Yom Kippur Ain’t for Wimps

Look, what can I tell you about Yom Kippur that you don’t already know? Oh, you don’t know anything about Yom Kippur. Well, hell, then there’s far too much to share for a 500-word article. Oh, wait, I just remembered, this article is defined by the limits of my ignorance, not yours. OK. I know 500 words of stuff about Yom Kippur, and I’ll do my best to impart it because it really is a very significant day for Jews like me and I don’t feel like making a bunch of cheap jokes about it. Or more specifically, I’m not going to give in to that stupid voice in my head that’s always making jokes.

So, as you may know, Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the year for Jews.

“I thought the holiest day was when Macy’s had its Labor Day sale!”

What? Screw you, you hack. I said I wasn’t giving in to you. Yes, it’s the holiest day of the year. It’s filled with a full day of prayer and fasting.

“Oh, you Jews and your crash diets!” 

For f**k’s sake, get out. Jews believe that during the new year, “Rosh Hashanah,” G-d decides who lives and dies for the following year, but that His decision isn’t sealed until Yom Kippur. So basically, you have lots of Jews atoning in the hopes of staying alive and I have to say I don’t like that part of the holiday at all. Sounds small and petty.

Speaking of small –”

Shut up! I’m talking about the holiest day of the year.  What I do like about Yom Kippur is that a full day of atonement reminds you just how fallible humans are. I believe there is value in that. Remembering everything you’ve done wrong. Remembering, whether you think the notion of a higher power is foolish or not, that you have failed others and yourself. It’s good to think about that. It’s good to try harder.

“You should try harder to make this funny.”

Gladstone's having a party and Pharoah's not invited.

Go read “A Brief History of Passover” if you’re looking for laughs.

Sorry. Not this time, although it’s tempting. It’s fun to think of Yom Kippur as one-stop shopping. Like taking all of Catholics’ confessions and saving it up for one day. It’s fun, but not really accurate. Jews believe that more than prayer is required for true repentance. There is no wave a magic wand, miss three meals and all is forgiven from Yom Kippur. Full repentance requires confession, prayer, righting wrongs, avoiding further sin, teaching others to avoid the sin and a host of other duties a Jew must perform.


Yeah, just sit this one out, guy. It’s Yom Kippur.

Look upon the face of the childhood you are destroying!

Look upon the face of the childhood you are destroying!

Gladstone is a comedian, screenwriter, and spiffy guy. He is also a columnist on Cracked. Have you pre-ordered his book yet? Follow him on Twitter @WGladstone.

Guinness: for strength! And...apparently, patriotism

Guinness: for strength! And…apparently, patriotism

Read the Man Cave take on Purim and other holidays with us in 3 Explanations of Christmas Phenomena That Ruin The Fun and Arthur’s Day: The World’s Best Corporate Holiday. Want to celebrate a holiday in your own culture? Write about it for MCD!

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