Beyond BT

Spiritual Growth for Jews

The Teshuva Journey: The Miraculous Sukkah of Afghanistan

For Rabbi Nosson (Mark) Sachs, a Reserve Chaplain in the U.S. Army, building a Sukkah last year in Afghanistan against all odds showed him Hashem’s hand more clearly than almost any other experience of his life. Rabbi Sachs traveled to Afghanistan in 2006 for Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot to lead services for American […]

Am I More Judgmental of the Non-Observant Since Becoming a BT?

Am I more judgmental of the non-observant since becoming a BT? This was a question posted by David & Mark to BeyondBT contributors. It’s a good question. One that I constantly ask myself. I feel especially sensitive to this question because before I started becoming more observant, there were several people (both BTs and FFBs) […]

Cleaning the Bottom of Our Pots

By Carolyn For the first seven years of our marriage, we spent Rosh Hashanah with my husband’s Uncle David and Tante Ursula. It was one of the highlights of our year. Then we moved home to Massachusetts. While our hearts filled with joy to be near our parents, we always feel a bittersweet lack on […]

Rav Soloveitchik on Awakening the Emotional on Yom Kippur

In the Sefer, Before Hashem You Will Be Purified, the following is brought down from Rav Soloveitchik’s 1976 Teshuvah drasha: My religious world-view was formed not only through learning Torah, but also by me religious experience…I continually refer to the the two traditions of Torah learning — halakhah and that or religious life and feeling […]

Audio Inspiration for Yom Kippur

Rabbi Welcher on Teshuva on Yom Kippur according to the Rambam and Rabbeinu Yonah Rabbi Shafier at The Shmuz on The System of Teshuva Rabbi Moshe Weinberger on Making Every Minute Count Aish Audio with various Yom Kippur Topics

Paths to Torah: Truth or Self-Fulfillment?

There are 70 facets of the Torah, and probably as many paths for an individual to get there as a BT. In my life as a second-time BT, I have taken at least two of them. Very brief background: I’m a Baby Boomer who grew up in a traditional (kosher but not Shomer Shabbat) household. […]

Drop By Drop

Friends of ours had bought our five-year old daughter a flowering plant. She was proud of having the responsibility to care for and tend to the plant. A few weeks later, I noticed that the plant was not looking too great. In fact, it looked to be on its last legs. “Atara, what’s going on […]

A Mussaf of Inspiration

Before we share the final post of this year with you, we would like to take this opportunity to wish everybody a Kesiva V’Chasima Tova. May we all merit another fruitful year of learning, giving and growing together. – David & Mark By R’ Mordechai Scher Every year, without fail, the same memories are dominant […]

The Path of a Bas Noach Baales Teshuva

By Alice Jonsson Attempting to describe my turn towards Hashem and Torah, while being brief, is a challenge. Here’s my attempt. Imagine a 10-story-tall catapult. But instead of a boulder the size of a VW bug, its cargo is you. Because this catapult has been cranked back slowly, each tooth clicking into place, for thirty-six […]

Small Steps and Big Jumps

It’s been ages that I’ve written here, so here’s something for Elul. The Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation has an excellent tape series called “Grasp the Gift of Teshuva.” One of the tapes contains the following true story which is also an amazing mashal for teshuva. During World War II, the Rov of a certain town […]

The Pain of Forgetting The Mourners Consolation

By Hirshel Tzig You wanna know pain? I’ll show you pain. A local non-frum/maybe half-frum Jew walks into shul to say Kaddish. He seems like a somewhat affluent man, yet disheveled, like he hasn’t slept or shaved for a few days. It turns out his dear wife of many years just passed away, and he’s […]

Ah it’s Elul…and Forgiveness is in the Air!

Rabbi Dovid Schwartz The significance of this time of the year is that it corresponds to the 40 day period beginning on 1 Elul and culminating on 10 Tishrei (AKA Yom Kippur) when Moshe, ascending again to heaven, mounted the national T’shuva effort of K’lal Yisroel to atone for the sin of the Golden Calf. […]

A Sanctuary in my Heart (Bilvavi Mishkan Evneh)

The Sefer “Bilvavi Mishkan Evneh (In My Heart I Build A Sanctuary)” is a highly acclaimed manual for the development of a personal and intimate relationship with Hashem. It was authored by Rav Itamar Shwartz, who recently toured the United States. Dixie Yid has posted all the recorded shiurim of the tour. The shiurim are […]

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