Thursday, March 16, 2017

A Yom Kippur Memory: Food and Drink for Thought, Not Consumption

Holidays are great times for friends, family, and reflection. The holiday in which reflection comes to the forefront for me is the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur. Yom Kippur is a day that deals with forgiveness and cleansing yourself. In addition, Yom Kippur is a day of fasting. I started fasting when I was twelve years old and because of more than 20 years of fasting and forgiveness, I have many meaningful memories of Yom Kippur. Most of my memories of Yom Kippur involve trying to fast until sundown.

It is essential to understand that that fasting on Yom Kippur involves no eating and drinking anything from sundown until sundown. When I was little, I couldn’t fully comprehend Yom Kippur because I believed that Yom Kippur went against all other Jewish holidays which involved, to my utter delight eating many different types of food to my heart’s content. However, as I grew up, I realized the importance of Yom Kippur. I used to joke with my family that fasting for Yom Kippur prepares us to eat for other Jewish holidays such as Passover when eating food is a part of the holiday.


My memories of Yom Kippur have always revolved around the tough task of fasting. I would always tell my friends that I would have to fast on Yom Kippur and they would feel sorry for me. They would also be thankful that they didn’t have to fast. My friends would always give me tips for fasting from sundown until sundown. Jenny would tell me to eat as much as I could the night before fasting so that I wouldn’t feel hunger or thirsty until the next night when I could eat and drink again. I tried it and I backfired badly; instead of feeling full and well hydrated, I felt the need to eat the entire contents of the refrigerator and to drink about twelve glasses of water and lemon juice before noon. Luckily, I had enough willpower to make it through the fast.


Another Yom Kippur memory involved a funny misunderstanding. Passover and Hanukkah last for eight days. Therefore, my friend, Leslie thought that Yom Kippur lasted for eight days too. She was afraid that I couldn’t eat or drink for eight days. I reassured her that Yom Kippur only lasted for one day. I also have the Yom Kippur memory of both Leslie and Jenny eating and drinking a bit more on Yom Kippur for me. Every memory of Yom Kippur is very special and meaningful; Happy Yom Kippur. Source: None


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