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Jewish Weddings

Does this seem ironic re: fasting

Afer Yom Kippur yesterday, J and I went to a break fast where there must have been enough food for 100 people (about 25-30 guests) and as many choices as are offered in some small restaurants. There was a large variety of bagels, at least 2 different kinds of challah, 3 different kugels, vegetable and fruit platters, blintzes, stuffed french toast, lox, whitefish salad and several other types of smoked fish and at least 4 differnt choices for dessert. I'm sure I am forgetting several dishes as well. We commented that somehow the meaning of fasting is lost when immediately afterwards you are presented with more food than is healthy to eat in 3 days. Anyone else feel this way?
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Re: Does this seem ironic re: fasting

  • zobo410zobo410 member
    1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    It has always been like that anywhere we have been for the break fast. I don't feel like the meaning is lost at all. People have to eat.
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  • edited December 2011
    Actually this sounds like the typical break fast my parents always did growing up...I miss it!  But my dad loves to cook and there is always way too much food when he is involved.  Last night I went to a diner with Fi and his parents, it was nice, but really not the same.  I had another comment though, during Yiskor I stepped out of services, and saw several people - teens and adults - using cellphones and blackberries.  To me that is more of a sign that the meaning of the fast is lost.
  • RachiemooRachiemoo member
    Tenth Anniversary 500 Comments Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    Wouldn't it be ironic if there were no food? Having a lot of food makes sense to me since no one has eaten in 25 hours.
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  • 2dBride2dBride member
    2500 Comments Fourth Anniversary 5 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    I was always of the opinion that people ate more around Yom Kippur than at other times.  My former in-laws would always have a big holiday dinner just before Kol Nidre, then a big break-the-fast 25 hours later.
  • signingjuliesigningjulie member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I guess I see your point but break the fast is always a fun get together with lots of food.  we broke it at the temple which always has a nice spread and went to a friend's after.  I actually got kinda sick from eating so much, lol
  • RedZeeRedZee member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Yeah, like other posters I don't see how the meaning of the fast is lost if you eat a lot AFTER the fast. In some ways, it makes fasting more meaningful because you know you're doing it by choice. I hosted a break fast and every time I walked past the cake during the day my stomach grumbled.Last night we were all talking about how we used to eat so much that we were in pain after breaking the fast. As we've aged, we've learned to pace ourselves.Jews serve a lot of food. If you don't have 3 times as much food as you have people, someone might go hungry. What if you have unexpected guests? What if we get stuck in the desert for 40 years? Ya never know.
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  • edited December 2011
    I think for break fast, it is tradition to show such plentiful variety after fasting. Its part of celebrating.
  • MoFreeMoFree member
    Seventh Anniversary 10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I was not raised in a middle or upper class Jewish milieu, so what is the norm to many people seems a bit excessive or indulgent to me. My rabbi spoke about fasting for discipline, for humility and for compassion, so it did seem ironic to think of those virtues when surrounded by enough food to feed a small village when there are 25 people present. I guess no one else had that feeling.
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  • edited December 2011
    Hi, Molly,It's pretty typical where I come from to see that much food; Jews always serve a lot of food, and part of that is coming from such an extensive history of suffering, persecution and deprivation.  I think that it's also true for other cultures with an extensive history of suffering.  Food equals love and acceptance, and since you never used to know when is the next time you're going to eat, you might as well serve a ton of food.I think that the fast is meaningful provided that the people participating in it use that time for sincere contemplation and contrition.Personally, I found it annoying how many people were chatting when the Arc was open, and how many people (like one of the pp's has said) had their phones out in the lobby during Yitzkor.  Maybe, I'm extra-sensitive to the latter because DH's Mom is deceased, and Yitzkor has a special meaning for him, but I had to roll my eyes at that kind of behavior.  Yom Kippur is not for catching up on Facebook between Mincha Maariv and Neilah.  Just my two cents.
  • Danaz1Danaz1 member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I can see your point. My mother in law serves enough food for an army when it is just the 4 of us. Then she throws away what she doesn't use. I hate to waste food. As long as it is not wasted then i don't see a problem with it but I can understand your point. We try eat light after fasting because it isn't good for you body to eat a lot of food after fasting for a whole day.
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  • tenofcups4metenofcups4me member
    2500 Comments 5 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    [quote] My rabbi spoke about fasting for discipline, for humility and for compassion, so it did seem ironic to think of those virtues when surrounded by enough food to feed a small village when there are 25 people present. [/quote] I'm not generally observant (I often don't even fast) but I've always thought of the day as one of contemplation above all else. I guess I don't see how "humility" ties into it and so don't see the ironic part of having a lot of food to break the fast. (I mean, I get what you're saying, but my interpretation of the day is different to begin with...) As some posters have already noted, being able to serve lots and lots of food is definitey part of the overall Jewish culture, stemming from times when not having enough food was all too common. I don't think any of us on this board have experieneced that, but we grew up thinking certain ways of entertaining were just the norm. I would imagine, too, that some of the multiple choices came from guests who didn't want to show up empty-handed. I know we had 4 different desserts on Yom Kippur and we were only 15 people. My sister and I each brought a dessert and my parents brough 2 desserts...again because none of us would show up empty-handed at someone else's house. My aunt had tons of leftover food, but split it up among us so that we all went home with food -- none of it will go to waste.
  • lachlomlachlom member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    In Orthodox Judaism, it is considered to be a good thing to have a 'seudah', or festive meal, to break your Yom Kippur fast. You must remember, Yom Kippur is NOT a said day in Judaism, as much as fasting is a negative to all of us. Fasting is said to lift your neshama, your soul, up to a higher spiritual level. We don't fast to make us resentful of the day or give it a negative connotation. I could go on and on, but there are plenty of topics about Yom Kippur from an (Orthodox) Jewish perspective that would echo what I'm trying to say here.What I am getting at is, don't judge the break fast in such a negative light, as there is something very positive about having a seudah after a fast. For me, however, I can't imagine eating so much food! :) I broke my fast with cakes and orange juice in shul, then a little bit of tuna on challah at home. After fasting, all I want to do is sleep!
  • RedZeeRedZee member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    lachlom - well said.MoFree - I don't understand why you use the term "middle or upper Jewish milieu". I don't think it necessarily has to do with economic status. For me, I had a pretty large spread but didn't spend tons of money. I also felt it was very important to have options because of the many dietary restrictions between people.And I agree that wasting food is a totally different issue. My MIL throws food away if there isn't enough for a full meal. It makes me crazy!
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  • edited December 2011
    We break the fast at Olive Garden with the Never Ending Pasta Bowl...w.e have done that every year since they started and they always bring it back just in time for Yom Kippur!
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  • edited December 2011
    There's food and then there's food!  I think you can have too much, to the point of being gluttonous.  I like that my shul will have a nice but modest spread so you'll have something to hold you over until you get home. In the future I certainly don't plan on going over board with the fast; besides, if you eat too much you tend to get sick.  Heck, I barely scraped the surface and my stomach was just messed up - not an easy fast this year. Everyone had their own perspective but I'm in agreement.  Plus side, you have leftovers for awhile.  ;)
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