Jewish Pre-Fasting Tips

Blowing of a Shofar


In Israel, they have some pre-Atonement fasting tips:

Tips for Easier Fasting
Tips to prepare for the fast include: drinking at least two liters of water a day (10 cups) on the days before the fast, and eating whole grains and vegetables on the day before, while avoiding sugar,spicy, fried and salty foods that cause thirst. .

Those who drink significant amounts of beverages containing caffeine daily (coffee, non-herb teas, colas) are advised to reduce the amount gradually, starting several days before the fast to prevent caffeine addiction symptoms which can include headaches and nausea.

The last meal before the fast, known as the seudah hamafseket, should not include unfamiliar, spicy, or fried foods, and should omit vegetables such as cauliflower, cabbage and broccoli.

After the fast, those who have abstained from drinking and eating are advised to rehydrate slowly, with a sweet drink, and begin eating with a snack, followed approximately one hour later by a light meal.

For other tips, Dr. Meredith of the Living Church of God wrote:

1. Before you fast, prepare your body for the shock. Do not eat a great big meal (certainly not one including a big, sweet dessert), or indulge in a pepper steak or some spicy hot Mexican food just before your fast begins. These make you crave water, and all during your fast this will distract you into thinking, “Oh, no, I’m going to die!” For a profitable spiritual fast, you need a clear but humbled mind. So it is best to taper off on food, especially sweets and strong spices. Drink a lot of water the day before, to help begin to cleanse your system.

2. Take steps to ensure your digestive system is as free of poisons as it can be during your fast, so any headaches and other symptoms of hunger will be as mild as possible. Make sure you take proper care of your individual health needs before you fast, so you can obtain the maximum benefit and feel the fewest possible physical distractions when you fast. You may wish to consult your physician if you have a health condition that fasting can affect.

3. Fast regularly enough for your body to adjust itself to the practice. Some people who think they are “about to die” when they fast could actually find fasting much easier if they did it for a day every month or two, if their health allows.

4. After your fast, begin eating again slowly. Do not swallow a huge steak in the first ten minutes. It will actually do you more good if you eat a smaller, lighter meal, or eat a meal spread out over a couple of hours in stages—maybe beginning with a warm, creamy soup. If your fast has lasted for longer than a day, it may be far better—or even necessary—to end it with something very small, like some stewed prunes or maybe a poached or soft-boiled egg.

Atonement begins at sunset tonight.

Some articles of possibly related interest may include:

Spiritual Benefits of Fasting Jesus said, “But by Prayer and Fasting” and this article by Dr. Meredith focuses on fasting and provides his physical and spiritual fasting tips. Does fasting help prevent heart disease?
Did Early Christians Observe the Fall Holy Days? Did they? Did Jesus? Should you?
The Book of Life and the Feast of Trumpets? Are they related? Is so how? If not, where not?
The Day of Atonement–Its Christian Significance The Jews call it Yom Kippur, Christians “The Day of Atonement”. Does it have any relevance for Christians today?
The Feast of Tabernacles: A Time for Christians? Is this pilgrimage holy day still valid? Does it teach anything relevant for today’s Christians? What is the Last Great Day? What do these days teach?
LCG 2011 Feast of Tabernacles’ Information Here is information on many Feast of Tabernacles locations for this “seventh month” feast.
What Does the Catholic Church Teach About Christmas and the Holy Days? Do you know what the Catholic Church says were the original Christian holy days? Was Christmas among them?
Holy Day Calendar This is a listing of the biblical holy days through 2012, with their Roman calendar dates. They are really hard to observe if you do not know when they occur :)

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