One of the major hallmarks of Yom Kippur is fasting. It is one of the most recognized pillars of Judaism. What many people do not know is that it is not strictly necessary for one to fast during Yom Kippur. It is more of a tradition rather than a rule for most people and even Rabbis. Fasting acts as a release from earthly material desires, ensuring that one focuses on their faith which will then result in atonement of sins and the ability to successfully pray for others.
Fasting should be done in a safe manner whether in your retirement age or not. If living in our community, many elements of our exclusive programs make it easier for one to fast safely. These include provision of medical services so that our well-trained team members can assess you and determine whether and for how long you can fast. You can also use the services to meet with other people of Jewish descent and fast together which makes it more meaningful. Generally, some of the issues you need to keep in mind prior to beginning your fast include:
Making Sure You’re Fit to Fast
Fasting is healthy for the body and soul and is a way of cleansing both. However, it’s not ideal for everyone. Prior to fasting, it is generally advised that one seeks medical assistance. The main points during this assessment would be whether you are fit to fast, and for how long you should do it. Some medical conditions preclude one from fasting, while others allow them to fast for only a short while. Understanding this and sticking to it will generally improve one’s health rather than fasting blindly and for a dangerously long time without precautions.
The pre-fast examination should ideally be carried out for everyone, but people in their 50s and over should take this more seriously. During this age, there is a higher risk of having underlying conditions including endocrine disorders which may have been otherwise undetectable, and which would have made the fast more dangerous than beneficial to the individual. We can offer excellent medical guidance towards this if you request for it as a member of our retirement community.
Don’t Use Yom Kippur Fasting as a Means of Losing Weight
Yom Kippur fasting is not designed for weight loss and should not be used for such. If you are interested in losing weight, proper feeding and maintaining an active lifestyle are the way to go. These habits must be maintained for long before you can start noticing the effects. If you are keen on weight loss, you only need consult one of our team members for them to guide you through the process of evaluation after which you will be advised on the best way forward. We customize this advice based on the individual.
Prepare for Fasting
Preparing your body for Yom Kippur fasting is a great way to ease into it. It’s more efficient compared to simply going off a normal diet and stopping to feed entirely in a sudden fashion. The day before the fast, make sure you hydrate properly to reduce the risk of severe headaches, have meals rich in fiber and minimize the spicing in your food. It’s important to avoid eating quickly to prevent bloating.
Overall, Yom Kippur fasting definitely has benefits for those partaking in it. This is as long as it’s done in the right way as described above.