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Letters to God – Part 19: Fasting

God, I HATE fasting.

There, I said it. The whole idea of not eating and drinking (specially drinking) for a day to elevate my body and become closer to an angel. Sorry, but my stomach does not seem to understand that he is now part of an angel that doesn’t eat. And my head feels likewise. And why in the middle of the summer? Why not put the day of fasting in the middle of winter? We would all really appreciate it.

So a couple of days before the fast I start getting very itchy. Just the thought of the fast… but let’s change the subject, OK? Let’s talk about Yom Kippur – the day of atonement.

Leaving outside the fasting (did I say I hate fasting?), it is overall a very interesting day. A day that concludes a ten-day period (for some 40+) where we ask for forgiveness for all of the things that we did wrong last year (since everything we do is good by definition, we surely did nothing bad last year. But we still can do thing that are wrong). And we ask you for forgiveness. And to please write us and sign us in the books of life, good deeds, livelihood, and many other books. You must have a very big library :-).

This year Yom Kippur was very difficult for me. I have been thinking about my life for the past half a year and more. And I still can’t make any sense of how things work. And I see that small children, that never did anything wrong, are not written in the book of health and life, but in the book of suffering and death. You tell us that this day “you shall afflict your souls”. My soul is already miserable God. I think that my actions have so much influence on my son’s pain. That if only I was a “better” person, then he would get well… But these are just dumb thoughts (and also somewhat megalomaniac). You are more complicated than that. It’s not as simple as cause and effect. Good people sometimes suffer a lot. Bad people sometimes live very good lives. Mysterious are your ways.

When I was at school, our Rabbi would tell us that if we pray, very strongly, with all of our hear, You will answer our prayers. But he never told us we would probably not understand the answer.

I still don’t.