Beyond BT

Spiritual Growth for Jews

Pre Shabbos and Yom Kippur Links

Neal Harris’ notes on Rabbi Frand’s Teshuva Drasha: Painting Your Masterpiece. The metaphor of Yonah is not just to think about our faults. We need to think about our mission. That’s Yonah. We live in an era today where the phrase “mission statement” is said hundreds, if not thousands of times a day. Everyone is […]

Heavyweight Fight Of All Time: Avraham Vs. Yonah

We often think of Rosh Hashanah as leading up to Yom Kippur, one stage in a progression leading to that awesome day. While that’s true, on a deeper level there’s a contrast between the two days which has a great relevancy for ba’alei teshuva. The two days illustrate two different ways to serve G-d, and […]

Teshuvah, Tzedakah, Tefillah

Repentence/Reconnecting, Charity, Prayer… Time has slipped forward while we were barely looking and the great and holy days of awe are upon us. That great and holy time when we crown the King, the King of Kings, and he judges his nation, his people, and the world. The awesome moment, the awesome words, who will […]

Same Place Last Year

As Rosh Hashana davening concluded, I once again felt an ambivalence of relief that I made it through the lengthy tefillos and contentment that for once during the year, I reached down into the depths of my neshama and attempted to spiritually connect with Avinu v’Malkeinu. Rosh Hashana has always been the most difficult day […]

An E-Mail To My Brother-In-Law

Good afternoon. I wanted to touch base with you and apologize first for not being able to do this over the phone since our schedules usually make it hard to find time. I realize that you have decided not to have bagels and lox at the brunch for your parent’s anniversary, yet this now puts […]

The Jewish Peter-Pan Syndrome

Translated and adapted for Beyond Teshuva by Rabbi Dovid Schwartz Bar/bat Mitzvahs, graduations and weddings are fêted and enjoyed by all in attendance. But no one awaits these celebrations with as much edge-of-the-seat anticipation as the bnai Mitzvah, graduates and brides and grooms themselves. For these primary revelers the parties are much more than opportunities […]

And Straight Again!

I stumbled upon a list of aphorisms and one-liners from one of the premier Baalei Musar-Masters of Ethical Teachings, Rabbi Simcha Zissel Ziv, also known as the Alter from Kelm. One phrase made me chuckle at first but I realized it wasn’t and couldn’t be a joke so I highlighted it and parked it in […]

A Cheshbon Hanefesh at Beyond BT

With Rosh Hoshana just around the corner, it behooves us to review our actions to determine which ones we are happy with and which ones we would like to improve upon. The same holds true for Beyond BT. A few of the things we are happy with are: 1. With rare exception, the civil tone […]

Growing Without Bounds – One Small Step at a Time

When I was growing up, for New Years Eve I would sleep over at a friend’s house, eat bags and bags of M&Ms and watch some New Years program on TV until I couldn’t stand it anymore. In between talking with my friends about which celebrity is wearing what, we would write or discuss the […]

High Holidays Multiple Choice

Our friends from Argentina, Leandro Katz and Matías Duek sent in the following contribution: The High Holidays are coming and we have our opportunity to evaluate ourselves. What you think and what you say show how connected you are to the religion. Take this test and read your results. 1) Your aunt who lives far […]

From “Another Brick in the Wall” to My Wall

In our home, there are two canvas framed photographs on opposite sides of the rear dining room wall. The one on the left depicts the famous archway in Tsfas (where everyone takes pictures) near the Alshich shul. Woven through the picture by way of superimposition is the blue wall of Tsfas. The photograph on the […]

R’ Moshe Schwerd on “How Can We Survive the Year Without the Shofar?”

R’ Moshe Schwerd on “How Can We Survive the Year Without the Shofar?” can be downloaded here.

Tekias Shofar – From the Gemorra, Through the Rishonim and Poskim

Here’s an mp3 shiur from Rabbi Welcher tracing the halachos of Tekias Shofar – from the Gemorra, through the Rishonim and the Poskim.

Links and Announcements

Parsha Links Rabbi Noson Weisz on the Importance of Being Earnest Rabbi Berel Wein on Holy Days: Time For An Accounting Rabbi Label Lam on Afraid to Miss the Parade

Modern and Charedi

I’m usually pretty slow about responding to the topics that the BBT admins suggest to the contributors here, but the one labeled “The War Between the Modern and Chareidi” really provoked me. After all, it’s not a war. What we saw in Eretz Yisroel and Lebanon was a war. People die in war. Modern and […]

Have We Burned Out?

I am sitting at my desk thinking, “what do I write about?” I could write about my feelings about the war since I live in Israel. I could also write about Elul. I then realized that I am not supposed to be writing a regular torah column. It is supposed to be for Baalei Teshuva […]

Sartorial Splendor and the Introspection of Elul

Elul is upon us and the time has come for a heightened degree of introspection, which means “too look inside.” The question is, Inside of whom? Becoming a seriously committed orthodox Jew necessarily requires both internal and external changes. And there is controversy about how important, and how advisable, external changes are. Some question whether […]

Project Inspired for Rosh Hoshana

Project Inspired has their Rosh Hoshana campaign underway and they are providing great pamphlets about the Yomim Noraim that you can send for free to your non-observant friends and neighbors. In their own words: Project Inspire is a campaign to unify the Jewish People by means of monthly / bimonthly initiatives to share the richness […]

Confessions of a Bayou Jew

One of the great things about the internet (and this blog) is the ability to make friends with others that you probably would never have otherwise met. Through a comment here on the blog, I became friends with Amishav. Here, he shares the backstory of his “in progress” teshuvah path. -David Confessions of a Bayou […]

The Nail that Saved Her Life

Last August, my wife and I decided to use the Amusement Park tickets a client had given me to take our kids for an end of the summer trip. Since there is a fair amount of driving involved, I brought the van in for an oil change and a fluid check. When I came back […]

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