Author Archives: Cantor Thomas

We Were Strangers by Cantor Mary R. Thomas

Feb 02

“The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as one of your citizens; you shall love the stranger as yourself for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” (Leviticus 19:34) We were strangers. We were on the outside. We were feared. We were maligned. We were not trusted. We were turned away. […]

Double Chai by Cantor Mary Rebecca Thomas

Jan 25

I have a birthday at the beginning of this month. I hadn’t given it too much thought before because it isn’t a milestone and, at a point, birthdays that aren’t milestones seem to become days like the rest. I’ve already had enough non-milestone birthdays as an adult to know that this is true. Milestones are […]

Contentment by Cantor Mary R. Thomas

Dec 21

Who is the rich one? He who is happy with his lot, as it says, “When you eat [from] the work of your hands, you will be happy, and it will be well with you” (Psalms 128:2). “You will be happy” in this world, and “it will be well with you” in the world to […]

Don’t Forget Who You Once Were by Cantor Mary Rebecca Thomas

Nov 03

  I had a vacation day earlier this week, and I spent it entirely sitting in public spaces (Barnes and Nobles, Amelie’s) reading a book that simply had nothing to do with Judaism, or my job, or the Jewish people, or community building, or prayer, or Torah. It was just a book and a book […]

Seeing Palaces by Cantor Mary Rebecca Thomas

Sep 15

Achat sha’alti mei’eit Adonai, otah avakeish – One thing I ask of Adonai, one request – Shivti b’veit Adonai kol y’mei chayai, lachazot b’noam Adonai ul’vakeir b’heichalo That I may dwell Adonai’s house all of the days of my life, to behold the pleasantness of Adonai and visit God’s palace. Psalm 27 is dedicated to […]

Fuel for Elul – Preparing for the High Holy Days by Cantor Mary Rebecca Thomas

Aug 30

September 2016 Elul is back to school shopping. Elul is the letter you get from the dentist reminding you to schedule your next cleaning and x-rays. Elul is that chapter in the healthy eating book that gives you the grocery list and tells you to clean out your cabinets. Elul is a warning shot across […]

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 […]