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The Glorious, Reviving Silence of Israel's Yom Kippur

Yesterday, the Jewish people celebrated the holiest day of the year, Yom Kippur, or the Day of Atonement. The Times of Israel's Melanie Lidman shares a wonderful piece on how, in the Holy Land, it was a chance to stop and take stock of the year gone by:

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...

But aside from the sporadic incidences of rock throwing and riots, Yom Kippur is separate from the rest of a year, alone on a pedestal...

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