While ridding the household of all chametz in preparation for the Passover holiday, my thoughts turn to the ultimate source of chametz, namely and without reservation, bread.

In Parshat Tzav, Hashem instructs Moshe that as part of Aaron’s inauguration process he should bring a special grain offering that will be burnt in its entirety on the Altar (6:14). 


“It shall be made with oil on a shallow pan, after bringing it scalded (boiled) and repeatedly baked”.

עַל-מַחֲבַתבַּשֶּׁמֶן תֵּעָשֶׂה--מֻרְבֶּכֶת תְּבִיאֶנָּה


In my purview, what distinguishes this offering is that it is scalded or boiled before baking.  After very sober serious contemplation, it is my belief that this method of bread preparation, albeit altered by time and geography, has come down to us as part of our esteemed Ashkenazi Jewish heritage.

It is my sincere belief that this bread preparation is what my Yeshivish friends might call the “Ikar” (עִקָר) or essence of who or what we are or have come to be.  What I am referring to is the Bagel.

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This ethnic bread preparation first surfaced in Jewish Poland during the 17
th century.  Indisputably and unfortunately we are as much the “People of the Bagel” as we are the “People of the Book”. 

Bagels for the untutored or if you know, are boiled or steamed before baking. And its circular shape perhaps represents out unending connection to Hashem and that all Jews must be included.  Of course the hole in the middle is a metaphor for our "holiness". 

I rest my case..

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