Saturday, September 18, 2010


Today is Yom Kippur. I am not Jewish but I like traditions, and I like days that are meaningful and I like shared experiences. I have had several crises of faith over the last several months. The more I go to church, the more hypocrisy and simpering bigotry I have found, which is why I didn't used to go to church. I want to be inspired, not shamed.
But I digress. I have never celebrated Yom Kippur before. I was raised by a Methodist and an Atheist and you know, Christians kind of ignore Jewish holidays. Kind of a shame if you ask me, especially to ignore a cool one like this one. I have decided to fast today. I'm not really doing it correctly because I'm not giving up water or beverages but I am abstaining from solid food for 25 hours. I started a little late because I didn't know I was going to be doing it, but I figure, God, if he exists, won't care. It isn't really about that anyway.
I'm not doing it for any religious reason. I think atonement is good for the soul in general. I am spending the day thinking of how to be a better person, accepting and acknowledging my past wrongs over the last year and thinking deeply about how I want to live my life is a good thing.
I looked up how to observe Yom Kippur and there are all kinds of rules, but Leviticus annoys me so I am taking the lesson in a pure sense and ignoring his misogynist ass. This guy thought it was a sin to mix fabrics and sit near menstruating women, he was clearly nuts. But this day of atonement is kind of a neat idea. A whole day to devote to thinking about oneself in a manner that allows for spiritual growth, for personal growth and for whatever else comes of the experience.
I decided to fast for the experience of it, but given the fact that I tend to have a bit of hypoglycemia, I decided that it was most unnecessary to give up water and tea, so that is all I have had since midnight.
I have taken up my time with many things, some of which involves making the other people in the house food. I thought this would be harder than it is, but much like anything you are abstaining from, it just becomes something I am not doing. Also, I have taken on the challenge of trying to eat on $4.50 a day for a week as part of a personal empathy challenge so I am spending about .75 on tea for the whole day.
The other thing is that I wanted to feel hunger. I haven't felt real hunger in a long time. I used to feel it all the time, it was a part of my life, this gnawing, pestering force in my life. I want to feel it spiritually and physically and overcome it like I used to. Also, this is something children have to feel every day, children living in poverty who aren't making a choice but are forced to live that way because that is what they were born into.
I'm fortunate not to be hungry all the time. Even when I was, it was mostly self imposed. And I kind of had a way out. So, this is the middle of the journey. I will see where the hollow feeling leaves me. Maybe I will have the opportunity to fill with other things.

1 comment:

Contra Yogini said...

Yom Kippur is indeed a beautiful tradition. As I've said to you before, the Jewish faith (ie modern reform Jews) is one of the most lovely expressions of spirituality I've ever encountered or practiced myself. To this day, even as an atheist,I enjoy going to temple. I really think the Jews understand the concept of God's grace and attempt to personally act in a way deserving thereof.

Good for you for observing this day of reflection! :)