Beyond BT

Spiritual Growth for Jews

An Alter Mirrer and Beyond BT

By Yakov Spil Years ago, I had the privilege of meeting a Yid who was among the distinguished group of talmidim, who are becoming more and more rare, known as Alter Mirrers. They learned in the Mir Yeshiva in Poland before the war broke out and then were transported “al kanfei haShechina” to Shanghai, Japan […]

Noach was a good man, a good man, a good man…

Noach was a good man a good man, a good man Noach was a good man ….In his time – A Cheder Song Noach is described as a Tzaddik, but the first Rashi on the Parsha casts a shadow on his righteousness. Dig in to the parsha and rediscover Noach’s greatness. Update: Rabbi Nebenzhal has […]

Teens at Risk and Baalei Teshuva Study- What do you think the results will be?

Last week’s AJOP weekly email contained the following: Results of the First Study on Teens at Risk and Baalei Teshuva to be Released at AJOP Convention Yeshiva University’s Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education in partnership with the Association for Jewish Outreach Programs (AJOP) has conducted a groundbreaking study comparing adolescents who grew up in […]

Over My Head

I don’t “wear” at work. A yarmulke, that is. Oh I wear it. Everyone who works in my office has seen me in my yarmulke. I wear it when I make a brocha [blessing] on my coffee and when I wash for lunch. You might see me in the corridor muttering something when I come […]

Learning the Parsha

Rabbi Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg has been quoted saying that a person can fulfill the Targum (translation) portion of Shnayim Mikra V’Echad Targum by reading the Art Scroll translation. (I’m assuming that a Metsudah translation would also suffice.) In addition the Mishna Berurah says one can fulfill one of the Shnayim Mikras (two readings) by following […]

A Sukkale a Kleine – Meaningful Succos Music

By Gershon Seif When I was in elementary school back in the 60’s, Jewish music was a bit different than the kind of stuff that you hear nowadays. On an album called The Rabbi’s Sons, there was a an old Yiddish song about a Jew who built himself a simple little Sukkah that can barely […]

Sukkot/Succos Links

Beyond BT Contributor, Rabbi Yonason Goldson on Sukkot and the War against Terror. In his visionary writings, the prophet Ezekiel describes a great battle on the eve of the messianic era, when the all forces of evil in the world combine themselves into a great army called by the name Gog and Magog. The brilliant […]

The 60 Second Guide to Succos

Three Principles of Judaism Judaism believes in the importance of both action and belief. The Jewish principles of belief can be divided into three categories 1) G-d is the source and ultimate authority over all existence, 2) G-d revealed his plan for the perfection of the world through the prophetic experience, 3) G-d exercises providence […]

For My Husband, Ode to Our Last Sukkah

We didn’t realize it would be, The last sukkah of you and me. Those boards, they stretched – it wasn’t wide, Still all our children fit inside. And grandchildren, as they came too, And all the guests, thanks most to you. The decorations that you saved, All through the years, everyone raved. How our grandchildren […]

The 60 Second Guide to Yom Kippur

While Rosh Hashanah is focused on G-d’s existence, authority and supervision of the world, Yom Kippur is focused on our role in G-d’s plan for the perfection of humanity. We’re created half-spiritual and half-physical with a strong ego, so we’re conflicted between doing what is good (spiritual) and what feels (physical) or looks good (ego). […]

Poetry of Repentance

Only when I began to study Paradise Lost, John Milton’s epic re-writing of Genesis, did it to occur to me that being religious was not a sign of neurosis or flaky otherworldliness. In graduate school at Oxford and later at Columbia, for me and many of my fellow Jewish students, Milton was a safe way, […]

Get Moving

Sometimes you hear something short and to the point and it motivates you. My daughter sent me an email with the following short moshel: There are a group of boys playing in the street. A bus pulls up and stops. The bus driver honks his horn because he needs to get through. The boys don’t […]

The Path Towards Truth is One You Often Tread Alone

Like everyone, I have my faults. I spoke a bit of lashon hara last week. I squabbled with my husband because our overdraft is plumbing the depths of our bank account; and I skipped bentching on shabbos because it was just us for lunch and I couldn’t be bothered. But ultimately, I believe that I […]

The Ultimate Rebellion

By Rucheli Manville who posts great photos and writings at Rucheli’s Ramblings. There was once a young man. He was raised in a good home filled with positive influences. He had the best education in a great community. His parents set him on a straight path towards success, but he had his own ideas of […]

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