Baal teshuva or ba'al teshuvah–בעל תשובה‎ (male) בעלת תשובה(female)–is a term that often refers to a Jew who turns to embrace Orthodox Judaism.

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Resources for learning about the foundations of Judaism

I recently met an intelligent Soviet immigrant interested in learning more about Judaism. He would like to start with understanding the basics. Such as: How do we understand G-d? What are the ...
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Would a baalat teshuva need a get from each previous sexual relationship?

Would a baalat teshuva need a get from each previous sexual relationship? In light of the idea that marriage can be contracted solely through bi'ah/public knowledge of the couple's relationship (as ...
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How to keep kosher in a non-observant household

Many Baalei Teshuvah (returnees to Judaism) confront various conflicts regarding their interactions with non-observant family and friends. A big one, which has not been discussed here (AFAIK), is ...
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Leniencies for someone keeping Kosher in a non-Kosher home

My family is not frum, but they do not eat non-kosher meat at home, although they do eat other not-certified-kosher products, including cheese. They don't mix meat and milk, but they do wash meat and ...
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369 views

Embarrassing a Baal Teshuva

Be'er Hagolah at the end of Yoreh Deah 334 says that one of the things that are considered Cherem D'Rabeinu Gersom is not to embarrass a Baal Teshuva regarding his previous lifestyle. Yet when you ...
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How to have an easier time with Yom Tov?

NOTE: None of the following applies to Yom Kippur. I am a chozeret b'teshuva who has found most of the mitzvot to be positive challenges: within my reach, if only over time. However, one absolutely ...
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How does a person who has left Judaism return?

What is the process for a person who has left Judaism and converted to a different religion, who now wishes to return to Judaism? I have heard (based on an Avos D'Rav Nosson) that he would need a ...
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Would a convert/Ba'al Teshuvah have to remove any tattoos they may have?

A Jew is prohibited from tattooing himself. If a person with tattoos were to convert to Judaism, would they be required to have the tattoos removed? Would a Jew who got a tattoo and later repented be ...
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189 views

Customs of the parents when the parents don't have past customs

I am of mixed Sephardic and Ashkenazic parentage. I view this as allowing me to behave Sephardically when it suits me (for instance, eating kitniyot for Pessach) or Ashkenacikally when it suits me ...
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Baal Teshuva Minhag

I have read that Rabbi Avraham Yosef (the son of Rav Ovadiah Yosef) paskened that a Baal Teshuva in Israel should adopt the Sephardic Minhag, regardless of family history, as their immediate ancestors ...
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296 views

When does one become considered shomer shaboss?

Clarification : Mr. X is a orthodox religious Jew. Mr. X has a rebellious phase and violates shaboss. Mr. X later starts keeping the rules again. I'm asking in both cases: Case 1: Ten people knew ...
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Kohanim Dating Ba'alot Teshuva

Is it necessary for a Kohen to clarify that a prospective match who is a ba'alat teshuvah has not had sexual relations with a non-Jew before dating her, or can one rely on a chezkat kashrut? If the ...
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158 views

What's the halacha with regards to Maaser for a Baal Teshuvah?

Say a person never gave charity, due to ignorance or whatever other reason. He has now become a Baal Teshuvah and started observing the Torah. What is the halacha with charity? Does he have to give ...
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1answer
201 views

Can a non-Kashrus observant Jew cook for a Kashrus-observant Jew?

Can a Jew who understands the laws of Kashrut but is not personally observant cook for a Kosher-observant Jew? For example, can a Jewish but non-observant parent cook for his Orthodox child? Presume ...
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Can a Cohen marry a bat niddah?

Can a Cohen marry a bat niddah? Are Cohens generally restricted from marrying baalot teshuva because of the possibility that they may be b'not niddah?
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771 views

Jew raised in a secular home wants to connect again, Switzerland

There is a friend living in Switzerland whose mother was born Jewish and converted to Christianity. The short story. His grandfather got lost during the Holocaust, his grandmother went to ...
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149 views

How to return to Judaism if my family ancestors left it before my birth?

I want to return to Judaism, which my family ancestors left before my birth. How should somebody in my situation go about doing that? What proof will I need to furnish? I don't already have a rabbi ...
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363 views

Where could an extreme ultra-orthodox baal t'shuva etc. realistically find a shidduch?

When it comes to shidduchim, the extreme ultra-orthodox (both chassidim and non-chassidim) often seem to discriminate against equally (or even more) religious (children of) baalei t'shuva, gerim, ...
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How can one make repentance for things he can't remember?

Say an unmarried Baal Teshuvah at the age of 30 decided to make repentance. A lot of time has gone by and he doesn't remember who he cheated, lied to, stole from, spoke loshen hara about, and so on. ...
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225 views

Conventions for derivation of Hebrew names

How is a Hebrew name chosen for a person whose legal name is English (or other vernacular)? Is the name chosen based on phonetic resemblance to one's English name, a resemblance in meaning, or mere ...
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What is the proper approach to a novel idea in Torah?

Not all the Torah teachings are permitted to be written down. Some may only be spoken but not written down. One who can distinguish which may be written and which may not, can identify a Jew ...
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Must a baal t'shuva follow family customs? [duplicate]

Suppose someone is raised without much authentic Judaism but with some. Perhaps his family has a monthly Friday night dinner with kidush; perhaps he wears t'filin for a few days when he turns 13. ...