The start of the Jewish Day of Atonement at sundown Sunday marked the beginning of a day like no other in Israel, on which even Israelis with no connection to religion tend to put their normal lives on hold.

When Yom Kippur began at around 5 p.m. local time on Sunday, TV and radio stations blinked off the air, flights in and out of Israel's airports ceased, and nearly all businesses and institutions closed. The streets emptied of cars and cities and highways were eerily quiet.

Children riding bicycles on the empty streets of Jerusalem (Image: Tess Scheflan / Jini)

A main street in Jerusalem is seen completely empty (Image: Tess Scheflan / Jini)

Young girls using chalk to draw on the asphalt in the middle of a Tel Aviv street (Image: Motti Kimche)

People walking down an empty street in Jerusalem (Image: Reuters)

A little boy riding his bicycle in a Tel Aviv street (Image: Motti Kimche)

The tunnel under Tel Aviv's famous Dizengoff square, usually bustling with traffic, is seen full of pedestrians and bicyclists (Image: Motti Kimche)

A small child riding a toy bicycle in a Tel Aviv street (Image: Motti Kimche)