Let me tell you why I hate fasting.
It’s not the actual fasting. I can a handle a day without eating. We depend on food, sure, but 24 hours without it shouldn’t be such a big deal. What really gets me is the other things. The little things that result from the fast day, besides for being hungry.
There’s bad breath that results from not brushing teeth. Unlike a day’s worth of hunger urges which can be diverted by distractions, bad breath is around constantly.
Beware of the headache n’ headrush that comes from standing up. The pounding starts behind my eyes, like a computer chip was secretly inserted by the government without my knowledge, but my body feels it and reject it. The headrush can turn the world purple and hazy, and I have to grab the walls to steady myself.
But that’s not the worst of it. The worst is the boredom. Time moves differently on a fast day. You can walk around the house for what seems like hours, and check the clock to find it’s only been ten minutes. The heaviness of the day hangs thickly in the air, making movement slow and slothlike.
Of course, what I should be doing is taking the time to reflect on why we’re fasting to begin with. What the day represents historically to the Jewish people. But since I never want to do anything strenuous on a fast day, physically or mentally, I avoid thinking about things.
My options of what to do on fast days are limited, and the idea of passing time by watching a movie (or three) is tempting. Books seem like so much work. Lots of people sleep on fast days, but that never seemed to work for me. For sure what people are not doing is hanging out and talking. After all, the fast day is a sad day. There are even have specific laws for not greeting other people. And for learning Torah (Disclaimer: may cause pleasure).
So, what bugs me most on fast days is that I become a bad-breathed,ill-tempered, anti-social creature locked away in a room for hours, while my mind goes to mush, all while being too lethargic to change the situation.
But it’s not the food. Never the food.