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Hart Peikoff


Event At Berney Theatre November 23 at 7:30 PM

By Hart Peikoff, October 19, 2010

The Jewish notion that alcoholism is a gentile problem is an old baba’s mysseh. We can’t make the problem go away by turning our backs on it. To quote Virginia Satir, a pioneer in the field of family therapy who was internationally acclaimed as a therapist, educator and author, it’s necessary “to see and hear what is here, instead of what should be, was, or will be.”  

Hundreds of people in Winnipeg’s Jewish community are suffering needlessly because they are in denial or are embarrassed about being alcoholics/drug addicts or perscription medication abusers. The Jewish community has to recognize their addiction and those who are addicted have to acknowledge it, a duty as powerful and as important as passing on Judaism to their children. 

They will be liberated when they face the discomfort of being known as alcoholics’ etcetera and come forward and receive assistance for themselves and for their loved ones. There is no shame in addiction. The shame lies in refusing to address the problem head on. I know that we all want to appear to be healthy, wealthy and wise. G-d forbid our friends and family learn about our substance abuse. And we think it would be even worse if this information reached the general public.  Well, let me share a secret with you. Most in our community know who is doing what and with whom. Surprise! 

I suggest that a little short-term discomfort is definitely worth long-term internal peace. If you’re an alcoholic in denial, go to a mirror in your house in private and look into your own eyes and acknowledge the truth. That alone will move you forward and you will experience a release of internal pressure the likes of which you have not experienced before.  

Sitting back and doing nothing except getting worse brings on stress that kills the soul. You know how difficult it is to get a 100-kilogram ball rolling on a flat smooth road. But once it begins to roll…!

It’s critical that everyone understands that substance abuse and its ugly sister, addition, can happen to anyone. The difference between them is that substance abusers don’t feel the same compulsion to use and usually don’t experience the symptoms of physical withdrawal that addicts do.

If your child is in a group of friends who use alcohol or drugs and decides to quit, the pressure on him or her will be enormous. For the child to have a chance of winning the war to quit, it’s wise to sever relationships with the group. Of course, this is extremely difficult. But it’s worth it. The choices made now can take you to places you don’t want to go to and can last a lifetime.

Remember that addiction and substance abuse are interruptions in your life. Try to remember when it began, what was happening in your life at the time. This state is simply a growth stop. And as you probably know, the Torah supports 12-step programs. They work if you work them.

Hey, this isn’t about perfection. It is 1 beat @ a time. In other words, start with one of the tips suggested above. I know in my heart of hearts that when you choose to take the high road, you will prevail.

I created an event coming soon to the Berney Theatre at the Asper Jewish Community Campus, “The Blistering Hell on Earth Drug Memoirs.” The date is November 23. 2010 and begins at 7:30 PM. The purpose of engaging in this concept is to take this serious issue substance abuse and addiction to the larger theatre. Each and every one of you who are reading this article now know at least 1 person with substance abuse issues and if the truth be known probably way more that “1”.  My hope is by sharing stories in a live environment Vis-a’-Vis my journey through the horrors of Addiction some of you may get it and make healthier choices when tempted by the devils to try dangerous drugs. Sometimes young people make innocent choices which end up turning their world into a cyclone. 

This event will have a live musical back drop. As well there will be a question and answer period after my visit including an evaluation sheet.  Refreshments will be offered after my visit. As well a free “Tips” handout which may help those who are truthfully serious about doing whatever is necessary to break the chains of addiction. I have said the following before often: “there is nothing higher than being High On Life.” And you know, you may miss the wild highs temporarily but you certainly will not miss the awful lows which naturally follow. Well you all know, “What goes up must come down.”  And if you are hooked and addicted it is damn painful. Trust me as I have been there and done that. I do not have all the answers but I know for certain what does not work.

There are many donated ticket draw prizes. For example:  DANALI, SWANK BOUTIQUE, 529 WELLINGTON CRESCENT, JOEY BAR AND GRILL AND THE FALAFEL PLACE TO NAME A FEW. Hemp snacks donated by Hemp Oil Canada Ltd will be handed out at the event. NO, you cannot get stoned from Hemp. Smile please!

You may purchase tickets for this event at: The Gray Academy of Jewish Education A 100-123 Doncaster Street, Ph # 477.7410 or the Falafel Place on Corydon at Wilton, Ph # 489.5811 or through me, Hart Peikoff @ 797.4000

Checks and Cash are the only means of payment. Please make your checks payable to The Gray Academy of Jewish Education. Tickets are $12.each and total proceeds return to a charity the students at the Gray Academy support.

If there are seats left then rush seating is possible but not probable. Please remember “Every thought we think and choice we make is shaping our life we shall live in.”  Jump on the soul train and become proud of yourselves. When one finally really loves them self anything in life is possible. I am looking forward to feeling your presence @ the Berney Theatre soon.

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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.