A: Whew, it’s been a long Day of Atonement. I’m glad we can finally gather back inside with our fellow congregants to eat soon.

B: Me too.

A: Did you fast?

B: I did fast.

A: I fasted as well. I may have had some water, but it was just to brush my teeth—dental hygienist’s orders.

B: Yes. A little bit of water accidentally got in my mouth during my shower.

A: Ah, yes. I just remembered that some tap water slipped into my Brita and then into my mouth.

B: Sinks definitely have minds of their own. What can you do? But absolutely no Spindrift Raspberry Lime Seltzer was had by me during this fast.

A: Can you imagine? Nothing other than plain water for me too. And a little bit of coffee.

B: Of course, coffee doesn’t count. Wouldn’t want a headache. Our people have suffered enough.

A: Right. So, I should probably share that I tasted some soup I was preparing for tonight’s break-fast. I guess I can say that I fasted from solid foods, which is the most important part.

B: It is imperative to taste the soup. Wouldn’t want to poison the other congregants at the break-fast.

A: Yes, someone had to taste the soup, so I humbly did the mitzvah. Plus, it was matzo ball soup. Very Jewish. Seems okay.

B: Absolutely. I will add that I heated and sampled a teensy bit of chili that was taking up space in the back of my freezer, but if not soup, then it is certainly soup-adjacent. Spoons are involved.

A: Oh, yes. It is common knowledge that actual food consumption involves forks.

B: I just remembered that I might have spooned up a tiny bite of kugel. But what even is kugel? I make it every year, and I still don’t know. An appetizer? Dessert? Main course? And why must it have raisins? I had to try my kugel. With a spoon. For research purposes.

A: How could you not engage in this critical cultural scholarship? Plus, you used a spoon.

B: Yes. And get this: some toast popped out of the toaster this morning, but I caught it in my mouth like a seal. No cutlery whatsoever.

A: I ate some Skittles I found lying around while cooking, but there were zero food ingredients in them. I checked. So it was like eating air.

B: Oh, unquestionably. Anyone who says air is food is out of their mind.

A: Completely. I used my great-grandparents’ recipe to make cheese blintzes, and they looked so beautiful that I had to give them a chef’s kiss. There might have been a little bit of tongue involved with the kiss. And then some chewing.

B: What a beautiful way to honor your ancestors. We’re such dedicated Jews: bakers, scholars, fasters…

A: Especially fasters. Well, not every dedicated Jew can fast. Health comes first. This is also why I ate twenty gummy vitamins.

B: Absolutely. Thank you for mentioning that. But because we can fast, we should fast, and we do fast.

A: Speaking of fasting, I think it is almost time to officially break the fast. Shall we join the other congregants in the social hall?

B: Yes. I hope our stomachs don’t grumble too loudly, on account of all the strict fasting we did today.

A: Don’t look now, but I think I just saw Leah Kravitz dart into the bathroom with a fistful of honey sticks…

B: Wow wow wow. She couldn’t wait just a few more minutes? What is she, five years old?

A: Even worse: she’s six. Not everyone can match our fasting stamina.

B: We have really aced this Day of Atonement. But you know, I just realized… before the fast is officially over, I should eat this bagel with lox and schmear that I packed in my bag. But ONLY because I need something to atone for.

A: Good thinking. I happen to have a small Tupperware container of purse brisket. I’ll join you. And then we can break the fast.