by Rabbi Louis A. Rieser
There are those who wonder, for various reasons, whether twelve step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous and its counterparts are appropriate for Jews. This book by Rabbi Shais Taub boldly considers the intent of twelve-step programs alongside classical Jewish teachings. He finds strong points of commonality. The positive connection between recovery from addiction, twelve-step programs, and Jewish spirituality could not be clearer.
The title God of Our Understanding consciously echoes the phrase found in the twelve-step tradition. Taub’s presentation is inclusive and of interest to anyone connected with the process of recovery. He presents an easy-to-read, well-considered study of the program in light of Jewish spirituality. I liked that the book was structured along the lines of the twelve steps. As Taub considers the steps he pairs them with basic principles found in Jewish ethics and spiritual teachings. These pairings are powerful; no one who reads this book can doubt the appropriateness of twelve-step recovery programs for Jewish participants.
I highly recommend this book for those who are in need of recovery as well as those in their families and communities. Other readers, too, will find much here to enhance their spiritual understanding.
This book first appeared in Congregational Libraries Today