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Jewish Journal

Happy Anniversary, John Barnes

By Susan Esther Barnes

January 9, 2013 | 7:00 am

Last week my husband and I reached our 10th wedding anniversary. One might expect me to say we “celebrated” it, but I avoided that word on purpose. We both worked a full day that day,... read on

  • I Beg to Disagree, Rabbi Avi Shafran

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    January 2, 2013 | 7:10 pm

    After reading the recent post by Rabbi Avi Shafran in the Jewish Journal, I just had to respond. Here is my fisk of his post.

    “It’s easy to dismiss the antics of Warrior of the Wall Anat Hoffman.”
    The name of the group is Women of the Wall. In a post that purports to be about... read on

  • I Made No New Year’s Resolutions

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    January 2, 2013 | 7:00 am

    I made no New Year’s resolutions this year. Which is nothing new. I don’t believe I have ever made a New Year’s resolution. If you had asked me ten years ago why I don’t, I probably would have said it’s because if I see something I want to change, I work on changing it right away,... read on

  • Know Before Whom You Stand

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    December 26, 2012 | 7:00 am

    There was no bar or bat mitzvah ceremony at my synagogue this weekend, so the chairs in the front row, normally occupied by the bar/bat mitzvah families, were empty. At the rabbi’s request, some of us moved up to the front row.

    In the moments before we say the Amidah, the central... read on

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  • Shining Lights in the Darkness

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    December 19, 2012 | 7:00 am

    On Friday night last week, the seventh night of Chanukah, dozens of families arrived at our synagogue, each with a chanukiah (Chanukah menorah or candelabra) and a box of candles. The chanukiot were set up on long tables in the middle of the overflowing sanctuary, where the light... read on

  • Jewish Hash Browns

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    December 12, 2012 | 7:00 am

    It happens every year. Chanukah rolls around, and at some point the rabbi asks me about my latke consumption. Every year, I tell him I haven’t had any. Every year, he is horrified.

    He’s a bit of a foodie, and for him, latkes are an integral part of the holiday experience. It’s... read on

  • Mindful Eating

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    December 5, 2012 | 7:00 am

    As part of services last Saturday, we had what was billed as a creative eating meditation. “In our all too-busy world,” the congregation weekly email explained, “the practice of mindful eating helps us bring our full attention to the process of eating – to all the tastes, smells,... read on

  • Religious or Cultural?

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    November 28, 2012 | 7:00 am

    I was at the Safeway checkout counter this week, about to respond with my usual, “Yes, thanks” when asked whether I had found everything I need, when instead I blurted, “Oh, wait! Stamps!”

    The cashier kindly charged me for stamps, reached into her drawer, and handed over a book.... 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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