In 1965, Sandy Koufax refused to pitch in Game One of the World Series because it was Yom Kippur, a Jewish holy day. Instead of Koufax, Don Drysdale pitched for the Los Angeles Dodgers, and he gave up seven runs in 2 2/3 innings. “I bet right now you wish I was Jewish, too,” Drysdale said to Walter Alston when the manager came to pull him from the game. The Dodgers lost to the Minnesota Twins, 8-2.- Jeff Merron, ESPN
Yom Kippur is this coming Saturday, September 14. A day of Atonement and Repentance, it is the holiest day of the year for the Jewish faith, and is observed by prayer and fasting, beginning twenty minutes to an hour before sundown of the previous day (Erev Yom Kippur, meaning “evening of day of atonement”) and ending at nightfall on Saturday.
“Children under the age of nine are not allowed to fast, while children older than nine are encouraged to eat less. Girls who are 12 years or older and boys who are 13 years or older are required to participate in the full 25-hour fast along with adults. However, pregnant women, women who have recently given birth and anyone suffering from a life-threatening illness are not required to observe the fast. These people need food and drink to keep up their strength and Judaism always values life above the observance of Jewish law”- Ariela Pelaia
During this roughly twenty-five hour period, five prohibitions must be followed: no eating and drinking, no wearing of leather shoes, no bathing, no anointing with perfumes or lotions and no marital relations.
For those who are preparing for a fast, here are some good recommendations.
Of course, most Holy Days in most religions are marked by a traditional feast of some sort, and Yom Kippur is no different. Once the sun goes down, it is time to break the fast. As Mark Oppenheimer discusses in this New York Times article, “The break-fast may seem more important today because it unites observant Jews with the growing number who feel a cultural, but not religious, connection to their tradition.” Indeed, for many, this means it’s time to hire a caterer and invite your friends over. Others prefer a more modest celebration involving traditional delicacies such as kugels and blintzes, egg dishes and sweet cakes and cookies like rugelach.
Here is a great recipe by Elisheva Marguiles for a frittata that anyone can enjoy. Healthy, delicious and seasonal, it is a modern take on a classic dish, and will keep you going if the game goes into extra innings. Tzom Kal!
Potato & Beet Frittata
1 lb beets (include yellow beets if available)
1 lb new potatoes (include purple potatoes, if available)
6 eggs, lightly beaten
A handful of chives and parsley, or any mixture of fresh herbs, minced
dash of salt and pepper
olive oil for the pan
- Peel and slice the beets and potatoes on a mandoline. If you don’t have a mandoline, slice as thinly as possible with a regular knife.
- Add a splash of olive oil into a shallow, oven-proof pan and add the beets and potatoes. You can layer these in a pattern or just throw them in. Add a dash of salt and pepper.
- Cook the beets and potatoes either in the oven at 375 degrees or over medium-low heat on the stove, covered, for about 30 minutes. If you use the stovetop, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- When the vegetables are tender, stir in the eggs and most of the herbs (save a small amount for a garnish), and use a fork to make sure the eggs get to every part of the pan.
- Place the pan in the oven at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until the eggs are cooked through. Garnish with the rest of the minced herbs.
- Serve hot or at room temperature.