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

Spiritual Wisdom from Earth and Torah

Divrei Earth

The views and opinions expressed in the d'vrei Earth represent those of the author.

Ma'yan Tikvah - A Wellspring of Hope
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by Lynn Nadeau

On Tisha B'Av, we sit on the floor, a candle barely lighting the page, and we read the words which sear the heart. We lament the destruction of the First Temple by the Babylonians. And we lament the destruction of the Second Temple by the Romans. And today, we mourn the destruction caused by ourselves. Our private profligacy. Our passivity and our lack of participation in public policy letting selfish interests predominate.  For these things I weep; my eye, yea my eye, sheds tears, for the comforter to restore my soul is removed from me; my children are desolate, for the enemy has prevailed. (Lamentations 1:16)

The deluge is here in Massachusetts. The drought is there in 3/4 of California. The cold is here in my home. The heat is there in the Western states. Climate chaos/weirding has settled in and everyone must notice. I did hear the weather person stating, "Mother Nature has brought us some unusual weather." Blame it on mother. O how has the city that was once so populous remained lonely! ...Jerusalem sinned grievously, therefore she became a wanderer; All her people are sighing [as] they search for bread; they gave away their treasures for food to revive the soul; (Eicha 8-11)

This is not here in Boston. But it is so in South Asia, where increasing temperatures, sea level rise, more frequent cyclones, flooding of river systems fed by melting glaciers, and other extreme weather events are bringing chaos and disaster. Rapid economic growth and urbanization are accelerating and magnifying the impact and drivers of climate change—the demand for energy is expected to grow 66 percent by 2040. Climate refugees have set out for survival. And it is so in Afghanistan, where war refugees prepare to move to Pakistan from the oncoming cruelty of the Taliban.  Your prophets have seen false and senseless visions for you, and they have not exposed your iniquity to straighten out your backsliding, but have prophesied for you false and misleading oracles. (Eicha 2:14)

Jeff Bezos will use $10B of his $212.4B to fight climate change over a ten-year period while he uses $30b to travel into space using unearthed fossil fuel to propel his vehicle. The Tokyo Olympics will use $15.4B to pump up competitive patriots "USA! USA!"  And there is more: we crush underfoot all prisoners in the land, we deny people their rights before the Courts to deprive them of justice—(Eicha 3:34) Let us examine our ways and test them (Eicha 3:40)                and work together for the good of all.    Lynn Nadeau was Jewish for 20 years married a non-Jew became a democrat for 20 years a Buddhist for 20 years and is deeply Jewish again. 

Ma'yan Tikvah - A Wellspring of Hope
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This speech was given by Rabbi Katy Z. Allen on June 17, 2021, upon being named Alumna of the Year by the Association of Rabbis and Cantors, the professional association of the Academy for Jewish Religion.

Erev tov - good evening.

You know how the verse begins: 

G!d spoke to Moses saying, Speak to the Israelites and say to them. 

This particular verse continues: “You shall put solar panels on your homes, and live and advocate for a sustainable lifestyle for all, for I, your G!d am holy.”

You don't recognize that verse? Really?

Actually, neither do I. 

And yet, I do. 

I do, because I see such messages in nearly every verse.

I see them as the subtext of: In the beginning G!d created the heavens and the Earth” and of, “Take off your shoes for you are standing on holy ground.”

I see them in the injunctions to care for the poor, welcome the stranger, pay attention to what we eat, and pursue justice.

Why do I see them?

Because everything is connected. Because everything and everyone is sacred. Everything. The air we breathe out enters the tree beside us and we breathe in the oxygen it produces. The Holy One of Blessing touches every single cell and fiber of our being and every single aspect of life and non-life, and all that is or was or ever will be. Connections are everywhere.

So when you next open the Torah, I beseech you to see and hear that G!d is saying, “Speak to the Israelites - to everyone, and tell them to understand the impact of fossil fuel consumption on vulnerable communities. 

“Tell them that as long as making the air unbreathable is acceptable, as long as spewing toxic chemicals into the water is not abhorred by all, as long as living comfortably without recognizing the consequences is our default way of being, as long any lives and any part of Creation are considered by anyone to be disposable, the Messiah will not arrive, there will be no peace among us, and everything and everyone we hold dear is in danger.

“Tell them to act while it still matters.”

I am grateful to the Association of Rabbis and Cantors for the honor of being chosen as alumna of the year, and for the recognition this honor gives to the Jewish Climate Action Network. I will be even more grateful if you will go home and speak from the deepest places of your hearts to your families, your communities, and your G!d, and together make a decision to act in new and impactful ways to preserve this precious planet and all of its inhabitants.

Todah rabbah. Thank you so very, very much.

Ma'yan Tikvah - A Wellspring of Hope
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by Andy Oram

Climate disaster is the crisis of our era, challenging us technically, politically, and economically--as well as a crisis of social justice and a refugee crisis. But less often noted is that climate disaster is a spiritual crisis. It forces us to ask what our life's purpose is, how to stay emotionally centered in the face of destruction, and how to make the thousands of years of our religious traditions relevant in a situation never envisioned by those who fashioned these traditions.

The Third Jewish Climate Action Conference: Everything Is Connected taking place online April 25, 12:00-8:00 PM EDT, offers a holistic and comprehensive view of the work that the climate demands of us today--as much as one can get in just eight hours. This free event covers advocacy (with special events by and for young people), soil and agriculture, decarbonizing, and resilience and weaves together youth, environmental justice, and anti-racism while focusing on action steps. Speakers come from leading Jewish organizations in addition to a wide range of environmental and groups and experts.

Everyone's attention has understandably been consumed by the COVID-19 pandemic this past yer. But the pandemic offers us so many spiritual and ethical lessons that it might well be seen as a divine rebuke: the lesson that invisible trends can erupt into life-threatening threats amazingly fast, that all of us are equally important and must be protected regardless of social and economic status, that prompt and radical responses are possible if we have the will to act, and more.

People often ask what they can do, as individuals or members of modest-sized organizations such as synagogues, to make a difference. Effective action to save the climate, and to create a socially just environment, does require large-scale, global work. But individual efforts make a difference. By treating our land, our food, and our buildings as sacred contributions to a better world and raising up environmental justice, we free ourselves somewhat from our dependence on activities that put carbon into the atmosphere. We also strengthen our ability to demand progress from institutions and other people.

At the Third Jewish Climate Action Conference, you'll connect with fellow activists in an event designed to be as educational as it is spiritually uplifting. Through dozens of workshops, you'll learn how you can improve our use of the soil, whether in your own garden or in agribusiness. Synagogue members can start to set achievable goals and organize within their congregations for greener buildings and grounds. Wind power, sustainable investment, local activism--all these topics are explored. Join climate activists from across the country on Sunday April 25, as well as the pre-conference workshops!

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 Outdoor Services & Other Events


Shabbat Services start at 10:00 AM.

Occasional Friday evenings at various times. 

RSVP requested. 



Service locations are decided each week depending on weather and walking conditions. To find get this week's location, contact

Rabbi Katy.


Sunday, July 18

5:00 PM

Tisha B'Av - A Time for Walking and Mourning Together

RSVP for location



Where to Find Us


Ma'yan Tikvah - A Wellspring of Hope

Wayland, MA 




Affiliated with the Synagogue Council of Massachusetts






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© Katy Z. Allen 2012