Yuvi Tasuma-Katz, the CEO of Friends by Nature, writes:
“Blow the trumpet in Zion, declare a holy fast, call a sacred assembly. Gather the people, consecrate the assembly; bring together the elders,”(Joel 2:15-16).
“I’ll pray for you… I’ll fast for you”
Sentences that my mother often says.
“Mom, I need to fast for myself!”
“Yes but you work, raise children, you’re busy. Me, I have time…”
Yes, that’s how it is, each and every time, on every fasting occasion besides Yom Kippur– my mom is more than willing to “fast for me”.
Her sense of community and family is very broad. She was born and raised in it; she was born in the village, raised in a very large family (wherein everyone who is 7 generations apart from you is probably your uncle or aunt), and would help out the families when mom took her maternity leave, 40 days for a son, 80 days for a daughter. So for her, when someone needs help because he/she is super busy, it's not even a question: she’s going to help out. To “fast for me”: what a healthy way of seeing things! “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine”…
On the 29 day of Heshvan, we celebrate one of the most communal and spiritual holidays, The Sigd. A holiday that is all about connections. Connections between various villages and village folk who come together to meet in the central village; a connection between a nation and their God. ‘Tis a holiday that reminds us of our pact with fellow community members, a pact of acceptance, equality, and mutual responsibility that we renew every year.
For several years now, this Holiday has represented for me the blessed rains that are always delayed; even this year, as was the case last year and the year before that as well, the floodgates of heaven opened up and rain rinsed the country. There is something about the assembly, however– about the togetherness therein, and the joint appeal to the Creator– that He surely pays attention to.
May the spirit of the Sigd endure for the entire year.
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