Is Fasting an Act of Suffering?

One of the best-known features of Yom Kippur -- sometimes the only thing people know about this day -- is the fact that we are forbidden to eat and drink. What is the meaning and purpose of these prohibitions on Yom Kippur? An anthropologist visiting a synagogue on Yom Kippur might think that since no one is eating or drinking for an entire 24-hour period, the congregants are all suffering terribly. ...

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Yom Kippur — The Day of Atonement

The Torah designates the tenth day of the seventh month (Tishrei) as the Sabbath of Sabbaths.  It is a day of atonement from sins, a holy day, that we now call Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. In the seventh month on the tenth of the month you shall afflict yourselves and you shall not do any work, neither the native born Jew nor the convert who dwells among you.  For ...

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Just Ask

Food for Thought

Question: What is the purpose of fasting on Yom Kippur? answered: Fasting is a way of ignoring our physical needs and focusing entirely on our spiritual side. This is in marked contrast to how we often act during the rest of the year, when we tend to our physical needs, often neglecting (and sometimes even damaging) our spiritual selves. Recognizing that we have frequently indulged in such behavior, fasting impresses upon us ...

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