Yom Kippur 2012
A man walks along an empty street in Jerusalem during the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur September 26, 2012. Photo by Reuters
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Israel came to a virtual standstill at sundown Tuesday as Jews began observing the start of the holiest day of the Jewish calendar, the 25 hours of fasting and contemplation known as Yom Kippur.

Israel's security establishment and emergency services have been put on high alert Tuesday ahead of the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur.

The IDF and Israel Police beefed up patrols in cities, and around synagogues, and officers were also stationed at the entrances to towns.

A comprehensive closure of West Bank border crossings went into effect on Monday night, and will continue until midnight on Wednesday.  The IDF Spokesperson's Unit said that individuals will be allowed to cross in cases of extreme medical or humanitarian emergency, subject to the approval of the Civil Administration.

Magen David Adom has reinforced its stations throughout the country with extra personnel on Yom Kippur in order to provide rapid medical care for cyclists and those fasting, should the need arise.

The fast began in Tel Aviv at 5:11 P.M., and will end at 6:09 P.M. on Wednesday. In Jerusalem, the fast began at 4:56 P.M., and will end at 6:07 P.M. on Wednesday.
In Be’er Sheva, fasting began at 5:14 P.M., and will end at 6:09 P.M. In Haifa, the fast began at 5:02 P.M, and will end at 6:08 P.M.

As the fast began, synagogues throughout Israel opened their doors for “Kol Nidrei” prayers.