Tuesday, September 16, 2014 Elul 21, 5774

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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