Sacred Nostalgia

Is it nostalgia when the scent crisp fall air and brilliantly sunny days percolate in my head to produce memories of things that never really happened? In a different life, I would be preparing for something momentous. I think.

I’m strangely jealous of the frum girl at my office. I wished her an easy fast, and accepted her reciprocal wishes. I have no intention of fasting. Ever.

I’m spending my Yom Kippur off from work. I want to self-evaluate as my baby naps. I want to think about how I can be a better person to the people I love and a fairer person to the people I barely know. I want to focus on the letting go.

I am not good at the letting go.

I want to spend time being thankful for the amazing year I’ve just had.

For climbing mountains.

For clarity on my body.

For abundant friendships.

For loving where I live.

For healthy children.

I could justify a heter in my head for breastfeeding, but it’s just another rabbinic loophole. Transfer your hurtful actions to a sin chicken. Annul your responsibility to be a decent human being. Take no accountability for yourself and ask “God” to wipe your slate clean.

Fasting focuses on you. How much time you have left. How much hunger you have. Your suffering.

In not fasting, I can focus on others. Specifically, how I can contribute to the happiness of people around me. In being a purposeful part of the world. In turning my actions into something sacred and meaningful.

And I’ll work on my misplaced nostalgia, reminding myself that being a good person is far better than anything a fast could achieve.

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