Beyond BT

Spiritual Growth for Jews

Denying G-d and Denying Humanity

Beshalach 5774-An installment in the series of adaptations From the Waters of the Shiloah: Plumbing the Depths of the Izhbitzer School For series introduction CLICK By Rabbi Dovid Schwartz-Mara D’Asra Cong Sfard of Midwood  This weeks From the Waters of the Shiloah is dedicated in memory of Gitel Leah A.H. bas Menachem Mendel HY”D; Mrs. […]

Righteous Indignation—the Root of Prayer and Salvation

Shemos 5774-An installment in the series From the Waters of the Shiloah: Plumbing the Depths of the Izhbitzer School For series introduction CLICK By Rabbi Dovid Schwartz-Mara D’Asra Cong Sfard of Midwood Blessed is Elokim, who has not removed my prayer, or His loving-kindness from me. -Tehillim 66:20 The Izhbitzer taught that before the Divine […]

Living in the future

When I had more time for posting and commenting on the Beyond BT, I was very busy with the topic of former BT’s, many of whom not only gave up Jewish observance but, for whatever reason you may want to posit, did it with a vengeance. Those days were a lot of fun, positively heady. […]

Maintaining Derech Eretz in the Face of a Loaf of Bread on Pesach

Blast from the Past. First posted on 11/13/2006. By Westbank Mama I’ve written before about what started me on my journey to observant Judaism, and I’ve been thinking lately of another incident (pothole?) on this long road of mine. My brother decided to become observant also, and we both attended Yeshiva University. At some point […]

Aren’t We Supposed to Question?

We had a bunch of guests over for Shabbos lunch. This was on a summer afternoon, just a couple of years ago. Since my husband hadn’t returned yet from shul, everyone was passing the time in the living room, waiting. There was a relatively new guest, David, seated on the couch, who had only just […]

BT Martyrdom: There’s Really A Name For It!

My personal life calendar operates around the great upheaval through my discovery of Yiddishkeit. If that is “year 1”, then 10BC (Before Change) was my Bar Mitzvah, and 5AD (After Discovery) was when I got married. This being the case, there were other notable events which had far reaching consequences as well. And, like they […]

Rabbi Mayer Schiller – The Biggest Challenges Facing Baalei Teshuva

This article was posted on Tuesday, December 9th, 2005, but many of our current readers might have missed it and it’s definitely worth reading again. Part 1 — Challenges I have been asked to write on the “biggest challenges facing baalei teshuva.” Of course, every Jew in his life’s pursuit of Hashem and His Torah […]

Adjusting to Alien Atmospheres

I spent my high school senior year at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. A first, all of my 20-year old roommates thought I was crazy, and for the first few weeks, I did too. Not only had I never traveled by myself before nor had I been on an Israel program, I still had yet […]

Dealing With The Pain of a Difficult Year

Last Rosh Hashana, 2008 – I can’t even remember where I was. I mean in the sense of where my wife, myself and three children were for the Jewish New Year. How can one forget something like that? Either we were in Passaic, or in Far Rockaway or Pittsburgh – as well, we lived in […]

Four Common BT Road Bumps

Partners in Torah recently listed four road bumps a BT might hit: • Daily life as an observant Jew is not always easy. Many demands are made of us, and life is infinitely more complicated for a person concerned with Shabbos, Kashrus, a large family and yeshivah tuitions than it is for one with 1.2 […]

There’s No Going Back

In the beginning of the BT journey, it’s easy to feel on fire, excited about what is ahead, determined to plow ahead no matter the obstacles. Then, as the years unfold and the children start coming, and growing, and requiring more money than we can fathom for their stellar yeshiva education, I would presume that […]

Ayelet Waldman and Me – or – Dear Lord….Do Not Bring me to Challenges and Ordeals.

My Toughest Jewish Moment. In my other life—when I’m not being Anxious Ima, I’m a freelance journalist and it isn’t an easy road. Good writing gigs are hard to come by so it was with great delight that I snagged one — interviewing Ayelet Waldman for a top national webzine. I didn’t know much about […]

Fear and Loathing in Jerusalem: the Olam Ha’Sheker Excuse

By William Kolbrenner Open Minded Torah Spring time in Jerusalem, so yet once more, my wife and I embark on the path of finding a place for our son Shmuel with Down syndrome, this time in a cheder, a pre-kindergarden class in our neighborhood. So earlier this week, we set up a meeting with the […]

Teshuva and Changing Politics

It’s been a long time since I posted here, but I was feeling kind of bad for Mark and David (who recently emailed out a request for posts) and I still remember the last question I was pondering for Beyond BT – a question that irked me so much, I found myself stymied. That question […]

Rabbi Ozer Bergman – Alarmists

For better or worse, I am not an alarmist. So when I got an e-mail or two that tzaddikim of various stripes were warning “The End is Near for American Jews! Get Out While You Can!” I was a little underwhelmed. After all, I’ve gotten e-mails in the past that “Mashiach is DEFINITELY coming by […]

The Key To Staying On the Derech is Maintenance

This is a follow up post to my thoughts on the topic of why some BTs go off the derech. The crux of my theory is that sometimes people go off the derech not so much because they are unsatisfied with their frum lifestyle, but rather, because when life’s pressures become overwhelming we seek to […]

Humpty Dumpty Had a Great Fall…..

By Little Frumhouse on the Prairie Dixie Yid wrote an interesting post entitled, Where to Focus When Adults Go Off the Derech. The post was in response to Harry Maryles, who wrote about a few men who went off the derech. One of the men was a Talmud Chacham who lives in Ramat Beit Shemesh. […]

Dealing With Insensitivity

By Leah Anderson Recently, there was an interesting letter to the editor in the Yated (newspaper I get weekly). The woman (a BT) went to a wedding and someone at her table mentioned that she could tell a mile away that she is a BT, even though she has been frum for 15 years. The […]

Dealing with Being Childless

By “Shifra” As an (as-of-yet) childless BT, who married much later than most, I’m finding myself at the periphery of not only the FFB community, but also the BT community. It’s hard to find a safe place; it is the primary topic throughout the frum velt. The discussion at the tables at simchas inevitably comes […]

When Things Aren’t in Sync

Seems like I’m frequently sending in the “warning” story. While it’s not, G-d forbid, my intention to be negative on interactions between BT’s and the frum community, it seems I run across my share of people who have, well lets just say, misunderstood peoples intentions or perspectives, to their personal detriment. This story is one […]

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