Yom Kippur fast starts at sundown Sunday

By Haaretz Service

5 October 2003

The Yom Kippur fast starts at sundown Sunday, as security services remain on high alert to prevent terror attacks in Judaism's holiest day. Official memorial services will be held Tuesday to mark the 30th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War. The main ceremony will take place at the Mount Herzl Military Cemetery in Jerusalem. Ten additional ceremonies will take place in the afternoon hours Tuesday at cemeteries around the country.

Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz will commemorate the fallen in a ceremony at the Kiryat Shaul Military Cemetery.

Prayers accompanied by commentary will be held during Yom Kippur in 150 community centers and schools throughout the country. The prayers are
held as part of the "Judaism for everyone" project aimed at bringing new immigrants and secular Jews closer to Jewish tradition. This year the project will encompass 24 kibbutzim and 30 other locales aimed at reaching immigrants from the former Soviet Union.

The three main holiday prayers – "Kol Nidrei" on Sunday at 17:30 P.M. "Shaharit" on Monday morning at 8:00 A.M. and "Ne'ila" on Monday at 17:00 P.M. will be performed at each center, and will include explanation sheets in Hebrew and in Russian.

The project is a joint venture by Minister Natan Sharansky, the office of Religious Affairs, the community centers company, the "Tzohar" organization of rabbis, the department of Jewish culture at the Ministry of Education and the "Beyhhad" (together), Etim and Amiel organizations.

Civil aviation to and from Israel will be stopped on Sunday starting at 13:00 P.M. ahead of the holiday. The final landings at Ben Gurion Airport will be an El Al flight from Paris at 12:30 P.M. and an El Al flight from Munich landing at 12:35 P.M. Ben Gurion airport will reopen on Tuesday evening at 21:30 P.M.

Some 13,000 Israelis traveled to Sinai through the Taba border terminal on the Egyptian border near Eilat to spend the holiday on the peninsula. 8,500 of them crossed the border on Friday. The border terminal will close on Sunday at noon, to reopen on Monday at 21:00 P.M.

Director of the Taba border terminal Yitzhak Hi said Saturday his Egyptian colleagues told him the hotels and resort villages along the entire sea front from Taba to Nueba were packed mostly with Israelis.

Israelis returning from Sinai have said that the Egyptian officials at the border crossing were very friendly. "They welcome tourism from Israel; the bureaucracy still exists, but it's quicker and more polite; they must have really missed us over there," an Israeli who returned last week said.