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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Ba'alei Teshuva's LiveJournal:

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Sunday, August 19th, 2007
1:28 am
60 Days by Simon Jacobson

Is anyone else reading/doing this book?  I started a separate journal just for it -

yaels60days Please friend it if you are also reading the book and would like to discuss it.
For those of you unfamiliar, 60 Days is a day by day guide to spiritual growth throught the Jewish months of Elul and Tishrei.  I've found it really inspiring. The language is such that it can be profound for people of any observance level.  I read it last year as well (I think I posted about it, too), but this is the first year I'm keeping the journal.


Saturday, July 28th, 2007
10:15 pm
Shavuah Tov!
I'm participating in this year's Blogathon, an event where people around the world are Blog for 24 hours for charity (sort of like how people run for various charities, and people sponsor them). The charity I chose is the Chabad Jewish Student Center at Arizona State University.

For the next 22.5 hours (it's already started), I'll be blogging once every half hour on various Judaism/Torah-related topics. Feel free to add the journal and watch (and learn), and you're also welcome to donate - 100% of the donations go to the ASU Chabad House!.
Sunday, July 8th, 2007
1:56 am
Divine Providence
So it's Friday afternoon, I'd just put some meatloaf in the oven for Shabbos dinner, and I was cleaning up the kitchen. I had some leftover breadcrumbs, and I wasn't sure what to do with them. I asked my dad if he wanted to use them for anything, or if I should throw them away (I didn't really want to waste them, though). He suggested I put them outside so birds could eat them.

I go outside. I put the breadcrumbs in a place in our yard, and throw away the paper plate they were on. I look up, and I see a plastic bag making its way down the street, in the breeze. As it came closer, I got this sense that I was meant to pick it up. So I decided to do just that. As I was walking toward it, I noticed that someone's dog had left a 'present' at the edge of our yard. Now having a use for the bag, I retrieved it (it was now conveniently close to where I was), turned it inside out to pick up the droppings, turned it right-side in, and threw it all away.

The Baal Shem Tov said, "Everything is by Divine Providence. If a leaf is turned over by a breeze, it is only because this has been specifically ordained by G-d to serve a particular function within the purpose of creation."

I hadn't planned to make meatloaf... I didn't know I'd end up with extra bread crumbs... had I just thrown away the breadcrumbs, I wouldn't have gone outside. Had I not gone outside, I wouldn't have seen the bag. Had I not gone to pick up the bag, I wouldn't have seen the dog droppings. And I wouldn't have done the mitzvah.

If there were plastic bags in the Baal Shem Tov's time, he'd probably say the same thing about plastic bags as he did leaves.

Current Mood: contemplative
Monday, June 11th, 2007
12:51 am
this still going
is this community still going is anyone wants to chat share experiances would be cool
Saturday, March 3rd, 2007
11:06 pm
I'm a bad Jew
Yup, I said it. I am trying, but I am a bad Jew. I am on a serious mission to better myself, and it is something I have wanted to do for a while, but right now that's what it amounts to.

I am 32, I was brought up in a reformed home. In my family we went to synagogue until I was Bar Mitzvahed, me being the youngest. That is also when religious school stopped. I do not want the same for my children. Currently we belong to a Conservative Synagogue, with for the most part a pretty traditional crowd.

We keep Kosher to the extent that I am able to. I know many will say that this doesn't count, but being a single parent of 3 without an unlimited income it can be hard.

Well, I am trying right now to find my way to being more observant. To being a better Jew. I know it is a very important part of me, and I try to instill in my children how important it is for them.

Myself I have so many ways I need to improve in being more observant, and it truly is a goal for me. I feel robbed by my parents. I can't read a lick of Hebrew, I feel lost in services so much so that it makes it harder to attend. I feel like everyone notices how bad of a Jew I am. I feel a lot of shame about it honestly.

Anyway, I guess no real questions here. Just a first post from someone joining the group.

Current Mood: uncomfortable
Sunday, February 25th, 2007
10:55 pm
I'm tired of being that guy.
This past weekend my family and I went to Washington DC for a bas mitzvah. This was my first trip with my family since I started keeping Shabbos and kosher a few years ago. Behind a cut b/c it's kind of a long storyCollapse )

Current Mood: upset
Wednesday, February 14th, 2007
1:13 pm
New RSS Feed.
In an effort to facilitate my own daily learning, I created the LJ feed, chabaddailystdy, which is taken from the RSS feed of chabad.org's Daily Study page. It includes Chumash, Tanya, Tehillim, HaYom Yom, Rambam, and Sefer HaMitzvos.

I figured that others in this group might also appreciate daily Torah on their Friends Pages, so I am mentioning it here. If this goes against community rules to advertise for it, I apologize and please feel free to delete this post as necessary.
Thursday, December 7th, 2006
8:36 am
a question
Good morning everyone. I've got a question and I'm hoping you can help me out.

A friend of mine is converting into Judaism after a few years of hard work and study. As a 'welcome aboard' gift I was thinking about getting her a Tehillim with her new Hebrew name imprinted on the cover. Does anyone know of a place where I can order such a thing, especially on my college student budget?
Friday, October 6th, 2006
6:11 pm
Monday, September 4th, 2006
10:34 pm

Anyone interested in a morning phone Chevrusa?  (between 9-11am eastern).  I'm up for learning just about anything, and this is when I have the most free time, since my son is a late sleeper...but since he's in bed, I can't really go out to learn.  I have a pretty extensive library, but I'm most interested in Chassidus, Tanya, Pirkei Avos and Elul/Tishrei stuff (I just got the book 60 Days by Simon Jacobson).

Saturday, September 2nd, 2006
9:57 pm
Am I the only one that posts here?

Anyway, I have some questions and concerns, mostly questions.

What did you do when you weren't sure where you fit in? I feel that my parent's Conservative shul is far too liberal for me to be religiously, and it's 2 weeks till the high holidays and I have nowhere to go. What did you do (assuming you were ever without shul and still searching for the right place for you)?

Touching on the parent's thing. I'm now asked every Shabbos when I don't go somewhere "what? Our shul isn't good enough for you?"... honestly, I'm not sure how to respond. I don't want to say that it's not religious enough for me, and I'd be forced to drive there, which I don't want to do. How do I mention that I don't fit in there religiously without offending my parents? I know they already have issue with me becomming more religious, but I've never figured out the way to approach them about it, and the high holidays are just one of those inconvenient times when it's hard to explain why I don't want a ticket for their shul and where I'm going (my mom kind of rolled her eyes and suggested the Chabad house nearby).

And um, help?

Also, I feel like kind of weird saying typically Jewish sayings, most in Hebrew. Or Yiddish ones as the case may be. I know this is the type of thing that you just sort of pick up in a community, but I haven't really lived in a religious community for very long, so saying "Baruch Hashem" for instance, feels so weird to me, not even mentioning all the other terms commonly spoke in communities. How do you get familar with them and feel comfortable saying them? I feel like a bit of an outsider now.
I'm unfortunately going to be living at home for awhile, based on lack of funds and looking for a job after graduating. So, I can't just move out.

Current Mood: nervous
Sunday, July 30th, 2006
1:40 pm
Troop support
I received this in an email from a friend.

Good Sunday Morning,
You can see that I'm on a mission. Time that we do something for our Israeli Soldiers. The site below lets you send your message and a hug and Strauss-Elite will add 'chocolates' to sweeten their day. There is no cost to sending the cards and you can do it several times and it will go to a different soldier each time.

Saturday, July 29th, 2006
9:13 pm
World Wide Prayer For Israeli Soldiers
The Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi Yona Metzger is calling upon Jews through out the world to unite in prayer for the soldiers of Israel.

The prayer will occur on August 1, 2006, this Tuesday, at 7:00pm Israel time.

Following is a link to the website, which has been setup for each person who chooses to participate, to add their name to those who will join this prayer:


There is a link at this site to determine what time in your particular location the prayer will begin.
Monday, June 26th, 2006
9:17 pm
I'm looking for book recommendations. It looks like I'll be spending 2 weeks in bed and I'd like to not be bored and maybe even learn something.

I don't know a particular subject that I'd prefer, but I do like books that are easy to relate to. I just read a wonderful book called Miriam's Kitchen (highly recommend!). I wouldn't mind educational reads, but nothing too dry.

Possible subjects that I am thinking about:
- anything about BT
- information on some of the minor holidays

Any other books you think I should read. =)

Thank you.
Tuesday, June 20th, 2006
6:36 pm
Baruch Dayan HaEmes
This past Shabbos morning, very dear friends of ours, the Kellers, lost their son, Benzion.  Benzion was 17.  He was in perfect health.  He just woke up coughing and 20 minutes later, he was gone.  I can only imagine the devastation they are feeling and desperately wish there was some kind of comfort I could provide.  So, I am going to ask for your help.  If you are Jewish, please do one more mitzvah.  If you are not, go here and learn about the Noachide commandments.  Every thing you do brings us one step closer to Moshiach and T'chias HaMaysim (bringing back the dead) when all broken-hearted mothers will be reunited with their children.
Please let me know what you've decided to take on, I would like to compile a list and present it to the Kellers.
Hubby is learning Tractate Pe'a in Talmud Yerushalmi.  I am adding to my morning and evening Davening.
Thank you so much for your help.
Wednesday, May 3rd, 2006
8:43 pm
Ok, so I've been mitzvah-journeying for awhile now and I'm applying to orthodox seminaries in Israel.

So, I need the truth.

How do the religious really think about mental illness.
There is a spot on the application for 'things that may hinder your learning' and I want to know whether to fill it out honestly or not.

I know the happy answer would be that it won't make a difference and that it doesn't matter, but I have a feeling it does (as it has been an issue for nearly everything I have applied to/for thus far in my life).

And I know this subject isn't particularly happy and that there's a lot of disagreements but I'd love to go to seminary and I don't want to be rejected because of this thing that I can't change about myself.
Saturday, December 10th, 2005
9:31 pm
More about Beyond BT

It looks like Beyond BT is accepting essays from "guest contributors" after all. So if you have something to say about the challenges facing BTs, and can do it in 100-400 words, please email beyondbt@gmail.com
Friday, December 9th, 2005
10:41 am
Beyond BT

I wanted to let everyone know about a new group blog for BTs called Beyond BT. There's a small group contributing articles, but anyone can post comments there. The issue of the week is "The Biggest Challenges facing BTs."
Saturday, November 26th, 2005
10:45 pm

Here's a film we can relate to! Aish HaTorah has made two new videos called "Inspired." They show interviews with baalei and baalos teshuva who both tell their stories and advise all frum Jews how they can involve themselves in kiruv. There's a video of of all men, which both men and women are allowed to see, and another of ba'alos teshuva, all women, so only women may see it. I saw the women's video and it is excellent. I can't wait to see the men's with my husband! If you go to this website, you can see a preview of the men's film and also get the schedule for a showing near you.
Friday, September 2nd, 2005
8:28 pm
New here... thought I'd just stop by and say Shalom ;)

Current Mood: creative
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