Dear Rabbi Twerski,
There has been a lot of discussion lately on our forum about the Twelve Steps SA groups, if there might be potential problems for frum Yidden in these groups and if there might be some way to develop a Torah-based Twelve-Step Program. What are the cons, what are the pros, at what stage should we send someone to the groups, and are they for everyone? Can Twelve Step meet- ings do any harm to someone who doesn’t really need them?

Rabbi Twerski Responds

Inasmuch as there are some possible concerns about SA groups, I would not send anyone earlier than necessary — i.e., not until one has tried all the tools on

I don’t think we need a Jewish SA any more than we need a Jewish AA. However, it would be very advisable for Jews in SA to have hashkafah meetings with a competent instructor at convenient intervals, perhaps monthly, or biweekly if possible. Questions and answers allow people to bring up their concerns and issues. A small dose of Mesilas Yesharim may be good.

I am now preparing ten-minute segments of Mesilas Yesharim for the Chafetz Chaim Heritage Foundation’s “chazak” program, in which people call in for a chizzuk message. I hope to ultimate- ly combine them into a CD. I’m sure the Chafetz Chaim Heritage Foundation will permit its use.