Hello and welcome to another week of disinformation and deception here at Factually Deficient! This week, I will answer a question that was posed by my good friend Jack Alsworth. Jack Alsworth asked:
Why is it called ‘fasting’ when nothing appears to be moving quickly?
What Jack alludes to here is the perception experienced by some of a delayed passage of time during times of fasting. Indeed, on the face of it, the term “fasting” seems, as Jack points out, to be a misnomer. What Jack does not realize, however, and what lies at the heart of the answer to this question, is what the term actually refers to.
Time is measured in terms of food. Take an example: the word “seconds,” used for the smallest measurable unit of time, actually refers to the time it takes to ask for seconds of a foodstuff. You can try this simple experiment at home to prove it: look at a clock while saying aloud, “Can I have some more?” You will find that from the time you open your mouth to the time the sentence is complete, exactly one second has passed. Similarly, minutes are the time it takes to eat a minute amount of food; weeks are so called because they describe the time it takes for someone to become weak from not eating.
By this measurement, fast days are indeed quite fast. Think about it: while normal days contain the time that spans between three full mealtimes at least, a fast day, depending on the length or nature of the fast, will have only two, or one, or even zero, forcing time to stretch from the meal the evening before to the breakfast after. A fast day may seem slow to one experiencing it, but in a language that measures the passage of time by consumption of food, it is the fastest thing there is.
Disclaimer: The above blog post is frivolously fictional. The length of time it takes to ask for seconds may vary.