Beyond BT

Spiritual Growth for Jews

Should Baalei Teshuvas Mainstream?

There has always been discussion in the BT and Torah Observant communities about mainstreaming. Baalei Teshuva Oriented Shuls 1) are sensitive to the needs of BTs 2) make it easy for BTs to fit in 3) keep BTs segregated in a comfortable environment Mainstream Orthodox Shuls 1) are not focused to BT needs 2) require […]

Why You Need Shul Bylaws

Check out Why You Need Shul Bylaws on Shul Politics. There’s even some great sample bylaws to get you going if you need them. Here’s the opening paragraph from the post: You can hear the sound of a collective eye roll when you mention Shul bylaws. They’re usually found only in democratic shuls or independent […]

Chanukah: Torah and Play Do Go Together

By David Feiner One of the more interesting and different stories related to Chanukah are those surrounding Dreidels. According to many traditional accounts, the Dreidel was used as ruse to cover up the studying of Torah when Greek soldiers would come upon groups of children with their teachers. Rather than observing Torah study, they would […]

Can the Ends Really Justify the Means?

In this week’s Mishpacha magazine, Yonoson Rosenblum’s weekly column presented an interesting point. He writes: “Chazal enjoin us in many places to carefully consider the impact of our words. Yet in many instances, it is impossible to know in advance what that impact will be, or to anticipate the ways in which the same words […]

Parshas Toldos – FFB and BT Tzaddikim

Rabbi Yaacov Haber has an interesting piece on Parsha Toldos where he points out: – Rashi says that Yitzchak’s prayers were answered instead of Rifkas because he was a Tzaddik, who was a child of a Tzaddik, while Rivka was a Tzaddik who was the child of a Rasha. – This seems to contradict the […]

What Issues are You Confronting This Thanksgiving?

What issues will you be confronted with on Thanksgiving? Kosher food issues. Inappropriate discussions. Inappropriate dress. Hostility towards Orthodoxy. General discomfort. Everything is fine.

Getting Members Upset, Tzinuis, Awareness, Integration

Shul Politics on Why Shul Members Get Upset Rabbi Eliyahu Fink: There is No Tent Rebbetzin Tziporah Heller mp3s from November 22 – Queens visit on Tzinuis and Bein Adam L’Chaveiro can be downloaded here. on Not Sleeping Through Life can be downloaded here. on Closing The Gap Between Mind, Heart, Action can be downloaded […]

Why Kiruv Sometimes Fails

By Shira. After getting married, Shira’s husband became a BT. They’ve worked together to patch a semi-frum lifestyle together which includes attending an orthodox shul, keep a kosher home, and keeping shabbos. As a BT who went off, daughter of another BT who went off, and having encountered more than a few who were BT, […]

Rebbetzin Tziporah Heller on Rav Nosson Tzvi Finkel zt”l

Rebbetzin Tziporah Heller will be lecturing around the United States for 2 weeks, starting today. Here is her itinerary. She will be speaking at Congregation Ahavas Yisroel on Monday, November 21 at 8:30 PM for Women on the topic “Closing the Gap Between Mind, Heart and Action” . The address is 147-02 73rd Avenue, Kew […]

What Type of Support Are You Missing?

BTs tackle the Torah life on their own and need to develop their own support systems. Perhaps we can classify the type of support into 5 categories: 1) Teachers of fundamental and advance Torah topics 2) Rabbis who can rule on halachic questions 3) Mentors who act as surrogate parents and help with major topics […]

You’re in My Seat; BTs on the Big Bang; The BT Handbook Pardon Me, But You’re in My Seat Jew in the City: Science vs. Religion: Mayim Bialik and the OTHER Big Bang Theory The BT Handbook: If I want to start learning Torah, where should I begin?

The Zoo in You

By Rabbi Ari Taback It has got to rate as one of the most bizarre news stories of the decade. A few weeks ago, authorities in the town of Zanesville, Ohio began receiving alarming calls about exotic wild animals roaming their neighbourhood. On investigation, they zeroed in on a smallholding belonging to a man by […]

The 60 Second Guide to the Book of Bereishes

In the beginning (Bereishes), G-d created the universe, but Adam and Chava and the next 9 generations failed in G-d’s plan of subjugating their physical to their spiritual side. Noach was the only righteous man of his corrupt generation, which was destroyed by the flood, and he restarted the spiritual mission, but after another 10 […]

Which of the Five Shul Types is Best for a BT?

The second post has gone up at ShulPolitics.Com titled Who’s The Boss? – Shul Types and Authority. It discusses the five shul types: 1) Yeshiva Minyanim 2) Shtiebels and Rabbi-centric Shuls 3) Chabad Shuls 4) Beis Medrash/Independent Minyans 5) Democratic Shuls Go give it a read and correct any misconceptions in the comments there. You’re […]

My Non-Observant Sister’s Wedding

Hi, My sister got married on Sunday, and I have written down some thoughts I have, the day after. I wondered if I could post them to beyondbt, as I could use some chizuk from others who have experienced similar things. 7th November 2011 Last night they finally got married. And it’s a major anticlimax […]

Should Jews be Paid to Study Torah?

I signed up this year to participate in a Bet Midrash program for international students studying abroad at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. The program pairs local English speakers with students to study in a one-on-one chevruta. I had participated in a similar program as a young professional back in Washington, D.C. and got so much […]

Parsha Lech Lecha

Lech Lecha is such a foundation parsha and probably the most popular one for BTs to start with when they start learning. Minimally you can read an Art Scroll translation to fulfill the mitzvah of Shneim Mikra V’Echad Targum and there’s so much available in English and Hebrew on the Parsha. Here’s a link to […]

Advice for People Who Want to Develop Their Spiritual Side

If you were giving advice to someone who knows very little about Torah Judaism and is over 30, but seriously wants to develop their spiritual side what advice would you give them: a) Call Partners in Torah for a one-on-one learning partner b) Contact the nearest Aish branch c) Find the nearest Chabad d) Take […]

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