Fasting Ain’t Fast – A poem for Yom Kippur

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.

Did you enjoy this article?

You'll love our roundtable.

Enjoyed this article?

You'll love our roundtable.

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Jewish Journal, 1880 Century Park East, Los Angeles, CA, 90067, https://www.jewishjournal.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Editor's Picks

Latest Articles


Latest Articles

Table for Five: Vayetzei

Holy Humility

See You in January!

I’ll be back before you can say "Ayatollah."

Can We Retire the Word “Shiksa”?

In my junior year of college, I dated a Jewish man named Lucas. Things were going well. We’d go out to the movies and...

All We Are Saying is Give Chickpeas a Chance

When Danielle Renov’s cookbook "Peas Love & Carrots" was published in May 2020, it was a very big deal in the kosher food universe.

Rabbis of LA | Rabbi Yoshi Zweiback: Serving With Joy

Rabbi Yoshi Zweiback works with 1,600 families in his job as senior rabbi at Stephen Wise Temple.



More news and opinions than at a Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.

Copy link
Powered by Social Snap