Thursday, October 6, 2011
Teshuvah Day 8: Not so fast!
There are two traditional greetings associated with Yom Kippur:
Gemar hatimah tovah - (literally / awkwardly, "conclusion of a good sealing") May you be sealed in the Book of Life for a good year.
Tzom qal - Have an easy fast.
It is true that fasting for 25 hours is hard, a challenge of will and body, and dreadfully uncomfortable as well. But it should be that way! The Torah instructs us to "afflict our souls" on Yom Kippur. We should suffer a little.
However, the point is not merely suffering. It is also about teshuvah / repentance, seeking forgiveness from others, and self-transformation. Rather than wishing your family and friends an "easy" fast, I suggest wishing them a "meaningful" fast. That's the whole point.
Have a meaningful fast!