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  • Sounding the shofar (above) : Yom Kippur ❓ Twitter : reading at length

I don’t really know where I got the itch to fast for Yom Kippur this year. Forgoing food and drink from sundown to sundown was always optional for me growing up since my family is about as far from practicing Judaism as Woody Allen’s exes. I’ve fasted a handful of times, mostly when I was in high school in New York, where public school students have the Jewish high holy days off. (What’s up with not giving your kids the same, Chicago Public Schools?) There was no such stimulus this year, besides that the other Jewish guys in the office were taking personal days. (What’s up with not giving us the day off, Wrapports?) As in years past, the crucible was mostly what grabbed me about the religious ritual, less the prostrating before God; also I guess a stirring speech about the Holocaust by French president François Hollande I read in a recent issue of the New York Review of Books. So I did it, worrying a couple of people at the office with my zombielike state and teaching me that, despite all I read for work, I’ve regressed as a casual reader.