Israelis Brace for Traffic Jams and a Crowded Airport on Rosh Hashanah

Nearly 86,000 people expected to fly out of Ben-Gurion International Airport on Wednesday, and over the two days of the Rosh Hashanah holiday, on 567 flights.

Zohar Blumenkrantz
Zafrir Rinat
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Zohar Blumenkrantz
Zafrir Rinat

The weather over the holiday is expected to be relatively comfortable, with even cooler temperatures on the way toward the weekend, and there is a chance of light rain over the weekend in the north and along the coast.

Evening temperatures in the hills over the holiday will get down to 15 degrees Celsius. The rain is not expected to approach amounts that fell last weekend, which was the greatest amount of rain recorded for the month of September, apart from during the years 1959 and 1975.

Traffic on an Israeli highway. Illustrative.

Heavy traffic is expected at various locations Wednesday from 11 A.M. to 7 P.M. and Wednesday evening from 11 P.M. to 2 A.M., as Israelis travel the country to celebrate Rosh Hashanah. The rest of the week is also expected to bring periods of high traffic volume. Police say they will strictly enforce traffic laws despite the expected jams, but rest stops will be set up at locations around the country. Police will also be deployed in city centers and at other strategic locations in an effort to head off any potential security threats.

Nearly 86,000 people are expected to fly out of Ben-Gurion International Airport Wednesday and over the two days of the Rosh Hashanah holiday on 567 flights. The most popular destinations for travelers leaving the country include Greece, the United States, Germany, Italy, Russia and Ukraine.

The pilgrimage of 22,000 Breslav Hasidim making the Rosh Hashanah trip to Uman, Ukraine, where their movement's spiritual figure, Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav, who died in 1810, is buried, will conclude today. The crush of travelers to Uman this week prompted airport authorities to set up special check-in facilities for flights to the Ukrainian town.

An estimated 1.16 million travelers are expected to pass through Ben-Gurion airport during the fall Jewish holiday season as a whole.