Yom Kippur: Variations on a theme

Family photo taken at Mass MoCA (artist – Sol LeWitt photographer – me)

This year, as I do every year, I am fasting for Yom Kippur.  Isabelle asks why we fast.  I explain that we fast to feel discomfort and do something hard.  Then reflect on how, in our particular lives, we rarely have discomfort or to work hard for anything.  Even when we think we are having trouble or hardship it’s really nothing compared to what others have and do face.  (This part I keep to myself in my thoughts.)

Isabelle then asked why Daddy doesn’t fast.  I explain that he has his own way to feel discomfort.  Like the Ironman.

Then we get to the second part which is atonement.  I explain to Isabelle that we’re also apologizing on this day for our mistakes.  She suggests that we each have a candle at dinner and that we say all our things we are sorry about into the candle and then blow the flame away.

And so, begins our own family traditions and variations on a Jewish theme.

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