Worshipper at Western Wall of Temple Mount Photo YouTube screenshot piccolosamogitian channelWhat does it look like when an entire country honors a day to seek God in humble penitence - including its non-religious citizens? Israel is about to do this very thing. This is a glimpse of a singular culture's Day of Repentance.


A survey conducted before the High Holy Days found that 61% of the Jewish Israeli population plans on adhering to Jewish custom by avoiding food and drink on Yom Kippur.

The Israeli news service, YNet, along with Bina — the Jewish Movement for Social Change — commissioned the survey from the Geocartography Institute. The survey found a 3% increase in people intending to fast, from 58% during the previous Yom Kippur.

Taking a more in depth look, the survey showed that those fasting include 36% of the secular population, 89% of the traditional sector and 97% of those who identify as religious or ultra-orthodox. In addition, 9% of secular partcipantss, 53% of traditional participants and 96% of religious participants will be attending synagogue. 5% of those who will not fast are still planning on going to synagogue.

65% of women stated they will be fasting, together with 58% of men.

Over one third to attend synagogue.

When asked how they plan on spending the holiday, participants gave a variety of answers.

✡ 43% answered that they will use it for rest and relaxation;

✡ 39% plan on reading a book;

✡ 38% will attend synagogue services; and

✡ 35% will spend it with family;

✡ 20.5% are looking forward to watching television;

✡ 18% will spend it with friends;

✡ 15% will go out for a walk;

✡ 9% will be cooking and eating well;

✡ 4% will go on bike rides; and

✡ 4% will spend it doing other activities.

Bina CEO Eran Baruch responded to the findings by saying, "You Kippur is an important and significant day, and most Israelis choose to commemorate it in some way. It is a time to stop and take stock." He added that "We at Bina praise the fact that this day is (seen as) an opportunity to and deal with the meaning of contemporary Jewish identity."

The survey included 500 participants from Israel's adult population, with a maximum margin of error of 4.4%.


This is a lightly edited version of the original article published by YNet News at,7340,L-4864759,00.html

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