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Jewish Journal

Attention Forward: We Aren’t That Radical

By Susan Esther Barnes

June 19, 2013 | 7:59 am

So-called "radicals" studying traditional taharah liturgy.

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... read on

  • What do Blu Greenberg, Joy Ladin and Leonard Fein have in common?

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    June 12, 2013 | 5:00 pm

    Ok, so they’re all Jewish. But beyond that, all three spoke to a completely rapt audience on Monday at the 11th annual North American Chevra Kadisha and Jewish Cemetery Conference in Philadelphia. It’s unusual, at any conference, for a speaker to completely capture the attention of... read on

  • Is God All-Powerful?

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    June 5, 2013 | 8:00 am

    Recently, someone who is dear to me, and who I’ve known for over 30 years, shared a photo on Facebook with text which read, “You either have a God who sends child rapists to rape children or you have a God who simply watches and says ‘When you’re done I’m going to punish you.’ If I... read on

  • Becoming Less Normal

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    May 29, 2013 | 8:00 am

    I’ve never really considered myself to be “normal.” What I mean by that is I’ve always felt different from most other people. It probably started with my toes. The second and third toe on each of my feet are joined about half way up. (They are not, I must clarify, webbed!) It... read on

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  • Jewish Fire Circle

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    May 22, 2013 | 8:00 am

    On the evening of Shavuot last week, congregants covering a wide range of ages gathered around a fire pit behind the Religious School of Congregation Rodef Sholom in San Rafael. There, we were lucky enough to get a small taste of what the Midrasha (Hebrew High School) kids have... read on

  • Be a Rescuer – Not a Bystander

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    May 15, 2013 | 8:00 am

    The Big One is coming. We Californians know it. We don’t know how big it will be, when it will hit, or where the epicenter will be, but we know another big earthquake will happen in our state. When it does, each of us will fall into one of three categories: Victim, rescuer, or... read on

  • Burying Tamerlan Tsarnaev

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    May 6, 2013 | 11:01 am

    CNN and other media outlets have been reporting the difficulty Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s family is having as they try to find a place to bury his body.  Tsarnaev, of course, is the Boston Marathon bombing suspect who died after a firefight with law enforcement officers.

    Not only are... read on

  • Taharah for Gentiles?

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    May 1, 2013 | 8:00 am

    Kavod v’Nichum, the organization that assists chevra kadisha groups, synagogues and others regarding mitzvot concerning chaplaincy, burial, mourning, and related topics, recently hosted a webinar titled, “Ritual Washing for Non-Jews After Death.” The webinar presenters were two... 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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