A Miracle Worker

Originally uploaded by TigerTigerTiger.
I know my post is off topic, but this story by Jennifer Bails about an extraordinary man, Dr. Abraham Twerski, pychiatrist, rabbi, addictions counselor -- miracle worker -- is worth reading. She writes:

"One set of arms extends from an elderly Hasidic rabbi with a sugar-spun beard, clad in a frock coat and velvet yarmulke. His appearance is more reminiscent of prewar Eastern Europe than modern-day Western Pennsylvania.

Completing the embrace is a young addict, with pained, tired eyes that belie his age. We don't know his name or his demon of choice.

It could be alcohol or heroin or pain-killers or something else. The particular substance doesn't matter. Not really, anyway...

Hugs for Dr. Abraham Twerski come by the dozens here during his monthly visits to the nonprofit drug and alcohol treatment center he founded in 1972...

[Dr. Twerski's story is] of a rabbi -- descended from the 18th-century Baal Shem Tov, Master of the Good Name, the mystic founder of the Hasidic movement -- who became a psychiatrist specializing in drug and alcohol addiction.

Twerski, 74, is a world-renowned expert on substance abuse, religious scholar and beloved spiritual guru...

Twerski has recorded his wisdom in 50 books, some translated into several languages, with titles like "Getting up when you're down," "Living each day," and "When do good things start?" a collaborative effort with Peanuts comic strip creator and friend Charles Schulz...

His lectures on stress, self-esteem and faith still draw standing-room-only crowds. He appears in eight videotapes and publishes a weekly advice column called "Dear Rabbi" in a Jewish newspaper.

But Twerski's real accomplishment is the nearly 45,000 people he estimates that he has helped to usher from the dark, desperate depths of addiction to sobriety."