Beyond BT

Spiritual Growth for Jews

There Are no Lightweights or Heavyweights … Only Half-Weights

Pikudei-Shekalim 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 Everyone who is to be counted in the census must give a half-shekel according to the holy standard where a shekel […]

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 […]

You Don’t Desire? Then Yearn to Desire!

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 For the Mitzvah that I am prescribing to you today is not beyond your grasp or remote from you…Rather it is something that is […]

Metamorphosis: From Cubic Zirconia to Hope Diamonds

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 When you wage war against your enemies, HaShem will grant you victory over them so that you will capture his captives. If you see a beautiful woman among the prisoners […]

A Foolish Consistency is the Hobgoblin of Little Minds

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 Do not erect a sacred Monolith for this is something that HaShem your L-rd hates                                 […]

Holy-Anger Havens for Anger Mismanagement Refugees

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 The Mitzvah of earmarking Refuge Cities is introduced in Parshas Ma’asei: (B’Midbar 35:6) Along with the cities that you shall give to the Levi’im, shall be the six refuge […]

From the Waters of the Shiloah – Plumbing the Depths of the Izhbitzer School

Many veteran Chozrim B’Tshuva grapple with the problem of “plateauing”. The epiphanies and ecstasies of our journeys beginnings become ever-fading memories nearly lost in the mists of time. We yearn for those tempestuous days when every Torah thought was revolutionary and every insight was likely to generate a paradigm shift wherein one conceptual world view […]

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 […]

Frozen Jews

Originally Posted on Oct 25, 2006 When Modiin was first built, it was designed as a ‘secular’ haven for the people who used to fancy living in Jerusalem, but didn’t want hareidim for neighbours. As the city has grown, it’s begun to attract quite a few modern orthodox, including a lot of expat anglos, who […]

The Whole World In His Hands

A blast from the past. Originally posted January 24, 2006 The most empowering moment of my life was when I learned that the torah was written by G-d. Immediately, I understood that my actions affected the entire universe. If I did a mitzvah I brought the world that much closer to the coming of Moshiach, […]

The Jewish Peter-Pan Syndrome

Translated and adapted for Beyond Teshuva by Rabbi Dovid Schwartz Bar/bat Mitzvahs, graduations and weddings are fêted and enjoyed by all in attendance. But no one awaits these celebrations with as much edge-of-the-seat anticipation as the bnai Mitzvah, graduates and brides and grooms themselves. For these primary revelers the parties are much more than opportunities […]

Plateauing & Leaving the Cave

There’s a story in the Gemara which I think describes the phenomenon of plateauing in two of our greatest spiritual giants. Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai and his son Elazar were forced to live in a cave for 12 years, hiding from the Roman authorities, who had an execution order out for them. After the decree […]

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