Miriam Steinberg-Egeth lives in Philadelphia with her husband and their two kids. She is the director of the Center City Kehillah and writes an advice column, Miriam's Advice Well, for the Jewish Exponent.
“Now we can finally have a normal week,” was what my husband said way back in 2011, as the holidays were ending and my busiest season as a Jewish professional was coming to a close.
The next…day, I found out I was pregnant. The allure of a “normal week” has now followed us through the birth of two children, six more High Holiday seasons, vacations, school transitions — not to mention sick days and snow days too numerous to count. Through it all, I’ve had my eye on my calendar: I’ve… >> Read More
In recent years, I've flirted with tzniut—Jewish modesty laws—not because I believe women need to be covered up, but because I value comfort above most other clothing considerations. And to me,…too much skin showing is the exact opposite of comfortable. For example, I hate the feel and fit of most bathing suits, so I've opted for a combination of women's bathing suit tops and men's bathing suit bottoms. The result is that I'm more covered-up than most people at the beach (modesty alert!), but also that… >> Read More
I’m not sure what it is about having kids that has made us want to give things away, but at least once a week, my husband will sit down after a long day and say, “Can we just get rid of…everything?” My guess is that this impulse comes from the perpetual influx of small socks, toys with too many parts, and granola bar wrappers. Rather than becoming a packrat with art projects and sentimental clothing items, I’ve been known to throw away drawings before I’ve even left preschool. Instead of stuffing things in an anonymous… >> Read More
I grew up in a small town with an even smaller Jewish community. I was the kid standing in front of my whole elementary classroom explaining what Hanukkah was. I learned to tell people I was…vegetarian when I didn’t want to say “kosher.” I loved my Judaism with all my heart, but I figured out that sometimes it was better, or at least easier, not to make it the most obvious part of who I was. >> Read More
“What’s teshuvah?” my 3-year-old daughter asked as we were getting dressed for services on the first day of Rosh Hashanah and talking about the holiday.
I explained that during this time of…year from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur, we can change things about ourselves and how we act in the world. I said, “If you don’t like how something is going, you can turn it around.” She thought for a moment, then her face lit up and she said, “Like Daniel Tiger says!” Before I could… >> Read More
I was 35-weeks pregnant with my son when I became violently ill and started having contractions at 2:00 a.m. on a Saturday night that happened to be erev Purim. My husband and I decided that,…rather than risk our not-yet-2-year-old daughter waking up and not having us there, I would go to the hospital with a friend, and he would stay home. I realized how fortunate I was to have more than one person I could call in such a situation, but we figured that our friend Ilana was the… >> Read More
I was watching "Frozen" with my 3-year-old daughter when I heard the news: the Pennsylvania ban on same-sex marriage was overturned! My Facebook feed exploded with cries of “Mazel tov,” as well…as, “Finally, PA,” and, “Welcome to the 21st Century.” This was big news, and not just in an abstract, I believe in equality and social justice kind of way. This was news with measurable impact on people I care about, news with the gravitas of, “I remember where I was when I found out.” That… >> Read More
Eight years ago, I left my job as an elementary school teacher in Boston to move to Philadelphia where my boyfriend lived. I could barely get the words out of my mouth when people asked me why I…was moving, sure that someone was going to come around the corner and revoke my feminist card if I admitted that I was moving, without a job lined up, for my boyfriend who I’d known for less than a year. I did it anyway, I survived, and it got easier the more times I told… >> Read More
Each night before my daughter, age 2.5, goes to sleep, she has a “special minute” with my husband, and then one with me.
This started as a compromise so that we didn’t both have to be…present every night for her lengthy bedtime rituals, but the special minute has evolved into a complex ritual of its own. We talk about, in this order, five things at the drugstore, five things at the zoo, five things at the doctor, five things at the Jewish Museum (the National Museum of American Jewish History,… >> Read More