Even with my high distrust of organized religion and my disgust at people who practice a religion but cannot explain to you what the religion is about, I still look forward to Yom Kippur. I like fasting. I need atoning, and lots of it. I think that publicly admitting your wrongs is a good thing. “We lie, we cheat, we steal…”
However, there are some concerns to Yom Kippur. Hunger and hunger management are primary. From sundown to sundown, you can’t eat or drink. (I believe the deep sniffing is allowed but that only works against you.) So what’s a person to do? 24 hours, no grub. Add to this that you have to eat before sunset of the first night and then get to services, where you stand and stand and stand. (That actually might be the biggest difference between Jews and Catholics. Jews stand; Catholics kneel.) You end up eating at 5 or so… when you are not hungry.
I have the solution. It needs a little tuning but the basic idea is sound. Simply, you eat one pound of something the first night. I ate about a pound of pasta. It also helps if you eat it really quickly to hoodwink your stomach. A stomach will realize if you try to force feed it. You have about a seven minute window in which you can eat as much as a whale and after that the stomach catches on to what you are doing and makes you stop eating. But in those precious seven minutes, you must eat a pound of something.
The next day… no food. No nothing. It’s best not to do anything other than dwell on the screwy things you did the year before and pledging to do better the next year. Face it, fasting goes hand in hand with atoning.
And then, after services on the second night… that’s right, you eat a pound of something else. I ate a pound of pepperoni, black olive, and mushroom pizza. (Nothing like starting out a whole new year in which to sin by breaking the Kosher rules and eating pork at home. But then again, I didn’t use a plate, which was the loophole my dad and I leveraged back home.) Then, after consuming a pound of pizza, I immediately, went to bed. That is the part of the diet that needs a bit of tuning.
Moral of the story: If you need to go without food for 24 hours, be sure to eat a pound of something before and after you fast.