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Jewish Journal

  • I Make Plans. God Changes Them.

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    March 13, 2013 | 8:00 am

    I’m not big on making plans. I tend to be an in-the-moment kind of gal. And when I do make plans, I usually hedge. In general, I won’t say, “I’ll see you on Shabbat,” unless I add, “God willing.” Or I say, “Yes, I plan to be there,” rather than, “Yes, I will be there.”

    I do this... read on

  • The Recipes of My Ancestors

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    March 6, 2013 | 7:00 am

    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 about him these days. That’s likely why this past weekend I made lecho, a Hungarian dish he... 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

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  • 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

  • Does Counting Negative Comments Prove Anything?

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    February 6, 2013 | 7:00 am

    A new study called “Victims of Our Own Narratives?” was just published which claims “Dehumanizing characterizations of the other are rare in both Israeli and Palestinian school books.” If true, that’s great news. Dehumanizing characterizations of other people should have no place... read on

  • 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

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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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