Why I Observe Yom Kippur

Hello loves! Happy Wednesday, wherever you are in the world! Today I’m sharing with you all why I celebrate a very important high holiday with two of my closest friends: Yom Kippur.

il_570xn-548794097_h9e7                                                                               via Kathleen Tennant on Etsy

This year, the Jewish high holiday of Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) began at sundown yesterday, the 11th, and ends just after sundown today. During these twenty-six hours, people abstain from food, drink, and other physical comforts such as showering while they pray for forgiveness of their sins. It is said people are more open to receiving blessings. It’s a sombre holiday, but it ends with a joyous family meal and knowledge that the new year is getting off to a great start!

12046937_10153286909753337_3781254653298065056_n                                                              The end-of-Yom Kippur dinner, September 2015

I’m not officially Jewish. I’m still not officially anything, really, but some things connect with my spirituality on a very deep level. My roommates and their mom are Jewish, and when I joined their households in 2014, they immediately opened their arms and drew me in to join their beautiful holiday celebrations as a new member of their family. They’ve called me their “Honorary Jew” ever since!

I immediately grew to appreciate Yom Kippur. I’m far from perfect, and I have a decent number of sins on my plate, as most people do. Being human is making mistakes and learning from them, and part of that learning is asking for forgiveness. And I like having the opportunity to fast and concentrate on deep, quiet spirituality.

Along with the private prayers, I find the fast is a wonderful way to recharge and renew my spirituality as a whole.

The pre-fast meal was simple, consisting of chicken, rice, peas, and potatoes that were all unseasoned. The night and day today have been filled with honest prayer and serenity. And by the time the sun sets tonight, I will sit down to eat with gratitude in my heart, delicious food in front of me (my favourite dish is fresh watermelon and feta cheese!), and my mind and soul feeling fresher.

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And those feelings make it more than worth it.

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