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Yom Kippur 25/09/23

12/12/2023 03:51:45 AM



I want you to take a deep breath, and look around you. This quiet feeling is about to fill the country of Israel in less than two days. Yom Kippur in Israel is an extraordinary feeling. Its almost as if time stops. Before Yom Kippur starts, we always went to my grandma's place in Jerusalem for a final meal. Afterwards, we drove home in order to get get ready for synagogue in time. 

We would walk over to the synagogue, crossing a short but beautiful hiking trail. After Kol Nidrei, the scenery of my town is completely different. All roads are filled back to back with kids, teenagers and adults of all ages. Some walking by foot with their friends, some on bikes, scooters, skateboards and rollerblades and some playing board games in the middle of the road. 

Usually, while the age groups that fill the streets change, people are outside of at friends houses until dawn. 

In the morning or afternoon, depending on when you wake up, usually I would spend time biking with my family (which isn’t recommended when fasting - but happens anyways), reading and doing self reflection.

Around two hours before Neila I would meet with my friends again. Because we don’t use our phones, we had a method we developed after my best friend and I waited over an hour for a friend who didn’t wake up. We would meet at the big roundabout in the middle of town in a certain hour, wait fifteen minutes, and come back an hour later for late people.

Then, all my friends would come with my family and I to the synagogue we attend. The small synagogue is completely packed, and plastic chairs are lined outside to accommodate all people who want to attend.

After Neila, my family and I would walk home, and when the roads slowly woke up from hibernation, we would drive to my grandparents place to break the fast.


Yom Kippur has always been one of my favorite occasions, I know it sounds weird, but Yom Kippur has a sweet spot in my heart. As a kid I was fascinated about the amount of quiet this day brings, how’s everyone are dressed in white, and walk on the street.

I remember the special ritual me and my dad had as soon as Rosh Hashana was over. We used to go and check my bikes, if there good enough, if there’s air to fill to the wheels and to take out the Sukkha parts out just to put them there so it’ll be easier after Yom Kippur to build the Sukkha. 

This is one of the things I miss the most about my childhood and also cherish the most. Going out with my friends and driving around the whole town with bikes because there’s no car to interrupt on the way. 

And after a few long rides all over the town’s roads and fields I used to go with my family to the synagogue to hear the Shofar.

Wed, 29 May 2024 21 Iyyar 5784