Beyond BT

Spiritual Growth for Jews

Learn Torah for a Refuah Shelaimah for Rabbi Noah Weinberg

Rabbi Noah Weinberg, the founder of Aish HaTorah was recently diagnosed with a serious illness. This article on Aish.Com suggests: This is an opportunity to galvanize everyone who has benefited from the work of Aish HaTorah in prayer and spiritual action for the sake of Rabbi Weinberg’s recovery. Here’s what you can do: First, pray […]

Are More Jews Ceasing to Be Observant than Starting?

Let me state at the outset, I have not taken a survey. But lately there seem to be more and more books appearing on the shelves hinting at the enormity of the problem, sort of like the tip of the iceberg, to use an overworked cliché. The one that springs to mind is “Off the […]

Dealing with Marital Issues Arising from Differing Observance Levels

A Beyond BT contributor was contacted by email from a woman in the NYC area who is having major marital issues that have arisen due to conflicts around the decision to be observant, or not, and to what degree. she asked if anyone could recommend an Orthodox Rabbi or marital counselor in the NYC area […]

Davening-The User’s Manual for the Siddur

Mordechai Kramer wrote a 16 page booklet which explains the basic structure and use of the siddur. It includes charts and simple explanations of how the prayer service (Shacharit, Mincha, Mariv, Shabbos and Rosh Chodesh ) is performed in shul. It is a virtual life savor for the BT. Rabbi Berel Wein has commented that […]

Questions From G-d asks “What’s really important in life? Good Shabbos.

Letting It All Hang Out

Nope, although the title might imply it, this post is not about tzitzis. It’s about how we respond when the question of one’s BT-ness is brought up. This issue can arise by way of a direct question but more likely it will come up as a result of an inquiry like: Where did you learn? […]

Back to Basics

It had been a somewhat emotionally, rhetorically exhausting couple of weeks for active BT bloggers. Or, at least, for this one. Let me explain it this way: I’m a member of a little chevra who email each other on a weekly basis talking about what they’re doing in terms of outreach. (Yeah, an Aish thing. […]

Tu B’Shvat Chag Lilanot

The 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shvat, a holiday for the trees The month of Shvat has the constellation Aquarius associated with it, and in kabbalistic astrology implies an outpouring of wisdom to those who want it, at this time. Water is often a symbol of wisdom in the ancient commentaries. Just like […]

How to Find a Shabbos Friendly Employer?

Thanks for all the good advice on moving to Philadelphia. I have another related question. I’ll be looking for a new job. I could use advice about finding a “Shabbat friendly” employer. When in the interview process do I bring up the topic of not working during Shabbat? Are there any other tips thats would […]

Spiritual Gridlock

A proposed solution for New York traffic echoes the ancient wisdom of the Talmud New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants to end traffic congestion in Manhattan. However, as sympathetic as New Yorkers may be to Mr. Bloomberg’s vision, his proposed method is most likely to produce madness. To curb the number of vehicles entering downtown […]

The Teshuva Journey: An Untold Miracle From The Summer 2006 War In Lebanon

Israel’s war in Lebanon in the summer of 2006 left behind many powerful stories, from courageous sacrifices to tragic destruction and numerous miracles. One of the most powerful stories is that of a young Naval sergeant who found G-d on a ship in the middle of a heated battle, as told by Rabbi Lazer Brody. […]

Doing Kiruv on Campus

By Yaakov Weinstein A few weeks ago I was having a conversation with a college student. This student had just enjoyed an inspiring summer of learning and was going back to college with a new vision for religious activities and events to facilitate his continuing growth in learning. To insure the soundness of his plans, […]

Reading for the Recipes

It’s motzei Shabbos just minutes to havdallah. My husband and sons are in shul and I’m home alone clearing up after shalosh seudos. On the table sits quarter of a hallah, soft and fluffy on the inside, crusty, dark and sesame flecked on the outside, still fresh even now, as the Shabbos draws to a […]

Get Beyond BT Via Email

Many people have asked us for an email version of Beyond BT. Well, now you can enter your Email address on the box on the right and press the “Subscribe Me” button. Respond to the verification email and you’re all set.

If I Were Addressing the AJOP Convention

The 20th Annual AJOP Convention is scheduled to take place January 18-22, 2008. The Convention 2008 Theme is: “The Future of Judaism: Setting the Course – A Conference Examining the Relationship of Jews to Judaism”. We asked our regular contributors what they would say if they could address the convention. Here is Neil Harris’ response. […]

How Do You Choose a New Community?

My husband and I are very seriously considering moving to the Philadelphia area. I’m a little concerned about choosing a community in an area where I don’t know anyone. How does one go about doing that? When moving do people “interview” Rabbis about their shuls/community? If so, what should I ask? I’m pretty open-minded when […]

Confessions of a BT Wannabe

By Charlotte Friedland It’s a little embarrassing to admit, but I’m not a ba’alas teshuvah (BT). As I was born to observant Jewish parents, the outreach networks dismiss me as an “FFB”—a “frum from birth” specimen, not worthy of attention. The term itself suggests staleness. After all, an FFB arrives in a world where traditions […]

We Need to Be a Little Kinder

A paraphrased comment from out there in the blogosphere: I’d love to see the perspective of someone like “Esther” at Beyond BT, but I personally would hate to see someone who is more of a moderate be vilified and maligned. Based on some of the more vocal and vehemently opinionated comments I’ve read on the […]

The 7 Minute Solution

In the moments that we aspire to take our davening seriously, we are often confronted with the fact that davening with a minyan requires compromises as to the speed of the davening. What is perplexing is that the davening seems to speed up in the wrong places. Brachos are said at a relatively slow pace, […]


Aish has a new video on their site called Blueprint which shows various interesting people extolling the virtues of learning Torah. Give it a look and perhaps email the link to someone who might find it of interest. While you’re there, you might want to take a look at this video which humorously captures our […]

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