The perils of autocorrect

We’ve all had an experience with autocorrect. Our overly zealous word-processing programs have stepped in to change a word we’ve written into something else entirely. This happens a lot to me because I often make up terms like “cancerversary” and “Dr. Radi-o” in my blog.

This leads me to today’s story, which I probably should not be writing on Yom Kippur, the most pious day of the Jewish calendar. While good Jews are at synagogue, repenting for their sins against God, I am at home writing. There you go: the day isn’t even over and I’m already sinning against God.

An important part of this observance is fasting from sundown yesterday until sundown today, after which the self-deniers get together to break the fast. For many years, whether I attended synagogue or not, I abstained from eating on Yom Kippur along with my tribe mates. Except that I don’t fast anymore. I haven’t since I was diagnosed with my blood clot in 2000. Blood thinning medication is affected by many things, including what and how much people eat and drink.

Thank goodness Judaism is a compassionate religion. Since my medical challenges have prohibited fasting, God has granted me a pass. I imagine other religions would show some flexibility in comparable situations.

But there’s one catch now: I haven’t been on blood thinners for some time, and blood thinners were the primary reason I ate on Yom Kippur. So, against my better judgement, I did some internet research to determine whether I was making excuses to avoid the discomfort of not eating, or whether I’d be safe to fast again.

The research I found–funny how I can always find health research to support my biases–suggested that, blood thinners or not, fasting is out. Fasting could endanger my already taxed liver, and it’s contraindicated for immunocompromised people like me. Thank goodness, I’m still off the hook.

My dear friend M., a more pious sort than me, has spent the day in synagogue. Despite her busy day of atoning (although I doubt she has much of anything to atone for–I should have offered up my sins to help her pass the time), M. invited me to her house for what we Jews call a “break fast” at sundown today. I declined, partly because breaking the fast with people who have not eaten only compounds my guilt for not depriving myself like my fellow Jews.

But then I reread M.’s email. Her autocorrect, in the spirit of a controlling relative, changed her invitation from “break fast” to “breakfast”. That darn program just couldn’t help itself. Breakfast sounds like the perfect invitation for me on Yom Kippur. I could fast while I slept, and ate when I woke up like I do every day.

Oh my gosh, did I miss the party? M. is the consummate entertainer, and she always has the best food. Why didn’t I read her invitation more carefully? I could have told her I’d be available. I was not at synagogue this morning and I woke up mighty hungry. What was on the menu, M.? Did I miss bacon? I could have sinned yet again before noon today. Oh well, there’s always next year.

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