Beyond BT

Spiritual Growth for Jews

Seder Reflections: Where are you coming from?

Rabbi Mordechai Rhine – Torah Links of Cherry Hill The Pesach seder revolves around one simple phrase. “Start with the negative, and conclude with the positive.” The Talmud records two views as to how this should be done, both of which are implemented in our hagadah. One view focuses on physical salvation and says, […]

Bringing People Closer vs Opening Kiruv Files

There is a Mitzvah to bring people closer to Hashem whether they are observant or not. Many observant Jews feel that most if not all Jews would benefit greatly in this world and the next if they were Torah observant. On the other hand it seems unhealthy to view people as a target for your […]

Iggeres HaRamban in Memory of Rochel Bas Aryeh

The following entry is Zecher Nishmas (in memory of) Rochel Bas Aryeh. She was a friend of Beyond BT commentor Jaded Topaz (JT). JT relates that she was a very caring, thoughtful, altruistic, brilliant and modest person – and an awesome listener. Even when she was very sick she continued with the same level of […]

Sefirah – Teaching What Counts

First Published on April 24, 2006 Sefirah is viewed by the Sefer HaChinuch and many other Rishonim as a long Chol Hamoed between Pesach and Shavuous to get ourselves ready as a people and individually for the Kabalas HaTorah that occurs each year on Shavuous. It is interesting that the aveilus associated with the death […]

Chesed as a Source for Life

In my wife’s pre-school class last year there was an amazing girl, who happens to have Down Syndrome. This girl is currently in her third year in the pre-school. Each year she has a college-aged girl in class with her, as a ‘shadow’ to help her throughout the day. My wife told me that this […]

Rav Henoch Leibowitz, 1916–2008

By: Rabbi Yair Hoffman – 04/17/2008 Reprinted by permission from the Five Towns Jewish Times. Naflah ateres rosheinu. On Tuesday of this week, Klal Yisrael lost one of the last great rashei yeshiva and ba’alei mussar of the previous generation, Rav Alter Chanoch Henoch Leibowitz, zt’l. The loss is indescribable. Rav Leibowitz was the only […]

Pre-Pesach Potpourri of Posts

Over the last few years, we have had some interesting Pesach posts here on Beyond BT. In case you might have missed some, here are some highlights: Rabbi Rosenblum reminds us that everyone needs to pitch in when it comes to Pesach cleaning in Who’s Cleaning for Pesach? I wrote about how I came to […]

Passing It On When You Were Almost Passed Over

This post first appeared on A Simple Jew’s site Pesach definitely is special to me. It has always been kind of a “self-made Yuntif” for me. From the very earliest time that I was becoming religious, I was always in charge of kashering my parents house and leading the sedorim, and I did not have […]

Petira of Alter Chanoch Henoch Leibowitz ZT”L

We regret to inform you of the petira of Alter Chanoch Henoch Leibowitz ZT”L of Yeshivas Rabbeinu Yisrael Meir HaKohen, also known as Yeshivas Chofetz Chaim: Rabbinical Seminary of America (RSA), and often referred to as just Chofetz Chaim. The levaya will take place Wednesday at 1:30 PM at the Yeshiva in Kew Gardens Hills. […]

What’s Your Biggest Seder Issue?

The Seder is less than a week aways so we thought it is appropriate to ask What’s Your Biggest Seder Issue? If anybody has any solutions to some of the problems it would be greatly appreciated. 1) Not enough extended family 2) Hard to give the second half of the seder its due after the […]

How Will Freedom Look Tomorrow?

In 1648, the Cossack massacres in Poland led by Bogdan Chmielnicki plunged European Jewry into nearly a century of spiritual darkness. Peasant uprisings fomented against the Polish nobility, with the Jews caught in the middle, left at least 100,000 dead, and perhaps many times that number. Many Jews sought meaning within the senseless violence by […]

Halachos for Shabbos Erev Pesach 5768

By Rabbi Herschel Welcher When Erev Pesach occurs on Shabbos, it is necessary to observe a number of the Mitzvos in an unconventional manner. This letter as a guide to practical observance, based on zmanim for Queens, NY. 1. Bedikas Chometz should be conducted on Thursday evening, April 17. 2. The first Bittul Chometz should […]

A Premature Depth

By Yaakov Eric Ackland Imagine wanting to be a neurosurgeon and beginning by doing an extended and intensive study of the hypothalamus alone, rather than first studying general anatomy and the principles of medicine, and instead of even studying the general schema of the brain itself. Would you buy a lobotomy, let alone a sophisticated […]

Should We Hide or Expose Our Imperfections?

When trying to show the beauty of Torah, we are faced with a dilemma: should we reveal or hide the imperfections of the Torah Observant community? From our feedback here at Beyond BT, we know that many people feel we should hide the imperfections. They tell us quite clearly that they would never send a […]

Appreciating the Torah’s Separation of the Sexes

This week I had what I like to call a “Mi Kiamcho Yisroel Moment.” It came upon me as I was reading through a new book called “The Girls Who Went Away.” As you probably already guessed this book is no sefer. Its not put out by Artscroll or Feldheim. In fact it’s the kind […]

Pesach In A New Light

This week’s parsha, Tazria discusses a mother giving birth. There is a great irony in the birth of a child. The mother is one with the embryo before birth. Physically, a closer bond could never be attained between two. However, at birth, when the infant emerges and mother and child are physically separated, the love […]

Of Folk, Faith and Famous Father-in-Law

This interview originally appeared in the Forward ( and is reprinted with permission. By Rebecca Spence Tue. Mar 11, 2008 Peter Himmelman is an eclectic musician who has earned critical accolades for everything from his television show scores to his folk-rock albums. His work scoring the TV series “Judging Amy” garnered him an Emmy nomination […]

In Light Of Klal Yisroels Current Situation: Kol Koreh From The Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah of America

In Light Of Klal Yisroels Current Situation: Kol Koreh From The Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah of America We are in the wake of a terrible destruction, Jewish blood spilled like water in the Holy Land, of precious sons of Zion who fell in sanctification of Hashem’s name in their Beis Medrash – nations have entered the […]

What Were the More Difficult Mitzvos For You to Take On?

Everybody has a unique path in Torah Observance with their own victories and challenges. It’s often helpful to see what other peoples challenges were. So tell us in the comments: What were the more difficult Mitzvos for you to take on? What made it difficult? What were the keys to success? Here are some Mitzvos […]

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