Easy fast

Sounds like an administrative slogan, doesn’t it? Something like “faster, better, cheaper.” In fact it’s what Jews in my experience wish each other on Yom Kippur.  For about 25 years now, I’ve been fasting on this day.  No food after dinner before Kol Nidre, the evening service which was last night, until dinner, after sundown tonight.  Also, as I’ve done it and as it’s supposed to be done, no water–the Orthodox won’t brush their teeth, for fear of breaking this commandment–no coffee or tea, no aspirin.  And for 25 years by afternoon, the most moving part for me, I’ve had a splitting headache, with tears running down my cheeks.  Often I’ve bailed, gone home in the early afternoon, and fallen asleep.

Now, what’s the point of that?  Yes, we’re to remind ourselves of deprivation, but that, I decided last year, is counterproductive.  Yes, I am forceably made aware of my dependence on coffee, but I’ll concede the point.  Last year I had 1 cup of coffee, and it made all the difference.  Still gnawing hunger, still light-headedness, but full concentration.  I’ll be singing in the afternoon, and I won’t have a self-induced headache almost as bad as a migraine, and I know what I’m talking about.  Good Yontif.

5 Responses to “Easy fast”

  1. mrh Says:

    An easy fast to you as well. I’m glad I don’t have a coffee dependency, but I get almost as bad just from lack of food. We’ll push through.

  2. Cochava Says:

    There’s worse things than breaking fast for coffee. I mean, I broke it for liver sausage, and I’m not even dependant on liver sausage (most of the time).

  3. Katherine Says:

    May I ask where you go to services?

    I’m looking for a Reform synagogue in Chicago. (Or Conservative, in a pinch, though I prefer Reform.)

  4. I don't pay Says:

    I belong to Chicago Sinai Congregation, on West Delaware. Convenient from Lincoln Park, where a substantial part of our congregation lives. It’s what’s called a “classical” reform congregation. I’m on the Board. I’ll talk your ear off if you let me.

  5. Cochava Says:

    He will. It’s true.

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