Beyond BT

Spiritual Growth for Jews

Bilvavi Mishkan Evneh Author Us Tour

Rav Itamar Shwarz, the author of the Bilvavi Mishkan Evneh seforim will be in the United States for a speaking tour. Dixie Yid has the complete schedule here.

Offering Up Our Egos on the Altar of Elul

I was recently reminded of an incident that happened nearly 20 years ago. In the English-speaking beis midrash where I learned, smoking was strictly forbidden. The Israelis who davened with us respected the rule even with, according to their cultural predisposition, they couldn’t quite understand it. On one occasion, a young Israeli new the community […]

The Other Type of Assimilation

Several months ago I joined an online “social-networking site”. For a while it served as a great way to reconnect with old friends that I hadn’t contacted in years. In fact, may of them were involved in NCSY when I was becoming frum and many others were participants in NCSY when I was working for […]

Sometimes I Hate Being a Baalas Teshuva

Hi, I am very upset right now with being a Baalas Teshuva. I have had it with having no frum relatives who understand what planet I fell off of. My siblings have married goyim, so that curtails a lot of family functions where my siblings children are coming with their goyish boyfriends all over them. […]

What Do We Do with Our “Baggage”?

Blast from the past, first published on Dec 31, 2005 Rabbi Shmuel Simenowitz Firstly, I’d like to thank Beyond BT for inviting me to guest blog. It’s truly an honor and a privilege to share some of my own experiences with my peers. It is also an auspicious time to blog – I’m writing this […]

Dear God, I’m Mad as Hell

Is it permissible to be angry with God? I asked this question in a recent survey and found many people believe it is. Some people answered that it is permissible because it is part of our free will. This came as a surprise to me because we obviously do not share a clear definition of […]

Beyond The BBT/SEZ Shabbaton

The Shabbaton is over. It was great and we want to first thank everybody who participated. There’s a slight let down that invariably comes after being so involved in planning and executing an event like this. Rabbi Tatz teaches that happiness is a result of moving towards completion of something meaningful. The greatest joy is […]

The Shabbaton is Almost Here

It’s been a busy week here at Beyond BT and Serandez as we prepare for the Shabbaton. If you can’t make it for Shabbos, try to stop by for the Melava Malka. Here’s the schedule: All activities are at Congregation Ahavas Yisroel (CAY) Friday 7:05 – Mincha/Maariv 8:00 – Friday Night Meal ~3 People speaking […]

Giving and Unity

Every interaction with another person holds the potential for unity. How can that be? Let’s let the author of Bilvavi explain it: The power of giving can unite a person with all of creation. We may not, G-d forbid, unite with the evil manifestation of anything, but we can unite with the hidden good in […]

Encouraging Someone to Do More Mitzvos

Dear Beyond BT I’ve been learning over the phone with someone for over two years. He really enjoys the learning and our relationship is pretty good. Here are my questions: Should I encourage him to do other mitzvos? If so, which ones would you suggest? How would you bring up the subject? Thanks Daniel

Mazal Tov to Bob & Sharon Miller on the Engagement of their Son

Mazal Tov to Bob & Sharon Miller on the engagement of their son Dovid to Yael Klagsbrun of Greater Passaic. Dovid has been learning at Beth Medrash Govoha in Lakewood. Bob notes: At Yael’s home, I also met the famed lawyer Ron Coleman, as proven by the attached photo he took with a small electronic […]

Rabbi Goldson’s Torah Ideals for Tisha B’Av

The insightful Rabbi Yonason Goldson has started his own blog named Torah Ideals. It’s already packed with great articles including Rabbi Goldson’s own odyssey of becoming a BT. For Tisha B’Av, Rabbi Goldson has penned a piece called Truth and Faithfulness. Here’s an excerpt: When we become absorbed in our own agendas, our own projects, […]

Second Class: Not Just BTs

By Ezzie Goldish (Originally published on Serandez) Ed. note: Part of why this post has taken three days (!) to write is that there’s both so much to say and so little to say at the same time. When it comes down to it, most people know how to act, are aware that they’re sometimes […]

Kiruv is Kindness

I’ve taken a number of Kiruv Training Classes the past few years and one major benefit is the resulting awareness of all the kindness opportunities around us. Kiruv can be many things, teaching Torah, serving Hashem, saving souls, but I think at its root that Kiruv is kindness. In Pirkei Avos it’s taught “Hillel said, […]

When is a Cell Phone Age Appropriate?

My 12 year old daughter has been asking us for a cell phone because everyone else has one. She also insists that she needs text messaging. I was wondering how the Beyond BT community has dealt with this issue. Are the rules the same for boys because my 10 year old will be entering this […]

We Are Here

We talk about doing mitzvos lishmo and lo lishmo. But what do we say about mitzvos done out of spite? In my mind I have seriously considered the possibility that even if there were no Discovery Seminar, no Jerusalem Fellowships, no Partners in Torah, no spoon-fed Judaism for restless quasi-intellectual Jewish Ivy Leaguers – that […]

FFB Communal Leader Makes it Clear to BTs – “We Don’t Like You”

NJOP has posted Hillel Gross’ Address at the 10th Anniversary of the Lincoln Square Synagogue Beginners Service on Google Video. It is probably the best FFB address to BTs in Jewish history. Please visit the NJOP page for more details about this historic event and please view the video below.

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