Beyond BT

Spiritual Growth for Jews

Bris Info for Baby Boy Ecker

Mazal Tov to Beyond BT contributor Aryeh Leib Ecker and his wife Anna on the birth of a boy today. The Shalom Zachor will be held in Rabbi Savitsky’s shul in KGH after 9:30 PM. Aryeh Leib invites everybody to the bris this Thursday at Machzikel Hadas (Rabbi Savitsky’s shul) 147-30 73rd Ave. Davening will […]

More Tough Questions from Family: Thoughts or Actions

Last year I wrote a post on a question my mother asked me on shomer negia and why some Orthodox Jews hold to these laws more strictly than others. This post generated some really good discussion and I’m hoping that this next post will do the same. The question I am about to pose came […]

Thinking of relocating? – Emerging Jewish Communities Event on April 6

Observing that picking a new community comes up often on Beyond BT, Charnie emailed us this upcoming OU event. Thinking of relocating? Looking for an affordable Jewish community? On Sunday, April 6, 2008, at New York’s Grand Hyatt Hotel, 12-6 pm, the OU will showcase fourteen growing Jewish communities from around North America where you […]

Preparing for an Emunah Enhancing Pesach

Preparing for Pesach goes beyond ridding our homes of Chometz. Our seforim teach that the opportunities for spiritual growth on Pesach are huge, but we need to prepare ourselves for that opportunity. The principles of Jewish Belief broadly fall into three categories: belief in Hashem, belief in a G-d given Torah and belief in reward […]

A Role Model to Emulate

I work at a Jewish newspaper, the Texas Jewish Post, and although it has articles and ads from every stream of Jewish life, it runs a weekly column by the dean of DATA (Dallas Area Torah Association), the “black-hat” Kollel that brought me back to Yiddishkeit again. Rabbi Yerachmiel Fried is a model for me […]

Fitting Chassidus into a BT’s Life

Dear Beyond BT Like many BTs, I was mekareved (brought to Torah observance) by a Yeshivish oriented institution. In my explorations on the Internet the past few years I have found many sites with a Chassidic flavor in which the authors are constantly working on themselves and their relationship with Hashem. I find this extremely […]

Dealing With Insensitivity

By Leah Anderson Recently, there was an interesting letter to the editor in the Yated (newspaper I get weekly). The woman (a BT) went to a wedding and someone at her table mentioned that she could tell a mile away that she is a BT, even though she has been frum for 15 years. The […]

More Proof That the Jews Run the World

It’s an oft repeated canard of blatant anti-semites that “Jews own the banks and run the economy”. If this is true, we’re having a bad week, guys. While no right thinking individual places any credence in such age-old hate, sometimes, the way things happen, even a non-believer might start to think that, even if the […]

Purim and Science

There are those who have tried to combine Torah and Science, with varying degrees of success. Here is my humble contribution to the literature. There is something called the “observer effect” which has often been connected, maybe inaccurately, with the uncertainty principle of quantum mechanics. Background on this effect is found here, for example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Observer_effect […]

Is Learning Yeshivish Important?

Although, I have been a BT for nearly 20 years, there are still times that I feel that I don’t fit in. I can usually handle that but often wonder if my kids suffer because of it. This shabbos, my oldest son asked me if I would be willing to take a course at the […]

The Jerry Seinfeld Method Of Spiritual Growth

Over and over again we hear that the best way to make longterm spiritual improvements is through slow and steady work towards our goal. How many times have any of us been told that the surefire way to a BT backslide is to take on too much too fast. Recently, on a personal productivity blog, […]

Purim, the BT and Unity

Originally posted on March 1, 2007. We haven’t had many Purim posts on Beyond BT, so if you have something to contribute, please send it in so we can share it with the Beyond BT community. I still remember my first Purim as a BT. I didn’t drink, reasoning that I didn’t come to Torah […]

The FFB’s Guide to Being a BT

Originally Posted on A Simple Jew Often, one will see Baalei Teshuva (BT) performing mitzvos with much zeal and alacrity, and they actually seem to be really enjoying it. Many who are frum-from-birth (FFB) will be envious of this and, unfortunately, some fools will snicker and make some derogatory statement about BTs, as if it’s […]

Mazal Tov to Menachem and Randi Lipkin on the Birth of a Grandson

Mazal Tov to Beyond BT contributor Menachem Lipkin and his wife Randi on the birth of a boy to their children Etana and Zev. Here’s the message from Menachem: Etana and Zev had a boy today at 12:25 pm in Jerusalem. Mom and baby are doing great. Baby weighed in at 3.25 kilo.

Bronx Boy Takes His Talents to the Holy Land

While most of his classmates in the graduating class of 1986 headed west, south and north to Ivy League universities throughout the USA, Rabbi Daniel Travis traveled East to the land of Israel to explore his heritage and eventually built his life and his family there. After a number of years of graduate and postgraduate […]

The Invisible Curtain

“I just can’t understand it!’ my father said as he shook his handsome round face back and forth in bewilderment. He was in his mid 50’s and his luxurious full head of hair had been transformed from jet lack to distinguished salt and pepper. “We sent you to Temple Emanuel Hebrew school every Tuesday, Thursday, […]

Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein – Scholar in Residence in KGH this Shabbos

Just a reminder that the accomplished talmid chachim and co-founder of the popular Cross-Currents web site, Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein will be the Scholar in Residence at Congregation Ahavas Yisroel 147-02 73rd Avenue in Kew Gardens Hills this Shabbos, Parshas P’kudei, March 7th-8th. Rabbi Alderstein will be speaking three times and we invite everybody to please […]

The Teshuva Journey: A Shabbat With Springsteen

When a person accepts upon himself a particular religious commitment, for example to observe Shabbat or eat only Kosher food, Hashem may send him a test or two to measure his level of dedication. Although not apparent at first glance, the tests that Hashem sends are always for our own benefit. G-d only gives us […]

Nullified by the Majority

Those who know me will not be surprised to learn that on my birthday, there is widespread celebration, no tachanun is recited, and a lot of normally level-headed people get seriously intoxicated with joy — because my birthday is on Shushan Purim. But this year’s Shushan Purim will be more significant for me, because it […]

Concerts, Intellectual Understanding and Rabbinic Authority

Dear Mark/David: As many in the frum world are aware, there was a commotion recently over a ban issued by our Gedolim concerning attending concerts in general, and an upcoming event in particular. I have multiple reactions to this news, some of it sorrowful as one target of the ban (Lipa Schmeltzer) has provided me […]

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