Why People Go Off The Derech

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  • #600427
    soliek
    Member

    i have no idea. from my experiences, talking to people, there is no straight answer. everyone is different. so why do people constantly push their agendas saying “this is why peopel go off teh derech…because of..” JUST STOP IT

    people go off the derech for so many different reasons, some personal, some psychological, some theological…there are so many possibilities tha ttrying to pin one down as the root cause is an exercise in futility. wanna do something about it? go talk to them.

    #826442
    aries2756
    Participant

    Good Idea!

    #826443
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    read the book that Faranak Margolese wrote. that will answer all your questions. it’s called “off the derech”.

    #826445

    soliek – How’s this for a shot at the “real reason”?

    The reason people go off the path is because it wasn’t well lit.

    #826446
    soliek
    Member

    its an interesting idea…assuming you mean that people dont have a proper grounding in hashkafah and emuna…but even so there are so many other possibilities and variables i really think that it is impossible to know until you talk to someone

    #826447
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    syag: Perfect answer

    #826448
    ✡onegoal™
    Participant

    Syag- No, in some cases it’s well lit, but their eyes are closed.

    #826449
    lemaysa
    Member

    well said Syag Lchochma

    but there are many other reasons but im wondering soliek why dont you go ask somone that is sadly there are many people everywhere that are struggiling with life…

    #826450
    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    I see. So you have concluded that each is for a different reason. Well, I have concluded otherwise.

    Why do you assume your conclusion is more correct than mine?

    #826451
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    just do and don’t ask questions attitude is also a major factor!!

    guys read the book!! faranak margolese is great!!

    #826452

    Too many people are missing the Emunah Peshuta that many of us, especially post Holocaust children were raised with. We were raised by strong people who picked up their lives and continued doing what was done by their parents, grandparents most of whom perished in the inferno of the yimach shemom haters of us Jews, Yidden. One thing one who questions should remember that you cannot shed being Jewish. At any time when the world decided to go against us, they found people who had no idea they were Jewish and included them in the expulsions too. So for those who have questions and doubts, do what it says in Pirkei Avos, “asei l’cha Rav u’knei l’cha chaver”-get yourself a Rav and even if you get someone through such as Aish, Partners in Torah or Oorah, that’s fine even if you are FFB.

    #826453

    soliek – I think I meant more than that. Not “lit up” as in clear and defined. I meant lit up enough for them to see what Hashem does/wants with a certain (achievable)clarity and to really feel it’s light. The people I’ve talked to/worked with/lived with all have different reasons for being where they are but the Torah has all the answers and most of us never learned how to find them. We don’t know how to use the Torah as a coping skill, as a shoulder to lean on, as a direction or as a place to turn for strength. The path is not light enough for us to see all that we need to glean from it to cope with our own choices and “Choose life”. I think that’s what I meant.

    #826454
    AinOhdMilvado
    Participant

    Soliek is correct.

    There are many, many reasons why people go off the derech.

    But, I would have to say that the one overall reason relates to this…

    People want to be happy, and when they see people who are ON the derech (usually this refers to parents or others in an influential role in their life) that, at least to them, do NOT seem to be happy, they feel ‘why would I want to live like that?’.

    The line ???? ????? ????? ????? is not just a cute phrase, it is an important yesod.

    #826455
    soliek
    Member

    well…sometimes it could be because of emuna issues. sometimes its because a kid is having family issues. sometimes its because a kid hasnt been shown the beauty in mitzvos. sometimes its because a kid feels under too much pressure to excel. sometimes its becasue he feels no one cares. sometimes its because he just doesnt feel like it anymore…

    in any case youre right about the path not being well lit, but thats more a result than a cause…i mean its obviously possible for someone to stop being frum because he doesnt feel it, but again there are so many other possibilities that i always resent when people try to pin one down as THE reason

    #826456

    @Soliek,

    People like to point to anything that irks them or they are opposed to and blame some sort of tragedy on it. Like they know exactly why Hashem does what he does.

    I belonged to this camp for a while and saw the hand of G-d when he turned Ariel Sharon into a vegetable after giving up Gaza.

    However, I now know that never in a million years will I learn why Hashem chose to let events play out like they did.

    When people see something they dont like going on, they will do anything in their power to stop it. Unfortunatly it means engaging in hyperbole and hysteria.

    You have all sorts of “askanim” running around all the time claiming that the sky is falling and that American judiasim is in danger of disappearing overnight.

    When you amplify everything, you hear NOTHING!

    Yes, kids going OTD is a terrible tradgedy. But rarely can one factor be blamed. Infact, I would argue more times than not, it’s a perfect storm of issues and circumstances. And to go off and lay blame on something you might find distasteful is hugely disrespectful and manipulative.

    #826457
    EzratHashem
    Member

    AOM: I would add that it depends on what their role models are happy DOING? If they see their models very happily practicing sheker and hypocrisy, that also turns off. The point is to be happy while performing mitzvos.

    #826458
    BTGuy
    Participant

    Here is a different angle to consider:

    Why do people go “on” the derech?

    #826459
    AinOhdMilvado
    Participant

    EzratHash-m…

    That was exactly my point.

    They see hypocrisy. “Role models” who are ‘frum’ but not yashar, or ‘frum’ (and want their kids to stay frum) but who let it be known and obvious that (for them) frumkeit is a burden (as in ‘shver tsu zein a Yid’).

    I doubt if you’ll find too many who go o.t.d. in frum homes that are yashar AND always full of simcha in their Yiddishkeit.

    #826460
    A Heimishe Mom
    Participant

    There are, of course, many reasons. I have never heard anyone say that X is the reason people go off. People DO say that scenario Y tends to lead to OTD, or borderline. Obviously not everyone in scenario Y will go OTD – that will depend on their support system and what is considered “bad news.” EG: a boy isnt doing well in main-stream mesivta. If parents ignore his needs (what will the shadchan say if they knew we had a child in a Bais yeshiva (gasp)!)chances are he will spiral out. If his needs are addressed, and he is placed in a more appropriate environment, then he could thrive and be a mentsch.

    #826461
    optimusprime
    Member

    There is a common saying among police officers. It is “if you cannot take the heat, get out of the kitchen.” Perhaps these souls go otd because being a religious jew is too much of a burden in today’s world. However much it is said, though, the Rabbonim are not to blame.

    #826462
    apushatayid
    Participant

    Is their a consensus in a defined derech?

    #826463
    zahavasdad
    Participant

    When someone has questions, you need to be careful not only what you answer , but how you answer. A sharp tounge may not necessarily be the best way to answer a “nudnick”

    #826464
    soliek
    Member

    “The stress that the girls are under is rediculous and totally unnecessary. If the schools would really give them a good time once in a while to reward them for all their hard work, I can maybe hear it.

    Personally I think it’s this abnormal and extra unwarranted stress that’s pushing many (many, many) of our precious girls to the edge and OTD.

    If our children are not happy, they’ll gravitate to something that makes them happy and makes them feel good. Like water, they’ll follow the path of least resistance.

    Girls (even more so than boys) need to be constantly made feel good about themselves and about anything they do. If not, the trouble starts . . “

    thats the post that annoyed me

    #826465
    rikki2
    Member

    Faranak Margolese wrote that one of the the reasons people go off the derech is because they are turned off by people who are closed minded and take extreme positions such as that negia is a terrible aveira. The problem is, apparently according to most opinions negia is yehareg v’al ya’avor. So her book is probably not the answer.

    Usually a weak poor or broken home, and/or poor academic or social skills combine with a lack of proper understanding why we believe in judaism to lead a person to give in to their temptations.

    Of course for some, a little curiousity can lead them to a yetzer hora that just overwhelms them.

    #826466

    There’s a quote from Anna Karenina that seems to apply tho this issue as well. “All good marriages are the same. All failed marriages fail for different reasons.”

    #826467
    Josh31
    Participant

    “if you cannot take the heat, get out of the kitchen.”

    That is not an option.

    Torah was given to an entire nation, not to a small pious sect. Any Takana that the majority of the full nation can not live up to is not binding.

    In any serious profession, the bar will be set such that most of us can not meet it. The Torah standard can not be that, as all our children are bound by it.

    For example, most guys can not sit and learn full time on an ongoing basis. If that is set as the standard, most will either deceive themselves that they are actually learning full time or give up and go OTD.

    #826468
    aries2756
    Participant

    AinOhdMilvado, You got it right. Its Hypocrisy in all different areas and different scenarios whether it is home, school, shul, neighborhood or whatever. It is when kids or even adults are exposed to and fed up with hypocrisy.

    When I was a kid my mom referred to it as “the Rebbe meig”. In other words, the Rebbe can do it but not the K’lal. And that is the hypocrisy. But aren’t we taught that Hashem sees and knows everything? Doesn’t the Torah teach us to…..or not to……so how come HE…….?

    Unfortunately many role models don’t practice what they preach and that causes a lot of OTD.

    #826469
    oomis
    Participant

    apparently according to most opinions negia is yehareg v’al ya’avor.”

    Negiyah per se, is not a yehareig v’al yaavor aveirah. GILUY ARAYOS is. They are not the same thing, though in many minds they have come to be equated as being equivalent acts. Negiyah could LEAD to arayos, and therein lies the problem. But it also is dangerous hyperbole to say that the one is as big an aveira as the other. It is a little like the Nachash pushing Chava’s hand against the Eitz Hadaas to prove that what Odom said (that if she were to even touch the tree she would die) was wrong, and therefore she could eat from it, as well.

    #826470
    BTGuy
    Participant

    I would say if someone goes off the derech, they are not solely responsible. They are more a symptom rather than the problem.

    #826471
    blabla
    Participant

    Having been OTD once, came back and now struggling a second time, there are lots of reasons why a person would stray from the right path. 1st of all, people don’t go off for no reason. They go off because they are in pain and are struggling with some deep issues. I went off when I was depressed and didn’t know how to express it. I wasn’t clinically depressed but deep down I was crumbling part by part. When I thought I was strong and came back, it was more like a sudden yearning for inspiration and connection and then it dissipated. Now I’m struggling with facts-such as if Hashem exists altogether and how frum I truly want to be. It is not someone who’s never experienced the pain of it’s place to judge those who did.

    #826472
    ZeesKite
    Participant

    Why they go off the ‘derech’? Sometimes to stop and ask for directions.

    #826473
    Sam2
    Participant

    According to the Shulchan Aruch, Negiyah Derech Chibah (those last two words must be stressed, especially in a Pikuach Nefesh case) with an Ervah (Niddah included) is Yeihareg V’al Ya’avor.

    #826474
    mdd
    Member

    Oomis, you are not a Rov. Negia is yehareg ve’lo’yavor. I would not say it when it comes to Niddos be’zman haze, but other arayos are definitely in that category. It is an open Halocha in Yore Deya.

    #826475
    rikki2
    Member

    Negiyah per se, is not a yehareig v’al yaavor aveirah. GILUY ARAYOS is.

    I’m sorry, I’m know your wrong. I know a famous true story where a yichud with his fiancee caused a chosson (who’s a famous rosh yeshiva today) to almost jump off of a train.

    #826476
    TheGoq
    Participant

    Why should we wonder and guess why dont we just ask them why they went off, im sure they know the reasons , and even if you think that no reason is valid to go otd even so there still are reasons just ask them.

    #826478
    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Sometimes when you stop and ask for directions,you find the wrong person who either gives you the wrong directions , or gives you incomprehensible directions.

    #826479
    AinOhdMilvado
    Participant

    blabla…

    Don’t give up because you question HaSh-m’s existence.

    I’m quite sure you have never seen most of the planets in our solar system (much less other solar systems) yet I’m sure you believe they exist. Perhaps you feel how can HaSh-m exist if He allowed ‘xyz’ to happen? You don’t understand how He did this, or did not do that. All those feeelings are very understandable, but think about it… If you COULD understand everything HaSh-m does, or doesn’t do, that would make YOU as wise as HaSh-m. Would you really want the Creator to not be any smarter than you?!? I don’t know how old you are, but think about this… a parent often disciplines a child in ways the child does not understand. WHY did my father slap me when I was putting the screwdriver in the electric outlet, why was he so mean? Why wont my mother let me cross the street by myself, I AM 4 years old! –

    Of course, when we get older and more mature, the reasons for these things become obvious to us. But we have to understand that even as adults, our FATHER (Avinu she’bashamayim) will also often do things that may be incomprehensible to us. In most cases we will not understand them until at, be”H, 120, we get to olam ha’ba. It is ok to not understand why, it is ok to wonder why, but just like our human parents ARE still our parents even when, as kids, we didn’t always understand their actions, we must remember that HaSh-m too, IS still there – even when we don’t understand His.

    #826480
    mdd
    Member

    Rikki, you are wrong. And yichud is not negia.

    #826481
    Doswin
    Member

    mdd: I believe rikki2 is agreeing with you and saying Negiyah is yehareig v’al yaavor. She quoted oomis1105 to point out the quoted text was wrong. (Unfortunately she forgot to put quotation marks around the quote, making it seem she was saying it herself.)

    #826482
    Sam2
    Participant

    Yichud should not be Yeihareg V’al Ya’avor. The Shulchan Aruch Paskens that Negiyah with a Niddah is, but in Lema’aseh life and death Shailos many Poskim combine the fact that a Niddah isn’t Yeihareg V’al Ya’avor and the fact that according to the Ramban Negiyah isn’t Yeihareg V’al Ya’avor. Of course, every Lema’aseh life and death Shailah is different and requires the opinion of a very qualified Posek.

    #826483
    Feif Un
    Participant

    When I went OTD it was mainly because of some ad experiences I had. It started with some bad things that happened to me that came from the top guys in the yeshiva. I spoke to the Rosh Yeshiva about it, and asked him, how am I supposed to emulate these guys when their middos are terrible, and all they do is make me miserable? He told me to separate the learning from the behavior. I asked him if they had their behavior ignored because of their learning, and I was rebuked for even asking that. At that point, I decided I had no interest in sitting and learning. I didn’t enjoy it anyway, but I’d been making the effort. After that, I didn’t even make the effort anymore.

    When I decided to leave Yeshiva and go to college, the Rosh Yeshiva tried to talk me out of it. He told me that someone in college could never stay frum, and I couldn’t be a good Jew if I was in college, even in Touro. Well, I decided that if I couldn’t be a good Jew anyway, I might as well enjoy myself. So I decided not to be frum anymore.

    #826484
    yossi
    Member

    Why did I go off the derech?

    Hmm, spent 12 years in a prestigious yeshivah in flatbush. Spent those same 12 years getting yelled at, berated, humiliated and critized for the size of my yarmulka, the length of my “chup” and the fact that I was “spotted” by a spy going into a pizza shop on friday (gasp) – There is only so much parents can infuse into a child, when 90% of their waking day is spent at school. During those 12 years, I was given 0 (thats ZERO) reason to love Hashem or the Torah, but given 1,000,000 reasons why I was going to gihenim for all my mortal sins, such as eating cholov stom.

    Oh, and I know this sounds silly, but in 8th grade, my rebbe started talking to us about the power of saying “amen”, for weeks, he facinated us with stories about how a single person saying amen could change the world, bring moshiach, etc. We really believed it. Then, he announced that we were going to the siyum hashas in madison square garden, and that there would be 40,000 people saying amen at the same time! We were ecastatic, surely moshiach would have to come, if one person saying amen could do that, imagine 40,000. I woke up at 4 AM that morning, I was so excited. When it came time for mincha at MSG I answered “Amen yehay shmay Raba” with the most energy and kavanah I ever had, along with 40,000 other people. Then I waited, and watched, and nothing happened, and I was let down more than you can imagine.

    Yes, thats just one story, but as a young impressionable child, you can understand how that disappointment stuck with me.

    But more so, why did I go off the derech? Because I was sick and tired of being called a shaygetz for using a bobby pin to keep my yarmulkah on my head.

    #826485
    ZeesKite
    Participant

    <MODS> This is getting to look like other sites I ran from

    #826486
    adams
    Participant

    In many cases abusive parent(s), and not achieving in school; also having right friends, or not having friends, being turned off by the hypocracy. These are the main issues for kids in high school and post.

    older people may not fit in the Shule(s) they live in, not attaining friends as an adult is just as difficult.

    We should not be so quick to label though. Someone can’t go to Shule, let them sit home and daven/learn, we dont have to name call.

    #826487
    soliek
    Member

    i believe this thread speaks for itself…makes my point for me. so far weve had two people say why they went of the derech…for two different reasons…and various other people propose very different reasons why they feel people go off the derech. soliek maybe people can now be a little more careful when labeling any one issue as the definitive cause of OTD?

    #826488
    Feif Un
    Participant

    ZeesKite, what’s wrong, you can’t handle the truth?

    #826489
    zahavasdad
    Participant

    @Yossi your Amen story is NOT silly, I have heard similar stories before from people who left (and did not come back) even my own kids tell me their teachers tell them such stories about Amen etc.

    I will say this much, for all the OTD stories I have heard, there does seem to be one common thread, Non-conformism (I know many hate the ism’s)

    In many circles you are supposed to be 100% conforming to the “norm” and if you are not you are pushed aside.

    Not everyone can or will follow everyone else.

    #826490
    oomis
    Participant

    “I’m sorry, I’m know your wrong. I know a famous true story where a yichud with his fiancee caused a chosson (who’s a famous rosh yeshiva today) to almost jump off of a train. “

    And that would have made it right – Yichud (not mamesh arayos)versus potentially committing suicide? Even the Torah does not say a boy and girl who have been intimate together are chayav misah (unless she was an arusah or an eishes ish). To the contrary, he is supposed to marry her. And that IS mamesh arayos.

    #826491
    oomis
    Participant

    Oomis, you are not a Rov. “

    You are correct – so I asked a Rov, and was told that stam (innocent)negiyah is NOT the same as gilui arayos. So unless your definition of negiyah and mine are not the same, I stand by what I was told.

    #826492
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    And that would have made it right – Yichud (not mamesh arayos)versus potentially committing suicide? Even the Torah does not say a boy and girl who have been intimate together are chayav misah (unless she was an arusah or an eishes ish). To the contrary, he is supposed to marry her. And that IS mamesh arayos.

    For most of our history, you would have been correct. However, in this day and age, most young women are Niddos, and that in of itself is an ervah (not weighing in on Yichud, which may only be a Takana (depending on Pshat in Avoda Zara 36B)).

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