Bump in the trunk! Jews rushing to get caffeine suppositories

The Brooklyn Paper
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Not so fast!

Jews throughout Williamsburg snapped up caffeine suppositories today, hours before the start of the Yom Kippur fast that would deprive them of the jolt — and hunger suppression — that coffee typically provides.

The day-long fast is the centerpiece of the holiest day on the Jewish calendar — but some religious Jews see a Talmudic loophole that allows them to ingest their daily dose of caffeine, albeit through a different orifice.

“It helps — you know, it’s hard to concentrate when you’re fasting and also addicted to caffeine,” said Baruch Herzfeld, an Orthodox Jew who owns a bike store in Williamsburg. “Some take it before sundown, but most take it throughout their fasting. These guys love a good loophole.”

These huge, rectally inserted pills are popular. Pharmacists at Rafieh — one of many distributors in south Williamsburg on Lee Avenue — sold nearly 150 suppositories today.

“We have caffeine suppositor­ies!” the store’s handwritten sign heralded. “Be ready!”

But is it kosher?

There’s some controversy over whether Jews observing the Biblical fast should be taking an easy out (or, more accurately, in).

Some Jewish leaders said that consuming anything — through the body’s traditional entrance or its exit — is against the spirit of the ritualistic fast.

“We’re supposed to do it the old fashioned way — I wouldn’t advise [supposito­ries],” said Rabbi Simcha Weinstein, a Hasidic leader. “We wanna keep Jews in the synagogue and not in the bathroom.”

Updated 5:20 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Bob Scott from Brooklyn Heights says:

I guess that's what's meant by having an "easy fast"!
Sept. 17, 2010, 4:36 pm
Annick from 11211 says:
Caffeine is medicine, basically. It is a vasodilator that causes severe headaches in some if they abruptly withdraw from it. Okay, so it's only for a day for (the holiest day of the year for many); but I am going to get some suppositories for myself. It'll be a present to my ulcered stomach.
Sept. 17, 2010, 4:36 pm
Or from Yellow Hook says:
I object to this Innuendo!
Sept. 17, 2010, 4:42 pm
Mr. Rat from Sewer says:
What smell?
Sept. 17, 2010, 11:41 pm
Chuck from Park Slope says:
I guess since it's not really eating you could order a BLT the same way. It would give new meaning to ordering it "down".
Sept. 18, 2010, 8:19 am
JM says:
Thank you for this article. What else/Who else do you know to write about and disrespect? I am sure you will go far in your pay for the article (or is this a blog) career instead of a salaried journalistic job. FYI: I am not Jewish.
You are offensive. In this day and age, Jews seem to be the only ones who care about religion and God and you are denigrading them, God, their holiday and their celebration of it. I hope this was a paid adventure for you and you received your 10 cents per word for your nastiness.
Sept. 18, 2010, 4:51 pm
dude from park slope says:
these peeps are gross
Sept. 18, 2010, 6:33 pm
jgold from willi says:
“It helps — you know, it’s hard to concentrate when you’re fasting and also addicted to caffeine,” said Baruch Herzfeld, an Orthodox Jew who owns a bike store in Williamsburg. “Some take it before sundown, but most take it throughout their fasting. These guys love a good loophole.” When a self hating Jew like this guy, start talking, who need antisemitic comments here, He do just fine
Sept. 18, 2010, 8:16 pm
K. from ArKady says:
Starbucks should definitely offer a branded version of this.
Sept. 18, 2010, 10:59 pm
Sheena from Clinton hill says:
Ha Ha Your a funny rabbi Maybee rabbi you show me how to stickit in the rabbinical way?
Sept. 19, 2010, 2:31 pm
Walter from Manhattan says:
Shhh... Don't tell Eric Cartman....
Sept. 19, 2010, 4:51 pm
Roberta from Park Slope says:
I wonder if the Brooklyn Paper would be prepared to take on Ramadan and Mohammed the same way they did with this Jewish holiday.
Sept. 19, 2010, 4:53 pm
John says:
Ok Roberta lets try it: Mohamad said to fast thirty days (30 ) days. So muslims are sticking it up up their asses to get a caffine rush. oh man they will stone me
Sept. 19, 2010, 5:28 pm
jimmy from dumbo says:
Why do people still follow a religion if they spend so much time and energy finding ways around thier stupid rules. Give it a rest. Join the human race and stop worshipping gods. This goes for chritians, jews, muslims (especially muslims), etc. Just hate people because you hate them. Stop blaming it on make believe wizards in the sky.
Sept. 20, 2010, 9:48 am
Anticrack from Brooklyn says:
Oh and forgot... Don't get mad when the almighty cheats you out of your place upstairs... By sticking YOU up HIS rear....
Sept. 20, 2010, 10:33 am
petey from yorkville says:
is this a hoax?
Sept. 20, 2010, 11:13 am
Phil E. Drifter from Philly says:
Just goes to show you: religitards are retarded. "Yeah god loves you, that's why he wants you to SUFFER!" Morons, every one of them. jews, christians, muslims (anyone who identifies themselves religious in any way deserves absolutely no respect and absolutely will not get any from me, including capitalization)

There is no god. Get over it.
Sept. 20, 2010, 11:45 am
Phil E. Drifter from Philly says:
Hey JM:

Freedom of the press. If these dumbass (in more ways than 1?) jews didn't want to discuss their stupid little satanic voodoo rituals, no one was twisting their arms. They voluntarily gave up this information. (More evidence of how stupid they are.)

Funny how we (the planet) went from polytheistic religions (Norse, Greek, Roman) and then monotheistic religions, and of course Christianity, which tries to sit with the monotheistic religions but even THEY are special/different: "There's ONE god but he takes 3 shapes: the father, the son, the holy ghost!" Give me a break.

I was subjected to 12 years of catholic school, where in high school i took AP Algebra, AP Pre-calc/trig, AP Calc, 2 years AP bio and 2 years AP chem. I also played tenor sax for 3 years and spent all 4 on Stage Crew after school.

Oh, and those stupid, retarded religion classes, which had no AP track.

Religion is a cancer of the planet that is preventing further evolution.

You are not so special that you get to live forever in some wonderful place after your body dies, etc etc etc. You are stupid for believing such garbage.
Sept. 20, 2010, 11:54 am
Morey Soffo from 5 Points says:
Wow! Talk about giving a guy the bum's rush!
Sept. 20, 2010, 1:53 pm
Pearl from Sea View says:
Totally anus! It sounds delicious - where does one buy caffine suppositories?
Sept. 20, 2010, 2:06 pm
All Night Long from Williamsboig says:
Must. Have. Now.
No more paying $8 for Red Bulls up in the club.
Just pop one of these babys in ye old back door before going out!
They should be sold at every bodega and, thanks to the Bklyn Paper, with the brand name: "Bump in the Trunk"
Bonus: It's Kosher!
Sept. 20, 2010, 2:49 pm
Paul Wilson from Bergenfield NJ says:
Yom Kippur is also observed by heretic Christians . I am glad I am NOT a member of those sects. They ARE very small -few people want to join a sect with 500-600 Commandments instead of just 10. You'd think Jesus didn't accomplish ANYTHING by dying on the cross.

I am also glad that I am not an orthodox Jew!
Sept. 20, 2010, 5:48 pm
Jimmy from Toronto says:
This is absolutely hilarious. I can't believe people have this level of belief in a supposedly civilized country.

Wake up, religion the oldest con in the world.

On a side note I had a couple guys in a van try to sell me a surround sound system out of a van in parking lot today. Haven't seen that scam in years.
Sept. 20, 2010, 8:04 pm
K. from Arkady says:
@AllNightLong: I like "bump in the trunk", but I propose "The Stink Eye Opener".

BTW, what's with all the haters above? People stick all strange order of madness up their keisters, why can't jews?
Sept. 20, 2010, 9:09 pm
His Brother from New Jerusalem says:
Hey boys, why gnash your teeth now in the short time you have left?
You know who I'm talking to.
At the end of the age you will have all eternity to gnash the old incisors. why not enjoy what little reward you have right now, instead of wasting it burning with anger and rage?
Someday you will think back on this post and rage even more. Sad really.
Sept. 21, 2010, 12:14 am
Al from Magliana says:
@jimmy from Toronto, Phil E. Drifter, and others,

Wow, you mean you're atheists? Whoa, that's so edgy and counterculture! And original! The Baby Boomers totally didn't already do this like 40 years ago. Telling religious people that they're delusional....that's hard core man. As is moving to Brooklyn and then telling everyone that you're "from Brooklyn" and incessantly talking about how cool Brooklyn is. I'm agnostic, but it would be cool if there is a god just so that when smug turds like you die, you go to hell.
Sept. 21, 2010, 6:01 am
UrsusRexx from Da' Bronx! says:
As long as these people want to do this, as THEIR 'celebration' of Infinity, fine w/ me!
When you come to me, to tell me I MUST do this...or have that unwanted pregnancy, OR engage in group-murder, ('Holy War'), or burn my, (gay, married), neighbors to death, sorry!
I'll continue to take my chances, venerating the Old Gods: Odin & Thor, their wives, my totem-valkyrie, ('Polar Bear'), etc.
Onward to Ragnarok!
BTW: What kinda suppostory should Christine O'Donnell, T-bagger candidate from Deleware, (temporarily) take, while she decides the 'Satan - Vs - Jesus - vs. Masturbatory Deity' question for us all?
Sept. 21, 2010, 8:23 am
Catherine says:

You fast for a day. Is it really that difficult to abstain for one day? Honestly, just drink the stupid coffee. You aren't a very good Jew if you are looking for freakin' loopholes. I didn't drink coffee for 9 months when I was pregnant. And I LOVE coffee. If I can avoid the caffeine for months I would think the rest of you could for ONE DAY.
Sept. 21, 2010, 2:05 pm
Ben from The Desert says:
Red Flags!

I think it's great that religious people keep doing plainly crazy things, so we all know they're crazy. These are warning signs. Symptoms if you will. ——, I wish religious people all dressed funny, like the orthodox Hebrews and Muslims, so you could tell at a glance ... without having to know this level of detail.
Sept. 21, 2010, 2:19 pm
Tom from Woolrich says:
These suppositories aren't just for Jewish people during Yom Kippur. I use them all year long simply to avoid having coffee breath and staining my teeth. Plus it's way cheaper than Starbucks.
Sept. 21, 2010, 10:56 pm
Jeff from San Fernando Valley, CA says:
To: Phil E. Drifter from Philly

False Religion is a cancer of the planet that is preventing further...enlightenment. "If you live like there is no Hell, you had better be right." Please read " A Divine Revelation of Hell" by Mary K. Baxter.
Sept. 22, 2010, 9 am
Jeff from San Fernando Valley, CA says:
To: JM

Why are you shooting the messenger? It should be of note that anyone claiming to "fast" while observing a religious holiday, yet cheats their way through it, should be called on it. It's like people who want to wear the badge of being vegetarian, yet the only meet they don't eat is red meat. In reality, they are not vegetarians. They simply do not eat red meat. That's a huge difference. In this particular case, "Don't say you are fasting, while you are still intaking nutrition of any sort, in anyway, regardless of how it is being taken."
Sept. 22, 2010, 9:09 am
Fr. Murphy from da Vatican says:
My altarboys and I practice celibacy the same way.
Sept. 23, 2010, 10:10 pm
Schlomo from Uranus (heh heh, get it? "Your anus"?) says:
But what do I do with the bagel?
Sept. 23, 2010, 10:23 pm
Schlomo from (See above) says:
Never mind--a little more schmier was all that bagel needed. Now she's wedged in there real good.
Sept. 23, 2010, 10:25 pm
Madoff Kikeman from Treblinka says:
You see my brothers, we must stay alert at all times so as to more effectively swindle the goyim into fighting our wars while we rob them blind through usury.
Sept. 24, 2010, 12:32 am
Kami says:
Sept. 27, 2010, 11:33 am
Mike Wade from Brooklyn says:
I have heard of people talking out of their ass, but now they are eating with the ass. What will they think of next.
Sept. 28, 2010, 1:31 am
Bob says:
Wow, I thought the Jewish paranoia posts were bad (JM) until I scrolled down to the anti-Semitic posts (Phil E. Drifter).
Can't we all just admit that taking caffeine suppositories to avoid breaking fast is, you know, funny?
Sept. 30, 2010, 2:45 pm
mars from sydney says:
these supposed to be religious purpose to fast,
just for one day, try to lived in southeast asia and be poor, from time to time we skip eating and it no big deal! You westerner and you lives of Excesses!!
Nov. 5, 2013, 4:56 am
Me from Bk says:
OK Let me just say that 1. I am Orthodox and 2. I think this is ridiculous too. BUTT.... Stop all the hate talk. Let's not mix up being religious with being nuts
Sept. 28, 2014, 10:38 pm

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