Tag : Yom Kippur

The Lilith Blog

October 10, 2018 by

Caught Between Skepticism and Yearning on the Holidays

Like a lot of American Jews, I have a complicated relationship to Jewish worship. Unlike most American Jews, it got complicated enough at one point that I wrote to a dog for advice. 

Now, Tango isn’t just any dog. He’s a very wise pitbull who lives with a very wise friend of mine, Margie, in St. Paul, Minnesota. And the occasion wasn’t just any holiday, but Yom Kippur 2014, when all I wanted to do was hide in my apartment for 25 hours. My friend Margie announced that her dog was starting a new career as an advice columnist (yes, this really happened). Did I want to ask him a question? I once went all the way from New York City to Hoboken to talk to a psychic. Of course I wanted to ask Margie’s dog for advice. 

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The Lilith Blog

September 20, 2018 by

Why I Didn’t Talk for The Duration of Yom Kippur

Jews throughout time and space have a practice of atoning during Yom Kippur by refraining from eating and drinking for 25 hours. From time to time, including this year, I choose to add to my dietary fast by voluntarily abstaining from speech, too.

Evidently this practice is called Taanit Dibbur (a speech fast), but I only learned that after I had already adopted the practice about five years ago. (You can find out more with a Google search.) I am not a rabbi or Torah scholar, but I am a mom, wife, daughter, sister, friend, attorney, writer, trustee and advocate. Thus, words and speech are the very stuff of my life. Like most stuff, words can accumulate, get cluttered, and need to be purged from my mental space. For this reason, taanit dibbur is a valuable clarifying spiritual exercise I highly recommend.

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The Lilith Blog

September 20, 2018 by

When You Say #MeToo, What Dangers Lurk?

We’ve heard a lot recently about becoming an upstander, rather than being a passive bystander when you’ve witnessed a bad event. We’re learning how to defuse a threatening situation on a street or in a crowd, how to offer support on the spot to someone being bullied or harassed.

But now, especially in the wake of Yom Kippur, I’ve been thinking about how we can become attentive to other aspects of wrongdoing or suffering that seem less obvious. We fast and beat our breasts and recite our transgressions and shortcomings each year to improve. And one of those ways is to become more aware of the less obvious needs around us—something that recent trends in feminist activism can help us do.

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