Beyond BT

Spiritual Growth for Jews

Focused Inspiration

Esti recently commented on the Uninspired post. (Shout out to Shayna, we miss you.) Just thought I’d comment on your great post. I watched the women’s Inspired video and was mesmerized. But I admit that I laughed all the way through as I knew most of the women interviewed. As such, I was interested to […]

My Elementary-Aged Kids are Smarter than Me!

The BT journey is a humbling one. On the one hand, you become convinced that Hashem did write the Torah, and he chose YOU and your family to carry out its mission. You come to feel that G-d does care what goes into your mouth, what is spoken by your tongue, and even, whether or […]

When Things Aren’t in Sync

Seems like I’m frequently sending in the “warning” story. While it’s not, G-d forbid, my intention to be negative on interactions between BT’s and the frum community, it seems I run across my share of people who have, well lets just say, misunderstood peoples intentions or perspectives, to their personal detriment. This story is one […]

Where Are You?

And it was as they took them out that one said, “Flee for your life! Do not look behind you or stop anywhere in all the plain Flee to the mountain lest you be swept away!”…….Now HASHEM had caused sulfur and fire to rain upon Sodom and Gomorrah, from HASHEM, out of heaven. He overturned […]

Did You Do a Cheshbon HaNefesh Today?

I’ve been learning Bilvavi recently, and Rav Shwartz has a slightly different understanding of the path proscribed by Mesillas Yesharim then the conventional Yeshiva understanding. We’ll G-d willing discuss the differences in a later post, but today let’s take a look at a practical problem we hit early in the Mesillas Yesharim. In Chapter 3, […]

Judaica Dreams

A trip into a Jewish bookstore is really a stunning experience these days. They’ve got everything! Things you’d wished they’d have written when you were first starting — in translation; in transliteration; in syncopation. Every topic, every major thinker — well, most of them; it’s quite interesting which ones remain shrouded in mystery despite the […]

Do I Attend my College Reunion?

Recently, I received a letter in the mail from the alumna association of my college for the 10 year reunion. It will be held over a summer weekend, which means that I will not be able to go to any events on Friday night. As for Saturday night, I would most likely be late to […]

Readjusting the Scales

Readjusting the scales. The other day my wife and I were sorting through our “mailbox.” This literally is a box we keep all the “non-immediate” mail that we need or want to look at, but not necessarily “must do now!” mail. I noticed that I have a lot of motorcycle magazines in the box that […]

Check Out Steve’s Parsha Picks at Hirhurim

R’ Gil Student at Hirhurim is taking his site to the next level with some nice new features like Frum News Roundups and Parsha Links. The parsha link section is being written by Beyond BT contributor, Steve Brizel, so go check out Steve’s picks of the week.

Adults at Risk

This recent Jewish Observer article was posted at Rabbi Horowitz’s site. We thought it was an important article for the BT community, so Rabbi Horowitz cleared the way for us to post it here. By Rabbi Mordechai Becher and Rabbi Chanan (Antony) Gordon For those of us that have been involved in outreach and fighting […]

What Were the Formative Experiences That Led You To Torah?

A reader wrote in and suggested surveying the Beyond BT community to find out what were the formative experiences that led us to Yiddishkeit. So what led you to Torah? A friend… A sefer… An experience… A search for answers… Please share you experiences in the comments.

A “Nifty” Chag

On the first day of Succot we accumulated quite an eclectic group of individuals. It started when my “yeshivish” daughter and son-in-law decided to come for the chag. We’re always thrilled when our married children come for Shabbos or a holiday. Next, I received an email from an old high school friend. Her son is […]

Between Beauties

Reb Yaacov Yisroel Bar-Chaim One of the profoundest tensions that newcomers to Judaism experience occurs within their perceptions of beauty. So many of us were initially attracted to Torah due to some sort of beauty which it promised to infuse within our lives. But before we know it, this selfsame beauty is being challenged, sometimes […]

Answers About Questions – A Primer on Seeking Rabbinical Guidance

We’ve run this article by Rabbi Horowitz a few times previously, but we all know the importance of review, so it seemed like this might be a good time to run it again. Rabbi Horowitz strikes a nice balance between developing your own Torah wisdom and asking for advice. Dear Readers: As so many posts […]

Do You Have a Rav?

We all know how important it is to have a Rav for halacha (Jewish Law questions) and hadracha (general life direction questions). The question is how many of us have a Rav? Here are some of the issues we face: 1) BTs usually don’t have a family Rav from their parents. 2) Good Rebbeim who […]

Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Make Me a Match…

By “MG” While on some level, my mom probably still has the idea in the back of her head that I am going about my daily business with an inner monologue singing for someone slender and pale and waiting for a telephone call from The Matchmaker with “The One”, she acknowledges that she doesn’t _actually_ […]

At the End of the Holidays

We are winding up z’man simchateinu, the season of our joy. For me as a BT, being joyous at this time of the year can be a special challenge. We’ve just gotten through with Yom Kippur and repenting for our sins – including bad character traits. My particular challenge is envy – not of material […]

The Hidden Hand – Day of Infamy

Beyond BT contributor, Yaakov Astor has just published his latest book, The Hidden Hand. Here is an excerpt. 1941, a week before Chanukah. Hitler’s armies are only twenty miles from the Kremlin and German soldiers even joke about catching a bus to see Stalin. Stalin, no friend of the Jews, is nevertheless vital to the […]

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