Inside the Ashdod synagogue
Inside the Ashdod synagogueYoni Kempinski

Hundreds of thousands of Jews worshipped at synagogues all throughout the country in honor of Rosh Hashannah, the beginning of the Jewish New Year. One of the focal points of worship for Jews over the holiday was the Kotel, the Western Wall. No security incidents were reported there, or anywhere else in Israel.

The Rosh Hashannah holiday is the start of the Ten Days of Repentance, during which Jews examine their ways and pledge to improve themselves. The period runs through Yom Kippur, which will be observed next Tuesday night and Wednesday. Religious sites, including the Kotel, the Machpelah Cave, Rachel's Tomb, as well as synagogues, will be filled with Jews reciting the Selichot, the penitential prayers traditionally recited daily at dawn this time of year.

On Wednesday, The Fast of Gedaliah is observed. The Fast commemorates the end of Jewish rule in the Land of Israel following the destruction of the First Holy Temple some 2,500 years ago, prompting the sages to say that the death of a righteous man is equivalent to the destruction of the Temple. On the Sabbath of Repentance this coming Saturday, a special chapter is read from the book of the prophet Hosea, calling the Jewish people to repent and return to G-d. Rabbis traditionally deliver a sermon, drasha, on repentance, in the afternoon.