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Jewish Journal

There’s a Prayer for That

By Susan Esther Barnes

December 18, 2013 | 12:30 am

Photo by Susan Esther Barnes

It’s said we Jews have a prayer for everything. In a sense, it’s true. Traditional Jewish prayer books have prayers for a wide variety of things, from the abstract, like the wish for... read on

  • A Theft May Be Larger Than It Appears

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    December 11, 2013 | 12:30 am

    In the Jewish Ethics class I’m taking, this week we discussed theft. In particular, we discussed Talmudic thought on, for example, inviting someone to dinner when you know they won’t accept. This was presented as a theft of the mind, since the offer wasn’t sincere.

    The class got... read on

  • Bullying Isn’t Funny

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    December 2, 2013 | 3:51 pm

    This story was making the rounds on social media this past Thanksgiving weekend. It starts as a seemingly self-centered passenger complains to a flight attendant about her delayed flight, and how it’s important to her to get to her destination in time to help cook the stuffing for... read on

  • Adventures in Smart Phone Repair

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    November 27, 2013 | 12:00 am

    At first, I was a bit confused. Did I not plug in my cell phone completely? Did my computer going into “sleep” mode cause it to stop charging the phone? Eventually, after experiencing the problem with four different cords, including two at home, one at work, and one in the car, I... read on

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  • Thanking Donors the Right Way

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    November 20, 2013 | 12:00 am

    On October 29, Erica Brown published an editorial titled, “We Need Jewish Micro-Giving” in the New York Jewish Week. In it, she argues that people who cannot afford to give large amounts should still be approached for donations, because otherwise, they will feel “invisible” and... read on

  • Speaking to the Dead

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    November 13, 2013 | 12:00 am

    Jewish tradition isn’t clear about what happens to a person after he/she dies, but it is clear we are supposed to look out for the feelings of the dead person. Part of the ritual of taharah, for instance, in which the body is ritually washed, dressed, and placed in a coffin, is an... read on

  • Praying with Betty

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    October 30, 2013 | 1:00 am

    For the last few months, on most Saturday afternoons I have been visiting a woman I will call Betty, in order to preserve her privacy. Betty is in hospice, which means she is approaching the end of her life, and is living at home in a hospital-type bed she will likely never leave,... read on

  • Kevah – A Different Approach to Jewish Learning

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    October 23, 2013 | 1:00 am

    On Monday night I attended the first in a series of classes by Kevah, an interesting educational institution based in Berkeley, CA. Most Jewish education courses are top-down, with the institution deciding the topic of the course and where it will be. They then go in search of... 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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