A Very MAD MEN Kol Nidre

Can you hear me now?

‘Tis the night before Yom Kippur, and my stomach is already feeling a bit grumbly. I said I wasn’t going to fast hardcore, but it’s downright wimpy to eat or drink between sundown and sunrise. C’mon!

So I’m writing a little blog for you instead. (Crystal urged me to blog Kol Nidre, but I don’t know if she realized that it’s a food-free affair.) And trying to make this have to do with “Mad Men,” because this is not The Daily Prayer.

I always like to go to Kol Nidre (aka Yom Kippur Eve), because there is sad/pretty music. So I wore a Target dress that looks kinda soccer-mom-at-a-school-recital-in-the-‘burbs to work today (a few co-workers said, “Nice dress!” and I replied, “NO.”), and went directly from there to services at USC’s Hillel. The current Rabbi is named Lori, and I like her insights and sermons.

According to Lori, Kol Nidre (it’s also the name of a once-a-year song) was the first thing ever heard in a talkie. (JEWS FTW!) As you may recall, THE JAZZ SINGER is about a Jewish guy (a cantor’s son) who goes undercover in blackface because he wants to be… a jazz singer.

I didn’t really make the “Mad Men” connection until I googled “The Jazz Singer,” and most of the pictures of Al Jolson looked a little bit like this…


That’s Roger Sterling, for you “Mad Men” dopes. Season 3.

The second “Mad Men” reference was more overt. Lori told a story about working in a senior facility in Manhattan. A 90-year-old woman who “dressed like Joan from ‘Mad Men'” walked into Lori’s office one day and said, “I went to the doctor, and it’s official: I’m pregnant.”

Old people can be hilarious!

BUT that night, the Joan lady died of a stroke. WAH WAHHHH. Sad. Double sad. She was so vivacious!

Overall, the sort of theme of tonight’s sermon was that we have to stop sleepwalking through life so that when we die (AT ANY MOMENT), we won’t have any regrets about everything we didn’t do. We’ll just be like, time to die. “High five!” (That’s a direct quote from Rabbi Lori.)

That makes me think of Don’s snap-out-of-it episode this past week. He assessed his life and was not happy with what he saw. So he’s trying to change.

What am I doing?

It’s interesting to resolve NOT to sleep-walk through life on Yom Kippur, because one of those most intriguing aspects of this day is that we’re living like the dead (and/or vampires). Not eating. Not drinking. Not bathing. Not sexing each other up (okay, maybe not so much like vampires). Just kinda walking around in a cloud. (And generally trying to sleep as much as possible, to get through the 25 hours of no food or drink.)

I like the idea of being a ghost for a day, because I’m all about quiet observation. (A paradox for those of you who know me, because I’m maybe more known for being at the center of loud conversations.) But I also very much like the idea of coming through that cloud, finding some sort of clarity, and living a more lifey life for the other 364-ish days of the year.

Ironically, my major resolution is to write more, which is kind of a ghosty/sleepwalky pursuit.

Rabbi Lori ended her sermon with, “Let the games begin.” Very Hunger Games. Yom Kippur is totally a hunger game.

Whether or not I break the fast (and I may be masochistic tomorrow and post some of my backlogged food pics), the official snack of Yom Kippur, according to Rabbi Lori, is air.

I’m going to go to sleep now, but I’ll leave you with a midnight snack… I took this in Long Beach two weeks ago, but I’m feeling too lazy to tag it.

Are you full yet?

Looks like the walls of my bedroom at my house house. Very relaxing.

An easy fast to those of you who are going to do it up. I’m always tempted to GO THERE, but I think I’m going to try to stick to my non-fasting guns this year. With all the sickness going around, I’m not keen on weakening my immune system. (And in fact, my resting/eating habits on Yom Kippur are sorta like a preemptive sick day… mostly water and broths.)

Good night, and good luck.

Oh, and I’m totally wearing my “Mad Men”-style dress to services tomorrow.



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