Sorry for sounding a little curmudgeonly, but let me encourage you not to offer each other “an easy fast.” I’m not sure that the fast of Yom Kippur is intended to be “easy.”

Yom Kippur should be conscience-prodding, humbling, inspiring, challenging, tough. So many of us strut around like Chairman of the Board of the Universe 364 days a year. But after just 25 hours sans food and drink, and most of us melt into a sniveling puddle of hunger, headache, crabbiness, and Rolex-peeking.

So much for being Moyshe Groyse after just a day of fasting. Yom Kippur humbles you, doesn’t it? It makes you consider the plight of the poor and hungry, for whom every day is Yom Kippur. It makes you think of the morning’s Haftarah, Isaiah 58. Look it up while the cantor is in one of his recitatives.

It makes you a small fry. It makes you think about your sins. It makes you resolve to do more mitzvot.

Now, that’s what I call a fast: challenging, demanding, taxing — what Yom Kippur is all about — but never “easy.”

My favorite: “Have an inspiring fast.” You, too.

WILUDI (Marc H. Wilson) is a retired rabbi who writes from Greenville, South Carolina.  Contact him at