Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Why People Go OTD"

Agudah is promising to reveal "Why People Go OTD" at their big convention this December, but attending will cost you several hundred dollars, plus time that might be better spent watching football. DovBear to the rescue! Let me spare you the trouble of going by telling you what you will - and will not - hear.

Why Do People Go OTD?

The *real* answer: People leave Orthodox Judaism for one over-riding reason: They go because the various rituals and observances have lost their significance. No one spends a lot of money, doing things that look and feel foolish, unless there is some payout. That payout can take many forms, and it can be psychological, social, or emotional. But if the payout is not there, you go OTD. What kills the payout? Any number of different combinations of different things. Too many to count, in fact.

The *expected* Agudah answers: Mental illness, a desire to rebel, a desire for sex and drugs, bad friends, bad relatives, a taste of pork during childhood, an immodest mother, a father who bad-mouthed rabonim, that time Cousin Gary took you to a movie, and so on.

Now *some* of the things Agudah is expected to finger are payout murderers. For example, if you grew up in a house where shabbos was denigrated and Rabbis were insulted you probably won't become the sort of adult who gets the warm-fuzzies from observing and obeying. But those payout murderers are contributing factors, not the final straw. Moreover, its impossible to say that what I am calling "payout murderers" will inevitably lead you to go OTD. We all know of siblings who grew up in the same house, with the same upbringings, yet ended up in very different Jewish places.

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