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Israel Observes Tisha B’av; Banks, Moving Picture Houses Closed

Civil services throughout the country were partially staffed today to permit workers to observe Tisha B’Av which started at sundown last night. The Jewish Agency offices, the Ministry for Religious Affairs and the Chief Rabbinate were closed all day as were all banks and movie houses.

The traditional fast, which marks the anniversary of the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem 1890 years ago, was ushered in at a special service on Mount Zion with prayers and lamentations at the site of the tomb of King David after which the congregants ascended the observation roof to gaze on the Wailing Wall, still inaccessible on the Jordan-held side of Jerusalem.

Pilgrims from various parts of the country visited Mount Zion throughout the day and synagogues all over the country were crowded for prayers.