Saturday, September 20, 2014 Elul 25, 5774

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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Some Friday nights I'm invited to multiple Shabbos dinners. Sometimes it's just a case of multiple organizations holding a potluck on the same night, sometimes it's a friend or acquaintance inviting me to their home. These invites can be two weeks in advance, or the night before. What's the latest time before Friday night that I can decide where I'll be showing up? And am I a terrible person to want to wait until the last possible moment to see where I'll be invited?

Signed,
Too Many Potlucks,


Dear Potlucks,

As I've talked about before, a lot of...

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