In the age old Jewish blogging tradition of referring to the Jewish and Israeli Blogging (JIB) Awards with the utmost humility, we hereby declare that we neither deserve nor seek any nominations or awards.
However, we do want to gather as many BTs as possible together, so we can learn, grow and give to each other, and to all Jews. And the awards have successfully brought quite a number of people to Beyond Teshuva.
The rules allow voting every three days, so please do your small part. Thanks.
Ok, if you voted, please click on the more link below to read some beautiful words about The Power of the Group Hug.
Did you vote? No really, did you? Ok, we believe you.
In response to the comment that this website was nothing more than a group hug, Rabbi Dovid Schwartz responded:
You observe that (I paraphrase) â€œthe content of this website is no more than a group hug.â€ Although I think there is plenty of room to debate this point let me for the sake of argument concede it as fact. I maintain that, by and large, this is a good thing.
The psycho-spiritual pandemic of our era is insecurity and low self-esteem (see Rabbi Lazer Brodyâ€™s post December 26th post “Believing in Yourself”). BTs, in particular, endure such withering criticism from so many directions; parents and coworkers who think theyâ€™ve gone off the deep end, FFBs who sometimes agree with the above assessment while by turns saying that they havenâ€™t conformed or come along fast enough, Mentors, Rabbis and Rebitsins who scrutinize their every move like another new set of Jewish parents.
Worst of all many BTs internalize all of this and even when the external suppliers of critique and comment are temporarily silenced they become their own worst critics. Whatâ€™s the crime in creating a safe house in cyberspace where one finds acceptance, approval, reassurance and encouragement? Lord knows that there are enough sarcastic, hypercritical (is snarky the correct word?) curmudgeons already plying their vituperation all over the blogosphere. Why canâ€™t we have some virtual refuge cities for wandering Jewonks?
The novee Isaiah 41:6 says, â€œEvery one helped his neighbor and said to his brother â€˜Take courageâ€™â€.