Israel Shuts Down for Yom Kippur

Empty highway during Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur (which began at sundown Tuesday, October 8 this year) is the holiest day on the Jewish calendar. It follows the 10 Days of Awe in which Jews are particularly focused on repentance, prayer, fasting and acts of charity.

According to Jewish tradition, it is believed the righteous (tzaddikim) are written into the Book of Life, while the wicked (resha’im) are written into the Book of Death. Most, though, are not yet written in either, so they are given 10 days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur to repent. Thus, there is significant introspection among Jews during these 10 days.

As you can imagine, Yom Kippur is a day of reckoning and the Jews take it very seriously as they focus on their spiritual state.

  • No one drives anywhere.
  • Businesses are closed.
  • The entire airport shuts down (no flights in or out).
  • Schools are closed.
  • Virtually the entire nation shuts down.

As believers in Jesus the Messiah, we know His sacrifice for our sin was once and for all. Praise God for salvation by grace through faith in Jesus our Savior. We do not have to wonder if we’ve done enough to be written into the Book of Life. Jesus did enough on our behalf!

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name

~John 1:12

He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.

~Revelation 3:5

Meanwhile, Yeshua (Jesus) is making Himself known to the Jewish people, and wants to save them as a nation! In the last post we got an inside look at how Jesus the Messiah is being found in Israel. In tomorrow’s post, a young Israeli shares her story of meeting the Messiah. Stay tuned!

Please pray that Yom Kippur this year will be a catalyst is drawing Jewish people to their Messiah.

PS: The roadways may be empty, but here is what it looks like at the Western Wall, the most sacred place in Israel for Jews:

Jam-packed Western Wall plaza during Yom Kippur

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