Beyond BT

Spiritual Growth for Jews

Rabbi Harvey Belovski on Kiruv

Rabbi Harvey Belovski recently posted some Hard Questions About Kiruv on Cross Currents. After a number of paragraphs focused on the small percentage of Baalei Teshuva who fall out of Yiddishkeit, he concludes: I hope that it’s not too controversial to suggest that the objectives of outreach are to help each Jew reach his or […]

BT 2.0

One summer, 20 years ago, I became Torah Observant. The decision and commitment took place while on an NCSY summer tour right before my junior year of high school. My growth as a Jew after that point was fairly text book, I suppose. Strong participation in NCSY, several years learning in Eretz Yisrael, combined with […]

Showing Sensitivity to Intermarried BTs

Rabbi Mordechai Scher of Kol BeRamah in Santa Fe post this comment in the recent intermarriage thread: In much of this thread, there has been a lack of recognition displayed of the complexities at the level of the individual home, and sympathy for their plight. I absolutely *do not* argue with the basic premise that […]

Unbelievably Inspirational JHC Rosh Hashana Retreat

The Jewish Heritage Center invites you to join its Directors, Rabbi Naftali Portnoy, Rabbi Moshe Turk & Rabbi Dovid Schwartz at an inspirational Rosh Hashana & Shabbos Shuva. Spend this three day Yom Tov (and/or Yom Kippur) in a place where you can learn and grow with a great lineup of speakers: -Rabbi Ronnie Greenwald […]

Simply Tsfat in Baltimore on Sunday 9/2 at 6:30 PM

Former Beyond BT contributor Michoel is organizing a concert by – Simply Tsfat (Music of Breslev Chassidim and Other Niggunim) – Liberty Jewish Center, 7000 Rockland Hills Dr. – Sunday September 2nd at 6:30 (Doors open at 6:00 PM) – $10 General Admission Email: or call 410-963-9018

Looking at Intermarriage

Devarim 7:7 – “Not because you were more numerous than any people did God find satisfaction in you and choose you, for you were the fewest of all the peoples.” Throughout history we have ALWAYS been in the competition for “fewest of all the peoples.” And yet… “The Egyptian, the Babylonian, and the Persian rose, […]

Looking for the Signal

By: Gregg Schwartz I figured out something recently that I would love to share with anyone who rides the subway. LOOK AT THE TRACKS!!! Sometimes when I arrive at the subway station, I get real lucky and the train is right there waiting for me, it’s doors wide open just asking me to board. On […]

Everyone’s Meshugah!

I recently read Baruch Horowitz’s “Are you Happy Being Haredi?” To a certain extent, it reminded me of feelings I’ve had regarding people choosing different derachim than mine. Some of my fellow BT travelers will remember the comic bit where a comedian asks the question: “Did you ever notice that anyone who drives slower than […]

BT Wife, Non-Observant Husband

When I sat down to write this – my first article for Beyond BT – I wanted to phrase it in the plural, as “we,” writing for other women as well as myself. But I don’t know any other women in my situation. Perhaps, as a result of this article, some will come forward. There […]

Teshuvah, Marriage, and Revelations of the “Past”

By “Michael” My wife and I are both ba’alei teshuvah, although I grew up in a religious environment and she comes from a secular background. We made the decision to get married based on a brief, romantic, and miraculous period of very “frum” dating. We were both mutually inspired by and committed to what we […]

Am I More Judgemental of the Non-observant Since Becoming a BT?

Mark and David asked in their suggested topics: Am I more judgemental of the non-observant since becoming a BT? Often times when we are becoming frum, we are at just about the most judgmental times in our lives. When it comes to non-frum friends and family one thinks, “If I could see the truth, why […]

Reasons To Practice as a Jew

R’ Gil Student recently pointed to Dennis Prager, writing in Moment magazine about reasons to practice as a Jew. (link) Although many may have seen it, we thought it merited a post here: 1. The Jews are the Chosen People. There is no other rational explanation for the centrality of the Jewish people in history […]

Getting Beyond Doubts

One of my first substantive explorations into the Torah blogosphere was with regards to the ban of R’ Slifkin’s books. This essay is not intended either to condemn or defend the ban which many have written about almost to the point of ad nauseum. However, in my surfing of the Torah blogosphere, I was struck […]

Refining the Rough Edges

“”Tsnius” is a broad concept that encompasses more than just clothing. We need to be tsnius in thought and demeanor, learning to speak softly and carry a soft stick, modifying how we speak to each other and how we react to those inevitable “event cards” in our lives. How do we learn to be pure […]

The Effect You Can Have Just Being You

Some short stories that illustrate the point. When my dear wife was a pathology resident at UMass Medical Center, she kept a siddur on her desk. It was there for birkat hamazon, and just as a personal item the same way one puts a picture or other item on their desk to personalize it. Her […]

MP3 Shiurim – R’ Welcher, R’ Sammet, R’Schwerd, R’Rosenberg, R’Haber

Here are some recent Shiurim. The best way to download is to right click on the link and select Save Target As to save it to your PC’s hard drive. Rabbi Welcher on Tisha B’Av Rabbi Welcher on Pizza, Schnitzel and Apple Pie Rabbi Welcher on Amira L’Akum R’ Moshe Schwerd on Bringing Korbanos With […]

Mazal Tov To Dixie Yid on The Birth of a New Girl

Mazal Tov To Reb & Rebbetzin Dixie Yid on the birth of a new girl. Check out the pictures of the beautiful new addition to the family.

Rabbi Yitz Greenman on Integrating into the Frum Community

At the Beyond BT Shabbaton in Passaic, Rabbi Yitz Greenman – Executive Director of Aish NY and Producer of Inspired Films gave a shiur on the topic of “Integrating into the Frum Community”. Rabbi Greenman started off by giving two scenarios both of which he thought were unhealthy: 1) Feeling that you always have to […]

Serving G-d with Joy

My family and I recently returned from a journey that left me thinking about what I learned there long after the bags were unpacked and the pictures downloaded on to the computer. Fifteen years ago, before I married my husband, Stephen, I was very active in a funky, Reform shul with a national reputation as […]

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