What is a Baal Teshuva?

A Baal teshuvah literally means “master of return” i.e., one who has “returned” to God. It is often contrasted with “FFB” (Frum from birth), which refers to Jews who are born into families that are already religiously observant, and who have been conceived, born, and raised in the Orthodox Jewish religion.

Originally, the term referred to a Jew who transgressed the halakhah (Jewish law) knowingly or unknowingly and completed a process of introspection to “return” to the full observance of God’s mitzvot. According to the Talmud, a true “ba’al teshuvah” stands higher in shamayim (lit. “heaven”) than a “frum from birth”, even higher than a tzadik, chasal says.

Hashem loves sinners, because when the time is right, they will do teshuva and return to him [once they realize a vast majority of the secular pleasures in life are hollow and true happiness can only be obtained through Avodah (service)].

Online Resources for Baalei Teshuvas

Aish Hatorah
NLE Resources
Online Baal Teshuva Book
Baal Teshuva Blog
A Bite of Torah