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June 8-9 Holiday? Eilat to Jerusalem Question & Beit Guvrin

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June 8–9 Holiday? Eilat to Jerusalem Question & Beit Guvrin

The enthusiasm and comments on this forum are just fantastic. I really appreciate reading all of the posts and it’s really fun doing this planning! I hope you can help with this part of our itinerary that seems to have a “holiday” wrinkle.

On Friday, June 6th, we will be arriving in Eilat after a 5 day trip to Petra and a camel/jeep tour of the Negev. I was planning on one or two rest days in Eilat and continuing on to Jerusalem. When I was checking the car rental prices, I found that Sunday, June 8th is the eve of a holiday, and Monday, June 9th is a holiday. It is not possible to return a rental car during this period, except at the airport with an additional charge ($26 plus our transportation from the airport to Jerusalem). In Jerusalem, we will have 8 full days/9 nights, starting on Monday night, June 9th.

Here are my questions:

•Does anyone know what the June 8/9 holiday is?

•If the car rental offices are closed mid-day June 8th through June 9th, will Egged buses be running from Eilat to Jerusalem? I checked the Egged website and cannot find the information!

Right now I see these options – what do you think?

*Take Egged bus on Sunday, June 8th to Jerusalem, arriving before mid-day & the beginning of the holiday. This would give us 9 days in Jerusalem. Then, use one of those days for a day trip and rent a car to Beit Guvrin for a “dig for a day” program and then seeing more of the countryside west of Jerusalem.

*Take the Egged bus on Monday, June 8th, the holiday, if it is running. This would give us 2

days in Eilat. Then, use one of the 8 days in Jerusalem for a day trip to Beit Guvrin.

*Hire a car on Sunday, June 8th mid-day in Eilat. We are thinking of staying at Kibbutz Eilot, about 3 kilometers outside of Eilat, so we could use the car on that Sunday to go around Eilat. Monday, drive to Jerusalem, stopping off at Beit Guvrin, if they have the dig that day & we could get there in time for it from Eilat. Keep car & return on Tuesday, January 10th in Jerusalem.

Questions about Beit Guvrin:

*At Beit Guvrin, if we take the “dig for a day” program, is it adviseable to hire a guide to show us around Beit Guvrin beyond the dig area?

*Is there public transportation to Beit Guvrin from Jerusalem in case we wanted to do that?

*Does anyone know the meeting time for the Beit Guvrin dig? I have emailed Archaelogical Seminars, but they have not responded.

Thanks!

Margie

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1. Re: June 8–9 Holiday? Eilat to Jerusalem Question & Beit Guvrin

Margie,

It is Shavuot. Or in Jewish-American pronunciation, Shavuos.

I would doubt that the Egged buses would be running.

You could google and get a kazillion websites with explanations, but here's one that goes beyond the basics, if you're interested:

chabad.org/holidays/…Shavuot.htm

You might want to check whatever holidays might fall during your month-long trip.

Daphne

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2. Re: June 8–9 Holiday? Eilat to Jerusalem Question & Beit Guvrin

No Egged buses on June 9th. JUne 8th is like Friday.

The holiday is the Jewish Pentecost. I like the plan of renting a car on Sunday and staying in Eilat and driving to Jerusalem via Bieit Guvrin. Gives you freedom to do what you like.

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3. Re: June 8–9 Holiday? Eilat to Jerusalem Question & Beit Guvrin

On Shavuot we celebrate the Jewish people receiving the Torah (the most important Jewish scriptures) at Mt Sinai. According to a midrash (traditional Jewish story) the Israelites overslept the morning on which the Torah was given, and Moses had to wake them up. To "rectify" this mistake there is a custom among religious Jews to stay up all night on Shavuot studying religious texts, and most synagogues run programmes of study and classes all night. Another customs of the holiday is to eat dairy food - cheesecake is particularly typical.

If you are in Jerusalem on Shavuot it is worth getting up early to watch thousands of Jews stream into the Old City and to the Western Wall on Shavuot morning at dawn. It is really incredible to see - rivers of people coming from all directions and converging on one place for the morning prayers and reading of the beautiful, romantic biblical book of Ruth.

Avigail

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4. Re: June 8–9 Holiday? Eilat to Jerusalem Question & Beit Guvrin

Agree with Avigail - walking with thousands of people to the Western Wall on Shavuot morning is amazing. Note that "early" means REALLY early, as in sunrise ! But it's well worth the effort.

With regards to the buses - as you've already been told, there are no buses on the 9th of June. On the 8th of June, there will be buses as there are on Fridays. The Egged bus timetables don't show months in advance, but just as an example, next Friday there are 3 buses leaving Eilat for Jerusalem: at 7:00, 10:00 and 13:00. Note that this is a winter friday, when Shabbat starts in Jerusalem at 17:00. In June, and especially just before a holiday, there may be an additional bus. The jouney takes 4 and 3/4 hours.

I actually liked your idea of renting a car, and driving to Jerusalem via Bet Guvrin. You might be able to get answers to your questions from the following (there isn't enough information on the site):

www.archesem.com/dig.asp#

www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17595732/ (scroll down till you find links and phone numbers for more information).

According to the above, there is no public transport from Jerusalem, so you will need a tour bus or a car.

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5. Re: June 8–9 Holiday? Eilat to Jerusalem Question & Beit Guvrin

Bet Guvrin closes at 17:oo in the summer and seems to be open every day. If you wish to phone when you're in Israel to make sure, the numbers are 08-6811020/08-6812957 or *3639 from any phone.

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6. Re: June 8–9 Holiday? Eilat to Jerusalem Question & Beit Guvrin

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