The 25 hour done for Yom Kippur is to be an affliction. It is supposed to cause us discomfort. It is not only about not eating or drinking. We are note supposed to wear leather, perfume, etc. We cannot use any of the creature comforts we are used to. Toward the end of the Musaf Service, my stomach began to growl and my lips and mouth were dry. This discomfort led me to think about others. How are the cantor and rabbi continue to be able to chant, to lead, while their mouths are parched? How does the shofar blower manage to that last, long blast that ends the Yom Kippur evening service?
As my stomach growled, images of those starving in Sudan came to mind. It makes me want to do more to feed the hungry. As my mouth grew dryer, it made me think about all those millions who don't have access to clean water. As the day wore on it made me think of how I can better help those in my community who are worn down.
It made me think of how I can do better to increase shalom among my family, congregation, and neighborhood.
For some reason, as those thoughts were going through my mind, the hunger and the thirst were pushed into the background and during the Nei'lah and Yom Kippur services there was only joy at the mercy HaShem shows for His people and that we need to do the same with others.