Baal teshuva

Baal teshuva

Baal teshuva or ba'al teshuvah (Hebrew: בעל תשובה‎; for a woman, בעלת תשובה, baalat teshuva; plural, בעלי תשובה, baalei teshuva), sometimes abbreviated to BT, is a term referring to a Jew who turns to embrace Orthodox Judaism. Baal teshuva literally means, "repentant", i.e., one who has repented or "returned" to God. It is often contrasted with "FFB" (Frum From Birth), which refers to Orthodox Jews who are born into families that are already religiously observant, and who have been practicing Judaism from birth or a young age.

Historically, the term referred to a Jew who transgressed the halakhah (Jewish law) and completed a process of introspection to "return" to the straight path. In contemporary times, the phrase is primarily used to refer to a Jew from a secular background who becomes religiously observant (normally in an Orthodox fashion) later in life. (The alternative term, khozer biteshuva (חוזר בתשובה) is more commonly used in Israel).

The Talmud expresses high regard for baalei teshuva with the statement, "In the place where baalei teshuva stand, even the perfectly righteous cannot stand" (Berakhot 34b)."


Baal teshuva movement

There are numerous baal teshuva movements and organizations that seek to encourage this.

Famous baalei teshuva

  • List of Baalei teshuva

See also

External links

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