Beyond BT

Spiritual Growth for Jews

Getting Beyond The Externalities

BS”D Dear Editor: I am writing in response to “What more can I do?’” which expressed the emotional pain of being “outed” as a Baalas Teshuva. As a Baalas Teshuva myself of 33 years duration I empathize with your pain. I know how deeply such an encounter can hurt. Unfortunately, it is an all too […]

Today is the 15th Yahrzeit of the Lubavitch Rebbe

Today is the 15th Yahrzeit of the Lubavitch Rebbe. Chabad.org has a whole subsite devoted to the Rebbe. In this article, Ten Absurdly Simple Ways to Live Higher, ten “first step” mitzvahs which were suggested by the Rebbe are explored. Here are the mitzvahs the Rebbe suggested: 1) Put a pushka on your desk and […]

What is Torah Judaism (in 500 words or less) #6

Purposeful Creation Judaism provides a foundation to understand the physical and spiritual world and to use that understanding to perfect ourselves and unite the entire world. The first axiom is that life has meaning and purpose because it was created by a purposeful, spiritual G-d. The word spiritual at its most basic level means anything […]

Why do Frum Jews Purchase Anti-Orthodox and Anti-Israel Periodicals?

Why do Orthodox Jews purchase Orthodox bashing secular newspapers and anti Orthodox Jewish newspapers? Why do pro Israel Jews stubbornly insist on purchasing newspapers that bash Israel relentlessly, even though there are good alternatives? – Nathan

Turning 50, Reflecting on 35 Years as a BT

In January my wife invited the family for Shabbat in celebration of my 50th birthday. Except for my dad (who we’re working on), everyone lives here in Israel. (We managed to grab a quick picture after Shabbat). It was truly very special to be surrounded by all these loved ones for this momentous birthday. As […]

Mazal Tov to Mr & Mrs JDMDad on the Birth of a Baby Girl

Mazal Tov to JDMDad, Laya, and big sisters Tikvah and Ahava on the birth of Baby JDMDad. Baby was born on Monday, June 15, 2009, (23 Sivan 5769) at 11:59 am. Weight: 7 lbs. 2 oz. Length: 19.5 inches

A Cure for Troubled Times

A Teenage Beyond BT Fan As we all know the world that we live in has gone out of control. To start with, the recession we are in now is just terrible. Thousands of people have been laid off this past year. And that’s just the least of it. We are in danger regarding North […]

What Must One Believe to Be Considered a True Torah Jew?

Dear Rabbi Weiman: Hi! I read your article “Hell No” on the Aish Website, and that led me to your website, kabbalahmadeeasy.com. Although I am FFB and was fortunate to have a typical Bais Yaakov education, my views on what Hashem is and wants is somewhat unique in my community. Your perspectives were like a […]

Are We Advocating Pick and Choose Torah to Fit One’s Needs?

A friend recently wrote in pointing out that comments of the form “it depends which Rabbi or neighborhood you live” pop up recurringly on Beyond BT. This could easily lead to picking a Torah that fits us, instead of changing ourselves to fit the Torah. While most us us do recognize that there are multiple […]

There’s No Going Back

In the beginning of the BT journey, it’s easy to feel on fire, excited about what is ahead, determined to plow ahead no matter the obstacles. Then, as the years unfold and the children start coming, and growing, and requiring more money than we can fathom for their stellar yeshiva education, I would presume that […]

ShirHaLev.Com – Free Jewish Songs and Jewish Music

ShirHaLev.com was created to help Jews learn songs and therefore help increase their enjoyment of Shabbos, holidays and many other occasions. There’s lots of material there. And it’s all free. You can even submit your own songs following these guidelines: The recordings should be 1 male singing, no instruments, not too fast and clearly and […]

Should We Give Up the Dog or the Apartment?

By Ellen Peleg and I have a dilemma, and we’re asking the Beyond BT community for their input. Last September I was approaching my car after work, and I noticed a dog romping around, unattached (to a leash) and without a collar and name tag. An old childhood fantasy suddenly reared its head, and I […]

Should We Market Torah?

To some it’s a terrible thought. To others it’s a necessity and a fulfillment of Hashem’s will. What do you think? Should we market Torah? And if so, how should we go about it?

Applying Metrics to Increased Observance

The past several months I have been taking some intensive classes for my job. I’m working on Black Belt level certification for Lean Six Sigma (LSS). It’s not some new form of Karate, it’s a process improvement methodology. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lean_six_sigma) One of the principles involved in LSS is that you can’t tell if your process is […]

Under the Radar Ways to Contribute to Your Shul

From Shua ~ In many shuls hundreds of siddurim are taken from the shelves on Friday night and, despite pleas to the contrary by the gabbai, are not returned. On Shabbos morning arrive early and return some of them. ~ The electricity bill is usually onerous, yet people often leave shul lights on. Shut the […]

A Challenge to Religious Liberals

By David Klinghoffer Over at the interesting website Beyond Teshuva, devoted to issues raised by Jews returning from secularism to Judaism, Kressel Housman comes “out of the closet” as…a liberal. As someone “raised on liberal values,” she reflects: I know liberalism is unpopular in frum [religious] circles, and I know there are good reasons for […]

Is There Anything Wrong With Not Being Active in Shul Affairs?

Dear Beyond BT I’ve been frum for over 16 years and I’ve noticed that the most people in Shuls do not get involved in a significant way. It’s certainly admirable to donate your time to communal affairs, but if a person decides he’d rather allocate his time differently, why do some people have a complaint […]

Ayelet Waldman and Me – or – Dear Lord….Do Not Bring me to Challenges and Ordeals.

My Toughest Jewish Moment. In my other life—when I’m not being Anxious Ima, I’m a freelance journalist and it isn’t an easy road. Good writing gigs are hard to come by so it was with great delight that I snagged one — interviewing Ayelet Waldman for a top national webzine. I didn’t know much about […]

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