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Jewish Journal

Come for the Funeral, Stay for Jesus

By Susan Esther Barnes

January 29, 2014 | 12:30 am

Photo by Susan Esther Barnes

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... 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

  • Where Are You, Jahi McMath?

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    January 8, 2014 | 12:30 am

    For weeks, I’ve been having an internal debate about whether to write about this particular tragedy. If I were to write about it, what point(s) would I want to make that I haven’t seen made elsewhere? What is missing from this discussion?

    In case you somehow missed it, Jahi... read on

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  • To Be Confident, Act Confident

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    December 25, 2013 | 12:30 am

    When I was a senior in high school, I was elected to be the Drum Major for the school marching band. That’s the person who stands up in front of the band and directs it, issuing commands during shows and parades using voice, whistle, and baton movements.

    Shortly before I started... read on

  • There’s a Prayer for That

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    December 18, 2013 | 12:30 am

    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 peace, to the more concrete, such as gratitude for the miraculous way in which our bodies work.

    ... 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

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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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