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Yom Kippur Traditions

Yom Kippur Traditions

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After the fast, celebrate with these ideas

Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish year, is also known as The Day of Atonement. From sundown to sundown, those in observance fast and atone for their sins of the past.

Once the sun sets, families come together to break the fast by eating large meal of breakfast-like foods.
To make sure no work is done during the day, prepare the break fast platters and dishes the day before.

While every family has their own traditional break fast dishes, some common options include:

Plan ahead, because when sundown arrives, family and guests will surely be famished and ready to dive into a bountiful break fast meal.

What to Eat Before and After Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur, literally meaning the "Day of Atonement," is the holiest day of the Jewish year. It is observed eight days after Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. Many believe that on Rosh Hashanah God determines our fate for the coming year, inscribing all of our names in the Books of Life and Death, and on Yom Kippur, the judgment entered in these books is sealed (hence the holiday greeting "Gmar Chatimah Tova"—May you be sealed for good).

The days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are called the Ten Days of Repentance or the Days of Awe. Yom Kippur is, essentially, our last chance to demonstrate repentance so God will seal us in the Book of Life in the upcoming year. As repentance is the theme of the day, Yom Kippur is a day of "self-denial" (Lev. 23-27) with the goal of cleansing ourselves of sins. Prayer services on Yom Kippur are lengthy and solemn, and a 25-hour fast is kept.

To make fasting as easy as possible–and avoid any digestive discomfort as well as excessive thirst–our bodies need to prepare for this fast and eat properly once the fast has ended.

Yom Kippur Break Fast Traditions From Around the World

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Yom Kippur break fast has ballooned into a significant event in the American Jewish calendar over the past couple of decades. Hype has escalated, guests have increased, and menus have become more extravagant. But at the heart of this tradition is classic Ashkenazi fare: bagels, smoked fish, blintzes, and cake.

Photo credit: Chaya Rappoport

It&rsquos the same sort of thing I grew up eating in the U.K., where my family&rsquos Polish and Lithuanian roots dictated that we must bring in and break our fasts on fish. One of my most horrifying childhood memories is returning home from synagogue on Yom Kippur afternoon for a nap to find a huge glass jar on the porch housing whole, pickled herrings &mdash heads and all &mdash delivered by my grandmother for that evening.

We&rsquove added our own twist on break fast fare, influenced by our surroundings &mdash cups of tea with milk alongside our cake, and marmite on our bagels. Correspondingly, a Costa Rican friend serves gallopinto (rice and beans) and platanos maduros (fried plantains) alongside her lox another friend with roots in Baghdad&rsquos Jewish community subs zimsterne for kakas (ring-shaped caraway cookies) and babas (stuffed date cookies).

Outside the Ashkenazi community, however, there are many very different, centuries-old break fast traditions that are tempting enough to ditch the bagels for. Read on to learn more about Yom Kippur break fast traditions from around the globe.

Iraqi Jews know that you can&rsquot beat a drink and bite of something sweet post-fast, turning to crumbly, date-filled cookies and hariri &mdash a homemade sweetened almond milk that&rsquos often flavored with cardamom. Once that&rsquos settled in the stomach, many embark on a full-on meat meal, like t&rsquobeet &mdash a stuffed chicken and rice dish flavored with a mix of warm spices that&rsquos prepared pre-fast and cooked low and slow until Yom Kippur is over.

Instead of coffee, Moroccan Jews opt for mint tea accompanied by marzipan cookies or fijuelas, fried pastries dipped in sweet syrup, before diving into a break fast feast. Many prepare a hearty tomato-based soup called harira, featuring chickpeas and/or lentils, lemon, cilantro, and often chicken or beef. Others turn to traditional Shabbat dishes like dafina (or skhina), Morocco&rsquos cholent equivalent, flavored with saffron and stuffed with all kinds of delights &ndash marrow bones, chickpeas, eggs, meatloaf, rice, the list goes on!

Iranian Jews keep it simple with black tea, drunk alongside a soft-boiled egg and faloudeh seeb &ndash a refreshing apple-rosewater treat that&rsquos somewhere between a drink and a dessert. Learn more about Persian Yom Kippur traditions here.

Photo credit: Tannaz Sassooni

Similar to Iraqi hariri, Greek Jews break their fast on a traditional homemade beverage called pepitada. Made from toasted melon seeds that are blended with water, sweetened with honey or vanilla, and flavored with rosewater or almond extract, this unique concoction is an excellent thirst-quencher. A version of avgolemono chicken soup called sopa de huevos y limon is a Yom Kippur staple, eaten either before or after the fast.

Photo credit: Emily Paster

Syrian Jews, too, opt for the &ldquomore is more&rdquo approach. Stone fruits feature heavily: refreshing apricot water serves to rehydrate the weary dried apricots and plums are mixed with rice and ground beef and then stuffed inside zucchinis sour cherries paired with tamarind make a sweet-sour sauce for meatballs. Others choose to ditch the meat in favor of sambusek, triangular turnovers stuffed with cheese, spinach, or chickpeas.

Yom Kippur Customs and Rituals

Tradition teaches that on Rosh HaShanah the Book of Life is written, and on Yom Kippur our decree for the New Year is sealed. We are taught that by doing t’shuvah T'shuvah תְּשׁוּבָה "Return" The concept of repentance and new beginnings, which is a continuous theme throughout the High Holidays. , t’filah t'filah תִּפְלָה "Prayer." , and tzedakah tzedakah צְדָקָה From the Hebrew word for “justice,” or “righteousness” refers to charity or charitable giving. May also be translated as “righteous giving.” , we can temper that decree. As a result, much of the Yom Kippur liturgy and the rituals for all of the Yamim Nora-im (“Days of Awe”) are aimed at achieving this goal. For example, one of the greetings for this day is “G'mar chatimah tovah,” "May you be sealed [in the Book of Life] for a good year ahead.”

Yom Kippur is a day when we focus on our spiritual well-being, and setting our physical requirements aside helps us focus on that important work. Though there are five specific practices we abstain from on Yom Kippur (eating and drinking, wearing leather, bathing and shaving, anointing ourselves with oils or lotions, and having sexual relations), fasting (not eating or drinking) is the most familiar custom.


Fasting originally was seen as fulfilling the biblical commandment to “practice self-denial.” The Yom Kippur fast enables us, for at least one day each year, to ignore our physical desires, focusing instead on our spiritual needs. Throughout the day, we concentrate on prayer, repentance, and self-improvement before returning to our usual daily routine after the holiday.

Customarily, all people from age 13 must fast (in some communities, girls begin at age 12 and boys at age 13). The fast encompasses a full 24-hour period, beginning after the Erev Yom Kippur meal and extending to the following evening. During this time, no eating or drinking is permitted.

Judaism has a deep reverence for life, and though the Yom Kippur fast is of great importance, it is never allowed to jeopardize health. Those too ill to fast (or to fast fully) are prohibited from doing so. Those who need to take medication are allowed, as are pregnant women or women who have just given birth.


Wearing White

Some Jews wear white on Yom Kippur. Because white is a symbol of purity and Yom Kippur is a day when we undertake a spiritual cleansing, it is an appropriate color for the occasion. Others interpret white as representative of the white shroud in which Jews are buried, symbolizing our mortality and reminding us of the need for humility and repentance.

Hearing the Shofar

Yom Kippur ends with a single, long blast of the shofar shofar שׁוֹפָר Ram’s horn most commonly blown throughout the month of Elul and during the High Holiday season. . The stirring sound of the shofar at the conclusion of the holiday has many different explanations. One is that the practice recalls the giving of the Torah Torah תּוֹרָה Literally “instruction” or “teaching.” The first five books of the Hebrew Bible (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy) the handwritten scroll that contains the first five books of the Hebrew Bible. Also called the Pentateuch and The Five Books of Moses. “Torah” is also used to refer to the entire body of Jewish religious teachings and insight. at Mt. Sinai (when the shofar also was blown). Another is that the shofar signals the triumph of the Jewish community over its sins for another year.

In the Congregation

The heart of the Yom Kippur liturgical experience is congregational and communal worship. Yom Kippur, like Shabbat, is a day when one refrains from work. Leviticus 23:32 describes Yom Kippur as a Shabbat Shabbaton – a sabbath of complete rest. So it is seen as a mitzvah mitzvah מִצְוָה Literally, “commandment." A sacred obligation. Jewish tradition says the Torah contains 613 mitzvot Mitzvot refer to both religious and ethical obligations. to attend all the services on Yom Kippur, from Kol Nidre Kol Nidre כָּל נִדְרֵי "All Vows" prayer recited on the eve of Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar in the evening, throughout the next day, ending with N’ilah N'ilah נְעִילָה Literally, “locking.” The service that concludes Yom Kippur. The name alludes to the metaphorical locking of the heavenly gates at the end of the day. (concluding services) and the sounding of the shofar. A memorial service (Yizkor) is included on Yom Kippur, and Havdalah havdalah הַבְדָּלָה Literally, “separation." The Saturday night home ritual that separates the Sabbath from the beginning of the new week. The ritual uses wine, spices, and candles to transition from Sabbath to the weekdays. is recited at the end of the day, following the sounding of the shofar. A joyous “break-the-fast” meal is served at the conclusion of services, either at the congregation or at home.

The Erev Yom Kippur service is called Kol Nidre, meaning “all vows,” and refers to the special liturgical formulation chanted solely on Yom Kippur, during the evening service at the beginning of the holiday. It is a legal formula for the annulment of vows, which dates back many centuries. The practice of reciting Kol Nidre probably began in about the 9th century C.E. Recited in a mix of Hebrew and Aramaic, the vernacular language of the time, Kol Nidre cancels and annuls all unintended vows made to God during the previous year.

Customarily, Kol Nidre is repeated three times. In some congregations, these repetitions may include chanting, an instrumental rendition of the haunting melody played on a violin, viola, or cello, or even a spoken reading of the text. The threefold repetition most likely derives from the ancient practice of reciting all official proclamations three times. During Kol Nidre, the congregation stands together in silence, and in some congregations, the Torah scrolls are held by leaders of the community.

Customarily, in addition to Erev Yom Kippur, the entirety of the next day is spent in synagogue. The liturgy for the day of Yom Kippur includes powerful readings from the Torah, the core of Jewish teaching and practice, and Yizkor, a memorial service to remember our loved ones who have died and, perhaps, to draw from their memories the inspiration to be the best of what we can yet be.

The Days of Awe are about more than confessing our sins. They are an opportunity to envision what our lives and our communities could be like if we each become a little more caring with each passing year. On Yom Kippur morning, we read from the Torah portion entitled Nitzavim, in which we learn that meaningful Jewish lives are not too hard for us and not too far away – if we are willing to choose a life of caring for each other. We also recite the Al Cheit, a prayer that recounts our sins: gossip, arrogance, exploiting the weak, and all the other missteps we took during the year just ended. The High Holidays are a time for t’shuvah, which is usually understood to mean repentance. But t’shuvah is much more than repentance. Its literal meaning is “return” and, indeed, t’shuvah is a return forward to something holy inside us that hasn’t yet reached fruition, a return to the goodness and the caring that could have been and can still be. T’shuvah is our search to find the potential for good and for holiness that has been within us all along but somehow became hidden in the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

At Home

Beginning at sundown prior to Kol Nidre, it is customary to begin some of the ritual practices of Yom Kippur. Therefore, a family meal, known as se’udah mafseket (the concluding meal before the fast) customarily is eaten before sundown, with the candle lighting happening at the end of the meal. This process is a way to mark the entrance of Yom Kippur into the home and, with that blessing, the fast begins.

Tradition holds that acts of tzedakah are key to our observance of Yom Kippur. In many synagogues, a fundraising appeal coincides with the High Holidays. Many Jews make tzedakah a part of their Shabbat ritual, depositing a few dollars in a tzedakah box prior to the beginning of Shabbat. This practice can also be done as part of the ritual prior to the meal eaten before Kol Nidre. To make this custom even more special, the Days of Awe can be a time to tally the funds set aside each week during the prior year and determine to which causes they will be donated.

By reciting prayers in a synagogue on Yom Kippur, we atone for transgressions against God. For wrongs committed against other people, however, it has become customary to seek out friends and relatives whom we have wronged during the year and to ask their forgiveness before Yom Kippur begins. The holiday is a time when families should be at peace and gives us a yearly opportunity to put aside past hurts and create a new beginning.

It also is customary on Yom Kippur to perpetuate the memory of loved ones. To do so, many Jews visit the cemetery the day before Yom Kippur and kindle 24-hour yahrzeit yahrzeit יוֹם הַשָּׁנָה Anniversary of a death. It is customary to recite the Mourner's Kaddish when observing a yahrzeit. candles in memory of loved ones who have died (learn more about yahrzeit candles and other Jewish mourning rituals). Yahrzeit candles are lit prior to the lighting of the holiday candles. During the Middle Ages, this custom was seen as a means of atonement for the dead. Today, however, it is a beautiful expression of tribute and remembrance.

Yom Kippur Recipes

photo by

Our family has maintained and passed these Yom Kippur Recipes over the generations. I'm honored to be able to share them with you.

Yom Kippur is considered the most important holiday in the Judaism. It is also known as the Day of Atonement. During this high holiday, Jews ask God for forgiveness for their sins.

Seven days prior (for Ashkenazi Jews), and 30 days prior to Yom Kippur (for Sephardi Jews), is the period called Selichot. During this time, penitential prayers (Piyyutim) are recited on a daily basis, prior to daily morning prayers. Selichot, meaning Prayers for Forgiveness, are ancient prayers mentioned in the Mishnah.

The holidays lasts 25 hours. It is a fast day, meaning no water or food is consumed during this period so that all focus and concentration should be dedicated to repentance.

Other prohibitions during the holiday include washing, using perfumes and lotions (anointment), and marital relations. Men wear white as a symbol of purity.

In Jewish tradition, G-d writes the fate of each person for the coming year into a "book" on Rosh Hashanah. G-d waits until Yom Kippur to "seal" the book.

During these holy days, Jews try to improve their behavior. They ask for forgiveness for sins against God. They also ask each other to forgive them for anything they did to hurt each other. The evening and day are used for public and private confessions of guilt (Vidui). At the end of the high holiday, Jews consider themselves absolved by G-d.

As with all Jewish holidays, they begin the preceding evening. As this is a long fast day, our family has traditional pre-fast and break-fast meals:

View all these Yom Kippur Recipes here.

During the holiday, it is customary to greet people with the following, “G'mar Hatima Tova” (May you be sealed in the Book of Life).

Break your Yom Kippur fast the traditional way: slowly and sweetly

Moroccan-style couscous before the Yom Kippur fast: a recipe

Menus for before and after the Yom Kippur fast

Someone asked: "If so, why blow the shofar on Rosh Hashanah? We should eat kugel!"

&ldquoIndeed,&rdquo replied the rabbi. &ldquoThat's what we do when Rosh Hashanah comes out on Shabbat we eat kugel and do not blow the shofar!&rdquo

The kugel was born in Eastern Europe as a pastry made from leftover bread, fat and eggs. Eight centuries ago, it evolved into the lokshen (noodle) kugel we know today. Rice kugels were invented in the 16th century thanks to Ottoman influences, and the popular Polish potato kugel showed up in the nineteenth century.

Since the kugel was born out of need for a warm dish on Shabbat, when observant Jews do not cook, it was prepared overnight in a communal oven. Cooks used to seal the kugel pan with a strip of dough, or place it inside the pan of cholent, an overnight sabbath stew. The result was a steamed pastry rather than baked one. Steaming potato kugel inside the cholent was the way my grandmother used to make it, and how my mother still prepares kugel today.

For flavor and sweetness, some recipes began to add sautéed apples, cherries, berries and dried fruit into kugels. A specialty kugel from Galicia (now in Ukraine,) called mandavortchinek, combines potatoes with yeast dough. In Israel the noodle kugel took another turn, becoming peppery and caramelized, to make what is widely known as the Jerusalem kugel. And while dairy kugels, made with cream or milk, were popular during Shavuot in Europe, it seems that adding cheese to the recipe was an American invention. For the predominantly Ashkenazi Jewish American community, kugel is still one of the most popular holiday staples.

In Israel, many families call the pastry &ldquokigel&rdquo (pronounced kee-ghel), the Galician way. Kugel is the Lithuanian version. When I asked why the word &ldquokigel&rdquo disappeared from the American Jewish culinary vocabulary, I was told it is due to a set of pelvic floor exercises by the same name, invented in 1948 by Arnold Kegal. Here&rsquos how languages change, right in front of our eyes.

Are you planning to eat kugel before or after Yom Kippur? If not, note that the Seer of Lublin (Rabbi Jacob Isaac Horowitz, 1745-1815) taught that just as one&rsquos respective mitzvot and transgressions are weighed in our final judgment in heavenly courts, so too are weighed all the kugel one ate in honor of the Shabbat. (&ldquoHoly Kugel: The Sanctification of Ashkenazic Ethnic Foods in Hasidim,&rdquo by Allan Nadler).

Potato kugel. Vered Guttman

Potato kugel

Schmaltz, rendered chicken fat, is available at kosher supermarkets as well as at many big chain supermarkets, especially in Jewish neighborhoods.

9 Dishes to Make for Your Yom Kippur Break-Fast

After a full day of fasting, you need something delicious to serve to the crowd of hungry friends and family or to bring to your host's table.

Yom Kippur marks the holiest day on the Jewish calendar, and is the end ofਊ 10-day period of repentance, starting with the Jewish New Year. The main focus of the holiday is to step away from the norm, and focus completely on prayer. To do this, Jews will traditionally avoid comfortable habits such as wearing leather, bathing, and eating or drinkingਏrom sundown to sunset during the holiday. 

It&aposs almost humorous that the one holiday Jewish people are instructed to abstain from eating or drinking anything is arguably the most food obsessed. Everyone spends weeks talking about what they&aposll make for the meal after the fast or what friends they plan to feast with. But preparing for the end of fast meal is actually pretty complicated.

Eating healthy should still be delicious.

You&aposll often find bagels, lox, and cream cheese on the menu for a break-fast meal. Not because there is any real connection between a bagel and the fast day, but simply because it&aposs a super easy, high-carbohydrate meal to throw together (and it&aposs delicious). Because of this, Jews who follow specific dietary laws cannot serve meat and dairy together, so the break-fast meal tends to be meat-free. The ultimate trick for prepping your break-fast feast is to plan non-meat foods that can be made at least a day in advance and can be served cold or warmed up in a snap. 

Ten Minutes of Torah: Yom Kippur Commentary

Sealed for Life or Death?

By: Rabbi Professor Marc Saperstein

Many passages of our liturgy, and especially the High Holiday liturgy, derive their power from the integral connection between music and words. Indeed in some cases, the melody may seem more important than the words. Kol Nidre is an obvious example. But at least as important is the Un’taneh Tokef, a.

Yom Kippur Traditions - Recipes

Il Bollo (Yom Kippur Bread)

(Usually served in the living room, this bread is the first food consumed after
fasting, before partaking in a full meal at the table.)

1) Flour - 5 1/2 cups, unbleached and divided.
2) Yeast - 2 envelopes, active and dry.
3) Sugar - 1 1/2 cups.
4) Warm water - 1 cup.
5) Eggs - 3.
6) Olive oil - 1/2 cup.
7) Anise seeds - 2 tbsp.
8) Vanilla extract - 2 tsp.
9) Salt - 2 tsp.
10) Lemon rind - 1 tsp., grated. (optional)
11) Egg yolk - 1.
12) Cold water - 1 tsp.

Also needed: A clean kitchen towel.

1) Keep all ingredients at room temperature. In a large bowl, mix 1 1/2 cups flour with dry yeast, 1 tsp. sugar and the warm water. Whip until you have a very smooth, soft dough. Lightly sprinkle over its top half a handful of flour. Cover it with the clean kitchen towel, and set aside in a warm spot for about 2 hours (or until doubled in size).

2) Heat the olive oil in a small pan. Add anise seeds and stir until lightly toasted. Keep to a side.

3) Next, return to the flour mixture. Add eggs, 1 1/4 cups sugar, oil and seeds and beat well. Add the vanilla extract, salt and grated lemon rind. Again beat well and keep adding enough flour from time to time. Continue until you get a soft dough.

4) Spread the rest of the flour on a working surface. Then, put the soft flour dough over it and knead, gathering the flour. Go on kneading until you have a dough stiff enough to hold its shape. Divide this stiff dough into two equal parts. Knead each part for a minute or two, and let rest for 5 minutes. Then shape each part into a 12-inch oval loaf, and put on a lightly oiled and generously floured baking sheet.
Cover with the towel and let rise in a warm place for 1 - 2 hours (or until more than doubled in bulk).

5) Brush the top of the loaves with the egg yolk (beaten with 1 tsp. water) and place them in a preheated 450-degree oven. Lower the heat to 350 degrees instantly and bake for 30 minutes or until dark brown.

6) Serve with small glasses of sweet vermouth.

1) Tart apples - 8, peeled, cored and sliced.
2) Water - 1/2 cup.
3) Cinnamon - 1 tsp.
4) Nutmeg - 1/4 tsp.
5) Flour - 1 cup.
6) Butter/margarine - 7 tsp., unsalted.
7) Sugar - 3/4 cup.

1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2) Lightly butter a baking dish (dimensions: 7 1/2- by 11 3/4-inch). Scatter the peeled apple slices evenly across its bottom. Pour in the water. Also add in the cinnamon and nutmeg.

3) Get a small bowl. Pour in it the flour, butter and sugar. Combine all of it together with a fork or pastry blender until crumbly. Spread this mixture evenly over the apples and bake for 30 minutes (or until the top becomes crispy and the apple filling turns frothy).

4) Drizzle the apple crisp with some honey. Pour some vanilla ice cream also. Serve warm.

Cucumber Salad With Dill

1) Water - 1 cup.
2) White vinegar - 1 cup.
3) Salt - 1/4 tsp.
4) Sugar - 1 cup.
5) Cucumbers - 2 large (hot-house variety), sliced paper-thin.
6) Dried dill weed or Fresh minced dill - 2 tbsp.
7) Bibb lettuce - 1 head.
8) Arugala - 1 bunch.
9) Cherry tomatoes (for garnish)
10) A large glass bowl

1) In the large glass bowl, combine the water, vinegar, salt and sugar until the sugar dissolves. Add the cucumbers and toss.

2) Cover the mixture with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours.

3) Take it out of the freezer and drain. Garnish with watercress and cherry tomatoes. Serve on lettuce leaves.

1) Beets - 5 (pickled, drained and sliced)
2) Onion - 1 large, red , peeled and thinly sliced.
3) Cucumber - 1, peeled and thinly sliced.
4) Olive oil - 1/3 cup.
5) Juice of 1 lemon
6) Eggs - 2 hard-boiled, peeled and chopped.
7) Parsley - 1 cup, minced.
8) Lettuce leaves

Also needed: A large and a small bowl.

1) Mix the beets, onion and cucumber together in a large salad bowl. Toss the ingredients well.

2) Combine the olive oil and lemon juice in the small bowl.

3) Add some salt and pepper to the beet mixture for seasoning. Garnish with chopped egg and parsley. Just before serving, pour the olive oil mixture over it and toss.

4) Serve in a bowl or on a bed of lettuce.

1) Beets - 5 large, raw.
2) Mustard seeds - 1 1/2 tsp.
3) Allspice - 1/2 tsp., whole.
4) Cloves - 1/2 tsp., whole.
5) Cinnamon - 1 (2-inch) stick or 1/2 tsp, grounded.
6) Cider vinegar - 1 cup.
7) Salt - 1/2 tsp.
8) Sugar - 1 cup.

1) Trim the beets, leaving one inch of the stem.

2) Wash the beet pieces. Place them in a saucepan and pour cold water to cover them completely. Bring the mixture to a boil. Then reduce the heat and simmer under cover for an hour (or until the beets are tender). Reserve one cup of the liquid.

3) Slice off the stems of the beets while they are still warm. Then peel off and discard their outer skins. Place the beets in a large oven-proof bowl and set aside.

4) Place the mustard seeds, allspice, cloves and cinnamon stick in a cheesecloth bag. Fasten its mouth securely.

5) In a large saucepan, put the spice bag and pour over it the vinegar, reserved beet liquid and sugar. Mix it all well and boil for five minutes. Pour the mixture over the beet pieces. Cover and refrigerate nightlong.

Menus for Before and After Yom Kippur

Tips and recipes for eating well before and after the fast.

  1. Starting with breakfast, and even days before, remind everyone to begin drinking a lot of water.
  2. The biggest problem with fasting is dehydration. I serve melon, grapes, and other foods with high water content.
  3. A few days before the fast, cut down or cut out foods and drink with high caffeine and high sugar content. If not, many people will suffer from withdrawal from these products on the fast day.
  4. A day before the fast, I remove or reduce spices that make a "lasting" impression.
  5. The day before Yom Kippur, it is a mitzvah to "nosh" all day long. It's good to eat foods with high water content, i.e. grapes, melon etc. They act like time-released water on the fast. Hard candy is a good idea too.

This meal should be earlier than usual in order to give time for the Seudah Hamafsekes, the meal right before Yom Kippur. We eat lunch at 11:30. Simple and filling.

These savory, easy-to-prepare potatoes, flavored lightly with parsley and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, are a classic accompaniment for a fish main course. They're practical for serving with baked trout because they don't take much longer to cook than the fish does.

Whether to peel the potatoes is up to you. When they have attractive skins, I usually leave them on. If you don't have small potatoes, quarter your potatoes so they won't take long to cook.

700 gr. small potatoes
2 tbsp. margarine, olive oil, or vegetable oil
1 tsp. fresh, strained lemon juice
salt and fresh ground pepper
2 tbsp. chopped parsley

Scrub potatoes well. Peel if desired. Bring at least 2.5 cm of water to a boil in base of steamer. Boiling water should not reach holes in top of steamer. Set potatoes in steamer top and sprinkle with salt. Cover tightly and steam over high heat about 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender when pierced with a sharp knife.

Meanwhile, mix margarine, lemon juice, salt, pepper and 1 tbsp. parsley in a serving bowl.

When potatoes are done, remove them from steamer, drain briefly on paper towels, and transfer to serving bowl. Toss lightly with parsley mixture. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss again. Serve immediately, sprinkled with remaining parsley.

Lots of mixed green salad as you please.

Seudah Hamafseket Meal

In the afternoon, after Mincha, this meal is eaten. It needs to be concluded in the day before the onset of the fast. The meal consists of light foods.

Chicken soup with Matza balls.
Plain roasted or boiled chicken without any spices.
More salad with dressing.
Plenty of grapes and melon (don't overdo it).

This recipe is from my cousin Gail. Easy to make, and it comes out great.

2 eggs
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1/2 cup matzah meal
1 tsp. of salt
2 tbsp. of club soda (water may be used if club soda is not available).

Wisk eggs with oil. Add the salt. Mix in matzah meal. Add water and mix constantly. When finished, let it rest in fridge for twenty minutes. Fill pot half full with boiling water. Form mixture into small balls, tossing them into boiling water. Boil for 20 minutes. Carefully pour it into sieve and drain. It's best to freeze matzah balls for additional fluffiness. Add to boiling pot of soup. Bring to a boil again and eat &lsquoem all up.

Some have a custom to eat meat or chicken after Yom Kippur. Since Yom Kippur is actually a holiday and we have been forgiven for our sins, it is fitting to eat a proper celebratory meal.

1 kilo or 2 lb. rolled turkey "Rolada"
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp. oil
1 tbsp. flour
1 cup water
2 tbsp. lemon juice
lots of garlic in any form
1/2 cup wine of your choice
handful of raisins

Mix all ingredients together. Always add seasonings and corn flour to cold water before mixing, otherwise it will clump. Marinate Rolada 20 minutes, or a few hours, or overnight.

Place in pan covered and cook at 325°-350° for 1-1/2 hours covered and 1/4 hour uncovered.

Pour off sauce, let cool and remove strings. Slice into a baking tray.

Thicken sauce with cornstarch, pour over the Rolada and enjoy it.

Rice increases in weight by three times after preparation. It is ease after you get the hang of it.

1 cup rice
1 1/2 tbsp. oil
1 1/2 tbsp. margarine
1-2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. powdered soup mix (optional)
1 tsp white pepper
1 1/2 cup boiling water

Start water boiling. Add flavorings while water is still cold. Bring to a boil.

At the same time, in a rice pot, add oil and margarine. When good and hot, add rice. Saute until hot and white. Add boiling water (carefully!!) into rice, stirring continually. Cover with aluminum foil and top of a pot. Reduce heat to the lowest setting for 20 minutes. Uncover rice. Fluff with fork.

Fresh bread and margarine, or some other spread.

Menu For Dairy Break-Fast

Cheese and Mushroom Quiche

Pre-made pie crust or frozen flake dough
1 ½ cups yellow cheese
1 medium onion
1/4 lb. mushrooms
dash thyme

4 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
3 tbsp. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. dry mustard

Place pie crust or flake dough in pan. Cover bottom of crust with 1 1/2 cups yellow cheese. Cover cheese with onion and mushrooms &ndash both chopped and sauteed in butter with salt, pepper and dash of thyme.

To make a custard, beat well together the ingredients mentioned above. Pour custard over mushroom layer. Sprinkle with paprika.

Bake at 375° for 40-45 minutes, or until solid in the center when jiggled.

5 cups of onions sliced thick
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp. honey
6 tbsp. butter or margarine
1 tbsp. soy sauce
3 tbsp. wine
1/2 tsp. any mustard
dash thyme
a little white pepper
salt to taste

Saute onions and garlic until brown. Add all remaining ingredients except water. Add water slowly until you get desired consistency. (If you need, add a little onion soup mix).

Yom Kippur Break Fast Recipes

The long-awaited meal to break the fast after Yom Kippur is often spent with friends and family. After a day filled with prayer and abstinence, your break fast meal should be prepared and ready to heat and eat this is not a time to spend hours in the kitchen.

It is traditional in Ashkenazic communities to break the fast with a dairy or pareve meal, while Sephardic communities often break the fast with a small dairy snack and then later partake of a full meat meal. Both traditions include sweet food, such as honey or jams, reminiscent of the sweetness of life and the new Year. The break fast meal also often includes eggs, a symbol of life and rebirth.

The three dishes in this break fast menu combine these traditions, and can all be prepared in advance.

The Beet & Potato Frittata is easy to make, and since the flavors get better with a day or two, it’s a perfect dish to have ready before the fast.

For the fish, why not deviate from a traditional poached salmon? Use your favorite kind of fish (such as cod, halibut, snapper, or bass) in the recipe for Fish with Lemon-Egg Sauce, a traditional Sephardic dish reminiscent of Greek cooking.

The Apple-Pear-Cranberry Kugel features the best of fall produce in a twist on a traditional sweet kugel.

Beet & Potato Frittata

1 pound beets (include yellow beets, if available)
1 pound new potatoes (include purple potatoes, if available)
6 eggs, lightly beaten
A handful of chives and parsley, or any mixture of fresh herbs, minced
Dash of salt and pepper
Olive oil for the pan

Peel and slice the beets and potatoes on a mandoline. If you don’t have a mandoline, slice as thinly as possible with a regular knife.

Add a splash of olive oil into a shallow, oven-proof pan and add the beets and potatoes. You can layer these in a pattern or just throw them in. Add a dash of salt and pepper.

Cook the beets and potatoes either in the oven at 375 degrees or over medium-low heat on the stove, covered, for about 30 minutes. If you use the stovetop, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

When the vegetables are tender, stir in the eggs and most of the herbs (save a small amount for a garnish), and use a fork to make sure the eggs get to every part of the pan.

Place the pan in the oven at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until the eggs are cooked through. Garnish with the rest of the minced herbs.

Serve hot or at room temperature.

Fish with Lemon-Egg Sauce

Serves 4, but can easily be adjusted for more guests

1 onion, sliced
1 carrot, sliced diagonally
2 celery stalks, sliced diagonally
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper
4 fish steaks or fillets, or a whole side of fish for a crowd
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 eggs
juice of 1 1/2 lemons
1 tablespoon sugar
chopped parsley for garnish

Place the onion, carrot, celery, and bay leaves in a wide, shallow pan.

Pour 3 cups of water, or enough to eventually cover the fish, into the pan. Add a dash of salt and pepper, and simmer on medium-low heat for about 10-15 minutes. Place the fish in the pan and simmer on low heat for another 10-15 minutes.

Turn off the heat, and ladle off about 1 3/4 cups of the water into a smaller sauce pan, to create a stock. Make a paste with the cornstarch and a bit of cold water in a separate small bowl, and add it to the separated stock. Bring to a boil.

In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, and stir in the lemon and sugar. Add a few spoonfuls of the stock to the egg mixture to prevent the eggs from curdling, then pour the whole egg/lemon mixture into the hot stock while stirring. Stir until the sauce thickens a bit, but do not let it come to a boil.

Remove the fish from the pan. Remove the bay leaves and garnish with the carrots, celery, and parsley, and pour the sauce over it.

Serve hot or at room temperature.

Apple-Pear-Cranberry Kugel

This kugel has a very light souffle-like texture. If you prefer a denser, more custard-like texture, do not separate the eggs in the final stages of preparation.

2 pounds tart apples
1/2 pound pears
6 oz cranberries (half a bag of frozen cranberries)
3/4 cup currants or raisins (or both) – optional
1/2 cup white wine or water
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
6 eggs, separated

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Peel and core the apples and pears, and cut them in half. Put them in a pan with the cranberries, and the raisins, if you are using them. Add the wine or water and cover.

Cook on low heat for about 20 minutes, or until the apples fall apart. Mash the fruit into large chunks with a fork and add both sugars.

Cook over medium-low heat for another 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the mixture to cool. When the mixture has cooled a bit, add the egg yolks to the pan and stir well.

Beat the egg whites in a clean bowl with an electric mixer until they form stiff peaks. Gently fold the egg whites into the fruit mixture.

Pour into an oiled or buttered baking dish and bake for about 40-50 minutes, or until the top browns.

Watch the video: Yom Kippur Traditions (May 2022).