Tuesday, September 2, 2014 Elul 7, 5774

Dear Miriam,

My husband and I are both close with our families, which is great until it comes to holidays. Both sets of parents expect us to spend every holiday with them, and each time a holiday rolls around, we have to engage in major negotiations to decide where we're going to go. At this point, we just want to stay home and avoid the conversation. What is a reasonable compromise to keep everyone happy and to keep me from going nuts?

Signed,
Whose home for the holidays

Dear Home,

Sit down tonight with this blog, your husband and your...

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Dear Readers,

We are currently (until sundown tonight) in the part of Passover called chol ha-moed, or the intermediate days. Even though work is permitted on chol ha-moed, it should be done a little bit differently so that it still feels like a holiday. In that spirit, today's column will be a little bit different as well.

The Omer is the seven weeks in between Passover and Shavuot, ostensibly the time that the Jews wandered in the desert before receiving the Torah. The Omer starts on the second night of Passover, so tonight will mark the sixth night. Some people set...

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Dear Miriam,

This is my first Passover living on my own, and I have no idea how to get ready for the holiday. I know I should clean everything, but do I actually need a blowtorch? Do I have to cover my counters and throw away all my food?

Signed,
Passover Panic

Dear Panic,

This is one of those times where it's great to be an advice columnist and not a rabbinic authority because I'm going to answer based on what feels right rather than on what is right according to halacha (Jewish law). If you want more definitive answers, I encourage you to...

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