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Neshamos.org Podcast: Stories of Hope and Healing

Neshamos.org Podcast: Stories of Hope and Healing

By Neshamos.org
We at Neshamos are on a mission to promote mental and emotional health and healing within our community
Among the many ways we do this is by empowerment through education.
this podcast is where we get to listen to personal experiences of those who have been effected by mental illness - the pain, the struggle to get better and today, by the grace of G-d, have emerged with a message of hope and healing.

My name is Moishe Chanin.
I am a grateful addict in recovery;
And I am a certified life and addiction recovery coach.
I'm here to encourage vulnerability and allow for hope to emerge from the internal journeys we share.
Please join me
Hear the stories of these heros and know that you are not alone
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I Experienced Sexual Assault (feat. Rochel Spangenthal)

Neshamos.org Podcast: Stories of Hope and Healing

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No Longer Hiding (feat. Rivka Tauber)
Rivka Tauber is a writer, Torah educator, and public speaker who grew up in Crown Heights and recently made aliyah to Jerusalem. In this episode, Rivka shares her journey from the challenges of depression and the struggle of finding reasons to live to the wholeness she discovered in her connection with others, her relationship with G-d, in therapy, and so much more along the way. Thank G-d, today, she is free from the obsession over the future and is able to live in the present. Today, she helps others who are struggling and works to show up as her whole self. You can follow Rivka on instagram at instagram.com/rivkamakesaliyah.
01:04:16
November 8, 2021
A Sofer in Sobriety (feat. Yankel Maislin)
Yankel Maislin is a sofer (Torah scribe), author, public speaker and mentor who lives in Crown Heights, Brooklyn with his wife and five children. To the casual observer, he looks like your typical Chabad rabbi, spending his day in prayer, holy work, and raising a family. While that may be true now, there was a time when Yankel’s identity couldn’t be more of a contradiction to what it is today. Yankel grew up in a small town in Long Island, NY. As a physically small child with a unique personality and ideas, he was the target of school bullies for many years. Deeply unhappy and anxious, he turned to weed, alcohol, and other drugs as a way to self-medicate and soothe his battered sense of self. Eventually, his drug habit grew to be too expensive to cover with his high school allowance money. That’s when Yankel turned first to stealing, which soon became unsustainable, and eventually to dealing drugs, which came along with handling weapons, associating with mafia members, and engaging in dangerous behaviors. It wasn’t until Yankel was forced to flee from threats to his life that he truly committed to rehab and AA gatherings, where he discovered religion, spirituality, and a new direction in life. Now, Yankel joins us on the Neshamos Podcast to share his story of leaving his personal exile, which included addiction, bullying, drug dealing, violence, and constant running, to find his redemption in sobriety, accountability, happiness, fulfillment, and peace. Today, Yankel has been sober for 14 years. “I firmly believe that everything that I went through from the day I was born until today is in the service of helping someone else,” Yankel reflects. “Otherwise, why would I have gone through such crazy things? And since that's the way I view it, I must pass it on in order to help someone else.” Yankel can be reached via Whatsapp at 718-714-8201 or at btbh770@gmail.com.
01:22:11
September 5, 2021
Love Addiction (feat. Tzipora Zelmanowitz)
Meet Tzipora Zelmanowitz, a recovering Love Addict. Tzipora, a practicing attorney who lives in Queens, New York, has been in recovery from her love addiction for 5.5 years. Her journey into the world of recovery began after years of unsuccessful dating, when she eventually began to wonder… why weren’t things working? Why was she dating the kind of men she didn’t actually want to marry? Were things supposed to be this hard? As she started looking within, she began to understand that she struggled with addiction—specially, an addiction to love. “The turning point was me realizing that there’s something wrong with me needing to be different with every person I'm encountering,” Tziporah reflects. “I didn't know what I liked or how I was going to show up as a spouse in a relationship…. I was going to be whoever my husband wanted me to be.” Now, years later, after attending therapy and a 12-step program,Tziporah joins us to discuss the pain of carrying a constant, insatiable need for love, validation, and acceptance, the fear of rejection that came along with that, and her recovery from love addiction and codependency. Today, she's building self-love and acceptance, and inspiring and educating others to do the same.
01:12:30
August 22, 2021
Medication Doesn’t do the Work; You Do (feat. Nechamy Rabin)
Nechamy Rabin, a high-powered, upbeat mom of three who has her Masters Degree and works in Special Education, is not the kind of person you’d imagine would cry over a parking spot. Growing up in Pittsburgh in a large family, Nechamy always knew she wanted to have a large family of her own someday.  “It couldn’t be that hard,” Nechamy recalls thinking. “Everyone looks great pushing their Bugaboos up Kingston Avenue.” For the most part, things worked out after her first child. But after the birth of her second, “I went from functional to completely not functional. I remember crying because I couldn't find parking.’ Now, Nechamy joins the Neshamos Podcast to share her story of experiencing, overcoming, and growing from Postpartum Depression.  Eventually, Nechamy’s husband urged her to seek support. With the help of medication and a qualified therapist, Nechamy worked through her PPD and gained skills and perspective to help her thrive.  Today, Nechamy is an advocate for women's mental health and is passionate about educating women about Postpartum depression and mental wellness.
01:12:35
August 1, 2021
"It Was the First Time I Felt Hope" (feat Shiri Kornblit)
Shiri Kornblit joins the Neshamos Podcast to share her story of surviving traumatic early childhood loss of a parent, the coping mechanisms she developed as a result, and her process of learning and recovery as she began healing from helplessness and many patterns of unhealthy behaviors including addiction to drugs and alcohol. As an adult, Shiri joined Alcoholics Anonymous and eventually became a baalat teshuva. Today, she lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband and two children and works as an emergency room Physician's Assistant. Shiri was an active volunteer with The Gedalya Society during the height of Covid and continues to give back to the Crown Heights community. “I’m sharing my experiences so that anyone who is currently suffering (or who has a family member who is suffering) from addiction or self-destructive patterns and behaviors who needs to hear this can hear a message of, ‘there is a way out’. This isn't a hopeless state of mind and body.”
01:17:18
July 5, 2021
At-Risk-Teen Turned Rabbi (feat. Shloimy Fuchs)
Shloimy Fuchs was born and bred in Crown Heights, Brooklyn and currently serves as a mashpia in Yeshivas Bais Menachem of Wilkes Barre (now located in the Poconos). In this episode of the Neshamos podcast, Shloimy talks about his struggles with anxiety, addiction, and low self esteem. In his younger years, he was a “problem student” who was expelled from yeshiva and spent time on the streets shoplifting and committing petty crimes. Later, he sought comfort in alcohol, relationships, and a party lifestyle, which only led him further away from his true self. In this episode, Shloimy takes us along on his journey through different Yeshivas, different stages of religious commitment, and his growth along the way. With the help of therapy, meditation, Alcoholics Anonymous, and supportive mashpias and friends, Shloimy turned his life around and began living a conscious, meaningful, and proactive life. Today he continues to grow and maintain his mental and spiritual health and helps others do the same. “It’s doing the work, taking the steps,” Shloimy reflects. “It’s a daily avodah and it brings you closer to yourself and to the truth. It’s a blessing to have these tools that I can use to heal myself.”
01:02:01
May 23, 2021
“Grief is Not One Size Fits All” (feat. Sarah Rivkah Kohn)
Today, Sarah Rivkah is comfortable with who she is and uses her own experience with childhood loss to help others who are going through similar situations. Her annual shabbaton for children who have lost a parent gathers some 225 children from all over the world and gives them an opportunity to make friends, heal, and grow together. You can find Sarah Rivkah on Instagram at instagram.com/links_shlomiesclub or via her website, www.wereinittogether.org.
01:21:43
April 11, 2021
Soul Substance (feat. Elka Cubacub)
Elka (Malamud) Cubacub is a yoga teacher and Psychology student born and bred in Chicago, where she currently resides with her husband and daughter. For years, Elka struggled with Bulimia/Binge Eating Disorder that first began when she attended seminary in Israel. As she struggled with restrictive eating habits and bingeing compulsions, she began to understand that at the root of her unhealthy behaviors were underlying emotions and a sense of disconnect. What followed were years of ups and downs as she delved deeper into her inner self, weathered bouts of depression and disordered eating, and began the journey toward healing. Over time, Elka utilized self-help tools such as journaling, meditation, mindfulness techniques and talk therapy to discover the wholeness within that became the foundation for her eventual recovery. Today, Elka is an assistant facilitator for group Psychotherapy sessions at a residential recovery facility and has launched her own organization called Soul Substance, which helps members foster healthy relationships with their bodies. You can learn more about Soul Substance or contact Elka by visiting her website, soulsubstance.org.
01:12:46
January 31, 2021
I Experienced Sexual Assault (feat. Rochel Spangenthal)
Rochel Spangenthal is a psychiatric nurse practitioner and writer from North Carolina. At a young age, Rochel’s family made the transition to a religious lifestyle, becoming Baalei Teshuva and joining the Chabad community. Rochel took her religious responsibilities seriously, determined to be the perfect daughter and student and aspired toward a relationship with a man befitting her religious status. She was scrupulous in her Torah observance, carefully maintaining her distance from men as she sought a “good” shidduch (match). As an adult, Rochel experienced sexual assault and began questioning everything: herself, her relationship with G-d, her status as a religious Jew, her future and any future relationships. She believed she was “ruined.” Rochel was told she had to hide her story and be ashamed of what had happened to her so that it wouldn’t impact her reputation and her shidduch chances.  In this episode, Rochel relates how her experience launched the beginning of her journey toward growth and healing. She talks about how she shared her story with others, and the reactions she received as a result. Now, Rochel has integrated her story into who she is today and uses it to drive herself forward. She has learned that she has an untouchable, innate purity regardless of her circumstances. “Bad things happen and we can’t go back, but we can choose how we go forward,” she concludes.
53:37
December 27, 2020
Just Me Being Alive is Enough (feat. Mushky Rosenfeld)
As a child, Mushky York (now Rosenfeld) suffered from severe anxiety which affected her social, academic, and general wellbeing. Eventually, her anxiety got so bad that she suffered from constant nausea and couldn’t keep food down and began losing weight. Soon, Mushky began receiving compliments and comments on her body changes. While that lifted her mood, it also meant she felt better and was able to eat more--which led to weight gain, which led to less compliments, which led to anxiety and depression, which led to weight loss, and so the vicious cycle continued. At the age of 11, craving that validation that had come with her weight loss, Mushky began obsessively focusing on losing an extreme amount of weight. The obsession with weight, body image, and fitness spiralled quickly and Mushky’s weight-consciousness quickly morphed into Anorexia. At the age of 13, Mushky collapsed while exercising and was brought to the hospital, where the nursing staff told her parents that she might have only hours left to live. Mushky entered years of in-patient treatment, where she also began taking medication to treat her previously undiagnosed anxiety. With lots of ups-and-downs and learning experiences along the way, she began to recover and enter a healthier mindset. Today, Mushky resides in Crown Heights with her husband and children and manages her own business. While she still struggles with her anxiety and remnants of her eating disorder at times, she now has the tools, awareness, and emotional insight to manage her tendencies and live a healthy, happy, and meaningful life. We’d like to thank Mushky for her bravery and openness in sharing her story with us!
54:01
December 6, 2020
I Am Not My Circumstances (feat. Schneur Lakein)
Schneur Lakein is a Miami-based entrepreneur who grew up in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. At three years old, Schneur lost his mother, and his father passed away just twenty years later. As a result, Schneur struggled with feelings of abandonment, loneliness, and a desperate need to prove his strength and independence to both himself and others. As he progressed first through primary and high school and later on to the Israeli army, he began to understand how his mindset, self-beliefs, and inability to open up were limiting everything from his performance to his relationships and ultimately his quality of life. A self-development workshop proved to be a major turning point for Schneur. At the age of 26, he began to let go of his victim mentality, transform his perspectives, and choose to live consciously.  Today, Schneur focuses on self-growth and creating his own identity. “When you choose to accept what happened to you, you have power,” he reflects. “You are no longer a victim of an unchangeable past.” His message? “You’re bigger than your circumstances, whatever they may be, and nothing is beyond your reach. Whatever hole you’re in, you can dig your way out by choosing your life exactly the way it is, every single day.”  We’d like to give a special shoutout to Schneur, who was one of our very first guests here at Neshamos.org back when we launched the organization with our first-ever event in May 2018. At the time, he took the stage to share his story in front of a crowd of hundreds of people, setting a precedent and shattering stigmas around mental health. You can watch the full video of his speech here https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLzAAb3xWi5coYtWciFy9MgwvsoU8hF258
01:08:35
November 22, 2020
Separate Accounts (feat. Rachel Lebowitz)
Growing up, Rachel (Ruchi) Lebowitz felt misunderstood and unheard. She struggled both at home and in school, secretly harming herself and, in her own words, attempting to make herself “smaller.” When Ruchi got married, she thought she’d “made it.” It quickly became apparent, however, that her husband had a serious gambling addiction. In addition to the problems his addiction inflicted on their marriage, they two could barely stay afloat financially. As Ruchi sought help for her husband’s addiction, she discovered that she struggled with codependency, feelings of low self-worth, and more. Instead of placing the blame solely on her husband, she learned that she had to focus on growing and repairing herself, first. After years of therapy and work, Ruchi and her husband gained the tools they needed in order to grow, heal, and ultimately build a strong marriage. “The beauty of growth is that once you get over the big, painful jump, growth becomes something subtle, painless, and beautiful. The healthier you become, the easier the growth and change become, too,” Ruchi shares. Neshamos.org would like to wish Ruchi and her husband a warm Mazal Tov on the birth of their son, Gaddy, who was born just after this podcast was recorded.
55:60
November 8, 2020
I Still Have Tough Days (feat. Avremi Zippel)
Rabbi Avremi Zippel grew up on shlichus in Salt Lake City, Utah. Zippel is a survivor of child sexual abuse, something he kept secret for a long time. After getting married, moving on shlichus, and becoming a father, he eventually chose to go public with his story, impacting hundreds of people and becoming an advocate for mental health and survivors of sexual abuse in the process. In this episode, Rabbi Zippel opens up about his internal experiences, how his self-image shaped his experience and outlook, and how he healed and learned to reconnect with himself and with G-d. “When you get to a position where your experiences can provide something for someone else, it is the single greatest blessing you can hope to attain as a human being,” Zippel reflects. His goal is to inspire and lend strength to other survivors of sexual abuse--and this episode is a powerful step in that direction for those with a similar experience to his.
01:16:40
October 25, 2020
Putting the Pieces Back Together (feat. Yossi Rodal)
Singer/Songwriter/Rabbi Yossi Rodal of Carlesbad, CA talks about losing his sister at the age of 12,  struggling with the feelings of loss and grief, coming to the  realization that he needed help to heal, and eventually embarking on the  road toward healing and using his music as a tool toward that end.
57:60
September 6, 2020
The Boy Who Never Smiled (feat. Chaim Gutleizer)
“Growing up, I didn’t smile much.” Chaim Gutleizer’s story starts with that—and ends with him becoming the youngest person ever to become a certified grief recovery specialist. How did Chaim make this transition? As a survivor of bullying, Chaim spent years battling feelings of loneliness and unhappiness. After experiencing bullying at the hands of a teacher, Chaim left his elementary school and switched to Darchai Menachem, the first place where he enjoyed positive chinuch. Eventually, he used his experience to enter into grief recovery, become a specialist in the subject, and steer his life in the direction of his choice. Today, he smiles a whole lot more.
44:44
August 23, 2020
If I was found out... I would cease to exist" (feat. Velvel Lipskier)
Meet Rabbi Velvel Lipskier.In the latest episode of the Neshamos Podcast, Velvel opens up about being diagnosed and living with Manic Depression Bipolar Type 2 Disorder and traits of Borderline and Dependence personality Disorders.Velvel has also experienced the pain of Suicidal Ideation, but thank G-d he is here today and is here to share his story and help others.
01:17:48
August 10, 2020
"My Center is in My Soul" (feat. Freidel Levin)
Growing up in the foster care system, Freidel Levin of Mimulo Floral & Event Design always craved a "normal" life. She spent years believing she didn't deserve the things she needed. Eventually, she learned to connect with herself, and thereby connected with G-d. Hear her tell her story in her own words.
56:30
July 27, 2020
"A New Way To Live" (feat. Chani Lisbon)
For years, comedian Chani Lisbon used alcohol as a coping mechanism to help her survive daily living not feeling good enough and ashamed, not even knowing that she was actually a survivor of trauma, until she finally discovered a new way to appreciate and enjoy life without having to turn to the bottle.
47:11
July 6, 2020
Depression Doesn't Care How Successful You Are (feat. Moshe Hecht)
Growing up on Shlichus in Queens, NY, Moshe Hecht found himself straddling two worlds. At home, in Queens, he was "that Lubavitcher," while in the Chabad community, he never quite fit in. A high-energy student, he often found himself penalized for acting out in class. It wasn't until he hit his thirties that he first put names to feelings and behaviors that had been plaguing him all his life: ADHD, and depression. "I discovered I'd been suffering from depression my whole life," Moshe muses. "At times I'd be low on the scale of depression, and other times I'd be high." When he went through a particularly bad period of depression where he found himself unable to get out of bed in the morning, his wife did what he called "the best thing a spouse could do to someone in my situation" and kicked him out of the house. Having hit rock bottom, Moshe set out on a journey of healing and self-discovery. With the help of the right medication and qualified mental health professionals, Moshe began the laborious work of pulling himself out of depression. "Today, I can look at my depression from a distance," Moshe says. "It doesn't completely overtake me. I still get depressed at times, but I don't feel completely hopeless. I can visualize it from a distance and come up with a solution... My number one priority is dealing with my mental health."
45:32
June 21, 2020
Sharing Your Story Can Save a Life; It Saved Mine (feat. Yosef Eichenblatt)
When Yosef Eichenblatt got married and moved on shlichus to serve as a local Rabbi in Jerusalem, things seemed to work out perfectly--except they didnt. As a teen, Yosef had started drinking socially. What had been a "fun," recreational activity quickly became a crutch that Yosef relied on to help him get through his challenging responsibilities as a Rabbi. After seeking help, he was prescribed Valium and Ritalin, but the drinking continued. It wasn't until things came to a head and Yosef came to terms with the fact that he did, indeed, have an alcohol problem that he began the work of turning his life around. Today, Yosef joins Coach Moishe on the Neshamos podcast to share his story of finding serenity and embracing a new lifestyle as he celebrates 5 years of sobriety this week. “Everybody goes through stuff. We’re Chassidim, Jews, brother, sisters--so why not share?! Let's beak that culture of going through problems and keeping them under the rug.”
01:05:30
May 16, 2020
The Most Important Words I’ve Ever Heard (feat: Hershel Stevens)
Growing up, Herschel Stevens was your typical Chabad yeshiva boy. But behind the facade of the studious, smart yeshiva bochur lived a traumatized child who was struggling with a history of sexual abuse, severe depression, and suicidal thoughts.In this podcast, Herschel opens up about his experience, including the words that changed his life, the people and social systems that helped him fight through his trauma, his experience with therapy and tips for those struggling with mental health issues."Nothing's going to get better if you don't get the ball rolling, and I think opening up is the first step."   Adding text
46:12
February 17, 2020