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...though, as an agnostic Jew, I won't be doing so out of any religious obligation this Yom Kippur (יום כיפור), the Jewish Day of Atonement.  

Rather, I will fast in support of those both here in our country and across the globe who are fighting for social justice, who are fighting for equality, who are fighting for freedom and self-determination. I will do this even though, to be honest, I'm not very good at this sort of thing.

I'm cynical. I have deep, existential angst. Despite being a very committed Jew – I just cleared our front yard for the Sukkah (סוכה) we will build on Sunday – I am often made uncomfortable by the theology-driven.  

Nevertheless, I will try to fast with intentionality – with the intention of transferring whatever energy I would have personally generated from eating into the nebulous, ethereal environs, hoping such a small act can somehow, some way (as irrational as it seems) make a positive contribution.

I will fast in support of #OccupyWallStreet – in support of this awakening in our country, in support of the 99 percent of us who for too long have quietly accepted the lack of economic justice that exists in America.

Occupy Boston day 6. 05/10/2011

I will fast in support of those in Israel who have been doing the same for months –those who have inspired me to tears.

Protest for social Justice, Tel Aviv, Israel, 3/9/2011.

I will fast in support of the Palestinian people in their quest for a self-determining state and for the rights of Bedouin.

Demonstration against the Parver Plan, Beer Sheva, 06.10.11

I will fast in support of those in Syria who continue to tragically and bravely amass in the streets and demand their freedom from a bloody and oppressive regime.

Syria Live Blog - Al Jazeera Blogs 2011-08-03 12-11-31

And I will fast for those in Bahrain and Yemen who continue to do the same.


I know there are others for whom I could (and should) fast, though those mentioned above will be forefront in my mind.

And on a personal note, as I unavoidably do every Yom Kippur, I will fast for my friends who were killed before their time and for the suffering my wife endured years ago.


Note: In addition, Mets102 has offered a diary of apology this Yom Kippur for anyone he may have wronged. I want to echo his sentiment and ask that, if I have done anything to hurt anyone in this community, please forgive me.

Originally posted to Writing by David Harris Gershon on Fri Oct 07, 2011 at 01:42 PM PDT.

Also republished by Adalah — A Just Middle East.

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