Shalom Life | October 07, 2014

Jewish Top 10s: What NOT to do on Yom Kippur

As we prepare to usher in Yom Kippur, Shalom Life lists the top eleven activities you should avoid while fasting on this holiest of days

By: Daniel Koren

Published: September 13th, 2013 in News » World

Welcome to Jewish Top 10s, where we compile lists that highlight the best and the brightest of everything yehudi, from delicious recipes to funniest actors, to most obnoxious Jewish wedding songs.

In anticipation of Yom Kippur, a day of atonement, repentance, and fasting for 25 hours, we have decided to compile a list of the activities you'd likely want to avoid for the high holiday.

You know, in case you forgot.

Gmar hatima tova (have a good fast!)


For a holiday as important as Yom Kippur, ten rules were not enough.

TOP ELEVEN

11.

WEARING LEATHER


There's a reason why the ultra-devout wear sneakers, sandals and flip flops to accompany the suits they wear to synagogue, and it's not because it's the latest fashion craze. In the book of Leviticus, the Torah commands us all to 'afflict' ourselves on Yom Kippur. Rabbis have deemed that this pertains us denying ourselves of certain luxuries, including wearing leather foothwear.

Sorry ladies, leave the stilettos at home!

10.

BRUSHING YOUR TEETH/TAKING A SHOWER


As much as it's a ritual in our everyday lives that is very hard not to follow in the morning, brushing your teeth, and/or showering is forbidden on Yom Kippur. Today is not about looking or smelling good/fresh, nor is it a day you should concern yourself with self-image. Today is about atonement, about the preservation of the soul.

That means no bathing, either.

9.

SURFING THE WEB


As using technology of any sort is not allowed on Yom Kippur, surfing the web is particularly ill-advised, considering the unholy contents that exist online. Going online because you've yet to find out the score to last night's Pats game is one thing - though still, strictly, a big no-no - but imagine what happens when you accidentally click on that chatroom ad?

It would be cause for a whole lot more repentance. I know it might literally kill you to do it, but maybe try staying offline just for a day?

8.

PLAYING POKER


You'd think people would know that you can't gamble on any holidays, not even on Shabbat, and this goes doubly for this most important of holidays. Yom Kippur entails you being fully aware of your surroundings in a very spiritual manner; ergo, all monetary happenings are strictly off the table. I know Poker nights are Fridays, and yes, you may have had a hot streak recently, but take tonight off, and join in against next week.

I guarantee Hashem will provide you with pocket rockets your first hand just as a thank you for taking the day off from thinking about money.

7.

WATCHING NETFLIX


Hey, I'm as hooked on Orange is the New Black as the next guy, but watching television on Yom Kippur is another no-no, another unnecessary luxury that may be commonplace every other day in the year, but today, a luxury is still a luxury. It's kind of hard to repent when you're laughing at whatever escapades Jenji Kohan has plotted next. Today, you keep the mind at ease, take the day off (it'll be waiting for you tomorrow) and entertain yourself by going for a nice long walk, whether to synagogue, or just around the block.

6.

SMOKING


You would assume everyone knows not to smoke on this holiday, but as a very addictive substance, some have wondered if smoking is absolutely prohibited on this holy holiday. Well, you can wonder no longer. It is. Smoking might be one of the worst activities you can engage in on yom Kippur, a day about good health, good spirituality and bringing forth a good year in 5774. Smoking is essentially a direct contradiction of all of these things; besides the fact that it literally kills you, it's also a distraction, an addiction, and an escape. Perhaps it might be a good time to quit?

Click on the link on the right for the top 5 things not to do on Yom Kippur.

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