Treats for Before and After the Yom Kippur Fast

Try out Moroccan cookies and chicken soup courtesy of Charlie Padida, chef at Tel Aviv kosher restaurant 'Olive Leaf.'

Most Jewish holidays are known for the festive meals that accompany them, however, Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, is a day in which Jews leave their physical needs behind and focus on introspection and reflection.

However, the meals before and after the fast are crucial - both from a cultural and nutritional perspective - to the Yom Kippur experience.
Charlie Padida, the chef at the Tel Aviv kosher restaurant “Olive Leaf”, comes from a Moroccan family with very specific Yom Kippur culinary traditions. They always break the fast on “Reifa” cookies, a sweet Morrocan cracker-like treat.

What to eat after yom kippur

Molly Zelovich-Rosner, a clinical dietician who leads workshops on healthy living and weight-loss, recommends Padida’s family tradition, saying that “after a fast, it’s time to restore the body’s sugar levels and it is no time to diet!”

Yom Kippur food

Pedida’s family also traditionally eats chicken soup, preparing it together after the fast and relishing it hours later. However, there is a strong Jewish tradition to eat boiled chicken before the fast, a symbol of the chickens often used for the Kapparot ceremony, in which Jews will sometimes use live chickens as part of a ritual to rid themselves of sin.

Reifa cookies

(Courtesy of Chef Charlie Padida, Olive Leaf restaurant)

Makes 30 cookies.

¼ cup of oil
¼ cup of water
1 tablespoon of anise seeds, washed well
1 egg
the shavings of half a lemon
¼ cup of sugar
½ teaspoon of baking powder
250 grams of flour


1. Mix wet ingredients (oil, water, egg, lemon shavings and anise seeds) in a bowl
2. Add in dry ingredients (sugar, baking powder and flour) gradually until dough forms
3. Roll out dough until approximately ½ centimeter thick and cut into cookies (he suggests 4 centimeters). If you would like, make the edges a zigzag – kind of like matza.
4. Bake at 180 degrees (Celsius) until golden

Quick-and-easy chicken soup with noodles

(Courtesy of Chef Charlie Padida, Olive Leaf restaurant)


1 whole chicken cut into 8 parts
1 carrot cut into cubes
1 onion cut into cubes
1 celery cut into cubes
1 head of parsley chopped finely
500 grams of thin egg noodles
2 tablespoons of chicken soup mix
2 liters of water


1. Fill a wide-bottomed pot with the 2 liters of water and add all the ingredients except the egg noodles.
2. Bring the liquid to a boil and skim off the fat from the top of the soup. Let the soup cook on a low heat for another 40 minutes.
3. After 40 minutes have passed, add egg noodles and let cook for another 7 minutes.
4. Adjust seasoning and serve.