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Questions tagged [baal-teshuva]

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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66 views

List of establishing rabbis for each set of minhagim [closed]

I am a baal teshuva who is becoming orthodox and wondering what customs to hold. Is there a list of important rabbis who set minhagim (ie ashkenazi, sephardi yekki, chabad, notable subgroups, etc) and ...
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How to comfort someone who has lost his non-Jewish parent

I came across a (Facebook) post the other day in which an acquaintance announced he had lost his non-Jewish father. The individual is not a convert; his mother had intermarried. The funeral will not ...
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1answer
90 views

Asher Yatzar on numerous occasions

Although we don't pasken like this, the opinion of the Shulchan Aruch is that one who relieves himself and hasn't yet made a bracha Asher Yatzar, and subsequently relieves himself again, must say ...
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Is there a sin associated with driving a Jew away from observance?

I was curious if the topic has ever come up. You typically hear the argument that a Jew's observance is between them and Hashem. If they don't observe, that's obviously a personal choice and thus they ...
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2answers
83 views

Books for beginners

[A friend involved in kiruv asked me the following question which I thought I would post here for further reference and to get additional suggestions] I am in contact with lots of Jews who want to ...
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Is a Minhag for a Baal Teshuva considered a Neder? [duplicate]

A Baal Teshuva that comes from an Ashkenazi family, became observant thru a Chabad house, with no understanding of different Nusachim and no intention to become a Lubavitcher, only to become more ...
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4answers
2k views

Going from an nonreligious reform Jew to a religious one?

I turned sixteen a couple of weeks ago and the real world is starting to open up to me. My father is a Christian, but my mother is Jewish which makes myself and my siblings Jewish. We went to ...
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1answer
52 views

Does someone who does teshuvah get answered only after he prays or even before?

The Rambam in hilchos teshuvah (7:7) states: כמה מעולה מעלת התשובה אמש היה זה מובדל מה' אלהי ישראל... צועק ואינו נענה שנאמר [גם] כי תרבו תפלה [אינני שומע ... והיום הוא מודבק בשכינה... צועק ונענה מיד ...
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3answers
267 views

Is there a Rabbinical argument that Hashem holds Baal Teshuva to a different standard from those born in observant households?

This question may sound strange but I'm attempting to find a source for an argument I heard made by someone very recently. I'm assuming this is a known argument which I'm just unfamiliar with the ...
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1answer
75 views

What is the process involved in a Beth Din recognition of Jewish status? [duplicate]

I was curious if someone could give me a breakdown regarding what the process would be for a person to receive recognition of their status through the Beth Din. I'm not speaking to conversion but of ...
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1answer
143 views

Is it better for someone to look for a reason they are not a kohen or not get married?

Person a is an "older" baal teshuva (30-40 years plus) and grew up knowing he was a kohen. Being a kohen means that at his age there are not likely to be any baalas teshuva women he can marry and ...
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For how long must a Jew keep Shabbat before he can be considered Shomer Shabbat?

Certain Kashrut issues require (or may require according to some opinions) that a Shomer Shabbat Jew (not just any Jew) supervise cooking. For example, see here, and here. How is the status of Shomer ...
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247 views

what can be done for a person to get married that doesn't have their parents kesuba?

theoretical scenario... a baal teshuva (someone not raised observant who later in life became observant) wants to get married. he doesn't have a copy of his parents kesuba. What bothers me ...
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216 views

Beginner's Steps to Keeping Shabbos

I know some people who would like to start keeping shabbos but they don't know all the laws and they don't know where to start. already they do kabbolas shabbos and the friday night seudah with ...
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1answer
115 views

Should a crippled jew leave his non-jewish providing wife? [closed]

Should a crippled jew unable to provide for himself leave his non-jewish wife and rely on charity, even when knowing he won't get any charity and he'll land on the street under the cardboard, even ...
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1answer
231 views

Back to orthodoxy, can't stop violating a commandment for the sake of someone's life [closed]

There was this mathematician Kurt Goedel who died of starvation because he ate nothing but food prepared by his wife who was hospitalised for a long period. This is a fact. There are people who die ...
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2answers
172 views

About coming back to Jewish practice

I'm 47 and I've spent my whole adult life far from Jewish practice. But now I'm engaged in tshuva (i.e. returning to Judaism; lit. repentance) and I want to come back to Hashem and live my Jewish life ...
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2answers
220 views

Rebbi Akiva knew Torah before he turned 40?

I have heard there is a not so well-known opinion that Rebbi Akiva actually knew Torah before the age of 40, but had left the path of Torah observance. His story would actually make more sense if that'...
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1answer
153 views

Birkat Kohanim for a Kohen who was very far from Judaism and decided to be a good Jew

Can a Kohen baal Teshuva who was previously not religious and married to a Christian woman perform birkas kohanim? How to deal with the fact that pursuing his truth research he was previously in ...
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32 views

Is it possible for customs to be transmitted from the mother? [duplicate]

Suppose someone is becoming more religious and he doesn't know his father's minhagim. Should he follow the minhagim of his mother and her family or of the rabbi who taught him and helped him become ...
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2answers
189 views

What books/resources discuss moving on?

The question's focus comes mostly from a Baal Teshuva's point of view. When it comes to 'parting' with family and friends - indefinitely - for the better, what resources do a great job giving ...
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1answer
76 views

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 among ...
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Resources for those beginning to keep Shabbos

What are some useful and accessible resources for those who are just beginning to keep the Sabbath? General primers, overviews of the Law, sources of advice on making things easier, and guides to ...
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8answers
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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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1answer
219 views

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. ...
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3answers
247 views

Where can one find frum friends?

I am a baal teshuvah for over 3 years; all of my friends are secular. After becoming religious I lost a lot of the interests that my secular friends are into and hence have not much in common with ...
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2answers
572 views

How to become observant Jew? [closed]

Who would be interested in getting non-observant 39 year old jewish man to become observant? I am not-so-young man in need for direction in my life and by becoming Chasidic Jew and observant, might ...
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2answers
245 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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2answers
442 views

Practicing Binding Tefillin at Night

May someone who is not accustomed to laying tefillin practice binding at night, when there is no mitzvah, so that they will be proficient at wrapping when the day comes?
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1answer
462 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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160 views

How big is the baalei tshuva movement resulting from the “Art Scroll Revolution”?

Since 1975, Art Scroll Publishing, and its non-profit arm The Mesorah Foundation, have produced Hebrew-English annotated translations of Tanach, the Mishna, the Babylonian Talmud, the Kitzur Shulchan ...
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3answers
939 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 ...
6
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1answer
251 views

Ensuring that a community is mainstream

A newcomer to Orthodox Judaism may not have a feel for what is mainstream and what generally considered beyond the pale of normative Judaism. How does one find and join a Jewish community without ...
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2answers
736 views

No Hope for Salvation

Are there any sins that Hashem will not forgive, even if the person does teshuva sincerely and completely? I'm wondering if, perhaps, the "big three" of idolatry, murder, and deviant sexual behavior ...
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653 views

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

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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3answers
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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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3answers
753 views

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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51 views

Baal Teshuva or Convert? [duplicate]

If you were not raised Jewish and find that you have Jewish Ancestry on your Mother's side via DNA testing... do you still have to go through the normal conversion process or are you considered a Baal ...
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186 views

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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1answer
219 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
380 views

Getting a Jew fired from a job that forces them to work on Shabbos?

I have a Jewish friend who wants to become religious, but is currently holding a job that forces her to work on Shabbos morning, and more recently Friday evening as well. She does not have the ...
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2answers
248 views

Newcomers Overwhelmed by Myriad Halachas

Some people, especially Baal Teshuvas who drastically change their lives to being fully observant may find it somewhat overwhelming to observe the minimum halachas in being an orthodox jew (such as ...
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1answer
703 views

Gemarah on Baal Teshuva

In Sefer Chasidim, the author compares Baal Teshuva's to Tzadikim. I have heard that there is a Gemarah that does the same and was wondering if someone could cite that Gemarah.
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213 views

Source for Rav Avraham Yosef's ruling on Ba'alei Teshuva

A friend mentioned, and I read the same here, that Rav Avraham Yosef and/or Rav Ovadiah Yosef ruled that Ba'alei Teshuva in Israel (with no direct masoret of their own) should adopt the Sepharadi ...
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4answers
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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 ...
2
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3answers
313 views

Is there a source for the custom of a Baal Teshuva not to sit in shul but rather to stand?

I have observed a number of people who have completely changed their lifestyle from irreligious to observant (whom we now call “baalei teshuvah”) standing for all the davenning and even for the ...
2
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2answers
143 views

Loan in exchange for keeping shabbos, ribis?

The Father (not frum) of a Baal Teshuva asked his son for a loan. The son agreed to give his Father the loan on condition that he starts to keep Shabbos. Is this a problem of ribis?
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685 views

Bas Cohen having relations with a non-Jew

It says in SA YD Siman 305 that a Bas Cohen that has a bechor (firstborn) with a non-Jew there is chiyuv of pidyon haben since the Bas Cohen through having relations with the non-Jew she looses her ...
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1answer
503 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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1answer
424 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 ...