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Oct 17, 2019, 12:48 AM
Feeling the Shekhina: Past, Present and Future
When I was three years old, my family lived in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma When sukkot came around, we built our sukkah in the front of our house in the driveway. It was wooden and painted a green color very...
Oct 9, 2019, 7:46 PM
To Transform, Not to Transcend
The days between Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur according to our tradition are days of repentance. So although Rosh HaShanah is the day of judgment, we have an ‘eleventh hour’ reprieve to try to set our lives out on...
May 17, 2018, 4:51 PM
The end of firsts
We’ve just completed the holiday of Pesach. Pesach, essentially, is a holiday of memory- we are commanded to remember our redemption from slavery in Egypt. The curious thing about this remembrance is that the commandment in the Torah text-...
Mar 9, 2017, 10:04 PM
Megillat Esther: Two Models to Affect Change
A number of years ago, I taught Megillat Esther to adult students through the Florence Melton School for Adult Jewish Learning. My goal in the class was to improve the students’ text skills and to have them learn to...
Feb 13, 2017, 1:17 AM
Forgiveness: Can you imagine? Thoughts on Parasha Vayechi
One of the many reasons that I love living in Chicago is its top notch theatre scene. This past Tuesday night, I had the opportunity to see the incredible Chicago residence production of ‘Hamilton’ for the the third time....
Feb 8, 2017, 8:46 PM
Groundhog Day and the Jewish People: Thoughts on Parashat Bo
This past week, our country experienced its most silly and confounding rituals---Groundhog Day. You all know how it goes-- the media all converge in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania and wait for the Groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, to emerge from his burrow. This...
Oct 11, 2016, 9:49 PM
Your own Holy Space
As some of you might know, as a child I lived in six different communities. My father at the time served many different synagogues as a congregational Rabbi during my childhood before he became a full time academic. The...
Feb 26, 2016, 10:22 PM
G-d coming down the staircase
In the extraordinarily hot summer of 1995, my husband Noam and I moved to Skokie and we bought a home on Doctor Korczak Terrace. Our new street name was a bit unusual, a mouthful to say and had to...
Nov 11, 2015, 9:15 PM
No, Rabbi Student, Professor Lieberman’s Responsum Does NOT Apply
In the recent RCA resolution, Rabbi Gil Student referred to the teshuvah of Prof. Shaul Lieberman of Jewish Theological Seminary when the Conservative Movement was dealing with the issue of women rabbis. Rabbi Student's rationale is that if Prof....
Nov 6, 2015, 3:11 AM
Facts on the Ground for one Maharat Student
This year I was privileged to begin my studies at Yeshivat Maharat. I have been fortunate that I have received a tremendous amount of support in this endeavor from family and friends. My husband is actually jealous that I...
Rabbi Marianne Novak recently received Semikha from Yeshivat Maharat. She lives in Skokie, IL with her husband Noam Stadlan. She is an educator for the Melton Adult Education Program and a Gabbait for the Skokie Women's Tefillah Group.