Beyond BT

Spiritual Growth for Jews

So Bad That it MUST be Good

A SPECIAL REQUEST: Please do not begin reading this devar Torah unless you intend to learn it thoroughly and reach the disclaimer at the very end. To do otherwise could prove hazardous to your spiritual development and health. How can it be that a small spreading of the white nega-tzara’as rash causes ritual impurity but […]

The Difficulty of Paskening for BTs

I talked to Rabbi Welcher about the difficulty of paskening for BTs. In a nutshell, at the beginning, the basic psak strategy for a BT just starting out is to be lenient. But as the BT grows in their knowledge and observance, they move towards the normative halacha, and then as they continue to grow, […]

Why BTs Should Not be Part of the “Chumra of the Month” Crowd

By David Feinder There is currently a phenomenon in the frum world to follow adopt Chumrot in a manner that almost resembles the “Keeping up with the Jonses” from the 1950s. While it is true that Pirkei Avot may say that a Torah Scholar should sleep on the floor, eat bread and salt, etc., that […]

The Halachos of New Year

Over at Hirhurim, (R’ Gil Student’s blog), Rabbi Michael Broyde has a good analysis of the halachic issues regarding “celebrating” secular holidays. Here’s an excerpt: It is quite clear that on a historical level that Catholic Europe celebrated New Years day religiously for centuries. Indeed, consider the simple remarks of the Rama writing in the […]

Guide to Buying Tzitzit

At the end of last week’s Parsha the Torah instructs us to wear tzitzit “in order to remember and fulfill all of [the] mitzvahs” (Bamidbar 15:40). To explain the mitzvah, the Midrash brings an analogy of a ship passenger who fell into the water. The captain throws him a line, shouting, “Hold onto the rope […]

The Spiritual Magnificence of Snow

New Yorkers were treated to their first snow storm of the season last Sunday. After the storm, it was a beautiful sight and it was good packing snow for snow balls and snow men, but it presented a very real set of challenges. My wife and I had two weddings (among the five that were […]

Advice on How to Daven When You Don’t Know Hebrew

Rabbi Chaim Brovender explains how to daven if you don’t know Hebrew. Rabbi Chaim Brovender is the Rosh Yeshiva of WebYeshiva.  The above video is part of his daily Halacha Yomit series which is available on The WebYeshiva Blog.

Chumras in Perspective

A couple of weeks ago in my Gemorah shiur we got into an aside about Chumras. The Rabbe mentioned that he had once been approached by a gentleman who was asking for Tzedeka to help him buy a set of Tefillin for his grandson. As the discussion unfolded it turned out that this grandfather was […]

Halachos for Shabbos Erev Pesach 5768

By Rabbi Herschel Welcher When Erev Pesach occurs on Shabbos, it is necessary to observe a number of the Mitzvos in an unconventional manner. This letter as a guide to practical observance, based on zmanim for Queens, NY. 1. Bedikas Chometz should be conducted on Thursday evening, April 17. 2. The first Bittul Chometz should […]

Rabbi Daniel Feldman on Organ Donations in Halacha

Rabbi Daniel Feldman masterfully spoke this morning on one of the important topics of our time ‘Organ Donations in Halacha’ Please take the time to familiarize yourself with the key issues in this topic. The mp3 of the shiur can be be downloaded here.

The Niddah Difference

By Jewish Deaf Motorcycling Dad Since most of you probably aren’t familiar with Deaf culture, let me begin by explaining that the Deaf community is a very touchy (physically) community. I’ve heard various reasons for this. Part of it seems to be the loss of one sense, sound; so we make it up by using […]

Blood of Milah: Why are You Waiting?

By David Geltzer I am forty-one but I am like a fifteen year-old. I had my tipas dom bris (the blood drop of a bris) after becoming frum and learning in yeshiva for five years. No one told me to do it but when I read that a bris milah impinges on one’s ability to […]

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