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Break the Fast, Not the Inspiration

Libi Astaire

All too often, when Yom Kippur ends, so does the inspiration. Our educators and experts say it doesn’t have to be this way

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

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A goal should be specific, because sweeping statements generally aren’t helpful. Don’t say, “I want to be a better davener.” Say, “I’m going to set aside X amount of time for davening every day”

J ust two hours ago you were like an angel. Your tearstained face was turned heavenward in heartfelt prayer. Your heart was bursting with love and compassion for your family, your friends and neighbors, and all Am Yisrael. “This year,” you whispered to Hashem, “this year things will be different.”

And now?

That tearstained face is turned downward at the puddle of juice on the kitchen floor — which everyone is trekking through on their way to the succah, leaving a trail of sticky footprints in their wake. While the younger kids are fighting over which decorations should go where and your husband is frantically looking for the hammer, your yeshivah bochurim are complaining they’re still hungry and there’s nothing to eat. As for your sem girls, they’re studying the Yom Tov menus you’ve prepared, crossing out your tried-and-true, simple-to-make dishes and replacing them with recipes they’ve just seen in Family Patchkeh — the ones with 39 ingredients each and 66 steps to prepare.

Just when you’re sure your nerves can’t get any more frazzled (your cue to reach for another piece of cake — your third, but who’s counting at this point?), the baby wakes up screaming and the neighbors’ kids knock on the door, asking if they can borrow a flashlight (Where are the spare batteries?) and a package of plastic cups (What are all those clean cups doing in the trash?!).

By the time you crawl into bed, exhausted, Yom Kippur seems like a million years ago. As for the resolutions you made, you can barely remember what they were — although you have a niggling suspicion you’ve already broken every one of them. To make matters worse, the same thing happens year after year, leaving you feeling defeated before the year has even truly begun.

If only you could hit the rewind button, you mumble, as you drift off to sleep. If only this Motzaei Yom Kippur you could have done things differently and gotten the year off to an amazing start.

Consider the following your personal rewind button.

Food Matters

While working on middos and mitzvah observance is important, the first order of business after Yom Kippur ends is to make sure everyone is fed.

Plan for Success

Mrs. Yitti Bisk: Your calmness will affect all those around you, so make that a priority over chores that aren’t that important. You know there are only X amount of hours, so do the math and cut out time wasters. For instance, one huge pot of soup is a lot quicker to prepare than four different appetizers. Serve a store-bought cake instead of a homemade dessert.

A Soup-er Healthy Meal

Shira Isenberg: The first thing to do after the fast is replenish fluids. The best drink is water. If you prefer to drink a cup of juice to bring up your glucose levels, that’s fine — just stick with one cup. Avoid caffeinated drinks at this point, if possible.

As for the break-fast meal, a light meal is best. You don’t need to replace an entire day’s worth of calories in one meal — and you’ll probably feel awful afterward if you do. Soup makes a great break-fast meal because of the water content and because it’s generally lighter. Pass on cream-based soups, but vegetable, bean, squash, sweet potato, and leek soup are all great.

Even if you normally limit carbs, you’ll need some after the fast to replenish your glucose and get your energy back.

If your minhag is to have fleishig, stick with lighter fare. Chicken is a better choice than meat — and skip the heavy sauces or anything fried. (Excerpted from Family First, Issue 561)

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