Israel Comes to a Halt for Yom Kippur

IDF, Israel Police, and Magen David Adom prepare for the 25-hour Yom Kippur fast; IDF imposes closure on West Bank.

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 Beer 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.

Yom Kippur 2012