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Judaism

Step 8: Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

Principle: Love

Lists imply order. Some people think there is too much order in Judaism. But Jews believe that if we follow a specific way of doing things, an order that has worked for so many for so long, we have a better chance of reaching our goals. We are taught that part of our task is to restore order and goodness to the world. We have a powerful compulsion to mend the world’s imperfections. This step prepares us to begin making the world a better pace by correcting the injustice that has come from what we have or haven’t done.

Text or Verse

My God, keep my tongue from causing harm and my lips from telling lies about people.
Let me keep silent if people curse me.
Let my soul remain humble and at peace.
Open my heart to Your teaching; give me the will to practice it.
May the scheming plans of those who seek my harm come to naught.
Yihyu l’ratzon imrei fi v’hegyon libi lifanecha, Adonai Tzuri v’Goali.
May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable to You, Adonai, my Rock and Redeemer.
From the end of the Amidah prayer

Practice

Taking direction from Yom Kippur liturgy, ask yourself:

Who are the people I have hurt by doing something to them?
Or, by not doing something?
Whom did I harm by telling tales about them?
Whom did I insult or jeer?
Whom did I mislead or neglect?
Towards whom was I unkind?
Whom did I hurt by yielding to my addiction?
To whom did I cause pain by robbing or stealing?
Who was hurt by my weakness or my violence?
Whom did I harm through thoughtlessness and inconsideration?

Make your list.

Resources

Chabad Organization
The Twelve Steps of A.A. and their Parallels in Jewish and Chassidic Thought
(Go to the Links menu to connect with this site.)

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
(Go to the Links menu to connect with this site.)

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