Today is Yom Kippur*, which is the most holy Jewish holiday of the entire year. To make a long explanation short, it is also known as the “Day of Atonement”, where we basically atone for the sins of the past year. We don’t work or go to school and we spend alot of time in services, just like on Rosh Hashanah, but this holiday is totally solemn. Another distinctive feature of Yom Kippur is the fasting. From sundown the night before for 25 hours, Jews do not eat or drink anything (even water). The reason for the fast is to be able to completely focus on repentance. Children under 13 years old, anyone of any age who is ill, pregnant women, and the elderly do not fast for this holiday. Read the wiki on Yom Kippur here, if you’d like more information.
For me, I don’t really have a problem fasting. Sure, my stomach growls like crazy–and sitting in a 4 1/2 hour service doesn’t make it any easier to ignore (at least EVERYBODY’S stomach is growling!), but at the same time it’s not like I’m sitting next to my refrigerator. I usually have a pretty easy fast compared to others. For the last couple of years we’ve gotten together with our Havurah to Break the Fast (did you ever realize that the name of the first meal of the day is break-fast, as in “breaking the fast”?), and we typically eat several hours ahead of that 25-hour mark. It bothers me a little bit, but God probably isn’t mad at us or anything. (I hope) When we didn’t get together with the other families, we always stuck it out. Maybe I got some extra credit back then. (By the way, if you know anybody who’s Jewish, a good greeting for Yom Kippur is NOT “Happy Yom Kippur!” A lovely thing to say is “I hope you have an easy fast.” FYI!)
I never work out on Yom Kippur. That would be ridiculous, with no food and no water. I’d probably pass out.
What else? Not alot. Just alot of thinking, being with family and such. This is a really boring blog post, so I apologize for that, but just because Yom Kippur is the most important Jewish holiday doesn’t mean it’s gotta be action-packed!
*By the way, it’s also my dad’s birthday!
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We were invited to break the fast with some friends of mine this year, but I had no idea it was a 25 hour fast. Wow. And no water. Eesh. I’m really bummed we’re missing it, but hopefully next year!
Good luck with the services and growling tummy.
See? I should have read this first. I knew Happy Yom Kippur did not sound right. I hope you have an easy fast. Thanks. And I do.
It’s Jew Stuff, it could never be boring. I’m learning so much about being Jewish…and I don’t think God will be angry with you…least I hope not.
I hope you have an easy fast…:)