Big news for J.H.S. with BigMike Gondelman!

BigMike GondelmanMeir Leib/ famously known as BigMIKE is a man with a Big Heart, & friendship and work that brings the Midnightrabbi inspires much inspiration

We all need faith in ourselves to be a success like Big Mike!

Big news, the Jerusalem Sober House  headed by Big Mike himself is working wonders!

Read below for more about Big Mike and see the website www.jerusalemsoberhouse.com for more information about the program.

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by BigMike Gondelman on Thursday, August 4, 2011 at 4:24pm
Saturday night, just after Shabbos ended, I found out that Amy Winehouse was dead at 27. My first reaction was to do what I, as a Jew, do whenever I hear such news. I said the Hebrew prayer Baruch Dayan Emet — Blessed is the True Judge. My next reaction was to feel angry and sick. And that’s what I can’t figure out.
I mean, in my work with Jewish addicts, I hear about the deaths of bright, young, talented people as often as my more conventional colleagues deal with weddings and bar-mitzvahs. It’s just a cold, hard fact of dealing with addicts. Addicts die. No matter how many times I watch it happen, it always hurts. But, at the same time, it doesn’t shock me anymore.
And yet, when I heard about this 27-year-old Jewish girl’s death, it felt different. I felt confounded. But why? I have seen this happen before. In a grim sort of way, the only “news” to me about Amy’s death is the date. After all, what really could have stopped this from happening? The only time I have ever seen recovery in a case like Amy’s is by an act of God. That might sound kooky to most people, but if you’ve ever seen an addict come back from death’s door, you’ll know it doesn’t happen because one day they just decide to clean up their act and get their life together. Oh sure, there are people who “get in trouble with drugs” and then get scared straight. But addicts, real addicts, don’t get scared away from addiction too long. Barring miracles, real addicts play for keeps.
One of the axioms of recovery is that the addict is beyond human aide and that’s why addicts need a “higher power” to live. You can call that hocus-pocus. I call it an everyday reality. There is no fact more real to me than the idea that no human power can stand up against the power of addiction. Sometimes I think of it as a giant black hole that can devour the light of a thousand suns and remain just as unfathomably black as if no sun had ever shone at all. It is an insatiable vortex that mercilessly consumes every iota of strength that human power can muster. We throw love at it. We throw loyalty at it. We scream at it. We bargain with it. We fight it. And when we just can’t fight it anymore, we swear to ignore it, to never let it hurt us again, that is, until it pulls us back in.
For those who have only observed the chaotic drama of addiction from a safe distance, let me tell you that the concept of it being a “family disease” is painfully true. The insanity of active “codependence” is just as gruesome a spectacle to behold as the addict’s own downward spiral. To watch a life wasted trying to stop the unstoppable is something that can just tear your heart out. We learn that all we can do is carry the message of recovery, which is that if the addict can find a Higher Power, they can live a long, happy life. And if not, well, no other power in the universe can stop this terminal disease from running its course.
And that’s why I think Amy’s death is hitting me hard. A 27-year-old girl just died of addiction in front of the whole world. Millions of people saw this happening. And nobody could stop it. The world couldn’t stop it! For me, the futility of human power has just taken on a completely new dimension.
I’ll tell you what intensifies this realization is the fact that it’s 2011 and the world has become a tiny, little place. Within seconds we all know minutiae from events that take place on the other side of the planet to people we don’t even know. Over the ages, plenty of famous people have died young while in the public eye. But with Amy’s death, we saw the thing unravel in unflinching detail. We were all watching — every horrible minute of it. And nobody could stop it from happening.
When a young person, or even a not-so-young person, dies from this disease, I try to tell the family, “You know that you could not have stopped this. There is nothing more you could have done or not done. This was beyond us.” And when I say it, I mean it. Because I know how puny and worthless our efforts are when trying to fight this disease. I know that what is needed is a Higher Power.
And yet, I think somewhere deep down, a part of me may still have believed that the combined power of millions of human beings might theoretically be able to do what a smaller number of people cannot. Today, I have been given proof that it’s just not so.
King Solomon said, “The living shall take it to heart.” There is a lesson to be learned from every death. To anybody out there going through the living hell of active addiction — whether you yourself are an addict or you are someone who loves an addict — here is my message to you. Please know that it’s not that you haven’t tried everything there is to try. It’s not that you’re not good enough, strong enough, smart enough, determined enough. You could multiply your efforts and your will power by literally a million times, you could have the whole world on your side, and still face the same heartbreaking outcome in the end. But there is hope. Let Amy’s example not be in vain. There is a Power greater than all of us. May all those who seek in truth find that Power now.

If there are any questions see below!

  • Sincerely,
    Big Mike

Contact Information

0526999878

+1 845.738.2389

bigmikeisrael@gmail.com

Please see the website www.jerusalemsoberhouse.com and see if u can make a dream come true!

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2 thoughts on “Big news for J.H.S. with BigMike Gondelman!

  1. Big Mike Saved My Life

    If you met me today you would see a normal-looking avreich, dedicated to learning Torah, happily married. You would never guess that just a few years ago I was at rock bottom. Big Mike saved my life.

    When I first met big Mike, I was an off-the-derech kid floating around Jerusalem. I had already decided that I wanted to get back on track and into yeshiva life but it wasn’t easy for me. I had a history of bi-polar disorder and I was far from stable. In fact, not long after I met Big Mike, I went had a massive manic episode. No one in the yeshiva knew what to do with me and it seemed likely that they would just kick me out (which is exactly what had happened in my last yeshiva – before I went off the derech).

    But this time Hashem sent me Big Mike, who played a huge role in helping me get through that crisis without my life being ruined once again. Big Mike is famous for his huge heart and warm, accepting way. Everyone who meets him senses it. That’s why troubled kids (like me) love him right away. But only someone who has been at rock bottom and had Big Mike there for them can know just how bottomless this man’s heart is. While other “normal people” wanted to give up on me and throw me back into the street, Big Mike believed in me and would stop at nothing to help me. He wouldn’t let me be alone for a minute. Even at 3am he was awake trying to talk me down with his soothing deep bass. When he couldn’t be there personally, he made sure that someone was there to watch me and make sure I didn’t get into trouble.

    When we realized I had to be hospitalized, Big Mike rode with me in a cab to the hospital and he visited me regularly. But his deep concern for me didn’t stop there… He personally begged my Rosh Yeshivah not to kick me out, and convinced many of the other guys to do the same. I wasn’t even aware that this was going on. It was only years later that I found out how close I was to getting kicked out onto the street.

    After I came out of the hospital, I began the long road back to stability. It wasn’t easy and I don’t know what I would have done without Big Mike’s constant support and his unwavering belief in me. He talked to me for countless hours. He was always there for me day and night.

    Thanks to him, I got a new start in life – this time with the proper therapeutic attention I needed and, Thank God, I have made huge progress and have been very stable for a few years. That’s how I got to be the “normal-looking” avreich people see today. I will never forget how much I owe to Big Mike helping me when I needed it most, for believing in my potential as a Yid when everyone else had given up on me.

    Anyone who helps Big Mike do the holy work he does should know that they are saving lives – if Big Mike did not reach out to the troubled youth in Jerusalem, no one would. It is painful to imagine what could have happened to me and dozens of other guys if he hadn’t been there.

    Dear Mike,
    I am over come with the articles that are included within your website.
    The times I met you at various meeting I was impressed with your happiness
    and joy. It never came out that you were in the recovery business; at least
    that I can remember. So many people that I know that are in “the business”
    feel that they no longer need to attend meetings as they “get” their
    recovery at work.
    I believe that your new and future clients should be grateful that you are guiding through experience from both ends of the disease.
    It takes a special individual to be able to work with and guide new comers;
    you are undoubtedly one of special people with that gift.
    May your endeavor be blessed.

    Regards,
    Harvey W. Norton

  2. Reblogged this on midnightrabbi inspires! and commented:

    Looking so great the new website and the reports our really good, so happy to hear people are on the mend and living inspired thanks to great people like Big Mike and his team (my brother-in-law too!)

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