Yom Kippur, also known as the Day of Atonement, is the holiest day of the year in Judaism. Its central themes are atonement and repentance. Jews traditionally observe this holy day with a day-long fast and intensive prayer, often spending most of the day in synagogue services.
The purpose of Yom Kippur is to effect individual and collective purification by the practice of forgiveness of the sins of others and by sincere repentance for one’s own sins against God. Leviticus 23:27 decrees that Yom Kippur is a strict day of rest.
During Yom Kippur, Jews attend worship services where the machzor, a prayer book used during holy days, is read and specific prayers are recited. At the end of the services, a shofar or ram’s horn is blown to signal the end of Yom Kippur. Then, Jews are able to feast, breaking the fast.
Some traditional recipe choices for the meal include: rice, kreplach (stuffed dumplings), challah (dipped in honey, as Yom Kippur occurs 10 days after Rosh Hashanah), chicken or fish. Meals usually should be prepared with minimum salt, as this could cause dehydration during the fast.