Sunday, September 19, 2010

No Cars Day (or Yom Kippur)

If any of you are Jewish, or have any good Jewish friends, you probably know that us Jews have quite a few religious holidays to celebrate throughout the year. Our busiest holiday time is somewhere around Sept. and lasts until mid to end of Oct. (The dates change every year on the Civil Calendar as we use the Hebrew Calendar when it comes to following our holidays). For instance, last year Rosh Ha'Shanna, our new year celebration, was celebrated on Sept. 19th, but this year it was celebrated on Sept. 9th. (Change the year here and see the differences in holidays dates). It can get a bit confusing, I know.
Well, after Rosh Ha'Shanna which was celebrated last week, comes Yom Kippur which is The Day of Atonement. As I am writing this post we are in the midst of this holiday. Well, not really a holiday per-say rather a holy day. For religious folks it is the holiest day of all, in which for about 25 hours they fast and pray and hope for forgiveness of their sins, all in hopes to be inscribed in the book of life for the coming year.
I've mentioned in the past that I am not a religious person, though I do celebrate most of our holidays. I do so for two reasons. First is more spiritual. While I am not religious I am Jewish and for me being Jewish is not a religious thing. The second reason, and more important one, is that the holidays are family times. It's when we all get together with our loved ones and enjoy each others company (though I know in some families, the getting together part is not that enjoyable...).
Both my someone and myself have fasted in previous years on Yom Kippur. I don't know his reason for fasting, for me it was tradition, as well as an opportunity to cleanse my body. But this year we had both decided not to fast. We wanted to take advantage of the quietness of this holiday and the empty streets (there are no cars on the roads throughout the entire time of the fast) and take some photos we could only take on this day of the year.
At the start of the fast, as the sun was just about to say goodnight, we hopped on our bikes, with my camera at hand (and a mask we bought in Venice) and we hit the big roads and intersections of Tel Aviv

We started off on  street, and headed towards the La Guardia intersection (and tunnel). Go here to see a video of the road

Then we turned on to Ayalon Highway heading towards the Azrieli Center and Towers. This is what Ayalon usually looks like on a normal day

We took the exit there and road on Begin Road heading towards Maariv Bridge

We sat at the top of the bridge, something we couldn't do on a normal day, as it's for cars only- there are no sidewalks for pedestrians, and we enjoyed the view overlooking Maariv House


laura evans/photography said...

i am totally in love with these ... they're totally surreal & gorgeous. Everything is still but you seem to have created a sense of movement with the curves in the road & the lights. wonderful.

zeder said...

A atmosphere like in a siencs fiction film, a god foto story.
But yom kipur is very real.
Regards from Berlin,

Amie McCracken said...

This adds such a different flavor to Yom Kippur. I didn't know the roads were empty. It makes it feel like time has stopped so everyone can beg forgiveness. I'm speechless looking at these.

andrea said...

those are some awesome night shots!! i love the mask :)

i also consider myself more spiritual than religious, and i too enjoy the holidays more for being with family than anything else.

Ooty said...

seems like ya' had a very useful day =)
I was glued to the AC this time=p