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 Daniel Kieval there is a meditation practice watching everything arising, inside and outside responding with a gentle, "not me" this thought - "not me" this anger - "not me" this leg - "not me" "not me" it is a Big Truth all this stuff is unfolding in a giant performance art piece we call The Universe and we are just a witness to this flow They say the opposite of a small truth is a lie, but the opposite of a big truth is another big truth is it not equally true to say to everything - "me" ? this anger - "me" this song - "me" this wafting scent of honeysuckle - "me" the silent waterfall in the trees - "me" the cackling crow - "me" the movements of this body - "me" the vast yearning of the soul, and the small, petty thoughts - "me" and also "me" to call ourselves but witnesses does not do justice to the juice that flows down our chin as we bite into this life to our wovenness in this web of flesh and story no, there is no way out of this this is our world, our fleshy body, and we are bigger and more whole than we ever realized and more fragile, and more real and we awaken with heartbroken tears of gratitude arms wide calling everything in come home come home you are me again, and always Notes: The title of the poem is borrowed from the book of the same name by Joanna Macy. The saying about the opposite of a small truth and a big truth is attributed to quantum physicist Niels Bohr. Daniel Kieval currently lives in Western Massachusetts along the Connecticut River. Lately he most enjoys spending time creating art, taking it slow, and exploring wild places (outer and inner).
Ma'yan Tikvah - A Wellspring of Hope
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by Rabbi David Greenstein There is not one blade of grass on earth without its angel descending from above, prodding it urgently: “Grow, grow!”* And, in return, the grass keeps growing. There is not one lion on earth without its angel descending from above, prodding it urgently, “Roar, roar!” And, in return, the lion keeps roaring. There is not one stream on earth without its angel descending from above, prodding it urgently, “Flow, flow!” And, in return, the stream keeps flowing. There is not one bee on earth without its angel descending from above, prodding it urgently, “Sting, sting!” And, in return, the bee keeps stinging. There is not one human being on earth without their angel descending from above, prodding them urgently: “Let the grass grow, the lion roar, the stream flow, the bee sting.” And, in return, the human being pauses to consider whether to heed their angel or betray it. But, should they betray their angel, there is not one human being on earth who will be able to hide. They will look around and see a world that is naked, where - There is not one blade of grass on earth; There is not one lion; There is not one stream; There is not one bee; And there is not one angel descending from above. Except for the angel who will prod each person with a fiery sword, saying urgently, “Until you return to the earth, for you are from the earth, and to the earth you must return.”** * See Genesis Rabbah 10:6 ** See Genesis 3:19 David Greenstein serves as rabbi of Congregation Shomrei Emunah in Montclair, NJ. He is the author of Roads to Utopia: The Walking Stories of the Zohar (Stanford University Press, 2014). He is the Daniel Jeremy Silver Fellow at the Center for Jewish Studies at Harvard for the academic year 2018 - 2019.
Ma'yan Tikvah - A Wellspring of Hope
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by Rabbi Benjamin Weiner Like almost every Jewish festival, the High Holidays have both spiritual and natural resonance, which, at the deepest level, are intertwined. Our ancient ancestors, linking the quality of the oncoming rainy season with the quality of their deeds, derived the need to perform an intense ceremony of repentance at just the time they began anxiously scanning the sky for clouds.   Growing up in central New England, it was not the rains I anticipated as the days of Elul ticked away but the first signs of autumn--cool dewy mornings and crisp breezes by day that brought refreshing contrast to the humidity of summer. These awoke in me not so much the existential gratitude of an Israelite receiving the water of heaven as a subtler sense of safety and familiarity, the childhood feeling of everything being in its right place that can ripen amidst the complexities of later life into an intense nostalgia. It was this seasonal advent, more than any sort of brimming awe and trembling, that defined the time for me--and it is this feeling that I yearn for now as the Days of Awe approach. I have increasingly come to taste the disappointment of this yearning over the past several years, as September continues an inexorable transition into a full-blown summer month, with early fall heatwaves becoming more common, and leaves that in the past would already be tinged with color holding green and stubborn to their stems, and, last year, cherry tomato plants giving fruit well into October whose tartness in my mouth was mixed in my mind with the ominous tang of a poisoned apple. So I have come to approach this time with quite a bit more fear and trembling than I would prefer to feel--maybe more like my ancestors awaiting the rains that have themselves become less abundant and predictable in our times--and my understanding of t'shuvah now grows precisely out of the chasm between my nostalgic expectation and the planet of today. As the High Holidays now bring climate change into this stark relief, accompanied by an emotional tension that I sometimes find almost unbearable, they must by necessity also occasion an intense soul-searching, as I seek the rhythm by which to live with love, righteousness, and joy in the face of the peril of this changing world. Benjamin Weiner is the spiritual leader of the Jewish Community of Amherst.  He lives with his family on their 3.2 acre homestead in Deerfield, MA, where they keep dairy goats, chickens, and bees, and grow much of their own food.

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, Oct 13, 10:00 

Hapgood-Wright, Concord


Sun, Oct 14, 7:00 PM

Tidbits of Talmud


 Shabbat Dinner
Fri, Oct 19, 6:30 PM
Open Spirit, 39 Edwards Framingham
Sat, Oct 20, 10:30 
Cranberry Shabbat
Wachusett Reservoir Boylston
Sat, Oct 27, 10:00 
Pine Brook Conservation Area,
Sat, Nov 3, 10:30 AM
Pod Meadow Conservation Area
Saturday, November 17, 10:30 AM
Turkey Hill Conservation Area

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.

Affiliated with the Synagogue Council of Massachusetts






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© Katy Z. Allen 2012