In Israel, I saw people from all over the world and heard people speaking what seemed like every language under the sun.
|Israel attracts people from all over the globe, as this sign seems to indicate!
I knew that Israel was an important center of three of the world's major religions, but was unaware of its significance to the Bahá’í Faith.
In Haifa, Israel's third largest city, we saw our first evidence of respectful coexistence between people of different faiths. We arrived in Israel just hours before Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, began at sunset.
Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the year for Jews. Beginning at sundown, observant Jews in Israel fast completely until the sun sets the following day. They will not drive or perform any sort of work. Even the airport and other forms of public transportation shut down in Israel, as did the television stations. Muslims and Christians respect the holiness of this day and do not drive or conduct business in the Jewish quarters. Once the sun set and Yom Kippur began, we were virtually the only vehicle on the road.
I was struck for the first time by how much we've lost the sense of holiness in our country.
Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy - Ex. 20:8