Beyond BT

Spiritual Growth for Jews

What is Torah Judaism (in 500 words or less) – #2?

Torah Judaism is actually an ideal that was never really fulfilled by the Jewish people themselves. Ever. But first, what is Torah? The word itself comes from hora’ah–teaching, and it means just that: a code of conduct which applies to every aspect of life. As the verse says, “in all your ways know Him (G-d).” […]

E Unibus Plurum

The casual observer of the current presidential polling data requires little expertise to identify a trend stretching back over the last two presidential elections. The population of the United States has been, and continues to be, split almost 50-50 in their support for a national leader. At the same time, however, the division of country […]

What Does “Observant” Really Mean?

What does “observant” really mean? Is somebody who is Shomer Shabbos but transgresses some other Torah law, observant? Should we judge Judaism by the Jews? Why or why not?

The Unsung Victories of the Ba’al Teshuva

David on the Lake The guest speaker was the world famous Ba’al Teshuvah Moshe (Mark) Wahrburg. Moshe’s story was so inspiring it never failed to fill halls and shuls with enthralled audiences. He had reached the pinnacle of fame and success in Hollywood and lived a life of debauchery and excess. And then he threw […]

What is Torah Judaism (in 500 words or less) – #1?

I believe that the ultimate manifestation of Torah Judaism is Chesed, acts of loving-kindness. It’s not the number of times one davens in a day, or the type of kippah he wears, or if her hair is covered completely, not at all, partially, or only sometimes. It’s whether all that davening and all those halachic […]

Do BTs Really Experience Spiritual Pleasure?

Dear BBT I’ve been reading your site for a while and you often talk about happiness and spiritual pleasure. Do BTs (or FFBs) really experience spiritual pleasure? And if they do can you describe it and tell me what activities help to experience it? Thanks -Jay

Answering Questions

By Elyah Leboff As a religious Jew, it is almost inevitable that you will be asked questions about Judaism. There is a tendency to overreact to such encounters, viewing them either as a great outreach opportunity, or as a holy war. Due to this, questions are either completely misinterpreted, or fired at with a machine […]

Costs of Orthodox Jewish Life Survey

Many times in the past on this blog, we’ve discussed the extremely high costs of Orthodox Jewish life, from kosher food to tuition. A good friend of this blog, Ezzie of SerandEz, has set out to determine just what it costs singles, couples, and families to live in different Orthodox communities. To that end, he […]

No More Church, No More Friend

By Aliza Hausman When I was converting to Judaism, I asked a rabbi if I could walk into a church again. I wasn’t planning on returning for services but I had my sights on visiting the Sistine Chapel someday. It was also a question that bothered many of my Christian friends, particularly my friend, […]

What Would It Take for You To Be More Active in Kiruv?

We’re all aware of the passing of Rabbi Noach Weinberg this past week. As you may know, one of Rabbi Weinberg’s most important projects was to get lay people involved in Kiruv. What would it take for you to be more active in Kiruv? 1) Having tools and techniques to reach out. 2) Knowing that […]

Tu B’Shvat – Fruits of our Labor

Rabbi Daniel Grama I never really understood why we eat Carob, until recently. I give a weekly class to secular couples, and one week I found myself particularly stuck. Nothing was coming to mind. A friend suggested that I discuss the forthcoming Tu B’Shvat. While I know that the mishna lists it as one of […]

R’ Moshe Schwerd on Tu B’Shvat and the Sin of the Eitz Hadas – mp3

R’ Moshe Schwerd on Tu B’Shvat and the Sin of the Eitz Hadas can be downloaded here

Rabbi Noah Weinberg, of Blessed Memory

One of my best friends called me this morning at 6:30 AM to say the Hebrew words that translate: “Blessed is the True Judge”: We write these words with great sadness and disbelief — our beloved Rosh Yeshiva, HaRav Noach Yisrael Noach ben Yitzchak Mattisyahu Weinberg – passed away this morning, Feb 5/ Shevat 11. […]

We Regret to Inform You of the Passing of Rabbi Noah Weinberg

From Aish We write these words with great sadness and disbelief — our beloved Rosh Yeshiva, HaRav Yisrael Noach ben Yitzchak Mattisyahu Weinberg – passed away this morning, Feb 5/ Shevat 11. The funeral will be today at 1:30 pm, at the Ahavas Torah Shul in Kiryat Zanz, Jerusalem, and will proceed from there to […]

Seeing Is Not Believing

From an essay by Rabbi Nosson Weisz Human beings can only make sense of the world they see around them by filtering the information presented by their senses through the intellectual lenses provided by their cultures. Living through events doesn’t guarantee that we see them in the proper perspective. The idol worshipper lives in a […]

I Think I Owe a Big Thank You to Susie Essman

I owe a big thank you to Susie Essman. Yes, you read right—Susie Essman, the vulgar fouled mouthed comedienne now staring in the forthcoming Hallmark Hall of Fame documentary “Loving Leah.” Its not because she makes me laugh—believe me, she doesn’t, but Essman reminds me of why I am here and why I want to […]

Re-Caption This!

Mark (l) and David (r) – Beyond BT Administrators (Photo by Ezzie)

Some Musings on Words and Their Applications

By Rabbi Mordechai Scher Beit Midrash Kol BeRamah/Santa Fe Torah Learning Coop Like many who grew up in assimilated Jewish America of the 60s and 70s, I heard certain Yiddish terms commonly used to describe non-Jews. They were clearly used as part of a cultural lingo, to set apart the ‘other’ from ‘us’. What is […]

  • RSS Shul Politics

  • Get Beyond BT Via Email

     Step 1: Enter your Email

  • Categories