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  • Gabriella Kahen

Why We Fast on Yom Kippur?

Sitting in our homes or synagogues, stomachs growling, looking at our prayer books with as much kavanah, one cannot help but ask themselves, why do we even fast? Usually, when we try to connect ourselves with G-d, we can do so using food or drinks, such as wine or meat. We celebrate holidays by making extensive meals and celebrating with family. However, Yom Kippur is different, as we try to do Teshuva, we need to deprive ourselves from everything that isn’t related to G-d. This is why we deprive ourselves from food, don’t shower, and can’t take care of ourselves like we usually would on a normal day or even a normal holiday. We don’t do anything cosmetically and aren’t allowed to apply cream or makeup. On Yom Kippur, our only focus should be Hashem. We want to take the focus away from anything that might seem to distract us such as how we look, what to eat for our next meal, and more. Our only focus should be what we want to communicate with G-d about. We want to show G-d that we are willing to discipline ourselves and that we are serious about conducting our own personal repentance. We live in a world where it’s easy to get caught up with things that may seem relevant at the time, but really aren’t. Many small things tend to take up a lot of our attention that at the end of the day, don’t really matter at all. May this year give us the clarity to focus on things that are important and bring us closer to Hashem.

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