Abstaining from food and drink is one of the most prominent things we do to observe Yom Kippur. Not only do we fulfill the mitzvah of “afflicting our souls,” but we heighten our spiritual awareness by refraining from an activity we enjoy every other day of the year.
During your fast, please remember that there are millions of people around the world who go hungry every day. Here in Alameda County, 20% of our neighbors worry about where their next meal is coming from. One in five residents relies on the Alameda Food Bank and its network of member agencies for help.
When you come to services for Yom Kippur, please bring canned goods to donate to the Food Bank. You will be performing a mitzvah that will greatly aid others.
I want to express this caveat about fasting: if you are diabetic or pregnant or breastfeeding or in any way have a serious medical concern, do not fast! Our tradition teaches that you are forbidden to put your health at risk by fasting.
I wish you Gemar Chatimah Tovah – may you be inscribed in the Book of Life for a healthy and peaceful New Year.