Beyond BT

Spiritual Growth for Jews

The Race

By Gregg Schwartz After reading David Linn’s “The Monster”, I felt as though I also had a story and lessons to share. Many of you might remember me from the beyondbt.com shabbaton as the guy who was going to be running the New York marathon. Whenever I would tell a person that I’m training for […]

Getting Real

As we inch closer to Beyond BT’s blogaversary and I reflect on the year past, one of the preeminent aspects that sticks out in my mind is the friendships we have been able to take from the virtual world to the real world. Having had the opportunity to meet with fellow bloggers over the past […]

Jewish Guilt

Nearly thirty days ago my mother passed away, quietly in her sleep after a protracted illness, and I wanted to share some of my feelings and experiences, as a baal teshuvah keeping the Halachos interacting with a non-observant family. An incident occurred at my mother’s funeral that I thought would be appropriate to discuss on […]

What Direction Should Beyond BT Go in the Future

I’m not an established or frequent poster to Beyond BT (admin: ahem). But I’ve been reading the site since it started and a few things have struck me in recent months. In the top right hand corner, it says that: “Beyond Teshuva is focused on providing ideas, connection and support for Baalei Teshuva in their […]

BTs in the News

The Baltimore Jewish Times has a cover story titled A Change in which they deal with the changing relationships of Baalei Teshuva and their parents. Mr. Shichtman, now 20, was taking his first step onto the path of teshuva. His move was not uncommon; thousands throughout the world have become part of the spiritual tidal […]

Great New Organization in Monsey for Married BTs

Chayei Olam – A new organization recently formed in Monsey NY to serve the needs of married Baal Teshuva couples, would like to inform Beyond BT readers of programs now available. For men there is an incredible Sunday Morning Learning Program that includes Halacha, Chumash/Rashi, Gemoroh & Hashkofoh. It begins with Shachris at 7:45 & […]

Please RSVP for the Beyond BT Melava Malka

The Melava Malka is one week away on December 2nd at 8:00 PM and it would be great if all those planning to attend would RSVP to let us know you’re coming. The location is Congregation Ahavas Yisroel, 147-03 73rd Avenue in Kew Gardens Hills . The cost is $5 per person and we’re serving […]

Is Your Turkey a Holy Bird?

Although my wife Chava is working at the hospital Thursday night, she’s still making the turkey, stuffing, orange/cranberry sauce, sweet potato pie with marshmallow fluff, and pumpkin pie. America has its pros and cons, but Thanksgiving is definitely a good thing. Eat, and thank G-d. Even atheists and agnostics seem to appreciate the spiritual nature […]

Frummer than Thou

As Mark so subtly pointed out in his last email, I haven’t posted here in a while. Part of the reason for that is that I haven’t been feeling especially enthused about the mitzvos lately. The Lebanon war really did propel me to a higher level, particularly in my davening, but then something happened over […]

The BT “Problem” That Won’t Go Away

I sometimes hear back through the cracks the complaints, sometimes justified, sometimes not, of the disillusioned baalei teshuva and, sometimes, former baalei teshuva. Sometimes, it seems, they were promised rose gardens. Some were not, but believe they were. Others just changed their minds, or followed their passions, or had a mental hiccup of some kind. […]

Beyond BT Anniversary Melava Malka on Dec 2nd

To celebrate the one year anniversary of Beyond BT, we’re excited to announce a Melava Malka on December 2nd at 8:00 PM at Congregation Ahavas Yisroel in Kew Gardens Hills. So far we’ve set the cost at $5 per person and are serving Pizza and Ice Cream. The inspiration and entertainment will be a show […]

Pre Shabbos Links and Stuff

A Lonely Man of Faith is a new documentary about the life and legacy of Rabbi Joseph B. Soleveitchik. This is a new documentary film on the life and legacy of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, the intellectual leader of Modern Orthodox Judaism in 20th Century America. Throughout his life, in Europe, New York and Boston, […]

Being Thankful for Thanksgiving

When it comes to Thanksgiving, some families within Torah observant Jewry tend to have the attitude: “I’m thankful the whole year. I say Modeh Ani every single morning. Why should I celebrate Thanksgiving?” The truth is that when I was growning up, as a third generation American with marginal Synagogue affiliation, my family ‘did’ thanksgiving, […]

Replacing Secular Values with Torah Values

Before getting into my latest question/difficulty, I would like to give a quick follow-up on my last post, “Trying to Pray”. I wish I could say there was some dramatic change and my prayers are now impassioned and sincere. Unfortunately, were I to say that, I would be lying. What did change is my perspective, […]

Happy Upcoming First Birthday to Beyond BT – Looking Back on Where We’ve Been

By Charnie Come November 28, it will be one year since this blog went live. Undoubtedly, the administrators will have plenty to say about what this experience has meant to them. But obviously it’s meaningful to many of us out here, both occasional visitors and those of us who’ve become the “regulars”. So many times […]

Mazal Tov to Sephardi Lady on the Birth of a Baby Girl

Mazal Tov to Beyond BT commentor, Sephardi Lady, who blogs over at Othonomics on the birth of a baby girl. We’ve been assured that the baby has now been included in the 2006 financial plan.

Baalei Teshuva Resources on the Web

We’re trying to provide links to Baalei Teshuva resources on the Internet. Please list in the comments any BT resources that you have found helpful that are not included on this Wikipedia page.. While we’re looking at the Widipedia page, do you think it accurately captures the history and essence of Baalei Teshuva? What information […]

Pre Shabbos Links and Stuff

Rabbi Yitzchok Kirzner z”tl on Why Harold Kushner Is Wrong. We are required, writes Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzato in The Way of God, to both “believe and know” that there is a God. This statement is hard to understand. If I know that there is a God, then belief is extraneous. The explanation is that […]

A Big Anniversary

Yasher koach to the researcher of the recent post The Chofetz Chaim’s Obituary in the NY Times (1933) and the administrators for putting it up. Here’s another important anniversary to mark, which I saw mentioned on a YahooGroups email list in Hillcrest, NY: This Friday November 10th, is the 100th anniversary of the completion of […]

Do You Exist? – Please Take the Time to Vote on Election Day

“If we don’t vote, we don’t exist.” Those words, spoken with passion and conviction by my dear chaver Rabbi Yechiel Kalish, stopped me in my tracks during an enjoyable dinner that we were sharing recently. Rabbi Kalish ought to know. He serves as Coordinator for Agudath Israel of America’s Commission on Government Affairs and as […]

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