The point is not fasting, says the Rambam. I read those words, even as I fast. I read further his holy words, where he explains the whole point of today’s exercise is to repent.
It would be nice to be able to lay blame on our suffering on previous generations or on various others. Yet, Judaism asks us to find the cause within ourselves.
And now I digress: A girl I know went to a course on coloring at Redken, the Fifth Avenue crème de la’ crème of salons. She came back and told me, “I ought to write an Aish article. I can see the title: Everything About Life, I Learned from Redken.” She giggled at the thought. Then she became more serious, explaining, “Isn’t it true that any truth can be applied universally across the board? If 1+1 equals 2 when counting beans, it can be applied in other cases also, and be just as true.” I understood what she was saying, she was talking about the beauty of the macro and micro of the way Hashem set up this world.
Micro – teeny truths that when expanded make up one big Macro truth. Macro truths when magnified into tiny bits, the micro parts of it echo the macro.
By now, you are saying, ‘what is she talking about?’ Let me give you an example. Each cell reproduces, excretes, etc. Just as does the body. Just as does the universe. So you can say that each person is a whole universe. Or you can say that the universe is one big body.
What did that girl learn at Redken? How to cancel things out and highlight things, how to draw the eyes to various places, how to focus on positive. The color wheel and how to use it. All things that could possibly be used to translate into other places in life.
She went on. “I could even do ‘shidduchim by the color wheel’.” Now that’ll make a dent in the Shidduch crisis – figure out the warm and cooler colors in folks and match them that way.
Back to our current day of fasting, but keeping that micro and macro thought with us: It is easy to say that all the fault for what is wrong with the world today is greater society’s issues. But it isn’t all that true, for if each of us decided to micro-manage our lives to repent, there would be ripples of macro-repentance.
If I can commit to be loving and accepting, of seeing the good and trying to create harmony within my dealings with my fellow man, then I will have done what I needed to do today. If I say I will not hide my eyes to injustice and need, then the grumbling in my stomach and cotton-ball-stuffed-headachy-feeling will be for a good cause. If I say to G-d, I’ve strayed, please forgive me and help me follow Your ways, I’ll be on track with what Rambam says is the point of today.
I might do it while starving, but break-fast is but a few hours away, and break-exile, hopefully, not much further behind.