Welcome to year 9 of 10 yamim clean, which marks the 10 days between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur with introspective ritual. We are so tired of the OG cleanse.
For newcomers: the first few years of the cleanse involved a dietary challenge: eat a vegan diet, foods without added sugar, foods from a package with no more than 3 ingredients, and foods without gluten. In later years, we ate within the constraints of the daily $4.10 (at the time) SNAP benefit — for every dollar spent over that amount, we donated twice as much to a food justice organization. Two years ago, we switched it up with a no-single-use plastics challenge. It was one of our favorites. Last year, with the burden of the pandemic, we asked that you take care of yourselves during these 10 days.
This year, we will honor the Shmita year, a biblical agricultural practice that occurs every seven years. “Shmita,” or release, includes leaving the land to lie fallow the 7th year, and releasing all debts held for neighbors as a year-long communal and land sabbath. One interpretation of Shmita is that its purpose is for communal health (as opposed to Shabbat, which is for the individual) — to replenish the fertility of the land and to minimize widening economic inequalities by removing sources of power from the owning class. (We gathered much of this information from Jews United for Justice – check out this link for more on Shmita year).
Instead of focusing on our own diets, the 10-yamim-clean parameters this year honor communal healing. To participate in this year’s cleanse, please prepare 2 meals for people who might be having a harder time than you during the 10 days between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. Maybe a friend who has family in the hospital, a group of people sleeping in tents near your house, a neighbor struggling with anxiety. If you already do this kind of thing, double your efforts.
If you’re in Oakland, there are town fridges (https://www.instagram.com/townfridge/?hl=en) in need of food. There are also community fridges all over NYC (https://nycfridge.com/). And in San Diego (https://www.instagram.com/sdfridgeprojects/?hl=en).
During the pandemic, those who have lost income due to illness or closing of businesses have sacrificed for the common good. They have lost work in order to protect our communal health from the spread of the virus. Those who were able to keep their income have an obligation to protect those who weren’t by releasing them from debt and poverty. So, along with our cooking challenge, we are encouraging people to donate to rent relief funds, mutual aid organizations, or other groups that work to correct economic inequality. Here are a few we have in mind: Causa Justa, https://jfcs-eastbay.org/, or https://www.cityheightscdc.org/.
We’ll be continuing to post on the blog and using this listserve as a source of inspiration. If you’d like to stick with the ole cleanse rules during the 10 days, we support it! If you’d like to be removed from this listserv, please respond directly to Arielle or Shaina.
So, are you in? Let us know if you’re up for the challenge! Two meals to our neighbors.
Love, Shaina and Arielle
- The only rules of the cleanse this year are to serve 2 meals to people between the 10 days of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. This rule honors the biblical Shmita practice.
- Please consider donating to a rent relief fund, or a community org of your choice
We’ll be continuing to post on our blog and using this listserve as a source of inspiration. If you’d like to be removed from this listserve, please respond directly to Arielle or Shaina.