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Jewish Journal

  • New Game Helps People Talk About Dying

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    March 5, 2014 | 12:30 am

    Our chevra kadisha meets on a monthly basis. Because of the volunteer work we do visiting the sick, comforting mourners, and preparing the dead for burial, it’s not uncommon for us to have conversations related to death and dying. I wasn’t sure, then, what the outcome would be when... read on

  • Why Not Follow All the Mitzvot?

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    February 19, 2014 | 12:30 am

    My blog post last week, Why Reform Judaism Does Work, received a lot of views and comments. A few of the comments were from me, in response to questions readers asked.

    Responding to comments is always a tricky thing. One can say something in the moment, then think of a better... read on

  • Why Reform Judaism Does Work

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    February 12, 2014 | 12:30 am

    I’m writing this post in response to a Times of Israel blog post called “Why Reform Judaism doesn’t work, won’t work and how to fix it” by Barak Hullman. It deserves a response because, though it may be heartfelt, it contains serious but common misconceptions about Reform Judaism,... read on

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  • The Odd Moments Are the Truest

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    February 5, 2014 | 12:30 am

    Have you ever struck up a conversation with someone, and within moments come to realize their thoughts are swimming in an area about three levels deeper than yours are?

    This past weekend, as a volunteer for the Bay Area Jewish Healing Center,I had the privilege of meeting a man... read on

  • Come for the Funeral, Stay for Jesus

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    January 29, 2014 | 12:30 am

    Last weekend I attended the funeral for my husband’s cousin. It was held in a church in a small town in Oregon, about an hour and a half from Portland. I don’t, for obvious reasons, spend much time in churches or at Christian services, so it’s interesting to see how things differ... read on

  • Unexpected Grief

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    January 22, 2014 | 12:30 am

    Late last week my husband’s parents called to let us know that my husband’s cousin had died unexpectedly. I had never met this cousin, so, although I expected to comfort my husband for his loss, I didn’t expect to be doing any mourning myself. I was mistaken.

    Perhaps it was the... read on

  • What Will You Do When The Big One Hits?

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    January 15, 2014 | 12:30 am

    Anyone who has lived in California for any period of time knows it’s only a matter of time before a large earthquake, colloquially known as “The Big One” hits us here on the left coast. Although only some of us actually have an “earthquake kit,” we all know we ought to have extra... 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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