Local | Mind, Body & Spirit

Local sobriety group blends recovery, Yiddishkeit

The Serenity Prayer in Hebrew ( Photo courtesy Irit Noy, etsy.com/shop/woodbyirit)

The Jewish sobriety support group just entered in its third year as a regular weekly group. Although we are quite eclectic, with participants from all ages and backgrounds, we do have a few things in common. We are all Jewish, we are all in recovery and we all love to talk. Although our discussions run the gamut of subject matter, most of our conversations are about our recovery experiences, Yiddishkeit and spirituality. Even in these we vary greatly, with some members just new to recovery and others having decades. Our shared experiences are helpful to us all. Judaism and spirituality are much the same, with some members very knowledgeable and some just starting to learn. One of our members noted that he had learned more about Judaism in our group than he had in his entire life growing up Jewish. We also talk a lot about God and here again we find a wide variety of belief and experience. The thing about spirituality is that if you are seeking it, you have it, and in our group, we are all seeking it.

We park in the lot at the back of Congregation Bet Shalom at the corner of Alvernon and River Roads. Our meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. on Mondays and we always seem to have a nosh. We open our meeting by reciting the Serenity Prayer in Hebrew. We read the daily reading from “100 Blessings Every Day,” a 12-step book for personal growth and renewal reflecting seasons of the Jewish year. We also read from “Twelve Jewish Steps to Recovery,” which goes through the 12 steps with an emphasis on Jewish tradition. Most often, we read a little and talk a lot. Our regular members, all of whom attend other programs, find our  Jewish meeting a refreshing oasis from regular 12-step meetings. Our common Jewish bond makes our meeting feel more like a family.

Since the basis of our meeting is our shared experience we are always happy to have newcomers as they bring a fresh perspective to our community. Although many of our members also attend Alcoholics Anonymous we are by no means limited in the scope of our recovery. We welcome anyone wanting to recover from any addiction, as our conversations are about recovery and not the substances or activities to which we were addicted. Judaism and spirituality are common to us all regardless of our specific poisons. Most of us found this group through the Arizona Jewish Post so we thought that it would be appropriate to report to the AJP that we are doing well and are open to meeting new faces.

Many of us knew long before we sought help that there was something wrong in our lives. Our group offers an opportunity to start learning about the recovery process in a warm, friendly and Jewish atmosphere. If you think you might have any kind of addiction issues, this is a great place to explore them in a very pleasant and non-confrontational setting. We all had to start somewhere and have found that recovery has enhanced our lives in more ways than we could have imagined. For more information, call David at 781-696-3711.