Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Viduy (confession) and Alcoholism

Anyone familiar with the process of Teshuba (repentance) delineated by Maimonides, would not be surprised to learn how the A.A. (Alcoholics Anonymous) or other agencies who help people with all type of addictions have developed a program which includes: "admission of one's problem" as one of the first steps in the way of recovery.

In the process of Teshuba, as we have explained, the ultimate (not necessarily the 'last') step that leads into repentance is also the Viduy: confession, admission of one's problem. Admission implies to stop the denial, and acknowledge to ourselves that we have a problem, an addiction, a flaw.

The first difficulty an alcoholic needs to overcome, if he wants to get cured is to do away with all his excuses. Anyone which is criticized of having an alcohol problem will probably begin by defending himself saying: "I'm NOT an alcoholic. I just like to have a few drinks a day, like everyone else. I'm in control. I can stop whenever I want".

That is why when one attends A.A. meetings, the first step toward a cure is for the person to say loud and clear: "My name is Joe, and I'm an alcoholic."

Notice that, same as required on the Viduy, the addict must articulate and verbalize his problem, not just think about it. This articulation is an indispensable prerequisite to overcome his conscious and subconscious denial.

Click here to watch "Why a Unilateral Declaration of Palestinian Statehood is a Bad Idea" (watch till the end!)