Beyond BT

Spiritual Growth for Jews

L’Shana Tova to All

We want to wish everybody who writes, comments or reads Beyond BT, a L’Shana Tova, a good year. As BT’s we know that even the greeting on Rosh Hoshana can be a challenge. The Art Scroll Machzor lists 4 different depending on whether your greeting a man, woman, men or women and then they have […]

Shame on Me – An Approach to Approaching Teshuvah

Shlomo HaMelekh, the wisest of all men, tells us: Do not rebuke a scoffer, lest he hate you; rebuke a wise man, and he will love you. The surface level interpretation of this is simple. A scoffer doesn’t want to hear rebuke and, so, when you rebuke him, he will hate you. A wise person, […]

Transitioning to Shabbos

Jacob Da Jew recently wrote a post about how his brother-in-law recently joined the workforce, and now truly appreciates the “rest” you take on Shabbos. For me, it was the opposite. I wasn’t Shabbos observant until about 2-3 years ago (I never did mark down the exact day I started). Before that, I couldn’t figure […]

Can a BT Earn the Right to Coast?

Hi I’m frum for about 16 years and I have a close friend who’s been frum for about the same amount of time. We’re both married with families. My friend worked very hard on his Yiddishkeit for many years, but in the last 2 years he has noticeably declined in devotion to his learning and […]

Announcing the Engagement of Rachel Schallheim to Yanir Edelstein

Shalom! We are pleased to announce the engagement of our daughter Rachel to Yanir Edelstein of Hadera, a talmid in Yeshivat Kiryat Malachi. The wedding will be in Yerushalayim at the L’Chaim Hall in Givat Shaul on Monday night, Nov. 24. We’d love to meet some of the wonderful people from this site in person. […]

Ten Ways To Help Your Children Have A More Meaningful Yomim Noraim

Reprinted with permission of Priority-One . 1) Explain to your children how Hashem actively seeks week to forgive, and will forgive them – even if the best they can do is want to do Teshuva. 2) Remind them that Yiddishkeit is not all-or-nothing – that their Aveiros do not invalidate their Mitzvos or diminish Hashem’s […]

This is Our 1000th Post – What Changes Are Needed to Make it to 2000?

We started in December 2005 and today is our 1000th post. We want to thank all our contributors, commentors and readers for bringing us to this point. What do we need to do to continue our forward progress? – Widen the discussion to include more non-BT related topics. – Be more provocative. – Focus more […]

Taking the Next Step in Teshuva

By Micheal Sedley Elul is upon us and collectively the Observant community is getting into Tshuva Mode. Beyond BT poses an interesting question which I think applies to many people who are Ba’al Tshuva, or have moved in the level of observance over a period of years: When I first became a BT, Teshuva was […]

Please Consider a Donation to Yeshiva Darche Noam

9/11/08 11 Elul 5768 September 11, 2008 Dear Readers: I respectfully ask you to kindly consider making a charitable contribution to Yeshiva Darchei Noam, a school that I founded 11 years ago and have served as Dean since, in order to help our devoted faculty members receive the outstanding portion of their summer payroll. In […]

Please Pray or Say Tehillim for the Residents of Houston

It would be a good idea for other Jews to pray today for the well-being of the Jews in and near Houston, in view of the imminent hurricane threat.

Rabbi Goldwasser in KGH on Teshuva: The Power To Overcome Challenges 9-13-2008 at 9:30 PM

Kinus Teshuva Featuring the Renowned Speaker Rabbi Dovid Goldwasser shlita Teshuva: The Power To Overcome Challenges Followed by a Fleishig Melava Malka Benefiting Kollel Toras Chaim 13 Elul, September 13, 2008 9:30 PM Motzei Shabbos – Ki Tetze Khal Nachalas Yitzchak Rabbi Oelbaum’s Shul 141-39 73rd Ave., Kew Gardens Hills

Healing a Wounded Covenant – Children of Holocaust Survivors Reclaim their Heritage

By Bayla Sheva Brenner Children born in the post-Holocaust era of the 1940s, 50s and 60s grew up knowing their parents had gone through hell on earth. The ghosts of murdered grandparents, aunts, uncles and siblings loomed large in their homes by their very absence. Sounds like an atmosphere ripe for major crises in faith. […]


By “From Within” I am going to live forever. No one told me this. In fact, there have been enough hints dropped, here and there, over the years, to make me believe that not everyone thinks so. But I know that other people believe they will live forever, too. They say they don’t – sometimes […]

How Would You Navigate this Family Kiruv Situation

Hi guys, I was wondering if any BBT readers have advice about what I should do regarding my 13 year old cousin. She has made quite a few steps towards becoming frum, and now her mother (my aunt) is sabotaging her. The other day, my aunt forced her to try on and purchase a pair […]

A ‘Special Conversation': Freud, the Maharal of Prague and Shabbos

Birthright was in Bayit Vegan a number of weeks ago. We were lucky to have two guests for lunch who–like most of the participants–had never been to Israel. As we were finishing our meal, Steve (one of the guests) asked ‘so what are you guys going to do for the rest of the day?’ I […]

Practical Guide to Teshuvah

In the Practical Guide to Teshuva, Rabbi S. Wagschal writes: The process of teshuvah which begins on Rosh Chodesh Elul and continues until Yom Kippur, may be successfully achieved if it is performed in a gradual manner. One should strengthen his tefillah by becoming more punctilious about the times of the tefillah. In addition one […]

Essential Kiruv Ingredients – Learning from Those You Teach

By Dan Illouz Once, Rav Tzvi Yehudah Kook sent two of his students to a kibbutz. The Kibbutz was having educational problems and wanted to bring people from all different parts of the Israeli Society in order to discover how to fix the problem, so they brought two religious people. As the night went on, […]

Fear of Being a Phony

The other day my mom and I were talking about what personal failures we were most afraid of committing. I told her the thing that worried me the most was that I would turn out to be a fake. That at the end of my life, many people would think I was an observant Jew, […]

How Does Teshuva Change for the BT?

When I first became a BT, Teshuva was so easy. Over the course of 2 years, I was keeping Shabbos, Kosher, Davening regularly and performing all the seasonal mitzvos. After 8 years it has become a lot harder to do Teshuva, even at this time of year. When I look over the last year, the […]

Telephone Temptation

Every Jew has a different road back to Orthodoxy and unique events which inspire his journey. For Mark Schwartz*, his journey towards becoming observant was marked by two ironic events – a spiritually uplifting experience which he barely appreciated and a religious test which he failed. Only when he later appreciated the significance of the […]

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