Beyond BT

Spiritual Growth for Jews

Sefiras Ha’Omer: the BT Nemesis?

YY Bar-Chaiim The typical Baal Teshuva is driven by a burning search for meaning. This often finds satisfaction within the plethora of thrilling spiritual experiences to be discovered within Torah life. But what happens when such a BT encounters one of those supremely thrilless rituals like Omer Counting? Granted, in some communities there are spiritually […]

What Questions And Issues Bother(ed) You or Your Acquaintances?

Rabbi Dovid Orlofsky spoke in Kew Gardens Hills on Tuesday on “Uniting the Jewish People – Answering Difficult Questions”. It was an informative and entertaining shiur and through the wonders of TorahAnyTime.Com you can view it here. As Baalei Teshuva we’ve all had our share of questions and issues that have bothered us and our […]

A Lesson From my Sister

   She let me know during our Friday afternoon Gut shabbos phone call, the call that I had made to show what a nice sister I was and to ask about the plans were coming along for our Dad’s yahrzeit commemoration.    “ Yitz and I are coming round to the opinion that women shouldn’t be at […]

Introducing People to the Blueprint

As Baalei Teshuva, we know the difference Torah has made in our lives. Torah has taught us that our outlook must include concern for our fellow Jews. What better way to help our fellow Jews than to bring them a little closer to Hashem and His Torah. —————— On Tuesday 5/27 at 8:00 pm, Rabbi […]

Teshuva – The Challenge of Recreating Oneself

By Rabbi Dovid Gottleib Teshuva is the greatest creative challenge a person will ever face: the challenge of recreating oneself. A person’s whole past – talents, training, experience, successes and failures – provides the materials from which his new identity will be forged. He does not turn his back on his past, but organizes it […]

Report from the Torah Umesorah Convention – Raising Maaminim in a Disbelieving World

I had the good fortune to attend the 52nd Annual Torah Umesorah Convention this past Shabbos. I was attending as an exhibitor for my company InfoGrasp, which sells Web-based Software for Schools, Shuls and Non Profits to manage their financials, academics and operations. (InfoGrasp and another venture named InfoSilk, which delivers Web Based reporting without […]

Inside and Out

Many of us struggle with the difference between our internal and external lives. Perhaps for baalei teshuva this struggle is harder; the “old us” is always running, somewhere, under the surface. But this is not a challenge unique to BT’s, our tradition assures us. The seder hatefilos (order of prayer) provides an example we may […]

Do You Ever Get The BT Yom Tov Blues?

As a BT, I often get depressed around the yomim tovim. It seems that everyone else has immediate and extended family to share the holidays with. It’s even harder when you are single and don’t even have a spouse. Shavuous is particularly hard since I stay up to learn and come home to an empty […]

When Your Choices Hit On All Four Cylinders

Once again, our esteemed BeyondBT hosts sent out a plea for posts, and sent out some suggested topics. Two of the topics recently hit home with me, so I’ll blend them a bit and see how it comes out. The topics were: “Kosher Entertainment, where to turn?” and “Am I really glad that I’m a […]

Pre-Shabbos Links

Just a few pre-Shabbos links for your consumption. Summer’s in the Air Link Rabbi Horowitz gives his answer on what to do with A Son Who Refuses to Go to Day Camp. Something to Say At the Table Link Steve Brizel offers his always comprehensive Parsha Roundup at Hirhurim. Blast From the Past Link In […]

Catching Bagels

It’s probably happened to most of us. You’re out somewhere, it could be at work, a museum, a park or anywhere else, and someone walks over and throws you a bagel. If you’re lucky it isn’t frozen. Well, I’m not really talking about that kind of a bagel. “Being Bageled” is a phrase that, while […]

What are the Greatest Threats to Torah Judaism?

Rabbi Horowitz recently requested input on What are the Greatest Threats to Yiddishkeit. Ezzie picked up on it here. Let’s get the BT’s perspective: What are the Greatest Threats to Torah Judaism?

What Do You Do On a Long Shabbos Afternoon “Out-Of-Town”?

I find that long Shabbos afternoons (over here, sunset can get as late as ~9 PM) present a type of programming problem; how can I seize the day and use the available time enjoyably for Jewishly meaningful activities? In our case, without young kids in the house, with extended families hundreds of miles away, and […]

Some Links

Rabbi Lazer Brody on Psalm 102: Observing Israeli Independance Day. Kiruv.com on Upcoming Kiruv Training Classes. Rabbi Chaim Morgernstern (at Dixie Yid) on Satisfaction from Child Raising and Housekeeping. A Simple Jew on Question & Answer With Rabbi Dovid Sears – The Spiritual Supermarket Mentality. Gil Student on Why be Jewish?.

Rebbetzin Tziporah Heller on Friendship, Parenting, Ayin Tova, Making Changes

Rebbetzin Tziporah Heller came to Kew Gardens Hills on May 6th and 7th and we (Mark and his wife) were priviledged to host her for part of her stay. She is one the most clear thinking people in the Orthodox world as well as a wonderful speaker and writer. Please download these mp3s and avail […]

An Amazing Opportunity…To Help Jews On Campus

By Ben Clayman A Little About Me: I am 20 years old, grew up in Youngstown, Ohio, and in the summer going into senior year of high school I went to Aish HaTorah quite randomly and came back frum. I now go back during my summer and winter breaks, by the way I am in […]

How to Develop Your Own Learning Program

Zev writes: I have struggled for years with my tremendous desire to grow in learning. I was very fortunate to learn in 2 Yeshivas. Although I gained much in learning skills, I have felt stunted in my growth because I could not learn for more years. I enjoy many areas of Torah learning, but I […]

Love, Awe & Rabbi Akiva’s Students

The time between Pesach and Shavuos is a mourning period partially for the reason given in Yevamos (62b): “It was said that Rabbi Akiva had 12,000 pairs of disciples from Gabbatha to Antipatris; and all of them died at the same time because they did not treat each other with respect.” One of the questions […]

Moreinu HoRav Henoch Leibowitz zt”l – Reflections From Outside the Inner Circle

By Yitzchok Adlerstein Reprinted With Permission – from Cross-Currents Funerary orators often begin their remarks by relating how they are at a loss for words to properly express their feelings. I don’t have that problem The thoughts and images cascade without end in reacting to the petirah of my rebbi, Hagaon Rav Alter Henoch Leibowitz, […]

In the Eye of the Beholder?

by Akiva of Mystical Paths Recently I had a humorous post up on my blog about an interesting morning at the (mens) mikvah. For those who don’t regularly utilize a mens mikvah, let me say that the conditions are (often) equivalent to a busy gym locker room. I was somewhat taken to task for putting […]

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