Hero or Sidekick?

I think Yom Kippur is about Superheroes.

I hate Yom Kippur. I hate fasting, I can never concentrate when I’m hungry, so before this abysmal day begins I’m going to share some thoughts while my mind is still awake.

On this day we do two things which do not come naturally to humans: fasting and forgiving. Forgiveness is the hardest thing in the whole universe. It is a brutal confronation with our mortality and vulnerability. It’s a sacrifice we make to maintain connections that are important to us. Sometimes we can be too forgiving and suffer from that as well. And yet we take an entire day and devote it to this terrifying act.

Fasting is torture. I was told once that it’s good for your body, that it gets better with practice. Still, I spend all year praying I’ll get a stomach virus on Yom Kippur so I won’t have an appetite because I would rather be sick than hungry. The fact that we willingly do not eat for an entire day is, in my opinion, superhuman. It shows that we have powers above our instincts and basic human needs. We have the ability to connect to something greater – the spirit – a place where we are strong enough to not need physical satisfactions. That is our superpower. The ability to conquer ourselves.

With that in mind, the last step is to take these powers we have and use them to triumph over our greatest enemy – our doubt in ourselves. On this day we have to act in the face of fear and forgive ourselves for being human. Only then can we rise to our full potential and save the world.

“Triumph begins with try and ends with Umph!” – Happy Feet

Fun fasting everyone!


2 thoughts on “Hero or Sidekick?

  1. lovely intentionality for yom kippur. Especially the happy feet line 🙂 I too am always baffled by the hero complex of yom kippur…truly fasting is something super-human, an accomplishment to feel proud of. but i also feel like it’s easy to loose the larger cavanah of the holiday in this superhero complex. To get lost in self-congratulation over the act of fasting, losing track of the larger potentiality that fasting implies as well as of the much larger purpose behind said ritual act of food-deprivation. I really appreciate the way you appropriated this congratulatory tendency though to a greater purpose of conquering ourselves and thereafter larger social ills. good luck fasting!

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