Thursday, December 18, 2014 Kislev 26, 5775

Dear Miriam,

I need an all-purpose Jewish quote for a speech I'm making next week. What are some of your favorites?

Signed,
Most Quotable Quotes

Dear Quotable,

Here are some favorites, in no particular order, with thanks to my family for contributing to the list:

"We are not obligated to complete the task, neither are we free to desist from it." (Pirke Avot, 2:16)
"If I am not for myself, who will be for me?  And if I am only for myself, what am I?  And if not now, when?" (Pirke Avot, 1:14)
"It is a great mitzvah to be...

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While today's post is not holiday related, I'd be remiss if I didn't start by wishing everyone a very happy Purim!

Dear Miriam,

While it's still winter, I want to make a great cholent for Shabbat, but my slow-cooker creations never turn out the way I expect. Any suggestions?

Signed,
Crockpot Crapshoot

Dear Crockpot,

For those readers who might not be familiar, cholent is a thick stew that traditionally cooks overnight on Fridays to be served for Shabbat lunch. The first time I had cholent was in college, and the Goucher kosher...

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Dear Miriam,

Why are there so many potluck Shabbat meals in Philadelphia? How do I decide what to bring? Are there other pieces of potluck etiquette I should know about?

Signed,
Puzzled by potlucks

Dear Puzzled,

You're absolutely right that the Philadelphia Jewish scene is ripe with potluck meals! The recent article in the Jewish Exponent talks about this trend. This coming Shabbat, at least four organizations are hosting potlucks: Hillel's Grad Network (where I work!), Moishe House Philadelphia, and the Collaborative are all hosting Friday...

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