It’s ten days after Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. So we all know what that means. It’s Yom Kippur today, meaning all of us Jews are fasting in order to atone and suffer properly for our sins. Hungry Jews are not always polite people, especially since we’re spending the morning in synagogue praying, just desperately ignoring our hunger and hoping that G-d forgives us. We can’t eat until sundown, so the day feels long.
Because I’m right there suffering with everyone else, I’ve whipped up a list of how to ignore your hunger on this beautiful Yom Kippur.
Call into work and take the day off.
The best thing about Jewish holidays is your boss can’t scold you when you don’t come into work. Take the day off, don’t go into work hungry, or hangry as the case may be, and just take this day for yourself, your prayers, and your spirituality.
Get in some good ol’ family time.
Since you’re already taking the day off, use this time to spend time with people you love, whether that be family, friends, or significant others. This may be a time to atone for our sins, but it is also a wonderful time to catch up with your loved ones and really talk to them.
Catch up on your Netflix binge.
Life has probably gotten crazy, and though this is a day to focus on ourselves, it’s okay to spend just a little time to yourself and watch one, or two, episodes of that show you love on Netflix.
You may not be allowed to eat, or drink but if your not drinking water is going to cause you to get a crippling migraine, like me, don’t deprive yourself. G-d will forgive you for not getting sick! Don’t guzzle it but definitely don’t forget to drink your water. Carry around a bottle all day so you don’t forget about it.
Don’t drink too much coffee.
All of us caffeine addicts are certainly feeling it today. But don’t let that craving for food be mistaken for a craving for coffee. During break-the-fast, too much coffee can completely throw off your metabolism for the days following and make you feel terrible.
Read that book you’ve been dying to read.
If the day is for quiet reflection, it’s okay to quietly reflect while reading the book that’s been sitting on your bedside table for weeks. Whether it be romance, fiction, nonfiction, or poetry, that book is all for you today.
Don’t eat too much at Break-the-fast.
As hungry as you are, stuffing your face with that delicious meal you, your mother, your grandmother, or the restaurant made, can actually make you sick after fasting all day. Take it slow, and fill your stomach up with only enough to make you full. You can take the leftovers home and stuff your face tomorrow.
Don’t think about all the delicious food out there in the world.
Definitely don’t picture that cheesecake you almost ate the other night, but didn’t. Don’t think about the pancake mix you have in your pantry and could have eaten this morning for breakfast. Don’t stare at the gentleman eating that sandwich across the street from you. Don’t watch and rewind and rewind again that commercial about those brownies that are double fudge and topped with that delicious looking chocolate frosting and… Okay, I may have gotten distracted there…
And most of all…
Get in touch with your spirituality.
This day really is for you to pray and feel and remember. Take the time to really reflect on what this day means to you. Take the time to reflect on what Judaism means to you. This day may be for atonement, but it is also for realizing who you are as a person, a Jew, a human being on this earth. Yom Kippur is what you make it, so make it good.
Although this day can feel long and arduous as we all fast, hopefully this list can make it go a little easier and faster (see what I did there?). G’mar chatima tovah, everyone. May you all have a good, easy, and mindful fast.