With the recent release of the mega-hit of the OTD world – Shulem Deen’s memoir “All Who Go Do Not Return“, the age-old question has come up again: why do people go OTD?
Our rebbeim tell us, and we are inclined to agree, that normal, healthy, well adjusted individuals on a level playing field would always choose to remain frum, no question about it; frumkeit just makes so much more sense on all levels, and in addition is the only truth. No question about it. We know that people only go OTD because: a) they’ve been molested b) their parents are divorced c) they didn’t read Akiva Tatz in time, and d) their ta’aveh to eat at McDonald’s is just too strong for them control.
But we know that our small minds can’t understand everything, we were taught that we have to ask the gedolim, or at least local da’as torah. So we hired the research firm of Zwiebel Dessler and Shafran LP to conduct a poll for us. We told them the community wanted facts, no more conjecture and hyperbole, we need to show our frum brethren how screwed up they have to be to go OTD, and we have to discredit Shulem Deen and all his friends with hard numbers, the very thing they claim to believe in.
About the Survey
A nationally representative sample of frum Jews were chosen from the Upper West Side, Borough Park, Flatbush, Lakewood, Monsey, Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago, Milwaukee, Denver, Louisville, LA and San Diego (no one in the Five Towns was willing to participate, we believe this is due to the zechus and strong influence of Rabbi Yair Hoffman). 10,000 screening interviews were conducted and 963 longer interviews were completed with candidates who identified as OTD.
Although the firm of Zwiebel Dessler and Shafran LP was careful to select only OTD folks, it emerged that interviewees were actually still frum, they only identified as OTD secretly. It would seem that because of this peculiarity no one answered any of the prepared questions, opting instead to answer a question of their own in the small space reserved for comments at the bottom.
The question respondents seemed to be answering was “why do you remain frum?”