Sunday, September 21, 2014 Elul 26, 5774

Dear Miriam,

My husband and I are expecting our first child in July. My own mother lives across the country and isn't well, but my mother-in-law lives close by and has offered to come stay with us to help out when the baby arrives. I appreciate the offer and think she'll be a big help, but I'm also nervous about her being in my space for an unspecified amount of time during a potentially emotional and difficult time. What should I do?

Signed,
Giving her a grandchild

Dear Giving,

B'sha'ah tova!  You're very lucky to have a family member...

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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,

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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