Beyond BT

Spiritual Growth for Jews

Thinking Inside THE Box(es)

Terumah 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 HaShem spoke to Moshe saying: Speak to the children of Israel and have them lift an offering up to Me. Take […]

Let’s Get Away (From it All) … With Murder!

Mishpatim 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 If he (the killer) did not hunt and trap to murder, but Elokim brought about involuntary-manslaughter through him, then I will […]

Living with Regrets

I happen to enjoy and appreciate that fluid flow of online information. A friend (as in, I had meet him years ago and then we were ‘friends” online, and I actually met him recently over Sukkos) recently posted a link on Facebook to an article published in July of 2013 in the New York Times. […]

Dreaming but Not Sleeping

Vayeshev 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  Soon thereafter the Egyptian king’s wine steward and the baker offended their master, who was the king of Egypt. -Bereshis 40:1  [Regarding] this […]

Keep the Change

As the Neilah service on Yom Kippur reaches its crescendo, the congregation cries out in unison: “Hashem Hu HaElokim” (Hashem is G-d) seven times. We can probably still hear this cry echoing in our minds. At that precious moment, we have reached the peak of the spiritual heights we have been climbing since the beginning […]

To Feast or to Fast… THAT is the Question!

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  It (Yom HaKipurim) is a Sabbath of Sabbaths to you and a day when you must afflict your souls. You must keep this Sabbath […]

Teshuva, Kiruv and BTs

By Rabbi Shaya Karlinsky This wonderful group is devoted to discussing issues that are important to ba’alei tshuva. And we are now in the season when everyone should be attempting, each in his or her own way, to grow to higher levels through teshuva. There are two Halachoth that the Rambam includes in the laws […]

Don’t be Bailed Out. Be Vindicated!

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 G-d’s angel called to him from heaven and said “Avraham, Avraham’!  Do not put forth your hand towards the youth (i.e. do not harm […]

The Two Types of Prayer and the Two Types of Teshuva

According to Rav Yosef Ber Soloveitchik, Chazal saw prayer as a an audience between the King and a prominent individual thus requiring us to stand straight, dress in good clothes and address Hashem directly. Hashem has given us this special privilege to approach him three times a day, only because we have a precedent from […]

Elul – Some Resources for Motivation

Elul is coming which means that the Teshuva season is about to begin. If we want to have a successful Rosh Hoshana and Yom Kippur, seforim strongly advise us to start early in the month. It’s a tremendous opportunity for growth and we’d be foolish not to take advantage of it. Most of the current […]

Sacred Carpe Diem (Seize the Day)….

An installment in the series From the Waters of the Shiloah: Plumbing the Depths of the Izhbitzer School For the series introduction click By Rabbi Dovid Schwartz Behold I have set the Blessing before you TODAY First Pasuk in Parshas Re’eh -Devarim 11:26 There is an inverse relationship between our age and the quantity and […]

Two Paths To Rosh HaShanah and the Yomim Noraim – Which Will You Choose?

As a person enters the Yommim Noraim there are two, possible paths and feelings that they may experience: Path #1: The teshuvah process starts with our supplications during Slichos the week before Rosh Hashannah with prayers such as “To us Hashem is shame-facedness; unto You is Tzedukah”. The days of Slichos pass with deep introspection […]

Why Haven’t You Given Up on Fixing the Last Mile?

As BT’s we’ve made some pretty amazing changes in our lives. And we all know it was very difficult. But if you’ve been Shomer Shabbos for 10+ years, you know that teshuva becomes more difficult. The changes have to go beyond behavioral and deep into the character. So what keeps you going? What tools and […]

The Joy of Repentance

Do you know anyone who relates to the idea of repentance with joy and happiness? Looking forward to that sore tuchas from sitting so long in synagogue? Can there be trepidation for the Day of Judgment and awe for the Day of Atonement and also an uplifted positive spirit? You bet your sore tuchas. It’s […]

The Path Towards Truth is One You Often Tread Alone

Like everyone, I have my faults. I spoke a bit of lashon hara last week. I squabbled with my husband because our overdraft is plumbing the depths of our bank account; and I skipped bentching on shabbos because it was just us for lunch and I couldn’t be bothered. But ultimately, I believe that I […]

The Ultimate Rebellion

By Rucheli Manville who posts great photos and writings at Rucheli’s Ramblings. There was once a young man. He was raised in a good home filled with positive influences. He had the best education in a great community. His parents set him on a straight path towards success, but he had his own ideas of […]

Revival of the Dead

It was every author’s worst nightmare. Summer, 2005. Just another routine morning, or so I thought. The screen went dark on my computer, with no fanfare or warning, as sudden as a solid oak door slamming shut in the wind. And nothing I did brought it back to life. I tried restarting it, davening, begging, […]

Do Teshuva Out of Love This Yom Kippur

Advantages of Doing Teshuva out of Love In the Aryeh Kaplan Reader article titled Yom Kippur Thoughts – A Good Day for Repentance, Rabbi Kaplan points out the tremendous advantages of doing teshuva out of love versus out of fear: 1) Your sins become merits 2) You require no further atonement even though we can’t […]

Join the Clean Team. Al Cheit 2010

Today I did something I’d like to delete from my supernal report card. I googled the name of someone I dislike just to take him down. Yes, I’m jealous. X is an uneducated boor, crass, ostentatious, but blessed, it seems with a talent for earning easy money. What my search turned up wasn’t the stuff […]

Prepare for Rosh Hoshana With These Great Shiurim

Rabbi Welcher on Tekios on Rosh Hoshana 2010 – mp3 can be download here. Rabbi Oelbaum on Teshuva 2010 – mp3 can be download here. Rabbi Yonason Sacks on Teshuva – mp3 can be download here. Rabbi Welcher on Selichos night from 2007 can be downloaded here. Rabbi Welcher on Halachos of Blowing Shofar from […]

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