A personal story.
The concept of Betzelem Elohim—that we are each created in the image of sacred divinity and worthy of honor—has become one of my favorites, perhaps because it always eluded me in the past.
We are going to know a new freedom”
-Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 83.
I have always marveled at the paradox that our nation’s liberation from the bondage of slavery is marked by the quintessential period of restriction. A holiday that requires us to adhere to strict guidelines and detailed instructions with such profound exactitude and measure. To distance ourselves from something that in the rest of the year we get to engage in unconditionally.
This is freedom?
In working firsthand with individuals in addiction treatment as they battle for ultimate freedom, I now understand that the answer to this question is a resounding yes.
The fact that a religious individual has more opportunities to feel and express gratitude is one of the reasons Dr. David Rosmarin and colleagues hypothesized, tested, and found that religious individuals would reap the positive benefits associated with gratitude—such as increased well-being—above and beyond the advantages associated with general gratitude.
Rabbi David Steinhardt of Boca Raton, Fla., confessed that he had never dealt with anything remotely comparable: in the last four months, five congregants or their close relatives have died by suicide.