The most serious and important holy day of the Jewish year is Yom Kippur. It is the day on which God determines each person’s fate for the coming year. The ten days leading up to Yom Kippur are spent in prayer and repentance, seeking God’s forgiveness for your sins as well as the forgiveness of any individual you have wronged.
Yom Kippur is the only mandated fast in Judaism. In addition, Jews refrain from work, entertainment, and luxury (bathing and wearing leather shoes, for example) for 25 hours. In Israel, the entire country comes to a halt. There are no cars on the road, no businesses or government offices open, and no loud noises. It ends with a single long blast of the shofar in every synagogue.
To learn more about Yom Kippur, click here.