Off the Path of Orthodoxy, By Talia Lavin

July 31, 2015 – The New Yorker

There are many terms for people who have left Orthodox Judaism: apikores (an ancient Hebrew term for ‘œapostate’); chozer b’she’elah (a decorous Israeli term, which translates roughly to ‘œone who returns with questions’); frei (Yiddish for ‘œfree,’ usually used in a derogatory fashion); and ‘œO.T.D.,’ or ‘œoff the derech‘ (‘œderech‘ is Hebrew for ‘œpath’). The last term, once a dismissive way to describe Orthodox youth who sought to explore drugs and sex, has been reclaimed by some ex-Orthodox Jews. Using this term says: Yes, I have left your path’”and now I must find my own way.

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