Yom Kippur ended a couple of hours ago, but I cannot fall asleep. Instead, I decided to update my blog. I think that this year has been the easiest fast I have ever had. Last year, I got sick enough that I needed to end the fast a few minutes early. I think I was dehydrated when the fast began so not eating or drinking for another 25 hours was not good. I do have to confess that I have drastically changed my diet in the past year as well. My pre-fast meal consisted of whole wheat/ whole grain challah, tofu and veggies and a combo of lentils and brown rice. The biggest difference is that now I only eat complex carbohydrates, along with foods that are high in protein, and low in fat. This may have had an impact on how easy my fast was.
I think the key factor in this being an easy fast, was Sod Siach, the Minyan (a group of people who gather to pray) I attended from Shacharit (morning service), through Neilah (ending service). This was exactly like the Minyan I have been attended the past few years for Yom Kippur, but higher energy if that is possible. The services were held in a small space with a low ceiling, and it was packed! By the time we got to the very last part of the service, I felt like I could go a few more hours, easily. I davened with some my peers from Pardes, people I had met from Yeshivat Talpiot, one relative, and someone I went to high school with. It definitely did not hurt that Rabbi Elie Kaunfer, one of the founders of Mechon Hadar, led Neilah. Being surrounded by people I know, who were all contributing, helped to make this Yom Kippur one of my favorites. If I had not decided to come to Israel and Pardes this year, I probably never would have had this amazing experience. I should also mention how cool it was to be able to just hang out in the middle of street in Jerusalem, because there are almost no cars on Yom Kippur. This is certainly something I could never experience anywhere else. I hope that everyone had as meaningful and as energy filled a fast as I have. If you did not, I hope that you get to experience one like it in the near future. Shana Tova!