It’s that time again Jewish fressers, the dawning of the day of reckoning, Yom Kippur. From sundown tonight until sundown tomorrow, the Jewish world will fast, pray, and ask for forgiveness for all their collective sins.
Put down the pastrami. Get your ass to shul.
Or not? According to my good friend Eddy Portnoy, there’s a tradition of Jewish rabblerousers using Yom Kippur as a feast day. As he writes in Tablet:
When Jews decide to chow down on Yom Kippur, it’s usually done clandestinely, sneaking tasty morsels in a dark pantry, or disappearing into a diner in some nearby non-Jewish neighborhood. But furtive noshing wasn’t always the heretical path of choice on the Day of Atonement. Just over a century ago, a range of leftists held massive public festivals of eating, dancing, and performance for the full 25 hours of Yom Kippur, not only as a way to fight for the their right to party, but to unshackle themselves from the oppressive religious dictates they grew up with. What does one do, after all, when prayers and traditional customs no longer hold any meaning yet you still want to be part of a Jewish community? Eating with intention on a fast day allows you, in one fell swoop, to thumb your nose at the religious establishment and create a secular Jewish identity.
Have you ever feasted on the Kip, heading over to a deli that’s open and chowed down on a knish, some matzo balls, and a corned beef reuben (because, let’s face it, you ain’t going to be eating kosher)? Share your stories.
Here’s wishing all of you who are fasting, a contemplative one. Take it away Neil and Lenny.