A Cheshbon Hanefesh at Beyond BT

With Rosh Hoshana just around the corner, it behooves us to review our actions to determine which ones we are happy with and which ones we would like to improve upon. The same holds true for Beyond BT.

A few of the things we are happy with are:

1. With rare exception, the civil tone of the blog;
2. The variety of points of view being presented in both the posts and the comments;
3. The new friends and connections that have been made online and off;
4. The way the blog has been able to raise and present issues affecting BTs and the broader Jewish community;
5. That many people have told us that the blog has helped them with BT and growth related issues and has filled a void.

Some of the things, we would like to improve upon are:

1. Increasing the number of contributors to the blog; (If you are interested, please contact us at beyondbt@gmail.com)
2. Gaining more support and assistance for offline events like Melave Malkes and Shabbatons;
3. Increasing the awareness of the site to all who might benefit or be able to contribute;
4. Expanding the tent of Torah so more people will feel accepted and supported on their growth path;
5. Increasing the awareness that the site is not a monolithic, one size fits all approach;

We want to thank all those who read, comment and contribute to the site and we wish you all a Kesiva V’Chasima Tova.

24 comments on “A Cheshbon Hanefesh at Beyond BT

  1. Dear Mark and David,
    K’siva v’ksima tova. Even when I’m not so involved, it’s comforting to know there’s a place to discuss, ponder, and vent! Thank you for your extraordinary commitment to Beyond BT!

    Shana Tova to the entire Beyond BT mishpocha,

  2. To all posters commenters readers of BeyondBT.com and to Kol Yisruel…

    May you be inscribed and sealed into the “Book of the Just” without delay for a good life and peace. May the coming year be filled with days dipped in honey and suffused with light, happiness, prosperity and good health for you and yours.

    It is my hope and prayer that in the coming year we can learn and grow together through this virtual community founded by Mark and David to increase Kovod Shomayim.

  3. At the risk of sounding like a broken record I’d like to urge everyone to tell and/or email all your friends and acquaintences about this great and unique blogsite. If YOU enjoy it,it stands to reason they will too. Let’s expand the tent (without devolving into a 3 ring circus) and become ever more inclusive.

    A good sweet new year to one and all.

  4. Thank you and yasher koach to the administrators and to all of the contributors and commentators…I learn so much from this blog and it’s so comforting to know I am not alone in experiencing the issues that I have. Shana tovah to everyone, to everyone’s families, and ktiva ve chatimah to everyone!

  5. Mark and David:

    Shana tova to both of you and your familes. Thanks for all the endless hours you dedicated to the growth of this site.

    May Hashem reward you for all your efforts.


    Yakov Horowitz
    Monsey NY

  6. Beyond BT has become an almost daily read, and a source of so much inspiration that I’m sure that some people are tiring of hearing “on The Blog it said….”. And it’s been a pleasure meeting so many great people via The Blog. I just wish I had time to read more of the articles, and certainly, follow some of the worthwhile links.

    Again, a huge Yasher Koach to the administrators who are careful to guide the tone of even some of our fiercest discussions (MO/Charedi, finances, appearance…). Even if certain topics have been recycled, they always seem to bring about new ideas and discussions.

  7. Since this is cheshbon hanefesh time, I’d like to point out that bloggers and commenters have to deal with various strategems of the yetzer hara to make us:

    1. Egotistical, arrogant
    2. Unwilling to accept valid criticism
    3. Willing to stretch the truth to make a point
    4. Lash out at all opportunities against people and groups we disagree with

    While the administrators have done their bit to help us curb our yetzer, the responsibility is on each of us. I know I fight these tendencies and don’t always win.

    Let’s all reflect on how we can improve our public and private communications.

  8. Thanks to David and Mark for maintaining the blog– I enjoy the posts and exchanging ideas with commentators.

    Kesiva V’Chasima Tova to all!

  9. Thank you for the tremendous job you do. May you be repaid thousandfold for the inspiration this site provides to us.

  10. Yasher Koach! Keep up the fine work!

    As for bringing BT to other locations, it would seems to me that ther would have to be a good reason to come. Many here in Chicago who might benefit from this kind of discussion, don’t know about this website and may not come even if we identified who would be a good candidate to come. However if Rabbi Yanky Horowitz would come, with the specific purpose of addressing issues in parenting, specifically catered to baalei teshuvah, (even people who have been baalei teshuva for over 25 years), that would likely fill the house. Just a thought…

  11. “1. With rare exception, the civil tone of the blog;”

    You guys are positively British in your capacity for understatement. Beyond T’shuva is the gold-standard in on-line civility and derech eretz.

    I think that when this year’s Jewish and Israeli Blog awards competition begins there ought to be a new category “Blog that best promotes Derech Eretz”. Mark and David, your “baby” would be a slam dunk winner in that category! (and would have my votes, early and often, in many more)

  12. Yashar Koach to the two of you for doing all the hard work to make the blog function well. K’siva v’chasima tova to all.

  13. Yasher Koach on creating a wonderfulonline community and blog that exists in real time and space, as opposed to just cyberspace, that enhances the abilities of all to grow in Torah, Avodah and Gmilus Chasadim

  14. If we could get two people from Chicago or any city to accept responsibility to run a Melave Malka or another function we would be glad to help assist and publicize the event. Email us if you are interested.

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