Last week, the Chronicle asked its readers in an electronic poll the following question: “Do you intend to fast on Yom Kippur this year?” Of the 258 people who responded, 47% said “Yes, no food or drink for all of Yom Kippur”; 28% said “no”; 23% said “partially”; and 2% said they weren’t sure yet. Comments were submitted by 44 people. A few follow.
One of the very few customs I continue to observe. It is no hardship at all…on the other hand, I don’t feel particularly spiritual or connected to the Jewish American world as I fast . I continue to do it because I’ve always done it…not a terribly good reason, I acknowledge.
Due to my age and health, I cannot go without any food or water. I will do the best I can.
I’m a firm believer that you should only fast to the extent that it does not jeopardize your health.
I hate fasting, but on Yom Kippur I do.
It’s a tradition; and as far as perhaps needing to avoid calories anyway after a huge Kol Nidre meal, as our people say “It couldn’t ‘hoit’” for shedding a few pounds.
Does coffee count?
Every year since my bar mitzvah in 1970.
I am unable to fast. I take medication and must take it with food. However I can and will “eat light.”
Fasting adds thoughtfulness and intention to my day.
When I spend the day in shul, in prayer and contemplation, hunger and thirst fall into the background — I have something much more important to focus on.
My first observance was last year, and I found great meaning in it and how my community came together to break the fast afterwards. PJC