I was always intrigued by the Jew’s seemingly endless fascination with lox and bagels.

A search for lox and bagels on Google gave me approximately 83,000 results in .25 seconds!

Interestingly, all results have a common denominator, Jewish food.

Indeed, the observant Jew or the dietary Jew, knows too well that all Jewish holidays include food or the abstinence of food. Inasmuch that two of the holidays that Jews commemorate can be summed up in the following expression, “They tried to kill us, we won. Lets eat.”

However, real Judaism advocates that a Jew is Jewish because of his essence, and not merely because of his diet, shape of his nose, or even his chutzpah.

Every Jew is created in the image of G‑d. And every Jew is endowed with an actual part of G‑d, known as neshama, his G‑dly soul.

The Jewish soul is eternal. And in its eternity it is similar to the bagel. Just as the bagel is round without any specific ending point, so too the Jewish soul lives on forever.

Hence whether you are a fan of matzo balls or knishes, kreplach or gefilte fish, remember that a Jew lives not by his diet alone. So go ahead, nourish and nurture your Jewish soul with good deeds. And if sharing your lox and bagel with thy neighbor is among your good deeds, so l’chaim to you and yours.