Author Archives: Cantor Mary Thomas

The View from the Air by Cantor Mary Rebecca Thomas

Jul 02

Several weeks ago, our Torah portions taught us the laws of the Sabbatical year and the sort of super-Sabbatical, the Jubilee year. During these special years in the Jewish calendar, we allow things to rest and be renewed. In the Sabbatical year, we allow the Land a period of time to go fallow, and in […]


May 19

Over a year ago, I sat in the congregation with my daughter on my lap one Shabbat morning. As a clergy-person, I rarely sit with my family in the congregation, so this was a special occasion. While Johannah regularly attends Tot Shabbat, this was the first time she had ever been in a “main” service […]

Jazz, Jews, and Shabbat Shmooze

Feb 25

After a class I taught recently, a couple approached me to ask about the music that we use here in services at Temple Beth El. Half of the couple you see, had grown up in the Orthodox tradition and for him, the music here was very unfamiliar. They asked, “what is the tradition of this […]

As the Gates Begin to Close – N’ilah 5774

Sep 16

Cantor Mary Rebecca Thomas September 14, 2013 There is a propensity to love the service of n’ilah, these final moments of Yom Kippur prayer said as day turns to dusk. Here at Beth El, our “purple” service (hold up book) is most beloved throughout the year. Rabbi Alan Lew writes that people “throng” to his […]

Temple Beth El’s Passover Seder Supplement – 5773/2013

Mar 25

Chag Sameach! Happy Passover everyone! Check out TBE’s Seder Supplement – feel free to use any or all of it for your own Passover Seder! Reflections and insight on today’s issues as they apply to our celebration of Freedom by Rabbi Judy Schindler, Cantor Mary Thomas, and Rabbi Jonathan Freirich. Download the file from here: […]

Help Charlotte’s Jewish Students Get a Teacher Work Day for Rosh HaShanah

Jan 10

For those of you who live in Charlotte, please help to make Rosh Hashanah a teacher workday on September 5, 2013. It will make a huge difference to our hundreds and hundreds of Beth El students who want to attend synagogue on the High Holy Days. For just this week, until January 14th, CMS is […]

Temple Beth El Women Support Women of the Wall

Nov 01

TBE Women stand united with Women of the Wall and for pluralism in Judaism, in Israel and everywhere!

The God Survey

Jun 20

There is an article in this month’s issue of Reform Judaism Magazine entitled “The God Survey”, where Rabbi Mark Dov Shapiro of Temple Sinai in Springfield, Massachusetts explores the results of – you guessed it – a survey on beliefs about God. Bothered by the one-sidedness of the pulpit, Shapiro explains that he longed to […]