…was the name of a tape I made about 10 years ago, which resulted in some flack from folks who didn’t realize that I was making fun of the faux-sensitivity so much in evidence during my seventies childhood, not making fun of Yom Kippur itself. In fifth grade, our teacher, the 500-year-old Miss Zablocki, ordered all of the children who attended a "Hanukkah Church" (me and about 2 other kids) to get up in front of the class and explain the "meaning of Hanukkah". I should have told the truth, which is that: 1. Hanukah is one of the least important holidays in the Jewish calendar and is only celebrated so that Jewish kids won’t feel bad about not having Christmas; and 2. The conventional "story of Hanukah" is an allegory for the successful Jewish nationalist uprising against the Greco-Syrian empire in 166 BCE, which established the Hasmonean Dynasty, which turned out to be corrupt and oppressive, too (we don’t celebrate that part). …but I was too busy trying to figure out what the deal was with girls and stuff. Anyway, since the Jewish and Muslim calendars are both lunar (Jewish is actually lunar-solar, but same dif), it’s not really a humungous coincidence that the High Holy Days and Ramadan began on the same day this year, but it’s still pretty cool. L’shana Tova and Ramadan Mubarak to all my Jewish and Muslim friends. And as it periodically did during my youth, Yom Kippur falls on my Birthday this year ("Happy Birthday…sorry there’s no cake…or other food…now go and think about your sins"). But I ain’t mad at it – Yom Kippur is still my favorite Jewish holiday. Does that seem weird? Hear me out… People see Yom Kippur as being all negative – fasting and thinking about every bad thing you did the previous year – but that is so wrong. Yom Kippur is the Sabbath of Sabbaths. Every week, you’re supposed to take a day off and review the previous six days and be introspective and basically get right with God or whatever. YK is the Sabbath of the Year. You withdraw from the world, fast, let your body purify itself, look at what you did right and wrong over the past year and think about what you want to work on for the next year. In the ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur (the "Days of Awe" – dope name!) you are supposed to resolve (or at least try to resolve) all of the conflicts that you have from the previous year. I like that. I have very specific YK rituals that I do that basically have nothing to do with the traditional liturgy, but are true to the spirit. Many Jews would say that you can’t do that, but I reply with my favorite piece of Jewish wisdom: "Az der bubbe vot gehat baytzim vot zie geven mein zayde," which, loosely translated, means "your logic is sound, but you are arguing from false premises." A stricter translation would be, "If my grandmother had balls, she’d be my grandfather".