How To Survive Yom Kippur Without Losing Your Mind
It's about that time again when we all starve ourselves and binge eat later….
….No, we're not talking about a Thursday late night — we're talking about YOM KIPPUR! Let us remind you that these are the High Holidays, but they have nothing to do with marijuana.
While some view this occasion as the first day of their fall diets (someone's got to fit into skinny jeans again!), others contend that this is the holiest day of the Jewish calendar.
That may be true, but nothing compromises our concentration like a good 'ol growl of the stomach. Seriously, how are we supposed to focus on repenting when we're daydreaming about Grandma's roasted chicken breasts? (That came out wrong, but get your head out of the gutter — it's a day of atonement!)
After summer weekends filled with cookouts and crap, we know all of you can't wait to starve yourselves! (and no, taking Adderall is considered cheating and will only impede your appetite for breaking the fast later).
We know it's a tough job, but who better than Jews to do it! We've survived much, much worse.
***Disclaimer: This Starvedown follows a Reform Judaic experience. Some practices are more “Jewish liberal” than others. This is meant to only be an outline, so don't get all angry Moses if you're going to Kol Nidre for three hours and we don't include it. That part is boring anyway.
Friday 7:00 PM, Post-Commute: You've Arrived and it's like you haven't seen your Jewish mother in years (you saw her last week at Rosh Hashanah)
Friday 8:00 PM, Sundown: The Feast
You stuff face – number one because it's good Jew food (holla for some challah!), but also number two because you know you're going to need fuel for tomorrow. Or if you subscribe to the theory that a big meal the night before will make you hungrier the next day (AKA the excuse twig betches use), then this activity probably isn't of interest to you. Those people can begin starving a day early (we know they secretly love the feeling anyway).
Friday 11:00 PM, Post-Feast: We're feeling like…
But luckily, we're so tired from work, family and digesting that when we hit our pillow…
Saturday 8:00 AM, Early: We're hating that Yom Kippur falls on a weekend this year
Who wants to waste a perfectly good Saturday waking up early and going to temple? And furthermore, we'd have much preferred missing a day of work for this, instead of missing our college football team play their rivalry (Do Jewish football athletes still play?…Do any even exist?). The only good to come out of this is that we'll be really, really skinny for Saturday night.
Saturday 9:15 AM, Still Early: Grand Entrance Into Temple
If your temple is anything like ours, you know you're going to see your entire 5th grade social circle, which means we're going to have to make a show-stopping entrance. If you have a new boyfriend to flaunt this year, then you're already feeling ahead of the game (although we personally are rolling our eyes at you). If you don't, along with the rest of us, you'll be busy scanning the synagogue for familiar faces and people you haven't seen in ages.
Oh, wait. Is it time to stand again?
Saturday 11:35 AM: We're Used to Having Breakfast
Not today, we aren't! Suck in those early signs of hunger.
Saturday Noon: Bathroom Break
Why do we just happen to run into our Middle School arch enemy that we still hate for no reason on a day of forgiveness? We exchange the requisite pleasantries, go into the stall and mentally envision her dead, and then immediately apologize to G-d for doing so. Run back into services to re-repent all over again.
Saturday 1:07 PM: You Wish You Slept For Half The Day So This Wouldn't Feel So Painful
We're so hungry we're eating our stomach pangs. Trying to cover up our stomach growls during moments of silent prayer is as stressful as holding in a fart during downward dog in yoga class.
Saturday 3:15 PM: Who Has The Energy To Carry A Torah?
Seriously, how is the cantor still up there chanting? How are we still here praying? Remember lunchtime? Seems like a faint memory by now. We start tricking ourselves into thinking our hunger has passed until a little kid runs by with a cookie….Think he'd trade it for an iPhone?
Saturday 4:00 PM: Putting An End to the Madness
The wannabe ano girls are patting themselves on the back for another successful day of not eating; our little brothers broke it hours ago; and we're shoving gum into our mouths pretending like it doesn't count. We should probably offer some to the balding guy next to us whose breath smells because he didn't brush his teeth this morning. (Please, let's be kind to thy neighbor and fudge this rule!)
Saturday 5:00 PM: Nom, Nom, Nom
Skip kissing Grandpa and dive right into the brisket. Soup is for the girls who don't like to eat.
Saturday 5:24 PM: Did Our Stomach's Shrink?
Why are we feeling so full, so early in the game…
Saturday 5:26 PM: FAKE OUT!
Just kidding. The burp really helped move things along.
Saturday 8:00 PM: It's Finally Over
After an hour of Jewish goodbyes, the holiday is officially over. We immediately turn on our cell phones and debate if we're still able to go out tonight after hefty servings of dessert.
Saturday 11:42 PM: Sinning All Over Again…
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