The Jerusalem Post

Yom Kippur's strangest trend: Meet the caffeine suppository

 Caffeine suppositories for Yom Kippur (photo credit: DAPA Images)
Caffeine suppositories for Yom Kippur
(photo credit: DAPA Images)

The 25-hour Yom Kippur fast can be even more diffcult for those addicted to caffeine. Here is how some orthodox Jews found a "backdoor solution."

Yom Kippur, the holiest day in Judaism, devoted to atonement and repentance, also involves a 25-hour fast that poses a unique challenge for coffee aficionados. For those accustomed to several cups a day, abstaining from coffee on this day can lead to headaches and dizziness.

While some opt to gradually reduce their caffeine intake in the week leading up to Yom Kippur, a recent trend has emerged – the use of caffeine suppositories available in various pharmacies across Israel and the US. These pharmacies primarily cater to orthodox Jewish communities, where full-day fasting is more common.

In the past, these caffeine suppositories were custom-made by Israeli pharmacies upon request. However, legal changes now require them to be purchased from authorized pharmaceutical companies. While many pharmacies may demand a prescription, others, especially those in ultra-orthodox areas, sell them over the counter.


An unconventional method

Caffeine suppositories provide an unconventional method of drug administration. These compact, typically round or cone-shaped inserts are placed in the body, through the rectum. Once inserted, they gradually dissolve or melt, releasing the caffeine.

Admittedly, this may not offer the most comfortable user experience. Fortunately, these basic drug delivery devices are reasonably priced, typically costing around NIS 15-20 for a supply that lasts throughout the fast.

 Coffee (credit: SHUTTERSTOCK)
Coffee (credit: SHUTTERSTOCK)

Comedian Talia Reese recently addressed this phenomenon in one of her performances, humorously remarking, "Leave it to the Jews to come up with a backdoor plan."