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Nullo's avatar

Does anybody know what salmon, or else herring, have to do with Yom Kippur?

Asked by Nullo (21934points) September 14th, 2010

Today I was asked, three times and with varying degrees of reproach, what had become of all of our chilled salmon. The last one said, “But there’s a Jewish holiday coming up! Why don’t you have more?”

At that point, I realized that the first two had also made references to needing the fish by Saturday, which my calendar says is Yom Kippur.

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22 Answers

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tragiclikebowie's avatar

Could it be a regional thing, maybe?

zen_'s avatar

It is customary to eat fish at the morning meal on Erev (Eve of) Yom Kippur.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@zen_ Do you know why? Or is it just one of those “because it’s always been that way” things?

srmorgan's avatar

you can’t cook on Yom Kippur. Therefore anything that can be served cold after the fast ends is going to be an option. Traditional meal to break fast is dairy, foods not associated with meat. Cold fish might fit into the menu.

Nullo's avatar

@zen_ Does it have to be a particular kind of fish? We had lots of other fish, but it all required cooking. Not that it would be all that hard to cook it beforehand and pop it into the fridge. The last person to ask was really upset, even when I told her that we’d have some more tomorrow.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@Nullo I think it’s normally pickled.

Nullo's avatar

@papayalily Then these folks must be fairly far off; our salmon is smoked.

janbb's avatar

No – smoked salmon or lox is the way Jews usually eat salmon. There should be no reason why they couldn’t come back for it on Thursday or even Friday if they want it to break the fast on Saturday night. Other smoked fishes are popular too such as whitefish or sturgeon. As has been mentioned, a light dairy meal is usually served after the fast.

Dr_Dredd's avatar

@zen_ I didn’t know that about the morning of Erev Yom Kippur. What I do know is that if I eat too much after fasting a full day, I feel crappy. That’s why we’ve always gone with the dairy “break-the-fast” meal. We have the lox, but also other types of fish. My mom’s from Brooklyn, so whitefish salad is a must. :-)

janbb's avatar

@zen_ That may be mroe of an Israeli thing? I hadn’t heard of it either.

Rarebear's avatar

Yeah, I hadn’t heard of it either.

answerjill's avatar

Pretty much every Yom Kippur break-fast (the meal directly following the fast) has featured bagels and lox (smoked salmon). I don’t think that there is any real symbolic meaning, though.

Nullo's avatar

@janbb Oh, they’ll be back. I just hope that I’m not around when the stuff runs out again. :D
I suppose that smoked fish is preferred, then?

@Dr_Dredd Crappie? :D

answerjill's avatar

I mean to say that every break-fast that I have been to. That was a typo. I am sure that other break-fasts exist, especially in other Jewish cultures (such as non-Askenazi/Eastern-European traditions). Also, I am sorry that the people who asked for the fish were rude to you. That’s not right!

janbb's avatar

I don’t know what your customers were wanting but generally I would say that smoked fish or whitefish salad are traditional.

answerjill's avatar

What kind of store was this? Just wondering because your profile says that you work at Walmart, but Walmart is not the first place where I would expect to find lox!

Dr_Dredd's avatar

@Nullo I certainly think it’s “crappy.” ;-) My mom is a fan, but I’m not. I don’t think she knows that the name is “crappie,” though. I’ll have to tell her…

Dr_Dredd's avatar

Personally, I like Scottish smoked salmon rather than the nova or belly lox. It’s less salty.

Nullo's avatar

@answerjill The data in my profile are somewhat misleading. I work for Sam’s Club, which is something of a branch of Wal-Mart, Inc, specializing in bulk merchandise for small businesses. That said, the majority of my customers don’t own small businesses, and instead treat it as a grocery store. We’re grateful for the custom, certainly, but they can be a bit unreasonable about some things.

The Members in question weren’t rude, per se, but they were certainly disappointed and made no great effort to hide it.

answerjill's avatar

@nullo – Ahh – Sam’s Club. I see. What region of the country are you in, if you don’t mind my asking?

Nullo's avatar

@answerjill Misery Missouri. St. Louis, to be precise, probably no more than a couple miles from @RealEyesRealizeRealLies. A large percentage of the population is Jewish.

You can only really call it misery with respect to the weather’s extremes. It’s a very pretty, albeit flat, place.

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