Member “Hakol-Hevel” Shares
Mine is a simple story, but it points to the great influence that Rabbi Twerski had on the Jewish world.
Long before I joined GYE, I had a very negative opinion about addicts. I believed addicts were lowlifes and only existed among people who are not frum. I had downloaded on my iPod all kinds of lectures and shiurim someone once gave me, and one of them was by Rabbi Twerski. So one day, I decided to listen to it. It must have been a talk from a while ago, but in it, he was trying to bring attention to the frum community that the issues of addiction to alcohol, drugs, and gambling existed in the frum community. And he repeated story after story. To me it was a eye-opening experience that addicts exist in the frum community, and even in people who are not lowlifes. Even successful learned people.
It wasn’t until a couple years later, when I got into GYE, I saw that there are lust addicts as well. But he paved the way for me to realize regular frum people can have problems and that Twelve Steps is not a program for lowlifes; rather, it is for people who want to better their lives.
Member “Will-Never-Give-Up” Shares
I owe all happiness in my life to Rabbi Twerski. If not for his books, I would have no concept of self-worth and self-esteem.
In addition to this is the most important impact he had on me: introducing GYE to me. Without GYE, I would be in deep trouble, and I am therefore forever indebted to him for that. This is in addition to his fabulous book on the Twelve Steps and how they fit with the Torah, called Teshuvah Through Recovery, which has changed the way I view this whole parashah and has significantly impacted my journey. He helped me understand myself in a way that no one else was able to, and I can honestly say that I would not be anything close to where I am today if not for Rabbi Twerski.
Thank you, Rabbi Twerski. I am a changed person because of you. You took me mei’afeilah l’orah and mishibud l’geulah.
May your light shine on the whole entire world.
Member “Doing-Teshuva” Shares
About six years ago, I reached out to Rabbi Twerski, and he replied to my email. This was his reply:
These conditions may lie low for a while but tend to recur. The best way to avoid recurrences is to be in touch with the support group of GYE, with others who share the same problem and who have been successful in the struggle.
We each have our struggles with which we must battle for a lifetime.
In his zechus, I joined GYE.
A Member Shares
I heard Rabbi Dr. Twerski speak a couple of days ago, and he asked, “Why is the berachah of ‘She’asah Li Kol Tzarki — He Made for Me All My Needs’ in the past tense, when the other Birchos HaShachar are in the present tense?” He answered that Chazal didn’t want people to make the berachah while thinking, “Hey, I don’t have this, and I don’t have that, and Hashem still hasn’t fixed this or that problem.” Only when we look back on things later can we realize that we had everything that we needed, and that He did indeed provide it to us.
Hopefully, very quickly, we will be able to look back and see how far we have come, and things will start being better for us. And hopefully, we’ll even merit to see that this struggle was good for us all along.
Another Anonymous Member Shares
I have the zechus of hearing Rabbi Dr. Twerski speak most days for a few minutes in between minchah and maariv. Today, Hashem gave me some much needed chizzuk. Rabbi Twerski asked the famous question from the parashah: What does the pasuk mean that Yaakov’s waiting for Rochel felt like “yamim achadim”? Why did it feel quick? It should have been the opposite.
He answered something we all have heard many times, but it resonated a lot more with me today. He said that one of his patients, an alcoholic, once gave him the answer. He said, what is “yamim achadim”? Singular days. He took it one day at a time! That is what made it manageable. He didn’t say, “Okay, it’s time to work for seven years.” That would be too hard. Instead, he said, “Let me work today.” And that’s exactly what we all need to do!
While I have obviously heard this many times before on this site, it really struck me the way he said it. My maariv was definitely different, and hopefully I can start living more right now.
Member “One-Step-at-a-Time” Shares
Wow, I did it! Ninety days! I would first like to thank you guys for your special work. You guys are really saving klal Yisrael. I just wanted to share a couple of ideas that helped me make it this far in my journey.
The first thing I did was take it one day a time. I saw in a book by Rabbi Twerski that in AA, people count their sobriety by the day. He told a story of someone who said that another participant was sober longer because she had woken up earlier and was still sober. So that became my model — one day at a time. I also read the following statement from the Klausenberger Rebbe on GYE:
In my youth, I was considered a bright and diligent student. How did I accomplish this? I tricked my yetzer hara. Other children had great plans at the beginning of the school year for the whole year, but in the end, they failed. I said to myself, “I am going to plan just for today — and set goal for this day only.” The Satan, not being interested in a single day, left me alone. The next day, I again just made plans for that day, and so on, until the end of the year.
And that is what I tried to do. When I felt an urge, I would tell myself, Not today — maybe tomorrow, but definitely not today. Slowly, days turned into weeks, and weeks turned into a month. And perhaps the most important thing I did was daven. Every day I would ask Hashem to help me overcome my desires. That I should only lust for Him and my wife. That I should come close to Him and stay there my whole life.
These past ninety days were very hard. Now that I am on the other side, I feel like a whole new person. I feel better about myself. My self-esteem grew immensely. I will still take it one day at a time, and b’ezras Hashem the next thing I know I will be dancing with all of you in the front lines greeting Mashiach!
Hatzlachah to you all. And thank you again to the head guys here at GYE. May Hashem bless you with endless strength to continue your wonderful work.
Susan J. Writes
Hi — I want very much to thank Rabbi Twerski for changing my life through his writings. He is the mentor, therapist, rebbe, sponsor, and friend I have been seeking my entire life. (I will turn seventy on July 8, 2019.) My greatest wish is that I will be able to thank Rabbi Twerski either on the telephone, in person, by letter, or by email, and feel that he has heard my thanks.
Member “Striving-2b-Clean” Shares
I reached out to Rabbi Twerski in 2009, and he directed me to GYE. I am forever grateful, and im yirtzeh Hashem, all of our successes should be a zechus for his neshamah.
Member “Just-4-Today” Shares
When I heard that Rabbi Twerski zt”l had passed away, it felt like I had lost a close relative, it was painful to the point where I found myself crying. I never met Rabbi Twerski, and I am not even sure what touched me so profoundly. I think that to me he was the epitome of acceptance and understanding of our struggles and hardships, a grandfatherly, saintly figure steeped in yiras Shamayim, yet in tune with all that drives a person to rock bottom, and with the hope and tools to make things better. Yehi zichro baruch.