Beyond BT

Spiritual Growth for Jews

Elul’s Daily Dose of Encouragement

For years I have wondered what the connection was between chapter 27 of Tehillim (L’Dovid Hashem Ohree) and the month of Elul. I could not understand what the underlying message was. I have read numerous explanations, however it was only yesterday when I finally discovered an explanation that satisfied me. During the month of Elul […]

That’s One Giant Step for Children, One Subtle (yet crucial) Increment for Adult-Kind

Transcribed translated and adapted for Beyond BT by Rabbi Dovid Schwartz Rav Mordechai Gifter Z’L gave this Shmuess to open the 1969 Fall/ Winter Z’man (yeshiva Semester) for the students of the Telshe Yeshiva in Wickliffe, Ohio. The Kozhnitzer Magid felt that he was stagnating spiritually, that he had simply stopped growing. One night the […]

Learning How to Learn

A new friend who is moving to Washington DC, to attend college at George Washington University writes the following: I’m stuck with the issue that I’ve been trying to solve for about a year and haven’t been too successful even after much effort. And I refuse to believe that I am the only one who […]

Embarrassed by My Mother’s Photo Album

A few weeks ago a visitor in town stepped up to the omud to lead the mincha davening. He looked like a typical product of the yeshiva world — dark suit, beard, black hat. Nothing about him suggested anything out of the ordinary. Then he started to daven. It’s hard to explain “nusach” — the […]

Innovation in the Service of Hashem

At the October 2001, “Life After Teshuva” conference in Passaic, Rabbi Yaacov Haber pointed out that throughout history, mainstream Orthodoxy has often needed an influx of talent, creativity and excitement from an outside source for rejuvenation. Today’s growth oriented Baalei Teshuva community has proven this point by helping drive an increased energy and passion around […]

Pre Shabbos Links

Rebbetzin Heller on Three Steps to Genuine Change. Rabbi Michael Rosensweig on The Rigorous Simplicity of Temimut. The Internet Parsha Sheet. Rabbi Yonason Goldson on today in Jewish History.

Seminar in Outreach Techniques

Have you always wanted to share in the very important mitzvah of kiruv? Don’t feel like you have the tools? Are you involved in kiruv and would like to hone your skills? Get answers to the most common and the most challenging questions you have about kiruv that will help you share the joys of […]

The Monster

As a kid, my family would spend summers in the Catskill Mountains in upstate New York. It was the best time of the year for a city kid: fresh air, freedom and mosquitoes. Well, two out of three ain’t bad. One summer, I must have been fifteen, I worked as a Counselor In Training for […]

Some Thoughts Before the Opening Day of the Teshuva Season

Tonight begins Rosh Chodesh Elul, opening day of the Teshuva season. Even for BTs who have made amazing changes in the past, real Teshuva is a challenge. A major problem is that after the initial BT phase we fall into unhealthy habits in our observance, and habits take time and effort to break. This is […]

On Being Yourself

A year ago, I was at the wedding of two of my friends. At the Shabbas Kallah the bride went around and said something nice about everyone in the room. Since it was a year ago, I can’t remember her exact words, but she said something like this: “Rachel, your passion for learning is an […]

The Increasingly Small Differences Between MO and UO

Gil Student recently posted some thoughts regarding the current Modern Orthodox shift to the right which he has graciously permitted us to repost. We thought it might be of interest to our readers as his comments highlight our beliefs that at their core, the differences between Modern Orthodoxy and Charedi Orthodoxy are not that great, […]

We Appreciate Your Appreciation

We often get letters of appreciation and we like to share them from time to time to show our appreciation for your expressions of appreciation. Thanks! Your website is fantastic. I have been chozer b’tshuva for 10 yrs. now. Your website creates a brilliant forum that brings us BTs together to give and receive support […]

Pre Shabbos Links

Lenny Solomon (of Shlock Rock) has released a new album which contains a song about Rabbi Lazer Brody. You can read the lyrics and download the song on Rabbi Brody’s blog . YU has a great video paying tribute to Israel’s Soldieres. (Thanks to Rabbi Mordechai Scher for the link.) A Simple Jew is looking […]

The Blessed Present

See I place before you today blessing and curse… (Devarim 11:26) All the days of the impoverished (of the mind) are bad while the one with a good heart- (mind) is always drinking. (Mishle’ 15:15) Why is it often so hard to see the blessing? Why do we tend to obsess with -“what’s wrong with […]

Honor All Your Failures

In preparing for a move, I was going through an old stack of papers and found inside a pamphlet that I was apparently given during one of my trips to Israel, entitled “How to get deeper into Torah without going off the deep end.” I don’t remember reading this pamphlet previously (because I probably received […]

Elef L’mateh – Implementing Moshe Rabeinu’s War Strategy

By M. Samsonowitz When the recent Lebanon War broke out in all its fury, Jews in Israel and around the world were unprepared. While soldiers poured to the front to fight the terrorists attacking Israel, Jews in Israel and around the world watched tensely from the sidelines, opening their hearts in prayer and looking to […]

Maximizing Your Spiritual Potential

By Rabbi Yitzchok Fingerer The Midrash relates that a king who was a contemporary of Moses heard reports of how the Hebrew leader had faced off with Pharaoh, had won the freedom of his entire people, had worked miracles, and had revealed a lofty legal code. The king was intrigued, and decided to utilize physiognomy […]

Master’s Student Looking to Interview Women BTs in Toronto Area

We recently received the following request: My name is Natalie Weiser and I am a graduate student at York University in Toronto. I am currently working on my Master’s thesis. My project is about young Jewish women (18-30) who were not raised in religiously observant households, but who as adults choose to become increasingly observant […]

Family Feud

Fighting is never fun. I remember being in a fight with my younger brother once. It went on for days. One trend I’ve noticed after reading blogs for over a year is the constant in-fighting between the (and I really don’t like labels) “Modern and Charedi” world. The truth is that it’s a feud that […]

The Tenacity of Habit

The other night, my chavrusa told me about a question that Rav Yisrael Salanter once asked. It goes something like this (I’m clearly paraphrasing and modernizing): How many people do you know that became Baalei Teshuvah at the age of 80? The answer is likely: few to none. The next question is: How many people […]

keep looking »
  • RSS Shul Politics

  • Get Beyond BT Via Email

     Step 1: Enter your Email

  • Categories