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 Judith Felsen, Ph.D. Heavenly Waltz Last night the heavens shimmered as You arrived to dance with us. Your constellations’ twinkling drapes chandeliers of light made divine synchrony, Your choreography emerging  from the stars. Celestial joy embraced us in exuberance for life as we rejoiced light footed,  ecstatic dancers mortal and eternal shedding and creating Your waltzing sparks of light divine. Modest Moon Tonight Your moon appeared behind a dusty mask of clouds veiled in modesty,  not to mesmerize her gazers. Midway to fullness both her glow and essence  took command of sky and stars, her dusky radiance dominant. Received through moonbeams  palpable  and seen, an ancient memory reveals her undefeated lunar journey. Witnessed, monthly she departs and then appears in triumph, dark or crescent carrying Your light to night. Concealed, her lunar power humbly showers earth with promise You are here. We  are moonlit watchers of Your will engaged for centuries  with  ancestry, in awe of luminary’s rays  sacred and divine  Your modest moon.  Full Moon Majestically she bares herself fulfillment of a fortnight’s  prayers and dreams. Our merit and mistakes, she holds in radiance a lunar record of our journeys here. Within a corridor  of clouds and stars  her body rises to remind us of commitments made at new moon’s darkened skies. Completion of her cycle records time to celebrate  review, and recreate  our purpose here,  a data base of contracts  with our souls. Lunar mentor overhead, unfailing in her mission, she guides our fortnight’s passage as we move daily/nightly  coming home. New Moon Suspended in a darkened sky behind earth’s  shadowed curtain new moon holds a template  for a prophecy  of  weeks to come. Blackness of the night invites projection of  desire, casting will and need into the heavens. This night in darkness  we are seeding destiny, responsible for harvesting fruition. New moon holds invitation. We are the guests expected, bearing sin and virtue, wants and gifts in forging days to come. Tonight in darkness  our intentions cast a blessing, fortnight’s wishes now embedded  in the moonless sky. New moon holds each prayer,  a wish divine dictated  dormant in the darkest night  awakening to manifest tomorrow, new moon gone to crescent light. Longest Night Waste not this longest night, instead embrace these darkened hours to know of grace in shadow. Reflect in weakened light the presence of the strength which blackness brings,  the midwife of all light eternal. Kindle inner wicks which bond with flames of heaven, blazing sparks to soar divine transforming pain to glory. In darkness are these lights revealed intrinsic gems of wisdom brilliant specks in dark descended. Be with night’s longest undercover become  G-d’s radiance divine this longest night. © Judith Felsen, Ph.D. Judith Felsen holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, certificates in hypnotherapy, NLP, Eriksonian Hypnosis, and Sacred Plant Medicine. She is a poetess, consultant, creator of collaborative integrative programs involving  nature, Judaism and the arts,  daily student of Torah, sacred texts and various teachers particularly the Baal Shem Tov and Chassidus, sacred circle dancer and an avid kitchen worker. She enjoys sharing studies, all of the outdoors, the garden, harvesting, prepping ,walking, hiking, running, meditating and conversing with the earth. She serves on the board of the Bethlehem Hebrew Congregation, Neskaya Center for Movement Arts, and the Mount Washington Valley Chavurah.  She lives in the White Mountains with her husband, two large dogs and thenative community of the surrounding forest.
Ma'yan Tikvah - A Wellspring of Hope
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by Rabbi Katy Z. Allen To kindle the Hanukkah lights, we need the shamash, the helper candle, with which we light all the other candles. The role of the shamash is vital, enabling as it does the proliferation of physical and spiritual light we experience on Hanukkah. Through the following kavannot, or meditations, the shamash can also help us make connections to the Earth within the context of Hanukkah and give us the strength we need to take action. Each meditation is connected to both a prayer or text from Jewish tradition and one or more of the Dragons of Inaction, spiritual and psychological barriers that prevent us from taking the actions we must take if we want to help preserve a climate suitable for life. For Lighting the Shamash Each Night: As I light this shamash, may the light I behold help me to see more clearly and more deeply into my heart and soul and into the world beyond me. May the light of this candle remind me to connect to the Earth, Jewish tradition, family, and community in ways that give me spiritual, physical, and psychological healing and strength. May the light of the shamash renew my will to learn more about climate change and Judaism, the connections between the two, and potential personal and communal actions. First Night May the light of this candle inspire me to reduce the carbon footprint of my energy usage by buying my electricity from renewable resources; putting solar panels on my roof; and installing a heat pump. May I find the strength to overcome the dragon of concern about the financial risk of any investment required. May I hear a voice within me telling me to be “strong and of good courage.” (Deuteronomy 31:7) Second Night May the light of these candles motivate me to move closer to a plant-based diet by reducing the amount of meat I eat and cutting down on dairy products. May my journey through diet change not be thwarted by the dragon of my desire to justify my comfortable climate-negative lifestyle. With each bite of food I take, may I understand that “the Earth belongs to the Holy One, and everything in it.” (Psalm 24:1) Third Night May the light of these candles bring me the strength to reduce my transportation carbon footprint by walking, bicycling, and carpooling more, taking public transportation more often, getting rid of one or more cars, flying less, and/or buying an electric car. May I not allow the dragon of perceived inequity, my desire not to be taken advantage of, and my belief that others may not reduce their carbon footprint to prevent me from taking these actions. May I remember that my actions have consequences and follow the path of goodness and sacred connection. (Second paragraph of the Shema, Deuteronomy 11:13-21 and other passages) Fourth Night May the light of these candles move me to divest all my financial holdings from fossil fuel companies and reinvest them in renewable energy. May the dragon of my lack of knowledge of how and where to reinvest my funds not prevent me from making this shift. May I take to heart the gifts of wisdom, knowledge, and understanding that are continually bestowed upon me every day. (Daily Amidah) Fifth Night May the light of these candles prompt me to write, call, and visit my state and local representatives and urge them to support clean energy and carbon pricing bills, not once, but again and again. May I not get bogged down by the dragon of belief that my voice doesn't matter and that nothing will result from my actions. May I understand in my heart that one who can prevent her household, city, or the whole world from committing a sin and doesn't do it is responsible for their sins. (Babylonian Talmud Shabbat 54b) Sixth Night May the light of these candles convince me to care for my property in a way that will produce more food and sequester more carbon. And if I do not own any land, may I search out a place within my community where I can act upon this matter. May the dragons of worrying that everything I do will take too much time and feel meaningless not cause me to hesitate and refrain from acting. May I remember that my human role on this planet is “to till and to tend” or “to serve and protect” the Earth. (Genesis 2:15) Seventh Night May the light of these candles propel me to reduce the amount of water I use and the amount of waste I produce by composting, recycling, reusing, buying only what I truly need, installing a rain barrel, and reducing indoor and outdoor water use. May I not stagnate in my climate activism journey due to the dragon of believing that the easiest actions are the only ones I need to take. May I remember that G!d “gives strength to the weary” each and every day. (Morning Blessings) Eighth Night May the light of these candles inspire me to regularly support eco-justice efforts by giving tzedakah and advocating in my local and state governments. May I not allow the dragon of concern about the importance of my efforts to prevent me from acting. May I remember that my actions impact the lives of vulnerable populations now and in the future, and that one who saves a single life, it is as though he has saved the entire world. (Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 37a) Chag Urim Sameach - Happy Festival of Lights, Rabbi Katy 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 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.

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 and Other Events


Sat. Feb. 24, 10:30

Upper Mill Brook, Wayland


Talmud & Purim

Sun, Feb 25, 7:00 PM

 Wayland home


Sat, Mar. 10, 10:30

Pine Brook 

40 Acres Dr. Wayland


Sat, Mar 17, 10:30

Carol G Nature Trail, Framingham


Sat, Mar 24, 10:30

Mainstone Cons. Area, Wayland


Passover Seder

Fri, Mar. 30

6:30-9:00 PM

Open Spirit, Framingham



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