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The Recipes of My Ancestors

By Susan Esther Barnes

March 6, 2013 | 7:00 am

If your tomatoes look firm like this, you haven't cooked them long enough yet.

In less than three weeks it will be Passover. That means in a less than three weeks it will be the second anniversary of the death of my father, alav hashalom. I’ve been thinking a lot... read on

  • How Purim Differs from Halloween

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    February 27, 2013 | 7:00 am

    Since costumes are involved in both events, it’s understandable that people who don’t know much about Purim may think it’s like Halloween. So, with Purim happening last weekend, I thought I’d outline some of the ways in which they differ.

    First, while Halloween, or “All Hallows... read on

  • Webinar on Taharah Leadership

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    February 20, 2013 | 7:00 am

    This week I, along with about 70 other people, participated in a webinar about taharah leadership given by Kavod v’Nichum. Taharah is the act of ritually washing and preparing a dead body for burial, and Kavod v’Nichum is an organization that, according to its website, “encourages... read on

  • Thoughts on the Visioning Process

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    February 13, 2013 | 7:00 am

    Last fall, I wrote here about the Visioning process our synagogue is undertaking. Now that the first part of the process, namely the house meetings, is over, our community is reflecting on what has happened so far.

    I attended one of the house meetings as a participant, and two... read on

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  • Jewish Texts in Non-Orthodox Homes

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    January 30, 2013 | 7:00 am

    Rabbi Daniel Gordis recently published in article called, “The Letter that Natanyahu Should, but Won’t, Send,” in response to Rabbi Eric Yoffie’s open letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu regarding recognition of non-Orthodox Jewish denominations.

    He throws out the... read on

  • A Funny Thing Happened at the Kotel

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    January 23, 2013 | 7:00 am

    A funny thing happened at the Kotel (Western Wall) in Jerusalem last week. According to Our Quiet Prayer at the Kotel on the Women of the Wall (WoW) website, just shy of a dozen women prayed out loud at the Kotel, wearing tallitot (prayer shawls), and nothing bad happened.

    Such a... read on

  • What’s So Special About Rabbi Sharon Brous?

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    January 16, 2013 | 7:00 am

    Last weekend we were privileged to have Rabbi Sharon Brous from Ikar speak at our congregation and at a couple of other events in the area. We all agreed she was fabulous, but it got me to wondering what, exactly, sets her apart from so many other rabbis?

    I’ll start out by saying... read on

  • Happy Anniversary, John Barnes

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    January 9, 2013 | 7:00 am

    Last week my husband and I reached our 10th wedding anniversary. One might expect me to say we “celebrated” it, but I avoided that word on purpose. We both worked a full day that day, after which I participated in a meeting at the synagogue. I then came home, chatted a bit with my... read on

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Susan Esther Barnes is a religious Reform Jew who can regularly be seen greeting people at her synagogue before services. She is a founding member of her synagogue’s chevra...

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