The atmosphere in frum areas of Eretz Yisrael does not require much explanation as Yidden are preparing for the Yom HaKadosh. As slichos wind down, families are running to shlug kaporos while others will use money to fulfill the kaporos obligation.
The solemn reality of the days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur is palpable as Yidden are busy with kiyum mitzvos, whether for Yom Kippur, Sukkos, chessed or simply learning and reviewing a mussar sefer.
In other areas of Eretz Yisrael the atmosphere varies, and sadly, for some, another year has passed and they remain clueless to the true definition of being a Yid, differences in hashkafa aside.
Chabad shluchim are busy preparing for minyanim and the seuda before and after the fast day. Rabbanei Tzohar are preparing for 240 minyanim they will be running around the country, hoping there will be an accumulative attendance of 50,000 mispallalim.
For the צער בעלי חיים activists the time is marked by protests against kaporos, decrying “cruelty to chickens”.
For many in Tel Aviv, for those who R”L remain so distant, the day is about bike riding and the city is preparing for that annual bike day, the largest of the year.
Emergency services are finalizing alert schedules as are defense and security agencies. Hospitals and other agencies are moving to holiday schedule, and for those involved in the sale of 4 minim, they are looking ahead to the day after, with most stores advertising they will open motzei Yom Kippur and operate without interruption until Friday candle lighting, reopening shortly after shabbos, hoping to maximize sale hours before erev yomtov.
What is unique perhaps as despite the fact that most of the country is not frum, the air smells of Yom Kippur and one only has to open one’s eyes to see how different עדות prepare for the day, especially at the Kosel, where tens of thousands are stopping by daily.
In Yerushalayim, passengers on the bus and light rail appear a bit more polite than usual and an accidental shove is quickly overlooked with a smile and a bracha of “Gmar Tov” rather than leading to a dispute. People seem a bit calmer, willing to overlook those occurrences that at other times might provoke an argument. The Kedusha is in the air and it is alive as Am Yisrael is in mitzvah mode, and B”H this is evident throughout the country for those willing to simply open their eyes and see it.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)