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Monday, March 8, 2021
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Susan Esther Barnes

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Susan Esther Barnes is on the board of directors of Kavod v'Nichum, which assists in the formation and education of chevra kadisha groups throughout the United States and Canada. She is a past president at Congregation Rodef Sholom in San Rafael, CA, and is also a founding member of the chevra kadisha there. She has taught about Jewish traditions regarding death and dying at Limmud Bay Area, Vacaville State Prison, and the Bay Area Jewish Healing Center.

Friday is National No One Eats Alone Day

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I was going to write about something else entirely this week, but I was reminded that Friday is National No One Eats Alone Day,...

Monsters in the Elevator

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I discovered the game “Monsters in the Elevator” when a friend shared it on his Facebook feed. According to its page on Indiegogo, it...

The Day After the Disaster

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First, I want to make it clear that this post was written before Election Day, even though it is being posted after Election Day....

The Stories We Tell Matter

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A lot has been said in the past few years about microaggressions and their impact. On one hand, I can see how these things...

Not the Unetaneh Tokef

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Every year on Yom Kippur we recite the Unetaneh Tokef. It is, basically, a list of the ways we might die in the coming...

Women’s High Holy Days Mikveh

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On Sunday evening we held our synagogue’s third annual Women’s High Holy Day Mikvah. It was, once again, a deep and holy experience for...

When Ramen Becomes Currency

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I was binge watching the first season of “60 Days In,” a series on A&E in which a small number of citizens go into...

You Can’t Take the Sky from Me

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For quite some time now, I have felt distant from my synagogue, to the point that, over the summer, I pretty much stopped going...

Residents Say, “Yes, In My Back Yard” to Homeless Shelter

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Residents in Marin County are famous for their NIMBYism, with “NIMBY” standing for “Not In My Back Yard.” Yes, we’ll donate to Habitat for...

Response to ’10 reasons Persian Jews support Trump’

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I started reading Afshine Ash Emrani’s Los Angeles Jewish Journal post, “<a href="http://www.jewishjournal.com/opinion/article/10_reasons_why_persian_jews_support_trump ">10 reasons Persian Jews support Trump” with great interest. What, exactly, I...

What’s to like about ‘Pokémon Go’

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A lot has been written about "<a href="http://www.pokemon.com/us/pokemon-video-games/pokemon-go/ ">Pokémon Go" since it hit the top of the download list for smart phone apps earlier this...

Why I Stand with America’s Muslims Regarding Newt Gingrich and Sharia Law

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Following Trump’s lead regarding not allowing Muslims into the country, according to the article “<a href="http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/15/politics/newt-gingrich-hannity-interview/index.html ">Newt Gingrich: Test every Muslim in U.S. to see...

Why Ruth’s Conversion Would Be Rejected Today

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One June 15, Gary Rosenblatt, Editor and Publisher of the New York Jewish Week, published an editorial called, “<a href="http://www.thejewishweek.com/editorial-opinion/gary-rosenblatt/ruths-conversion-would-be-rejected-today ">Ruth’s Conversion Would Be Rejected...

It’s No Surprise Why Women Leave Orthodoxy

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Nishma Research has just come out with the <a href="http://nishmaresearch.com/social-research.html ">results of a survey regarding why people leave Orthodox Judaism. Despite worries by Orthodox leaders...

What I Love and Hate About Donors Choose

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This week I received in the mail an unexpected surprise: an envelope full of hand-made thank-you notes from local fifth grade students. A while...

Fisking the Letter from Brock Turner’s Mother

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Below is the letter from the mother of Brock Turner, who was recently convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman behind a dumpster at...

Flying Freak Flags

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What kind of freak are you? Some may see this question as an insult, but on Sunday I spent several hours explaining to people at...

Mental Health Could Use More Awareness

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May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and it does need a month. Mental illness is a topic which often goes undiscussed, remaining hidden, despite...

Segregating Restrooms

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On March 23 North Carolina passed a <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2016/03/29/health/north-carolina-bathroom-law-cards/ ">law requiring people who use public restrooms to use the one that matches the gender on...

What Does Passover Mean When You’re in Prison?

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This isn’t a metaphorical question. Passover is a joyous holiday about freedom. It’s about remembering what it was like when we were slaves, telling the...

It’s Easy for Things to Escalate

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It was a beautiful day last Saturday, as I pulled into a parking space at the synagogue, intending to greet people coming to attend...

We All Live On Our Own Mountain

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On Friday night last week after services, a group of us gathered in a congregant’s home to sing with <a href="http://www.dannicholsmusic.com/ ">Dan Nichols. He introduced...

Mural So White

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At about the same time everyone was talking about Chris Rock naming the elephant in the room in regard to the OscarsSoWhite hashtag and...

Just Try to Live on $387 Per Month

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Recently I read an article called, “<a href="http://www.marinij.com/article/NO/20160221/NEWS/160229968 ">San Rafael aid center for homeless under mounting pressure to move as city reviews use permit,” and...

Women of the Wall Abandons its Mission

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Social media is all abuzz today about the <a href="http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Cabinet-approves-historic-decision-to-create-Western-Wall-egalitarian-prayer-space-443362 ">news about a “new” egalitarian prayer space that is being created in Jerusalem. Some are,...

My Brain’s Contribution to Science

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Last weekend I was on the campus of U.C. Berkeley in order for the researchers there to obtain an MRI of my brain. It...

San Francisco Police: Nothing to See Here

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The San Francisco Police Officer’s Association has been running a series of radio ads for the past few months, trying to counter claims that...

The Intolerance Wars

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Regular readers of the Los Angeles Jewish Journal are aware, I am sure, of the recent brouhaha between columnist Dennis Prager and supporters of...

The Struggle for Honor for May Peleg

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According to the Times of Israel in “<a href="http://www.timesofisrael.com/haredi-mother-of-transgender-woman-fights-to-stop-her-cremation/#.Vkyl0UndlRA.facebook ">Haredi mother of transgender woman fights to stop her cremation,” May Peleg’s Will was clear: She...

Racism’s Tower of Babel

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The notion of the Tower of Babel comes from a story early in the Torah. In it, people are working on building a tower...
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