Yom Kippur is one of the most elegant days of the year in my view. It has a unique holiness all over it. I get excited every year after the New Year day when Yom Kippur approaches, looking forward to the people interaction, neighborhood networking, on this day.
What enables this unique interaction is the silence. It is the quietest day in the year. On this day even in the busiest cities one can hear the birds and the leaves and listen to the waves and the wind. Not only do you not hear any music, but also engines, motors, cars. No TV, almost no Internet.
With no operating entertainment elements what you are left with is people – and bicycles. The kids have a one time (per year) opportunity to ride their bike on the wide roads, which are normally filled with traffic, but are empty on Yom Kippur. The people have a chance to sit on a bench or even on the pavement and get to know their neighbors.
I am not a religious Jew. Yet there is no way to appreciate the godly feeling that fills the streets on this day. After 24 hours of silence complete neighborhoods, religious or not, walk to the nearest synagogue to hear the Shofar – the Ram’s horn- blown, announcing the end of the fast.
On the way back home first cars start their engines and a silent longing is locked until next year.