April 24, 2008
House of Repentance: Where no one is beyond redemption
(Page 4 - Previous Page)So what is the success rate for residents who are making a genuine effort to reshape their lives, people like Bret and Jake and others who are deeply involved in the process and devoted to Jewish practice? What are their chances?
The most optimistic assessment, even among those who truly want to hold on, is that at least one-third to one-half of them will relapse. So a committed effort is a good foundation ... but it may not be enough.
Still, that leaves plenty of success stories. Look around during Friday night services and you'll see lots of men and women who were once residents and are now making their way in the world: sober, involved with their community and their families, contributing in ways that -- before they came to Beit T'Shuvah -- didn't seem possible.
After the service, Cal, a counselor, adds this: "There was a story I wanted to tell you," he says. "A middle-aged couple comes to the Baal Shem Tov ... and they're desperate. They don't know what to do about their son. The Baal Shem Tov asks, 'What has he done?' They say, 'He has turned away from God. What can we do?' The Baal Shem Tov thinks about it for a moment and tells them, 'Love him even more.'"
That's what Beit T'Shuvah does. It takes in men and women who have turned away from what they should be and do, and it loves them even more. It gives them the hope of returning: to themselves, their families, their communities.
Beit T'Shuvah is located at 8831 Venice Blvd., Los Angeles, and can be contacted at 310-204-5200. Their website is http://www.beittshuvahla.org/.