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Jewish Journal

Islands of Sanity

By Susan Esther Barnes

October 10, 2012 | 8:00 am

I have been working all kinds of extra hours, stressing about deadlines, workflow processes, what is going to fall between the cracks, how bad it’s going to be when we discover what we... read on

  • Suddenly Sukkah

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    October 3, 2012 | 7:00 am

    Saturday afternoon my husband and I went to a friend’s house for a birthday party. While we were there, one of the family mentioned they were going to an amusement park the next day, and asked if we wanted to come along.

    “I can’t,” I said, “I’m going to help build a sukkah... read on

  • Returning to Ourselves

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    September 25, 2012 | 8:00 am

    During the High Holy Days, one of the words we hear about the most often is “T’shuvah.” This is the time to make t’shuvah. The Shabbat that falls between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur is called Shabbat Shuvah. Often translated as repentance, t’shuvah also means to turn, or to... read on

  • Embracing the Awkward

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    September 19, 2012 | 7:00 am

    In my blog post on Wednesday last week I proclaimed that I was ready for the High Holy Days. “Been there, done that,” I thought, “I have done my usual activities, I know what to expect, and I am prepared.” Then God laughed.

    Late Wednesday afternoon, I received an email from a... read on

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  • Turning Toward the High Holy Days

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    September 12, 2012 | 8:00 am

    Some say there are no seasons in California. But for those of us who live by the Jewish calendar, the holidays keep us grounded in the turning of the planet.

    It always starts somewhere near the end of summer. Somehow, the approach of the High Holy Days gets mentioned. Sometimes... read on

  • Shomrim Plan to Withhold Evidence

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    September 6, 2012 | 10:47 am

    I was catching up on reading The Forward, when I came across an article called “Shomrim Don’t Want Police to See Security Video.”

    If the shomrim (the private, volunteer security force) put up private security cameras on their own dime, I could imagine legitimate reasons why they... read on

  • What Do You Want to Know About Synagogues?

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    August 29, 2012 | 8:00 am

    I recently received the Fall edition of Reform Judaism magazine, and quickly came across the article, “What Do You Know…about Synagogues?” on page 10. The Editor’s note at the start of the article says, “This is the first article in a series designed to increase your Jewish... read on

  • Thirsting for Shabbat

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    August 22, 2012 | 8:00 am

    Summer is always our busy time at work. For reasons I won’t go into here, this year it’s been even more busy than normal. I have worked into the evening more than I care to, and have even gone in on a number of Sundays.

    Included in this work has been the fruition of a huge new... 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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