Beyond BT

Spiritual Growth for Jews

You’re the Inspiration…

My oldest child recently turned 4 years old. I’ve been thinking about her growth in life, and my own growth in observance. And this refrain from a Chicago song kept repeating in my head: You’re the meaning in my life you’re the inspiration. You bring feeling to my life you’re the inspiration. Wanna have you […]

Giving Up Treif Food with Unexpected Ease

By Larry Lennhoff For years before I began my journey I was a non-observant bachelor living in Boston. One of my hobbies was eating out. I didn’t like to cook, and had no relatives or other people with whom to share meals, so I ate out a LOT. My definition of dining in (which I […]

Post Retirement Planning

Has anybody been involved with trying to convince non-observant relatives to do a Tahara? What was you approach and the relatives reaction? To help us all become more informed in such matters, the Jewish Heritage Center presents: A Series of Shiurim on The End of the Jewish Life Cycle Presented by Rabbi Elchonon Zohn Director-National […]

Keep the Enthusiasm, Beware the Naiveté’

by Akiva of Mystical Paths As people become religious, or rather as they encounter Torah and a religious lifestyle, and people with a connection with Hashem, the soul awakens, it bursts into flame through the grunge and piles of dirt of life. An enthusiasm, a thirst is born. And it’s a joy to have, and […]

Adventures In Hachnasas Orchim

We travel back to the mid 1980s. A very important ingredient in my metamorphosis from assimilated to BT were the people from my chosen community, who ALWAYS invited me to one of their homes for every single Shabbos and Yom Tov meal. These meals were rich and very rewarding experiences, and as I transitioned to […]

All Alone … Again

“Eicha yashva vadad – Alas; she sits in solitude (Eicha 1:1).” The haunting words of Megilas Eicha resonate in our hearts and minds as we prepare to sit on the ground this coming Tisha B’Av and commemorate the destruction of the Beis Hamikdash 1,939 years ago. Sadly, history is repeating itself once again. It was […]

Ahavas Chinam and the Beyond BT Shabbaton

Before the Beyond BT Shabbaton, at least 2 people asked us about the appropriateness of holding it during Shabbos Chazon. We had asked a shaila and were told there was no halachic problem at all. After having held the Shabbaton I think that this was in fact the perfect time to have it, here’s why. […]

Mazal Tov to Chaya and Gili Houpt on the Birth of Twin Girls

Mazal Tov to Chaya and Gili Houpt on the birth of twin girls Yemima Bracha and Bara Avigayil Ness this week. Chaya is a contributor and commentor on Beyond BT. Chaya and Gili attended last year’s Shabbaton, where Gili was our Ruach and music coordinator. They have recently moved to Passaic and were set to […]

Beyond BT Shabbaton in Passaic this Shabbos – Leave Early if Possible

We’ve emailed out the information packets for those registered and if you haven’t received it, please email us as soon as possible at Here is the Eruv map for Passaic. Here’s the schedule for the Shabbaton Friday night meal: at your home in Passaic or at the host family you are staying. If you […]

G-d is Not a Vending Machine

A little while back, I picked up a book by Rabbi Shaul Rosenblatt, called ‘Finding Light in the Darkness.’ Shaul was in the same school as my husband, albeit a couple of years’ above him; and when he started Aish HaTorah in the UK, he gave a few shiurim in our home. But Shaul stopped […]

Being a BT and a Ger

When you meet someone who has become observant, they are usually either a Ba’al Teshuva or a Ger. I am both. I grew up, like much of the current generation, in a relatively assimilated family. It is said that the majority of the Jewish community, outside of orthodoxy, are marrying non-Jews. Some of the non-Jewish […]

Mazal Tov to Menachem and Randi Lipkin on the Birth of a Son

Mazal Tov to Beyond BT contributor Menachem Lipkin and his wife Randi on the birth of a boy this morning. Here’s the message from Menachem: We are thrilled to welcome the latest addition to the Lipkin family. Our son was born Monday afternoon at 3:15 in Jerusalem’s Shaarei Tzedek Hospital. He weighed in at 2.8 […]

What are the Issues Facing BTs?

What are the main issues facing BTs and what small steps can we can take to help alleviate the problems. These are some of the things we’ll be shmoozing about at the Beyond BT Shabbaton in Passaic this coming Shabbos. We’re just about out of space for accommodations, but if you live in Passaic we’d […]

Tears and Torah for Tisha B’Av

Integration at its Finest at the Passaic Beyond BT Shabbaton

There have been many threads on integration here at Beyond BT. Next Shabbos, July 20-21 we’ll all pass the integration test as we join together for the first Passaic Shabbaton. If you live out of town, we’ll find you accomodations and if you live in the Passaic area, we’re hoping to see you there. For […]

Getting Mussar, Giving Mussar, Learning Mussar

There was a recent apppeal in Kew Gardens Hills to learn 10 minutes of Mussar every day for a number of weeks to help an ill person, so I suggested a daily 10 minute session to my son. He initial stated that nobody likes Mussar, but after learning for a few days he’s really enjoying […]

Shiur in KGH Area – This Shabbos: Kiruv Rechokim: The Key To Bringing Moshiach?

Shiur This Shabbos In Kew Gardens Hills Area: Kiruv Rechokim: The Key To Bringing Moshiach? This Shabbas afternoon (7/14) Michael Gros will be delivering a shiur in his shul titled “Kiruv Rechokim: The Key To Bringing Moshiach?” There are several hints in the Torah and Nach about the Kiruv revolution, and specifically that it will […]

Dealing With Children and Non-Observant Parents

By “Nancy” I have been lurking around on beyond bt for a little while, and am amazed by the amount of information and support that is provided. I am having an issue right now, and would like some advice from someone who has been doing this longer than I. My parents and sister came to […]

Looking for the Jew in Every Crowd

I often wonder what the catalyst was that sparked my return to Judaism. I mean the real catalyst. I can name you the month and the year when I took the first step to where I am right now — mitzvos observant, Shomer Shabbos, a baalas teshuvah just out of the nest. It was June […]

The Shabbaton Is Coming!

If you see two guys on a street corner in Passaic with a sign proclaiming “The Shabbaton Is Coming”, you know who it is. We’ve be getting some very good feedback recently on possible projects for Beyond BT. That’s extremely important to us because the only reason we’ve created Beyond BT is to provide chizuk, […]

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