Yom Kippur is probably the most important holiday in the Jewish calendar and will be observed from the 29th – 30th September 2017. Many Jewish people will refrain from work, fast and/or attend Synagogue services on this day. Yom Kippur occurs on the 10th day of Tishri (The seventh month of the Jewish year, during which many important holidays occur.)
The name “Yom Kippur” means “Day of Atonement”. It is a day set aside to “afflict the soul,” to atone for the sins of the past year. This day is essentially your last appeal, your last chance to change the judgement, to demonstrate your repentance and make amends.
No work can be performed during Yom Kippur and followers are obliged to refrain from eating and drinking (even water). It is a complete, 25-hour fast beginning before sunset on the evening before Yom Kippur and ending after nightfall on the day of Yom Kippur.
Much of the holiday is spent in the Synagogue, in prayer. The services end at nightfall, with the blowing of the tekiah gedolah, a long blast on the shofar (an ancient musical horn made of ram’s horn).
There are two meals associated with Yom Kippur: the pre-fast meal and the break-fast meal. The pre-fast meal is known as seudah ha-mafaseket ( “meal of separation” or “concluding meal”). Some traditional recipe choices for the meal include: rice, kreplach (stuffed dumplings), chicken, or fish. Meals are usually prepared with minimum salt, as this could cause dehydration during the fast. It is important to drink plenty of water, of course. The break-fast meal usually consists of hi-carb dairy foods like sweet kugel (noodle pudding), bagels, quiches, soufflés, eggs and cheese.