Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Corona Poem 6 - ?

by Judith Felsen, Ph.D.

I burn brightly
In the night 
I am 
A compass
In the day a source 
Of life
I can’t be seen
But ever felt
A sense 
A call 
A memory
A prayer
I am in heart and mind
Of all
I never die

I am 
Hope.


Judith 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.


Monday, May 4, 2020

Corona Poem 5 - Corona Love/Fear

By Judith Felsen, Ph.D.

Corona love woke me from a dream 
I dreamt a while ago
now becoming real
anticipation of a world to be
incapable of life
Corona love, a nightmare
prophesy, projection of our ills 
lover’s warning
of impending truth 
reminding that existence is of one
virus,  people
world, one life 

Corona intervention cries for
waking up, releasing, letting go
11th plague 
this scourge demands 
no lamb’s blood,
rather our compassion 
smeared on every heart
forgiveness, every mind
connection, every being
that our doorposts bear
the mark of our awakening…

we lost our senses
now returned
we enter Sinai with atonement’s gold
making our commitments new commandments 
quarantine well spent
saving lives 
not for another golden calf 
but global grace instead

Partnered with Corona, our conscious bringing lover
we are one planet now
awakened to our unity 
where all is love.


Judith 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.

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Covid Poem 4 - Corona Awakening

by Judith Felsen, Ph.D.

Covid has awakened me
releasing  life before,
a bridge of consciousness, 
transit to a world unknown
pathway unfamiliar yet inviting,
mind has changed
perception of the world anew
one virus ended history
one choice creates our future
a world as one impacted
in unity, connected will survive

One virus ended life before
one consciousness is our tomorrow.


Judith 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.

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Covid Poem 3 - Corona

by Judith Felsen, Ph.D.

Corona changed me
wracked my mind
wrenched out snarls
space for awareness
presence of that which exists
and that which can’t be changed
awareness now identity
apart from form and self
corona heightens essence
leaving fears and thoughts behind
a world perceived anew 
is not a fearful place but 
presence for a consciousness 
where peace presides 
in life and
never dies

Judith 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.

Friday, May 1, 2020

Covid Poem 2 - Community

by Judith Felsen, Ph.D.

We gather together to
Empower
Listen
Share
Hear 
Learn
Connect
Pray
Remember
Release
And so much more.
Together we can,
and are.
Corona has enabled 
Community 
Commitment
Sistership 
Sobriety 
One Day at a Time.

Judith 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.

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Covid Poem 1 - Blight / Light

by Judith Felsen, Ph.D.

Curious how pestilence
evokes both light and dark of our survival
Enemy becomes a catalyst
challenging our character
critically insisting, calling
raising higher nature

Scourge becomes our solvent
washing sins and strengths together
dispelling gaps with conscience  
transgressions lost in search for mercy
praying for acquittal 

Compassion is the birthchild 
of this plague
Forgiveness is its midwife
We are birthed within our illness
which inspires  mingling 
of our sins and merits
merging criminals and prophets
reduced in bliss of oneness

We are solo and connected
Pandemic brings us truth
The world is changed
We start anew

Judith 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.

What Is This? / ?מה זה

by Rabbi Katy Allen


What is this rising within me,
bubbling, swirling, churning,
giving me no respite?

Waiting, I am,
as are you,
as are we all--
unsure if we may soon be grieving,
unsure when we may be holding others
in their grief     from afar.
Unsure if we may be struck down.
Unsure if we have the strength
to endure--
how long we know not.
Certain are we only
that our lives have changed,
never again to be the same--

never again to be the same--
and yet, 
also,
unchanged.
I am still me;
You are still you;
with all of our genius
and all of our foibles.
Only our priorities have shifted--
some of them.
But,
love remains,
solid as ever, 
or perhaps more--
may we never ever lose touch with it.
Compassion remains--
and grows, we hope--
please, may it be so.
A desire to help remains--
just let me figure that one out,
again and yet again.
Only where I go (or don’t) 
and what I do (or don’t) 
and who I see (or don’t) 
and what I hear (or don’t)--
that is all that has changed.

Of all of this, I strive to be certain,
in this time 
of uncertainty.
מה זה שעולה בתוכי
מְבַעֲבֵּעַ, מתגלגל,  מסתובב,
בלי לתת לי מָנוֹחַ?

מחכה, אני,
כמוך
כמו כולנו,
לא בטוחים אם בקרוב נתאבל,
לא בטוחים מתי  נחזק אחרים
בְּאֵבלם מרחוק.
לא בטוחים אם נוּכֶּה ארצה.
לא בטוחים שיש לנו הכח
להחזיק מעמד--
כמה זמן אנחנו לא יודעים.
בטוחים אנחנו רק
שחיינו השתנו,
אף פעם לא יחזרו ליושנם--

אף פעם לא יחזרו ליושנם--
אולם, 
גם,
ללא שינויים.
אני עדיין אני;
אתם עדיין אתם;
עם כל גאוניותינו
וכל חוּלשותינו.
רק עדיפוּיותינו התחלפו--
חלק מהן.
אבל,
אהבה נשארת,
אֵיתָנה כתמיד, 
או אולי יותר--
יהי רצון שלעולם לא נאבד את המגע איתה.
רחמים נשארים--
ומתגברים, אנחנו מקווים--
נא, כן יהי רצון.
הרצון לעזור נשאר--
רק תן לי להבין איך,
שוב ושוב.
רק לאן שאני הולכת (או לא)
ומה שאני עושה (או לא)
ומי שאני רואה (או לא)
ומה שאני שומעת (או לא)--
זה כל מה שהשתנה.

ועם כל זה אני משתדלת להיות בטוחה,
בתקופה זו
         של חוסר וַודָאוּת.


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

Monday, April 27, 2020

Counting the Days

by Rabbi Katy Z. Allen
(first posted as part of Sefirat Ha'Omer: Hunkering Down, Harvesting Lessons from the Pandemic https://www.facebook.com/groups/SefiratHaOmerPandemic/)

The evening of April 27 is Hod she b'Tiferet, the 19thday of counting the Omer. The following reflection by considers hod /humility, acknowledgment in the context of tiferet /compassion, beauty during this time of social distancing and staying at home.

We are counting, counting the days, from Pesach to Shavuot, from the barley harvest to the wheat harvest. But we are also counting the days, the days of hunkering down at home, the days of being alone, or alone with our families, or of going to work and wondering on what day we will test positive for COVID-19.

Counting the Omer, we know we are counting only until 49, and that on the 50th day, we will once again – B”H, experience revelation and understand a little bit better what it means to stand at Sinai and receive a give of profound proportions.

But we don't know how many days we will be living a life of confinement and connection only via telephone and video chats, Zoom gatherings for meeting and prayer, and sitting on opposite sides of the street to chat with our neighbors. We don't know how many days we will be counting rising death tolls and unemployment. We don't know.

There is beauty and compassion out there – we hear it in the music played by orchestras, each member at home; we hear of it with neighbors helping neighbors; we hear of it with giving up our of wealth to share with those who are most vulnerable; we hear of it every day, beneath the roar of politics, blaming, and shaming. Tieferetis alive and well.

And so, let us find our humility, our ability to acknowledge our limits, to give us the strength and courage to contribute to the compassion and beauty being expressed all around us. Let us find the humility that will give us the strength and the courage to keep going, counting the days, one day at a time, we don't know until when, to count the Omer, and then, if we must, to count the days from Shavuot to Rosh HaShanah, and then to Simchat Torah, and then onward to Hanukkah. Let us find the humility to know that we are not so incredibly important that we must physically go out into the world and endanger others. Let us settle into hod she b'tiferet for as along as it takes. 

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. 


Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Chag Pesach Sameach - Happy Passover

The moon is waxing,
almost full,
a reminder that Passover 
is almost here,
that our time of bondage
is almost at an end.

We feel it so differently
during this particular cycle of the year,
in this time of bondage new to us, 
knowing that this bondage will continue,
we know not how long.

This Pesach moon is known by many names,
the Planting Moon  - 
the Tunica, Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana, and the Seneca tell us.
Did you just plant your peas,
or your lettuce,
confident of the turning of the seasons,
despite the plight
of homo-sapiens the world over?



According to the Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe).
it is the Loon Moon,


What would you call the moon this month?
The Passover Moon -
with hope that the plague will pass over your home
and the homes of all your beloveds
and the homes of all those who have not
enough to eat
and the "homes" of the homeless?

The COVID Moon -
in memory of a Passover never to be forgotten?

Perhaps we connect to another Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe)-given name,
the Frog Moon,
a reminder of the plagues,
and the miracles,
of long ago,.


Or perhaps we will call it the Hope Moon -
in our determination never to lose hope.

Or the Remember Moon -
that we may remember and observe into the future
the blessings we received this Passover
that is like no other.

As our journey out of bondage begins,
let us step outside,
observe the moon,
and allow it to speak to us,
to give each of us its name,
to answer the question, 
what is this springtime moon
for me?



Wishing you a wonderfully different Passover, however it comes together for you this year.  Dayeinu, it will be enough.

Chag Pesach Sameach - Happy Passover,

Rabbi Katy and Gabi

Monday, March 23, 2020

You Shall Love Your Neighbor

by Rabbi Katy Allen

We are settling into an altered life. And as this happens, I have been thinking about the Jewish imperative to love your neighbor: 
'וְאָֽהַבְתָּ לְרֵעֲךָ כָּמוֹךָ אֲנִי ה
You shall love your neighbor as yourself. (Lev. 19:18)

The rabbis tell us that this commandment is a fundamental principle of Torah, meaning that many other commandments depend on it. For example, we won't steal from others if we think about loving them as ourselves. We won't hurt them or cause damage intentionally to their property, and so on.

Loving our neighbors is what we are doing now, as we stay at home, as we distance ourselves physically but not emotionally or socially from others, as we reach out to those more vulnerable than ourselves.

By telling us to love others as we love ourselves, this imperative implies that if we don't love ourselves, we can't love others. So, in order to get through this time of containment, we need to remind ourselves - and others - that it is OK and necessary to take care of ourselves. It's OK and necessary to take down time, to scream at G!d, to cry and cry and cry, to find a way to be alone. It's OK and necessary to do whatever we need to do to keep ourselves whole.

What are our tools for resiliency? Taking time to identify them, and then to reformat them for today's reality, can help us on our journey toward deeper peace. Remembering the old adage, one day at a time, can help us slow down and remember that we don't need to rush. We have time. And so it continues.

There is already grief, fear, anger, despair, and there will be more. And as Miriam Greenspan reminds us  in her book Healing Through the Dark Emotions, each of these and other dark emotions is an indicator that we care, we love, we are compassionate, we are aware, we are human. Each of our difficult emotions is saying something good and positive about who we are.

Now is a time to do our best to find a new depth of kindness, not just for others, but for ourselves. Now more than ever we need to remember that if we are going to truly love others - and care for them and support them and be kind to them - then we must also, or perhaps primarily, love ourselves.  If we are to love ourselves, then we need to take care of ourselves. And then, when we love ourselves, we will be able to give to others from a place of wholeness and strength, and from that place, our giving is sustainable.

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.