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Step 4: Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

Principle: Courage

This is called a cheshbon banefesh, which is literally an accounting of the soul. Self-examination is an important part of the Jewish tradition. In Avot de Rabbi Natan, it is written: “The eye is shown only what it is capable of seeing and the ear hears only what it is capable of listening to.”

Text or Verse

Rava wrote: "If people see that painful sufferings come to them, let them examine their deeds. “Let us search out our way of life and return to Adonai.” (Lamentations 3:40)
(Psalm 94:12)

If they still find this is not the reason, they may be sure these are sufferings of love. “Adonai loves whomever Adonai corrects.”
(Proverbs 3:12)


We are taught in Tur Orach Chayim, a Jewish legal code prepared by Yaakov ben Asher:
“Pious ones of old used to meditate and concentrate in prayer until they rid themselves of the physical. They nurtured a spiritual strength that bordered on the level of prophecy.”
Choose a favorite line of sacred text and concentrate on it. Repeat it over and over until it sings like a song on your lips.


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.
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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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