Israelis mark Yom Kippur under 'painful' virus lockdown
With social distancing barrier, an ultra-Orthodox Jewish man and an Israeli soldier pray ahead of Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish year which starts at sundown Sunday during a three-week nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus at the Western Wall, the holiest site where Jews can pray in Jerusalem's old city, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020. The solemn Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, which annually sees Israeli life grind to a halt, arrived on Sunday in a nation already under a sweeping coronavirus lockdown. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
Joseph Krauss, The Associated Press
Published Sunday, September 27, 2020 9:01AM EDT
JERUSALEM - The solemn Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, which annually sees Israeli life grind to a halt, is taking place in a nation already under a sweeping coronavirus lockdown.
Every year, businesses shut down, roads empty out and even radio and TV stations go silent as the faithful hold intensive prayers of atonement on the holiest day in the Jewish calendar.
The more secular-minded can be seen riding bikes or even picnicking on deserted highways.
But this year all non-essential businesses have already been forced to close, and Israelis must stay within 1,000 metres (yards) of their homes.
Yom Kippur begins at sundown on Sunday.