Beyond BT

Spiritual Growth for Jews

Beyond Teshuva Unmasked – A Look Behind the Scenes

Posted on | February 18, 2013 | By David Linn | 27 Comments

Purim is the holiday where G-d parts the curtains and gives us a glance at what goes on behind the scenes. In that spirit, we here at Beyond Teshuva would like to give you a glance at what goes on behind the scenes adminstering the blog. In doing so, we have reproduced a sample of private emails sent to the administrators as well as conversations between the administrators so that all of you can get a snapshot of what has to happen before you see the fruits of our collective efforts here on the blog.

Sometimes it appears to readers of the blog that we don’t give any hard and fast answers. Below I have excerpted an email conversation that exhibits Mark’s ability to cut through the morass of nonspecific advice and give a straightforward, direct answer. The results are life changing.

Dear BeyondBT:

I love your site, it has been so helpful to so many in so many ways. I’m hoping you can help me with my specific problem. I didn’t want to put it on the blog because it is a little personal. Here goes: My 1999 Mercury Grand Marquis has aprox 50,000 miles on her. I recently installed a rebuilt alternator that I boosted to 100 amps instead of the normal 65-70-amp type. How can I make sure that it’s working properly?

Buddy, Topeka Kansas

————————————————————-

Buddy,

This is a question we get all of the time. Basically, if the battery in your car is in good condition, the best way to test your altenator is to perform a cold start of your engine. Keep your eye on the voltage across the battery terminals to verify that it registers somewhere between 13.5 to 14.5 volts. If not, double check that the alternator belt is in good condition and properly tensioned then perform the cold start test again.

Mark

————————————————————-

Dear Mark,

Thank you for you speedy response. Worked like a charm. You the man.

Buddy

————————————————————-

Buddy,

Rock on.

Mark

————————————————————-

Almost brings tears to your eyes, no?

When people see the blog, they see it as a finished product. They are often not aware of the deep thought and wrenching decisions that go into the determination of what to post and when to post it. Take a look at this email exchange between Mark and me which illustrates exactly what I mean.

David,

I’ve got nothing in the submission bank to post today. Your thoughts?

P.S. What are you having for lunch?

Mark

————————————————————-

Mark,

I was thinking of chinese.

David

————————————————————-

David,

I thought you said you were trying to watch your weight.

Mark

————————————————————-

Mark,

I am. I might just get some chicken and vegetables, steamed with brown rice and sauce on the side.

David

————————————————————-

David,

You call that chinese food?

Mark

————————————————————-

Mark,

You’re right. Maybe I’ll just get some sushi.

David

————————————————————-

David,

Do you mean sushi or sashimi?

Mark

————————————————————-

Mark,

Dunno. It’s all the same to me.

David

————————————————————-

David,

Ok. Now that that’s resolved. What are we going to do about the post?

Mark

————————————————————-

Mark,

Look, I gotta get back to work. Maybe just throw something together about a BT who can’t eat in his parents house or somethin’.

David

————————————————————-

Not as easy as it looks, huh?

Finally, administering this blog often requires us to discern the nuances and differences contained in the written language. (And I’m not just talking about having a thesaurus handy for Rabbi Dovid Schwartz’ posts). In order to do so, one must have a handle on where the writer is coming from, where they are going and what is important to him/her. I have excerpted a correspondence between prominent blogger and commenter Steve Brizel and Mark and me.

David,

IMO, as a BT, a former YU and NCSY guy, a FYUANCSYABT, if you will, when RYBS addressed the issue of FW vs PD he, IMHO, IIRC, quoted RAIK based on the RASHBA, the RITVA and another acronym that escapes me now LOL. Anyway, when GL posted regarding TFS and EP, I was taken aback. Do you think I should IM him or JFAI?

SB

————————————————————-

Steve,

Huh?

David

————————————————————-

Mark,

Where did you find this David Linn guy? He barely speaks english!!

SB

————————————————————-

Steve,

Its not like this is a paid position or something so you take who you can get. What can I tell ya?

Mark

————————————————————-

And these are just a few examples!

So, dear readers, before you criticize the blog please take into account the time, effort exerted and the acumen applied to get you the finished product.

Happy Purim to all.

Originally posted – March, 2006

Comments

27 Responses to “Beyond Teshuva Unmasked – A Look Behind the Scenes”

  1. Martin Fleischer
    March 8th, 2006 @ 9:28 am

    Guys,

    At first I thought it was going to be an actual serious post of what goes on @ BT. This was HYSTERICAL!!!!!! As Mark says, “Rock on”!!!!!

  2. Ruby
    March 8th, 2006 @ 10:53 am

    This is Excellent! But the Mark I know would’ve told Buddy (after giving him all that good alternator stuff advice) –

    But, remember, Buddy, more important than how fast you are driving, which FM radio station you are listening to, or where your Grand Marquis is right now, is that you are driving in the right direction.

    Keep up the great work!

  3. Ezzie
    March 8th, 2006 @ 3:44 pm

    LOL!

  4. WBS
    March 8th, 2006 @ 4:13 pm

    LOL! Can you decode/explain those acronyms for the illiterate like me? Thanks!

    By the way, sushi and sashimi are Japanese!

  5. Mark Frankel
    March 8th, 2006 @ 4:35 pm

    We’ll have to wait for DL to decode all the acronyms, because I think he made some of them up.

    If you can’t wait till then you can find many of them at these links:
    http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/acronyms.shtml
    http://www.aim.com/acronyms.adp?aolp=

    And I’m pretty sure that DL knew that sushi and sashimi were Japanese. If you read the post carefully, and I’m not suggesting that you do, you’ll see that there is no clear implication that he thought they were Chinese.

  6. Ruby
    March 8th, 2006 @ 5:08 pm

    I’ll take a stab –

    In My Opinion, as a BT (duh), a former Yeshiva University and National Council of Synagogue Youth guy, a Former YU And NCSY Adviser BT, if you will, when Rabbi Yoshe Bear Soloveitcik (sic)addressed the issue of Free Will vs Pre-Determination he, In My Humble Opinion, If I Recall Correctly, quoted Rav Avraham Isaac Kook based on the RASHBA (early commentator), the RITVA (ibid) and another acronym that escapes me now LOL. Anyway, when GL (who?) posted regarding Torah From Sinai and Eastern Parkway (I’m stumped), I was taken aback. Do you think I should Instant Message him or Just Forget About It?

  7. Rabbi Yonason Goldson
    March 8th, 2006 @ 8:29 pm

    Gentlemen:

    “Chinese” is capitalized. A little respect for editorial standards, PLEASE.

  8. Chana
    March 8th, 2006 @ 10:12 pm

    Mark & David: Maybe we could have a regular “ask the expert” section for BT drivers with auto problems.
    JK, Chana

  9. Steve Brizel
    March 8th, 2006 @ 10:19 pm

    This is Purim Toireh?! Looks like the same jokes as last year and BT hasn’t been around that long. I guess that what happens when a certain yeshiva’s influence is present-not an awful lot of ground covered but a lot of subjects discussed on one subject ( grin)!

  10. Bob Miller
    March 9th, 2006 @ 8:03 am

    Here is some new, off-the-wall, Purim-related humor from a hallowed lecture hall under the big dome at MIT:
    http://www-tech.mit.edu/V126/N9/9latke.html

  11. Sarah Newcomb
    March 9th, 2006 @ 10:08 am

    That is so funny. Good pre-Purim laugh. Thanks.

  12. Jennifer
    March 10th, 2006 @ 8:57 am

    Loved it! And having run a website for Havurat Yisrael once upon a time, I know that the automotive question isn’t so far fetched. I used to field Rabbi Algaze’s “ask the Rabbi” emails! But next time we have a car problem, we will call Mark.

    Freilchin Purim to all!

  13. David Linn
    March 13th, 2006 @ 1:31 pm

    Just returned from being away since before this post went up.

    Ruby has pretty much got the acronyms down except for the EP thing which made sense when I invented it but I have no idea now.

  14. Jennifer
    March 5th, 2009 @ 10:49 am

    Three years later, I still love it – especially the fact that you attached comments from three years ago on here.

    And what would DL & MF do without their Blackberrys? Do they have a special beep indicating a comment that requires human intervention &/or moderation?

  15. Mordechai Y. Scher
    March 5th, 2009 @ 11:04 am

    Dear Mark,

    Our new Suzuki motorbike doesn’t put out much wattage from the alternator. We want to run an electric jacket for my wife, disco lights for visibility, a high-decibel siren/horn, electric sheitel warmer, gloves, and seat (so she can sit side-saddle in a skirt).

    Also, should she sit side-saddle left (moving the brake pedal over by the shift lever), or side-saddle right (moving the shift lever by the rear brake lever).? Does the shift or brake go in front? Are there different minhagim on this? Who does those kind of mods?

    You guys rock! Better than Click and Clack on Car Talk!

  16. Adam H
    March 5th, 2009 @ 11:39 am

    R. Goldson scolded; “’Chinese’ is capitalized…”

    So is English.

    LOL ROFLMAO TTYL GTG

    B”H

  17. Gregg
    March 5th, 2009 @ 11:46 am

    I found it very offensive that you mocked my car altenator question. just kidding..

    But what I find even most troublesome is who would go to a blog run by Jews for car repair advise? must have been a convert.

  18. Mordechai Y. Scher
    March 5th, 2009 @ 12:01 pm

    Greg,

    C’mon, I’m just making sure I’m in line with Daas Torah with these things. Would you want to shell out big $ on something like an alternator, and find out it wasn’t by Daas Torah? Hmmmmm…?

  19. Mordechai Y. Scher
    March 5th, 2009 @ 12:37 pm

    Here’s a new learning initiative, just in time for Purim! http://www.ou.org/synagogue_support/otyomit

  20. David Linn
    March 5th, 2009 @ 1:29 pm

    Mordechai, we have forwarded your question to JDMD (Jewish Deaf Motorcycle Dad) and await his response.

  21. Neil Harris
    March 5th, 2009 @ 1:30 pm

    Awesome!!

  22. squarepeg613
    March 5th, 2009 @ 4:54 pm

    Very funny! Thanks for the laugh!

  23. Bob Miller
    March 5th, 2009 @ 5:14 pm

    I have this nagging question:

    When a car does teshuva, does it go back to the assembly plant?

  24. Plona
    March 8th, 2009 @ 1:32 am

    Excuuuuuse me, Gregg – DON’T be putting down the geirim! I learned to drive on a stick shift in the high school parking lot in the snow – better me than my husband driving the family in a snowstorm! *I* am the one who has at the plugged up toilet in my house. I can read an air tire gauge – can you?

    Here in NJ, people don’t even have to get out of their cars to pump gas. Wimps.

  25. Bob Miller
    March 8th, 2009 @ 2:53 pm

    When we lived in Oak Park, MI, our local car mechanic (own shop on wheels), washer/dryer repairman, electrician, and handyman were all Jews.

  26. David Linn
    March 9th, 2009 @ 11:07 am

    As a proud member of Chaverim, I can proudly say that I can change tires (back pain permitting), boost your car, and unlock your car without keys.

    That means if you break down at the side of the road with a flat and a dead battery and you lock your car and go look for help, it’s all mine! ;)

  27. Ellen L.
    March 10th, 2009 @ 7:31 pm

    Plona: Don’t be offended. That’s exactly Greg’s point. He figures that a Jew would know better than to go to a Jew for car repair advice. That would be like going to a Buddhist for a gefilte fish recipe. A freilichen Purim!

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