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February 2, 2021 11:03 am

Rabbi Abraham Twerski, Psychologist, Author and Torah Scholar, Dies at Age 90

avatar by JNS.org

Rabbi Dr. Abraham J. Twerski with (to his left) Rabbi Shais Taub, both of whom worked with Jews in the Chassidic community, in addition to others who struggle with addiction, May 8, 2011. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

JNS.org – Rabbi Dr. Abraham Twerski, a renowned psychologist, author and Torah scholar, passed away yesterday in Israel at the age of 90.

Twerski, proudly identified as Chassidic, was strongly involved with the Chabad-Lubavitch community.

A Wisconsin native, he spent much of his professional life in Pittsburgh, where the scholar sought to break down stigmas about abuse, addiction and mental-health issues, especially within insular segments of the Orthodox Jewish community.

“I mourn the sad passing of Rabbi Dr. Abraham Twerski, who was a source of much inspiration to me and many thousands of others,” said Chief Rabbi of Britain Ephraim Mirvis. “Acclaimed across the Jewish world, Rabbi Twerski blended Chassidic wisdom and academic expertise with warm humanity.”

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Twerski helped found the Pittsburgh-based Gateway Rehabilitation Center in 1972, giving people a place to go and fight their addictions to drugs and alcohol with the proper support systems. He was also the author of some 90 books, including a few with Charles Schultz, creator of the “Peanuts” comic strip.

He was also a much sought-after Jewish educator.

The rabbi is survived by his second wife, Gail Bessler; four children; as well as grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

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