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Josh Bisker
09-27-2006, 11:10 AM
Does anyone practice on Yom Kippur? Has anyone given any thought to this? Sure it's not work, but then again the goal of all the fasting and abstinence on Yom Kippur isn't just to be unemployed and peckish all day. I'm trying to get some other perspectives on what it means in terms of practicing my faith to go to keiko on Yom Kippor, and there's no other Jewish aikidoists around me I can ask, so any thoughts would be great. Thanks!

Eric Webber
09-27-2006, 11:26 AM
Interesting question. I am not Jewish, however I am an Eastern Orthodox Christian, and as such we follow periods of fasting and feasting, similar to Jewish practices. I have typically talked to my priest when I have questions regarding practice and integration of faith and training, as well as appropriate fasting (I am diabetic); I would recommend searching out a Rabbi who knows you and is open to your martial practice.

I will say that my personal practice is to not consider aikido as work, but rather as physical and spiritual misogi, which enhances my faith rather than diminishes it. Thus, unless it is there is a significant conflict of class schedule and Liturgy (church service), I attend keiko. The only period I tend to slack off of training is during Holy Week before Pascha (Eastern Orthodox Easter), mostly due to scheduling. Other than that I train throughout the year.

MikeLogan
09-27-2006, 11:30 AM
This question would be best fielded by your rabbi. While not certain on what fasting entails, it depends on what time of day you'll be training. Too long after a meal and you might be drawing protein out of the muscles for energy. If the fast involves no water, then there is hydration to consider.

The only loophole I can see is that you'd be performing a mitzvah for the people you train with. Perhaps to make it less of a loophole, you should stick to being uke for the day. That way you, 1) do no work by performing technique. 2) maybe all the ukemi will also make for some good atonement, too :)

michael.

Roman Kremianski
09-27-2006, 01:58 PM
I celebrate Jewish holidays, though I still practicied. Depends on how "Jewish" you are I guess...(Only part of my family is Jewish, so I don't consider myself to be too into it)

Jenn
09-27-2006, 02:19 PM
I observe Yom Kippur. Do you fast? I think Aikido would be very compatible with a day of reflection, but I probably wouldn't train on Yom Kippur just because the physical activity isn't very compatible with fasting.

Let me ask you, do you ever train on Shabbat? I have no problem training on shabbat, provided it doesn't conflict with any services I want to attend. This has never been a problem since I attend service on Friday night, and the only training help Friday night is for yudansha, so that's a conflict I probably won't have to deal with for another decade or so. :) I have attended Saturday class.

For the record I belong to a Reform synagogue, though I'd consider myself more observant (or at least more mindful of observance) than the typical Reform Jew. So my take is more of a reflective/personal/spiritual one than that of thinking there is a "right" way to practice Judaism.

Amir Krause
09-28-2006, 02:32 AM
Obviously, it is up to you to decide how religious you are. Among my friends (almost all Jewish) a few use Yom Kippur as a day of touring (on foot, car travel is prohibited in Israel), some even go out to nature and hike. Some others fast, others will only eat a light meal, some will only drink (the Yom Kippur fasting includes neither eating nor drinking).

Had you been very religious, the question would not have risen at all. You would have been praying all day in the Synagogue. Thus, I guess you are the only one to answer.


Amir

RoyK
09-28-2006, 10:59 AM
On a strictly religious perspective, you're not allowed to do any kind of work, physical or not, during Yom Kippur, just like Sabbath.
You can give it your own interpretation, but the bible is pretty clear on that.

Jenn
09-28-2006, 11:54 AM
Roy, I guess the question is - is Aikido work? Just generally, I consider Aikido more of a moving meditation than work.

From a strictly Biblical perspective, I can't think of which of the 39 categories of prohibited activity that Aikido would fall into. Maybe transporting objects from private to public domain.. so avoid walking to the dojo with your weapons in hand? :D

I suspect most Jews who also practice Aikido probably are more likely to be interpretive in belief and practice. For those who embrace orthodoxy, I'd think there would be a lot of problematic issues with training. (Bowing to a picture of O Sensei, maneuvering around in close contact with people of the opposite gender, etc.)

Though perhaps someone else here can enlighten us on how they harmonize the two.

Michael Douglas
09-28-2006, 06:22 PM
That would be an ecumenical matter ...

tony cameron
09-28-2006, 06:45 PM
I would train every day of the year if my knee could take it! I think you should train whenever you darn well want to train;) Just be careful when fasting or you might pass out. I think Rabbi might agree with me on all points :D

Best wishes,

Tony :triangle: :circle: :square:

RoyK
10-01-2006, 02:00 PM
Roy, I guess the question is - is Aikido work? Just generally, I consider Aikido more of a moving meditation than work.

From a strictly Biblical perspective, I can't think of which of the 39 categories of prohibited activity that Aikido would fall into. Maybe transporting objects from private to public domain.. so avoid walking to the dojo with your weapons in hand? :D

I suspect most Jews who also practice Aikido probably are more likely to be interpretive in belief and practice. For those who embrace orthodoxy, I'd think there would be a lot of problematic issues with training. (Bowing to a picture of O Sensei, maneuvering around in close contact with people of the opposite gender, etc.)

Though perhaps someone else here can enlighten us on how they harmonize the two.


I'm a secular myself, but it's famous in Israel that religious (not even Orthodox) consider things like turning on T.V as work, or turning on the A.C, or driving a car. They actually have timed A.C so it'll turn itself on on Saturdays, and pre-cut toilet papers so they won't have to!
Religious people don't claim that all those things are work, but they say "why take the risk?" just like how they start fasting an hour earlier, and stop an hour late. just to be on the safe side.

Jenn
10-02-2006, 07:14 PM
I've never understood that. What risk? We spend all Yom Kippur attoning for our sins against God, whether comitted consciously or unconsciously. Presumably we're forgiven. Now, I understand that doesn't excuse us from trying our best to live righteously, but.. come on.

I hate to sound judgemental because honestly I do respect those who choose to adhere to a level of observance beyond my own, but at some point I think there is a level of observance that trivializes both God and the Jewish tradition. I know there are many Orthodox Jews who would consider Jews like myself a "bad Jews" - or in some cases not even Jews at all - I mean the horror, I'm married to a gentile and the lights stay on during Shabbat! So in petty turn perhaps I might think it is the better Jew who considers each tradition and mitzvot with a critical eye - who actively engages in the evolved arena of debate that is part of our tradition, rather than automatically bowing to some archaic rabbinical decree.

I do take Judaism seriously, and I never dismiss anything outright presuming that I know better. But things must have meaning and spiritual connection, and contribute to making you a better person - otherwise what's the point of religion?

Anyways, forgive me if I'm not making any sense, I am surrviving my last hour of fasting. And yes, it is a meaningful exercise for me, personally. If it wasn't meaningful, I honestly could go eat the non-kosher chicken in the fridge right now with an unburdened mind.

I hope you had a meaningful Yom Kippur over there in Israel. Last night at Kol Nidre Service, Rabbi said some powerful words about Israel's situation. We were all thinking of an praying for your countrymen, and I know we run the gamut from religious to secular in our shul.

Oh and Josh, did you train, or not? :D

RoyK
10-03-2006, 08:19 AM
I hate to sound judgemental because honestly I do respect those who choose to adhere to a level of observance beyond my own, but at some point I think there is a level of observance that trivializes both God and the Jewish tradition. I know there are many Orthodox Jews who would consider Jews like myself a "bad Jews" - or in some cases not even Jews at all - I mean the horror, I'm married to a gentile and the lights stay on during Shabbat! So in petty turn perhaps I might think it is the better Jew who considers each tradition and mitzvot with a critical eye - who actively engages in the evolved arena of debate that is part of our tradition, rather than automatically bowing to some archaic rabbinical decree.

Since I happen to have a similar opinion to yours, I'd be interested to hear what a religious Jew would say to that. I can guess it would be somewhere along the lines that allowing a person to decide which laws are ok for her is a big opening for moral deterioration and, more serious perhaps, a cultural rift. Sometimes being a better person also involves being a part of the community. In individualist cultures we may miss that point.



I hope you had a meaningful Yom Kippur over there in Israel. Last night at Kol Nidre Service, Rabbi said some powerful words about Israel's situation. We were all thinking of an praying for your countrymen, and I know we run the gamut from religious to secular in our shul. :D

Thank you :)

Amir Krause
10-03-2006, 09:15 AM
Jennifer, I am secular, so I couldn't answer any of your questions.

I will ask another Aikido practitioner, who is a Jewish orthodox to join this discussion. Maybe he could try and give you some answers.


Amir

Amir Krause
10-03-2006, 11:59 AM
או, קיי.
אני רב ועוסק באייקידו. אין לדעתי, מניעה הלכתית לעסוק באייקידו ביום כיפור. קשה לי להבין איך אפשר לעסוק באייקידו בצום מוחלט, אבל מניעה הלכתית אין. מצד שני, נראה לי שפעילות כזו ביום כיפור מנוגדת לחלוטין לרוחו של היום. זהו יום שצריך להיות מוקדש לחשבון נפש ולהתמקדות באל. לכן התפילות עורכות חלק הארי של היום. לכל פעילות יש הזמן שלה. לדעתי, האייקידו יצא נשכר אם בזמן מן הזמנים יעסוק איש האייקידו בהפנמה, חשבון נפש ובמדיטציה.

To Those who do not read Hebrew, my translation (Amir):

"OK,
I am a Rabi and Aikido practitioner. I do not think, there is a Halacha against playing Aikido in Yom Kippur. I do find it hard to understand how one can truly fast and play Aikido. But I find no conflicting Halacha.
On the other hand, It seems to me this type of action in Yom Kippur is totally against the spirit of the day. This day should be dedicated to self-reflection and focusing on god, Thus the prayers take most of the day.
Each Activity has its own time, in my opinion, The Aikido too will benefit if the Aikidoka deals with internalization, self accounting and meditation.

Izhak Lifshiz"

Amir
P.S.
I asked him to join this thread but his membership was not approved yet...

RoyK
10-03-2006, 02:01 PM
"OK,
I am a Rabi and Aikido practitioner. I do not think, there is a Halacha against playing Aikido in Yom Kippur. I do find it hard to understand how one can truly fast and play Aikido. But I find no conflicting Halacha.
On the other hand, It seems to me this type of action in Yom Kippur is totally against the spirit of the day. This day should be dedicated to self-reflection and focusing on god, Thus the prayers take most of the day.
Each Activity has its own time, in my opinion, The Aikido too will benefit if the Aikidoka deals with internalization, self accounting and meditation.

Izhak Lifshiz"


Wow what a surprise to hear such an opinion. On the other hand, ask another Rabbi and he'll say a completely different thing. So it does boil down to personal perspective after all :)

Jenn
10-04-2006, 12:44 AM
See, I'm not surprised at all Roy. That is about precisely the answer I'd expect. But you are correct in that another Rabbi would say a completely different thing.

Thanks Amir for passing along your friend's thoughts to us. I hope he can join us on the forums soon - I would be interested to hear more of his perspective.

Also thanks for the translation for those of us such as myself who are woefully monolingual.

Amir Krause
10-04-2006, 02:54 AM
Wow what a surprise to hear such an opinion. On the other hand, ask another Rabbi and he'll say a completely different thing. So it does boil down to personal perspective after all :)


Roy

Actually, since I have come to know Itzhak through the Tapuz forum system. I found him to be very open, thinking, knowledgeable and non-conservative Jewish Orthodox. His opinions with regard to many issues may surprise you (for example look for the discussion about bowing in those forums).

Though I am secular, I would be surprised if the answer most orthodox Jews would have given wouldn't have been much harsher. I can understand their feeling the very idea is blasphemy to a sacrosanct day & concept.

Obviously, in the end, each man chooses his own way.

Amir

mickeygelum
10-08-2006, 09:59 AM
I would like to thank you all for helping me and teaching me...I am now more informed of this holy day.

Miku-san