Sunday, March 16, 2014

Fast Lips

"Can I brush my teeth during the fast?"


I don't remember what I said, but I think the question mark sort of covers it.

"You know, nothing is supposed to pass your lips."


I was still fairly clueless.

"It's the fast. Nothing shall pass your lips?"

I suddenly visualized Gandalf in Lord of the Rings, "You shall not pass!"

"Where", I wondered aloud, "did you get that from?"

"Well, you know. I think I read it in the Writings. That's the law, isn't it? Nothing should pass your lips from sunrise to sunset?"

Ah. The old "show it to me in the Writings" issue.

Well, I was sort of curious, so we did a bit of an exercise, my friend and I. While we both agreed that this was not quite how Baha'u'llah phrased the law of fasting, we decided to follow through on this one.

What about bubble gum? I remembered another friend of mine who loved to chew gum. And during the fast, because of that "you shall not pass" issue, he would pop in a stick of gum before sunrise and proceed to chew it all day. After all, it didn't count if it was already past the lips, right? Besides, He said to "abstain from food and drink", and chewing gum is neither, right? (I'll leave that for you to decide, dear Reader.)

So, if the rule was to allow nothing to pass your lips, what if you're sick and have to throw up? Does it count in that direction? (I know. As long as you don't eat it again afterwards, right?) (Ewwwwwwwww.)

Obviously being ill doesn't count, so that's a no-brainer.

But hey, what if we go with that nothing past the lips going in? What about sticking out your tongue? What if you accidentally stick your tongue out at someone? Does that mean you would have to keep your tongue out until sunset? ("What are you doing?" "I'm thathting.")

And what if a bug flies in your mouth? Oh, that's accidental. That doesn't count anyways.

Quite often, when we are fasting, our breath becomes quite nasty. For that, I often chew a piece of parsley, or perhaps swish around some mouthwash. Courtesy, after all, is the prince of all virtues, and I think that's only courteous to those around me.

But, no. In the end, we both saw the silliness of the "nothing past your lips" idea.

And I still have this image of Gandalf, but now he's saying "You shall not floss!"

(My dentist would probably have a heart attack.)

1 comment:

  1. Ask your Jewish friends about caffeine suppositories. (Seriously--this is a thing!)