Friday, August 29, 2014 Elul 3, 5774

Miriam Steinberg-Egeth

Jewish Exponent Blogger

Dear Miriam,

My best friend is expecting a baby this fall and I want to do something to celebrate, but I've been told Jews don't have baby showers. Why not? Any ideas what we can do instead?

Signed,
To Shower or Not to Shower?

Dear Shower,

This is a great example of superstition turned into tradition turned into, I don't know, implicit cultural pressure without a lot of understanding (is there one word that means all that?). Traditionally, Jews have held the belief that to celebrate something before it happens is to invite the Evil Eye to...

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Dear Miriam,

I go to a lot of Jewish events around Philly and there are always a handful of socially awkward people there. I don't want to spend my night talking to them, but I feel bad ignoring them. What should I do?

Signed,
Avoiding the Awkward

Dear Awkward,

It's commendable that you feel bad ignoring the awkward among us. Throughout the multitude of Jewish events I've attended in Philly and elsewhere, you're not alone. I am always impressed that more often than not, the less socially adept attendees usually seem to have someone to talk...

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Dear Miriam,

When is the right time to become Facebook friends with the guy I'm dating? (We met online).

Signed,
Friends or "Friends"

Dear Friends,

I'm pretty sure the right time is when you don't have to ask about it. Think about it this way: If it's time to change your status to say "in a relationship with his name here," then it's time to be Facebook friends with him. If you have gone through the DTR (define the relationship) phase and have determined that you are seeing each other exclusively or that you are just going to be friends,...

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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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Dear Miriam,

I'm planning my outfit for an interview. Some of my shirts have, let's say, faint stains, but they'd be covered up by a jacket during the interview. Even without the jacket, they're faint. But, even if nobody else knows, I know they're there. Should I spend money on new shirts? It really feels psychological -- and a waste of money. If I could just get over the idea that my white shirts aren't perfectly white... What do you think -- any words of advice for me to get over it?

Signed,
Shades of White

Dear Shades,

If you know with...

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Profile

I am extremely proud to be a part of making the Philadelphia Jewish community the best it can be.

I am a co-founder of Minyan Tikvah (a lay-led prayer group in Center City Philadelphia that meets once a month for traditional egalitarian Shabbat services), a founder of a former matchmaking service for Jewish graduate students, a children’s book reviewer, a former elementary school teacher, a pretty decent cook and a mom to two beautiful children.

I spent years as the director of Hillel of Greater Philadelphia’s Jewish Graduate Student Network before resigning to spend more time with my family. My husband, Marc, likes to say that I knew more people within a week of moving to Philadelphia than he knew after six years here.

I’m originally from the tiny town of Fredonia, NY, and sometimes I still stare at the skyscrapers and marvel at how many Jews I know.

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