Sunday is to Christians what Saturday is to Jews: the day of rest.
So what do Jews do on Sunday? At the risk of airing my culture’s dirty laundry, let me tell you a little secret. Come closer. Closer. Mm…you smell wonderful…what is that? Old Spice?
Jews go to church on Sunday too.
“WHAT!?” you gasp.
“YES!” I respond.
Let me explain.
The OED defines church as “a building for public Christian worship.” But if you remove Christian, what are you left with? A building. And if you remove the building? Public worship.
And so my secret goes like this: Jews publicly worship on Sunday at the Church of St. Joseph the Bagel. Or, more specificially, St. Joseph the Bagel with Lox.
I once read a website where a Christian blogger wrote: “Can anyone tell me what locks is? My friend says we’re going to eat it on Sunday.”
Here, for your edification, is a photograph of Jewish Church food:
This, unfortunately, is the mass marketed version at Einstein Bagels, but it will have to suffice.
Let’s begin by exploring the bagel. Here we have an onion bagel. It should be known that Jews subscribe to the doctrine of “Breath Infallability” meaning: “feh, who cares if my breath stinks! Am I kissing anyone?”
Hence, the Jewish proclivity for all things onion. (My mother and grandmother are President and Vice-President of the Raw Onion society. They eat it like candy).
Next, observe the cream cheese. Because of the bagel’s ascent into mainstream food culture, I hardly have to explain cream cheese. Suffice it to say, that a bagel and lox is almost always eaten with plain cream cheese. That’s just the way it’s done.
Moving on we have the raw onion (“Hurrah!” say mom and grandma) and tomato.
“Tomato?” asks a student. “Isn’t that Italian, Amateur Gourmet?”
Next, notice the little green balls: these are capers. They’re like little flavor bubbles that add salinity and excitement to the bagel and lox experience. Like Tapioca balls, way ahead of their time.
And finally, there’s the lox.
“What is lox?” asks a 90s band. “Baby don’t hurt me / Don’t hurt me / No more.”
Lox is Jewspeak for Nova Scotia Salmon, except saltier. Or, put another way: lox is cured salmon. How do they cure the salmon? That I don’t know. But lox is basically a thin slice of salmon that is smoked. It has a smoky salty flavor. It’s concentrated fishiness and it’s pink.
And so, in conclusion, if you see a bunch of Jews on Sunday trailing behind you on your way to church: don’t worry. They’re not after your wives; they’re after your onions.
[Ironic afterthought: here I am speaking from the pulpit of Judaism about eating lox and bagels on Sunday and–doh!–it’s still Passover. So if you’re really Jewish, you won’t eat leavened bread for another couple of days.]