What to Know About This Yom Kippur in Israel
Yom Kippur starts tonight in Israel. Here's what you should know about Yom Kippur in Israel this year, from your intrepid tour guide of Israel:
While Yom Kippur is the Day of Atonement, someone made a list of 10 things that Israelis will never say sorry for. And it is spot on... https://www.israel21c.org/10-things-israelis-will-never-say-sorry-for/
For those politically-inclined, my good friend Gil Hoffman, the lead political reporter for the Jerusalem Post newspaper for the past two decades or so, had put out his yearly column on things our politicians need to atone for this year...
His boss Yaakov Kaz - the editor of the Jerusalem Post - pulls no punches when it comes to calling out Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for his conduct regarding the coronavirus, comparing it to the Yom Kippur War of 1973. The vast majority of Israelis do not trust him to handle this crisis effectively.
Speaking of the Yom Kippur War, a new document has just been declassified - the so-called "golden comminique" - which would have given almost 24 hours warning that the war was about to happen. Instead IDF intelligence sat on it for 10 hours. For more, click here: https://www.timesofisrael.com/golden-communique-that-couldve-prevented-yom-kippur-war-disaster-declassified/
How do Israelis normally celebrate Yom Kippur? 67% of Jews in Israel fully fast on Yom Kippur and another 7% only drink. 78% believe in God (though some sometimes have doubts). 67% also go to synagogue on Yom Kippur - though half of those only go for the Kol Nidrei (opening) and Neilah (closing) prayers. Keep in mind that 44% of Israelis consider themselves secular - which clearly has a different connotation here since half of those who consider themselves secular believe in God and quarter of them fully fast and attend synagogue on Yom Kippur. This year, however, synagogue attendance is expected to be way down due to the coronavirus. For more on that, check out this update on Israel, the coronavirus and Yom Kippur: https://www.jpost.com/opinion/amid-coronavirus-this-years-yom-kippur-is-another-kind-of-war-643482
There are, however, 10% of adults who ride bicycles on Yom Kippur - and 43% of parents of children say that their children ride bicycles. This is due to the streets - and highways - being virtually empty (though every year there are accidents - 2 people unfortunately were killed last year). Here are some great photos of how Israelis across the spectrum celebrate Yom Kippur. https://www.israel21c.org/9-great-photos-that-show-the-beautiful-diverse-ways-israelis-mark-yom-kippur/
G'mar Chatima Tova - May you all be inscribed in the Book of Life, Health, Sustenance, Success, Love, Peace and Prosperity.
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