After Rosh Hashana, Countdown to Yom Kippur
Jews from all streams streamed to the nation's synagogues – including the Kotel (Western Wall) – on Rosh Hashana to attend the holiday prayers over the long holiday weekend which began Wednesday evening. The holiday passed without any unusual events at prayer centers, as security forces provided protection for the worshippers.
Numerous events are expected at the Kotel during the next ten days. Selichot prayers will be recited until Yom Kippur, which is the last of the "ten days of teshuva (repentance)" and the holiest day in the Jewish calendar.
The Military Rabbinate is conducting "selichot tours" for hundreds of soldiers, which pass through various synagogues and end up at the Kotel.
Sunday is the Fast of Gedalyah, one of the four fasts in the Jewish calendar that are related to the destruction of the Temples. The other three are Tevet 10, Tamuz 17 and the Ninth of Av, or Tisha B'av. These fasts were all instated after the destruction of the First Temple.
The Fast of Gedalyah marked a dark chapter in Jewish history, when the last Jews who still remained in the Land of Israel following the sacking of the Temple, left the land following the assassination of Gedalyahu Ben Ahikam, the Babylonian-appointed leader of the Jewish community in Israel.