Menachem Bluming Muses: Why Fast on Yom Kippur

In honor of Yom Kippur a Jewish newspaper interviewed me. Not that many read that paper 🙂 so
I figured that I would post the interview. Here goes:

“So Rabbi Bluming when it comes to Yom Kippur most Jews think about how hungry they will be! If G-d wants us to be focused on prayer and returning to him why wouldn’t He allow us to eat so that we can better focus?”
“Yes,” replied Menachem Mendel Bluming, “it is not easy to fast.”

“Not easy?”, we asked. “It seems that when I fast I am so preoccupied by food and how hungry I am that I can hardly focus on anything else!”

“You got it! That is exactly the point.” Mendel Bluming asserted.

“Really? I am not sure what you mean by that.” We asked Bluming.

“Yom Kippur is the day for me to put myself aside to focus on G-d and my spiritual destiny. By fasting, I can reflect on what a pitiful existence my body is. Just withhold sushi and quinoa and bagels and lox for one day and I can hardly focus or think straight! I see myself as an independent existence answerable to no one and yet my hunger proves that I am so very dependent.” Menachem Bluming shared.

“Interesting. So the fasting is meant to remind us how small we are?” We asked Rabbi
Menachem Mendel Bluming.

“The main obstacle to our closeness with G-d is our ego. It insists that it is completely independent and owes nothing. When your stomach growls it reminds us how dependent and small we are on our own and that is the gateway to an open heart.” Bluming taught.

I hope that you find this insightful and I wish you and yours a sweet new year!
Menachem M. Bluming

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