Educating the community about addiction saves lives! People get to hear that this is a Jewish issue and that there is help available.

Lara is a Jewish girl who was raised in a violent home. She was always told that how the family looked was more important than reaching out for help. She went to the best schools and lived in the nicest neighborhood, but Lara was terribly lonely. She was traumatized by years of isolation.

Drugs became the answer. She had "friends" — finally a “family” to be with. Her drug use got worse and worse, and her so-called friends turned out to be part of the problem — not the solution. Finally she ended up alone contemplating suicide. She hit bottom and then came to Chabad Project Pride for help. We became her new family. Finally safe, she took to recovery with all the excitement of a child getting a new toy. It has been a year since she walked through our doors, and she is not only sober, but she is shining as she helps others.

On a recent morning she spoke to a group of women about her struggles and her miraculous recovery. She mentioned the violence in her home in passing, but with intensity; she was obviously still struggling with her family relationship. As usual, after her talk people approached her to tell her how much they were moved. A little old lady with a thick Eastern European accent reached out and touched Lara and said, "My dear, I was in three concentration camps. Let go, my dear. Let go." Lara cried, I cried and then the two Jews — one young and one old embraced each other, and the healing was tangible.

With Yom Kippur around the corner, let us search our hearts. Is there anybody anywhere that we are having difficulty forgiving? How about ourselves? As we think of who, let’s write the name down and try to heed the holy lady’s advice. Either let go — or get dragged down. G‑d sees this effort and rejoices as we come a little cleaner for this Yom Kippur.

We did our part and now G‑d will do His. Like they say in AA: "Without me He won't – without Him I can't."