Yom Kippur: Pre- and post-fast meals

Anybody who fasts on Yom Kippur knows how significant the meals before and after the fast are.

October 2, 2019 17:49
4 minute read.
Yom Kippur: Pre- and post-fast meals


Anybody who fasts on Yom Kippur knows how significant the meals before and after the fast are. There’s so much internal emotional and also physical involvement in preparing for the Day of Atonement, which many times is expressed in the foods we prepare for these two essential meals.

For the meal before the fast, it’s best to serve dishes that aren’t fried or too heavy or salty, but are still very filling. For the meal after the fast, it’s best to start slowly with something light so that we don’t overwhelm our stomachs after the long fast.

The best way to break the fast is to slowly sip a warm drink. Next, it’s good to drink a glass of cold lemonade as you nibble on a couple cookies with jam. After an hour or two, your body will be ready to digest more substantive food. I recommend serving a light soup, such as clear chicken soup with thin noodles. Next, you can bring out the chicken and vegetables you cooked in the soup, along with a bulgur salad. At the end of the meal, you can serve the special spelt cookies.

Wishing everyone an easy and meaningful fast.

Tipascale for the pre-fast meal
Don’t make the food overly spicy, salty or sour.
The pre-fast meal should not be too heavy or include fried items.
Don’t drink sugary drinks during the pre-fast meal, since they dehydrate your body and make you feel full.
This is not the time to prepare lots of dishes. If possible, prepare a one-pot meal that includes a starch.

Makes 6-8 servings.

3-4 chicken legs
3 stalks parsley
2 stalks celery
1 carrot, cut into rings
1 light green squash, cubed
1 potato, cut into small cubes
1 onion, quartered
1 stick cinnamon
¼ tsp. turmeric
Salt, to taste
White pepper, to taste
3 stalks mint

1 egg, beaten

Pour water into a pot so that it’s ¾ full. Cover and bring to a boil.
Add the chicken pieces and bring to a boil. Lower the flame and cook for 30 minutes.
Tie the parsley and celery together and add them to the pot. Add the carrot, squash, potato and onion pieces. Stir and bring to a boil. Add the spices and stir. Bring to a boil and then add the mint.
Lower the flame and cook for another 30 minutes. Remove the herbs, vegetables and cinnamon stick. Keep the vegetables, but discard the herbs and cinnamon.
Drizzle the egg into the soup and cook another 15 minutes. Add a few vegetable pieces that were cooked in the soup to each bowl.

Level of difficulty: Medium
Time: 90 minutes
Status: Meat


Makes 4-6 servings.

3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 red onion, chopped finely
¾ cup cranberries
1 cup red bulgur, soaked in water for 1 hour and then drained
1 green pepper, chopped finely (optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste
¾ cup scallion, chopped finely
¾ cup chopped hazelnuts
¼ cup chopped mint
½ cup chopped parsley
¼ cup chopped basil
¼ cup chopped cilantro
1 cup pomegranate seeds
½ cup red grapes, halved

Heat the oil in a large pan and sauté the onion until translucent. Add the cranberries and sauté for 3-4 minutes.
Add the bulgur, pepper and spices. Sauté for 3-4 minutes. Remove from the flame and transfer to a bowl.
Add the scallion, nuts, herbs and salt and pepper. Stir, taste and adjust seasoning. Add the pomegranate seeds and grapes and mix well.

Level of difficulty: Easy
Time: 30 minutes
Status: Vegetarian / parve


Makes 24 cookies.

½ kg. semolina
½ kg. whole spelt flour
½ cup sugar
1 packet baking powder
1 packet vanilla sugar
½ cup oil
¾ cup water at room temperature

½ container date spread
½ cup orange juice or water
1 Tbsp. oil
¼ tsp. cinnamon
Pinch of ground cloves
½ cup crushed walnuts

250 gr. sugar
1 cup water
Juice from 1 lemon

50 gr. melted white chocolate
Pomegranate seeds (optional)

Add the semolina and spelt flour, sugar, baking powder and vanilla sugar to a bowl and mix. Slowly pour the oil in as you stir the mixture. Let the dough rest for 15 minutes.
To prepare the filling, add the date spread, orange juice (or water) and oil to a bowl. Mix everything and add the spices and nuts. Mix well.
Split the dough into two and grease your work space well. Roll out each section into a square that is ½ cm. thick. Spread half of the filling on each section and smooth out. Roll up the dough from the side closest to you. Cut into pieces that are 2½-3 cm. wide. Grease a pan well and arrange the cookies on the tray. Flatten them gently and bake in an oven that has been preheated to 180° for 25 minutes or until they turn golden brown.
To prepare the syrup, add the sugar, water and lemon juice to a pot and cook over a medium flame for 20 minutes until syrup becomes rubbery. Put a few cookies into the syrup and cook for 2 minutes on each side. Remove and let excess syrup drain off. Transfer the melted white chocolate to an icing bag with a tiny hole in the end. Make thin lines on the cookies and then sprinkle with pomegranates.

Level of difficulty: Medium
Time: 1 hour
Status: Parve

Translated by Hannah Hochner.

Text and styling: Pascale Perez-Rubin

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