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Jewish Journal

How to Determine What is Torture

By Susan Esther Barnes

3 days ago

Photo of waterboarding equipment from Wikimedia Commons

There has been a lot of talk lately about the so-called “Enhanced Interrogation Techniques” used by the US in the wake of 9-11, and whether or not they were torture. The Geneva... read on

  • Something’s Happening Here

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    1 week ago

    People of my generation grew up with Buffalo Springfield’s song, “Something’s Happening Here,” which starts:
         "There’s something happening here
          What it is ain’t exactly clear
          There’s a man with a gun over there
          Telling me I got to beware"

    It was a song... read on

  • Is Crime Caused by Poor Moral Character?

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    2 weeks ago

    Recently I was catching up on reading some back issues of the Jewish Journal, when I came across a column by Dennis Prager called, “Poverty Causes Crime?” He spends almost all of the article explaining why he thinks poverty does not, in fact, cause crime.

    Then, at the end, he... read on

  • I Can’t Write About the Beauty of Prayer Right Now

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    November 19, 2014 | 10:05 am

    Last night, Rabbi Ed Feinstein from Valley Beth Shalom came to our synagogue to teach about Abraham Joshua Heschel and how we can find meaning in prayer. He was animated and knowledgeable. He taught with passion and compassion. The time flew by, I was able to connect what he was... read on

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  • A Fresh Look at the Akeda

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    November 14, 2014 | 9:21 am

    I don’t usually publish stuff I haven’t written myself, but I loved this drash from a bat mitzvah that took place last Saturday so much that I just had to get the author’s, (and her father’s since, according to US law, she’s still a minor), permission to publish it. I’d love to... read on

  • How to Get a Gamer Geek Out of the House

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    November 12, 2014 | 12:30 am

    My husband and I are both gamer geeks. I’d like to blame him, since he is a video game designer, and he bought me my very first MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online) game, Everquest, which I played religiously for years.

    But the truth is, my fascination began shortly before I met my... read on

  • Things Are Not Always As They Appear

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    October 29, 2014 | 8:27 am

    As we approach Halloween, the non-Jewish (as opposed to Purim) holiday of masks and costumes, perhaps now is a good time to reflect on the truism that things are not always as they first appear to be.

    I was reminded of this last week, at lunchtime. As I approached the local... read on

  • Carol’s Poems

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    October 15, 2014 | 9:20 am

    Between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, it is said, God decides who will live and who will die in the coming year. During that in-between time of judgment, a woman I’ll call Carol died quietly in the night while her husband, who I’ll call Samuel, slept.

    I only met Carol twice. The... read on

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