Baseball doesn’t get much more Jewish than this year’s MLB National League Division Series, which starts Friday between the New York Mets and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
But what really makes this series Jewish is the bet on the outcome between two Jewish Democratic congressmen.
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., is betting on the Dodgers, and Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y. is betting on the Mets. If the Mets win, Schiff pays up in popcorn from Pauline’s Premier Sweets in Burbank, California. If the Dodgers win, Israel is on the hook for bagels.
And not just any bagels: The word “fresh” appears twice in a press release about the bet:
“Schiff, who represents the areas surrounding Dodger Stadium, wagered gourmet popcorn from Pauline’s Premier Sweets in Burbank, befitting his Hollywood district. Israel, who is a Mets fan representing areas surrounding Citi Field, wagered New York bagels, flown in fresh.”
Then, quoting Schiff: “Please make sure the lox is fresh, Steve.”
That’s fresh. Not pulled out of the freezer. Not toasted. As these congressmen clearly understand, freshness is for bagels and lox what “no mayonnaise” is for a deli sandwich. Some traditions are simply unassimilable.