Wellsprings
Of Wisdom

Wellsprings of Wisdom is a site for your soul, an island of quiet contemplation in a sea of noisy information. Pause here to refresh your soul, re-enchant your world, and renew your inner life.

Meet The Nature Rabbi

Rabbi Julie Hilton Danan is a student and teacher of Jewish wisdom, who finds her inspiration in nature as well as in ancient texts. She grew up in Texas and has lived in Israel and California. Rabbi Julie is spiritual leader of Pleasantville Community Synagogue in Westchester, New York. Rabbi Julie was ordained through the ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal Rabbinical Program where she was a student of  the late Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, founder of the Jewish Renewal movement. She holds a PhD in Hebrew Studies (Rabbinic Literature and Culture) from the University of Texas at Austin.

 

Rabbi Julie loves nature photography and took the photos on this home page, as well many others throughout the site as noted.

Newest Points of Interest

Browse the most recent journey points that have been added to the virtual retreat center.

Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day! 🌎 I truly believe that our planet is our original temple, our real garden of Eden gifted from the Divine. Look at the vastness of the cosmos and marvel at our tiny spectacular oasis that sustains an abundance of diverse life. The ancient Midrash...

Proud to Partner on The Shmita Project (a Sabbatical for the Earth)

At this time of year, many Jews are "counting the Omer," literally counting the days and weeks each night for the seven weeks between Passover and Shavuot, the holiday of the giving of the Torah. In mystical tradition, this is a time to work on our personal qualities...

Passover Inspiration on Wellsprings of Wisdom

  As Passover approaches, be sure to check out these Wellsprings Pathways (posts) that relate to themes of the season: Splitting the Sea With Wind looks at the Biblical account of the Exodus and invites us to explore the nature of miracles. MIriam's Well explores...

Happy Purim!

  Today is Purim, the full moon of the Hebrew month of Adar, and the Feast of Esther. Happy Purim to all who celebrate...and you might want to enrich your celebration even more by learning about the Moon in Jewish tradition. In Jewish legends, the Moon is a...

Tu Bishvat Seder and Big Bold Jewish Climate Fest

  This week marks Tu Bishvat, the Jewish New Year for Trees.  The Gateway of Trees on this site is a perfect place to learn about Trees in Jewish lore and in our lives. The Tu Bishvat Seder is a mystical custom to honor trees and the earth. I will be leading a Tu...

Haftarah (prophetic reading) for MLK Day

  Midway down this page in the Gateway of Mountains, you can find a recording of speech selections by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., set to traditional Haftarah (prophetic reading) trope (melody) by Hazzan Jack Kessler. Thank you, Cantor Jack, for sharing...

Forgiveness: A Practical View

Shalom, Friends! A colleague was asking for Jewish sources and practices on forgiveness, and I remembered this sermon that I gave some years ago. It includes a guided meditation on forgiveness. I hope it will be helpful to someone. I'm sure that I can use this myself....

Resources about Tikkun Olam

  Tikkun Olam, "repairing the world," has become one of the most popular concepts in modern Jewish thought. (On this website, one of the main subject tags is Tikkun Olam / Social Action.) A couple of years ago, my late friend Rabbi Dr. Sarah Tauber suggested that...

Wellsprings Classes This Month

As Hanukkah approaches, I will be teaching some online classes and invite you to join in! Tikkun Olam Through the Ages With Rabbi Julie Danan A free mini-course (donations welcome). Hosted by Ruach HaMidbar, Arizona Sundays, Dec 6, 13 and 20 - starting at 5 p.m....

Song of Songs in Nature; Put Love at the Center

The Jewish Fall holidays are over, and I'm celebrating Spring! I just posted a slide show of some of my favorite original Spring photos that you can watch in the Gateway of Seasons. I made it to share in an online program to launch "Love at the Center," a new...

Springtime: Song of Songs in Nature

I made this slide show of my original photos for the launch of "Love at the Center" by Rabbi Shefa Gold. Click here to receive a weekly chant from the Biblical Song of Songs, and put Love at the center of your heart. The program took place after the Jewish New Year...

Judaism and Resilience

  Here is my sermon for the Eve of Rosh Hashanah this year, 5781 / 2020. I hope it might be of help or inspiration to some of my Wellsprings of Wisdom readers:   How Jewish Tradition Can Make Us More Resilient , by Rabbi Julie Hilton Danan, Ph.D.  There is a...

Welcome to the Wellsprings Redesign – New Things Coming

  Shalom, everyone! I haven't posted since Passover. . . has anything happened?Seriously, over the past few months, as we have all--the whole human world--been dealing with the many challenges of the COVID Pandemic, Wellsprings of Wisdom has been going through a full...

Some Meditations for a Stressful Time

I'm posting this a few days before Passover, in the midst of the Covid-19 Pandemic. Let me take this moment to send blessings of health and safety to each and every one of you! As a rabbi, I've been busy getting my synagogue online and supporting my community, but I...

Happy Tu Bishvat

Tu Bishvat, the New Year of Trees, is always a happy time for tree-loving @wellsprings! Tu Bishvat this year begins Sunday evening, Februrary 9, into Monday, February 10, 2020. I've redone the post on Tu Bishvat and you can find...

New Meditation Recording

In honor of Rosh Hodesh Shevat, the Hebrew month in which we will celebrate the "New Year of the Tree," I have added a special meditation based on the way that I learned it from my teacher, Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi (Reb Zalman), of blessed memory. The meditation...

Saunter Into 2020

Nature Lovers, Julie Danan Wellsprings of Wisdom's last update was at the Jewish New Year. Now on January 1, 2020, I've added a new post to the growing Gateway of Holy Land. This Gateway is really taking shape and will soon be complete! It shows how my thinking and...

The Art of Sacred Strolling

More and more people around the world are learning that walking* in nature can be a spiritual practice. It was surely known to our biblical ancestors, and today intentional time strolling in nature has become an international movement known as Shinrin Yoku or Forest...

New and Expanded Posts to Get Ready for the New Year

Hooray! I've added a new post on taking outdoor walks to Let Nature Guide You Into the New Year and also expanded The King Is in the Field: A Meadow Gallery,  both in the new and expanding Gateway of Holy Land. These pathway posts will be part of Wellsprings first...

Let Nature Guide You Into a New Year

I treasure the late summer, just before the Jewish New Year, as a wonderful time to get out in nature, and I relate it to a Hasidic teaching. “The King is in the Field,” is a parable of Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi (1745-1812), founder of Chabad Hasidism. He likened...