Shais Taub

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Shais Taub is an American rabbi and author.[1] He writes about Jewish mysticism and is also known for his work in the field of addiction recovery.[2]


Taub is an exponent of the foundational Chassidic spiritual text, Tanya, for which he composed Map of Tanya for Kehot Publication Society, as well as the curriculum for a survey course on Tanya for the Jewish Learning Institute.[3][4]

Work in the field of addiction[edit]

Taub and Abraham J. Twerski in Pittsburgh, 2011

In 2010, Taub authored the book God of Our Understanding: Jewish Spirituality and Recovery from Addiction, in which he asserts that ancient Jewish principles relate to 12-step treatment programs.[5] Publisher's Weekly called the book "a thoughtful counter to one criticism occasionally heard—that the 12 steps are implicitly Christian - and a singular and valuable resource for those in need."[6] Taub posits that drugs are the addict's solution rather than his problem, and that those people who turn to chemicals or other compulsive behaviors such as overeating or gambling are attempting to fill a spiritual void.[7]

He has compared his work to that of Abraham J. Twerski, another Hasidic rabbi who has written extensively on addiction and who is also a Milwaukee transplant to Pittsburgh.[8] Twerski endorsed God of Our Understanding, stating that the book "should be read by all clergy, therapists, people in recovery, people who should be in recovery, and their family members".[9]

Influence beyond the Jewish world[edit]

Following a February 2012 visit to the iconic Boys Town orphanage in Nebraska where Taub trained clinical staff on addiction treatment, The New York Times wrote about Taub's influence beyond the Jewish world, noting that "in saying overtly what the recovery movement often leaves deliberately ambiguous... Rabbi Taub has become a phenomenon. Even as he is anchored within the Hasidic world, he has transcended it, first by reaching unaffiliated and secular Jews and then, most unexpectedly, by finding an eager audience among Christians."[10] In that same article, Taub clarified his approach to teaching non-Jewish groups by saying, "It's not about interfaith ... I'm a Jew who's been able to study my tradition, and I have information, and I can be helpful to the extent I can share the information."[10]

Tailgate party[edit]

He and former NFL lineman Alan Veingrad, who became a Chabad-Lubavitch adherent after his retirement,[11] hosted a "kosher tailgate party" at Lambeau Field during the 2007 season.[12]


Taub credits his father's work as influential in his decision to a pursue a career in addiction therapy.[13] Taub currently resides with his wife and children in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.[14]


  • God of Our Understanding: Jewish Spirituality and Recovery from Addiction (KTAV, 2010)
  • Map of Tanya: Personal Edition (Merkos Linyonei Chinuch, 2008)