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Israel Ushers in Rosh Hashanah with Prayer Book in One Hand and Rifle in the Other Hand

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Israelis ushered in the Jewish New Year 5736 literally with a prayer book in one hand and a weapon in the other Worshippers in towns and settlements in the northern border regions were issued rifles to carry to their synagogues in the event of possible terrorist attacks. Army units. border police, regular police and civilian guards were placed on high alert in the border regions and throughout the countryside where thousands of Israelis were celebrating the holiday at picnic and camping sites that could become targets of terrorist attacks.

One hundred air raid sirens sounded in Tel Aviv to mark the beginning of the New Year Friday afternoon. The transportation cooperatives put every available bus into service to carry tens of thousands of holiday makers to country and seaside resorts or to spend the High Holy Days with relatives in different towns.

Military authorities, aided by civilian volunteers made a special effort to bring soldiers home from outlying posts for the holidays. Doctors at Beilinson Hospital agreed to use their extra rations of gasoline to transport soldiers who traditionally wait for rides at designated spots along the country’s highways. The doctors ran a regular pick-up service with their cars on the Tel Aviv-Haifa. Tel Aviv-Jerusalem and Tel Aviv-Beersheba highways. (By Yitzhak Shargil)

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