Beyond BT

Spiritual Growth for Jews

Build New Bridges on Shabbos Nachamu

The past two weeks have been active ones here on BBT including some spirited discussions about numerous important issues. The issues that have been drawing the most attention and comments seem to involve inclusiveness. We here at BBT are always looking for opportunities to foster constructive dialogue on important issues and to build more bridges. […]

Spice of Life

Salty. Bitter. Sweet. Sour. These are the tastes traditionally understood to describe the flavor receptors of the tongue and, consequently, the available range of culinary experience. However, according to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, there is one more. The fifth taste. Umami. Even if the name is strange, the savory character of […]

How Can We Be Non Judgmental Towards Non Observant Jews?

We all know the pain of being judged and treated as an inferior. Non observant Jews often feel that observant Jews are judging them because they don’t keep the mitzvos. In fact Aish HaTorah says this is one of the four most common reasons that people don’t seek to learn more about Torah Judaism. Aish […]

Healing the Rift within Orthodoxy

By Michael Freund (Reprinted with Permission. First Published in the Jerusalem Post here.) It’s summer time, and Tisha Be’av, when Jews mourn the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, is less than three weeks away. Normally during this period, religious Jews tend to focus on themes relating to the need for greater Jewish unity, in […]

Advice on How to Daven When You Don’t Know Hebrew

Rabbi Chaim Brovender explains how to daven if you don’t know Hebrew. Rabbi Chaim Brovender is the Rosh Yeshiva of WebYeshiva.  The above video is part of his daily Halacha Yomit series which is available on The WebYeshiva Blog.

The Most Important Sefer to Learn

by Rabbi Boruch Leff (Reprinted from Yated Ne’eman 06.20.2008) This column has always been devoted to how we can maintain growth in our avodas Hashem, even as adults. We mentioned in our very first column that the Ribbono Shel Olam wants us to be people who are constantly growing, always raising the bar of our […]

The Teshuva Journey: Just One Marble

If you want to know how long Mira Bergen has been keeping Shabbat, just ask to see her marble collection. On New Year’s Eve in 1999 Mira was at a crossroads. She had been coming to the local Orthodox community for Shabbat on and off for over 10 years and loved it. She especially cherished […]

Living with Failure

A few weeks after moving to the Bayit Vegan neighborhood of Jerusalem, a neighbor invited me to his home, and showing me his recently re-furbished dining room with its the long oak wood table, declared ‘the shabbos table is the center-piece of family education.’ Funny, I remember thinking to myself, our shabbos table is often […]

Appreciating Our Differences Together

In Michtav M’Eliyahu (Strive for Truth) in the essay on Why The Righteous Suffer, Rabbi Dessler points out that Hashem in His kindness gives us the capability to achieve the ultimate heights of awareness and experience the greatest degree of happiness possible for a created being. Not only that, but He enabled us to experience […]

Crafting a New Nomenclature

Rabbi Dovid Schwartz Jewish Heritage Center Dedication- I dedicate this post to the URL of this blogsite- BeyondBT. Most simply deconstructed as Beyond Ba’al T’shuva. The implied purpose being to transcend the societal constraints and the sometimes suffocating self-perceptions evoked by the term “Ba’al T’shuva”. In a word… let’s get past it. Caveat- This post […]

Life Cycle Events: The Bar Mitzvah

The Bar Mitzvah is a very exciting time. However there are a lot of details. Can the Beyond BT crowd share some insight on the event and the following questions: 1) What are the factors in determining how much or little pressure to put on the Bar Mitzvah boy in terms of leining (Torah and/or […]

No Fasting This 17th of Tammuz & Tisha B’Av

Riding the wave of recent holydays has been a rush. In dizzying succession there’s being fueled by Pesach to relive the exodus from Egypt, gaining freedom from self-limitations, the journey of self-improvement through “Sefiras HaOmer”, breaking the barrier between Heaven and Earth with the Revelation at Sinai, receiving the Torah joyously anew and the humbling […]

Beyond BT/SerandEz Shabbaton

You are cordially invited to the Beyond BT/SerandEz Shabbaton in Kew Gardens Hills on Shabbos Nachamu, August 15-16, 2008. Please join us for a full Shabbos program including relaxed, catered meals and personal thoughts on the themes of Integration, Inspiration and Individuality. There will also be a melave malka with the BBT Jam Band (in […]

Some Great Free Torah Audio & Video Sites

Naaleh.Com Naaleh.com will be offering a series of beginner level classes, called Fundamentals of Judaism. This is a video course focusing on practical Halacha. Now, a newcomer to Jewish observance will have the ability to learn the basic practices of an observant Jew via our new course, “Practical Judaism”. The course will cover all daily […]

Chumras in Perspective

A couple of weeks ago in my Gemorah shiur we got into an aside about Chumras. The Rabbe mentioned that he had once been approached by a gentleman who was asking for Tzedeka to help him buy a set of Tefillin for his grandson. As the discussion unfolded it turned out that this grandfather was […]

Teshuva After Marriage

If you were already married when you made teshuva, did you decide to have another wedding that complied with halacha (i.e. an Orthodox wedding)? Also, did you or your wife wait until having an Orthodox wedding to observe taharas hamishpacha and cover your hair?

Conquering Bad Religious Experiences

By Yakov Lowinger There has been some discussion regarding the reversion of some from religious observance due to a “bad religious experience” (BRE), which seems to cause the sufferer to swear off involvement in organized religion much like a bad omelet will repel one from associating with eggs in a pan for a good while. […]

You’re Invited

Beyond BT Contributor R’ YY Bar-Chaim invites all BBTers who live in or are visitng Yerushalayim to join in the simcha of his son’s wedding.You could fly in too, if you wish. The chasuna will take place, iy”h, this Wednesday at the Prima Palace Hotel,formely called “Mercaz”, Rechov Pinnes 2, Kabbalas Ponim from 9:15 pm. […]

A Call to Freedom

A few years ago, I received this anonymous email outlining the fate of the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence: Five signers were captured by the British as traitors, and tortured before they died. Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned. Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army; another had two […]

Stained Holiness – An Educational Issue

By R’ YY Bar-Chaim “And they should make for them(selves) fringes On the corners of their garments, Throughout their generations… And you shall see it And you shall remember all the Mitzvos of G-d and do them” ~Num. 15 ~ My youngest recently had his Bar-Mitzvah and was proud to mark the occasion, among other […]

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