Monday, September 22, 2014 Elul 27, 5774

Miriam Steinberg-Egeth

Jewish Exponent Blogger

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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Dear Miriam,

I'm currently seeing two different guys, both of whom I met online. The first is fun and seems interested in me, but I can't tell how serious he is about settling down. The second is a little older and more established, but because of his job, we won't be able to see much of each other for the next few months. How much time or attention do I give to either or both of them, and how do I tell if they're ready to make a commitment?

Signed,
Who to Pursue

Dear Pursue,

As long as you're having fun with the first guy, keep having fun....

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Dear Miriam,

Recently, my girlfriend of about a year started a new job, which is great, except that it makes her my boss. Things have become really awkward between us, and I don't know how to talk to her about it. What should I do?

Signed,
She's the Boss

Dear Boss,

Talk to her the way you would talk about anything in your relationship. Make sure you're not on the defensive leading into the conversation and don't start with, "We need to talk," since that never puts anyone at ease. Instead, try asking about her day, or asking about the new job...

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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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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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