Tuesday, September 23, 2014 Elul 28, 5774

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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