Thursday, September 20, 2007

Yom Kippur Fasting

For the past umpteen years, like many Jews the world over, I have fasted on Yom Kippur. I first started fasting when I was 12. While the tradition does not require a full fast of someone until 13, I wanted to prove to myself the year before I HAD to fast, that I COULD fast.

The fast is a full 25 hour fast with nothing to eat or drink. Many of my non-Jewish friends and acquaintances are always amazed to hear that the fast also means no water. While some fasts are easier than others, I really do not have a problem with fasting.

Judaism does, of course, recognize the importance of those who need to eat. If there are medical issues and reason, you do not fast, you take your medicine, you do what you need to do. Again, this all makes sense.

I confess, however, this year for the first time in years, I am nervous going into the fast. Over the past number of months, I think I have developed an anxiety issue. I recently got a medication from the doctor to help me deal with this. The prescription is PRN, that I should take it as needed. The truth is, for such a medicine, one that is not crucial to my survival, one that I could do without (otherwise it would not be PRN), I really should avoid taking it. Still, there is a part of me concerned about suffering some kind of anxiety attack during the Holiday, or at least feeling the discomforts I often get when the anxiety approaches.

So, It is not crucial, but it certainly is helpful to take this medicine. I will probably take it tomorrow night, right before the fast starts and pray for the best (I certainly be in the right place for that).

Once again, I wish everyone a G’Mar Hatima Tovah, that you should be inscribed and sealed for a good year.

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