READING, PA — (November 15, 2007)
R. C. Berman

When Jewish substance abusers in recovery receive permission to light up, it’s usually a cigarette – one of the few vices allowed in treatment centers – they think of.

Lighting a Chanukah menorah, however, is off-limits for safety reasons in the centers, but not at the renowned Caron Treatment Center. A close working relationship that Rabbi Yosef Lipsker, a Chabad-Lubavitch rabbi with a pulpit at Shomrei Habrith in Reading, PA, has with the Caron Center has brought Chanukah [this year beginning December 4 at night] light to Jewish men and women facing their darkest days.

Chanukah was always a big deal in my house. We always lit and sang songs, but it did not mean so much to me spiritually,” said Talya W. who entered Caron shortly before Chanukah last year. Now sober for nearly a year and counting, Talya spoke with of the aching loneliness she felt watching everyone else prepare for their festivities. “I was so lonely. I only had Chanukah and everyone else had a big holiday.”

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