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Jewish Journal

Synagogue Affiliation Matters

By Susan Esther Barnes

2 weeks ago

Photo by Susan Esther Barnes

I’m writing about the topic of how synagogue affiliation matters in small part because of the recent news about a study showing that Jews who are affiliated with a synagogue are... read on

  • Making Space

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    3 weeks ago

    Once a month I visit a man who, God willing, will be turning 93 in March. Pretty much every time I tell him it’s time for me to leave, he wants my assurance that I will come back to see him again, and he tells me how much he values my visit. I very much enjoy my time with him, yet... read on

  • What I Mean When I Offer to Pray For You

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    January 7, 2015 | 12:30 am

    Tablet published a piece by Amy Klein this week called, “Don’t Pray for Me or My Unborn Children,” in which she writes about her struggle to have a child and how she feels when a person named Marilyn offers to pray for her.

    I suspect Marilyn was hoping to comfort her, but clearly... read on

  • Criticized for Standing with Israel

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    December 24, 2014 | 12:30 am

    Our synagogue is next door to an affordable housing property for seniors, which was founded by the synagogue and the local Catholic Archdiocese. One night last week, our cantor, one of our rabbis, a couple of musicians and I went next door for their Chanukah party, which consisted... read on

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  • How to Determine What is Torture

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    December 17, 2014 | 12:30 am

    There has been a lot of talk lately about the so-called “Enhanced Interrogation Techniques” used by the US in the wake of 9-11, and whether or not they were torture. The Geneva Convention, to which we agreed to comply, says “torture means any act by which severe pain or suffering,... read on

  • Something’s Happening Here

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    December 10, 2014 | 12:30 am

    People of my generation grew up with Buffalo Springfield’s song, “Something’s Happening Here,” which starts:
         "There’s something happening here
          What it is ain’t exactly clear
          There’s a man with a gun over there
          Telling me I got to beware"

    It was a song... read on

  • Is Crime Caused by Poor Moral Character?

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    December 4, 2014 | 1:03 pm

    Recently I was catching up on reading some back issues of the Jewish Journal, when I came across a column by Dennis Prager called, “Poverty Causes Crime?” He spends almost all of the article explaining why he thinks poverty does not, in fact, cause crime.

    Then, at the end, he... read on

  • I Can’t Write About the Beauty of Prayer Right Now

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    November 19, 2014 | 10:05 am

    Last night, Rabbi Ed Feinstein from Valley Beth Shalom came to our synagogue to teach about Abraham Joshua Heschel and how we can find meaning in prayer. He was animated and knowledgeable. He taught with passion and compassion. The time flew by, I was able to connect what he was... read on

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