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Jewish Journal

I Made No New Year’s Resolutions

By Susan Esther Barnes

January 2, 2013 | 7:00 am

From wikimedia/eyehook.com

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... 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

  • 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

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  • 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

  • Dear Diestel

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    November 26, 2012 | 7:00 am

    Dear Diestel Family Turkey Ranch, I was willing to look past the name, reminiscent of diesel fuel, because of your claims of sustainability and range grown birds. I didn’t know the down-on-the-farm experience would include having to pluck parts of my turkey, which clearly had not... read on

  • Is There Something Wrong with a Joyful Funeral?

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    November 21, 2012 | 7:00 am

    On Friday I attended a funeral at an African-American inner city church. Normally, I would expect to put the word “predominately” in there, but frankly, the only people in the overflowing sanctuary who didn’t look African-American were people I recognized from work.

    I was... 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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