Yom Kippur Lemon Besamim


Smelling Besamim on Yom Kippur has been a long standing custom. As we fast, it is a challenge to complete the “100 Brachot” we strive to make each day; smelling Besamin helps us along to reach that goal.  

My legendary great aunt, Mrs. Rosa Engelsrath, a pioneer in the Bais Yaakov movement in America, was the innovator of many of the school projects that are the norm today. One of my favorite ones was the special lemon that was prepared for Yom Kippur. A fun activity that can be done by anyone in the family, this simple project is sure to be a big hit. The sweet smelling lemon will not only help along with your Brachot count, but it will also refresh and invigorate those who smell it throughout the fast. Every year, this is a great activity for my children (and the neighbors  too!) Before Yom Kippur I buy  dozens of lemons and have them make this project and distribute to all the neighbors.


  • Lemons
  • Whole Cloves
  • Long nail



Carefully poke holes in the lemon with the nail, then insert the cloves into the lemon.

You can place the cloves randomly, or you can create a design with them

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