Off the Derech, On Our Own Path

OTD Stories

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Aryeh's Story

Aryeh is 21 and single. He was raised in Seattle. Today, Aryeh considers himself to be an atheist, but a human before anything else. In many ways he identifies more with his hunter gatherer, primate, and non-mammalian ancestors than his Jewish…
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Yakov's Story

This is a repost of a story that appeared on the OTD Stories website that is now integrated with this website. Yakov is 23 years old and lives in New York City. He is a writer and teacher who is working to bring Orthodox non-believers together…

Shoshi's Story

Shoshi is 25 and was raised in the Stamford Hill community in London. She is currently living in Switzerland where she is studying for her IB (International baccalaureate) after which she would like to become a pilot or a robotic engineer. Hi…

The OTD Journey

Living in Two Worlds

People who are still living as an Orthodox Jew to the outside but on the inside have left Orthodox Judaism, have to deal with living in two worlds: the orthodox home / society / family on the one hand, and the personal beliefs and private actions…

Reasons Why People Go OTD

There is a widespread misconception (based on Sanhedrin 63) that the only reason why people leave observance is to indulge in their desires. In general, we can say that there are plenty emotional and rational reasons why people…
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Seder Questions

By C. It's that time of the year again. It's nearly midnight, the table is laden with silver, the family is gathered around expectantly, and everyone is hungry. My father, resplendent in his kittel and shtreimel, claps his hands…

The OTD Bet Midrash

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Lighting the Way - By Rabbi Adam Chalom

The Maccabees make complicated heroes. Yes, they stood up for being Jewish against forced assimilation to Greek culture. And yes, they achieved Jewish independence for a hundred years, a model for Jewish self-defense and dignity that resonates…
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Chanukah: When We Lost And They Won

by Peter Walters Remember Chanukah – dreidels, chocolate coins, latkes, lamp-lighting, all that stuff? Great wasn’t it? One of the really great things about Chanukah is that it’s almost as good as Christmas, but without the whole goy-guilt.…