Beyond BT

Spiritual Growth for Jews

In Prayer; the Medium IS the Message

Pharaoh asked Moshe to pray to end the plagues in a particular way. Why didn’t he? Various plagues were wrought by HaShem, Moshe and Ahron.  Why was barad, in particular, brought about by Moshe? “Try and test me” Moshe replied. “At precisely what time shall I pray אעתיר for you, your servants and your people … […]

Connection is the Goal, Mitzvos are the Path

In the beginning of Mesillas Yesharim the Ramchal writes: When you look further into the matter, you will see that only connection with God constitutes true perfection, as King David said (Psalms 73:28), “But as for me, the nearness of God is my good,” and (Psalms 27:4), “I asked one thing from God; that will […]

How the Internet Effects Our Davening and Our Learning

Over the past view years, I’ve met more and more people who admit that they’re very distracted and find it hard to focus during davening and throughout the day. One of my favorite technology-oriented writers, Nick Carr explains in his new book, “The Shallows” that the Internet is effecting our ability to concentrate and think […]

Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach’s Spiritual Growth Prescription

In a previous post titled, “Getting Better Mileage From Our Mitzvah Observance”, I suggested that those interested in continued spiritual growth, which I assume is most readers of this site, should try to say their Brachos with more mindfulness. I’ve been following my own advice and it is indeed a powerful, accessible way to connect […]

Working Smarter — After Working Hardest

VaYetzai 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 She (Leah) was pregnant once again, and bore a son. She said: “This time let me express gratitude to HaShem.” She named the […]

More on More Mitzvah Mileage

In yesterday’s post, we pointed out that for mitzvos to have their intended effect of getting closer to Hashem, we need to perform them with mindfulness, which can include attention, focus and kavannah. Fellow spiritual growth traveler, Neil Harris, emailed us and pointed out that mindfulness is currently a very popular concept in the secular […]

Getting Better Mileage From Our Mitzvah Observance

Rabbi Yitzchok Kirzner zt”l used to tell a story of an observant Jew who was not motivated to grow further. He told Rabbi Kirzner that he was in the top 10% in terms of observance, and when the other 90% of Jewry caught up, he would go further. The Mesillas Yesharim in the chapter on […]

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