Ma'yan Tikvah - A Wellspring of Hope
Ma'yan Tikvah - A Wellspring of Hope

Spiritual Wisdom from Earth and Torah

Ma'yan Tikvah - A Wellspring of Hope
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by Rabbi Katy Allen photos by Gabi Mezger As you journey through these the Yamim Noraim, Days of Awe, may you find yourself more able to remain present in the moment, may you find meaning in unexpected places, and my your heart open ever wider. May you search among the needles for the gifts of seeds. May you find beauty among that which at first glance seems no longer needed, but which in fact is vital. May your gaze turn upward toward vistas without end. May you notice gifts that pop up quickly in unexpected places. May your eyes and your heart be opened to wonder. May subtlness strike you as sacred.  May stark contrasts awaken you to unexpected treasures.  \ May you greet everyone with a smile. May you emerge in places where nourishment is unexpected. May you remain calm in the face of stress and pain. May you have a good year. May you find ways to connect with, engage with, and appreciate this amazing planet. May you find ways to protect, preserve, and honor this amazing planet. May we all rejoice in the blessings of Creation. Shana tova, Rabbi Katy and Gabi Rabbi Katy Allen is the founder and rabbi of Ma'yan Tikvah - A Wellspring of Hope, which holds services outdoors all year long, and the co-founder and President pro-tem of the Boston-based Jewish Climate Action Network. She is a board certified chaplain and serves as an Eco-Chaplain and the Facilitator of One Earth Collaborative, a program of Open Spirit, and is a former hospital and hospice chaplain. She received her ordination from the Academy for Jewish Religion in Yonkers, NY in 2005 and lives in Wayland, MA, with her spouse, Gabi Mezger, who leads the singing at Ma'yan Tikvah.
Ma'yan Tikvah - A Wellspring of Hope
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by Molly Bajgot something that the earth knows well is our attempts to conquer, manipulate, and control her. in this High Holy season, in the return to oneself, we are asked to abstain from the conquering, manipulating and controlling — that it may lead to understanding our impulses for doing so:  to each other, the earth, other beings, and our own soul. we have a task, this Holy season, to do teshuvah — to relinquish, however micro or macro we can - the impulses and ways we farm our subconscious and conscious minds with seeds that have been handed to us back in times of vulnerability or fear, that have since grown thick underfoot, convincingly planted in the soil of our own hearts, gone unmarked with sharpie and popsicle stick to remember them by, as ‘non-native.’  As young farmers of our souls, may we weed out what has been strewn in the rows of our own homes: the ones that we sowed and so wanted to reap from — for we heard they would profit. but those folks were not prophets, and it turns out our own local weeds are now high on the market. we can choose to  reclaim, recultivate, reinvite our main birth crop  back to our home —choose now to carry it to term, brilliant and unshaking and not calling it a weed, but calling it ourselves. when we give way to this difference — we’re met with new blooms and potent fragrance  scents that snap us back to something ancient and unkempt, so familiar, like our first days of life. though perhaps now we can perhaps see, stepping back, taking in our new garden minds,  how on this planet we give credence to the monocropped, manufactured seeds so orderly and pleasant looking so similar to each other — so not of our own — when we look towards ourselves  this Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, may we seek to identify what serves to be uprooted and left to dry in the paths in the last solar days of summer, this season. may we seek to identify what of our sister heart we’ve left untended to in this last year of life. may we rush to her, bolting to term, to save her seed  in peak of our fall days — let her be  carried by wind to the four corners, no, seven corners of our soul,  multiplying further, from the tips of our eyebrows to the tips of our toes, always whispering to her, "you deserve to be cherished."  know, young farmer, that this toil is not unmet with merit: that years from now, after this weeding and reselecting of the seeds of your soul you will not need any new seed — for she will become again your natural cropping blooming time and time again each season, already harvested, already sewn, in to the sleeve of your soul coming home becoming whole. amen.  Molly Bajgot is a Jewish signer-songwriter currently living in Western Massachusetts. She is a lover of music, healing arts, and the outdoors. When she gets the chance to do these things together, she feels as home. Being in the garden is a place of mystery and metaphor for her. She loves to craft ritual, and to be in community both as a member and as an organizer. She looks forward to molding all these passions together in to a career throughout her life. 
Ma'yan Tikvah - A Wellspring of Hope
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by Thea Iberall, PhD I have a picture of my mother Helene with Heidi Klum, the blonde supermodel and TV star. We were in Heidi’s trailer on the Warner Bros lot in Burbank watching her prep for a commercial shoot. Heidi and her makeup entourage gathered around my mother who was wearing her “Kiss Me I’m 100” T-shirt. They wanted to know her secret to aging well. My mom laughed and told Heidi about the gin-soaked raisins she eats every morning to ward off arthritis. Then she talked about the raw apple cider vinegar she takes before every meal to overcome gas. And the walnuts and blueberries and probiotics. The classes and crossword puzzles. How she plays bridge and Scrabble. And how she set a world record in swimming when she turned 90 years old. My mom has lived a life of service, from the Campfire Girls to the National Council of Jewish Women. She tutored Russian immigrants in English as a second language. In 1974, at great risk to herself, she smuggled letters and money to Russian Refusenik Jews in the Soviet Russia. In the middle of the night, she managed to avoid the KGB and find their homes. She met with the scientist Alexander Lerner and also a young Natan Sharansky before he was imprisoned. At one of the apartments she visited, she was asked if she could speak Yiddish to an elderly Russian woman who had not heard the language in years. My mother agreed and they woke the woman up. She was thrilled as my mother asked her where she was from and why she came to Russia in Yiddish.  On left, Helene Iberall with Heidi Klum; on right, Helene with Natan Sharansky when they remet in 2013 My mom died at the age of 102 at personal peace, but not at peace because of the world. To her, the only life worth living is one steeped in community and family. "Prejudice is the worst thing in this world," she told me. Her mantra was, "Dwell on human kindness." As an Orthodox Jew, this was what Judaism meant to her. She said it to the young and the old, to everyone she met. She also told them about her secret of aging well: about the gin-soaked raisins, the raw apple cider vinegar. About being with the Earth, not against it. And she lived her teshuvah by asking the same question each day of her life, a question from a Thomas Carlyle poem that she had memorized in the 4th grade: So here hath been dawning another blue day. Think wilt thou let it slip useless away? Photo by Penni Rubin  Thea Iberall is on the leadership team of the Jewish Climate Action Network. As head of the JCAN interfaith group, she works with other organizations such as the Green Sanctuary Committee of the First Parish UU Church Medfield, Massachusetts Interfaith Power & Light, and Dr. Iberall is the author of The Swallow and the Nightingale. In this visionary fiction novel, she uses today’s world of climate change as a backdrop to help awaken people, reminding us that the visions of Gandhi, religious mysticism, and Native Americans are a more sustainable solution than the patriarchal system under which we live. Learn more at

Divrei Earth

The above are examples of Divrei Earth - spiritual wisdom from Earth and Torah, in the blog written by Rabbi Katy Allen and members and friends of Ma'yan Tikvah. 


Divrei Earth - literally words of Earth, provide reflections on the weekly Torah portion, as well as Earth Etudes for Elul, reflections in preparation for the New Year during the month leading up to Rosh Hashanah, and Counting the Omer, reflections on Earth and Torah from Passover to Shavuot.


CLICK HERE to view the blog, where you can subscribe to receive the posts via email.



Ma'yan Tikvah Makes the Globe!

Thank you to Lisa Wangsness at The Boston Globe for the fantastic article about Ma'yan Tikvah! Check it out here.


Help Protect and Save the Earth - 13 Tips

CLICK HERE to find 13 environmental tips with accompanying texts and commentary by Rabbi Katy Allen.


Watch at Eden Keeper

Webinar : A Transformation from Environamental Grief to Environmental Action


Watch Eden Keeper Webinar, "A Transformation from Environmental Grief to Environmental Action." During this half-hour video, Director Robin Purchia hosts Rabbi Katy and the two discuss grief, the management of feelings of loss, and how to tranform our dark inner places into joy and a spiritual connection to the environment. 


Link to YouTube Webinar


Link to Eden Keeper Website


Some Spiritual Tips

Are you feeling a bit blue? Wondering about meaning? Despairing about the state of the world? Here are a few suggestions to help yourself get re-grounded spiritually.


  • Find a spot outdoors where you can focus on the natural world. Even in the city, you can always look up at the sky. Pay attention to what you see. Let it speak to you. Let the image, sound, or smell enter deep into your being.
  • Draw a picture. It doesn't matter if you "know how to draw" or not. Simply focus on something meaningful to you and record something of what you see, in either an abstract form or something more representative.
  • Think back to a moment in nature from your childhood or youth. Record your memory in words or images.
  • Sit still in a quiet place. Breathe deeply. Image yourself enveloped in love and mercy, beneath the wings of the Shechinah, the Divine Presence.
  • Find a passage from a sacred text, in the broadest sense of the word, Torah or other Jewish texts, your favorite children's book, a poem, or whatever strikes you. Connect it to your experience in nature or your drawing or writing. Think about how the two enrich each other.
  • Call a friend to ask how he or she is doing.

Upcoming Events 


Outdoor Services:

Saturday, Nov. 4, 10:30

Pine Brook Conservation Area, Wayland


Saturday, Nov. 11, 10:30

Nobscot Scout Reservation, Sudbury


Saturday, Nov. 18, 10:30

Pod Meadow Conservation Area 



Saturday, Dec. 2, 10:30

Hamlen Woods Conservation Area, Wayland


Saturday, December 9, 10:30

Hop Brook Conservation Area


Tidbits of Talmud

Sunday, October 29

7:00-8:30 PM

Rabbi Katy and Gabi's Home, Wayland


Where to Find Us


Ma'yan Tikvah - A Wellspring of Hope

237 Old Connecticut Path
Wayland, MA 01778

Phone: 1 508.358.5996




Blog: www.mayantikvah.

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Affiliated with the Synagogue Council of Massachusetts






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© Katy Z. Allen 2012