Beyond BT

Spiritual Growth for Jews

BBT Links for Week of June 28, 2012

With email’s efficiency and low cost, you have to be careful that your Shul does not alienate its members by becoming a Shul Spammer. Pop Chassid, a Chabad Baal Teshuva, provides some insights on choosing a mentor and assuming responsibility for your choices. R’ Gil Student and R’ Dovid Teitlebaum have produced a video with […]

What Should The Goal of Kiruv Be?

What Should The Goal of Kiruv Be? 1) To help people become Shomer Shabbos over a period of time. 2) To help people connect to G-d without necessarily becoming Shomer Shabbos. 3) To teach people Torah without necessarily becoming Shomer Shabbos. 4) To encourage people to do more mitzvos without necessarily becoming Shomer Shabbos. 5) […]

Soy? Oy!

Copyright: HealthyJewishCooking.Com By Chaya Rivka Zwolinski How should I prepare tofu? That’s the question I probably hear the most often from you. The answer? Don’t! Well, unless you have specific nutrition needs. Then you can make it sometimes for a treat. Like steak. Soy beans are one of the most difficult beans to digest and […]

Considering Tzfat After Teshuva

By Simcha Cohen The increase in aliyah from English-speaking countries over the past few years has considerably boosted the English-speaking population of Tzfat. Community leaders estimate that there are over 1000 English-speakers in Tzfat today out of a total population of 33,000. New immigrants are drawn to Tzfat for a variety of reasons but the […]

BBT Links for Week of June 21, 2012

The emotional outpouring at my daughter’s recent wedding leads to some thoughts on Building A Shul With A Whole Lotta Love. Links to Free Online Writings of Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan. Rebbetzin Tziporah Heller on Tammuz and the Forces of Nature.

Can BTs Influence a More Positive Frum Culture?

A BT in the discovery phase is full of excitement, growth-orientation and optimism. However in the integration and Beyond BT phases the energy and continual improvement start to fade. Perhaps the initial enthusiasm was unwarranted. Or perhaps the community causes BTs to gravitate towards the norm of a status quo Judaism. 1) How have you […]

Simcha: A Sign of the Times

R’ Jared Viders Ohr Somayach Monsey Now that Shavous is in the rear view mirror, the days seem somewhat amorphous in the unfolding drama of the Jewish calendar. Whereas other seasons carry distinct flavors – be it the Teshuva of Elul in preparation of Rosh Hashanah or the 49 days of the Omer in preparation […]

It’s Lonely in the Middle

First Published Dec 4, 2006 I’ve long been taken with the following quote from Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik: “All extremism, fanaticism, and obscurantism come from a lack of security. A person who is secure cannot be an extremist.” Perhaps the quote has stuck so firmly in my mind because of the context in which I […]

BBT Links for the Week Of June 14th 2012

The Flatbush Internet Asifa – closer to what’s needed, but not there yet. Ask not what your Shul can do for you…rather ask what you can do for your Shul. Mazal Tov on the upcoming wedding of Chana Frankel to Dovid Lederman this Sunday.

What Are the Parameters of Responsible Internet Usage?

Many were disappointing that the last Asifa did not describe the parameters of responsible Internet usage. Should a responsible Internet usage standard be defined? If so, what elements should it include? 1) All Internet access should be filtered, preferably using whitelists, but minimally with filtered categories and blacklists 2) The use of Internet accountability software […]

My Brother’s Big Fat Secular Wedding

Blast from the past, first posted on Nov 8, 2006. We had asked our rabbi if we were even allowed to attend, and he told us since there is an assumption that Jewish weddings on the whole are at least kosher style that we were permitted to go but that, of course, we shouldn’t eat […]

I, Rabbi (Part Two)

Part One of this three-post series is here. I found another rabbi to speak to about this question. Two, in fact. The first, very engaged in outreach, told me how he had wrestled with the issue of conducting wedding ceremonies for non-observant Jews. He acknowledged the serious halachic challenges, and responsibilities, implicated by doing so. […]

BBT Links for the Week Of June 7th 2012

What a wonderful world it would be: Imagine a Shul… In this week’s parsha: To Believe or Not to Believe, including the downside of spirituality. One time Beyond BT contributor, a Simple Jew, publishes a sefer.

Clash of Cultures – A Torah Observant Wedding and Father’s Day

When we were planning the wedding of our daughter, we really didn’t think that having it on Father’s Day would cause a conflict. And so far it hasn’t, except for one exception… our secular friends. We don’t have that many secular friends, but the response from those we did invite has been weak. What did […]

The Myth of the Plateau

Originally published Dec 26, 2005 What do you do when you start running out of mitzvot to take on? Do you just become more machmir on everything you’re already doing? Is it wrong to stop in a comfort zone and just stay there? What happens when you lose that good feeling you get every time […]

Accepting Who You Are

By Elisheva Rabinowitz Eight years ago, *Sara, a 30 year old woman, became a Baal Teshuvah (BT). She came into my office because she was still struggling with issues of feeling “less than” her neighbors. Her neighbor, Rivki, always looked put-together, with the latest shaitel and clothes from NY. Even though she had 12 children, […]

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