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Fasting Ain’t Fast – A poem for Yom Kippur

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September 29, 2022
Iuliia Bondar/Getty Images

If I were to vote for the most poorly named Jewish ritual
it would be fasting because, let’s face it, it ain’t.

Empires rise and fall while we wait for the space between
our pre-sunset and post Tekiyah G’dolah meals to diminish.

I’m reminded of how cats and dogs must feel when
daylight savings time begins or ends, and meal time is

pushed later. Something feels terribly wrong.
Out stomachs weren’t meant to grumble.

How lucky most of us are to have whatever we want
to eat a mere refrigerator or meal delivery app away.

Some say we do this to change focus from the
comforts of our body to our sins.

We’ve missed the mark this year and
a burrito isn’t going to fix it.

We’re still dealing with the repercussions of
the golden calf incident.

That wasn’t me. I wasn’t there. You might say.
But the very idea of being Jewish comes with

a history longer than your own memory.
If you think back long enough, you’ll remember

which of your jewelry you gave to make that idol.
Maybe it became part of the tongue?

So let’s not do lunch this year, at least not
on Yom Kippur. This is our penance for all we have done.

And don’t worry. Like any proper Jewish event
this abstinence from food, will end with a meal.

I’d tell you what’s on the menu, but I don’t want to
distract you from the work yet to be done.


God Wrestler: a poem for every Torah Portion by Rick LupertLos Angeles poet Rick Lupert created the Poetry Super Highway (an online publication and resource for poets), and hosted the Cobalt Cafe weekly poetry reading for almost 21 years. He’s authored 26 collections of poetry, including “God Wrestler: A Poem for Every Torah Portion“, “I’m a Jew, Are You” (Jewish themed poems) and “Feeding Holy Cats” (Poetry written while a staff member on the first Birthright Israel trip), and most recently “I Am Not Writing a Book of Poems in Hawaii” (Poems written in Hawaii – Ain’t Got No Press, August 2022) and edited the anthologies “Ekphrastia Gone Wild”, “A Poet’s Haggadah”, and “The Night Goes on All Night.” He writes the daily web comic “Cat and Banana” with fellow Los Angeles poet Brendan Constantine. He’s widely published and reads his poetry wherever they let him.

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