Beyond BT

Spiritual Growth for Jews

Shabbos Links and Stuff

Beyond BT Passaic Shabbaton July 20-21. Please join us for a Shabbos of chizuk, shared experiences and friendship. Don’t miss this great event. Email us at beyondbt@gmail.com for reservations, hosting, volunteering or more information. Torah.org articles on the 17th of Tammuz and the Three Weeks. Aish articles on Tisha B’Av and the Three Weeks. Rabbi […]

Becoming a Better Jew

For some of us, learning Mesillas Yesharim can a be a challenge. The Ramchal is talking about reaching very high levels of Piety and Kedushah, and many of us feel we’re not in a position to reach those levels. We’re focused on consolidating the progress we’ve already made. We might get discouraged and say that […]

What is Hashem Telling me?

I was in a car accident last week. Or perhaps the right words are, “I caused a car accident last week.” The guy in front of me slammed on his brakes because the guy in front of him did, and I crashed into his car. I didn’t respond fast enough when he suddenly stopped, and […]

Are We Too Obsessed With Integration?

If you look at a person’s music collection or someone’s seforim collection, you can get an idea of what they enjoy listening to or learning. A quick glance at the “Topics Discussed” section of BeyondBT will show that aside from “Project Notes” the topic with the largest number of postings is “Integration”. It’s an issue […]

Shepping Nachas From Graduation

When a son or daughter graduates any stage of the yeshiva system in North America, one should contrast it with what passes for Jewish education in the heterodox Jewish community and indeed shep nachas. As a BT, you should have a great degree of nachas that you have raised a son or daughter who probably […]

The Beyond BT Passaic Shabbaton is Coming – Hope To See You There!

We are about 4 weeks away from the Beyond BT Passaic Shabbaton on July 20-21, Shabbos Chazon (the Shabbos before Tisha B’Av). We hope that everybody who can, will join us. Please try to reserve early so that you are assured of a place. The rooms where the meals are held have about a 100 […]

Modest is as Modest Does

Dressing modestly was probably pretty far down on my list of things to do, when I  became frum. It’s not that I dressed particularly immodestly – I wore baggy jeans and baggy sweatshirts all through university; and I never went for tight skirts or plunging tops. But the concept of wearing only skirts just didn’t […]

A Site of Interest – Ner L’Elef

There’s been a lot of talk about Kiruv in the last few weeks and it seems clear that bringing Jews closer to G-d is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor. One site that you might want to add to your Kiruv bookmarks is Ner L’Elef. From their Website they state that “Since its inception in 1998, and […]

You Don’t have to be in the Middle to be in the Middle

Last February 12, my post titled “I’m back in the middle again” appeared on this site. It was a follow-up to an earlier post, “It’s lonely in the middle.” A few people still aren’t talking to me, outraged that I dared to suggest that there’s anything wrong with frum Jews dividing themselves up into smaller […]

It’s Mashgiach, Not Moshiach

Among my regular Jewish activities, I work as a mashgiach. I thank Hashem for the opportunity to work within the needs of the Jewish community, and I involve myself with a considerable amount of kiruv. I’ll give you some examples. This Shabbos I oversaw a luncheon in a non-observant (conservative in this case) temple. Here […]

Rational Hedonism – The Jewish Answer To “Why Are We Here?”

Rabbi Dovid Schwartz of the Jewish Heritage Center (and Beyond BT contributor and commenter) recently gave a shiur on the “Man’s Duty in This World” chapter that we are currently learning in Mesillas Yesharim. One thing is for certain, this isn’t your zaidey’s Mussar Schmuz. Rabbi Schwartz turns some of our assumptions about Judaism on […]

Mazal Tov to Rabbi & Mrs Gershon Seif

We would like to wish Mazal Tov to Beyond BT contributor and commentor Gershon Seif and his wife on the upcoming marriage of their daughter Shaina to Chaim Zev Aron of Kew Gardens Hills. We would also like to wish Mazal Tov to Chaim Zev’s parents Jay and Kaila Aron who are friends of ours […]

Getting Scholarships to Study in Israel

If you’d like to study at a yeshiva or a seminary in Israel but you’re afraid you can’t afford it, we’ve got good news for you – there are loads of scholarships to help you pay for your studies. If you’re an American or Canadian citizen between the ages of 21 – 30, here are […]

My Sacrifice

Everyone gives up something when he becomes frum. Some more than others, of course. Sometimes precious relationships are breached and, unfortunately, can never be repaired. Other times, people give up lucrative career opportunities or fame or one or another kind of social standing. These are the korbanos (sacrifices) that even the least learned baalei teshuva […]

I Can’t Be An Observant Jew Because….What Would You Respond?

Say somebody you know tells you they can’t be observant because they can’t see ever giving up a specific activity which is forbidden by the Torah. Let’s assume that the prohibition is Rabbinic in nature. What would you say to the person?: a) I’m sure you could give it up if it was important enough […]

Ripples on a Pond

I was so excited to see the topics for this week’s Beyond BT, because I am just bursting with pride to share something on point. When I started making little changes to live a Torah life, my then 16-year old brother noticed and asked me about what I was up to. He attends a Jewish […]

Beyond BT Passaic Shabbaton Scheduled for July 21st

Fire up your Outlook and add an entry on July 20-21 for the Beyond BT Shabbaton in Passaic. Passaic is one of the most BT-populated and BT-friendly communities in the world and it’s great to be holding this event there. But besides the great venue, this is an opportunity to deepen the connections we have […]

The Teshuva Journey: From The Super Bowl To The Shabbos Table

He’s probably the only observant Jew to own a Super Bowl ring and one of the few Jews to ever play in the NFL. However for Alan Veingrad the journey back to his roots after his retirement was more exciting than any game on the field. Alan played for five years as an Offensive Lineman […]

Torah Leads to Watchfulness

Mesillas Yesharim is structured around R. Pinchas ben Yair beraisa which states: Torah leads to Watchfulness; Watchfulness leads to Zeal; Zeal leads to Cleanliness; Cleanliness leads to Separation; Separation leads to Purity; Purity leads to Saintliness; Saintliness leads to Humility; Humility leads to Fear of Sin; Fear of Sin leads to Holiness; Holiness leads to […]

The Niddah Difference

By Jewish Deaf Motorcycling Dad Since most of you probably aren’t familiar with Deaf culture, let me begin by explaining that the Deaf community is a very touchy (physically) community. I’ve heard various reasons for this. Part of it seems to be the loss of one sense, sound; so we make it up by using […]

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