Saturday, September 20, 2014 Elul 25, 5774

Dear Miriam,

My 14-year-old daughter suddenly is refusing to come to synagogue with the rest of the family. She had a beautiful Bat Mitzvah last year and has always been a great Hebrew school student.  Should I make her attend services with us or let her have this rebellion?

Signed,
Synagogue Strike

Dear Strike,

Having recently completed her Bat Mitzvah studies and celebration, it actually makes a lot of sense to me that your daughter may need a break from the rigors of Jewish institutional life. Beautiful or not, she’s probably relieved...

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Dear Miriam,

Shavuot is an important and interesting holiday, but it's so often neglected. Why is that, and what can we do about it?

Signed,
Shavuot Promoter

Dear Promoter,

Falling seven weeks after Passover, and one of the three "pilgrimage festivals" mentioned in the Torah, Shavuot started out as a harvest holiday, and only later in Jewish history became associated with the giving of the Torah and the revelation on Mount Sinai. The rituals originally associated with the holiday are no longer practiced, and compared with the fanfare and...

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Dear Miriam,

My husband and I are both close with our families, which is great until it comes to holidays. Both sets of parents expect us to spend every holiday with them, and each time a holiday rolls around, we have to engage in major negotiations to decide where we're going to go. At this point, we just want to stay home and avoid the conversation. What is a reasonable compromise to keep everyone happy and to keep me from going nuts?

Signed,
Whose home for the holidays

Dear Home,

Sit down tonight with this blog, your husband and your...

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