Beyond BT

Spiritual Growth for Jews

What Advice Would You Give to Schools and Parents as the Year Begins

The school year and it’s accompanying challenges begins this week and next. How would you rate the school’s overall effect on your children’s relationship to G-d and Torah? a) Positive b) Neutral c) Negative What best describes your approach to schooling a) Try to help my children fit into the system b) Develop good relationship’s […]

Hating Difference, Hating the Torah

‘Why is difference always linked with hatred?’ – asks the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge. The sages of the Talmud say, ‘man was created in his singularity.’ Man was created as a unique being. But the Hebrew term for singularity – y’hedi – has two distinct meanings. For one, Man is a species – and the […]

Why Do Children Die?

The recent death of a young boy in a brutal murder shocked the frum community. This is only one of several tragic, strange deaths of our community’s children during the past few years. In 2009, a nine-year-old boy never woke up on Shabbos morning. The cause of death has still not yet been determined. A […]

Sixth Perek for Pirkei Avos

This week is the Sixth Perek for Pirkei Avos. Here is the link for an English Translation of all six Perakim culled from Rabbi Dovid Rosenfeld’s translation and commentary at The full text of Pirkei Avos in Hebrew can be found here. also has some of the Maharal’s commentary for Pirkei Avos and […]

Which Path – Teach, Experience, Convince?

There seems to be three major paths of reaching out to our non-Observant co-religionists a) Teach Torah b) Give inspiring and fun Jewish experiences c) Convince about the beauty, truth and utility of observance Which was path(s) that brought you closer? Which paths are effective for what types of people?

Groundbreaking New Children’s Book Released: LET’S STAY SAFE!

Groundbreaking New Children’s Book Released: LET’S STAY SAFE! Let’s Stay Safe, published by Mesorah Publications, is the newest breakthrough from Project YES, a division of Agudath Israel of America Community Services. According to Artscroll, “It may well be the most important picture book that a parent will share with his or her young child.” We […]

Does Anyone on the U.S. Supreme Court have Kids?

Does anyone on the U.S. Supreme Court have kids? How about grandkids, nieces, nephews, even neighbors with kids? I wonder. In it’s final decision before adjourning for summer break the court struck down a California law intended to protect children from playing with video games that depict murder, maiming, rape and other forms of violence. […]

What Type of Shul Do You Prefer?

What Type of Shul Do You Prefer and Why? a) Shtiebel b) Beis Medrash c) Membership driven with boards and elections d) Very Large

Can’t You See the Truth?!

In order to fulfull undergrad credit requirements, I once took a course in classical music, and was bored out of my mind. As announced in the beginning, our final exam would be to identify the composer from records which had been played throughout the term. In the end, I was still bored, but at least […]

Pay Attention to Me!

It was a busy Tuesday morning in the Jaffe household, and since I prepare early for Shabbos by chatzos, Shabbos was on my mind. I put the ingredients into my mixer for my challah, which I often make ahead for the freezer. As the mixer was doing its thing, I reached for the phone. Mistake […]

Outline of Va’eschanan

Here’s Rabbi Rietti’s outline of Va’eschanan. You can purchase the entire outline of the Chumash here. Va’eschanan # 3 Moshe Pleads to Enter Promised Land # 4 Fundamentals of Emuna # 5 Review of Ten Commandments # 6 The Shema # 7 Warning Against Assimilation With The 7 Nations # 3 Moshe Pleads to Enter […]

Kinah for Tisha B’Av

Woe to us on this bitter day! We have what to cry about! Woe for all the heads without Tefillin After 3700 years from Avraham Avinu After having survived Holocausts and Inquisitions… Jewish boys and girls blunder In the darkness that plagues our generation And go lost by the millions With visions of isms and […]

Rabbi Yakov Horowitz will be Sitting Shiva for His Father

August 8, 2011 Shiva Information and Shiur on Eicha this Evening Rabbi Yakov Horowitz will be sitting Shiva for his father, Shlomo Zev ben Baruch Yehudah Nutovic, ע״ה in the home of his parents, 1423 East 13th Street in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn until Friday afternoon. He will be sitting in his home in […]

These Canvas Shoes

Growing up in New York City public schools in the 70s and 80s, one would simply just not wear canvas sneakers. These verboten items of apparel were derisively called “skips”. The unaware male student who breached this fashion taboo was subject to jeers and was most likely to suffer the gravest of schoolyard humiliations– being […]

How are you Improving Your Bein Adam L’Chavero

A friend from Beyond BT once emailed us that she likes the three weeks, because the shiurim and the divrei Torah are focused on improving our relationships with other people (Bein Adam L’Chavero). Some specific mitzvos on the Weekly Work Ons list during this period are: – Reducing speaking Loshon Hora – Being careful not […]

Teleconference: Tantrums and Sibling Rivalry: Maintaining Harmony in Your Home

Upcoming Live Teleconference… Tantrums and Sibling Rivalry: Maintaining Harmony in Your Home In this program presented by Rabbi Avraham Mifsud and Rabbi Yitzchak Shmuel Ackerman, LMHC, you will learn effective strategies to deal with tantrums and sibling rivalry. When harmony is disrupted it affects the whole family; call in to hear how you can develop […]

Looking in

I recently wrote about the feeling of sadness I get when I pass up an opportunity to do something I either can’t do any more because now I am observant, or never even did but always wanted to and now that I can… I can’t. Here I want to, by focusing on one particular, persistent […]

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