I have noticed and heard some comments about the obsurdity of fasting for Yom Kippur. If you read the FAQ, it explains that Yom Kippur is the day of atonement. It is a chance to be forgiven for all your sins between you and God, not between you and others. For me, this is not about closing my eyes and thinking, "Dear God, I am so sorry for being jealous of my friend's talents and not exercising. Can you please forgive me?!?" Judaism sets the groundwork for my belief system and this day is a time for me to think about all the ways I have faltered from my image of the perfect Matty. Even though I do believe in God, I have a different vision than typical Jewish thought, but that's another story all together.

About the fasting. The idea behind it is that you should not be working, playing or doing anything aside from thinking about how you can improve in the eyes of God, by a textbook definition. For me it is less about that, as not eating just distracts me and makes it difficult to just sit and think. Yom Kippur is about how I can better myself so that I can better my society and those around me. Now I don't expect to change the world, but it is these problems and hardships that inspired to fast this year. It is both a remembrance of those who have died or suffered from these hardships and also a reminder of my own mortality. I have never fasted the entire day, and when I was young my family used to get hot dogs after erev-Yom Kippur services, Kol Nidre. I don't think I'll make it all the way through this time either, but it just seems that with everything going on in our country and world right now I should take some time and think about my own and everybody's mortality. So Yom Kippur has a dual purpose for me; working on my faults and remembering those who suffer.

I hope that gives some explanation as to why I am fasting.