Israel Shuts Down for Yom Kippur

AP/Mark Lennihan

The Times of Israel reports: Israel shut down on Tuesday evening for Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement and the holiest day of the Jewish calendar.

All flights in and out of Ben Gurion airport ceased at 1:35 p.m.. The airport will reopen Wednesday night with arrivals starting at 9:30 p.m., while departures will resume at 11:30 p.m. Public transport also gradually halted with buses and trains stopping their routes until after the fast day.

As sundown approached, all local radio and television broadcasts gradually fell silent.  Yom Kippur, which began at Tuesday at sundown and ends Wednesday night, is marked with a 25-hour fast and intense prayer by religious Jews, while more secular Israelis often use the day to ride bicycles on the country’s deserted highways.

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