Created on: August 13, 2010 Last Updated: October 05, 2011
Yom Kippur is the holiest holiday in all of Judaism. It falls on the tenth day of the month of Tishrei, the first month of the Jewish New year. One of the best known and arguably most important observances of Yom Kippur is the traditional fast. The fast lasts for 25 hours and is a requirement for all Jews, except those who have obvious health issues, or pregnant women.
The purpose of the day long fast is "to afflict the soul, " and it is done as a means of repenting for all sins of the past year. It is also a way to cleanse oneself so that they can begin things anew. A fast of this magnitude is not something that should be taken lightly, so to make it easier, it is advisable to prepare oneself.
As part of the preparation for the fast, it is a good idea to avoid things that tend to make you hungry and to do things that don't make you hungry. Here are some tips to help make that process easier.
Week Before Yom Kippur-
The best way to prepare the body for a fast like this is by easing into it, starting the week before the actual fast. On the day after Rosh Hashanah, start to taper off using or consuming addictive substances such as:
*Coffee, tea and caffeinated beverages
*Refined sugar, candies and most importantly, chocolate
*Cigarettes, cigars, pipes or other tobacco
*Also taper off on anything you regularly or compulsively eat or use, especially things you long for when you don't or can't have them.
If you suddenly deprive yourself of addictive or potentially addictive substances, the withdrawal symptoms can make it much harder to fast. By giving yourself a week during which you taper off your use and/or consumption of these things for about a week prior to fasting, you will discover that the withdrawal symptoms won't be nearly as severe.
*Don't eat at the same time every day -
Americans are used to eating according to a clock, not by their actual body's hunger mechanism. Because of eating at regular intervals like this, the body gets used to expecting food at a certain time. It psychologically prepares itself to be hungry. By varying the schedule that you eat on, your body won't be able to get used to those specific meal times. As a result, you may not feel so intensely hungry.
*Drink plenty of water -
Bodies can survive without food for periods of time, but they can't survive without water. Most Americans don't drink enough water anyway. During the days leading up to the fast, it is essential that you drink plenty of water so you don't get dehydrated while
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