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Yom Yerushalayim (in hebrew), Jerusalem Day (in english), is an Israeli national holiday that commemorates the reunification of Jerusalem and Israeli control over the Old City as a result of the 1967 Six-Day War. In 2022, Yom Yerushalayim is Sunday May 29th.

I thought this day, would be the perfect day to profess my undying love for Jerusalem. It is my family’s most favorite place in the world. It’s my “center of the universe” and the point from which the world was created. It is our dream to one day live in Jerusalem. (Actually in the Old City, overlooking the Kotel, if I’m being picky, and still dreaming.)

Until that dream can become a reality - we seize every opportunity to go to Jerusalem. We visit as a family almost every Rosh Chodesh (start of the new Jewish month) and usually a few times in between. It is our custom to go during Chol Hamoed (the intermediary days of Passover and Sukkot) for Birkas Kohanim (the Priestly Blessing) and for our family vacations, twice a year.

Jamie in Jerusalem Priestly Blessings

Priestly Blessing at the Kotel

Birkas Kohanim. The Priestly Blessing. For us, the most anticipated and spiritually uplifting moment of Chol HaMoed (the intermediary days of Pesach and Sukkos) is the blessing we receive from the Kohanim at the Kotel. We close our eyes, cover and huddle close with our children, and are blessed as a family, as a people, as a nation. 

This year we were blessed from the rooftop of Aish, 1 Western Wall Plaza in Jerusalem’s Old City, where I now get to spend a lot more time.  

Whenever we can get away, we come and stay the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem, my absolute favorite place in my absolute favorite city. 

Truthfully, my home-away-from-home, the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem, just steps from the kotel is my special, favorite, holy city getaway.  

We also come for the snow...

We drove into the eye of the storm, the holiest city in the world to experience a once-in-every-few-years occurrence, a Jerusalem snow storm. Noee my 10-year old was so excited she reached out to grab the snow with her bare hands and started hysterically crying. She didn’t realize it would be wet and cold. Shaulie Dovid my 6 year old also cried he was freezing the first night, and just wanted to go home. But the second day, when he was emotionally prepared for the snow he rolled down the snow covered hills, attempted to build a snowman and threw snow balls at his siblings with wild abandon. I’m so thankful we have the pictures and videos to prove it and preserve these memories forever.

And don't forget the food!

Jerusalem Kugel

Growing up I remember learning the term melting pot in reference to the many people that make up American society. No where do I feel that metaphor rings more true than in Jerusalem and really Israel as a whole. Indian, Asian, South African, North African, Eastern-, Central- and Western European, Middle Eastern, North American and on and on the list goes of all the peoples and cultures so well represented here. We may even rival the UN for member states. But Jerusalem has some unique dishes that were born here, so in addition to all my favorite Israeli foods from all over the world, I love these Jerusalem specialities and I will make or eat this to celebrate.

Jerusalem Bagel
Jerusalem Mixed Grill
Yerushalmi Kugel
Beauty Queen of Jerusalem Satluch rice pudding with Jewish star
Vegetarian Jerusalem Mixed Grill

Happy Yom Yerushalayim.