Jewish Food

The Blueprint: Cleansing After Yom Kippur

Maybe this could be a new tradition in my life — instead of orange juice and bagels, I keep going with the fast, and add more meaning to it. Read More

By / October 3, 2011
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My family has a history of bad Yom Kippur dismounts.  The time my grandfather went into diabetic shock because he ignored the rabbi’s advice to suck on some candy throughout the day was trumped by my father having two drinks at a party that took place as soon as the sun went down at the end of the Day of Atonement, passing out, and slicing his chin open on a table edge.  This is all proof that we’re bad at breaking fast.  I think we might be the only family to have a track record of this kind that includes my own contribution of deciding to go from atoning for my sins directly into the Master Cleanse, otherwise known as ten days of ingesting nothing but a concoction of lemon juice, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper mixed with water.  That’s it.  Nothing else.

Even though my health was never in any sort of peril, the psychological effects of going from one type of fast to another is taxing.  You go from not eating because you want to cleanse your soul to not eating because you want to cleanse your body.  For me, at least, you start to question that decision about 48 hours into the second round of withholding, and the amount of cursing you do due to lack of food probably makes any Yom Kippur penance null and void.

I tried that combination nearly ten years ago.  I was a younger man then, and I think I’ve grown up enough to be able to deal with not ingesting any solid foods for a prolonged period of time.  This is why I gave a lot of thought to going on the popular BluePrintCleanse as soon as the Book of Life closed for the final time this year.  Considering this has been a pretty good year from me in terms of eating better and working out more, maybe cleaning the booze and coffee out my body is the next logical step to living up to any wrong I committed in the last 365 days.  Maybe this could be a new tradition in my life — instead of orange juice and bagels, I keep going with the fast, and add more meaning to it.

I’d be curious to know if anybody else out there has any special post-Yom Kippur traditions that help extend the very personal nature of the day.