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Jewish Journal

Why bus stops smell like urine

By Susan Esther Barnes

August 7, 2013 | 1:00 am

Photo from Wikimedia/Downtowngal

A friend queried on Facebook, “Why oh why can't BART be clean??? The Embarcadero station smells like a latrine!” It didn’t take long for someone to respond, “Because people are disgusting... read on

  • Ten Things I Did Right

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    July 31, 2013 | 1:00 am

    My husband and I just got our Estate Planning documents done. By that I mean we each signed a Will regarding how we would like our assets distributed after our death, Power of Attorney documents in case we’re incapacitated and medical instructions saying to pull the plug if we’re... read on

  • Becoming Whole

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    July 24, 2013 | 1:00 am

    The letter from my attorney came a few weeks ago. It said I had discharged all my duties as the executor of the estate of my father, alav hashalom. It was expected. It was a relief. It was a blow.

    For more than two years, the administration and distribution of my father’s estate... read on

  • White Privilege

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    July 17, 2013 | 1:00 am

    Of all the things not to like about the Trayvon Martin killing and subsequent events – and nothing could possibly even come close to outweighing the tragedy of an unarmed teenager being killed on his way home from the convenience store – there is at least one good thing coming out... read on

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  • Silence, Woman!

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    July 10, 2013 | 1:00 am

    I was getting off the freeway on Monday, when I saw a bumper sticker in the back window of the vehicle in front of me. It featured a picture of California State Senator Dianne Feinstein, with a dog muzzle over her mouth, and the words, “Muzzle Feinstein.”

    The message isn’t... read on

  • Pride Shabbat Provides Water for the Thirsty

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    July 3, 2013 | 8:00 am

    Last weekend was the hottest weekend we’ve had so far this year. It was hotter than normal for this time of the year. And our synagogue has no air conditioning.

    There was both a bar mitzvah and a bat mitzvah ceremony in the sanctuary on Saturday morning. It was crowded. We opened... read on

  • Time to Celebrate, Then Press Forward

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    June 26, 2013 | 9:00 am

    As you’ve most likely heard (many times) by now, this morning the Supreme Court announced its rulings on two key cases regarding marriage equality: DOMA, the federal “Defense of Marriage Act” was struck down, and the California court ruling overturning Proposition 8, which... read on

  • Attention Forward: We Aren’t That Radical

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    June 19, 2013 | 7:59 am

    It has been said that most of us believe newspaper reporting to be generally accurate, until we read an article on a subject with which we are intimately familiar. It is then that we see the inaccuracies and distortions of a story clearly. Such was my experience with a recent... 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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