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Safed on Shabbat

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Southport, United...
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Safed on Shabbat

I am still at planning stage of tour of Israel and need help.My husband and I are holidaying in Israel in May this year.We are in Haifa for the Friday night and planned to stop one night in Safed before going on to tour of the Galilee.Thought of going to Akko in the morning before continuing on to Safed. Is this a good idea with it being a Saturday (Shabbat) or would we be better leaving Safed out? looking at staying at Ruth Rimonin and web site says we can't book in till one hour after Shabttat is out.

The next two nights will be spent in the North seeing Galilee and the Golan Heights.Looking at staying at Kibbutz Nof Ginosar or Galei Kinnereth in Tiberias unless any other better suggestions which are moderately priced.

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1. Re: Safed on Shabbat

If you are spending only one day in Tsfat (Safed), Shabbat is not it. The city is very religious and will be pretty much closed down. I'd either re-order the trip or skip Tsfat this go around.

Douglas Duckett

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2. Re: Safed on Shabbat

I would stay in Haifa also Saturday night and on your way to the Hula Valley make an hour or two stop in Zfat. BTW there ate many hotels which may not avcept checkins before Shabbat is over so its always nest to check beforehsnd so uou don't run into any surprises.

Chana

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3. Re: Safed on Shabbat

Thank you both for your advice .I will cancel Safed on the Saturday night and take up Chana's suggestion to spend extra night in Haifa and reschedule trip accordingly. How long should it take to drive to Safed on the Sunday morning and would it be possible to book a guide to show us round before continuing to next destination,looking at kibbutz Nof Ginosar for the next two nights.

Also read on trip adviser traffic can be bad coming out of Haifa and there are suggestions to stay in Akko. As Akko is on our list of places to visit would this be a better option than staying at the Dan Panorama in Haifa.

Sorry to keep asking questions but there is so much advice out there from all you helpful people that I am finding it hard to decide best options.

Cincinnati, Ohio
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4. Re: Safed on Shabbat

First of all, this forum exists to ask questions. Please don't worry about that. Some of us thrive on answering them, as it keeps us mentally in Israel! :-)

Traffic in Haifa can be challenging but it's not that awful -- don't worry about it. On Sunday morning, I would think the drive to Tsfat would be between 1¼ and 1½ hours, 2 at most if the traffic were really bad.

Yes, having a guide in Tsfat is really helpful as the city is rather challenging to access and explore on your own. I highly recommend a tour guide named Aryeh Buznakh, who offers walking tours of “mystical Tsfat.” You can reach Aryeh at (054) 638-3309 or at lilach188@gmail.com. My friend Louis and I used him in 2006, and our time with him was very memorable. People I have referred to him since have all been pleased. If you use him, please tell him "shalom" from me.

Good luck!

Douglas Duckett

Edited: 23 March 2013, 09:33
Southport, United...
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5. Re: Safed on Shabbat

Thanks Douglas will contact guide

Lynne

Safed, Israel
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6. Re: Safed on Shabbat

Just another thought about Shabbat in Tzfat... While it is true that just about everything in Tzfat is closed on Shabbat, it is a place that can be an amazing experience for people on Shabbat if you are willing to stop "doing" and just "be".

There is something eerily beautiful in the deafening silence of a small city grinding to a halt, which begins to take hold as the sun sets behind Mt. Meron. Can you imagine the city in which you live coming to a voluntary standstill and hearing only the wind blowing, birds chirping, footsteps on the cobblestones and the voices of people wishing each other "Shabbat Shalom" as they make their way to synagogue?

The silence doesn't last for long however, because soon after sunset you can hear beautiful singing emanating from the many synagogues which dot the alleyways of this city as people welcome in the Sabbath (Shabbat).

I should also add that a Shabbat experience would be incomplete without joining a local family for either Shabbat dinner or lunch. Experiencing the smells and tastes of Shabbat along with the timeless wisdom of the Torah shared at the Shabbat table makes this a truly unique experience and may be of particular interest to those of Jewish heritage who have not had a chance to partake in such an experience.

Let's face it - if you were in India you would be visiting hindu shrines and buddhist temples, or if you were in Japan you would be intrigued by shinto priests...why not experience the refuge in time we call Shabbat?

If you are staying in a bed and breakfast, the owners of the B&B might be able to host you or at least steer you toward a family that offers Shabbat hospitality. Also, Ascent of Tzfat is a Jewish organization catering to educating Jews about their heritage - they can also help set people up for Shabbat meals.

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7. Re: Safed on Shabbat

While I agree with Ascentboy about the special atmosphere in Safed/Tzfat on Shabbat, the logistics of your trip won't exactly be conducive to this. You are planning on driving to Tzfat around midday/afternoon on Saturday, having come from Akko. That isn't compatible with a Shabbat atmosphere.

Either spend the whole of Shabbat - from Friday afternoon to Saturday after dark, at least - in Tzfat if it sounds like something you want to do, or avoid it altogether on that day.

However, I see you've already decided to cancel Saturday night in Tzfat, so all this is superfluous.

8. Re: Safed on Shabbat

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