Beyond BT

Spiritual Growth for Jews

Why the Mixed Reviews on Noach?

I would like to note that Rabbi Welcher said in the name of Rabbi Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg of Eretz Yisroel that you can fulfill you obligation of twice mikra and one targum by reading an Art Scroll or any other Chazal based translation. You still have to do the two mikras (readings) in hebrew. This […]

A Friend of the Devil is a Friend of Mine…(not for Halloween)

I don’t personally celebrate Halloween because it has pagan roots, but as long as the dark forces are on people’s minds, I offer this clarity for you on the topic of Satan. Sympathy for the Devil One of the top ten common misconceptions about religion and spirituality is the concept of the Devil. Who is […]

Parenting by Choice – the Antidote to Today’s Bombastic Culture

Parenting by Choice – the Antidote to Today’s Bombastic Culture If Jewish identity, pride and general “mentchlekeit, are of value to you and are goals for what you wish to instill in your children – you have more reason to worry than ever. For parents, teachers and Rabbis everywhere – this is the buzz. In […]

I’m Having Trouble Shedding My Democratic Values

Like many Baalei Teshuva I was raised in a community that was mostly Democrat and now find myself in a mostly Republican voting Orthodox community. Although I have voted Republican in some previous Presidential elections, I still believe in many of the values and ideas that the Democrats represent. Compassion for the poor and needy, […]

My Uterus is None of Your Business

By Aliza Hausman There is too much pressure on our women to get pregnant. ‘So, are you pregnant?” a friend asked, bouncing over to me enthusiastically. I rolled my eyes and exhaled. “What? What did I say?” Motherhood is hard. And I don’t just mean raising the babies. I mean having them. I mean trying […]

Meaning and Purpose: A Good Beginning

(B’reishis) In the beginning of G-d having created the heavens and the earth- (Breishis 1:1) (Reishis) The beginning of wisdom is fear of HASHEM! (Tehillim 110:11) We know the Torah is not a book of cosmology for the curious but rather a book of instruction. What can we learn from the Torah’s first words? The […]

Transitioning to Torah and Tefillah

The Yomim Noraim period has ended and what a whirlwind it was. From Rosh Hoshana through Yom Kippur the call of the hour was intensified Tefillah. From there we transition to a focus on the mitzvah performance of Sukkah and the four species and the added joy and festive meals of the Yom Tovim. Now […]

Shemini Atzeres/Simchas Torah Links

Rabbi Michael Rosensweig on Vehayita Ach Sameach: The Joy of Shemini Azeret Shemini Azeret is the appropriate culmination to Sukkot precisely because it is finally time to relinquish the lulav and sukah and to give full concentration to the spiritual staples of Talmud torah and tefilah. Thus, this day is both an indispensable component of […]

The Sukkah of the World

By Rabbi Yonason Goldson Torah Ideals – Seeking Direction in a Misdirected Worlds A famous story, probably apocryphal but possibly true, recounts the origins of a shul in Poland named for its founder, Reb Itzele of Cracow. Reb Itzele was a poor peasant who dreamed recurrently of a great fortune that lay buried beneath a […]

The Yom Kippur Fast, Oh, How I Love You (Yeah, right)

When it comes to the Yom Kippur fast, I have experienced three basic emotions throughout my 48 years). The first was apathy. In our home growing up, we went to synagogue two days a year, Yom Kippur being one of them. And then we came home and had lunch. I didn’t fast for the first […]

OJ and Me

In the Fall of 1995, I was employed at a small civil defense law firm on Wall Street. It was Aseres Yemei Teshuvah and OJ Simpson was on trial for the murder of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend, Ronald Goldman. On October 3rd, the news broke that the jury had reached its […]

Question of the Week: How Do You Maximize Your Yom Kippur?

Yom Kippur is the most awesome and powerful day of the year. We’ve identified four approaches to maximizing the potential of the day. 1) Judgment Sealed Our judgment is sealed on Yom Kippur and the circumstances of the upcoming year will be determined. 2) Day of Kapora The blemishes that result from our transgressing negative […]

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