Not Chosen, Just Posin'

I just got a job with a Jewish magazine. I'm not Jewish. They think I am.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Let's Play Yom Kippur!

A portion of my traffic the last few days has arrived via the Google Search: “How to Celebrate Yom Kippur?”

Hell if I know. After all, I told a Jewish contact the other day to have a “Merry Yom Kippur.”

My educated guess, based on other Jewish Holiday “celebrations,” is that somehow Jews across the board are at their houses pretending that they are living in another era. This whole make-believe thing is kind of how Jewish holidays are spent. It's a respect for tradition thing, I think. In fact, celebrating Jewish holidays is similar to playing house, where you ask your play date, “What would mommy and daddy do in the bedroom?” Then you do it. It’s that easy. Okay, fine, it’s a little bit different from playing house, but the underlying concept is the same: re-enactment is key. (The whole mimicry = flattery thing...)

While Yom Kippur is spent repenting for the year’s sins, I imagine there’s a lot of boycotting of the computer and shunning of work going on (because Jews of yore didn’t work nor check email like fiends on Yom Kippur, so why should you?) and fasting (because that’s how their Jewish ancestors rolled). There are additional restrictions such as washing and bathing, anointing one's body (with cosmetics, deodorants, etc.), wearing leather shoes (
Orthodox Jews routinely wear canvas sneakers under their dress clothes on Yom Kippur), and engaging in sexual relations.

My meager research leads me to believe that sins are confessed in the plural ("we have done this", "we have done that"), emphasizing communal responsibility for sins. This is great! Definitely an upgrade to the whole confession booth thing, where you actually have to blame only yourself. Where’s the fun in that?

"We apologize for wearing these shirts...
So, with a cherry on top?"

I mean, imagine the possibilities:

"We are sorry for cheating on my wife. That wasn't cool."

"We are double sorry for when I withdrew funds from the company’s account and bought a new boat."

"We apologize for my having invited a few strippers on the boat to celebrate my friend’s bachelor party and that he was tempted to experiment with a lady who is not his fiancé, you know, just to make sure. Hell, while we’re at it, forgive the bastard for that too. We’re sorry that he did it and all. "

"We really seek forgiveness for my wanting to frame OrthoJew in order to get her fired."

"We feel downright terrible about my tendency to discuss the private lives of my colleagues in a public forum. We really think that is bad."

"We feel all guilty and ashamed and stuff about comparing Jewish Holidays to playing make believe. It's all in good fun and for the sake of learning and discussion, but will you forgive us just in case people get mad? Thanks D-g."

P.S. More than half of my readership must be Jewish because I just looked at my stats and they suck today. Hopefully you're not all in temple wondering about me during ma'ariv (okay, hopefully you are).

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