All Who Go Do Not Return: A Memoir by Shulem Deen
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A moving and revealing exploration of ultra-Orthodox Judaism and one man’s loss of faith
Shulem Deen was raised to believe that questions are dangerous. As a member of the Skverers, one of the most insular Hasidic sects in the US, he knows little about the outside world—only that it is to be shunned. His marriage at eighteen is arranged and several children soon follow. Deen’s first transgression—turning on the radio—is small, but his curiosity leads him to the library, and later the Internet. Soon he begins a feverish inquiry into the tenets of his religious beliefs, until, several years later, his faith unravels entirely. Now a heretic, he fears being discovered and ostracized from the only world he knows. His relationship with his family at stake, he is forced into a life of deception, and begins a long struggle to hold on to those he loves most: his five children. In All Who Go Do Not Return, Deen bravely traces his harrowing loss of faith, while offering an illuminating look at a highly secretive world.
The reason that “all who go do not return” is because the ostracism of the OTD people for one of them that tries to return, makes the Hasidic shunning’s seem inviting.
My Teacher’s Son: A Memoir of Heresy Is Marked By a Father’s Unnerving Piety
In and out of the fold of ultra-Orthodoxy, Shulem Deen and his father Dovid both pursued honest religious feeling
A New, True Story About Growing Up Hasidic and Leaving