A moving and revealing exploration of ultra-Orthodox Judaism and one man’s loss of faith
All Who Go Do Not Return
- Winner of a 2015 National Jewish Book Award
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.
- “All Who Go Do Not Return is not only the most lyrical but also the most searchingly spiritual of the ‘ex-frum’ memoirs that I’ve read to date.”—The New Yorker’s Page-Turner
- “Eloquent and heartbreaking. . . . Readers of this memoir will feel for Mr. Deen, who offers up this mournful record no doubt in the service of his lost children, who may one day come to ask the same questions their father did.”—The Wall Street Journal
- “Astonishing. . . . Deen’s harrowing story . . . is also an indictment of those who are standing by and allowing it to be.”—The Washington Post
- “While there is tremendous pain and pathos in this book, Deen is careful and levelheaded in his portrayal of the community he left behind, while self-critical in his analysis of his own trajectory.”—Chicago Tribune