Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Finally: A Solution to Yom Kippur Fast Headaches

When the Renegade Rebbetzin used blog, she often mentioned how much she hated fasting...whether it also impacted her Yom Kippur davening is all too obvious...
My [Yom Kippur] daavening was awful. Simply awful. I don't remember ever experiencing less of an awareness of the fact that it was Yom Kippur.

There was a moment - a quick succession of moments, actually - near the end of the silent Shmoneh Esrei of Neilah, wherein I suddenly began to feel That Connection forming, the Yom Kippur connection, the kind I used to feel. And just as the feeling began to slowly seep through me, and somewhere in the back of my head I began to think I may actually have one precious moment of true daavening - of real avoda she'ba-lev - just as I was beginning to flood with relief, and to open my heart to pour out whatever's been buried in there, just at that moment - wouldn't you know it - a pair of arms flings around my legs, and a dear little voice whispers "Why is everyone standing? Can I go to Daddy now? Is it still Yom Kippur? Why is that lady punching herself? Do you think Max has any more caramels?" And so forth.

Stupid kids.
If only she still blogged...she would know that headaches on the the Day of Atonement are unnecessary, says Dr. Zev (Jeremy) Wimpfheimer, a senior physician in the emergency medicine department of Jerusalem's Shaare Zedek Medical Center. Wimpfheimer is testing a drug which, taken in pill form before the fast, will hopefully prevent those fasting from developing a headache. He wants about 200 people to try it before the onset of the 25-hour fast Wednesday evening. [source: JPost]
Performed in cooperation with Dr. Michael Drescher, the associate director of emergency medicine of Hartford Hospital in Connecticut, the study is designed to determine the feasibility of applying a "commonly used and proven-safe drug" to help people fast without getting headaches.

The particular drug chosen for the study is a clinically effective anti-inflammatory pain-relief compound with a favorable side effect profile, whose particular qualities make it effective even long after being ingested.

"With Yom Kippur lasting for over 25 hours, the effects of this drug, which include headache prevention, remain even at the end of the fast," said Wimpfheimer.
It's not too late!!!
While initial research seems to support the hypothesis that this drug will help fasters get through the day, this Yom Kippur will be the first time the drug will be available to the general public to provide real validation. Wimpfheimer said that while typically this pill is only provided to patients at a high cost, for the purposes of this study, healthy people living in Israel can get it for free. The single pill is taken orally just before the beginning of the fast and test participants will be asked to fill out a short questionnaire afterwards. Anyone who wants to participate in the study by Wednesday should e-mail ykheadache@gmail.com or call 054-627-2867.

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד


Gil Student said...

Zev is Jeremy's older brother.

Jack said...

We need a pill like that in the states.

faith/emuna said...

i would highly caution people to think more then twice b4 participating. if, for whatever reason, you have some sort of adverse reaction to this pill you are stuck. yom kippur is not the time to experiment. try it on a less stringent fast so that if anything goes wrong you can call the doctor and have a drink of water. gmar chatima tova

Ahuva said...

I've been waiting for a pill like this to come out! Oddly though it's as if it won't feel like the genuine experience without the trademark headache..also I would hate for the pill to backfire on me in the midst of Yom Kippur

YMedad said...

My wife always told me that headaches prove you have a head. And I would add that fasts prove you have a soul.

P.S. did you get the Obiter Dicta post?

Baila said...

Every year, I tell my mother to start weaning herself off her morning cup of coffee (and the midday and evening cups as well) well in advance of Y"K so that she wouldn't suffer so much on the day of the fast. She never said so in so many words, but the look on her face says, "but I enjoy the suffering".

Have an easy fast.

triLcat said...

Pregnant women are disqualified from the study.

Lion of Zion said...


"I tell my mother to start weaning herself off her morning cup of coffee"

the pharmacies do a brisk business in caffeine suppositories before a fast

Yaakov said...

Sorry to be asking a mundane question on erev yom hadin, when the entire world is awaiting a sentence BUT when is SRUGIM going to be downloaded, did it show on Monday night in Israel.
LMK, irkodesh1@gmail.com

Elchonon said...

I drink ALOT of coffee, it really does not effect me on yom kipur as I am a late riser and its not unusual for me to have my first cup at 3pm hehe.. but fasting sucked.

btw my father is a pharmacist.. if we complained to him about headaches on ast days he offers us a pain killer that you stick up your rear end.. it aint pretty but ive done it.. (if youve ad surgery 14 times like me youve had it done dozens of times too)

Just thought i'd add that my word verification is.. "doyou"

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