On July 27, 1656 the Jewish community issued the writ of cherum against Baruch Spinoza — its harshest form of excommunication. The language of the writ is unusually harsh, but it does not state with certainty the reasons for its issuance. According to philosopher and Spinoza biographer, Steven Nadler, it is likely that the writ was issued because Spinoza “was giving utterance to just those ideas that would soon appear in his philosophical treatises. In those works, Spinoza denies the immortality of the soul; strongly rejects the notion of a providential God — the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and claims that the Law was neither literally given by God nor any longer binding on Jews. Can there be any mystery as to why one of history’s boldest and most radical thinkers was sanctioned by an orthodox Jewish community?”
Current models of recovery emphasize a holistic approach to treatment in an effort to address all aspects of the disease of addiction which include the physical; the mental/emotional; and the spiritual components. Treatment methods geared at promoting abstinence through cognitive/behavioral therapies are widely accepted as necessary and effective in recovery. On the other hand, treatment approaches which also incorporate spiritual growth and development give rise to much controversy and confusion.