Thursday, September 23, 2010

Looking at the other

Yom Kippur has come and gone. Thank God. I've heard everyone wishing me an easy fast. What's so easy about fasting, pray tell me? There is nothing easy about not eating and drinking for 25 hours. And anyways, I hate fasting. Hate it, hate it, hate it. But I do it anyway, because it will clean out my body as well as my soul from sins. I also don't sit in the synagogue all day and read from the prayerbook, because the synagogues in my areas have dry services for the most part, and reading from a prayerbook makes me nauseous and dizzy so I'd rather stay home, only venturing out in the evenings, when the weather is cooler.

My family has this perverse custom on Yom Kippur. They like to check out the neighbors. If someone's eating or drinking, they'll do it indoors and no one but God will see them. And most people, if they watch TV, will close their blinds, so that again, only God sees them. My 18 year old son is on the terrace after the fast started and yells for me to come look. He points to a building, two buildings away, where the blinds are not closed and the people are clearly watching television. The TV stations are closed for the day, so obviously it's a DVD they're watching. But this was the first time he had seen someone so blatantly violating the Day so he was really excited. Hubby and I used to take walks during the cool evenings around the neighborhood so see which lights are flickering, a tell-tale sign that the TV is on.

Last night,while sitting in the traffic circle with my daughter and her son, watching all the kiddie cyclists (no cars run on the holiday, except for ambulances,police and security), I looked up at a friend's home to see their lights flickering in their livingroom, and pointed out to my daughter that they're also watching videos. I guess watching other people sin more than us makes us feel more self-righteous.

This is the only day of the year when we leave lights on, don't use electricity, travel, eat, drink, etc. So what does one do, if one is not a synagogue go-er? I bought a 1500 piece puzzle and two Vanity Fair magazines (used, of course. since the price of a new magazine is around $15) for us to pass the time away.

My other daughter called me after the fast was over. They played Monopoly and when the mother-in-law went to the toilet, her and her brother-in-law took advantage of the break and helped themselves to money from the bank. Her Hubby saw this and was livid. "You're cheating during Yom Kippur?? How could you?!" "It's only a game" wasn't good enough for him. Yom Kippur is a day of no cheating. And that's final.

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