NPR

'We Believe Deeply In Lox And Bagels': What It Means To Be A Secular Jew

In his new one-man show, On the Media host Bob Garfield grapples with questions of identity and belonging. "I've been running from the religious part of my religion for my entire adult life," he says.
Bob Garfield's one-man show, Ruggedly Jewish, debuted in Philadelphia earlier this month. Source: David Waitz

For many people, the Jewish High Holidays are a time of celebration and spiritual renewal. But for those who have a more ambivalent relationship to their faith — those who might identify as culturally Jewish rather than religious — this time of year can be challenging.

Bob Garfield, co-host of , is one such person. His new one-man show, , grapples with thorny questions of identity and belonging. Why does he use the word "ruggedly"? "It's a joke," he says. " ... There is nobody who has ever met me and walked away going, 'Wow, he is a rugged Jew.' "

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from NPR

NPR2 min read
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Locks Out Musicians As Contract Dispute Continues
Contract and salary negotiations between musicians and management have stalled, leaving BSO players picketing outside their concert hall.
NPR3 min read
For Santana, 'Africa Speaks' Album Is About 'Manifesting Divine Voodoo'
Carlos Santana speaks with NPR's Ari Shapiro about his latest album Africa Speaks and explains how to maintain a constant thirst for music discovery.
NPR2 min readPolitics
Supreme Court Hands Democrats A Win On Racial Gerrymandering In Virginia
Eleven legislative districts in Virginia were declared to be sorted by race and were redrawn. The court's decision Monday left that in place.