Be Careful what you Wish For

1 Nov


Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) is the most important holiday on the Jewish calendar, but it is also the least favorite holiday of many Jews.  We go for 25 hours without food or drink (and some other pleasures in life).  Every year during the pre-Yom Kippur season, Jewish circles are abuzz with advice for how best to approach the fast – what to eat the day before, how to stave off hunger- and thirst-related headaches the day of, and how best to break the fast afterward.  Those who are sick, like me, are exempt from the fast, although we do our eating and drinking discreetly and out of sight of the rest of the community, and stick to water and light meals.

A friend of mine remarked that she’d trade places with me any day, but that’s coming from someone who lacks perspective. Yom Kippur is just one day out of the year.  And once it’s done, it’s done.  But when you have cancer, you have to fast many days out of the year, and once you’re done, they poke you and prod you and perform all sorts of tests on you, only to make you fast again!  I spent way too much time fasting the first year I had cancer, and I will go for Yom Kippur over medical-related fasting any time.  (Let’s not even talk about the time where I could not put food in my mouth for a whole month while I was undergoing whole-brain radiation.)

So, be careful what you wish for.  I’m sure you most likely don’t want to trade places with me.


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