Beyond BT

Spiritual Growth for Jews

Playing Catch-up

Posted on | December 6, 2005 | By David Linn | 5 Comments

One of my biggest challenges as a BT (I dislike the initials “BT” and “FFB” and rarely, if ever, use them in discourse. However, when it comes to typing, I’ll take whatever abbreviation I can get!) is deciding how to properly divide my time and effort in to the numerous areas wherein I need to “catch up”. There are just so many areas and so little time. For me that often leads to the Jack of All Trades Syndrome with me investing small amounts of time into many different areas such as hebrew comprehension and pronounciation, jewish history, gemora, hashkafa, mussar, etc. Throw that in with your job expectations, familial responsibilities, dating, recreation, hobbies and, of course, blog writing.

Sure, this is a challenge for any frum jew but as a BT you sometimes can’t help but feel like you need to make up for lost time and there is no time with which to do it! I have a friend that place “organization” near the top of his list of what he davens for on Rosh HaShanah. He explains that with organization so much more can be accomplished and so much stress can be dissipated. Easy answer, now go try and do it! (If you saw the piles of papers surrounding me on my desk as I write this you would really be laughing).

So, I’m up for some advice on organizational and time management tools, something like the “Sheva Habits of Highly Effective Baalei Teshuvah.” (Rabbi Lam: If you are reading this sheva means “seven” in Hebrew) Help me out.

Comments

5 Responses to “Playing Catch-up”

  1. none
    December 6th, 2005 @ 2:37 pm

    Maybe it’s because I read Gil’s introduction, but I’m detecting a subtle tone that I’m not going to like.
    It’s important to remember that you are not second class citizens. You are actually admired amongst most of the ffbs. by the way is this post really supposed to be under miscellaneous? It seems like your whole category thing is a little bit too complicated

  2. Dovid
    December 6th, 2005 @ 2:55 pm

    I agree with the category thing but who’s Gil?I don’t think I intimated that I feel like a second class citizen (though I don’t agree that “most of the ffbs” admire BTs, I think its a mixed bag, like pretty much anything else). The “catch-up” thing for me is because I feel like I have lost time to make up for not beacuase I want to “fit in”. The question is where and how to invest that time (recognizing, of course, that this is a very personal issue).

    Also, regarding your “detecting a subtle tone that I’m not going to like”, please understand that none of the contributors or commenters here have been given a “party line” or “talking points” to follow. These are just individual feelings/concerns that may or may not be shared by others.

  3. pierre
    December 6th, 2005 @ 3:24 pm

    Time is of the essence; there is none for BTs, whether they’re married off immediately or not. even in BT yeshiva environments, time really gets spent not on addressing fundamental concerns, but “going viter” in Gemara; gone are the days of wondering in off the Kotel (maybe 8 guys while I was at Aish in ’03-04), of classes on Alef Beit, etc. There are generational differences in issues as well; describing my own experiences with Babyboomer BTs is generally an eyeopener. they can’t believe how much changes. everything IS so much faster now and less cerebral, and the emphasis in kiruv groups has shifted away from intellectual issues, etc. Within the community, the previous-generation of BTs make for a different ‘frum world’ for younger BTs to have to acculturate to.

  4. Dovid
    December 6th, 2005 @ 3:56 pm

    I guess they don’t make ‘em like they used to. We live in a microwave/e-mail world. People expect everything to be done quicker and the more time saving devices we devise, the less time we have. Go figure.

  5. pierre
    December 6th, 2005 @ 4:41 pm

    “You’re old road is rapidly agin’…”

    BabyBoomers, even if they didn’t get a little religion, and did get to wrangle with jewish identity a bit (6-day war, Munich Olympics, etc), and sought some Jewish education for their kids – or that’s how Aish seemed, not being a Boomer nor having parents who sought any jewish ed for me. So many kids were well prepared for learning – but also very comfortable with secular Jewish identity; the exact opposite of their parents? We also weren’t the catalyst for the changes of the ’60′s.

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