Wednesday, October 9, 2019

A Fast Fast

Every now and then, TigerBlog goes back in the archives to see what he's written about certain holidays or events and such and then quotes it back in the current year.

Usually he does this because he remembers what he wrote and figures he's already said exactly what he wants to say in the way he wants to say it. That's because he can almost always remember what he's written through the years.

Yesterday, he read something from two years ago that he didn't remember at all and that made him laugh out loud.

He did a search for "Yom Kippur" to see what he's said about the Jewish Day of Atonement, which is what today is, and he found this from just two years ago:

If you've never tried to fast for 24 hours, it seems more daunting than it really is. Yes, you get hungry. No, it's not overwhelming. The worst part is looking at the time and thinking about how much longer you have to go.
If you really wanted to make it tough to atone for sins, then instead of going 24 hours without eating, it should be having to go 24 hours without using a smartphone or computer or checking email or getting texts or using social media. 

That's actually even more true now than it was then.

TigerBlog and his people will be fasting for 24 hours as part of the High Holy Days, a time of reflection and self-awareness that begins with the Jewish New Year and culminates in the holiest day of the year, a day of repentance.

As he said it seems overwhleming. No food and nothing to drink for 24 hours? Yikes. Who could do that?

In reality, it's not that difficult. The mistake is stuffing yourself before you start, because that won't help in the long run. For the first few hours, you have to fight off the instinct to have something to drink or a snack or something. In the last few hours, you have to not stare at the clock.

Other than that, it's not a big deal.

Of course, there's always that day during the year when circumstance prevents you from eating for awhile and you look up and realize you've gone always an entire day without food and think "why couldn't this have been Yom Kippur?"

So sure, you get a little hungry. And maybe you get a headache. But that's part of the deal.

Hey, it's the single most important ritual in the Jewish religion.

But no electronics for 24 hours? TB hasn't come close to being able to do that for the last, oh, 10 years or so. In fact, he may have to try that one of these days. He won't last until 7 am, he thinks.

His experiences with Princeton Athletics at the holiest day of his people have varied. On a normal year, he will take the day off and often go to services.

In other years, the holiday has corresponded with a game.

He remembers vividly the time he went to services at Brown, in a temple across the street from the football stadium. While there, he saw a Brown player in his football uniform.

There have been other times as well, including once at Lehigh when he was on the radio, fasting, about five feet from a giant tray of chocolate chip cookies. That was a real test of repentance.

For this Yom Kippur, he worked at the men's soccer game against Delaware last night.

He did so with no food and no drink, and it wasn't that difficult.

He did have two laptops and his cell phone.

Good thing they didn't have those 5800 years ago.

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