The human being is constantly in search of things that have nothing to do with his physical makeup. The thirst for enlightenment and meaning is hardly ever quenched, yet ceaselessly pursued with tremendous dedication of time and money. Esteemed psychiatrist Viktor Frankl said that one will never hear an animal ask himself, “Does my life have meaning? This is unique to the human being. How can the human being need transcendence, if transcendence has no actuality in the fabric of existence? Could the thirst for meaning be there, with nothing to satisfy it?

The heart of the average person desperately seeks that which is beyond the mundane. Animals do not have these cravings. When an animal fulfills its biological function or drive, it stops. Why is addiction unique to human beings? Addiction is born out of human discontent, and ultimately due to a lack of spirituality. The individual attempts to fill a spiritual void with physical objects or pleasures. These give very temporary relief, but never satisfy the deeper spiritual craving. The only true solution is to treat the spiritual void.

Many Jews grew up under the false impression that there are no drugs and alcohol abused in the Jewish community. There are. Jews are certainly prone to feeling a spiritual void, and can suffer from the same outcomes as anybody else. The beginning steps in the twelve-step program call on an individual to recognize a ‘higher power.’ In the Jewish community, there is truly no better way to experience this than delving deeper in our connection with our faith. By strengthening one’s connection with the ultimate Higher Power, the path in pursuing the other steps is only enhanced.

Please contact Rabbi Pinchas Taylor to find out more about his group “Friends of Moses” or about private counseling opportunities.