The Addicted Soul


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“With more than two hours to go before sundown this past Friday, I logged onto the Web. When I glanced up from the screen, I saw the hands on the clock…they had moved three hours ahead, while I was glued to the screen! Three hours!

“Shabbos had come in, and I had been oblivious.  I was never mechallel Shabbos before in my life. Never! And now, because of a mindless pursuit, I had done the unthinkable…”


“I believe my father has a drinking problem. When he comes home every evening from work, he has a few glasses. Depending on the amount he imbibes, he may either get abusive and violent, or he may pass out on the couch. Shabbos has basically been ruined for the family. We’ve discontinued our practice of having guests a while ago. Often he doesn’t even make it to shul on Shabbos morning because he’s plastered…”


“In the last few years I would often find myself wandering the aisles of the large neighborhood drugstores and chain stores, checking out the glittering trinkets, colorful cosmetics, array of perfumes, and other small items that caught my eye. First I only bought something when I had a few dollars. Then I got a credit card offer in the mail, and I quickly filled out the form and was approved.

“Voila! I now had my own money to spend. I didn’t know what to buy first! … The emptiness I felt inside me could only be satisfied with more purchases, more lipsticks, more baubles… I knew I was out of control, but I needed that ‘pick-me-up’ more…”

What does Danny, Uri’s father, and Shifra all have in common? They are all addicts, held tightly in the vise of an addiction that has become larger-than-life to them.

The world we are living in nowadays is not the same as it was years ago. Or, to put it in simpler terms, things aren’t how they used to be. How else can one describe the frightening trend of obsessions with various mediums, the substance abuse, the growing number of addicts even within our own insular communities?

It was to fight this development that Rabbi Dovid Goldwasser, world-renowned rav, speaker, and author, wrote The Addicted Soul. This book focuses on the common addictions of drinking, gambling, drugs, internet use, texting, shopping, eating, and relationships. In his clear, thought-out way, Rabbi Goldwasser first shows the destruction and harm of each addiction, providing glimpses into the lives of real people who were addicted to something, where he was personally involved. He then presents methods for obtaining help and releasing oneself from addiction’s tight grip.

You’ll meet Danny, Uri, Shifra, Zoe, Elana, Sam, and many others with common addictions. You’ll read about the horrors they experienced with their addictions, as well as the guidance they were given and the steps that they took—which can be taken by anyone—to help themselves break out of their negative patterns.

The Addicted Soul is a groundbreaking book, one that is long-needed in our turbulent times. Addiction is not something to be taken lightly, as Rabbi Goldwasser explains in great depth. With The Addicted Soul, a person who finds himself hooked onto something in an unhealthy way has taken his first step toward getting help…and gaining his freedom.

Click HERE to purchase this book – Israel Book Shop!


  1. The frum community owes a tremendous amount of hakaras hatov to Rabbi Goldwasser for envisioning the need for such a book and for doing such an incredible job writing it. “The Addicted Soul” is an eye opening, pragmatic book and a must read for everyone! Whether or not you know of someone suffering from an addiction, it is of personal benefit to read “The Addicted Soul.” Rabbi Goldwasser raises awareness of important issues without creating unnecessary fear that normal behaviors may be addictive. “The Addicted Soul” clearly defines the parameters of specific addictions and speaks about proper treatment-psychologically and hashkafically. The stories are heart breaking yet inspiring and the writing is interesting and captivating. Living in the 21st century it is important that the public have a clear awareness of the issues we face. One never knows when this information may be useful in saving another Jewish soul from terrible suffering. I myself read this book twice and strongly recommend that everyone who does not yet own a copy, go buy one likavod pesach. At the time of year in which we focus on geula, let us all do our share in bringing geulos-bifrat u’bichlal by opening our eyes to the pain of others and doing our utmost to understand and to reach out. Kol mi sheoskim betzarche tzibbur be’emuna, hakadosh baruch hu yeshalem s’charam.