After spending Yom Kippur in Holy Blossom, in this community, and seeing your way of doing Yom Kippur, we wanted to share with you how Yom Kippur is like in Israel from our point of view.
So what will you see in Israel on Yom Kippur?
You will see kids riding their bikes on the streets.
The same kids will also block the street whenever a car will pass by, saying: “No driving on Yom Kippur!”
You probably won’t see any cars, unless they are on their way to the hospital.
You will see the most secular people wearing Kippas and going to Shul.
You will see teens playing board games all night long in the middle of the street.
You will see more white shirts than you will ever see in one place.
You will see teenagers insisting to stay awake until 5 AM, just to sleep through the entire fast the next day.
You will also see teenagers who don’t fast, that wake up at 5 AM, just to have more time to walk the entire city by foot.
You will see people debating with themselves over whether to take their cellphones out of the house, or maybe leave something pretty unnecessary for this day at home.
You will not watch any TV, or listen to the radio, because all the Israeli channels will stop broadcasting.
Except for one emergency channel, that always reminds us the lesson of 1973.
You will see reunions of old high school friends coming back from the army base.
You will also see soldiers that stay to guard the base.
You will see that sometimes some people will turn Yom Kippur into a commemoration day of the Yom Kippur war.
You will not see any open stores. Not even the ones that claim to be open 24/7
You will see people having a ‘breaking of the fast dinner’, even though they don’t even fast.
You will not hear any music, and if you see someone talking on the phone, it will be a rare sight.
You will see that most people in the Shul are not members of any congregation
And sometimes most people won’t have room to get in. But that doesn’t even matter, because the important part are the people in your surroundings.
You will see people having a breaking of the fast dinner, talking about how to make the fast easier next year.
Only to end up doing the exact same thing.
You will suddenly watch a news broadcast at the end of the day.
And within 10 minutes you will start hearing the phones ring, the noise of the cars on the street and the daily hustle, and within 10 minutes the entire country comes back to the daily life.
You will see that the only thing left from Yom Kippur is a few kids with bikes on the sides of the street, who didn’t make it in time for dinner.
You will see that the next day, kids in school will talk about who made it the furthest from home on his bike, and who went down the steepest hills.
And you will see that the next year too, the streets will be empty with cars, the serenity will return, and everything will be exactly the same as last year, for one day.
Unless you’re in Toronto, like us, and then you are going to experience a whole new different Yom Kippur.