Yom Kippur Survival Guide

Here is a little recap of the holiday for those who are not Jewish, erased everything from memory after their Bat/Bar Mitzvah, or like myself, got the boot from Hebrew School:

Yom Kippur, also known as the Day of Atonement, is considered the holiest day of the year for Jews. The main themes are atonement and repentance, which are observed with a period of fasting and severe prayer. And with no surprise, this is the one holiday that most Jews actually go to temple for, returning to connect with their religion and be forgiven for their sins.

The restriction of fasting is a difficult one, especially for college students at Penn State who plan on attending the Iowa game. Fasting means no eating and no drinking (this means wine and beer).

Jew-ish: For those who vaguely remember what Yom Kippur is and want to attempt it…

Going Home:

  • Eat an amazing home cooked meal with family on Friday night
  • Wake up Saturday, offer to go to temple so your parents think you care
  • Sleep off the hunger like a bear hibernating in winter
  • Go to temple at night (maybe)
  • Stuff your face– bagels, lox, tuna fish, and white fish
  • *Note: breakfast isn’t the first meal of the day… it is the last one

Staying Here:

  • Send your parents a text to show them you still care
  • If you are going to fast make sure you avoid tailgates, the smell of the grills on the fields will push you over the edge
  • Meet up with your semi-Jewish friends to talk about how much you want to eat
  • Go to the game, try not to get dehydrated, and end up succumbing to the greatness that is the $7 chicken basket and fries.


Jew: For those who are trying to reconnect with their roots and push through it…

Going Home:

  • Leave early enough on Friday so you will definitely make it in time to eat your “last supper”
  • Wake up in the morning, go to temple with your family, and try to sneak in a game of Words with Friends
  • Catch up on all the shows you missed since you do not have DVR and watch the Penn State vs. Iowa game sans hot dog smothered in sauerkraut
  • Text your friends about how much you miss chocolate cake and other various items of deliciousness
  • Go to temple at night and do not play Fruit Ninja because you will regret it


Staying Here:

  • Come together with your friends and make plans to eat dinner together on Friday night
  • Hide your favorite foods
  • Attend the game on Saturday but try not to get too dehydrated, sit down if you need to; you do not have to faint for your sins
  • Postgame nap is crucial with or without the tailgating aspect
  • Avoid going to Chipotle or ordering Wings Over
  • Say a prayer with your friends and break the fast with Irving’s Bagels and lox spread or a meal from the Deli downtown


Super Jew: For those who seriously have a lot of sins to atone for…

Going Home:

  • Spending time with your family is a huge part of the holiday, so you want to make sure you get to see them
  • Attend all the mandatory services, say the prayers, leave your cellphone in the car during synagogue, follow along with the Rabbi, and sing the songs, maybe even lead a service or two
  • Suffer through the last stretch of temple before you can finally give into your grumbling stomach and eat the biggest meal in the fall besides Thanksgiving dinner
  • *Note: Make sure you wear sweatpants so you can gorge yourself to the full extent


Staying Here:

  • Check out the High Holiday schedule here
  • Register for Hillel Services and Dinner here
  • Services:
    • Kol Nidre: Friday, October 7, 6 p.m.
    • Morning Service: Saturday, October 8, 9:30 a.m.
    • Yizkor Service: Saturday, October 8, 6 p.m. and Ne’elah at 6:15 p.m.
    • Break-the-Fast: Saturday, October 8, 7:45 p.m. sponsored by Irvings!
  • Hide the food in your room and apartment
  • Go to Beaver Stadium and DO NOT look at the food
  • Have one of your non-Jewish friends take your ID so you do not swipe away your meal points in an impulsive sprint to the food stands
  • Postgame nap is important here, unless you need to brush up on your Torah
  • Go to Hillel Services and dinner
  • Get your ID card back from friend and find all your hidden food so you do have uninvited guests


Bad News: Yom Kippur lands on a Friday and Saturday this year, and you will not be able to reschedule your exam by pulling the Jew card to get out of class. There is also the Iowa Game on Saturday, no tailgating allowed!

Good News: You do not have suffer through eating cardboard Matzo Pizza for ten days, or try to learn something in class while dreaming about all the foods you wish you were eating.

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