be manipulated and controlled. Moses made demands of the people; when necessary, he rebuked them. A docile calf would do no such thing.

One of the cornerstones of recovery is our willingness to be receptive to G‑d’s message when He speaks to us. One of the ways that we seek knowledge of G‑d’s will for us is by having a sponsor. While a sponsor is not a prophet nor is he or she infallible, a sponsor is, however, one of the best means we have for finding clarity on all aspects of our lives, great and small.

Having a sponsor whom we can manipulate or order around is hardly in the spirit of the basic humility requisite for recovery. Neither is it consistent with the acceptance that we do not always know what is best for us and that we need to always remain open, receptive and teachable.

There’s a saying in recovery: “Call your sponsor before… not after.” Having a sponsor means being willing to take direction, not give it. Whether our sponsor is always right is beside the point. What is relevant is that when we get out of our own heads long enough to truly listen to someone else, we may be able to hear the voice of G‑d.

 


Newsletter One/January 2022/Step One


Meet Grace! It Works if YOU Work “It”!

 

                                                                                 Shalom!

Welcome to the first newsletter! Each month we will be exploring a step from the 12 steps of recovery. I will also provide resources in every newsletter. If you have questions please feel free to reach out to me at moderndaysamaratin@gmail.com, I will help you anyway that I can.

Let’s get started!

Recovery? What is that?

Recovery to Practice Strengthened for the Future - $567,000 in New Funds

I like this definition, it breaks down different areas of our lives to address. For those who are desiring to address the inner brokenness, for some, this will bring clarity. Step two is all about clarity, but, for now, we are going to focus on Step One. For step one work, we must first admit that there is a lack of balance in our lives. Excessive drinking /drugging/sexing/ gaming/ sporting, etc  is only a few symptoms of brokenness. We are striving to recover balance and shalom in our lives.

(For information on who SAMHSA is, please see link below.)

So, let’s get stated with step one

Helpful Documents | Southeast Texas ACA Intergroup

According to Marriam Webster:

pow·​er·​less | \ ˈpau̇(-ə)r-ləs  \

Definition of powerless

1devoid of strength or resources…powerless victims
2lacking the authority or capacity to act…was powerless to help
Think of being an innocent little child while the caretakers are raging, abusing, drinking and out of control…or seeing a sibling abused, or a parent being abused by the other parent/caretaker.
I'm the one who wants the help. I've lost so many friend over the past 2 yrs since entering recovery… | Helpless quotes, Feeling helpless quotes, Apologizing quotesPeople who believe that everyone else is in control of their: OwnQuotes.com
Helpless Quotes. QuotesGram
Step 1 part 3 - Unmanageability - YouTube

For mSam's Story — Druglinkore info on Adult Children   of Alcoholics/ Dysfunctional Families check this out!

http://setexasaca.org/helpful-documents/

Using drugs, alcohol and other substances and/or process addictions such as pornography, exercise, religion is only a symptom of what is going on below the surface. I like to use the illustration of an iceberg.

addiction-trauma-iceberg - A hangover free life

Growing up in a less than nurturing home can create trauma. Many children are abused in various forms. Many times one thinks of severe abuse such as child rape/molestation when hearing childhood abuse. According to the A.C.E. studies, the impact of other less severe abuse leaves deep wounds. See below for links for further education on the ACE study.Signs of neglect - Eschool

 

Emotional Abuse: Signs, Impact, and Measures| Stop Suffering in Silence

 

Emotional abuse: the silent killer - The State Press

Child Abuse and Neglect: Recognizing, Reporting, and Responding in Early Childhood Ally Burr-Harris, Ph.D. Greater St. Louis Child Traumatic Stress Program. - ppt video online download

So, you see, there is much under the surface of the addiction. Addictions are a way of numbing out the voices in ones head, of numbing out the shame and pain of what happened, often in the younger, formative years.

Many folks who come into the Torah movement not only carry with them twisted doctrines of men, but also twisted images of themselves and Yahweh. I know I did! And, I am still in recovery from my own stuff from childhood, my teen years, my 20’s and onward until I reached my bottom!

I admitted I was powerless and my life was unmanageable! Even after a college degree, credentials as a substance abuse counselor, certification as a recovery coach and a peer advocate. Even after years of therapy…and even years in the 12 steps of AA, NA and Alanon…whoa! Wait, what???

Yes, it was not until I came into His Ancient Paths that the real freedom came. After I detoxed from man made medications such as Xanax, Trazadone, and Oxycodone. I unplugged from everything and everyone and began crying out to Him to show me His real truth. On this journey to wholeness, I also found the 12 step support group of Adult Children of Alcoholics and Dysfunctional Families.  That was the key! It was not about the addiction! It was the trauma, buried deep within me. It was that little girl that was beaten and molested, rejected and abandoned, even by herself!

Yes, I even rejected and abandoned myself. That is what I learned as a little person. I learned at a very young age that I was unworthy of love and respect. I as a female, therefore inferior.

Maybe you can relate. Maybe not. Or, maybe denial is still playing with the mind.

We admit…we see, we surrender.

To the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Surrendering – For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.Surrendering – For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.Surrendering – For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.

If you are interested in hearing my show on Hebrew Nations Radio, here is the link:

https://hebrewnationonline.com/

My other blog:

https://healingforthenationswithamoderndaysamaritanwoman.wordpress.com/

https://www.samhsa.gov/about-us

https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/aces/about.html

Welcome

Until Next Time…shalom!!!

YITRO TORAH : EXODUS 18:1-20:23| PROPHETS : ISAIAH 6:1-7:6, 9:5-6| GOSPEL : MATTHEW 19:16-26


Welcome to another Torah Portion! This week is another amazing story of how the Israelites journeyed through their own rabbit trail! I hope you are blessed by this weeks message…as usual, we also are going to go on a rabbit trail!

The Danger Of Going Down Rabbit Trails - p.s. That's Life!

Yitro

Yahweh gave His 10 ways of doing life (what is commonly called The Ten Commandments) to Moses on the top of Mount Sinai. In the recovery community we have the 12 steps and 12 traditions. These steps and traditions are a way of life…what I really like about the recovery community is that we KNOW we CANNOT do life alone, we cannot heal alone…we need a community of people who are also on this journey to the heart of the Father. Safe people who are doing their best to abide by the guidelines. The traditions are what keeps the group safe and running smoothly.

 

Moses and Jethro - She Reads Truth -She Reads Truth

Adonai has His Torah, condensed into those 10 commandments. Its His love language. It is to be our love language also. Loving Him and our neighbor…as we love ourselves…problem is, too many of us have never been taught how to love ourselves, to honor ourselves, to take care of ourselves, how to set boundaries. Many are workaholics, among other types of addictions/ways coping. Or people pleasing. Many women have had their childhoods stolen, forced to be in a parenting role to compensate for their absent parent(s). Reparenting is often needed.

But, before one gets there, one needs to admit there is a problem and they need help…many cannot ask for help. Step one: WE admitted we were powerless over (fill in the blank) and our lives are unmanageable OR We admitted we were powerless over the effects of growing up in an alcoholic/dysfunctional family and our lives have become unmanageable.

You see folks, we got some problems in our community and seems like way too many leaders are not addressing these issues…issues such as domestic abuse in all its various forms,  child abuse, all sorts of addictions, religious addiction included, and not to mention the demonic activity loosened upon us. Nope, not enough people who have admitted and done the work to get free in order to free others!

 

readthestory Instagram posts (photos and videos) - Picuki.com

Isaiah 6:1 - NIV Bible - In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord,...

Stuck By Finances (Matthew 19:16-26) – Growing Godly Generations

What Is Standing In Your Way - Faithlife Sermons

Big Brother Judah on the 12 steps of recovery…

Foundations for attaining life-long recovery.

First published in 1939 in the book titled Alcoholics Anonymous, the Twelve Steps were developed by the founders of AA as a method of recovery from alcoholism. It has since been adapted to address a myriad of compulsive and obsessive behaviors ― either addiction to substances like narcotics, or a process, such as gambling.

More than 50 different programs have evolved during the past 70 years, with millions of people across the globe having directly benefited from 12-step recovery.

Because much of 12-step recovery exists within the confines of anonymous group meetings, it’s difficult to evaluate in a controlled, peer-review process. Therefore, some in the medical and scientific communities are hesitant to testify to ifs effectiveness over other, more clinical approaches. However, ask most people who have spent significant time in the “rooms of recovery” and they will tell you they didn’t stand a chance to succeed prior to engaging in twelve-step help.

Judaism has been teaching 12 steps for 3,000 years.

Interestingly, the Twelve Steps is built on a paradigm of self growth that Judaism has been teaching for 3000 years.

The first thing that sticks out upon delving into the Twelve Steps is that the addictive behavior is mentioned only once ― in Step One: “We admitted we were powerless over fill in the blank ― that our lives had become unmanageable.” No where else do the steps directly speak about the compulsive habit, for the founders of AA understood addiction to be a three-fold disease:

  • Physical: intense cravings.
  • Emotional: using the behavior as a medication and distraction for dealing with challenging issues in life.
  • Spiritual/intellectual: Not accessing God to help arrest the behavior; stubbornly thinking I can do it on my own.

Therefore, the solution needs to include these three aspects of recovery:

  • Physical: a complete cessation from the action.
  • Emotional: developing healthy coping skills to address difficult situations.
  • Spiritual/intellectual: Humbly understanding that I am powerless over this behavior and asking God to do for me what I can not do for myself.

The sages have taught that this prototype is the foundation for both individual and global existence.

Shimon the Righteous says: the world stands on three things – on Torah (spiritual/intellectual), on service (physical) and on kind deeds (emotional).” Ethics of our Fathers, 1:2. The process of teshuva (self-growth and repentance) is rooted in these three pillars of our being.

  • Intellect can be directed either toward arrogance, or humility (and connection with the Creator).
  • Emotions can serve jealousy and selfishness, or loving-kindness and caring for others.
  • Physical instincts can be let loose toward lust and self indulgence, or restrained and channeled for a higher purpose.

Rabbi Elazar HaKapper says: jealousy, lust and arrogance remove a person from the world,” Ethics of our Fathers, 4:28.

Judaism teaches us that a person has three ongoing relationships at which he must excel: 1. with himself; 2. with others; 3. with God.

A relationship with self means an honest assessment of my character strengths and defects, awareness of my purpose for living, and taking responsibility for my actions.

A relationship with others translates into fulfilling my unique role in this world, how I can benefit others, and being aware of the impact I have on those with whom I have contact.

A relationship with God connects me to the Infinite Power in this world, tapping into ultimate pleasure and allowing me to humbly see my place in the grand scheme of creation.

STEPS ONE TO THREE

Looking through this prism, we can see how the Twelve Steps address these three relationships in the recovery process.

Step one: “We admitted we were powerless over fill in the blank ― that our lives had become unmanageable.”Step two: Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

Step three: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

The steps begin with an intense self awareness and admission as to the root of the problem ― an inability to change the behavior through willpower alone, and acknowledging the consequences of my conduct (step one: man’s relations to self).

Steps two and three transition to man’s relationship with God, first recognizing that the Creator of the Universe can in fact change my behavior (step two) if I take the requisite actions (step three). Simply put: “I can’t. He can. I think I’ll let Him.

Some erroneously argue that admitting powerlessness runs contrary to Judaism’s characterization of free will ― “If I truly set my mind to something, I will be able to conquer any challenge.”

The Talmud, however, tells us just the opposite. We are taught that a person’s yezter hara (evil inclination) grows stronger and renews itself every day. And without God’s help, we are powerless to overcome it. (Kidushin 30b)

A fundamental Jewish tenet is that everything is in the hands of the Almighty except for fear of Heaven (Berachot 33b). The sole autonomy we possess in this world is perception (yireh)- – to see ourselves in relation to the Creator of the Universe, with the subsequent awe that results from that observation. We have the freedom of choice, but it’s entirely up to the Almighty to allow that choice to successfully develop into action.

The disease of addiction is nothing less than the yezter hara, the lower self, as it manifests in those people given this particular challenge in life. Without God’s help, we are truly powerless.

STEPS FOUR TO SEVEN

Step four: Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.Step five: Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

Step six: Were entirely ready to have God remove our shortcomings.

Step seven: Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

The recovery process continues with a courageous and comprehensive personal inventory (cheshbon hanefesh). Step four focuses on, among other things, the challenges of arrogance, selfishness, and indulgence that are often found in an addict while in the throes of compulsive behavior.

Acknowledging these character defects to ourselves, to God and talking them out with another person well versed in recovery is critical in correcting the conduct. This is not confession, or seeking absolution, as some mistakenly conclude. Rather, it’s a three-fold method of identifying and concretizing specific flaws in order to construct an effective action plan. It’s anything but lip service.

Spiritual accountability is a bedrock in Judaism for character development. Working with a partner (chavrusa), or a rabbi to speak out issues and devise strategies for improvement is an encouraged practice (steps four and five: man’s relationship to self).

In steps six and seven we again see a transition to man’s relationship with God. We recognize that He is the source of success in achieving our spiritual growth and we are enjoined to be proactive in requesting that assistance.

STEPS EIGHT TO TEN

Step eight: Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.Step nine: Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

Step ten: Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

How can we ask God to forgive us if we’re not accountable for our actions?

Responsibility for our interactions with others is clearly delineated in these three steps. Addictive behavior can take a toll on people far and near the addict. Recovery is in large part a healing process, not only within ourselves, but for any relationship we may have adversely affected.

The universal custom for Jews to identify schisms with those close to us and to ask for forgiveness is a staple of our pre-Yom Kippur activities. How can we ask our Creator to forgive us if we’re not willing to be accountable for our actions with others?

STEPS 11 AND 12

Step eleven: Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.Step twelve: Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics/drug addicts/compulsive overeaters/compulsive gamblers etc..and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

The steps culminate in collective responsibility to continue investing in our individual connection with God, as well as our communal obligation to use our recovery to help others. Simply put: “You can’t keep it unless you give it away.” As Maimonides teaches, the highest level of fulfilling the mitzvah to Love God is to enable others to do the same.

We see a synopsis of our three-fold relationships in these final two steps. Strong, long-term recovery requires a consistent focus on physical abstinence from the addictive substance or behavior, as well as continual attention to emotional and spiritual growth. Complacency is a capital crime when it comes to addiction.

In truth, it’s a fatal sentence for all of us, addicts or not. The only guarantee we have in this life is death, and therefore every moment is a precious opportunity for growth. This realization, perhaps, flattens a final roadblock some might encounter before engaging in 12-step recovery.

I already have a religion, I don’t need this. It’s not from a Jewish source.

The founders of AA were extremely careful to distance this process from any organized religion for fear of turning away an alcoholic that might otherwise benefit. They understood that only through a physical, emotional and spiritual course of action could one attain life-long recovery from the dreaded disease of addiction.

As Jews, this certainly resonates with us. Not, God forbid, as a substitute for our mitzvah observance. But rather as a tool to enhance our Jewish practice and relationship with the Almighty. Does Judaism by itself possess the necessary tools for self growth and improvement? Absolutely!

However, addicts can certainly benefit from a process designed specifically to address the immense challenge that for so long has baffled so many. Numerous Jews who have entered the rooms of recovery battling multitude addictions testify to the betterment of their Jewish observance by the removal of the cloud of compulsive behavior.

We…We…We…it’s a WE program…a WE journey to the heart of the Father…

The Commandments, The Steps and The Traditions

Tradition One of Alcoholics Anonymous:

Our common welfare should come first;
personal recovery depends upon A.A. unity.”

THE unity of Alcoholics Anonymous is the most cherished quality our Society has. Our lives, the lives of all to
come, depend squarely upon it. We stay whole, or A.A.
dies. Without unity, the heart of A.A. would cease to beat;
our world arteries would no longer carry the life-giving
grace of God; His gift to us would be spent aimlessly. Back
again in their caves, alcoholics would reproach us and say,
“What a great thing A.A. might have been!”
“Does this mean,” some will anxiously ask, “that in
A.A. the individual doesn’t count for much? Is he to be
dominated by his group and swallowed up in it?”
We may certainly answer this question with a loud
“No!” We believe there isn’t a fellowship on earth which
lavishes more devoted care upon its individual members;
surely there is none which more jealously guards the individual’s right to think, talk, and act as he wishes. No A.A.
can compel another to do anything; nobody can be punished or expelled. Our Twelve Steps to recovery are
suggestions; the Twelve Traditions which guarantee A.A.’s
unity contain not a single “Don’t.” They repeatedly say “We
ought . . .” but never “You must!”
To many minds all this liberty for the individual spells
sheer anarchy. Every newcomer, every friend who looks at
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130 TRADITION ON E
A.A. for the first time is greatly puzzled. They see liberty
verging on license, yet they recognize at once that A.A. has
an irresistible strength of purpose and action. “How,” they
ask, “can such a crowd of anarchists function at all? How
can they possibly place their common welfare first? What
in Heaven’s name holds them together?”
Those who look closely soon have the key to this
strange paradox. The A.A. member has to conform to the
principles of recovery. His life actually depends upon obedience to spiritual principles. If he deviates too far, the
penalty is sure and swift; he sickens and dies. At first he
goes along because he must, but later he discovers a way of
life he really wants to live. Moreover, he finds he cannot
keep this priceless gift unless he gives it away. Neither he
nor anybody else can survive unless he carries the A.A.
message. The moment this Twelfth Step work forms a
group, another discovery is made—that most individuals
cannot recover unless there is a group. Realization dawns
that he is but a small part of a great whole; that no personal
sacrifice is too great for preservation of the Fellowship. He
learns that the clamor of desires and ambitions within him
must be silenced whenever these could damage the group.
It becomes plain that the group must survive or the individual will not.
So at the outset, how best to live and work together as
groups became the prime question. In the world about us
we saw personalities destroying whole peoples. The struggle for wealth, power, and prestige was tearing humanity
apart as never before. If strong people were stalemated in
the search for peace and harmony, what was to become of
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our erratic band of alcoholics? As we had once struggled
and prayed for individual recovery, just so earnestly did we
commence to quest for the principles through which A.A.
itself might survive. On anvils of experience, the structure
of our Society was hammered out.
Countless times, in as many cities and hamlets, we reenacted the story of Eddie Rickenbacker and his courageous company when their plane crashed in the Pacific.
Like us, they had suddenly found themselves saved from
death, but still floating upon a perilous sea. How well they
saw that their common welfare came first. None might become selfish of water or bread. Each needed to consider the
others, and in abiding faith they knew they must find their
real strength. And this they did find, in measure to transcend all the defects of their frail craft, every test of
uncertainty, pain, fear, and despair, and even the death of
one.
Thus has it been with A.A. By faith and by works we
have been able to build upon the lessons of an incredible
experience. They live today in the Twelve Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous, which—God willing—shall sustain
us in unity for so long as He may need us.

I say amen to unity and so does Adonai!

Top 24 Unity And Togetherness Quotes: Famous Quotes & Sayings About Unity And Togetherness