Thursday, October 9, 2008

Yom Kippur

Today was Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Repentance. It's a day when people generally spend the entirety of it at the synagogue praying for forgiveness and promising full repentance for all of their sins. Besides this, you are required to fast for the entire day...25 hours total. This isn't something that I can do even when I'm not pregnant, and especially not now that I am pregnant. So I asked the Rabbi what to do--seeing as my doctor basically told me that I'm not allowed to fast, but the punishment from G-d for not fasting the whole day is basically death. Now, there are allowances for people who are sick--because G-d really doesn't want you to die from fasting. If you seriously think you will die, you are allowed to eat without punishment from G-d. But most of the time, people do not become deathly ill from fasting for 25 hours. Women who have recently given birth (from beginning of labor until a week after the baby is born) are completely excused from the fast. Pregnant women, however, generally aren't. In any case, there are ways to get around the Jewish definition of "eating" (provided you have permission from your Rabbi to do this...). If you eat less than 1 oz. of food at least 9 minutes apart, you technically didn't eat. If you drink less than half a mouthful of liquid at least 9 minutes apart, you technically didn't drink anything. You can do this all day (as I did), never get hungry or thirsty and make sure that the babies are well nourished. I still got a headache, but it wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been, and I don't have to worry that I was starving the twins. :-) So, I stayed home all day instead of going to the synagogue, and my husband did the praying. According to the Rabbis, fasting on Yom Kippur is way more important than going to synagogue and praying, so the fact that I could make it through the whole day without technically eating or drinking, meant that I did the right thing. Had I tried to fast, gone to synagogue, and then had to break it in the middle, that would have been much, much less preferable. I made it!!
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