Yom Kippur has come and gone. This year, it was on a Shabbos, making it even holier (and maybe making me more hungry). This was my first year fasting, and I found it harder than the other 25-hour fast of the year (Tisha B’Av), because we have to pray for 7+ hours on Yom Kippur. I think that it is necessary to fast. It gives it a different perspective from the other holidays. Fasting makes the day holier, in a way.
I think the fast has become an important part of Yom Kippur because everybody does it. You have to fast on Yom Kippur. There are thousands of Jews who go to synagogue three times a year- twice for Rosh Hashanah and once for Yom Kippur. It has become a rule of thumb to do so. The fast brings the true spirit of Judaism on this one day. The fast is supposed to help us concentrate on our prayers and yearning for God, and in my opinion, it truly does.