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

NPR4 min read
Medal Of Honor Awarded To Iraq War Veteran
Retired Army Staff Sgt. David Bellavia received the nation's highest medal for heroism for saving his squad in Fallujah, Iraq. Bellavia is the first living veteran of that war to be so honored.
NPR3 min readPolitics
How To Start A Revolution
Revolutions don't just happen. A data-driven approach to studying activism suggests two characteristics can vastly increase chances of success.
NPR9 min read
For These Young, Nontraditional College Students, Adulting Is A Requirement
They are early risers and hard workers. Some are the first in their family to go to college. Many are financially independent from their parents. Meet the "nontraditional" college students of today.