I just realized that, in the five years of helming this e-zine, I’ve never written a column celebrating Yom Kippur! So here’s this brief one now.

I believe the term “celebrating” is not exactly correct for this holiday; it’s the Jewish people’s day of atonement. Not eating for twenty-five hours is actually the antithesis of celebrating, in my book. But to me, it’s a necessary thing to do.

rsz_most-israelis-fast-on-yom-kippurI seriously try to never do anything in life that I would have to atone for, but I always do the fast anyway, just in case. I feel that it’s good for one’s soul.

I do have one thing that annoys me on this holiday; some of my friends tell me that they fast during whatever twenty-hours they feel like fasting! First of all, the official fast is longer than that, (around twenty-five hours,) and second of all, the fast hours are specific each year. If you’re not adhering to those specific hours and minutes, then you’re not doing the Yom Kippur fast! Period. There are several days each year that I just wind-up not eating for twenty-four hours; I can’t just count those as my atoning. It’s a specific thing, and everyone needs to do it right, or not at all!

One amusing thing about Yom Kippur that just came to my attention was actually brought up by two non-Jewish guys I know. They want to know why Rosh Hashanah, which is the Jewish New Year, and is very celebratory and happy, comes before the hard Day of Atonement. It does make sense to me that we should have the sad, penitent day first, and then start off the new year with a happy day, with nothing hard looming a few days later. I asked one friend about this, and he was so knowledgeable that he gave me such a detailed answer that, of course, I forgot it pretty quickly. So, if you know the answer of why the Jewish holidays are in this particular order, please share them in the Comments section below. I’d love to be able to clear it up for my not-of-my-ethnic-persuasion pals. And for myself, too.

Since this is not a happy occasion, I can’t really wish those of you of my ethnic persuasion to have a happy Yom Kippur, so I just wish you all an easy and peaceful fast. And I’ll meet you all back here next week, when I’m not food-deprived and cranky.


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