Beyond BT

Spiritual Growth for Jews

Having and Being and the Happiness of Sukkot

In this article by Rebbetzin Tziporah Heller, she brings down the Orchot Tzadikim to explain that happiness is never about having, it is about being” “Western society is infused with the right of the pursuit happiness. We hunt it down with relentless drive. Do we find it? I’m not so sure. Sure, no one is […]

Defeating Self-Defeat

Why do people constantly sabotage themselves? How does the scapegoat atone for the sins of Uza and Azael? And Ahron [the Kohen Gadol-high priest] should place two lots on the two goats; one [marked] for HaShem and the other [marked] for Azazel — Vayikra 16:8 And Ahron should press his two hands on the live […]

The 60 Second Guide to Yom Kippur

While Rosh Hashanah is focused on G-d’s existence, authority and supervision of the world, Yom Kippur is focused on our role in G-d’s plan for the perfection of humanity. We’re created half-spiritual and half-physical with a strong ego, so we’re conflicted between doing what is good (spiritual) and what feels (physical) or looks good (ego). […]

The Kingship of the Ten Days of Teshuva

Rabbi Chaim Friedlander zt”l in the Rinas Chaim writes about the issue of Kingship after Rosh Hoshana: “The similarity of issues, which appear in the prayers of both Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, pointing to Hashem Yisbarach’s kingship and reign, leads us to a question. Why must we bring up the issue of malchus, Hashem’s […]

Three Things to Keep in Mind on Rosh Hoshanah

1. G-d is the King and Master of the Universe and we, the Jews, are his primary subjects. 2. Make a greater commitment to recognizing G-d as King as often as possible. 3. Resolve to make G-d consciousness real, with increased focus on Torah, kindness, davening and performing mitzvos. A K’siva V’Chasima Tova to all […]

MP3s: Shabbos Project 2014; Securing a Favorable Judgement; Arba Minim; Malchius; Inspiration

Rabbi Welcher on Grabbing the Inspiration can be downloaded here. Rabbi Welcher on Malchius And The Tefilos Of Rosh_Hoshana can be downloaded here. Rabbi Dr. Warren Goldstein, Chief Rabbi of South Africa on the Shabbos Project at YIKGH on Sept 28th can be downloaded here. Rabbi Moshe Schwerd on “Securing a Favorable Judgment with a […]

On Which Day of Rosh Hashana Will You Be Judged?

Rabbi Noson Weisz has a great article on the judgment of Rosh Hoshanah based on the writings of Rabbi Dessler in his work Michtav Mieliyahu. On the first day of Rosh Hashana God only considers the cases of the people who are sincerely committed to developing themselves spiritually. It is they who offer Him investment […]

The Homework for Rosh Hoshanah

It’s no coincidence that Rosh Hoshanah and the school year start at the same time. Both have the excitement of starting something new. The excitement of a clean slate. The excitement of potential. However, there is one scenario we want to avoid. “Did everybody do the homework?” “What homework? Today’s the first day!” “The summer […]

The Season of the Spiritual Growth Mindset

The secular world has recently “discovered” the growth mindset: Mindset is a simple idea discovered by world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck in decades of research on achievement and success—a simple idea that makes all the difference. In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard […]

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 […]

Rebbetzin Heller on Approaching the Viduy on Yom Kippur

Adapted from a recent newsletter article by Rebbetzin Heller Keep in mind that Hashem accepts you with all of your faults and broken pieces, you needn’t act as if they don’t exist. Review the viduy before Yom Kippur in the machzor. Don’t fall into any of the usual traps when you read the list of […]

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 Ramchal and How the Shofar Draws Down Mercy

The Elucidated Derech Hashem is an amazing work in which Rabbi Abba Zvi Naiman brings down many footnotes from the other works of the Ramchal to explain the concepts in Derech Hashem. In regards to the mercy invoked when the Shofar is blown, Rabbi Naiman explains, based on Derech Hashem and other works of the […]

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 […]

Back to School: Rosh Hoshana’s Coming!

There’s a famous segulah from the sefer Nefesh HaChaim that one who is in danger should intensely concentrate on the pusuk “Ein Od Milvado”. If he does this and thereby thinks, without interruption, how Ha-Shem controls every situation, he will merit help from above. (There’s an equally famous story with the Brisker Rav about this.) […]

Post YK Reflections

By Jak One of the strangest things that hit me this year leading up to Yom Kippur, was that this was only the 3rd Yom Kippur where I would be defined as “shomer shabbat”. Only 2 years ago I started? It seems like forever that I’ve been “frum.” It’s amazing how in such a short […]

Kesiva V’Chasima Tova

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank all our contributors, commentors and readers for writing and reading Beyond BT. A Kesiva V’Chasima Tova to all!

Ten Ways to Help Your Children Have a More Meaningful Yomin Noraim

1. Explain to your children how Hashem actively seeks ways to forgive, and will forgive them – even if the best they can do is want to do teshuva. 2. Remind them that Yiddishkeit is not all-or-nothing – that their aveiros do not invalidate their mitzvos or diminish Hashem’s love. 3. Model the virtue of […]

Rosh Hoshana: Committing to the Plan

Rosh Hoshana is almost here and the focus of the day is on the creation of the world and on Hashem as our Melech or King. How is this different then the creation we recognize every Shabbos? Secondly, how are we to understand this concept of Malchus or Kingship, and how is it different from […]

Before “Beyond”: Home for the Holidays

This essay was originally published before blogging existed or almost anyone had ever heard of the Internet. It was the first installment in what was a regular column called “On the Road… Back” in what turned out to be a short-lived weekly newspaper called the New Jersey Jewish Post. This column was entitled, “Home For […]

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