Tens of thousands flock to Western Wall ahead of Yom Kippur
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Tens of thousands flock to Western Wall ahead of Yom Kippur

Final penitential prayer service held ahead of holiest day of Jewish calendar

Tens of thousands of worshipers flocked to the Western Wall in Jerusalem on Monday night and Tuesday morning for penitential prayers ahead of Yom Kippur, which begins Tuesday evening.

The prayers are traditionally said in the days leading up to the High Holidays. The service was the last before the Day of Atonement.

Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar, begins at sundown Tuesday.

For religious Jews, the day is marked by fasting, abstinence and prayer over its 25 hours.

Thousands attend forgivness prayer (Selichot), at the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem early on October 8, 2019, prior to the upcoming Jewish Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Driving during Yom Kippur is considered taboo, and many secular Israelis have turned the day into a biking holiday, taking advantage of the car-free roads.

Israel shuts down on every year on Yom Kippur, with public transportation, government services and television broadcasters ceasing operations for the duration of the holiday.

Thousands attend forgivness prayer (Selichot), at the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem early on October 8, 2019, prior to the upcoming Jewish Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
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