Thursday, October 06, 2022

My fastin' days are done

 I'm 73 with some chronic health problems, and I was wondering how long I would be able to continue fasting on Yom Kippur. I got my answer today (er, yesterday)--I can no longer fast on Yom Kippur. I can tolerate being hungry or thirsty or having a low-grade headache, but getting dizzy is hazardous to my health. I've already broken my left wrist 3 times (because I'm a lefty) and my right wrist once, and I've injured both knees, all from falling. The combination of severe osteoporosis and chronic balance problems is a bit scary for a woman of my age. And, to boot, after the fast, I got several hours of leg and foot cramps, which our son thinks might have been caused by dehydration. From now on, I'm eating a hard-boiled egg and drinking at least one glass of water before going to synagogue on Yom Kippur morning.

The good news is that I got absolutely no flack from any of the other folks in my synagogue when I told them that I was breaking my fast. It probably helped that I was able to hold out until we went home for the post-Musaf break, but I did borrow my husband's water bottle (which he'd brought because he was warned by his doctor not to get dehydrated) and take a good swig in the synagogue office before we left. I don't think I've ever attended a synagogue in which the rabbi or cantor or whoever was "in charge" didn't announce that people should not fast if they weren't well enough. I guess I'm lucky that way, and I hope that such an announcement is, or becomes, commonplace.

P.S. I'm still up at this ridiculous hour because I want to be sure that the leg and foot cramps have finished having fun with me--it's worse being awakened by a leg cramp than staying up.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The cramps are from lack of salts in your system. Take magnesium and potassium STAT, but magnesium as highest priority.

Fri Oct 07, 03:50:00 AM 2022  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

I wish I could, but magnesium sends me straight to the ladies' room, and ditto with most sources of potassium. :(

Sat Oct 08, 11:08:00 PM 2022  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's no one else's business whether you are fasting or the nature of that fast.

It's difficult to believe that the concept of self-affliction associated with the fast of YK could be taken so far that it would prevent you from observing the other aspects of the holiday, like introspection and prayer. That doesn't seem to be what the text had in mind.

Mon Oct 10, 10:21:00 AM 2022  

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