Are there any customary foods to eat* at the meal(s) eaten on erev Yom Kippur? If so, what are they?

*other than meat, which is mentioned in the answer to the linked question.

  • I was told that it is a good idea for it to be salty to help you retain water and avoid dehydration and headaches on Yom Kippur.
    – Mike
    Commented Sep 30, 2014 at 22:16
  • 1
    I've always heard that watermelon was good, for the high water content.
    – MTL
    Commented Oct 3, 2014 at 3:35

6 Answers 6


Nitei Gavriel Yom Kippur 16:9 says the Minhag is to eat round Challas dipped in honey.

16:10:15 brings in the name of the Magen Avraham 608:7 to eat fish and fowl. (some eat the Kapara chicken at this meal). In the name of Rabbi Shalom Ber of Lubavitch Zatzal, not to eat salt. Also to eat Kreplach (meat dumplings).

16:14 Not to eat things that increase Zera such as garlic, eggs, fatty meat, aged wine, dates and to avoid milk and butter. A bit of milk in a coffee is fine.

  • To clarify, it's only a problem if the garlic etc. is the main ingredient in the food.
    – Ypnypn
    Commented Sep 30, 2014 at 19:08

Some Ashkenazim have the custom to eat Kreplach.


Qitzur Shulhhan Arukh, Yalqut Yosef (Orahh Hayim 604:3) states:

לכתחלה צריך לקבוע בערב יום הכפורים לפחות סעודה אחת על הפת, לקיים בזה מצות אכילה בערב יום הכפורים

Ideally, one should have at least one bread-based meal on 'Erev Yom HaKippurim


My Artscroll Machzor has this to say on the Seudah Hamafsekes:

Immediately after the Minchah services, one should begin the seudah hamafsekes, the festive last meal before the fast. At this meal the challah is dipped into honey (as it is at the Rosh Hashanah meals). Strong wine and other intoxicating beverages should not be taken at the meal. Fish (especially salty fish), spicy foods, and hot food whose primary ingredient is milk, eggs or garlic, are not eaten. It is customary to serve light foods, such as chicken, rather than heavey foods such as beef (Mishnah Berurah 608:16, Matteh Ephraim 608:1).


Kreplach in soup. They are dough stuffed with meat for those who don't know. Not sure why it is eaten though, but I've heard this practice from enough people to call it a custom.

  • judaism.stackexchange.com/a/45889/5323
    – MTL
    Commented Sep 30, 2014 at 19:53
  • 1
    @Shokhet I was typing as fast as I could, I hit the button only to see Double AA beat me by two minutes. C'est la vie.
    – user6591
    Commented Sep 30, 2014 at 20:06

Kippers (herring / sardines), because it sounds like "Yom Kipper" :-) :-)

Actually, I have heard of a custom to eat stuffed cabbage ("holoptchez", which, BTW, is a Dutch word, not Hungarian, contrary to some beliefs.) The reason is similar to the reason for eating kreplach - because we want our sins to be "covered up" or because we make reference to the "hidden things" (quoting Devarim 29:25) near the end of the silent Shmoneh Esreh.

If "covered" food seems to be the trend, I can't say why we don't include apple turnovers or burekas, but, if you wish, start a new trend!

  • +1 if you know, or know of, anyone who actually does that (including yourself). Commented Sep 30, 2014 at 19:08
  • 3
    Dan, is this a joke?
    – Double AA
    Commented Sep 30, 2014 at 19:26
  • 2
    Lol ....because of the sound "Yum, kippers!"
    – Gary
    Commented Oct 1, 2014 at 2:28

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