Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, is most commonly associated with the image of a white clad rabbi swaying to and fro in prayer; the parched, dry aftertaste of fasting; and the sound of the cantor’s voice reciting a litany of sins and asking god to “… pardon us, forgive us, grant us remission”. For me, Yom Kippur will always be associated with the 1973 Yom Kippur War, and the voice of the cantor always mingles in my mind with the sharp, keening, wail of a siren.
I grew up in the heart of Tel-Aviv – the City that Never Stops. Only it does stop: Once a year, Tel-Aviv, like the rest of Israel, shuts down its open markets, the cafes and restaurants, and all the traffic, to stand still before God on the Day of Judgment. Continue reading