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Joy Serves G*d in Joy as a passionate performing percussionist, poet, publisher, photographer, publicist, sound healer, spiritual guide, artist, gardener and Gemini. "Ivdu Et Hashem B'Simcha" -Psalm 100:2 ....... Joy Krauthammer, active in the Jewish Renewal, Feminist, and neo-Chasidic worlds for over three decades, kabbalistically leads Jewish women's life-cycle rituals. ... Workshops, and Bands are available for all Shuls, Sisterhoods, Rosh Chodeshes, Retreats, Concerts, Conferences & Festivals. ... My kavanah/intention is that my creative expressive gifts are inspirational, uplifting and joyous. In gratitude, I love doing mitzvot/good deeds, and connecting people in joy. In the zechut/merit of Reb Shlomo Carlebach, zt'l, I mamash love to help make our universe a smaller world, one REVEALING more spiritual consciousness, connection, compassion, and chesed/lovingkindness; to make visible the Face of the Divine... VIEW MY COMPLETE PROFILE and enjoy all offerings.... For BOOKINGS write: joyofwisdom1 at gmail.com, leave a COMMENT below, or call me. ... "Don't Postpone Joy" bear photo montage by Joy. Click to enlarge. BlesSings, Joy

CHALLENGED to STRENGTHENED

 CHALLENGED to STRENGTHENED  

 G*d's Hiddenness Revealed ~ Purim's Weapon of Joy  

by Joy Krauthammer
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JOY revealed
Queen Vashti or Queen Esther?

© Shira Solomon
Even before I read my Jerusalem teacher Rebbetzin Tzipporah Heller's article "Esther's Hidden Strength", I recognized G*d's hidden presence through the Purim Megillah. Miracles are recounted in the Megillah / Scroll of Esther. Being an assertive Jewish feminist, I always thought of myself as feisty Queen Vashti, who stood up to the King's demeaning demands and lost her position and her life. Dressing up as Vashti for the holiday, I had fun wearing a strawberry blond luxurious curly sheitel / wig and playful garments.

I can see myself now as something other than how I had perceived myself.  Finally after decades, I now realize and accept that I also reflect some of Queen Esther's midot / character traits. From harsh, challenging, and loving places in my own life, I learned that G*d's hiddenness also became revealed for me. How can I live in the Truth of the Holy One, and make right decisions in G*d's Light?

As my green garden (created for my husband, Marcel, z'l, to enjoy while wheelchair bound) colorfully blossomed from an empty space (out of lawn) so did my cleaving blossom to the Source of All Blessings. I filled my soul, nurturing myself with Hod / gratitude in greeting G*d each morning, as soon as I awoke from nightly nightmares before nightmares of each day began. G*d was no longer concealed, but revealed in splendor, peaking through each new gentle bud and flower. I called out, "Hi G*d". Moist blades of dew touched grass wakened my bare feet and infused and affected me, empowering me with what I needed from witnessing G*d's earthly creations: penetrating powerful JOY, which broke through all night mares.

As the Lubavitcher Rebbe Schneerson, z'tl, said, "The nature of joy is to break through barriers, the limitations and restrictions of the soul, and transform them." 1

Sunrise, Joy's Garden
© Joy Krauthammer

Beginning each new day, I soaked in the sunrises. G*d's passionate paintings of volcanic-like fiery colors fed me, as did quiet layers of golden desert colors, pockets of serene cool blue skies and wells of water soaking my soul, and clouds and mountain vistas, as if the brucha / prayer before beginning Torah study.

On the long cement freeway rides to the last ICUs (Intensive Care Unit), I looked for G*d in whatever beauty I could find on the road, to bring G*d's Gevurah / strength and Chesed / loving kindness and Rachamim / compassion with me on my visit to my husband. Intuitively, I knew the joy of receiving and experiencing surprise and beauty that would lift me and my concealed joyous essence and overflow into my visit where my husband lay as a prisoner of his body.

I finally got wise and would stop the car each visit before reaching the hospital, before arriving and greeting Marcel as he lay on life-support. I exited the car and removing my sandals, I stood on ground, in my bare feet, under an old large magnificent tree. Wanting to receive from The Source, I opened myself connecting to Above, and I breathed in the green earth and tall trees.

With this act of faith, Divine Presence entered more easily and joy broke the barriers of my limited being. I had to enable myself to be me to give in the face of hesitation, intense trepidation, horror and dread, in order to deliver joy, my gift. In bravery, I too, took the scepter, just like Queen Esther. We both had Jewish people to save. I brought with me to Marcel, revealed and flowing through my neshama / soul, the beauty and strength of the Compassionate One. "Our weapon is not our might, not our power, but G*d's spirit," said Prophet Zechariah.

During the challenging overwhelming days I was grateful to The Source of Life, embraced by feminine loving connection and community. At bedtime I was tired, exhausted, worn out, broken, alone and in the silence of the night I cried out loud to Shechinah -- Indwelling Feminine Presence, to embrace me and make me whole again from the brokenness I was experiencing while caregiving.

I became experienced, a master, at breaking through the walls of separation, in the process of having my husband, Marcel, Menachem Elimelech ben Shulim, z'l, survive. Marcel's name means "G-d of war." He has been "hero" and "champion." Standing strong, mostly alone, as warrior, I broke through the ceilings of bureaucracy and hospitals. I let down and circumcised / opened the walls of my heart to support Marcel. We are advocates and agents of transformation for ourselves, loved ones, and for community. It may be difficult to recognize the concealed positive, the blessings in the miserable, but with awareness we can transcend and transform darkness to light. Queen Esther did this.

I rode rocky roller coasters and bumpy banging teeter totters. I fought for healing. I fought for truth and justice / emet and din. I pleaded for mercy. I had to see inner reality as well as outer reality for me to understand Marcel's surviving, his neshama / soul, and to understand mechanical life-support, and his body's end-of-life dying process.

My name, Joy, is the "ultimate description of my strongest quality." This insight, this revelation of my personal nature's joy has been my weapon in survival. We have fought and battled a nasty, massive war. In many places I found and felt the Divine Presence, and expressed and revealed joy. This weapon helped keep me in Tiferet / harmony and balance from the opposite extreme challenges, pain and suffering. Ah, yes, Caregiver's Angel Warrior humor, too, got me through.

You who read Marcel's web page on www.thestatus.com supporting us on The Journey know some of what we went through. Deepest agony and suffering were not revealed on the pages during those nine journal writing months. I used discretion in my writing in the web's blog diary page when Marcel was finally freed at last from his tormented body and birthed into Heaven back Home to the Compassionate One on January 17, 2006. And you thought 'reading' it was emotionally tough filled with tears.
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JOY revealed
on her birthday
© Shira Solomon
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Joy, a gift from G*d, is what I brought to Marcel during our trials. Marcel was not fighting alone in this battle of metastatic brain cancer. Friends have told me that I have touched their hearts and inspired them in my unveiling of G*d: Strength, courage, perseverance, surrender, acceptance, love, patience, fortitude, endurance, boldness, assertiveess, hope, faith. Queen Esther may have been filled with more dignity and grace (as one rabbi described Esther), but my purpose sparkled with pure intention, not concealed. Marcel and I shared qualities (as did friends and family). Like my husband, I NEVER GAVE UP. I so wanted to write those words on Marcel's matzeivah / gravestone. Instead I screamed over the open grave, "He's free, free at last."

G*d's attribute of Netzach / victory was powerful in both of us as we are created B'tzelem Elokim / in the image of G*d.  Just sometimes, the lots given to us we had to surrender to, to G*D, when we could not any longer be in control. Then, to console myself, I looked for the hidden BlesSings. May Marcel's neshamah /soul rest in peace and continue it's aliyah / up to Shahmayim / heaven. In  his memory, I do mitzvot / good deeds in his zechut / merit.

I bless you and I bless myself, that as the Jewish month of "Adar has arrived", that our "joy increases" too, and that we recognize and reveal our own midot / qualities, as we unveil Hashem's Light and penetrate the darkness.  I bless you with JOY.


JOY revealed
Ten Commandments &
Circumcised Heart
© Shira Solomon


One love, shalom and abundant blessings of health and joy to you,
Joy
"Serve G*d With Joy"

February 2007

PS
I am so happy that I can again perform musical Purim skits with friends at Jewish assisted living homes.
Will I be Queen Esther or Queen Vashti?

1 Ma'Amarim Melukat, Vol. 2, The Kabbalah of Character, Chabad textbook

2 Talmud Ta'anit 29a
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For more of Joy Krauthammer's prose, poems and photos,
click ABOUT ME,  VIEW MY COMPLETE PROFILE.
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2 comments:

  1. Yosef Ben Shlomo HakohenFebruary 14, 2013 at 1:34 PM

    As all these stories indicate, you "know" that Hashem is in the world, for in mysterious, hidden and not so hidden ways, Hashem has made you a messenger of the Divine love and compassion.
    Yosef

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yosef Ben Shlomo HakohenFebruary 14, 2013 at 1:35 PM

    may Hashem cause your words to enter the hearts of others...
    Yosef

    ReplyDelete

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BlesSings,
Joy

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