Since Rosh Hashannah, Israel’s Egged buses have had the computerized signs above the driver alternating between the vehicles’ destination and the words “Chatima Tova” – “be sealed for a good year”.
Israel radio closes its broadcasts preceding the Yom Kippur fast with the same words, said by one announcer to another and to all of Israel.
That is one of the special things about Israel. With all its differences and tensions between the secular and religious, the State of Israel is essentially closed down on Yom Kippur, with no public transportation or electronic broadcasts, and practically no open stores or services. The trains stop at 11, buses several hours later, and the IDF shuts off Palestinian Arab entrances to Jewish areas. Everyone tells everyone “chatima tova” as the phone lines jam.
This day, highest of the High Holidays – Yom Kippur – is to begin on Tuesday night, and Jews around the world will fast for 25 hours on the solemn day that ends the Ten Days of Penitence.
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