In this episode of Hebrew Voices, A Sober Purim in Jerusalem, Nehemia visits with Rabbi "Big" Mike Gondelman to learn about the Jewish approach to treating alcoholism. The conversation opens with profound insights into the character of the Persian King Ahasuerus whose alcohol-driven binges nearly resulted in the total annihilation of the Jewish People. After hearing this interview, you will never look at Purim, alcoholism, or Alcoholics Anonymous the same way again.
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The Hidden Meaning of Purim
Guest Bio: Rabbi "Big" Mike Gondelman is the Founder and Director of the The Jerusalem Sober House, a “12-step based recovery program” in Israel, appropriate for Jews of all backgrounds. Big Mike holds a Certified Addictions and Substance Abuse Professional (CASAP) international certification from the IC&RC and a Bachelors Degree in Judaic Studies from Ohr Somaech Yeshiva. His experience includes running group therapy sessions, individual counseling, drug testing, assessments and crisis intervention at some of the most well known Yeshivas in Jerusalem. In addition to this, he also spent many years on the streets of Jerusalem volunteering his time working with at-risk youth. Big Mike came to Israel from New York in 2001 and currently lives in Jerusalem with his wife and four children.