The Health Effects of Leaving Religion

“a person’s faith, or lack thereof, is often so important that it affects physical, as well as spiritual, well-being.”

The Health Effects of Leaving Religion

How a loss of faith can manifest itself in the mind and body Ray has been a psychologist for more than 30 years and founded Recovering From Religion, an organization that connects nonbelievers with therapists and each other. According to Ray, it generally takes depressed deconverts two to three years for their health to bounce back.

How I Left My Hasidic Jewish Community & Found My Sexuality

By Etty Ausch, starring in the Netflix Documentary One Of Us:

How I Left My Hasidic Jewish Community & Found My Sexuality

Before my engagement, I never heard of the word “sex.” Just before I was married off, I attended bridal classes where I learned the basic mechanics of sex. I felt confused and terrified, and the wedding night brought me no reassurance, since my husband had also learned nothing but the utilitarian mechanics of sex.

Second Generation Israeli OTDs

THIS NORMAL LIFE: ‘Datlash’ 2.0 – the elephant in the room

What’s fueling the growing phenomenon in Israel of datlashim – the Hebrew acronym for formerly religious Jews? And how big is it in real numbers? Based on surveys conducted by the Central Bureau of Statistics, the Chotam religious lobbying organization found that, among the National Religious public, only 46% of those who defined themselves as religious in 2002 remained so 10 years later.

Sh*t People Say to OTD People

Excellent article from imamother.com:

Top Ten Things Not to Say to a Kofer | Imamother

People going through religious struggles or an off-the-derech journey are often confronted by well-meaning individuals who make useless and even offensive comments. I did a little survey of my OTD friends and here are the worst offenders, in no particular order: 1. Oh, you’re off the derech? You must meet my Rabbi.

OTD FYI: Where OTD Meets the Curious

From the moderators of the Off the Derech Facebook group, a new social media outlet with the following description:

Why do people go off the derech? How can we bring frum and frei together? Well, just join the conversation and have a virtual coffee in our OTD FYI group.

And, FYI, the group is called OTD FYI.

First Dutch OTD Memoir Published

From the cover: “Dina-Perla grew up in Jewish orthodoxy and a suffocating reality, where nothing is what it seems. As a young girl, she fough for freedom and love, flees her parental home and decides never to return.”

Dina-Perla de Winter’s debut is called “Exodus from the lighthouse” and will be sold in Dutch stores starting this coming Monday 13th November 2017. An English translation is currently in planning.

Recommended Article: Leaving is OK

Leaving is okay

I had an open conversation with a religious friend who watched the One Of Us documentary. She admitted that she hadn’t been planning to watch it, but after reading my blog post, she decided to give it a shot. It touched her.

Just a Casualty

Dear mom,

If only you would be more concerned with my wellbeing
and less concerned about religion
You would still have me

If only you would give me what I need
And not what you want me to need
If only if only…

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We Are Not Lost

by Aryeh Levine

I’m tired of seeing rabbis bemoaning the existence of OTD kids as “the loss of so many children.” I just want to grab them by the shoulders, look them in the eye, and say:

We are not lost.

We are still here.

We lost you.

Before we ever had you, we lost you.

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OTD History: H. N. Bialik

Although not all of us learned about this during our education at Bais Yaakov or yeshiva, we are not the first generations to think and write about the experience of going off the derech. Of course dissent has always been a part of Jewish tradition, from Hillel and Shammai down to Spinoza. But the OTDers of the nineteenth and early twentieth-century Europe are particularly interesting for us, because of their reflections on Jewish life and thought and because of the role they played in many of the events and movements which have shaped the world outside of the Jewish community as well. Those of us who have exchanged the pursuit of mitzvos, Moshiach and olam haba for the pursuit of justice for all people can look back to OTDers like anarchist and feminist Emma Goldman,  Ludwig (Leyzer) Zamenhof who invented Esperanto in an attempt to eliminate the language barriers between people, or the Bundists and creators of modern Yiddish literature. I hope to devote future blog posts to them. Today’s post is about OTD literature, and specifically Hebrew literature, because it will show how easily we can connect to the past.

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