Tuesday, September 16, 2014 Elul 21, 5774

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,

I met a great guy online, and we recently went on our first date. His profile didn't specify his religion or profession, so I asked him about that early on in the date. Turns out, he's studying to be Christian clergy. We still had a good time, but I want to have a Jewish home, and I feel like his career path is a deal breaker. Also, don't you think he should have been upfront about this in his profile? He's willing to give "us" a shot, but I'm not sure that I am. In case it matters, I'm not planning to have kids regardless of who I end up with.

Signed,...

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