The final segment in our A4A@A – Action for Addiction at Albany program was a talk by Rabbi Shais Taub, Tuesday evening, 8:30pm at Shabbos House. This event was open to students and community, and indeed was well-attended, with chairs added several times to accommodate everyone. Rabbi Taub of Pittsburgh PA is the author of “G-d of Our Understanding: Jewish Spirituality & Recovery from Addiction”. He speaks widely on issues of addiction, emotional sobriety and spiritual growth.
After a brief introduction by Rabbi Mendel along with thank yous to event organizers and sponsors, Rabbi Taub began speaking at about 8:40pm and went until about 10:20pm, perhaps one of the longest speakers ever at Shabbos House. His talk traced the history of AA, explained Biblical stories, Chassidic philosophy, explored the various angles and lenses in which addiction is viewed, and explained the powerful role spirituality plays in addiction and recovery – all spiced with humor, anecdotes and parables. His words gave people a lot to think about, whether they personally struggled with some type of addiction or not. Despite the length of the talk, the audience for the most part was attentive, engaged and interested. The feedback was very positive and impactful, as one student said, “I didn’t expect this to the impact on me that it did.”
Both before and following the talk there was an elegant dessert reception, with cookies, cake and fruits, veggie cups, teas and other treats. ATV (Albany Student Television) interviewed several student and community members following the talk.