- The Canadian newspaper Globe and Mail reported on the two girls sent back to Israel to avoid being married off. The article refers to Bruria Keren as “the woman leader of the sect in Israel” and amusingly notes that Beit Shemesh is near where the battle of David and Goliath took place.
- On the Forward parenting blog, Kveller, Carla Nussbaum explains why she’s not fasting this Yom Kippur. One Tired Ema points out that it is a privilege to fast. Mayim Bialik responds with a post on the benefits of fasting.
Fasting is one of the most universal observance of Judaism. If you want to judge whether someone is connected to Judaism, you ask whether they fast on Yom Kippur. It saddens me that the aversion to eating on Yom Kippur, by self-defined committed Jews, is diminishing.
I also know that while I sometimes panic before a fast whenever there are extenuating circumstances, like a demanding toddler or a cold, it never turns out to be as bad as I thought. I personally find fasting inspiring.
- Mayim Bialik writes, misleadingly in my opinion, that “breastfeeding and fasting can co-exist”: “If you are nursing, consult with a lactation consultant and your pediatrician about fasting. My personal experience both as a nursing mom and a Certified Lactation Educator Counselor is that during the first three months of nursing, when milk supply is being established, you want to be very careful about supply, and babies will often want to nurse a lot the day AFTER a fast to pull up milk supply that may have dropped from a day of no water and no food.”
It’s true that *most* babies will do fine if their mothers fast. But some won’t, and those are the ones we have to worry about. Some rabbis require nursing mothers to drink in small quantities throughout the day.
A small clarifcation about milk supply: The “milk supply” is established during the first two weeks, when, according to research, prolactin receptors are laid down in the breast. It can be hard, but not impossible, to increase the amounts later on, especially with a first baby. Interestingly, the quantity of breastmilk hardly increases between one and six months—babies are just more efficient about absorbing it. Read more in my post on A Radical Ruling: Fasting and Breastfeeding on Yom Kippur.
- Last year, I wrote this controversial post listing abstracts of studies on pregnancy and fasting.
- Haveil Havalim, pre-Yom-Kippur edition, is up at Liberty’s Spirit.
- I like these sensible tips for an easy fast.
As always, I’d like to ask forgiveness for any readers whom I may have offended during the past year. Please feel free to write privately if there is something specific.
Gmar chatimah tovah—may we all be inscribed in the book of life for the coming year.