Monday, September 28, 2009


by one hungry Jew

I am a Jew. And for me, today marks the holiest of holy days. Yom Kippur. However, I am reformed Jew. So that changes things up a smidge. Mind you the holy, repenting thing is still very much a part of the quotient. I go to temple later in the day (if I’m visiting my parents). I do the fasting thing. And of course I atone for my sins. I just do a modified version. At sundown the result is still the same. I’d give my right anything for a bagel with a schmear of cream cheese (slice of tomato or not). Oh, and I feel like I'm closer to God and all that. I just don’t do the uber-Jew thing and pray all day in temple, or sit in a dark room and do absolutely nothing. So how do I get through the day? Here are my 2 vital tips for SURVIVING YOM KIPPUR.

I Brush My Teeth A Lot: The rule is you can’t ingest water or food all day, but God said nothing about good ol’ fluoride. So if some trickles down the throat, hey, that’s nothing I can control. Plus (and this is the gross part), when you rinse your mouth out with water you're upping your saliva supply. This is a good thing. ‘Cause later when you swallow your own spit at 4:53pm (during the Rabbi’s sermon) there’s actually some water in it. Does a semi-decent job of quenching your thirst.

Movies, Not TV: Try not eating and drinking for a day and watching TV. Every other commercial is about a mouthwatering, juicy burger or bubbly delicious cola! It’s maddening. Now, movies you don’t have that problem. Commercial-free. The problem is what genre to watch. Comedies almost always have some sort of food moment. When Harry Met Sally has the iconic deli scene. In Superbad they’re kibitzing in Home-Ec or the cafeteria for practically the first half of the movie. And in Tommy Boy, Farley goes on and on about meat lovers pizzas, bear claws and M&M’s. Horror flicks are no good either. There’s almost always the “oversized knife in the kitchen” confrontation. Or some clueless person rummaging through a fridge chock full of food, turns around (with turkey drumstick in hand) only to come face-to-face with a psycho zombie. Your only safe bet (to me) is mindless action. Specifically the Bruckheimer films like Armageddon, The Rock or Con-Air. It’s car chases, gunfights and slow motion, sweaty people running from explosions the moment you start watching. Plus, Jerry’s movies tend to run long. So all you need is about 3 ½ features and before you know it – Temple Time has arrived. Then it’s only 2 short hours 'til you're knocking back a brownie and orange juice.

So I hope this helps – or at least enlightens those as to what we reformed Jews have to suffer through on this holiest of holy days.

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