Thursday, November 27, 2014 Kislev 5, 5775

Miriam Steinberg-Egeth

Jewish Exponent Blogger

Dear Miriam,

Another Miriam, writing in Slate's column, "You're Doing it Wrong: Charoset," says that the Hillel sandwich (korech) during the seder is matzah, maror, and charoset. In my family, we always just put horseradish and matzah together. Who's doing it wrong?

Signed,
Konfused by Korech

Dear Konfused,

This is indeed one of the more confusing steps in the seder, both in terms of what to do and why we do it, but let me start by saying to all my readers that wherever you come down on this debate, the presence or absence of charoset in...

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Dear Miriam,

I am hosting seder for my family this year as a I do every year, and I've had the menu planned for weeks. Yesterday, my son called from college to say he wants to bring his new girlfriend with him, and she's a vegan. I have no idea what to serve her. Help!

Signed,
Starving the seder guests

Dear Starving,

Near the beginning of the seder, we say, "All who are hungry, let them come and eat." This includes vegans, last minute guests and new girlfriends. At least that's only one additional person in your case. (There are, of course,...

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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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Dear Miriam,

My son has recently separated from his wife. Some friends of mine have a single daughter who is a similar age to my son, and they want to arrange a set-up. Both of our kids have children and some other things in common from their past relationships and upbringings, but they live in different cities and my son isn't even divorced yet, so I'm not sure I want to get involved. What should I do?
Signed,
Matchmaking Mother

Dear Mother,

You may have gathered so far in this column that I'm a huge proponent of matchmaking and generally...

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Dear Miriam,

I have a coworker who spends all day humming and sometimes singing to herself, and looking up music videos online. It is often distracting to the point where I need to get up and work somewhere else for a while. Should I say something to her? Does it make a difference that she is singing hymns and religious songs about Jesus, and looking up performances of similar songs? Does it make a difference that she's the most senior member of our team both in terms of age and experience or that she was the one who trained me?  As the only Jew in my workplace, and because of...

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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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