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Jewish Journal

Carol’s Poems

By Susan Esther Barnes

October 15, 2014 | 9:20 am

Photo from Wikimedia Commons: Page from the diary of Thomas Graham Wellcome

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... 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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  • Five Days a Week

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    September 3, 2014 | 1:30 am

    A couple of weeks ago I went to the doctor about an annoying but not life threatening issue, and the treatment she prescribed didn’t resolve it. So I sent her an email, and she replied with a new diagnosis and suggested a new prescription. She said I would need to use the new... read on

  • Inside and Outside

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    August 27, 2014 | 1:30 am

    When I was at Limmud Bay Area this summer, there was a project there called, “From Selfie to Groupie.” Participants in this project were asked to write three things about their Jewish identity on white boards mounted on a background, and then take a “selfie,” or, in this case, have... read on

  • When Society Loses Its Balance

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    August 20, 2014 | 1:30 am

    For many of us, especially we privileged white folk, the world in which we conduct our lives may seem like a pretty solid, predictable, trustworthy place. It’s easy to forget that society only works when almost everyone believes they are better off when they follow society’s rules.... read on

  • O Captain, My Captain

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    August 11, 2014 | 5:11 pm

    Sitting here at my desk, I feel like crying. I notice a post on my Twitter feed from Rabbi Joe Black, asking, “Why does the death of Robin Williams hit so hard?” It’s an excellent question. Suicide is always so sad. It always feel like it could have been prevented, although God... read on

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