Celebrating Jerusalem Day in the eternal Jewish capital is quite easy. But how can you participate if you live outside of Israel?
By Rabbi Ari Enkin, Rabbinic Director, United with Israel
We are ready to celebrate Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day, which takes place on the 28th day of the month Iyar on the Hebrew calendar – the day that the city of Jerusalem was liberated and united in 1967.
No West Jerusalem. No East Jerusalem. Just ONE Jerusalem, the eternal and undivided capital of the Jewish people.
Celebrating Jerusalem Day in Jerusalem is quite easy. The list of activities during the 24 hours of celebration is endless. Something for everyone. Most cities in Israel, in fact, have activities to celebrate Jerusalem Day.
But what if you live outside of Israel? How can you celebrate Jerusalem Day? How can you feel like you’re part of the action? Here are some ideas:
Get the YouTube going! If you’re reading this, then you probably have a computer in your home. Go to YouTube, search “Jerusalem Songs” and the like, and pump up the volume! This will certainly keep the Jerusalem spirit in your home during the course of the holiday!
From the classic oldies of “Jerusalem of Gold” to Avraham Fried, Mordechai Ben David and other modern-day Hasidic pop rock singers, there is something in music about Jerusalem for everyone!
The Kotel Cam! (Or is it “Kotel Kam?) There are a number of websites that offer a 24-hour live camera to the Western Wall. Tune in! Watch (and join!) the various prayer services at the Western Wall during the course of the day. This is the one and only day a year that bands and live music are invited to play at the Western Wall.
The dancing that goes along with it is electrifying and contagious. You just might end up dancing in your living room along with everyone else at the Wall! The concerts and dancing begin about 8 p.m. Sunday night.
Flags! Get out your Israeli flag! Put one in every room of the house, on your car, and even outside your home! Help publicize the miracle of the State of Israel and a united Jerusalem under Jewish sovereignty after a 2000-year hiatus.
Teach your friends and neighbors about it. Tell them about this special season in Israel with Yom Haatzmaut, Israel’s Independence Day, having been celebrated about three weeks ago, and now Yom Yerushalayim! It’s like a month-long, non-stop celebration of everything Israel!
Buy Jerusalem! Buy products made in Jerusalem that also remind you of Jerusalem. Perhaps a Jerusalem stone to keep above the fireplace. A flag of the Jerusalem emblem.
A picture of the Western Wall or another holy or historic site of Jerusalem. Let there be reminders of Jerusalem everywhere!
Israeli Food! Sure, hummus and falafel will do, and it’s a great Jerusalem Day menu. But see if you can get fancy and create or find the famous “Me’urav Yerushalmi” – Jerusalem Mix.
What is the Jerusalem mix? It’s a grilled meat dish considered a trademark of Jerusalem, consisting of chicken hearts, spleens and liver mixed with bits of lamb and cooked on a flat grill, seasoned with onion, garlic, black pepper, cumin, turmeric, olive oil and coriander. It tastes better than it sounds. Really!
Wash it down with some Israeli beer or Arak and finish with a Crembo (the Israeli chocolate-covered marshmallow on a cookie) for dessert!
Come and Visit! And finally, plan your next trip to Jerusalem! Here in Israel, corona is all but a memory. Thank God, things are essentially back to the way they were 15 months ago. The skies are slowly opening up and more tourists are being allowed in. Start preparing!
Sign the Declaration to Keep Jerusalem United
Jerusalem Must Remain the United Capital of Israel
I declare that Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish People and support all efforts to maintain and strengthen a united Jerusalem as the undivided capital of the State of Israel.