Wednesday, December 17, 2014 Kislev 25, 5775

Dear Miriam,

I just missed two days of classes for Rosh Hashanah. Now I’m really behind in everything, and there’s no way I can miss another day this week for Yom Kippur. I know Yom Kippur is the more important holiday. Had I realized how tough it would be to miss class, I would have gone on Rosh Hashanah so I could skip on Yom Kippur. Now I don’t really feel like I have a choice. Does it make me a bad Jew to go to school on Yom Kippur?

Signed,
Repenting in Class

Dear Repenting,

First off, I hate the term “bad Jew.” It’s a judgment people put on...

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Dear Miriam,

I have attended occasional services at various synagogues throughout the area ever since moving here about five years ago, mostly for holidays or events. I have every intention of eventually joining a synagogue because I want to send my future children to religious school. Of course, that stage in my life is at least another few years away. In the meantime, I'd still like to be part of a synagogue community on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. '

I'm lucky that here in Philly there's a program to provide young adults in my exact position with free High Holiday tickets...

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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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