Author Archives: Cantor Thomas

Accidental Intertextuality and You by Cantor Mary Rebecca Thomas

Jul 20

You are in your car. That song from the summer of your senior year comes on the radio. What happens? Do you rock out? Do you sit back in your chair at the red light and sigh a little? What’s the sigh about? Is it because you remember what it felt like to be young […]

Going up! by Cantor Mary Rebecca Thomas

Jun 09

I tend to be a little near-sighted in my personal life. Matthew will tell you that my regular response to “Where shall we go for dinner?” is, “Let’s get in the car first, then decide.” Sometimes, that’s all I can manage: one step at a time, one task at a time, one goal at a […]

Counting Up and Counting Down by Cantor Mary Rebecca Thomas

May 23

There is this really interesting song by the Israeli HipHop group, the Teapacks, called Misparim. The chorus translates as – Me, too, like all of the Jews, immersed in numbers. The song lists important moments in the singer’s personal history and in the history of the Jewish people in the the context of the relevant […]

How Fortunate Are We! by Cantor Mary Rebecca Thomas

Apr 28

    Ashreinu! Mah tov chelkeinu u’mah na’im goraleinu u’mah yafah yerushateinu. How fortunate are we! How good is our portion, how pleasant our lot, and how beautiful our heritage. These words, found in the traditional morning service and in our Gates of Repentance for High Holy Days, have been running through my head for […]

I Love Passover by Cantor Mary Rebecca Thomas

Mar 30

I love Passover. I love Passover more than any other holiday, Jewish or otherwise. I remember as a kid – a super-Jewish-loving kid – how excited I would be when the Passover foods would start turning up in the house. My grandparents’ pantry was on some shelves leading up toward our attic; I remember creeping […]

Purim, Pesach, and Packing by Cantor Mary Rebecca Thomas

Mar 16

I’ve been thinking about my Year-In-Israel as a cantorial student more often lately, prompted entirely by the visits of our three incredible candidates for the assistant rabbi position. The first year at HUC – JIR, the Reform Movement’s seminary on four campuses, is a singular year among the five when one studies in order to […]

On watching paint dry. Cantor Mary Rebecca Thomas

Feb 03

Several weeks ago, I sat on the couch with my family. From husband to toddler, all three were engrossed in the Panthers latest pummeling of another team. I was looking at the ceiling, my mind far away. Matt turned to me and said, “This is like watching paint dry for you, isn’t it?” I realized […]

Interfaith Work Matters by Cantor Mary Rebecca Thomas

Nov 25

When I was about 16, I had the opportunity to spend a few days doing peer leadership training through the National Conference of Christians and Jews. I went to camp – Anytown USA – along with a number of kids from my high school, including some very close friends. We spent several days at Anytown […]

Come to Israel by Cantor Mary R. Thomas

Oct 26

I remember being a young school child and it was thrilling whenever there would be a “multicultural” fair or “diversity day”, because this meant there would be an Israeli booth. I remember excitedly raising my hand in school so I could sign up to write a paper about my people’s home – Israel. It was […]