In Which I Could Fast Better
Posted on 15th October 2014
Friday night marked Yom Kippur, and after a Penn Pipers rehearsal in the late afternoon, I felt extremely rushed getting ready on time. Dinner at Hillel before the fast however was quite enjoyable as I sat next to someone with whom I had a great many friends at home in common.
After dinner, it was home to change into my good clothes and awkward canvas shoes (one doesn’t wear leather on Yom Kippur) and headed to Houston Hall for the expanded size service. One thing that was particularly enjoyable about Yom Kippur on campus was that a lot of Jews both came out of the woodwork and came from out of town, so I was able to sit with a good few more people I knew than usual. My only disappointment was that Adriel Koschitzky wasn’t conducting any of the services. However, Elan Kiderman’s Kol Nidrei was beautiful and I was eager to hear more of him over the course of the holidays. Aside from being a wonderfully kind and creative person, he also had a beautiful voice that soared above the rest of the minyan with dynamics appropriate to the occasion.
The next day was a little harder. I didn’t arrive too late to minyan, however I already felt tired when I got there. Being sick and fasting wasn’t working out too well. By the afternoon however I was positively exhausted but still made the mistake of going for a walk along the boardwalk with some of the older students. When we got back it was time for mincha (the afternoon service) but I felt so weak and exhausted that I crept back to my room to sleep for two hours.
I managed to recover sufficiently for Neilah, the closing service of Yom Kippur, but felt like falling over towards the end of the service. When fast ended I practically collapsed into a chair with a doughnut. Break fast took place at Naomi Hachen’s with her graduating class, and was really nice and chilled. However, I couldn’t stay long as I had PhD commitments over at Peter Ballen’s (one of the other PhD students’) house. I stayed only for an hour or so before going home to sleep, thoroughly exhausted.