By Ann Brown
You see, here’s the deal: If I follow God’s instruction to fast on Yom Kippur, I will feel virtuous and my clothes will feel nice and loose all that long prayerful day. Which will make me feel disinclined to atone for anything because I will feel so great. When I feel good, I tend to get cocky with my awesomeness.
Instead of atoning, I will sit in temple and think about all the non-maternity clothes I can buy now that I have fasted for 24 hours. I will be filled with joy and optimism and energy and love for my fellow sentient beings.
This, surely, is not the attitude God wants from me.
So, really, what I should actually do is grossly over-eat on Yom Kippur. Starting at sundown the night before, I should gorge myself, maybe sneaking in a few scallops wrapped in bacon, and eat myself sick. So the next day, sitting in temple for ten hours will be HELL. Pants cutting into my stomach, zipper jabbing the flesh, holding in my farts until they feel like a heart attack. Now THAT overfed, bloated feeling is guaranteed to put one in a despairing, self-loathing, beating-your-breast kind of mood.
You know, the way God wants us to feel. Hopeless. Overwhelmed. Dyspeptic. Chosen.
AND I am certain I’ll be able to take the weight off by Succoth. Because of this:
My son’s friend Marissa told me about a phone app where you put money on the line for going to the gym. You say to your phone, “I am going to go to the gym for one hour every day for the rest of my life or else I will have to pay a million dollars to people I do not even know, maybe even Nazis or Romney supporters.”
And if you don’t do it, They (the Apps. Or Mitt’s kids) take actual money out of your actual bank account and give it to random people who, I guess, have bet against you. No, maybe not. I stopped listening to Marissa at that point because all I could think about was her doctoral work with fruit flies and it concerned me to hear her say that fruit flies have brains because I don’t know about you, but I do not want to live in a world where a fat person has to give money to Nazis or Republicans AND fruit flies have brains.
But it did get me thinking about an Atonement & Fasting App and how I could make a buttload of money off it during the High Holydays.
Eating. Fasting. Gaining. Losing. Self-loathing. Self-medicating. I love the beautiful traditions of my people.