It is the holiest day of the year in Jerusalem and the city has totally shut down. Cable stations are dark. Nothing is moving on the roads and the airport is closed. It is gloriously sunny and peaceful.
Our neighborhood is mixed (which in this context means Jewish religious and secular). Religious folks are wearing head-to-toe white, the color of death and purity, with Crocs or sneakers (the Talmud prohibits leather shoes on this day). Men have on their prayer shawls. It’s quite beautiful. Most people are at home or in services. The silence is deep.
For secular families, the tradition is to walk or bike on the empty streets. So we did too.