Notes From a Middle-Aged Dad #38: Yom Kippur

Written by Alex on October 12, 2016 - 0 Comments

Dear Ivan:

Today, as you know, was Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.  It is the most somber and sanctified days of the Jewish Calendar.  That is why you were off from school, I was home from work, and we went to the playground.

As you may have noticed, I did not eat during this day.  Yes, while you were gorging your 5-year-old self on pancakes and Rice Krispy Treats, and ice cream sandwiches, and more pancakes, I was not eating anything.   This is because Yom Kippur is a day of fasting, which we do to purify ourselves and perhaps grown more spiritual.  Also to remind ourselves of the suffering of others.  If you ask me, if people want to know about suffering, they should spend all day with a 5-year-old . . . just kidding.

In any event, I hope that the memory of this day stays with you as you grow older — particularly the image of your 49-year-old father stoically and heroically not eating so as to prove his worth and his purity of spirit.  In particular, his not-eating in the face of your almost constant eating, I think should merit some special attention.

Meantime, I want to say that I was excited to spend the day with you.  It was one of the best days of painful not-eating that I’ve had — far better, in fact, than the time I couldn’t eat because I had food poisoning.

Love always,


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