Why I Didn’t Talk for The Duration of Yom Kippur

Jews throughout time and space have a practice of atoning during Yom Kippur by refraining from eating and drinking for 25 hours. From time to time, including this year, I choose to add to my dietary fast by voluntarily abstaining from speech, too.

Evidently this practice is called Taanit Dibbur (a speech fast), but I only learned that after I had already adopted the practice about five years ago. (You can find out more with a Google search.) I am not a rabbi or Torah scholar, but I am a mom, wife, daughter, sister, friend, attorney, writer, trustee and advocate. Thus, words and speech are the very stuff of my life. Like most stuff, words can accumulate, get cluttered, and need to be purged from my mental space. For this reason, taanit dibbur is a valuable clarifying spiritual exercise I highly recommend.