All traffic comes to a stop in Israel on Yom Kippur. That means that people will ride their bikes on side streets, main streets and even highways. Because I fast (want to know why? click here) on Yom Kippur, I never had the oppurtinity to see this, except in my city of Ra’anana. So a few years ago, I decided to rough it and bike through Tel Aviv, even while fasting. It was one of the most memorable days of my life!
I know for many, that is not an honorable way to observe a holiday that is meant for interspection and repentance. However the reporter in me had to see the rest of the country on Yom Kippur at least once. I was shocked to find the beaches full of Israelis who just looked at Yom Kippur as day off—many of them Russian immigrants who didn’t grow up celebrating the holidays, as they were forbidden in Soviet Russia. Albeit, most Israelis do observe the Holy day. Even if they don’t fast, they do show more respect. Below are my photos of that day.
This is my favorite picture of the day. Orthodox kids conversing with secular kids who are riding their bikes. Worlds collide.
Biking on the Ayalon, the highway that goes N/S through Tel Aviv
Taking a break
Biking on the highway
Eating lunch in the middle of the highway under an overpass… most children do not fast on Yom Kippur.
Heading north to Herzliya
Chatting on the side of the highway
Some just walk
View from a bridge