Introducing Miriam’s Advice Well!

Hello Jewfolk!

I am so excited to be joining your community as your new advice columnist! Each week, I’ll be answering one of YOUR questions with a mix of practicality, Jewish values, and an appropriately empathetic combination of sarcasm and humor. (Full disclosure: I expect some of my questions to continue to come from my personal network, and, occasionally, my kids.) And I mean it when I say you can ask me anything – in the decade or so that I’ve been writing this column, I’ve tackled questions ranging from dating to parenting, fasting on Yom Kippur to cleaning for Passover, bar mitzvahs to weddings to funerals, and everything in between.
While I live in Philadelphia, and that’s where most of my readers have been up until this point, my advice strongly tends toward the universal. I’m looking forward to reaching more people in more places and having even more people share their questions, big and small.

As a question-asker, anonymity can be a beautiful and powerful tool for gaining new perspectives on your life. As a column reader, considering other people’s issues can be a similarly beautiful and powerful tool for gaining new perspectives on your own life and the kinds of concerns that impact your fellow humans. In other words, advice is for everyone!

Just e-mail me to submit a question, and to read future Miriam’s Advice Well columns, visit weekly on Thursday. I can’t wait to offer my take on whatever’s on your mind.

Finally, since this introduction is already more commentary than advice, I wanted to offer one piece of Jewish context for where this whole thing comes from. Miriam, in the Torah, had a sort of mystical connection to water, and the rabbis of the Talmud described a well that stayed with her, supplying the Israelites with water throughout their wanderings in the desert. Miriam and her bottomless well were a source of strength and sustenance to her people. I hope to offer one tiny sliver of that kind of hope and support through my own listening, advising, and sharing. You can’t drink advice, but I can promise that no matter how much you ask for, there’s always more available.

Thanks for welcoming me, virtually of course (it is 2022 after all) to your community, and looking forward to getting started.