Sunday, December 28, 2014 Tevet 6, 5775

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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Dear Miriam,

I have a bris to go to next week, and I'm not sure what an appropriate gift is for the occasion.  Should I give money?  If so, how much, and if not, what do I give instead?

Signed,
Milah Moolah

Dear Moolah,

A bris, or brit milah, is the ritual circumcision for a Jewish baby boy that takes place on the eighth day of life. It's also an opportunity for family and friends to meet the baby, share a celebratory meal and, yes, bring gifts. But just because it's a bris, the gift doesn't need to be any different from any other...

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Dear Miriam,

My husband and I are expecting our first child in July. My own mother lives across the country and isn't well, but my mother-in-law lives close by and has offered to come stay with us to help out when the baby arrives. I appreciate the offer and think she'll be a big help, but I'm also nervous about her being in my space for an unspecified amount of time during a potentially emotional and difficult time. What should I do?

Signed,
Giving her a grandchild

Dear Giving,

B'sha'ah tova!  You're very lucky to have a family member...

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