JERUSALEM (Sep. 26)
Housewives were milling about the streets of Israel’s main cities today as they completed last-minute shopping and preparations for the holiday, while a record number of tourists poured into the country on the eve of Rosh Hashanah.
Half of Israel’s population was also traveling today with a fleet of 1, 800 busses and all available trains carrying more than 1, 000, 000 passengers en route to visit relatives and friends in various parts of the country.
A record number of prayer services were scheduled for the holiday with nearly 700 slated for Jerusalem alone — about 200 more than the permanent houses of worship in the city. As the holiday approached, quiet settled on the country and the first white-clad members of congregations could be seen walking slowly toward the synagogues. In Rosh Hashanah messages, both of Israel’s chief rabbis — Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Isser Yehuda Unterman and Sephardi Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Nissim — called for good will among Jews throughout the world and voiced prayers for strength for the tasks ahead.