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Tuesday, Tishrei 9, 5780 / October 8, 2019


Tonight (Tuesday night)is Yom Kippur. Yom Kippur is the only fast day mentioned in the Torah, the other fast days of the year are mentioned in the prophets.


Q.   What is the reason that it is a mitzvah to eat on the day before Yom Kippur?


A.   Yom Kippur is a holiday. Being that every holiday is celebrated with a feast and on Yom Kippur we are prohibited to eat, we celebrate the holiday of Yom Kippur by feasting the day before Yom Kippur.


Another reason: The sages instituted that it is a mitzvah to eat on the day before in order to have the energy to fast.


Our sages made the following statement: “Whoever eats on the day before Yom Kippur and then fasts on Yom Kippur, is considered as if they have fasted two days.”


On Yom Kippur we are on such an extraordinary spiritual high. We fast to show that on this day we derive nourishment and existence from the spiritual rather than the physical.


Also, on Yom Kippur, when our sins are forgiven, we are considered pure, like angels. We express this by acting like angels who don't eat or drink.


At the time of the Giving of the Torah, some of the people, "Beheld G-d while they were eating and drinking" (Exodus 24:11 - See Rashi). This excessive feasting showed a lack of respect to G-d and helped contribute to the sin of the Golden Calf which caused Moshe to break the First Tablets.


Moshe returned from Mount Sinai with the Second Tablets on Yom Kippur.  On that day, G-d forgave Israel for the sin of the Golden Calf and set that day as Yom Kippur. Thus, we are commanded to fast on the day to atone for the excessive feasting which caused the sin of the Golden Calf.


Another reason: Fasting humbles a person.  Thus, on Yom Kippur, when we have to express humility and repent with all our heart, we refrain from eating or drinking.


On the lighter side: Someone auditioned to get the job of blowing the Shofar at the end of Yom Kippur. He blew and blew but the sounds weren’t good. Realizing that he didn’t do well he asked the president of the synagogue if he can have a second chance?


“No,” answered the president.. “You blew it…”




Montreal candle lighting time & fast begins Tuesday at 6:03 / Fast ends Wednesday night: 7:04