Yom Kippur is coming soon and we are challenged with a little bit over 25 hours of fasting and it is not so easy.
Leviticus 23:27 ” אַךְ בֶּעָשׂוֹר לַחֹדֶשׁ הַשְּׁבִיעִי הַזֶּה יוֹם הַכִּפֻּרִים הוּא, מִקְרָא-קֹדֶשׁ יִהְיֶה לָכֶם, וְעִנִּיתֶם, אֶת-נַפְשֹׁתֵיכֶם” ” Also the tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement; it shall be a holy [called] assembly, and you shall afflict yourselves [by fasting in penitence and humility] and present an offering made by fire to the Lord.”
The word for ‘afflict yourself’ is וְעִנִּיתֶם.It makes two words, עני and ותם that mean ‘poor’ and ‘pure’. The instruction here is that on Yom Kippur, we should prepare our vessel to receive 5 ‘meals’ of light for the coming year. If our body is busy with consumption of food, it disconnects from the high spiritual energy that is available on this special day. The poorness that we need to experience is on having an empty vessel that is full of desire for the light. We should be pure in our consciousness. Our thoughts should focus only about the light we receive. All other mundane thoughts corrupt and disconnect us from receiving the light.
To have the best possible connection we should put our body in balance so we won’t be occupied with its desire for food. If it does happen, then we should transform the desire for food and drink to a desire to receive the light instead.
Links to related articles
Yom Kippur, Kapparot, Animal killing, Sacrifices, Purification http://rabbishimon.com/?p=1139
Yom HaKippurim -5 meals- all you can eat http://rabbishimon.com/?p=443
According to the Holy Ari, on the day that leads to the fast we should eat double portions. With that we expand our vessel so the greater lack of food will be replaced with pure light.
The meal before starting the fast, should be eaten early enough to give the body the opportunity to settle the food in the stomach. Eat the types of food that will not dry your mouth or increase thirst.
The Holy Ari gave us a special meditation for the last cup of water that we drink. This will balance the water in our body and allow an easy fast. Nothing should enter our body until the fast ends.
We prepare a full cup of water that we can finish in 9 sips. It doesn’t have to be big, just make sure that you can finish it in the last sip. You should be standing while doing it.
Place the cup in front of you. On each of the following steps you turn the cup half a turn counter clockwise, meditate on the Sefirah related to that step and take a sip of water.
1. Chessed of Chessed
2. Gevurah of Chessed
3. Tiferet of Chessed
4. Chessed of Gevurah
5. Gevurah of Gevurah
6. Tiferet of Gevurah
7. Chessed of Tiferet
8. Gevurah of Tiferet
9. Tiferet of Tiferet
With the last one you finish drinking the water. Nothing else should be consumed afterward, not even water.
If you do it with other people then one can announce the steps a loud but all should turn their cups as described.
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