2003-10-06 - 11:40 a.m.
So here I am, Yom Kippur, and I'm at work. I'm feeling slightly guilty over this, but I'm also feeling rather incensed that I can't get to services in the DC area without paying well over $100, which I simply cannot justify right now. But I keeping the fast (which I started rather late, having finsihed dinner at 9:30 pm last night), and I am contemplating my various sins and transgressions over the past year. So I'm keeping Yom Kippur in spirit, if not in temple. Also, I walked down the stairs to my car today instead of taking the elevator. For about 20 seconds I pretended I was being virtous by not using the elevator because it is a holiday, but then I told myself to get real: I wasn't using the elevator because I didn't want to ride down with the skanky guys who were waiting there.
It's amazing to me how much I've been thinking about food this morning. I often skip breakfast, so I'm not realy hungry at this point. But the knowledge that I won't eat all day long is constantly popping into my head; and maybe that's why we fast: to be constantly reminded during this day that we need to take some time apart from our usual habits and examine where our lives are going. Every time I feel a hunger pain, I try to reflect on how I denied myself nourishment in other ways in the past year: by watching too much junk television and not reading enough; by procrastinating and making tasks more difficult for myself and those around me; by dwelling on the negative traits of my family and friends rather than being grateful for their presence in my life; by not practicing my music often enough and not fulfilling the potential I know I have; and so on.
So Happy Yom Kippur, because any day we take to reflect on our lives and acknowledge our imperfections should be a happy occasion, even if it is a solemn one.
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