Today Jews worldwide are asking their parents, therapists, significant others, rabbis, and spouses whether it would be possible to observe this year’s Yom Kippur” Marwan Barghouti style”: by pretending to refuse to eat, but then secretly eating.
Palestinian prisoner Marwan Barghouti has been described as a leading proponent of non-violent resistance, except, you know, he sort of like ordered the killing of a whole bunch of people and stuff. Anyhoo, Marwan has been leading a Hunger Strike among Palestinian prisoners, but with a really cool twist: he ate candy bars while sitting on his prison toilet when nobody was looking. And he would have gotten away with it if it weren’t for those pesky meddling Jews who filmed him in the act of chowing down.
The Daily Freier wanted to learn more about this hot trend of “No Hunger-Hunger Strikes” so we hit the streets of Tel Aviv to speak with real Israelis as soon as they finished walking their dogs, reading Ha’aretz, smoking spliffs, and drinking cafe hafuch.
First the Daily Freier spoke with its very own Lee Saunders to get a proper British take. “I’m quite excited. I’ve literally already planned out my fast for this year….So I won’t eat anything from 8 in the morning until around 11. And then, BAM!, I sneak off to the loo and eat some Jaffa cakes. Brilliant!”
While the Daily Freier was interviewing Lee in a cafe near Gan Meir, we ran into alert local Ronit S. who overheard our conversation and enthusiastically shared her plans for the Day of Atonement. “So I will do Yom Kippur with my parents in Holon. And in the morning I will eat nothing at all, then in the afternoon I take a walk in the forest and eat the falafel that I stashed there the night before!” Ronit thought for a moment and stared into space. “Actually I think this is how my last diet worked.”
The Daily Freier then spoke with local philosopher Tzvi H. as he played ping-pong in Gan Meir. And we asked him a very challenging question: “With Mr. Barghouti’s revolutionary redefinition of not eating, can we as Jews approach Yom Kippur in a similar fashion?” Tzvi thought for a moment. “You pose an interesting question. For how do we now approach not eating when you have the option of enjoying delicious Tortit Brand chocolate bars?” Tzvi shuffled with some papers in his backpack. “Hang on a second, I have other questions about Yom Kippur. Like, I’ve read all of Peter Beinart’s Op-Ed’s this year. Have I suffered enough to get an exemption from fasting?”
Finally, the Daily Freier walked over to the local Rabbanut to get a theological perspective on this new approach to not-eating-while-eating. So we entered the building and asked the first Rabbi we saw: “Can we do a ‘Barghouti’ Yom Kippur? You know, with snacks?” The Rabbi thought for a moment, scratched his beard, consulted a dusty book written in Yiddish, and replied “Sounds like Reform Judaism.“