by Stacia Friedman

I am a secular Jew. I don’t go to synagogue. Not even on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year. I do not fast during the 24 hours when God opens the Book of Life (not available on Kindle) and decides who’s been naughty and who’s been nice. At the age of 11, I made a heroic effort to keep the fast, which I broke three hours later due to the siren call of a package of Mallomars.

In spite of my lack of religious observance, I participate in my own version of the spiritual house-cleaning we Jews are obliged to do at Yom Kippur. This involves looking deeply into the cluttered warehouse of my psyche and asking forgiveness of those whom I have wronged “knowingly or unknowingly” and to vow to do better going forward. I appreciate the “unknowingly” category. It’s as if the Almighty understands how hectic things can get down here.

So, here is my list of inappropriate thoughts and behaviors for which I ask forgiveness:

• Wanting Kentucky clerk Kim Davis to be a selected as a participant on “The Biggest Loser” with Richard Simmons as her personal trainer.

• Asking telemarketers in Mumbai for their private home numbers so I could call them back during their dinner hour.

• Wishing every undocumented Mexican immigrant could be replaced instantly by a Syrian immigrant just to see the look on Donald Trump’s face.

• Wondering why Kim Kardashian, who was born with a lovely figure, opted to have the trunk of a 1952 Dodge implanted in her rear.

• Telling dinner dates it’s okay that they forgot to bring wine to a BYOB, then accidentally spilling hot soup in their lap.

• Hoping Sarah Palin is once again chosen as a GOP running mate just because it will bring Tina Fey back to SNL.

• Posting countless videos of cavorting baby animals on Facebook, even though I’m pretty sure they all contain computer viruses created by hackers in Uzbekistan.

• Stepping on my geriatric cat when I get out of bed at 3 a.m. (But, hey, I’m not the one who’s got night vision)

• Mistakenly believing, along with the pundits, that Trump was merely promoting a new reality TV show and not seriously planning on turning 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue into an exclusive golf resort.

• Convincing myself that chocolate really is an anti-oxidant. (And so is pepperoni pizza.)

• Wishing Hillary would stop playing the Doting Grandma card and show off her exceptional intellect, even if it means using big words that the average American doesn’t understand.

• Wanting to give Caitlyn Jenner posture lessons like my mother gave me. Young ladies don’t walk with a “wide stance” and swing their arms like primates.

• Buying five new outfits for my membership at a fitness center which I just can’t seem to fit into my schedule.

• Taking Ben Carson to the Museum of Natural History and having him explain exactly what it is about Evolution that he doesn’t get.

• Making jokes about Evangelicals embracing Bernie Sanders as the Second Coming when, in fact, they are welcoming him with open arms on conservative Christian college campuses where students think Socialism has something to do with Twitter.

• Believing the Democratic Party will come to its senses, realize that the election has regressed to low brow entertainment, and give the people what they want — Jon Stewart!

• For all of the above inappropriate thoughts and actions, I ask forgiveness.

Mt. Airy resident Stacia Friedman is the founder of and the author of “Tender is the Brisket.”

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