On the eve of Rosh Hashanah in the Hebrew year 5710 (October 3, 1948), the young State of Israel was in the midst of a second truce in the War of Independence. The newspapers described a festive atmosphere with the approaching holiday but noted that the joy was marred by the many war recruits: “The notable absence of the masses of rejoicing young people, whose energy usually adds a special character to the city during the Jewish festivals, demonstrates, without saying a word, our political reality.”
The signs of war and scarcity also affected the holiday spirit. Although vegetables and meat were available in Tel Aviv for Rosh Hashanah, there were many complaints about the shortage of apples. At noon, an air raid sounded in the city after foreign air crafts were seen in the sky. Half an hour later, the relief siren sounded, signifying a return to normal. Rosh Hashanah celebrations also took place in the besieged city of Jerusalem despite the fall of the Jewish Quarter. Visitors to the residence of the Gerrer Hasidic Rebbe recounted:“When you enter this residence, it is almost impossible to believe that our enemies are so close to Jerusalem.” Two weeks after Rosh Hashanah, Operation Yoav began,paving a corridor through the besieged Negev and marking the end of the truce.