Monday, September 15, 2014 Elul 20, 5774

Dear Miriam,

Shavuot is an important and interesting holiday, but it's so often neglected. Why is that, and what can we do about it?

Signed,
Shavuot Promoter

Dear Promoter,

Falling seven weeks after Passover, and one of the three "pilgrimage festivals" mentioned in the Torah, Shavuot started out as a harvest holiday, and only later in Jewish history became associated with the giving of the Torah and the revelation on Mount Sinai. The rituals originally associated with the holiday are no longer practiced, and compared with the fanfare and...

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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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