Beyond BT

Spiritual Growth for Jews

How Do We Handle This?

In the past, we’ve had some discussions here about former-BT bloggers and we’ve often discussed how to deal with “skeptics”. Now, the issue has taken an unexpected turn, we are being addressed by a stand-alone-blog, Unmasking Beyond Teshuva, aimed directly at us. We have considered writing a polite email to the bloggers. Or maybe we […]

Inspiration in Everyday Life

When I was a Yeshivah student, one of the rabbis brought us to a meeting with Rav Shlomo Wolbe. A question was raised in that meeting by a married student, which I didn’t really grasp. “How can someone deal with the spiritual letdown of being involved in mundane affairs? After a day learning in Kollel, […]

How Does One Determine Appropriate Parental Control?

Many BTs were brought up in an environment of very permissive parenting and have witnessed the perils of such an approach. In the Torah world, there are clearer distinctions between proper and improper conduct and much closer guidance between parent and child. However this can lead to an over-exertion of control and BTs may be […]

Escaping the Past

This post is for baal teshuvahs and/or those who had a colorful past before discovering the Torah way of life, or even other spiritual paths for my non-Jewish friends. It’s pretty wild how news regarding our “past lives” (meaning how we used to live our current lives) can affect us in the present. More importantly, […]


By “Reuven” About a month ago I posted The Parental Shidduch Crisis. It was a candid sharing of the crisis I was going through as we searched for our eldest son’s soul mate. The commenters, by and large, were very sympathetic and encouraging. Many also appreciated my insights into this monstrous obstacle for those not […]

Ultra Orthodoxy: Not So Inclusive Just Yet

by Akiva of Mystical Paths In “Can Beyond BT Be More Inclusive” (here), Alan asks an interesting question. He says, “Beyond BT has established its place in the right wing of the Orthodox spectrum” and asks “Can Beyond BT make room for a Left Wing Modern Orthodox BT like myself?” While I won’t try to […]

And so it begins…

My oldest daughter, turns 5 this summer. That means it’s time to start kindergarten. Before we were married, my wife and I had discussed schooling. I was raised in public schools and thought they were excellent. She was raised in private schools, and the only thing she had heard about public schools were all the […]

Can Beyond BT Be More Inclusive?

Dear Beyond BT Although I don’t like labels (who does?), for the purpose of this post, I would describe myself as Left Wing Modern Orthodox. That means that I watch TV, listen to secular music and have no objection to teenage boys and girls socializing with each other, among other things. I have made great […]

Twice Adar – Understanding the Halachos of Adar Rishon and Adar Sheini

Rabbi Daniel Travis Kollel Torah Chaim Rising to the Occasion “When Adar arrives we increase our level of happiness” ( Taanis 29a). All year long Jews strive to feel the tremendous sense of joy that should accompany our service of G-d. As we draw closer to Purim, we are instructed to raise our spirits to […]

Bilvavi – Re-evaluating our Judaism

“The beginning of a person’s task is to clarify for himself what the purpose of his life is.” – opening line of Bilvavi Mishkan Evneh (A Sanctuary in my Heart) It sounds a lot like the opening of Mesillas Yesharim-(the Path of the Just), but Bilvavi changes our understanding of Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzato’s mussar […]

We Need You!

In the over 2 years since we’ve started Beyond BT we’ve had hundreds of great posts, thousands of great comments and hundreds of thousands of reads. We want to take this opportunity to thank everybody who visits these pages for helping making this project a success. One of the greatest successes is found in the […]

The Whole World In His Hands

A blast from the past. Originally posted January 24, 2006 The most empowering moment of my life was when I learned that the torah was written by G-d. Immediately, I understood that my actions affected the entire universe. If I did a mitzvah I brought the world that much closer to the coming of Moshiach, […]

Moshe the First BT

By Yaakov Eric Ackland Like most BT’s, Moshe is born a stranger in a strange land. He’s born a Jew in a powerful non-Jewish culture, and though he has the love of his family, he’s from a very early age set adrift downstream in the dominant culture with his parents’ faint hope for his survival […]

More Information Please

By Rabbi Jonathan Rosenblum After granting us permission to reprint this article on Beyond BT, Rabbi Rosenblum wished to add the following notes: I’m highly skeptical that ba’alei teshuva kids constitute anything like a majority. I think Kiryat Sefer is a special case. Lakewood and Gateshead have lots of drop-outs and few BTs. My criticism […]

Wrestling with Negativity

The Torah was given to a nation of baalei teshuva. Egypt is a combination of two words. maitzar / constriction and yam which has a numerical value of 50. The immorality of Egypt squeezed the Jewish nation to (but not including) the 50th level of impurity, the most dire of all levels. However, during the […]

Why People Leave Torah Observance

Here are some different thoughts in the comments from this recent thread Ora: 1) It is easier to be secular than to be frum. 2) The values of outside society tend to contradict a lot of things found in Torah. Many Jews I know who became less religious/irreligious had problems with the prohibition on intermarriage, […]

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