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Why do people distribute honey cake around the High Holiday season?

by Rabbi Naftali Silberberg


Library » Holidays » Yom Kippur » The Day Beforehand | Subscribe | What is RSS?


It is customary to request lekach (honey-cake) on the day before Yom Kippur. The shamash (beadle) or rabbi of the synagogue traditionally distributes the honey cake after the morning services.

Besides the blessing for a sweet year represented by the cake's sweetness, there is another symbolism behind this custom. In the event that it was decreed that we depend on the kindness of others during the upcoming year, we pray that we need ask for nothing more than the honey cake we asked for, and are receiving now.

Many rabbis who won't be able to see all of their constituents on the day before Yom Kippur begin distributing honey cake in the days leading up to the high holidays.


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Yom Kippur
Day of Atonement. This late-autumn high-holiday is the holiest day of the year. We devote this day to repentance and all healthy adults are required to fast.