Israel has been opening up, but mass public gatherings are still not kosher. So how can we celebrate Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day, you ask? We celebrate together, away from each other.

Here are some traditions of my home town of Jerusalem and some ways you can celebrate Yom Yerushalayim either at home in Israel or at home in the Diaspora.

Sing Songs About Jerusalem

“Jerusalem of Gold” is a classic Hebrew song, written in 1967. Singing songs you don’t understand is a great way to celebrate Jerusalem. It’s a beautiful Jewish tradition, as it makes things more meaningful.

For even more meaning, write your own song about Jerusalem. Don’t be scared. None of the two-thousand guitar carrying people I’ve met in Jerusalem, have shied away from this. It’s not complicated. I will teach you the secrets. Play any chord on the guitar and say “Jerusalem.” Any chord is fine. Other words that can be added are “peace,” “gold,” and “city of.” How you organize those words is up to you. “Flowing with” also works, even though it’s hard to find something that rhymes with “flowing.” As any decent folk singer would, make sure that you enunciate the word “Jerusalem” correctly, with an emphasis on “lem”; otherwise, your song will not touch the heart.

Kotel Services in Your Home

Pray with a lot of noise in the background. That will help you feel like you’re at the Kotel with its 100 simultaneous minyanim.

As you may have seen, at the Kotel, they are taking the social distancing very seriously, with closed off areas. The new quarantined areas have been set up so that people in groups of a hundred are six feet away from other groups of a hundred or more people.

Israeli Dancing Socially Distanced

This actually makes for much less injury during the Hora at the arm raise section. Countless times I have been hit by long armed people at four feet, with happy intention at Bar Mitzvahs.

Jerusalem Stone

There is nothing more meaningful than walking the sidewalks of Jerusalem, made of its own stone. A feeling of holiness that cannot be duplicated without slippery floors. To bring this Jerusalem neighborhood feeling to your home, find any decently tiled kitchen, pour water on it and walk in your socks. If you get severely hurt, that’s what the Middle East feels like. Please sign a waiver before proceeding with this idea - I need to cover myself legally here.

Army Bases

Visiting army bases and bunkers that were active during the Six Say War is a beautiful way to spend the holiday. In quarantine, you can relive the bunker experience in your basement with live streaming and Amazon Prime.

FroYo

Translated into English, this means ground up fruits and sweets in ice cream. You can celebrate this Jerusalem favorite, frozen yogurt that tastes good, by going to a decent frozen custard style dessert establishment, such as Carvel. This holiday, you can finally enjoy yourself knowing you will get heavy.

Parade with Cars

Probably no walking parades this year waving flags. Instead, lineup cars throughout your city. Built up traffic is a great way to celebrate and get people mad. Be sure to beep your horn. That will add to the festive experience.

And this year, hang a real flag out your car. The mini flags are pathetic. If you’re going to have something flying off your car when you open your window by accident, it might as well be something big. If you’re going to litter, do it right.

Protest

No Jerusalem Day event would be replete without a protest.

You can’t socially distance a parade, but you can socially distance a protest. You do this by treating people as protesters, having them stand off to the side. If we can’t walk together, we can at least successfully protest together. If you’re not in Israel during these times, you can stand by the curb and yell at cars passing. This will bring the full Yom Yerushalayim experience to your town.

Vote

It’s going to happen again, soon. I believe we celebrated last Yom Yerushalayim with elections.

I am not sure if this is a Yom Yerushalayim tradition yet. It might be a new way of celebrating the monthly moon of our lunar calendar.

Buy a Jerusalem Product

I just bought one last Yom Yerushalayim in the shuk. It said “made in China.” I’m sure you can join in supporting Jerusalem’s unity by purchasing a couple of these products on eBay. They send to Israel as well.

Mifletzet

In Israel, parents have a tradition of taking their children to see this every Yom Yerushalayim, as we are sure Mitushelach would’ve enjoyed going down this slide. It’s a shame he didn’t live long enough.

Known in English as “The Monster,” this is the famous slide of Jerusalem. That’s what kids get when their city has no amusement park. A slide that gives them nightmares. A three tongued monster that allows you to slide of its mouth. I can’t tell you how many people who grew up in Jerusalem that told me, “I haven’t been to the Mifletzet since I was five.” Why? Because they got scared.

I truly hope that you now feel more connected to Jerusalem, as we slowly move out of our homes. For all of those in the Diaspora, we miss you in Israel. Come visit us soon. We look forward to yelling at you again.