Yom Kippur– LOOK OUT!!!!!
Remember waaaaaay back in that blog I wrote about driving thru the empty streets of Los Angeles during rush hour on Halloween? Holidays are the best times to drive in LA, since usually they are the only times the city empties out a bit and/or people go home early or stay home from work to prepare for the evening’s festivities.
A glaring exception to this rule is the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, which skips around on the calendar depending on when God wants it to be (either that, or according to the lunar calendar, I can’t remember which). But generally falls sometime between August and Thanksgiving.
The reason this holiday can be a true Los Angeles traffic nightmare can be summed up in two sentences:
JEWISH PEOPLE ARE NOT ALLOWED TO EAT OR DRINK FOR ONE WHOLE DAY ON THIS HOLIDAY.
AND WHEN IT’S OVER, THEY ARE RELEASED FROM SYNAGOGUE AND LEFT TO THEIR OWN DEVICES TO DRIVE TO THE “BREAK THE FAST” PARTY THAT WILL FINALLY AFFORD THEM SOME NOURISHMENT.
The key phrase in that last part is the “left to their own devices” bit. By the time most Jews are done with Yom Kippur, they are so hungry, and so cranky, that they can’t see straight. Their blood sugar is low, their emotions high, and that is the exact moment when they…
…take to the streets.
See where I’m going with this?
I remember once, I went to Yom Kippur services at a fancy hotel in Beverly Hills at the Synagogue of the Performing Arts. (No, I’m not kidding. It is not an accident that our city’s nickname is “la la land.”) When it was over, I was stuck in my car, in the midst of thousands of other cars, trying to get out of the garage for thirty minutes.
Do you understand what that translates to in Yom Kippur Years?
In a word: come the hour when Yom Kippur is over, do not walk - RUN! – off the streets of LA entirely, into a secure building with strong walls (preferably one that is miles off the street, in the case of wildly veering SUVs).
If you are not Jewish, let me take this opportunity to educate you: A Jew does not like to be parted from his food. If you need to entertain some Jews, or impress some Jews, or simply not make an enemy out of some Jews, YOU WILL DO WELL TO FEED THEM.
And feed them well.
And get out of their way.
Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)