Earth Etudes for Elul: Spiritual Reflections for the Season

Earth Etudes for Elul: Spiritual Reflections for the Season

Earth Etudes for Elul: Spiritual Reflections for the Season

Earth Etudes for Elul: Spiritual Reflections for the Season


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The month of Elul is a time for reflection, a time for t'shuvah, of turning and re-turning to G!d and to our best selves, in preparation for the Days of Awe. It is time for heshbon hanefesh, examining our hearts and souls. Elul is the time for us to begin to make atonement for the things we wish we had or hadn't done, and to renew ourselves, to do all we can to get ourselves to change. Elul is a time to turn away from the ways in which we have missed the mark and to make restitution as needed. To help you on this journey, you will find in this volume a series of reflections for the month of Elul, divrei Earth—teachings that connect Earth and Torah. These poems and essays are “etudes” that remind us that we cannot disconnect ourselves from all that surrounds us and that we are part of an intertwined whole. Use this volume to help you expand your own reflections about t'shuvah: read a few etudes a day or even select by theme. Themes include climate change, community and covenant, cycles, nature, gardening, personal behavior, rituals, and turning. These reflections, meditations filled with Jewish wisdom, are written by rabbis, hazzans, environmentalists, gardeners, activists, educators, storytellers, poets, scientists and other spiritual leaders, reflecting many points of view and ways of looking at the world and the process of t'shuvah. The editor, Rabbi Katy Allen of Ma'yan Tikvah―A Wellspring of Hope, is the co-founder and leader of the Jewish Climate Action Network (JCAN) and the facilitator of the One Earth Collaborative, a program of Open Spirit in Framingham, Massachusetts.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780990536161
Publisher: Strong Voices Publishing
Publication date: 08/01/2018
Series: Earth Etude Series , #1
Pages: 126
Sales rank: 908,468
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.30(d)

About the Author

Rabbi Katy Allen is the founder and rabbi of Ma'yan Tikvah ― A Wellspring of Hope, based in Wayland, MA, which holds services outdoors all year long. She is the co-founder and leader of the Jewish Climate Action Network. She is a board certified chaplain through Neshama: Association of Jewish Chaplains and serves as an Eco-Chaplain and the Facilitator of One Earth Collaborative, a program of Open Spirit, in Framingham, MA, 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.

Table of Contents



Elul 1

Alarm Clock for Our Souls

From the Perspective of the Ninth of Av

I Am My Beloved and My Beloved is Me

Elul 2

Keeping Agreements as Spiritual Practice

Water Down the Wall

Beginnings and T’shuvah

Elul 3

Elul's Dayenu

T’shuvah and Eden


Elul 4

Ready for Withering Flowers

Personal Reflections for Elul: Mindful Turning to the Path of Love

Elul 5


Elul: The Month for Climate Action

Three Levels of Holiness

Elul 6

Living with Change

Fields Open

The Important Ten Percent

Elul 7

Journey to a Mountain Pond

The Known and the Unknown

Elul 8

Return to the Land of Your Soul

For Lifts

Elul 9


Caring for the Planet

Growing T'shuvah

Elul 10

The Earth Is Crying Out in Pain

Earth Rituals

A Broken Sewer Pipe

Elul 11

Gardening Partners

Changing Ourselves


Elul 12

Detroit, Our Spiritual Journeys, and Coming Back to Life

T’shuvah and Beauty

Elul 13

Movement Building and the Body

The Emergence of Aliveness

Elul 14

Sweet and Sour Grapes


Wasting Food

Elul 15

Elul Joy and Love

Reflections on the Seasons of My Mourning

An Old Problem

Elul 16

Returning to Diversity


Elul 17

Sunrise, Sunset—Evening the Frayed Edges of Our Lives

Reconnecting with the Lands of My Birth

Elul 18

Remembering Earth

Spiritual Charity and the Tale of Two Seas

Elul 19

Time to Rest

Walking Prayer; Dancing T’shuvah

Elul 20

Returning to Our Pond

The Humility of Rabbits

Elul: A Time to Start Shifting Our Imperiled Planet onto a Sustainable Path

Elul 21

Community and Covenant

Natural Awe and Artistic Representations

Saying Farewell with Each Breath, Starting Anew

Elul 22

Another Blue Day

Re-Remembering Who We Are

Enfold me, Earth

Elul 23

The Compost Bins in Our Heart

Searching for the Tree of Heaven

Elul 24

Seeing the Beauty

Collective Versus Personal Action in the Jewish Bible

Circling Home

Elul 25

Shemittah Seder


Choosing Again What Is Good

Elul 26

Celebrating the Shemittah Cycle

Resilience in the Face of Adversity

Elul 27

Saving the Earth to Save Our Children

Today the World Is Pregnant with Possibility, and So Are We

Elul 28

Eco-Kaddish Blessing

Repentance, Prayer, and Deeds of Righteous Action Will Stop Climate Change

I Can Do Something

Elul 29

Rocks in my Life

Bringing Truth to Power

Biographical Notes


Theme Index

Author Index

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