I had an interesting reaction to something that I posted on the book’s Facebook page. A woman who I don’t believe I’ve ever met in person, but whom I interact with regularly online left a comment about a reading I have scheduled at the Pacific Standard bar in Brooklyn, on the fateful date of September 26th.
Pacific Standard happens to be one of my favorite local bars, and not only because they cater to the beer snob in me. They also take an active role in supporting the literary scene in Brooklyn, with regular readings, including a monthly series hosted by my other project, the parenting website DadWagon (“Proudly profane”–that’s us, according to the New Yorker), which is, in fact, hosting this reading (for those interested, by the way, we’ll be GIVING AWAY FREE BEERS TO THE FIRST 36 PEOPLE TO SHOW UP that night–plus an extra freebie to whoever can figure out why we chose that number).
Anyway, the 26th happens to be Yom Kippur, the day when good Jews skip bagels, forgo coffee, and even head to temple to atone for their sins. It was this scheduling quirk that my Facebook friend noticed and posted about: “I see that one of your readings is sept 26th,” she wrote. “Did you realize that date is YOM KIPUR!!! WHAT KIND OF JEW DOES A READING ON YOMKIPUR.”
I didn’t. And, basically, this seems the sort of statement anyone reading my book could put forth to me in just about every context. What kind of Jew…add your complaint. Now, I’m not speaking ill of this person, whose is very nice and completely right–it’s insensitive to schedule a reading for a book about Judaism on a day of religious significance.
In my defense, I scheduled the reading way in advance, quite without checking a calendar, Jewish or Roman. And in a case of post-factual alibis, I have decided it’s no big deal. The reading isn’t set to start until 7pm that night, and in all likelihood, won’t get going until 7:30pm, after the introductions and whatnot. According to Chabad.org, which has an online candle-lighting and holiday times device on its website, Yom Kippur ends at 7:26pm. I should be good, and if any observant Jews want to come on the late side, it’s no skin off my nose. Either way, I won’t raise a glass (or take a bite) until 7:26pm.