Friday, December 19, 2014 Kislev 27, 5775

Dear Miriam,

Lately, I've started hanging out with a group of people who are a lot more knowledgeable than I am about most things Jewish, and while I really like them, I'm embarrassed to ask them what's going on and end up being left out of a lot of the conversations. How can I ask without looking dumb, or how can I find out what they were talking about after the fact?

Signed,
It's like learning a new language

Dear Learning,

Sometimes, people use "insider language" to show that they belong and to make that fact clear to anyone who's...

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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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Dear Miriam,

I ride the SEPTA bus to and from school every day, and I often see older people standing and younger people sitting. What's the etiquette for offering someone a seat?

Signed,
SEPTA Seats

Dear Seats,

I, too, ride the bus pretty frequently, and I like to think about how public transportation is one of the great equalizers (that is, for people who actually use it). If there's traffic, we're all stuck in traffic together. If someone's eating a smelly sandwich on the bus, we're all smelling it together. If it's crowded, we're all...

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