A Beginner’s Guide to: Yom Kippur

Listen up, Goyim! If you don’t know what a Goy is, you’re probably a Goy. It means non-Jew (not in like, an offensive way). Saturday, somewhere between a fifth and a third of Brown is going to be apologizing for a year’s worth of misdeeds. Why? It’s the holiest day of the year. A culmination of 365 days of Jewish guilt. It’s Yom Kippur, bitches, and here are three things you need to know.

Above: What I'm apologizing for

Above: What I’m apologizing for

1. Yom Kippur is the second of two High Holy Days. The first High Holy Day was a week ago. It’s called Rosh Hashana and it’s the Jewish New Year. Jews ring in the New Year with the equivalent of the ball dropping: spending an entire day in temple. Then we eat apples and honey so we have a “sweet” new year. It’s a centuries-old word-play based snack. The year is currently 5775. HAPPY JEWISH PALINDROME YEAR. 

2. Yom Kippur is the Day of Atonement. We spend the whole day in temple apologizing for all the shit we did in 5774. What snacks do Jews eat on Yom Kippur? Nothing, is the answer. We fast. The only way to prove we’re REALLY sorry for being mean to our brother and killing that spider is by denying ourself sustenance. It’s a small price to pay for the trillion other food-centered holidays Jews have for really obscure reasons.

Tu B'Av is like Jewish Valentine's Day, but we dance to celebrate grapes because wine.

Tu B’Av is like Jewish Valentine’s Day, but we dance to celebrate grapes (because wine).

3. Your Jewish friends might be observing the fast. That means sundown on Friday to sundown on Saturday, we can’t eat or drink. If you are not Jewish, that means tread lightly. We will be hangry like you wouldn’t believe. Some of us won’t even be drinking water. We will be cranky. I hit and yell (but I also do that on regular days). If we get hungry, we might bite. So don’t eat that Blue Room muffin in front of us. Or that pasta. Or anything. Stay away, basically. When you stand up straight, your body looks like a pretzel rod, which will make us angry because we can’t eat pretzels. BUT here’s the fun part. The Jews are a welcoming people. When the sun goes down on Saturday, we carbo-load like you can’t imagine and you are totally invited. It’s called break fast (get it, like breakfast? More food wordplay). We eat, like, three days worth of bagels in five minutes. Then we’ll be cranky the rest of the night because of the stomach ache. Happy Yom Kippur. 

If anyone, Jewish or otherwise, is interested in checking out Yom Kippur at Hillel, look here.

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