Why do they call it a fast when it goes by soooo slow(ly)

Fasting was a big topic of conversation in our family this weekend. My oldest daughter is 13 and it is the first year she felt responsible for observing this Yom Kippur ritual.

Considering how much time we usually spend talking about food and what we are going to eat and how we will prepare it and how good it tastes, it is not a surprise that in its distinctive  absence  we  filled the void with conversation about not eating, or when we would eat or how hungry we might be feeling or how the feeling of hunger kind of goes away after a while.

At one point I mused that the word fast is really an oxymoron all by itself. Why on earth would they choose a word that suggests a rapid finish for an act that takes such a very long time?

We usually go to Temple in the morning until about noon when we go home and do not return at 3 pm for the afternoon service. Traffic and school nights always made it seem so inconvenient.

This year, Yom Kippur was on a Saturday, eliminating both of those issues. Also, I really wanted to go to the Yizkor (memorial) service in the afternoon. This is the first year that both of my parents are gone and it seemed very important to attend services in both of their memory.

I lit the two Yarzheit candles  before sundown on Friday and they burned the requisite 24 hours on our kitchen counter. It was amazing how those two little twinkling candles were such a comfort, like my parents were here with us for a short time, sharing the day with us. The light, their dancing spirits, brightening our home for while. I felt so sad when they were done.

It turns out that the afternoon service is now my favorite. It was peaceful and meaningful. The sun pouring into the Synagogue as it set and the warm glow from the lights of the memorial plaques taking its place.

And it is totally easier to fast while you are at services praying and reflecting and concentrating on other thoughts than when you are sitting at home waiting for the day to end so you can eat.

We broke the fast at Kit n Kitchen on University Avenue. I’ve only been to this restaurant once before, but I have very fond memories of that meal. My husband took me there  for dinner four years ago, soon after we were engaged. We planned our wedding that night. The food was good too.

It was good again on Saturday–and not just because we were hungry.

While I think it would be nice to invite people to our home and break the fast together, it is very  hard for me to imagine preparing a meal when I am so hungry. I haven’t quite figured out  the logistics of that one, so we go out.

The kids had the Volcano Stone Grilled. They bring the hot stone to the table and grill the meat and vegetables right there.

We were treated to the owner, Kit’s, presence as he helped prepare the steak for our children.

Both  my husband and I ordered lamb and savored every bite.

The kids enjoyed their Coca Cola bottle collection.

It was a particularly meaningful holiday, fast and services and memorial and all.

How/where did you break the fast?

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Laurie Hanan
    Sep 21, 2010 @ 07:29:06

    We did it the easy way and broke fast at the temple. Which meant an extra couple hours of fasting, but I think it was worth it.


  2. Lorraine Gershun
    Sep 21, 2010 @ 16:37:13

    Hi Laurie,
    I think that seems like the perfect idea. Next year I will plan it that way. It’s always good to be together with the community.


  3. Shanny Morgenstern
    Sep 22, 2010 @ 03:35:04

    Hi Lorrie- Your description of the candles and the afternoon service was beautiful. And I agree with you – a fast seems to be misnamed, not only is it very slow, but “fast” is similar to “feast”…

    I hope you have a happy and healthy year.


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