Beyond BT

Spiritual Growth for Jews

Often Overlooked Internet Issues

Michoel, a regular contributor on Beyond BT, posted a comment on Kressel’s Cutting Connections post which we felt deserves attention. I am, bli neder, going to take a haitus from personal web use. If anyone sees me on this site in the next 3 months, please tell me to get off immediately. I am going […]

Remembering Where You Came From And Where You Are Going

Several weeks ago, on Shabbos, my 6 year old son said, “Abba, I’m bored. What did you do for fun when you were my age on Shabbos”? I wasn’t sure what to say. To answer my son truthfully, when I was 6 years old, I had no clue what Shabbos was. I wasn’t exposed to […]

The Brilliant Bekiyus of Rav Daniel Feldman of YU

Many Baalei Teshuva unfortunately did not have the good fortune of sitting and learning for years in a single Yeshiva. But the benefit of this is that we feel free to partake of Torah in the many different forms that we find it. In Kew Gardens Hills we particularly reap the benefits of the tremendous […]

Mazal Tov to A Simple Jew and Jewess on the Birth of a Baby Girl

Please head over to A Simple Jew and wish him and the Simple Jewess a big Mazal Tov on the birth of a baby girl today.

In Gratitude to the St Louis Community

I can’t write another post without first thanking the community that helped set me on the road that I am on. In June 2002, I had just graduated from college and was living in my own apartment, on my own, in St. Louis. My boyfriend at the time (now husband) had inspired me to start […]

The Love That’s Due to Every Jew

There are no coincidences. In Rabbi Welcher’s Shabbos drasha he brought down the The Midrash (Bereishis Rabba 24:7) which relates: Rabbi Akiva said, “Love your neighbor as yourself – this is a great rule in Torah.” Ben Azzai said, “This is the book of the generations of man … in the image of God was […]

The Jewish Prince

The other night, I went to hear Rabbi Natan Gamzede, the Jewish Prince from Swaziland, speak. For those of you who aren’t familiar with his story, Rabbi Gamzede was born a prince in the African nation of Swaziland where his Grandfather was the King. Rabbi Gamzede eventually converted to Judaism and is now a teacher […]

Understanding the Essence of Chabad Outreach

This essay was originally published as Why can’t Chabad be more like “Mainstream Orthodoxy”? I found it fascinating and the author was gracious enough to allow us to publish here on Beyond BT. Why can’t Chabad be more like “Mainstream Orthodoxy”? Yechezkal-Shimon Gutfreund There are people who, when they encounter Chabad, are troubled by the […]

The Beauty vs the Burden of Keeping the Mitzvos

Dear Rabbi Lazer Brody, I’m 17, and a junior in public high school. My parents belong to a conservative synagogue, and give me all kinds of flak because I don’t attend services or observe the high holidays. Being honest, I went to McDonald’s last Yom Kippur, and ate Kentucky Fried all Passover which drove them […]

The Missionaries are Coming! The Missionaries are Coming!

Having seen a family member sucked in by messianic jews (and thankfully return to yiddishkeit), I am keenly aware of the danger and slick maneuvers of Jews for J and the like. Gil Student at Hirhurim has an important post about the summer plans of Jews for J and how we should react when we […]

Advice For a BT Returning From Israel

OK, here’s the situation. How would you advise? A young man 24-25 just returned to the US from two years study in a BT yeshiva. He’s flying spiritually. But it’s time to get serious about the next stage in life. He wants to get married –- his yetzer hara won’t leave him alone — and […]

In the Face of Approaching Disaster

As many of us know PM Olmert has publicly stated that he is ready to divide Jerusalem as well as expel up to 70,000 Jews from their homes. To show support for Israel and to protest PM Olmert’s intended actions there will be a rally on Tuesday May 23rd, 12:00 Noon in Washington D.C. Taft […]

Yasher Koach to David & Sandy Linn

Yasher Koach to David & Sandy Linn on their being honored at the Jewish Heritage Center Dinner tonight. I’ll let you know how the speech went later, I’m sure it will be great. Update: Back from the dinner. It was an amazing event. David spoke beautifully, but was too modest to plug Beyond BT. Rabbi […]

What’s Up With the Hardcore Jewish People?

A friend sent us a link to a book called What’s Up With The Hard Core Jewish People? The excerpts help us understand a little better what some parents of Baalei Teshuva are going through: “When our son, Carter, decided to blow off law school and stay in Jerusalem studying to be an Orthodox Rabbi, […]

Pirkei Avos for the Baalei Teshuva

There are two sayings of Pirkei Avos that come to mind this week to give us guidance, support and strength as we face the trials and tribulations of the Baalei Teshuva. The first is that of Yehuda ben Taima, who said, “Be bold as a leopard…”, meaning that we have to be bold to do […]

Shidduch Considerations – Seeing Challenges As Opportunities for Growth

My parents are divorced. No one else in my family is frum. I have a lot of non-Jewish cousins. Unfortunately, but realistically, my brothers will probably marry non-Jewish women. I live very far away from the rest of my family, seeing them about once a year. All of these things are not normative in the […]

Who’s Crazy Now?

by Akiva of Mystical Paths ( When I was a bit younger, a year or two from bar mitzvah age, my uncle went crazy. Or, so I was told. You see, he became ‘religious’, and the whole family told me my beloved uncle had gone absolutely bonkers. If he was coming to visit, they’d put […]

How Do You Chose a Shadchan?

A friend writes in the following: Here’s a question that has become increasingly relevant to our family of late. How do you chose a Shadchan? Here’s the nitty gritty of our question. We are basically a yeshivish family (kollel, chinuch career) yet have been open minded in encouraging our daughter to attend college. We have […]

A Rockin’ Blog D’Omer in Kew Gardens Hills

I was driving home from The Shmuz (more on that in the coming weeks) last night where the topic was how chesed done by humans always has some aspect of self interest, but Hashem’s love and chesed towards us is totally pure and unbounding. I turn the corner, and there were a bunch of police […]

A Matter of Perspective

My wife, daughter and I were scheduled to leave for Israel on a motzei shabbos. Leaving home was nothing short of crazy, with shabbos ending at aprox 6:30 and our flight scheduled for 9, there was little time to spare. Little time to spare, three people needing to shower, six kids running left and right […]

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