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…

The OTD Journey

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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…
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Celebrating Freedom

In just the past couple years, I’ve had so many moments where I would let off a sigh of relief and realize how great it feels to be free. I was helping put on a Pesach Seder at a Conservative temple when the first night fell out on a Friday…
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My Own Derech

Living in the heart of a major frum community, I thought there was no one like me. I either had to decide to remain in the community and keep going to shul even though I didn't believe in Hashem, or I had to go off the derech and completely…

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.…