Affirming the BT Growth Mission

I was at a Torah Umesorah convention recently and I had the pleasure of spending time with a young Rabbi who is dedicating his life to building a Torah community and helping Jews with little or no Jewish education embrace, Torah, mitzvos and Hashem, at a pace that makes sense for them. The fact that this month’s issue of Klal Perspectives even hints that we need to shine the bright light of success evaluation on his mesiras nefesh for the Klal, in the name of community resource allocation, is quite puzzling to me and to many others.

What was really striking was this Rabbi’s growth orientation. It was evident in everything he said. I asked him straight out where he had developed such a wonderful Torah attitude. He told me that he was an FFB, and had fine tuned this orientation in the years he learned at the Jerusalem Kollel of Rabbi Yitzchak Berkowitz. In addition to Rabbi Berkowitz, he mentioned the influence of a number of BTs at the Kollel. He said that the BT contribution to a communal Torah growth perspective is both immeasurable and undervalued.

For the readers, writers and commentators here on Beyond BT this growth culture is no secret. It permeates almost every post, comment and email we receive. We are a group of people who after 5, 10, 20, 30 or even 40 years of Yiddishkeit, are still fanning the same flame that was lit when we learned our first Rashi.

No one can ever measure the spiritual progress we’ve made, or the spiritual growth we still yearn for. It can’t be evaluated in dollars, in journal articles or in any measure you can think of, due to the sometimes overlooked, obvious fact, that spirituality can’t be measured, by definition. We should state our protests to those who might wittingly or unwittingly slow down the teaching of Torah to our fellow Jews, but our main focus is to continue our growth, and encourage and assist everyone in our circles of concern and influence to continue their spiritual growth.

It’s not about self-congratulations, or recognition, it’s about clarity of vision and clarity of mission. It’s about growth and concern for the spiritual growth of every Jew on the planet. And knowing that the evaluation of our individual and collective spiritual success is only in the hands of Hashem.

2 comments on “Affirming the BT Growth Mission

  1. Neil, we didn’t discuss it directly, but it’s clear that he’s always listening, learning and trying to improve.

  2. Couldn’t agree more. I recently started listening to shiurim based on the dialogue version of Mesillas Yesharim and also I’m going through the text.

    It’s all about growth and movement.

    Did this Rabbi have any advice or observations about keeping growth focused?

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