A few days ago, the New York Times featured an article about break-the-fast dinners that have become stylish events for some families, with fancy, sometimes-catered dishes and loads of guests, some of whom have not even fasted. The article also reported that some caterers are asked to put their products into the customers' own pots and dishes, adding a layer of well-meaning yet perhaps misguided deception to the party.
Let's face it, folks. Despite my entreaties to the contrary, for most of us there is really only one day of the year where Jewish practice compels us to face ourselves, to scour our internals for issues that must be addressed. As our world becomes filled with more and more distractions, borrowing time from the holiest day of the year to throw a break-the-fast extravaganza seems downright wrong.
The style of Yom Kippur is reflective and modest, even after it concludes. Eat up, but save the dinner party for the next Friday night.