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Step 3: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

Principle: Faith

Some people think faith in God comes easily. For Jews, belief in God is a struggle. We spend our lives trying to figure out the range and shape of that belief, what it means, and how it compels us to act. We start by making a decision to believe. You will have doubts, we all do. Throughout the Jewish calendar year we are given opportunities to start again, to make teshuvah, a turning toward God. Before Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, we get ready to shed our past and begin our journey toward personal repair. Scripture captures this time when fearfulness can be transformed: “When God began to create...the world was chaotic, without order. And so, God drew near to the chaos and brought light to the world in order to illumine the darkness.” (Genesis 1:1-4). This is the place where we take the 3rd step. Just as the creation of life is a process of growth, so too is the process of recovery.

Text or Verse

Before a person is healed, he must acknowledge his illness.
Before a person finds light, she must know her own darkness.
Before a people is forgiven, it must confess its sins.
We confess our sins and those or our fellows for we are responsible, one for the other.
Heal us, Adonai, and lead us through darkness to the light.
From the Yom Kippur confessional


Each day God gives us the potential to begin again, as if reborn. As a reminder, we are thus prepared to start each day with:
Modeh ani lifanecha, melech chai v’kayam, shehechazarta bi nishmati v’chemda raba emunatecha.
In translation: I stand befoe You, God with humble thanks. You who empower me with every breath that I take, You, who have faith in me, have returned my life to me, and I will be forever grateful.


Chabad Organization
The Twelve Steps of A.A. and their Parallels in Jewish and Chassidic Thought
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Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski, M.D. Spirituality, Prayer, The Twelve Steps and Judaism.
(Go to the Links menu to connect with this site.)

Starting Over: Using Torah and the Twelve Steps of Recovery to Find Happiness
(Go to the Links menu to connect with this site.)

Take 12 Steps
Jewish Journal
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