Postcard from... Jerusalem
Leaving the house on Yom Kippur, the first thing that one notices is
the silence – there are no cars on the roads, no telephones ring, the
television and radio broadcasts are non-existent. Israel itself is cut
off from the outside world, the airport is shut down, the borders are
closed and the checkpoints into the West Bank remain sealed off.
For once, it seems, Israelis are united in keeping the peace and those foolish or desperate enough to get behind the wheel outside of the Arab areas risk being stoned.
Yom Kippur, which means Day of Atonement, finishes at sunset today and is the most sacred day in the Jewish calendar. It is a day when devout Jews engage in a period of introspection, marked by a 25-hour fast, and ask God to forgive them for their sins.
Even the most secular of Jews will refrain from driving and eating in public and they even turn down the volume of their televisions.
But while most people approach Yom Kippur in sombre spirit, newspapers take an almost irreverent poke at a public figure deemed most in need of forgiveness for their actions of the past year.
And even as the country shuts down, the security forces remain on high alert. It was on this day in 1973 that Egyptian and Syrian forces used the cover of Yom Kippur to attack in retaliation for the losses of the 1967 Six Day War. Israel was caught painfully by surprise, but after 19 days of battle the UN brokered a ceasefire.
- 1 Christmas comes early to Hong Kong, as millions of bank notes spill out onto busy street
- 2 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public can visit police’s grisly crime museum
- 3 British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
- 4 Vagina canoe artist facing two years in jail defends herself over ‘obscenity’ charges
- 5 The Queen’s speech 2014: Recap and Twitter reaction to Game of Thrones reference
PlayStation and Xbox hacked by Lizard Squad
Antonio Martin shooting: Black teenager may have tried to ambush patrolman, says police officer's lawyer
Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'
Boxing Day snowfall set to push even more bargain-hunters online for sales
The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public can visit police’s grisly crime museum
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Alex Salmond has 'broken his word to the Scottish people' says Scottish Lib Dem leader
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...
£70000 - £75000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketi...