Culture, Justice, Religion

The usual Yom Kippur reminders

Q: Why can’t you catch a Jew on Yom Kippur?
A: ‘Cause they fast.
Two important reminders for those who are fasting on Yom Kippur:
1. Hydrate! Drinking a lot of water on Sunday afternoon right before the fast is a good idea, but not sufficient. It’s best to start hydrating a day or two earlier. In fact, it’s not a bad idea to drink a liter of water RIGHT NOW. This can make a big difference in being able to have a meaningful day me-erev ad arev (from evening to evening), and having the strength at the end of the day to appreciate Neilah rather than count the minutes until dusk.
2. Fasting isn’t always a choice. MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger encourages everyone to take the amount they would have spent on food and donate it to feed those whose fast is involuntary.
Add your own physical and spiritual reminders in the comment thread.

2 thoughts on “The usual Yom Kippur reminders

  1. Yom Kippur tip number 3 – bury your dead lizard.
    “To sin with the thought that one will repent is like entering the purifying bath with a dead lizard in your hand.” – Rambam, Hilchot Teshuvah
    The Dead Lizard
    I carry the dead lizard with me,
    clench my hand around its peeling skin,
    doubly impure,
    I defile everything I touch.
    The lizard was alive once.
    Nibbled at the leaves of celery stalks.
    A glass house. Very modern.
    Sunned itself by the front window.
    When she did not move for two days,
    Stood perched on the thick end of the driftwood,
    I shoplifted liquid lizard food from Petco,
    Nursed her back to health.
    It was my time of great sins.
    I stole and consumed
    – flesh, food, drugs, drink, emotions, money –
    except for the occasional physical affliction
    I always got away with it.
    I liked to watch her breath,
    Stretch her skin out,
    The rise and fall of a thousand tiny scales.
    Coincidence, you might say, but
    The very night I vowed to turn my life toward the direction of the
    Holy Blessed One
    the lizard died.
    So I clench her scaly body
    Walk out into the mikve dubbed the Atlantic,
    And say
    “Go home, old friend, go home.”
    -daniel s. brenner

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