Many Jews and Muslims are fasting tomorrow. I attached this weird but interesting article about it at the bottom of this post. Also, I ranted below – for a change.
Hineni. Oh, how I love/hate Yom Kippur! I love the liturgy of Yom Kippur. I love Yom Kippur tunes and tropes and traditions. Ki Anu Amechah! I always, always love the shofar and havdallah. But I hate fasting. So. Much. (Yes, “hate is a strong word.” That’s why I’m using it.)
I’ll think of you with love, my sisters, brothers, cousins in faith. I’ll think of your strength, your stamina, your determination, your cotton mouth.
I’ll think of those of you who cheerfully feed small children lunch while your stomach growls and your head pounds. I’ll daydream fondly about the makers of over-the-counter pain killers, starting around 3pm when my familiar YK migraine takes hold.
I’ll try to remember to cover my mouth when I talk to people because fasting breath is the worst breath.
I’ll think of my Beth Am friends who spent one post-Yom-Kippur morning at a Home Depot with me looking at sukkot blueprints and then joyously shopping for sukkot building materials.
I’ll think of my Muslim friends with admiration because they probably think that one day of fasting is a piece of cake compared to a month of fast days and because it’s so cool when our holy days line up.
I always think of the YK afternoon I fell asleep next to a dozing teen-aged RK Rachel Marder in the front row during the afternoon liturgy. I always think of Rabbi Janet Marder politely reminding everyone to take the lessons/intention/tone of Yom Kippur into the parking lot. (And how people behaved rudely in the parking lot anyway.)
I think longingly of Cantor Kay Greenwald‘s voice and of that time 2,000 people sang happy birthday to Rabbi Yoshi Zweiback at Kol Nidrei. (That was totally my idea, you know, my brother.)
I think of my stalwart clergy friends powering through Yom Kippur from the bima – teaching, speaking, chanting, singing, smiling, turning pages, blessing folks, remembering names, blowing shofarot, and, finally, happily welcoming havdallah.
I think of everyone who this year (!) won’t have to explain to work/school why we need a whole 25 hours off and why we won’t be “all there” the next day.
I always think of my grandma and my bubi who made the comfort foods that concluded Yom Kippur with joy and satisfaction and family. I think of my grandpa who washed all the dishes and who remembered the Hebrew blessing for wine, long after he forgot so many other important things by age 89.
I’ll think of you all tomorrow. I already regret not reaching out to each of you to apologize for my forgetfulness and insensitivities and errors this year. I’ll think of what I can do better next year. And I’ll re-dedicate myself to calling/writing/texting/visiting everyone I love.
And tomorrow night, this ordeal of heart/soul/body will all be over, but I hope my new hope and dedication will survive.