If you spend at least a week in Israel, you will have to deal with the Sabbath like I did on my pilgrimage through the Holy Land.
The Sabbath is the Lord’s Day to the Jewish people and is from sundown on Friday until sundown on Saturday. I was told to be careful in my planning because the buses do not run during this time. I am here to tell you it is WAY more than that in Israel. Not only do the buses not run, but every business is closed and there is no one on the streets. I walked out of my hotel in Tiberias on Saturday mid-morning with the sun up high and the heat of the day starting to bake the landscape. As I was walking around I quickly realized I would not be seeing anything today and questioned if I would find any food. I was walking down the empty streets and I could not decide which movie type I felt like I was in. Either it was an old western and the bad guy just came into town as all the town folk shutter their windows, tumbleweeds rolling across the screen, and the high pitched suspense music is cued OR this movie was more akin to a post-apocalyptic disaster movie where I needed to look over my shoulder as I explored an abandoned town to scrounge for resources because hordes of zombies would be coming around the corner at any point.
Please know I tell this story with my tongue in my cheek in order to prepare any traveler to Israel about the reality of each Saturday. For the record I did find a few Arab run convenience stores and restaurants that were open, but not very many. I suspect if you were near Jerusalem you could have a very active day in the West Bank since it is predominantly Arab.
If you come back tomorrow, you will see how I relaxed during the Sabbath as I spent my day in Tiberias next to the Sea of Galilee and on Saturday I will tell you about my pilgrimage around the Sea of Galilee. This area is important to see because most of Jesus’s ministry took place in this area. Why don’t you LIKE svGuidingLight on Facebook so you do not miss any of the blogs about my “Planes, Trains, & Automobile World Tour” (this is just the end of leg 3 of 6). Feel free to share these blogs with anyone you think would be interested. Thank you.
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