The perfect Sunday nosh: A short history of the bagel. In an age when allegedly edible breadstuffs that my grandmother would have barely recognized have become ubiquitous, did you know that even the Pharaohs had a yen for the iconic Jewish comfort food that is as much a symbol of New York City as baguettes are to Paris? Bagels turn out to be surprisingly easy to make at home, too, though they won't be the same without a schmear and some nice Nova. (Previously on Ask.) Extra credit: the history of everything.
The SY Empire: A rare and fascinating look inside the secretive Syrian Jewish community of Brooklyn, which has drawn a bright line against assimilation called the Edict that casts out for life any "SY" who marries a gentile, even if they convert. (Crazy Eddie -- who knew? Seinfeld's mom -- who knew? Isaac Misrahi -- who knew? "J-Dubs" -- who knew?)