I was in the airport with my husband, who looks obviously Jewish, and we were bageled.

A gruff looking, strong muscled, metal clad teenager casually approached us and disarmingly wished us, “Shabbat Shalom!” Though it was a Wednesday afternoon, the teen was obviously letting us know that he, too, is a member of the tribe.

Bageling is the idea that Jews have a powerful urge to connect to one another. You could “bagel” by telling someone outright that you are Jewish, but often it has more subtle forms. At the currency exchange What makes us feel the need to bagel?line, an elderly man may whisper to you, “I could use more Chanukah gelt now!” Or, in the gym, a sweaty stranger bouncing on the exercise ball may say, “This reminds me of my bubby’s matzah balls.”

What makes us feel the need to bagel? There are many theories. Here is mine. When we see another Jewish soul—irrespective of how religious or affiliated we may be—a strong, inexplicable, perhaps mystical urge awakens our desire to connect with another part our own Divine core.

This week, we celebrate Yom Kippur, a day in which we totally submerge ourselves in intimate connection with our Creator, baring our souls and uncovering the underlying bond with one another. As the day reaches its climax, at the final “Neilah” prayer, which literally means “locked” as theDoes Yom Kippur play a role in your life? heavenly gates close for the day, we become locked in an absolute embrace with our Maker.

This week, we feature many wonderful articles demonstrating the power of this awesome day. In particular, I enjoyed Bracha Goetz’s hauntingly honest piece, Why Do You Care if My Boyfriend is Jewish? which describes her personal awakening as she discovers her inner core.

Have you ever bageled someone? Do you relate to Bracha’s struggle? Does Yom Kippur play a role in your life? Please share with us.

Wishing you an easy fast and a very meaningful and awesome Yom Kippur.

Chana Weisberg,

Editor, TJW