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8 Reasons I Went OTD

The frum community is so beautiful, so full of chessed; why do people go OTD?

off the derechThere are two approaches to this troubling question in the classic sources. The Rambam maintains that the reason people go OTD is because they believed in silly superstitious Judaism in the first place and didnít adopt his rational approach, but the Moreh Nevuchim says itís because those people were molested by their rebbeim in yeshiva and theyíre all emotionally unstable.

This machlokes has been going on for the past thousand years, going further back in history it seems that those who went OTD were simply killed, but for the past thousand years or so weíve simply tried to psychoanalyze OTDers and mark them by boring their right earlobes.

Iíve done much research on this question and I have a new approach. Itís a hybrid of Nietzscheís model of radical anthropologetics and L. Ron Hubbardís dianetics. I synthesized these two approaches during the fourteen years I spent at the feet of my rosheshiva Rí Pinky Schmeckelstein at Yeshivas Chipass Emess.

  1. All the obsession with sex, whether it was couched as tznius talk, concern over the length of other peopleís wives sheitels or the fear of getting aroused by 3 year-olds who werenít sufficiently clothed up. I felt the need to get away from this sexual hedonism so I joined the broader human community which only talks about sex when itís lítoeles.
  2. I believed in the concept of Daías Torah but all the folks who possessed Daías Torah were disagreeing with each other. I figured that by going OTD Iíll be able to pick my own OTD rov and not have all these conflicting opinions as to which rov has the approval of Agudah, or the Moetzes, or Satmar. Iíd have the Daías Torah, or Daías Hitchens I need without contradictions.
  3. I wanted to be able to pop into Shomer Shabbos on a random afternoon in Boro Park and daven mincha without a hat; I couldnít do that and remain frum so I went OTD.
  4. I was insane and emotionally unstable which made me unwelcome in the frum world, I was told over and over again that all the emotionally problematic people were OTD so I figured Iíd fit right in.
  5. I wanted to stop paying $15,000 a year per kid for tution. I was going to send them to public school because I knew so many people who had gone to public school as kids and were now frum, but I was told that their parents werenít frum and thatís the only reason it worked for them, frum parents cannot send their kids to public school. So I went OTD.
  6. I wanted to believe in Hashem but I also wanted to read books that explained Hashem that werenít published by ArtScroll or Feldheim, I was told that would make me OTD, so I guess Iím OTD.
  7. I read The Making of a Godol. I learned some unvarnished history. That didn’t shake my emunas chachomim but the fact that the gedoilim thought it would and banned it because of that, did. I promptly went OTD.
  8. I watched Amnon Yitzchak conclusively prove that the watch in the forest didnít make itself so I believed in Hashem. But then I met the watchmaker and I began to worship him instead. Now Iím OTD.
  9. (Oh yeah, there was a ninth reason). Very often that chessed is unwanted; the frum community is so full of helpful people, people waiting for opportunities to pounce down your throat with their chessed unasked. No thank you, dear helpful neighbor, I didnít ask you to approach the local rich guy and ask him to lend me money to take the bar exam, thanks but no thanks.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • nitemarejim

    meh! but the author knows a lot more than me to come up with all these reasons.

  • Yerachmiel Lopin

    You are a worthy talmid of Reb Pinky. By where is his haskamah. WAIT! Don’t tell me you believe in the apikorsus of having your own opinion? Oiy vey. Takah an apikores.

    You forgot the 10th reason which includes all 9: thinking. Oiy vey!