This afternoon starting at 4:30, we begin a feast at a friend's house. We're bringing wine and homemade challah:
Why so early? Once the sun begins to go down, there is no eating--and no drinking water, no sex, no leather, and for many people no showering and no brushing teeth--until sundown has finished the next day. This twenty-five hour fast is accompanied by intense prayer while standing next to every Jew who can cram in next to you in the synagogue.
There is no knitting during services. Services last from 9:15am until nearly 8pm or later. That is an awfully long time to go without yarn in my hands. And will someone please tell me how I'm supposed to pay attention with neither stitches in front of me nor food in my belly?
Last year, CygKnit pointed out that 12 of the 39 forbidden acts chronicled in the Talmud are related to fiber.
I think the rabbis must have been talking directly to us....
"Have a happy Yom Kippur" is really not an appropriate greeting. It is relatively traditional to wish people an easy fast--but that does not seem entirely appropriate to me, either, given that this fast seems intended to be difficult. So I wish you a meaningful Holy Day full of reflection about both your own life and the life of your community.