The thesis examines the phenomenon commonly known in Hebrew as “yetziah l’shealah”. This study sees the defector (“yotze l’shealah”) as being involved in a religious-cultural world with which he cannot identify. Deconversion is the way by which the defector successfully leaves that situation. The defector no longer believes in the tenets of Judaism according to which he was socialized and renegotiates those connections with Judaism or may even abandon them to various degrees. The thesis looks at the concept of defection as negotiating one’s way within and, eventually, outside the contested process of ultra-Orthodox Judaism.
Author: Louis Frankenthaler