Watch: Tel Aviv Roads, Highways Shut Down for Yom Kippur

The Times of Israel reports: There’s something about an empty highway, a ribbon of black cutting through the night, that will move you deep in your soul. Kerouac knew this, as the miles of empty asphalt spooled under his wheels.

But there is nothing as magical and spiritual as the empty highways of Israel on Yom Kippur, a silence that fills up every corner of your being.

As a journalist, covering the wounds and scars of this country, you can find yourself dripping in sarcasm and cynicism, questioning why you chose to move to this loud, angry, hate-filled place. Nothing is holy in the Holy Land: everything is political, steeped in divisive conflict. Everything you say or write will somehow cause anger, heartache, hatred.

Yom Kippur is not free from conflicts. There are the teenagers in Jerusalem who yearly throw rocks at Arab cars on Hebron Road, and there were the 2008 riots in Acre when an Arab man drove through a religious Jewish neighborhood blaring music.

During the past two years, Yom Kippur also coincided with Eid al-Adha, when Muslims typically drive from family party to family party, meaning that just as the Jews stop driving, eating and listening to music for religious reasons, the Muslims did the exact opposite.

Read more here.


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