Traditional Tikkun Kicks-off Weekend Activities

Hundreds of thousands of Israelis are expected to take part in the traditional nighttime Torah studies for tonight's tikkun leil Shavuot.

Synagogues, private homes and scores of community and study centers, both religious and secular, will run all-night learning programs examining a variety of subjects. In Jerusalem, many of the programs will culminate in processions to the Western Wall, for the celebratory morning prayers.

The rest of the spring holiday, a traditional time for travel and picnics, is expected to offer mild and pleasant weather. Temperatures are not expected to rise until Saturday. Today and tomorrow weather will be fair, with temperatures in the range of 26 to 27 degrees Celsius, rising slightly above 30 in the Jordan Valley.

The environmental agencies, including the Jewish National Fund and Israel Nature and Parks Authority, will be conducting a large number of events centered on either the holiday or the environmental. The JNF will organize walking trips around Jezreel Valley's Solelim forest on Friday, as part of the Days of Milk and Honey festival. On Saturday, a walking tour that will explore cooking with local herbs will be conducted in the Tzippori forest.

The Israel Airports Authority said some 36,000 passengers are expected to pass through Ben-Gurion Airport today, about half of them departing to enjoy the long weekend. Tomorrow the number will sharply decline and will remain at about 7,000 a day for the remainder of the holiday.

Some 20,000 passengers are expected to fly to Eilat over the holiday, and the hotels in the southern town are expected to be completely booked. Despite security warnings, some 14,000 Israelis are expected to cross to Sinai and Egypt through the Taba terminal between today and Sunday.