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The Bagel Theory

President George W. Bush Reading the Talmud?It all started when Dodie Miller– who wears a kippah — was back in college and suffering through a tedious lecture. As the professor  droned on, a previously-unknown young woman leaned over and  whispered in his ear,  “This class is as boring as my Zayde’s seder.”

You see, the woman knew that she did not ‘look’ Jewish, nor did she wear any identifying signs like a Star of David.  So foregoing the awkward declaration, ‘I’m Jewish,’ the girl devised a more nuanced — and frankly, cuter — way of heralding her heritage.

This incident launched a hypothesis which would henceforth be known as the Bagel Theory.  The Bagel Theory stands for the principle that  we Jews, regardless of how observant or affiliated we are, have a powerful need to connect with one another. To that end, we find ways to ‘bagel’ each other — basically, to ‘out’ ourselves to fellow Jews.

bagelThere are two ways to bagel. The brave or simply unimaginative will tell you straight out that they are Jewish (a plain bagel). But the  more creative will concoct subtler and even sublime ways to let you know that they, too, are in the know. These bagels are often the best. Like their doughy counterparts, cultural bagels are more flavorful when there is more to chew on:
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