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Jewish Journal

  • A Fresh Look at the Akeda

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    2 weeks ago

    I don’t usually publish stuff I haven’t written myself, but I loved this drash from a bat mitzvah that took place last Saturday so much that I just had to get the author’s, (and her father’s since, according to US law, she’s still a minor), permission to publish it. I’d love to... read on

  • How to Get a Gamer Geek Out of the House

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    2 weeks ago

    My husband and I are both gamer geeks. I’d like to blame him, since he is a video game designer, and he bought me my very first MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online) game, Everquest, which I played religiously for years.

    But the truth is, my fascination began shortly before I met my... read on

  • Things Are Not Always As They Appear

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    October 29, 2014 | 8:27 am

    As we approach Halloween, the non-Jewish (as opposed to Purim) holiday of masks and costumes, perhaps now is a good time to reflect on the truism that things are not always as they first appear to be.

    I was reminded of this last week, at lunchtime. As I approached the local... read on

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  • Carol’s Poems

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    October 15, 2014 | 9:20 am

    Between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, it is said, God decides who will live and who will die in the coming year. During that in-between time of judgment, a woman I’ll call Carol died quietly in the night while her husband, who I’ll call Samuel, slept.

    I only met Carol twice. The... read on

  • The First Mitzvah of 5775

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    September 26, 2014 | 11:45 am

    As usual this year, our synagogue sanctuary was filled to the brim for Rosh Hashanah services. The services were full of beautiful music, the sounds of the shofar, sincere prayers, and deep, meaningful moments. Yet it was what happened afterward that struck me the most.

    ... read on
  • The Abuse We’re Still Not Talking About

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    September 16, 2014 | 11:20 am

    The news about the NFL’s Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson has put a spotlight, for the time being anyway, on domestic abuse. Whether it’s hitting a significant other or hitting a child, important issues are being raised about abuse, what proof of wrongdoing is required, what punishment... read on

  • Doing Right Doesn’t Always Feel Good

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    September 10, 2014 | 1:30 am

    The word mitzvah, or commandment, is often mistranslated as “good deed.” This is partly because many of them are, in fact, about taking care of one another. Visiting the sick, comforting a mourner, and giving money to a person in need are all great examples of this.

    Generally,... read on

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