Rabbi Tureff’s book is directed to those in recovery from addictions. There are many important messages that Rabbi Tureff presents, creating connections with the weekly Torah portions. On the surface, these lessons are directed to recovering addicts. So the average person may not think there is much of value for him or her. “I may have challenges, but substance addiction isn’t one of them.”
But Rabbi Dr. Abraham Twerski, z”l, in his book Addictive Thinking, has shown us that the underlying causes of addiction have taken root in our society. Our culture is one that facilitates the same kind of thinking that leads to substance addiction. The drive for immediate gratification, distorted thinking, low self-esteem, victimhood, denial, and rationalizations are all prevalent in our modern culture and affect our daily lives. These problems may not lead to substance abuse, but they clearly undermine our ability for spiritual growth.
Read with that in mind, Rabbi Tureff’s messages to recovering addicts and those involved with those facilitating that recovery can serve as a guide and motivator for anyone looking to grow as a more spiritual and productive person.
Rabbi Shaya Karlinsky
In this searingly powerful collection of thoughts on the weekly Torah portion, Rabbi Dr. Chaim Tureff shares with us a new perspective. Just as an educator or a parent will be rewarded by reading special education literature, a conscientious individual will richly profit from Rabbi Tureff’s insights from the perspective of a recovering addict.
Frankly, Recovery in the Torah is a haunting, and — pun not intended — sobering revelation of how Torah messages can assist with recovery. Even one who has never been tempted by prohibited substances can reap deep benefits from Recovery in the Torah. The Torah direly forbids bizarre and appalling — seemingly never tempting — pagan rites, for it realizes that there is a dark place that may lurk inside the heart and in the psyche.
The malaise of addiction permeates society ubiquitously but also insidiously. Few are knowledgeable, or astute enough, to detect the tell-tale symptoms, which puts us all at risk to being victimized by a mindset that is anything but Torahitic. Hence, we are indebted to Rabbi Chaim Tureff for not only his enlightening and memorable commentary, but also for sharpening our focus to be aware of thoughts and behavior that may mirror the destructive path of an addict.
We all sorely miss the illumination and instruction of Rabbi Doctor Abraham J. Twerski; I venture that he would applaud the appearance of this volume.
Rabbi Hanoch Teller