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Step 5: Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

Principle: Integrity

The Baal Shem Tov, has taught us that, through the power of prayer, even the least among us can communicate with God. Every outpouring of the heart, when spoken in earnest and with devotion is a true prayer. According to the rabbis, one of the effects of transgressions is a hardening of the heart. The heart becomes like a rock, solid and impermeable, feeling nothing. When you begin to admit your wrongs to God, openings develop, like small cracks in a rock. Once our heart begins to open, these cracks begin to widen. Finally, our hearts break open, and the head begins to know what before only the heart felt.

Text or Verse

Rebbe Nachman said that a human being reaches in three directions: inward to self, outward to others and upward to God. The real secret, taught by Nachman, is that the three are one. When we are connected to self we can reach out to others. When we reach out to others we may come to know God.


Yom Kippur is a spiritual exercise which leaves you spent like an exhausting physical exercise. The alphabet of sins can act as a litany: ashamnu, bagadnu, gazalnu, dibarnu dofi, he-evinu, v’hirshanu, zadnu, chamasnu, tafalnu, sheker, ya-atznu ra, kizavnu, latznu, maradnu, ni-atznu, sararnu, avinu, pashanu, tzararnu, kishinu oref, rashanu, shichanu, ti-avnu, ta-inu, ti-avnu.

The Chassidic master, Rabbi Heimlich of Liens says, "one must repeatedly confide in another person, whether spiritual counselor or trusted friend, all improper thoughts and impulses which come to one's heart and mind, whether these occur during meditation, while lying idle waiting onset of sleep, or at any time during the day, and one should not withhold anything because of shame or embarrassment."
Brief List for Proper Living


Hatband Organization
The Twelve Steps of A. A. and their Parallels in Jewish and Chassidic Thought
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Rabbi Abraham J. Weskit, 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
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Take 12 Steps
Jewish Journal
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