Yom Kippur: Not So Fast

If Yom Kippur is a time for reflection, what are we really thinking about?

Kugels are an important exercise Jewish women perform on a regular basis in order to keep their men happy. Well, maybe not on a regular basis, but at least around the High Holidays. And the more kids you’ve had, the more kugels you need to do.

Sure, to the untrained eye, Yom Kippur, or The Day of Atonement, is about deep reflection, making amends for sins against God, and about editing out every possible element that might distract one from the task at hand. The rules are severe: no eating, no drinking, no washing, no wearing make-up, no leather shoes, no sex.

It’s a lot not to do. Other than the deprivation of physical pleasure, it is distracting not to think about all we are not eating. Really, we could have a much better conversation with our Maker over a cup of coffee and a nosh.  Hold on, “Another latte please.” And honestly, He might be a little more forgiving if we could arrive in full make up.

Have we gone to hell yet? Just wait.

This Yom Kippur, let’s focus on the food. To paraphrase Jimmy Buffett, “It’s sunset somewhere.”

As a people, we’re not known for our small appetites. After all, our definition of a single serving is a five inch high Reuben. Deprive us of three square meals and we are more than a little peckish by the time Neiliah is recited.

So how much are the Chosen choosing to eat? Here’s the breakdown for this Yom Kippur weekend, according to Steve Geffen, the second-generation owner of delicatessen, and Gabriel Viteri, the VP of Strategy and Business Development at Acme Smoked Fish, the largest distributor of smoked fish in the country.

(Acme Smoked Fish? We’re not making that up. Who knew Wile E. Coyote was a member of the Tribe?)

Not so fast. To make it a little more fun, we’re presenting it as a quiz. Think of this as Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me, but the Yom Kippur version. We’ll call it, Weight, Weight, Don’t Tell Me, Fuggedaboudit, Tell Me!

1. When is it the worst time of year to be a salmon, aka Nova?

  • A. Thanksgiving
  • B. Easter
  • C. Yom Kippur

2. How many pounds of Nova will Once Upon a Bagel sell this weekend?

  • A. 400 pounds
  • B. 4,000 pounds
  • C. 40,000 pounds

3. How many pounds of Nova will Acme Smoked Fish sell during the two weeks leading up to Yom Kippur?

  • A. 400 pounds
  • B. 4,000 pounds
  • C. 40,000 pounds
  • D. 400,000 pounds

4. How many pounds of pickled herring will Acme Smoked Fish sell during the two weeks leading up to Yom Kippur?

  • A. 2,000 pounds
  • B. 20,000 pounds
  • C. 200,000 pounds

5. Who even likes pickled herring?

  • A. No one
  • B. No one
  • C. Your father-in-law.

6. If you have high cholesterol, should you attend a Break-The-Fast?

  • A. No

7. Whitefish, or whitefish salad?

  • A. What’s the question?
  • B. Whitefish salad.
  • C. By a lot.

8. How many eggs does Once Upon a Bagel order in preparation for the holiday weekend?

  • A. 90 cases of 30 dozen eggs
  • B. 2,700 dozen eggs
  • C. 32,400 eggs
  • D. All of the above

9. (Caution: This question contains carbohydrates.) If Once Upon a Bagel has 68 workers working 36 hours straight making 280 dozen bagels per hour, what time does dinner start?

  • A. As the sun begins to descend into the horizon.
  • B. As the last rays of sun sink behind the trees
  • C. Not soon enough.

10. If you forgot to place your order, are you screwed?

  • A. Yes
  • B. No
  • C. Not allowed on Yom Kippur


1. C, 2. B, 3. D, 4. C, 5. A & B & C, 6. A, 7. C, 8. D, 9. C, 10. C

Curious to know more about how Once Upon A Bagel prepares for Yom Kippur? Check out the video by clicking the image above.

michele glass October 07, 2011 at 01:08 PM
i have found this piece to be antisemitic and offensive. Sorry, girls, your attempt at funny didn't work for me.
RonnieTheLimoDriver October 07, 2011 at 01:38 PM
Not funny. Yes. Offensive, perhaps to the very sensitive. Antisemitic, not even a close one, no. That’s a dangerous term to throw around.
Jill Goldstein October 07, 2011 at 03:23 PM
I thought the article was very funny but then again I am Jewish lite. I will semi-fast not giving up my Starbucks Skinny Vanilla Latte. When I watched Jewish Chicago last night, I was proud to be part of a culture that has such a large tent for us all to find our place in. Maybe some of us need to atone for being judgmental.
Karen October 07, 2011 at 08:51 PM
I agree with Jill. If Jews can't joke about food and our love of it, then we are really lost!
Sonia Williams October 07, 2011 at 10:41 PM
I think that women are better off doing Kegel exercises rather than kugels!
Sally Lewinski October 08, 2011 at 12:39 AM
Loved the article. Fun to find humor in life. Clearly not irreverant or anti-semitic.
RRR October 08, 2011 at 02:32 PM
Seriously? You think this is funny? Its KEGALS you moron. Not Kugals, and women don't do them to keep men happy, they do them to strengthen the pelvic floor so we don't become incontinent after delivering babies. Clearly this periodical needs new writers and editors. Between the stories missing basic information and poor grammar, you give Journalism a bad name.
RRR October 08, 2011 at 02:34 PM
I notice the writers on this piece are CLEARLY NOT JEWISH. Stick to your own religion when it comes to humor. You're no Jerry Seinfeld.
Sally Higginson October 08, 2011 at 03:04 PM
For the record, we, the authors, are Jewish. We are, formerly, The Schwartz sisters.
Betsy Brint October 08, 2011 at 04:09 PM
Two things to further set the record straight: 1. The use of the word "kugel" instead of "Kegal" was intentional. 2. Kegals don't work... at least not always. And C - you're right - we are not Jerry Seinfeld. How did you know?
NS October 09, 2011 at 12:50 AM
Perhaps one could eat kugels while performing kegals. Eating and exercising- at the same time. That's not being funny- that's effective time management!
Laurie Goldstein October 09, 2011 at 11:55 AM
Hi Betsy - my cousin posted this on FB and I didn't realize you had written it until I got to the comments. Fun, funny and clever piece. And of course I realized the kugel/kegel interplay was intentional. While there are a wide range of sensibilities out there and no one is right or wrong I have no doubt that the vast majority of your intended audience will find this amusing (whether they comment or not.) Nice to see the Schwartz wit is still in fine form! (and yes, I'm the one from Edgewood) - Laurie Goldstein
Betsy Brint October 09, 2011 at 12:56 PM
Thanks Laurie - so nice to hear from you!
steve shay October 09, 2011 at 11:24 PM
I wrote an article on a punk rock band called the "Kegels". http://www.westseattleherald.com/2009/02/27/features/mommy-punk-band-founded-release
NS October 10, 2011 at 12:35 AM
Nice article. I love that it's an all-female band. I mean, it would have to be... right?
Mosaic53 October 10, 2011 at 01:47 PM
I love their writing. Jews have always poked fun at themselves. I think, after thousands of years of persecution, it's how we cope.
Molly September 26, 2012 at 12:10 PM
Enjoyable commentary ladies (but I usually enjoy your wit and wisdom). I have to admit that one of my faves is to read the responses you receive. It amazes me the reactions people have.
Walter White September 26, 2012 at 01:36 PM
Well you've already insulted Jews and Christians. There's lots of other world religions to go. Better get busy!
RRR September 26, 2012 at 01:43 PM
This is a rerun from last year, and for whatever reason its run again. Bad idea, it was not well received and only drives home the need for more contributors.....
Wendy Ellis September 26, 2012 at 03:53 PM
As newcomers to the area who are not Jewish...we loved it!! Enjoying learning about the heritage of those around us...but we are confused...why bagels after Yom Kippur???
Walter White September 26, 2012 at 04:13 PM
But, like Jerry, they are anti-dentite.
Steve Wilneff September 26, 2012 at 09:33 PM
Very cute
WatermelonMan September 27, 2012 at 01:11 PM
How come we can write Jewish jokes, but not black jokes ?


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