Monday, March 13, 2006

An Easy Fast

Today is the Fast of Esther which heralds Purim. The fast is not too terrible compared to Yom Kippur or Tisha b'Av. The wife and I originally planned to wake up at 4:30 and eat something but then we changed our mind and decided to stay up late the night before and eat a meal before going to bed, so at least we'd get some sleep. Much better decision in retrospect.

Sitting around at work is hard. First, everyone seems to have brought a delicious smelling lunch today. Second, there are a bunch of non-observant Jews around who are not fasting and when you are hungry and have a headache, it is hard not to be judgemental. But I know that's just my low blood sugar talking.

I am pretty ashamed of myself for even mentioning this mean and petty stuff. I started thinking about how spoiled we all are that we don't experience hunger every day and so we complain when we have to fast. A few months back I read a short story by Sholom Aleichem called "An Easy Fast", where the main character loves to fast - because he is so poor that he gives all his food to his family. Usually his family fights with him so that he'd eat something and not give all his food away, but on the fast days - on Tisha b'Av, on Yom Kippur, he is elated because they can't tell him to eat. The story ends with the man starving himself to death on Tisha b'Av.

9 Comments:

Blogger Chana said...

That story sounds uncannily like A Hunger Artist by Franz Kafka.

Perhaps I shouldn't say uncannily- I do appreciate the differences between the stories. Still...

March 13, 2006 1:34 PM  
Blogger Irina Tsukerman said...

Umm... As much as I appreciate this t ype of story, I really don't think there's anything with kvetching once in a while. You're still doing the right thing! : ) Happy Purim!

March 13, 2006 5:54 PM  
Blogger e-kvetcher said...

A freilichen Purim to y'all as well !

March 13, 2006 6:00 PM  
Blogger blueenclave said...

I also appreciate the half-day fast because I don't have to eat! I have another hour to get things done.

March 13, 2006 8:23 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

To paraphrase Solzhenitsyn "How can someone with no food in his belly understand one who has food in his."

March 14, 2006 5:57 PM  
Blogger e-kvetcher said...

Mike, thanks for your comment. The fact that you - a junior in high school(if your blog is to be believed) - are quoting Solzhenitsyn is frightening!

March 14, 2006 7:56 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

I had a book report where we had to do our parents favorite book and that was my dad's choice.

March 15, 2006 9:57 PM  
Blogger e-kvetcher said...

I had a book report where we had to do our parents favorite book and that was my dad's choice.

You must hate your father :)

March 16, 2006 7:09 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

I could have chose my mother's favorite book of Little Women but I made the obvious choice.

March 16, 2006 9:45 PM  

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