- Title: MIDDLE EAST: Security clampdown for Jewish holy day
- Date: 28th September 2009
- Summary: WATER FLOWING ISRAELI CHECKPOINT BETWEEN BETHLEHEM AND JERUSALEM, WEST BANK (SEPTEMBER 27, 2009) (REUTERS) VIEW OF VEHICLES DRIVING TOWARDS CHECKPOINT SIGNS IN HEBREW, ARABIC AND ENGLISH, INSTRUCTING DRIVERS TO PREPARE FOR SECURITY CHECK ISRAELI SOLDIER INSPECTING CAR PEDESTRIAN CROSSING ADJACENT TO ISRAEL'S SEPARATION BARRIER HELICOPTER HOVERING ABOVE ENTRANCE SIGNS READING 'ENTRANCE' AND 'EXIT' PALESTINIAN MAN WALKING THROUGH FENCED WALKWAY QALANDIYA CHECKPOINT BETWEEN RAMALLAH AND JERUSALEM, WEST BANK (SEPTEMBER 27, 2009) (REUTERS) CARS DRIVING THROUGH ISRAELI CHECKPOINT SIGNS AT CHECKPOINT ISRAELI SOLDIER CHECKING CAR SEPARATION WALL HELICOPTER PEDESTRIANS ENTRY TO CHECKPOINT SIGNS READING IN HEBREW, ENGLISH AND ARABIC "ENTRANCE" AND "EXIT" MAN WALKING CHECKPOINT
- Embargoed: 13th October 2009 13:00
- Topics: Crime / Law Enforcement,Religion
- Reuters ID: LVA2BZTRD8UFA51U2T38IAWCIV3U
- Story Text: Final preparations are underway for the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, as the Israeli army steps up security and shuts the crossings into Jerusalem for Palestinians.
Yom Kippur is one of Judaism's holiest days and translated from Hebrew means "day of atonement."
Jews across the world perform religious customs to repent and cleanse themselves of sins.
'Kapparot' is one such custom where a person's sins are symbolically passed on to an animal.
A chicken is spun over a person's head while reciting "This is my exchange, this is my atonement". The chicken is then slaughtered and given to charity.
'Kapparot' is mainly performed in ultra-orthodox Jewish neighbourhoods, like in 'Mea She'arim' in Jerusalem. Some worshippers substitute a bag of money for the chicken.
Elkhanan said you had to truly believe that what is being done to the chicken is what you deserve for your sins, and that was more important than whether or not the chicken gets slaughtered.
Another cleansing ceremony is "Tashlich", in which participants stand by a running source of water, such as a sea or a river, and empty their pockets, symbolically casting the sins into the sea.
In preparation for the holy day holiday, the Israeli army imposed a clampdown on movement for Palestinians living in the West Bank.
At checkpoints queues formed as Palestinian pedestrians and drivers waited for their papers to be inspected.
The closure will be in force until midnight Monday (September 28) according to a statement from the army, although anybody in need of medical treatment will be allowed through.
Yom Kippur is a full public holiday in Israel. Most establishments close. There are also no radio or television broadcasts. Since it is a day of introspection, wearing leather, using cosmetics, bathing and sex, are forbidden.
Many Israeli Jews, secular and religious, choose to observe the Yom Kippur fast, eating and drinking nothing for 25 hours from sundown on Sunday until three stars appear in the night sky on Monday.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None