Catering By Michaels
September 12, 2018

Yom Kippur: A Look Inside The Customs of Fasting & Feasting

September 12, 2018

Yom Kippur: A Look Inside The Customs of Fasting & Feasting

Catering By Michaels

The holiday of Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) is the holiest day of the year, when Jewish people come together, fasting and praying as one.

If Rosh Hashanah is about celebrating the arrival of the Jewish New Year, Yom Kippur symbolizes the cleansing of the previous year’s sins. The majority of the day is spent in Synagogue as many use the opportunity to reflect on their individual and collective actions over the past year, and their hope for the coming year.

It is believed that on this day, a person’s fate for the upcoming year is sealed, therefore, the entire day is spent fasting and praying for forgiveness and a good new year.

On Yom Kippur, observers abstain from eating, working, wearing leather, perfumes, and acts of intimacy. This is a sacred occasion and an opportunity to clean the slate, reset all systems, and start again smoothly.

First We Fast

This year, the holiday begins at sundown on September 18. When the sun goes down, and Yom Kippur starts, so does the act of fasting. Those observing will commence their 25-hour fast until nightfall on September 19. During this time all forms of sustenance are prohibited — even water.

The Jewish tradition of fasting stems from verses in the Torah, which state that fasting on Yom Kippur is a necessary component of the day. Fasting is believed to be a vehicle for reflecting and repenting for your sins.

Those who are too feeble, sick, or young to safely fast are not required to do so. However, healthy females from the age of 12 and males from the age of 13 must fast as part of the tradition. Throughout the fasting period, the focus moves from physical needs to engaging in repentance and prayer in the synagogue.

The 5 Prayers of Yom Kippur

Even though there is no food to be had on Yom Kippur, observers still dress the table with a festive cloth and light candles before the onset of the holy day. Two blessings are said to send thanks for enabling those of the faith to reach the new year.

Yom Kippur is a special occasion for children, who observe it by lighting candles, changing shoes, and finding new prayers to learn and recite.

On an ordinary day, there are three daily prayers: Maariv (evening prayer), Shacharit (morning prayer) and Minchah (afternoon prayer). On Shabbat and holidays, a fourth prayer is added. Yom Kippur, however, is the only day of the year when a fifth prayer is introduced. Ne’ilah, the closing prayer, is said as the sun sets in the west as this special day comes to a close.

Now We Fast

After the sun sets and the holiday of Yom Kippur comes to a close, the tradition of breaking the fast begins. And this is where we come in!

During the Rosh Hashanah meal, there are strict rules about what kosher food can be eaten after fasting. Yom Kippur is much different. In general, people often eat gentler, less spicy dishes. After fasting, the stomach is much more sensitive to rich, spicy food.

The typical assortment of foods includes fruits and veggies, lox and bagels, white albacore tuna salad, cakes, and baked casseroles.

Yom Kippur Delivery CateringYom Kippur Dessert Chocolate Cake

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Catering By Michaels
September 14, 2017

Yom Kippur: The Ultimate Post-Fast Feast

September 14, 2017

Yom Kippur: The Ultimate Post-Fast Feast

Catering By Michaels

Yom Kippur, marking the day of God’s forgiveness, is one of the most important holidays on the Hebcal Jewish Calendar. It closes the “Ten Days of Repentance”, which started with Rosh Hashanah.

The holiday literally translates as “Day of Atonement”, as the faithful ask forgiveness for their sins in the past year and blessing as they begin the New Year.

Yom Kippur, part of the High Holidays, is characterized by fasting and feasting as the members of the community strengthen their bonds. Because the months of the Jewish Calendar follow the lunar cycle, Yom Kippur is not held on the same day of the civic calendar every year, though it usually occurs between September and October.

This year (2017) it will begin Friday, September 29 and ends the evening of September 30.

The feasting starts the day before Yom Kippur, with everyone eating and drinking in abundance. On this day, two celebratory meals are consumed: one early in the day and another moments before the onset of Yom Kippur, as the holiday’s central component is in fact fasting.

White cheddar macaroni and cheese

Because the fasting period lasts for a little more than 25 hours, after the Erev Yom Kippur meal until the following evening, those who are too feeble, sick, or young to safely fast are not required to do so. However, healthy females from the age of 12 and males from the age of 13 must fast as part of the tradition. Those well enough to do so often add a few minutes to the beginning and end of the day of fasting, which is known as tosefet Yom Kippur.

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Catering By Michaels
September 5, 2017

Rosh Hashanah: Jewish New Year Traditions

September 5, 2017

Rosh Hashanah: Jewish New Year Traditions

Catering By Michaels

The Jewish New Year traditionally kicks off in Fall with Rosh Hashanah, which translates from Hebrew to “Head of the New Year.” Marking the anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve, Rosh Hashanah comprises the first two days of a 10 day period of prayer, repentance, and charity in Judaism.

The holiday takes place at the beginning of the Hebrew month of Tishrei. Because the Hebrew calendar measures months based on the lunar cycle and years in correspondence to the solar cycle, the celebrations slide around on the secular calendar, but usually occur between September and October.

This year (2017) it will start on Wednesday, September 20 and end on Friday, September 22.

Rosh Hashanah serves as the first of the “Ten Days of Repentance”, which marks man’s first sin and his repentance. The Ten Days of Repentance begin with Rosh Hashanah and end in celebration with Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.

Some of the customs that take place during Rosh Hashanah include:

  • Sounding the shofar, which is to alert listeners of the coming judgment
  • Eating a round challah, which symbolizes the circle of life
  • Eating apples dipped in honey to usher in a sweet New Year
  • Eating of pomegranate to bring a year full of mitzvot and good deeds

Rosh Hashanah apples dipped in honey

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Catering By Michaels
July 25, 2017

Parker’s Baseball Themed Bar Mitzvah

July 25, 2017

Parker’s Baseball Themed Bar Mitzvah

Catering By Michaels

We’re pretty notorious for our ability to cater many Jewish holidays in style, with respect to traditional foods and their cultural significance. While we take pride in the menus we put together specifically for holidays like Passover, Hanukkah, Yom Kippur, and Rosh Hashanah, there’s something special about being asked to take part in the Jewish coming of age celebrations for boys and girls: bar mitzvahs and bat mitzvahs.

We recently catered perhaps the coolest bar mitzvah, ever. The whole event revolved around a baseball theme, and was over the top in the best possible way.

All photos provided courtesy of Jai Girard Photography.

Baseball themed mitzvah

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