Beyond BT

Spiritual Growth for Jews

Blood and Platelet Donations Needed

Mannes Friedman is currently a patient at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. His treatment requires regular blood and platelet transfusions. Mannes and his family would deeply appreciate your donation of blood or platelets and requests you ask others you know to donate. Donations not used by Mannes will be released for use […]

Shabbos Nachamu Shabbaton Update

Here is the latest update on our Shabbos Nachamu Shabbaton. Most importantly we have managed to slash prices: $25 – Adults $18 – 18 and Under $12 – 12 and Under $5 – 5 and Under Friday night meals will be at the host houses and we will be having Shabbos Lunch, Shalosh Seudos and […]

Beach Blanket Bingo and Us Crazy Charedim

David and I were entering my Shul to learn last Sunday and, hurray for us, we actually avoided Bitul Zman with Beyond BT stuff. In the front window there was a sign from a kid’s event that morning titled “Beach Blanket Bingo”. David gave me a quizzical look and I replied, “You know us crazy […]

Will I Ever Fit In? Do I Want to Fit In?

We thought this post by Josh Goldman was perfect for Beyond BT. Thanks to Josh for letting us repost it. Spending a day in Brooklyn can be a little overwhelming for an out of town Ba’al Teshuva (born-again Jew). There are Jews everywhere. Jewish stores, Jewish signs, even Jewish license plates. It’s a bit much. […]

Mazal Tov to Steve and Linda Brizel on the Engagement of Their Daughter Shani to Ari Sendic

Mazal Tov to Steve and Linda Brizel on the engagement of their daughter Shani to Ari Sendic, who is currently learning in RIETS Kollel. May we share many more Simchas with the Brizels.

The Most Popular Shmuz – Understanding Life Settings

I exchanged emails with Rabbi Shafier of the Shmuz after his return from a Tiferes Bnei Torah Shabbaton, where Rabbi Horowitz joined Rabbi Shafier in inspiring the participants. I suggested that perhaps we could provide a Shmuz here at Beyond BT, so people can more easily sample it. Rabbi Shafier suggested Shmuz #24, Understanding Life […]

You Did Decide to Become a Baal Teshuvah, Didn’t You?

The sun-bathing, snorkeling and scuba diving of Teshuvah The lifelong process and stages of Teshuvah can be compared to sun-bathing, snorkeling and scuba diving: Sunbathing is a relaxing way to spoil oneself under the warm embrace of the sun. Tension melts away, you can get a good tan and show off your good looks…. However, […]

Pray for our Boys

As most of us are probably aware, an Israeli soldier was kidnapped by arab terrorists yesterday. Please have Gilad ben Aviva (Shalit) in mind in your prayers and good deeds. The following Israeli soldiers remain Missing in Action: Yekutiel Yehuda Nachman ben Sarah (Katz) Zecharia Shlomo ben Miriam (Baumel) Zvi ben Penina (Feldman) Ron ben […]

The Shmuz: Great Free Torah Audio on The Web

My wife and I listen to a lot of Torah Tapes and mp3s. This past year we’ve been introduced to one of the best, practical hashkafa speakers around, Rabbi Barry Shafier at And it’s not just us, many people have told us how much they enjoy and learn by listening to Rabbi Shafier. Here […]

Was Yehoshua In Danger of Going Off the Derech

Rabbi Yaacov Haber, who resides in Eretz Yisroel has a great piece in which he gives us some insights into children who might walk away from their heritage: Over the years I have worked with hundreds of these young men and women. It has been my experience that many of them are the sweetest, gentlest, […]

Putting Things in Perspective

I recently heard of non-religious Jews in the New York area publicly complaining about observant Jews blocking the street on Shabbos, taking money away from public school funding, and not letting their kids play with the non-religious girls who wear pants. Well frum Jews are certainly not without fault. We’re not perfect. If we were, […]

Accepting People “More Religious” Than Us

One evening this week my wife related a conversation she had with her father. Her father told her that her non-observant brother thinks that she is “brain washed” because she now goes to an Orthodox shul and keeps kosher. While not Orthodox himself, my father-in-law has a great appreciation for it and did not accept […]

More Lessons from Psychology

I am currently taking a class in which the professor has been introducing several different cultural identity models. While each model was developed specific to a particular culture, they can be used more globally as well. Interestingly, while studying William E. Cross’ African-American Identity Model, I found a lot of similarities with the journey that […]

Contact Your NY Congressmen to Support The Nonpublic School Employee Background Check Bill

Frequent commentor, Sefardi Lady sent this letter from Mr. Elliot B. Pasik, Esq. urging us to email or NY State representatives regarding a bill that will allow New York yeshivas and other nonpublic schools to fingerprint their employees, and obtain their criminal histories. I spoke to Rabbi Welcher last night and he strongly supports such […]

Is Tolerance a Dirty Word?

The subject of tolerance is a tricky one. What does it mean? The standard dictionary definition is as follows: “The capacity for or the practice of recognizing and respecting the beliefs or practices of others”. We need to ask ourselves if we are “tolerant” enough of other types of Orthodoxy. I am not going to […]

Watering Down Torah – Glossing Over Issues

By Chana I was reading the section of last week’s Hamodia on Rav Steinman and the Gerrer Rebbe’s trip to the US, Canada, & South America. One of the many interesting responses R. Steinman made to shailas was concerning whether it is OK to distort or water down Torah for the benefit of non-religious Jews […]

My Take on Father’s Day

Most of my kid’s know this song: Today is Father’s/Mother’s Day but it’s no special day ’cause I love you Daddy/Mommy all the time. You are so dear to me, the best you’ll always be, I thank Hashem he made you mine. Cute. But I’m a bit torn by the lyrics. On the one hand, […]

Ask The Shadchan – Baalei Teshuva Parents

Gil Student points to this article by Rebbetzin Nomi Travis about Ba’alei Teshuvoh Parents in the Ask the Shadchun column from the Yated. Here is the question from the letter writer: Dear Shadchanit, I follow your columns and enjoy the fact that you raise issues that others ignore. I hope you will be able to […]

Slashing Shabbaton Prices and Torah Links

Due to the wonders of our web based community, we’re already getting some good feedback on the Shabbaton. We’re working on ways to slash the prices and to create a structure that is focused on meeting people and facilitating great discussions. If you’re even thinking of coming, please comment or email so we can start […]

How About a Shabbaton on Shabbos Nachamu

We are extremely grateful to Hashem for the success of this project. Together we have created a virtual community of thousands of Jews worldwide sharing our thoughts, ideas and chizuk. We would like to move to the next stage and create more offline activies to meet, share and strengthen one another. Frequent commentor Chana recently […]

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