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USA: All Who Go Do Not Return: A Memoir

Sunday 26 November 2017, by siawi3

Source: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22244929-all-who-go-do-not-return

All Who Go Do Not Return: A Memoir
by Shulem Deen

2015 National Jewish Book Award Winner

Paperback, 310 pages
Published March 24th 2015 by Graywolf Press

A moving and revealing exploration of Hasidic life, and one man’s struggles with faith, family, and community

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.

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All Who Go Do Not Return

Quotes from:

All Who Go Do Not Return: A Memoir, by Shulem Deen

“When caught in a world where your very essence feels shameful, life turns into a feverish obsession with suppressing your true identity in favor of a socially accepted one.”
― Shulem Deen, All Who Go Do Not Return

“At camp, there would be games and activities, field days and color wars, but only in the late afternoons. Until five o’clock, Moses’s words would continue, and we would study them from our dog-eared volumes of Deuteronomy, with the same rebbes as all year round, with their harsh voices, their scoldings, and their rods. All summer, Moses would berate, chastise, and teach the great lessons about loving God with all your heart and all your soul and all your possessions because those who ceased to love God were punished by war and famine and pestilence until the love of God was restored, and then we would go swimming or play kickball out on the grassy field.”
― Shulem Deen, All Who Go Do Not Return

“our world, people paid attention even without paying attention.”
― Shulem Deen, All Who Go Do Not Return

“Prayer was of little help when your executable was stuck in an infinite loop”
― Shulem Deen, All Who Go Do Not Return: A Memoir

“would never have known. In her entire life, she hadn’t”
― Shulem Deen, All Who Go Do Not Return

“He was told that it was impossible, that America was not a place for shtetls, and that his plan would surely fail. It almost did.”
― Shulem Deen, All Who Go Do Not Return

“I wasn’t the first one to be expelled from our village, though I’d never known any of the others. I’d only heard talk of them, hushed reminiscences of ancient episodes in the history of our half-century-old village, tales of various subversives who sought to destroy our fragile unity. The group of Belzers who tried to form their own prayer group, the young man rumored to have studies the books of the Breslovers, even the rebbe’s own brother-in-law, accused of fomenting sedition against the rebbe.
But I was the first to be expelled for heresy.”
― Shulem Deen, All Who Go Do Not Return: A Memoir

“It stung, the notion that my child belonged more to her mother than to me, but I learned to accept it.”
― Shulem Deen, All Who Go Do Not Return

“I learned that the book was Then Again, Maybe I Won’t, which, along with other books by the same author, Judy Blume, was seen as transgressive even by non-Hasidic standards and was banned from schools and libraries across the country.”
― Shulem Deen, All Who Go Do Not Return

“was said that the Rambam’s most notable philosophical work, the Guide for the Perplexed, was so great and so brilliant that it was meant only for the most learned. For everyone else, to study it was unnecessary. The important thing was to know that it contained all the answers, and so all further questions were pointless.”
― Shulem Deen, All Who Go Do Not Return

“will get you nowhere if it’s faith you’re after.”
― Shulem Deen, All Who Go Do Not Return

“As if underneath it all, those who begrudge the godless their godlessness do so not because the godless are sinners but because sinners have more fun—and how dare they? The”
― Shulem Deen, All Who Go Do Not Return

“I wanted the freedom to simply be who I was, without fear or shame. When caught in a world where your very essence feels shameful, life turns into a feverish obsession with suppressing your true identity in favor of a socially accepted one.”
― Shulem Deen, All Who Go Do Not Return

“Said Reb Noach of Lechevitch: “Where is the enlightened one who seeks God? The answer, of course, is that he is nowhere.” The Psalmist had asked a rhetorical question because enlightened ones do not seek God. They seek only to destroy the faith of those who do. “They merely question,” one of my teachers once said of the Maskilim, the enlightened Jews and the reformers who studied science and philosophy and attempted, during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, to create a new Jew for the modern era. “In their questions, however, lie their malevolent intentions. They seek to destroy faith, not to uphold it.”
― Shulem Deen, All Who Go Do Not Return