Yom Kippur

Challah: Getting in Shape for Yom Kippur

Rosh Hashana is all about crowning God king. Which is one reason we make round challah bread, which symbolizes a crown. Round foods also symbolize the lifecycle, something eternal and never-ending. The circular shape also expresses our wishes that the coming year not be broken by tragedy.

But now we’re coming to Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. While Yom Kippur is a fast day, it is customary to eat a festive meal before we usher in the holiday. That meal should begin and be accompanied, like all festive Jewish meals, with challah. In the Yom Kippur liturgy, man is compared to winged angels. For this reason, some either make bird-shaped challot or decorate their challot with birds.

This expresses the wish that our prayers will be speedily wafted heavenward as though winged, and be answered in the affirmative.

Have an easy fast, however you shape the bread!

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