In the first meal of the morning before fast we eat fish דגים. Fish are always in water that is the aspect of Chassadim and mercy. The name has the letters יג and מד that implies the 13 attributes of mercy. Sardines סר דינים have a special name that connects us to ‘removing judgments’.
The Holy Ari recommends eating double the portions that we usually eat during the day before the fast. It will reward us as if we fasted on the ninth and tenth of the month.
Meals should be done with the ‘Birkat Hamazon’ that is the full blessing of the food to prepare us for the spiritual meals of the next day.
“ותשובה ותפילה וצדקה מעבירין את רוע הגזרה”
“And repentance and prayer and charity avert the difficult decree”
Giving Tzedaka is especially important before Yom Kipur because it said that Tzedakah will save from death. Pay debts. If you had plans to make donations do it because it is not good to keep open promises, even if they were made on a thought level. Return loaned items (books, umbrella, etc.) because we do not want to take advantage of people’s kindness. If you still use the item call its owner and ask for permission to return it later.
Make some phone calls and ask for forgiveness from people that you have or may have hurt in the past.
Make a confession to yourself on all the things you were ‘bad’ about and make a promise to correct and be ‘good’. Yom Kippur has cleansing power and if the ‘bad’ is out then it can be cleansed. The secret is in Numbers 14:20 “And YHVH said: ‘I have pardoned according to your word.”, meaning if it was not ‘listed’ then it can’t be cleansed.
Mikveh for men is important on the day before.
Women should light candles.
Meditation on the water before the beginning of the fast
The Ari also taught us a ‘trick’ to balance the body energy and remove the thirst feeling during the fast.
Before the fast begins we drink a cup of water in 9 gulps with the following meditation.
Prepare a full cup of water. I use 8 oz size cup because I usually drink a lot before.
Turn the cup one time counter clockwise, meditate on right of right and say “Chessed of Chessed” then drink a little. Place the cup back on the table.
Turn the cup again counter clockwise for left of right and say “Gevurah of Chessed”. Place the cup and turn it again for center of right saying “Tiferet of Chessed”, drink and put it back.
Follow the sequences in the table above and on the ninth one of Tiferet of Tiferet we drink the rest of the water and begin the fast. This meditation brings balance to the body that is mostly water.
Before the last glass of water and meditation I usually drink hot tea and brush my teeth, ‘washing’ the tongue from any food tastes as it may bother us later.
Please share this teaching. Many would thank you for that.
May you all have an easy fast and focus on the spiritual meals.