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51 (Yom Kippur cont’d | ヨム・キプール 続き)

September 20, 2010

This year’s Yom Kippur ended up being far more memorable than we expected. We never thought it would involve a cat with a bladder blown up to the size of a tennis ball, or a birthday girl knocked out from pain killers.

Yom Kippur started from sundown, which was around 5:20pm this year, and ended an hour after sundown the day after, around 6:20pm. At approximately 6am, about midway of the 25 hours, I was awoken by a consistent cry, which I first thought was the baby of the couple whose house we were staying at. But once the baby herself started to cry, even in my sleep I understood the first cries were not the baby. Then it must be the… cat. I slipped back in and out of sleep for a few hours, wondering, wow, do they wake up to this every day?

The cat was more or less howling by the time Yuval and I woke up and joined everyone in the living room. The owners waited until 10am to call their vet, despite it being Yom Kippur. Their vet was actually from our kibbutz, and upon hearing the cat’s howls over the phone he told our friends to bring the cat over right away. He advised them to take alternative roads going through Arab villages to avoid possible rock throwing from fasting Jews.

Yuval decided to go along with the husband, his friend from childhood. While the two men went off with the cat, the four women that stayed back in the house had another issue to tackle: one of us woke up with a throbbing toothache. She didn’t have such luck with her dentist and had no choice but to rub some vodka in to her gums (the only “rubbing alcohol” in the house) and take the strongest pain killers available. This resulted in her waking up every 3 hours when the drugs wore off (and the pain came back), only to take another pill and be knocked out again. As if matters could get any worse, it was her birthday.

The men returned safely without any rocks being thrown at them. They reported that the cat was howling because his bladder had been blocked. The vet took an X-ray and showed them the poor cat’s bladder inflated to the size of a tennis ball. The cat is fine now, they said, but is required to stay at the vet for three days. If they hadn’t brought the cat in when they had, the vet told them he would have died.

Despite all these unimaginable events that took the focus away from Yom Kippur itself (although at the same time being made even more memorable because it all happened on Yom Kippur), some discussions had about the day when all humans and animals were still okay stuck with me. In particular, the girl that would wake up the next morning with a toothache had said that she likes the idea of Jews around the world being united in fasting and reflecting. It’s very powerful, she had said.

No doubt this would be one of the most unusual Yom Kippurs for a while.

今年のヨム・キプールは想像をはるかに超える印象的な祝日となりました。なにせ、膀胱がテニスボールほどの大きさに膨れ上がった猫や、誕生日を祝福されるはずの友達が痛み止めの効果のせいでほとんど寝たきりになるなんて、予想してませんでしたから。

ヨム・キプールは日没から始まります。今年は午後5時20分頃。終了は翌日の日没から1時間後の午後6時20分頃。合計25時間のおよそ中間点の朝6時頃、ある泣き声に起こされました。泊まっていた夫婦の赤ちゃんが起きたんだなと思いながらうとうとしていると今度は先ほどの泣き声とは別に赤ちゃん本人の泣き声が。では最初の泣き声は猫??疑問に思いながらもまたうとうと。この家庭では毎朝この泣き声のコーラスで始まるのかしら??などと思いながら。

数時間後に起きた時には猫の泣き声はうめき声にエスカレートしていました。夫婦は10時まで待って、ヨム・キプールであるにも関わらずいつもお世話になっている獣医さんに電話をかけました。獣医さんは偶然にも私たちが住んでいるキブツの人で、電話で猫の鳴き声を聞くと今すぐ連れて来るよう言いました。断食をしているユダヤ人に石を投げつけられる可能性を避けるために、アラブ系の村を通る道のりを教えてくれました。

ユバルは幼なじみである旦那さんと獣医さんに付き添うことに。男性二人が猫と外出中、家に残った女性四人はまた別のトラブルで困っていました。一人がかなり重傷の歯痛に悩まされていたからです。いつもの歯医者さんはつかまらないし、なにせヨム・キプールなのでどこも営業していません。できることはウォッカを歯茎にすり込み(家にあった消毒用アルコールに一番近いもの)、夫婦が持っていた痛み止めを服用するのみ。この結果、彼女は約三時間ごとに起きては(痛み止めの効き目がなくなった頃)、また薬を飲んで寝るというパターンを一日中繰り返すことになりました。しかもあいにく、この日は彼女の誕生日だったのです。

男性二人は石を投げつけられることもなく無事帰宅しました。猫の鳴き声の原因は膀胱がつまっていたからとのこと。獣医さんがとったレントゲンに、猫の膀胱がテニスボールぐらいの大きさに腫れ上がった姿がうつっていたようです。もう回復に向かっているけれど、三日間の入院を命じられました。このタイミングで連れて行ってなかったら、猫は死んでしまっただろうと獣医さんが言っていたそうです。

このように予想もしなかった事件によってヨム・キプールそのものにあまり集中できませんでしたが(と同時にヨム・キプール当日に起きたからこそ余計大事件となったのも事実ですが)人間・動物ともにまだ健全の時に起きたヨム・キプールについての様々な会話は印象に残っています。特に印象が強かったのは歯痛が起きる前に言った彼女の言葉で、世界中のユダヤ人がこの日に断食や自分と向き合うことで一体化するのが好きだ、ということでした。とてもパワフルよね、と彼女は言っていました。

間違いなくこのヨム・キプールは何年も忘れることはないでしょう。

Much love,
Kaori

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Jennifer permalink
    September 23, 2010 4:01 am

    What a day you had!
    Big bisous.

    • September 23, 2010 6:14 pm

      Yes, what a day!🙂
      Bisous to you too ma belle xxx

  2. September 23, 2010 1:33 pm

    I hope the poor birthday girl is ok now. Did she need to have a root canal or a filling or something? Just when I got a handle on the intricacies of Yom Kippur, now it’s Sukkot and I have no idea what’s going on again🙂 Nonetheless, chag sameach!

    • September 23, 2010 6:15 pm

      Not sure if it was a root canal… but I hope she’s okay now too!
      I’m feeling exactly the same… all these holidays all at once, it’s a bit too much isn’t it🙂
      Chag sameach to you too!!

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