A Few Words After My No-Fasting on Yom Kippur Blog

Yesterday, I had quite a strong readership, as I went on the record to the public about not fasting on Yom Kippur. I welcome the reactions and the conversation – the whole point of being a writer is to introduce ideas and say it in a way that resonates with people and generate discussion.

It should be clear that I am in no way mandating or legislating what other people should do. The undercurrent of all of my writing is that I encourage every person to figure out for themselves what is meaningful and how their life can make a difference in the world, make the world better.

And I’m not saying to throw away tradition and scripture. Many, many people couldn’t live with that. Turmoil comes in many costumes.

All I’m saying is, know what you believe. Know why you do what you what you do. And if it doesn’t resonate with you, take a look at why you continue to do it.

For some people, tradition and expectation are reason enough and that’s perfectly fine.

Others are afraid – of what people will think, of the wrath of God, of trying something new.

Of thinking for themselves.

By its nature, religion has us thinking and operating in collective consciousness. It’s a beautiful thing to be part of a community. I can’t tell you how much I love listening to the resonating voices in my synagogue as the congregation rises to return the Torah scrolls to the holy Ark. There is a line in Hebrew in the liturgy at the very end which means¬†it is a tree of life for those who hold fast to it…and the poetry of that, as the voices swell and crescendo, is incredibly awe-inspiring.

Whether or not to eat or avoid food on one day of the year is but a single decision and one driven by so many factors. Do it. Don’t do it. Think about it why. Just get through the day. Whatever works.

But living this life is a complex thing. There’s no easy path. If you’re a head in the sand kind of person, you wouldn’t read this blog anyway. And if you’re a free-thinker, I just wanted to say, you’re not alone.

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