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Ask Shifra

Something Different... Answering questions and making curious observations (online) since 2005.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

So, how was it?

If you were fasting yesterday how did it go?
Did it make you feel sad, self-reflective, or just hungry?

My fast went pretty well, I got myself off caffeine a week before and that was a big help.

For me I think it's a good thing to fast once in a while. Even though my financial situation has had it's ups and downs over the years I've never been in a situation where I had nothing to eat. I don't want to get too political here but I think if some folks in Washington went without a meal once in a while they would have a lot more respect for the programs that keep America's children from going hungry on a regular basis.

The nine-days do have an effect on me, particularly because they are so restrictive during a time of year that's usually a lot more relaxed. Whatever I'm in the mood to do (especially on the weekends) such as go to the movies, or the beach, I have to tell myself, no - that's too much fun - and it reminds me of all the tragic events of that time of year. A custom that my Shul has, of remaining completely silent upon leaving the building in complete silence after the reading of Eicha is particularly effective. Shul is such a social place most of the time - not speaking changes the mood entirely.

One thing that kind of gets to me is the pile of events that are always listed as on or near the 9th of Av. I'm not a huge fan of coincidences, they make me feel skeptical - the more coincidences you heap on the less I'm included to buy what you are selling. Kind of like that whole Kennedy/Lincoln thing. Too much! Also why are any of those facts in important? Coincidences are everywhere but they don't necessarily mean anything. I have a hard time considering a certain time of year "unlucky." Sad yes, unlucky no. Still I'd rather lump together a group of sad things and mourn them all at once than separately all year long.

Share your 9 days experiences in the comments. I'm interested!


At 10:36 AM, Blogger Larry Lennhoff said...

Physically the fast was pretty easy. I don't have much caffeine normally so I don't get withdrawal, and I'm careful to hydrate for several days before the fast.

Spiritually the fast wasn't terribly uplifting. I had a nice discussion on the book of Iyov. I go to a place where instead of just reading the kinnot there is some explanation and/or commentary on them, which makes the process substantially less boring.

At 10:57 AM, Blogger Shifra said...

Iyov is full of great discussion topics. At my shul they didn't even call out which kinot they were mumbling to themselves so I didn't get much out of that.


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