Beyond BT

Spiritual Growth for Jews

Pesach – What’s Your Focus?

What topics do you focus on for yourself and your family at the Pesach Seder? Do you think it is better to have a narrower focus or to discuss and think about many topics? Freedom Thankfulness to Hashem Emunah (Faith) Bitachon (Trust in Hashem) Hashgacha Pratis (Divine Providence) Praise of Hashem Mitzvos of the Evening […]

A Better Jew, A Better You

It’s a great mitzvah to help any Jew come closer to Hashem. Perhaps we need to focus a little on helping ourselves come closer. If we could consciously and mindfully make a collective effort to become better Jews, perhaps we can have a sizable impact on ourselves and the world around us. If we take […]

Baruch Dayan Emes – HaRav Elya Svei Zt”l

HaRav Elya Svei Zt”l, the Rosh Yeshiva of the Philadelphia Yeshiva was niftar yesterday. The levaya took place today in the Yeshiva and the aron was transported to Eretz Yisroel. The Rosh Yeshiva was a great leader in Klal Yisroel and a pioneer in expanding advanced Torah learning beyond the immediate vicinity of New York […]

The Unfinished Project

It is not uncommon for the following exchange to take place on BBT: Dear Beyond BT, I have a great project which will help a certain segment of the Jewish People. – Gary Ideaguy —————– Dear Gary, It’s a great idea. Please send us a short writeup and we’ll be glad to post it with […]

How to Learn Hebrew: A Guide for Ba’al Teshuvahs who Can’t get to Yeshivah

By Ari Mendelson For many a Ba’al Teshuvah, the classic works of Jewish thought are a sealed book. From time immemorial, the international languages of Jewish scholarship have been Hebrew, Aramaic, and a Hebrew/Aramaic blend. However, few Jews who grew up outside of Orthodoxy or outside of Israel have had the opportunity to learn these […]

I’m Interested in Becoming a Baal Teshuva.

Dear Beyond BT I have a friend who has become religious and I’m interested in possibly following that path. I wanted to know what are the first steps that are commonly taken by someone interested in moving in this direction. Thanks Ben

What’s the real BT Impact to the Religious Jewish World?

by Reb Akiva from Mystical Paths One often wonders, what’s the real BT impact to the religious Jewish world? After all, most of our vaunted institutions are run by rosh yeshvot with yichus (distinguished family heritage), and the institutions are often a generational family project. Similarly the big and famous rabbaim (rabbis), those giving the […]

A Wholly Life

INTRODUCTION Dr. Moshe Kaplan If the statistics are right, the Jews constitute but one percent of the human race… Properly, the Jew ought hardly to be heard of… but he is as prominent on the planet as any other people… The Jew saw [the Egyptians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks and Romans], beat them all, and is […]

What Was Your Transformational Experience?

Many BT’s became committed to Torah Observance after some type of Transformational Experience. These experience can be a first Shabbos, a trip to Israel, a Discovery seminar, etc. Did you have a transformational experience? What was it?

What is Torah Judaism? (in 500 words or less) – Volume #3

The answer to the question “What Is Judaism?” would be different for a student of comparative religion, a Sephardic resident of an Israeli development town, or someone who grew up in an assimilated Jewish family in America, just to give a few disparate examples. I will address the last one of these, because of course […]

The Inner Meaning of Birkas HaChamah- Motza’ei Shabbos 3/14 at 9:15 PM – CAY

The Inner Meaning of Birkas HaChamah- Motza’ei Shabbos 3/14 at 9:15 PM – CAY Motza’ei Shabbos March 14 at 9:15 pm at Congregation Ahavas Yisroel in Kew Gardens Hills Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation Video Presentation “The Inner Meaning of Birkas HaChamah.” Rabbi Avrohom Chaim Feuer Rabbi Paysach Krohn. Suggested donation is $10.00.

Predictable Surprises: Post Purim Reflections

The story is told of a simple woman who attended synagogue regularly, and would weep each year when the story of Yosef and his brothers was read. Her behavior was so predictable that it became a bit of a synagogue joke. Those who sat near her would anticipate her cries each year when the story […]

What are the Factors for Teshuva Influencing Other Family Members?

I am perplexed: Sometimes one person in a family does Teshuva and the rest of the family remains uninterested, but sometimes one person’s road to Teshuva is a catalyst for the whole rest of the family. What’s the difference? If anyone has any insights or stories to share on this issue, I’d be happy to […]

The Essence of Purim

I spent a lot of time a few years back trying to clarify the whys and hows of the mitzvah of Drinking on Purim. My Rav, Rabbi Welcher, feels that the main thrust of the mitzvah is to foster feelings of friendship and achdus in line with the other mitzvos of the day. However he […]

Should We Teach People That The Torah is the Best Worldly Tool?

When I was first becoming observant, one book that had a great effect on my thinking was Tradition in a Rootless World: Women Turn to Orthodox Judaism. It was written by a non-frum sociologist who immersed herself in two different communities of Baalei Teshuva to learn why they chose to become observant and in what […]

Reaching Out to Co-Workers

I have been trying to do my part by engaging in a little non-professional kiruv. Nothing formal or pushy, something along the lines of working to encourage friends and associates to become more Jewishly involved and educated. There are a number of Jews in my office included my boss, a number of co-workers and a […]

It’s All in the Details

By Azriela Jaffe The difference of just two words can make all the difference. I learned that today. I’m the college professor of English, journalism, and public speaking for Yeshiva at IDT, a yeshiva program for bochurim who learn Gemara in the Beis Midrash in the morning, and earn a bachelor’s degree in the afternoon. […]

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