Yom Kippur starts at sundown on Tuesday, October 11, 2016 and ends with break the fast dinner on Wednesday, October 12. Yom Kippur is the most solemn Jewish Holiday and it is traditional to fast on Yom Kippur to atone for your sins. Rosh Hashahah, the Jewish New Year, is 10 days prior to Yom Kippur. From Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur, you have ten days of penitence to reflect on the prior year and decide what you want to do differently and better in the new year. There are a few synagogues close to Chestnut Hill. One is located on Paper Mill Road called Beth Tikvah-B’nai Jeshurun. Another is the Germantown Jewish Centre, a conservative synagogue in Mount Airy. A third is called Mishkan Shalom Synagogue in Manayunk. This synagogue describes itself as being “dynamic, diverse, progressive, and inclusive.”
Nowadays, people are interpreting and observing religion in a variety of ways. I grew up going to synagogue on Friday night and have come to enjoy celebrating the Jewish traditions and remembering the history of the Jewish people. Personally, it is most important to keep the traditions alive and this is why I fast on Yom Kippur. I like the idea of fasting and taking the day to reflect and take a break from the busy whirlwind of life and decide how to be better the following year. Break the Fast is also one of my favorite meals!
Many people ask, “what should I eat the night before to make my fast easier?” Here are some tips from aish.com to help you have an easy fast.
- Avoid thirst-inducing foods such as chocolate, tea, cola, coffee and alcohol. The caffeine in these foods has a diuretic effect and alcohol requires extra water for your body to process it properly. In addition, avoid salty foods including pickles, cheese, smoked fish, and brisket.
- Eat a lot of carbohydrates (pasta, rice, potatoes, etc.) because they bond with water, which your body can use later. Avoid protein because it takes water from your tissues. Avoid foods that don’t provide lasting satiation such as salads.
- Drink one cup of water every hour for 24 hours before your fast.
- Have some mental discipline and distract yourself so you are not thinking about food.
For some healthy Yom Kippur recipe ideas, visit eatingwell.com.
Knowing how to break your fast is also important. Start with something to drink to warm up your digestive system. It is also important to eat slowly and take breaks between plates. Choose something that is low fiber so its more digestible. My favorite is a bagel with cream cheese! Check out these bagel and kugel recipes!
We wish you a healthy new year and an easy fast!