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
by Rabbi Katy Z. Allen The mystics teach that every person contains within a spark of the Divine, the result of G!d's tzimtzum, the contraction of the Divine self to make room for Creation. The resulting holy vessels, containing the sacredness of the Universe, shattered, and sparks of holiness flew outward and entered into that very Creation. It's not always easy to see the sparks of holiness in a person. When we are hurt by another, our ability to see their holy spark vanishes. Sometimes I can't see the spark inside my spouse, my children, my siblings, my friends or my partners in social justice work. Sometimes their words or actions touch old wounds within me, and I cannot see the sacredness within them. Sometimes their words or deeds touch new wounds within me, wounds from the world around me, and I cannot see their spark. And with some people out there in the world, it's sometimes, or often, hard for me to believe the spark is even there. Rabbi Nachman reminds us to “Seek the good in everyone, and reveal it, bring it forth.” To see the spark. Mystical tradition teaches that our job on Earth is to help the holy sparks join together. To bring the Divine in all into Unity. To heal the wounded world. After a rain or an ice storm, when the Sun comes out, all the trees and bushes shine. I'm not able to capture meaningful images of this magical sparkling world, but I can see it and I can feel it. And I am enraptured. But it vanishes quickly, and the images from my camera don't adequately express what I saw and felt. I do my best to retain the images in my mind's eye and in my heart. I do my best to allow the image to meld with my own Divine spark, that together they may grow the holiness within me. Together they may help me see the spark in others. Together they may help me find the good in others. And altogether that they may create something new and unique and healing. As I kindle the lights of Hanukkah, I am reminded that this is both a festival of light and a celebration of rededication. The sparkle of the flame, like that of the Sun on crystals of ice, is fleeting. But I pray that the lifespan of this light is enough to rekindle the spark within me and to remind me that there is a spark within each of those I love, within each of those with whom I struggle, within each of G!d's sacred creatures. And it is my job to find that spark and to join together with it to see the good in others, that I may do my part to increase the holiness in my personal universe and to help bring Unity into the world. May it be so, for all of us. Chag Urim Sameach - Happy Hanukkah! 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 Jewish Climate Action Network-MA. She is a board certified chaplain and a former hospital and hospice chaplain and now considers herself an eco-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 Judith Felsen, Ph.D. Today I spent an hour with Youa treat, a prayer, a meditationI heard you speakhum in silenceconsonant with the windair has a language of its ownthe universe, green kingdomintertwined within and outall substance of one cellnature spoke for You, Elohimmessaging the Shemain truth and experiencewe are one/Onein peaceJudith Felsen, Ph.D. is a poetess, Clinical Psychologist, coach, 2nd generation holocaust survivor, hiker, dancer, walker, volunteer, lover of nature, gardens, wilderness, beach, ocean and mountains. Her work addresses issues of recovery, 2nd generation survivors, the natural world, gardens and harvests, life cycle issues, spiritual questing, social issues, community issues and personal requests. Her poems have been published and widely distributed in national and specific publications. She is a New York native and resident of new Hampshire. She frequents Long Beach and lives with her husband and two large rescue dogs at their camp in the White Mountains of N.H. and house near the ocean in Long Beach. She actively studies the mystical and esoteric aspects of Judaism and is a member of the board of the Bethlehem Hebrew Congregation and the Chavurah of Mount Washington Valley. She writes often and offers consultation upon request.
Ma'yan Tikvah - A Wellspring of Hope
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by Jonathan BilligWhat does a glacier say? Let the mice declare, “striation! striation!” Geologists and the keepers of the holy names.Glaciers proclaim hilltopsWith impossibly slow song,Glaciers sing rivers,Fjords and moraines,Million-year cycles repeating refrains.Listen, O children of your own creation,The cosmos is our body, the cosmos isWounded here at home,Where squirrels lie open in the roadways,Children of our parkways,Heavy with oaks but few foxes,And flowing with rivers of cars. What is the sound of a glacier not coming?What is the sound of a glacier of flesh? Pebbles in my hand Weighty and cool as the hand of a loved one is warm-Billions of years,Nebulas flaring and spreading.Coagulation in space from a dust cloud of rocks.Water condensing on turbulent volcanic surface,Until somewhere in the oceans livedA smattering of molecules- The world decided harmony.Oh rocks whose name is breakdown layer transform,Oh elements holding my hands up and down,Oh cosmos, oh God, oh fellow humans,Will we avert our harsh decree? How does a human glacier learn to love? Jonathan Billig is a connection educator, exploring diverse fields as mutually reinforcing play-grounds for who we are and could become. He has worked as an education coordinator for public gardens and synagogues, taught aboard a sailboat and at outdoor education centers, and spearheaded the design of the volunteer program on Mount Monadnock, the most climbed mountain in the United States. He currently works as a consultant in Jewish, outdoor, science, and mindfulness education. He is committed to the ongoing process of seeing and transforming systemic societal injustice, while diligently practicing love of people and the more-than-human world.

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


** = Members Only


Services start at 10:30 


Winter Pond Walk 

Saturday, January 18

Hamlen Woods, Wayland


Wildlife Refuge in Winter

Saturday, February 1

Great Meadows Wildlife Refuge, Sudbury



Learning and Lunch

10:00 AM

Sunday, Feb. 2, 10 AM

Private Home


Tu BiShvat Celebration Sunday, Feb. 9, 5-7 PM       Framingham Friends Meetinghouse    


Woods & Pond Shabbat Saturday, February 15

Upper Mill Brook, Wayland 


Jews & Native Americans

Learning and Lunch

Sun, Feb. 16, 10:00 AM Private Home


Hop Brook Bridges Saturday, February 22  

Hop Brook Cons. Area



Hidden Gem Shabbat Saturday, February 29  

Pod Meadow Cons. Area    Wayland      


Jews & Native Americans

Learning and Lunch

Sun, March 1, 10:00 AM Private Home


Sunshine Shabbat  

Saturday, March 7      

Cow Common, Wayland



Where to Find Us


Ma'yan Tikvah - A Wellspring of Hope

237 Old Connecticut Path
Wayland, MA 01778




Affiliated with the Synagogue Council of Massachusetts






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© Katy Z. Allen 2012