Williamsburg, NY - Jews Rushing to Get Caffeine Suppositories for Yom Kipper
Williamsburg, NY - Jews throughout Williamsburg snapped up caffeine suppositories today, hours before the start of the Yom Kippur fast that would deprive them of the jolt β and hunger suppression β that coffee typically provides.
The day-long fast is the centerpiece of the holiest day on the Jewish calendar β but some religious Jews see a Talmudic loophole that allows them to ingest their daily dose of caffeine, albeit through a different orafice.
βIt helps β you know, itβs hard to concentrate when youβre fasting and also addicted to caffeine,β said Baruch Herzfeld, an Orthodox Jew who owns a bike store in Williamsburg. βSome take it before sundown, but most take it throughout their fasting. These guys love a good loophole.β
These huge, rectally inserted pills are popular. Pharmacists at Rafieh β one of many distributors in south Williamsburg on Lee Avenue β sold nearly 150 suppositories today.
βWe have caffeine suppositories!β the storeβs handwritten sign heralded. βBe ready!β
But is it kosher?
Thereβs some controversy over whether Jews observing the Biblical fast should be taking an easy out (or, more accurately, in).
Some Jewish leaders said that consuming anything β through the bodyβs traditional entrance or its exit β is against the spirit of the ritualistic fast.
βWeβre supposed to do it the old fashioned way β I wouldnβt advise [suppositories],β said Rabbi Simcha Weinstein, a Hasidic leader. βWe wanna keep Jews in the synagogue and not in the bathroom.β
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