For many of us, when we think of Yom Kippur, the first thing we think about is how hungry we’ll be. The sense of dread is probably out of proportion to the actual hunger we’ll feel, but we worry all the same. Some of us might think if we can stay clear of the bagels at the break-the-fast we’ll finally be on the road to losing those pesky extra three pounds permanently. Others may think about how good the mimosas will taste at sundown. It’s hard not to think about the physical impact of fasting as Yom Kippur gets closer. We’re pretty sure the ancient Rabbis or whoever it was that came up with this annual fasting day wouldn’t have cared one whit about our concerns though.
In fact, that’s the reason behind the Yom Kippur Cheat Sheet – to transcend those thoughts and help ground us, engage us and remind us of why we are fasting in the first place. It’s so we can feel connected to the holiday, the ritual, and the promise of being a better human being, driven more by kindness, generosity and love than we were last year. The Cheat Sheet helps us focus on the important stuff so we don’t “cheat” ourselves out of everything Yom Kippur has to offer.
So in those moments when you’re focused on hunger pains or you’re sitting in synagogue disinterested in the service, and your mind starts to wander to thoughts of email and bagels, our hope is that these readings will help bring you back to the promise of the blank slate – which is what those ancient Rabbis probably had in mind in the first place.