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Blog

Sharing Our Experiences

JAAN is committed to sharing points of view, experiences, and expertise from individuals, clergy, and professionals across the Jewish spectrum. Browse our collection of blog posts written by guest authors covering a range of topics related to substance use disorder, other addictions, and recovery, including Jewish holidays, rituals and texts; recovery journeys; and family member experiences.

Have Something to Say About Addiction and the Jewish Experience? Submit a Blog Post.

If you’re interested in contributing a blog post to our website, or know someone who might be, please submit it to info@jaanetwork.org. We’re happy to assist you with identifying a topic. View our blog submission guidelines.

The views and opinions expressed in these blogs are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect any official position of Jewish Addiction Awareness Network.

Finding Our Rock

Finding Our Rock

by Rabbi David Wolpe

May 2021

Insights on the spiritual side of addiction and overcoming the challenge of filling the void.

Purim: No Distinction Between Haman and Mordecai?

Purim: No Distinction Between Haman and Mordecai?

by Beth Huppin

February 2021

Why does alcohol play such an outsized role in Purim? Digging deeper, what do our texts have to say about this and is there a more meaningful way to celebrate the holiday?

Returning to the Land of My Soul

Returning to the Land of My Soul

by Cantor Rebekah Mirsky

February 2021

Growing up as the daughter of a rabbi who was also an alcoholic was painful and complicated, resulting in feeling alienated from Judaism. This is the story of finding a way back to a meaningful Jewish life and making meaning of the experience.

The Recovery Message of Hanukkah: Extracting Light from our Shadows

The Recovery Message of Hanukkah: Extracting Light from our Shadows

by Rabbi Marc J. Margolius

December 2020

Hanukkah and recovery show us how embracing our whole selves can help us find our light within and use it to illuminate the world.

Chanukah: The Festival of Light(s) and Hope

Chanukah: The Festival of Light(s) and Hope

by Rabbi Rachel Nussbaum

December 2020

In so many ways, the story and rituals of Chanukah profoundly inspire and connect to the recovery journey.

Being Open: An Antidote to Shame and an Act of Service

Being Open: An Antidote to Shame and an Act of Service

by Fay Zenoff

December 2020

A courageous story of one woman’s journey through the denial of alcoholism to confronting shame in recovery, and how her openness has helped others find hope and healing.

Community, Connection, Chesed & COVID-19

Community, Connection, Chesed & COVID-19

by Lianne Forman

September 2020

The story of one family’s courage in bringing addiction out of the shadows in Teaneck, NJ, and how a Talmudic text informs their philosophy, especially during the pandemic.

Rediscovering my Jewish Identity Sober

Rediscovering my Jewish Identity Sober

by Rachel Kessler, LCDC

August 2020

How a very special Birthright trip to Israel brought together Judaism and recovery in a life-changing way for a young woman in early sobriety.

Who Invited Martin Buber to our Nar-Anon Meeting?

Who Invited Martin Buber to our Nar-Anon Meeting?

by Ruthanne and Gary A.

June 2020

Parents of a daughter who suffers with addiction share how Martin Buber’s core philosophy plays a role in the way members of their support group find healing and serenity.

The Necessity of Emotional Honesty

The Necessity of Emotional Honesty

by Thomas Fransen, MSW

May 2020

After losing everything to addiction, how can one embrace the darkness with honesty and find connection with the Divine Presence?

L’Dor v’Dor - A Grieving Mother Looks Back

L’Dor v’Dor - A Grieving Mother Looks Back

by Tracy Ellyn

May 2020

Through her grief, a mother shares what it was like to raise a son who had a medical condition that led him to substance use disorder, ultimately claiming his life.

From Chaos to Seder: Pesach, Addiction, and Removing Our Personal Chains

From Chaos to Seder: Pesach, Addiction, and Removing Our Personal Chains

by Devora Shabtai, MSW

March 2020

What does it truly mean to be free? We can learn so much from people working a Twelve Step recovery program about how to deepen our Pesach experience to find life-changing freedom.

Bright Stars

Bright Stars

by Laurie Morgan Silver, LCSW

December 2019

A sister’s tragic death changes the author’s life trajectory as she struggles to make sense of it all. Read how Laurie Morgan Silver created a moving Hanukkah memorial service so loved ones can honor and remember the treasured lives of family members and friends who died by suicide or overdose.

The Rocky Waters of Forgiveness

The Rocky Waters of Forgiveness

by Marla Kaufman

September 2019

The High Holy Days, with their themes of forgiveness and teshuvah, provide powerful wisdom and inspiration for healing relationships in families affected by substance use disorder.

Wandering the Wilderness: A Journey of Self-Discovery & Healing

Wandering the Wilderness: A Journey of Self-Discovery & Healing

by Jory Hanselman

March 2019

How our ancestors and history of wandering the wilderness can support growth and recovery, and reframe our attitudes toward mental health and substance use disorder.

God, Idolatry & Addiction: The Quest for Wholeness

God, Idolatry & Addiction: The Quest for Wholeness

by Rabbi K'vod Wieder

March 2019

A broader definition of addiction. What Parshat Ki Tisa can teach us about human nature, and what takes us further away from or brings us closer to God.

God is Not an Enabler

God is Not an Enabler

by Joseph Kaufman

March 2019

A parent connects God’s actions as He was freeing the Israelites from Mitzrayim to family members’ difficult challenges with loved ones struggling with substance use disorder.

From Spirits to Spirit

From Spirits to Spirit

by Rabbi Paul Steinberg

June 2018

How the journey from addiction to recovery transformed my perspective on Judaism, my Jewish practice, and my relationship with God.

Addiction is Not a Spectator Sport -   The Whole Family Gets to Play!

Addiction is Not a Spectator Sport - The Whole Family Gets to Play!

by Stuart K.

January 2018

A family finds serenity and wholeness after discovery of a son’s addiction to drugs pulls them apart, ultimately using their journey to help others.

Addiction is a Jewish issue. We’re working to address it.