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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

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  • Know Before Whom You Stand

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    December 26, 2012 | 7:00 am

    There was no bar or bat mitzvah ceremony at my synagogue this weekend, so the chairs in the front row, normally occupied by the bar/bat mitzvah families, were empty. At the rabbi’s request, some of us moved up to the front row.

    In the moments before we say the Amidah, the central... read on

  • Jewish Hash Browns

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    December 12, 2012 | 7:00 am

    It happens every year. Chanukah rolls around, and at some point the rabbi asks me about my latke consumption. Every year, I tell him I haven’t had any. Every year, he is horrified.

    He’s a bit of a foodie, and for him, latkes are an integral part of the holiday experience. It’s... read on

  • Stereotypes and Myths

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    November 14, 2012 | 7:00 am

    I was recently watching an episode of “Breaking Amish,” an unscripted show about four young Amish and one Mennonite person who go to New York to decide whether to give up the ways of their families and to become “English,” or, in the language most of us would use, to adopt the... read on

  • CERT Training

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    October 17, 2012 | 8:00 am

    I don’t remember how I heard about it, but several weeks ago I signed up for CERT training, which I just finished this weekend. CERT is an acronym for “Community Emergency Response Team.”

    The idea is that, in case of a large emergency like a major earthquake, the professional... 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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