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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

i danced and my eyes sparkled and my angel self took flight into my Book of Life

i danced and my eyes sparkled and my angel self took flight into my Book of Life

by Joy Krauthammer  © 


i danced in ecstasy on gossamer iridescent wings of an angel.

I danced and spun and my immense wings were outstretched to the limit beyond my body, over my head around the ground, and my smile stretched with glee as far. All the drummers drummed and I danced. To the right, to the left, around and around lifting my wings and flying. My energy raised, my soul soared. I floated on my wings. A drummer later said that I could have taken flight, and I said, “I did take flight.”

Tonight, because I wanted to dance, I had even worn dancing shoes (instead of my clunky purple Birkenstock sandals) and a delicate, soft chiffon skirt with a lovely top (instead of grounding blue jeans and old T-shirt). My intention was set. I even wore Israeli swinging, long dangling earrings with small red gem stones.

Intention. Intention. But from 6:30 pm to 8:40 pm, I did not dance. I drummed deeply, listening, feeling, with my eyes closed toward trance. Others danced outside the drummers' circle and inside the circle, and I could not. I so wanted to dance. How do I get up? How can I be visible? Not OK, was my message. I needed an opening to step forward, an outstretched arm, an invitation.

I had put away my drums early (to get to shop Trader Joe's in time by 9) to leave before the others who were still drumming, and then I saw her. Enchanted, I watched the beautiful, graceful dancer, Lisa, take flight on her angel hummingbird colored, transparent, delicate pleated wings, and I smiled and I stood and clapped for her while she danced.

A woman, Rhonda, said to me, “You, too, can have wings; She has another pair.” “Really?” I asked. The woman asked dancer Lisa for wings, and Rhonda placed the rhinestone neck cuff around MY neck. My hands positioned, holding the inside end of each still wing, and I slowly took flight. (Different than my old 'hang gliding' days.) Space was made for me inside the circle. It was sacred safe space to be free, to be myself with my desire, and dance.

I was able to reveal myself while concealed in wings. My goddess-self emerged. My soul soared. My deep desire to fly--to dance came true, and who knew that I could still spin like a whirling dervish. My wings (like my tambourines) were a physical extension of my arms and hands. I was liberated in my dance. Bat Khorin / daughter of freedom. A transformation! A healing. A mask at first for my intimidation; my discomfort to reveal myself-who truly yearned to move, but most likely could not.

And I moved and I danced; my body danced. My feet danced. My neshamah / soul danced. On my sadly crippled, healing from surgery knees, I danced. On the space beyond time of my nine months of mourning, I danced. On my mitzrayim / constriction I danced. On my oppressed self I danced. On my fear of visibility, and vulnerability, and comparison to others I danced. On my desire I danced. I breathed in and out the present moment of my dance. I danced "for the love I felt. I danced to free my spirit. I danced in response to my joy."* My wings fluttered and flew and I flowed. My wing span was immense, endless as my spirit and my deepest joys / sassoon, simcha, gila, rena, ditza, v'chedva / joy, celebration, rejoicing, jubilation, pleasure and delight.

Endlessly wide I expanded, and then I would cocoon myself in a Shekhina** embrace and bring my wings into my heart, pause, feel the stillness, and then reach outward higher and higher.

As I was landing from my flight, another drummer, sitting across the circle from me (with whom I have never spoken to in all these years at Remo Music Center’s Tuesday Drum Circle nights***** and classes), came over to me outside the circle, and excitedly told me how my eyes were sparkling as soon as I saw the winged woman. I had been witnessed. And I am still sparkling.

I said to the drummer, “And now you can dance with the wings”. And I took off the borrowed beautiful light-weight, magnificent extraordinary set of magical wings, and put the rhinestone cuff around the drummer’s neck, and away danced the drummer into the middle of the safe drum circle.

Rhonda had gifted me with her truly insightful offer that I would like wings. Lisa gifted me with wearing wings. Empowered, I gifted the drummer to liberation. The feminine could shine. Shekhina must be beaming.

When Lisa's dance had gently landed, and a woman, Caroline, and I had looked at each other (just meeting in person for the first time while putting away our percussion), we, Shh, privately acknowledged to each other our own shyness, self-doubt and intimidations. Carolyn--who has a birthday next Wednesday, she said, then stated, “Next week!” Next week we two, too, shall dance since it would be her birthday. And releasing renewed confidence I said, “And me too. Next week!”

So instead of “next week”, tonight-- my second Rhythm Wednesday at Remo, I Danced. I danced and my eyes sparkled and my angel-self took flight into my Book of Life.***

I looked at Carolyn drumming once again in the circle as I danced toward her, and affirmatively expressed, “THIS WEEK!”

I have danced into preparing for the New Year, for Rosh HaShanah, into my Book of Life.

I bless you and myself, that when we can’t walk into the Book of Life, that we dance in with wings.****

Joy Krauthammer

Serve G*d With Joy
September 13, 2006,  20 Elul 5766

* quote by Shiloh Sophia

** Shekhina--Indwelling Feminine Presence of the Source of All Blessings

*** At Rosh HaShanah, the Jewish New Year, we are inscribed into the Book of Life, and it is sealed on Yom Kippur. Our Chasidic rabbis have taught us to “Dance our way into the Book of Life.”

**** While my husband, z’l, may his memory be for a blesSing, was sick for years and then dying, loving community supported me with their wings, lifting me, when mine were broken.

***** I am so very grateful to REMO for offering the sacred safe place and drum facilitators for all of us drummers, and the use of the best REMO drums.

~ ~ ~



by Joy Krauthammer

Giving up his regular Mincha prayer retreat time one afternoon to meet with me, Rabbi Shaya Isenberg took me into the forest. He told me that this forest was a metaphor for what lies ahead of me: the "Age-ing and Sage-ing" of my life experience coming alive. Reb Shaya showed me the serene peaceful grove of tall California Redwood trees, and I looked toward the canopy of branches where sky and light were barely visible. In awe, I promised to return later on my own: I did, each day in silence or song. These were not lengthy stays for meditation, but rather for mini- mikvehs / rituals of receiving purifying tree energy.

As I believe in the Divine healing energy of the trees, I would stop in Elysium Park, Los Angeles, on the way to visit my husband, Marcel Krauthammer, z'l as he lay for six months on artificial life-support, journeying toward his 'end-of-life' passage. I would walk barefoot, connecting with nature's life force and the Divine essence within myself, taking deep breaths to nourish me and to bring with me to Marcel: 100 plus years old tall palm tree energy. Now that Marcel's soul has been released from its earthly vessel, I invited Marcel's neshamah / soul to join me in the forest of Redwood trees.

On our retreat's Shabbat in the forest, Ruach Ha Aretz participants were called upon to choose and make a pilgrimage to one of the tall Redwood trees in the sacred grove, "To see and be seen before G*d". We had been asked by the Shabbat rabbi to bring our personal gift to the tree. I knew of course what my gift is--MY JOY. It is true, authentic, mine to share (inspiring and elevating, I am told) thus a good gift from me. My kinds and levels of joy are: sasoon, simcha, rena, gila, ditza, chedva, aliza, tzahala, sos, tosis, tochah / deep inner joy, celebration, rejoicing (in song), jubilation, pleasure, delight and more. (If I were an Eskimo, they would be my varieties of snow–transmissions of Divine wisdom.) I felt like one of Rebbe Nachman's "Seven Beggars" at the wedding in the forest, offering a gift to the bridal couple, "To be as I am."

After scanning the grove, I found my tree facing me, waiting for me, straight ahead. I went forward as I was being guided, and Panim el Panim / face to face, I met my tree. I found my space, an opening a little to the left of the others who already surrounded the tree. I touched and embraced the tree, though it appeared indifferent to me. I placed and pressed my full upright body upon my tree's broad trunk, trying to meld with and cleave to my tree. I tenderly placed my face on the tree trunk's delicate brown bark, smelling its glory. We exchanged energies. I was in Yirah / awe. I needed my neshamah to 'let G*d in'. Making contact, immediately I gently cried. If at the Kotel / the Wailing Wall, I would have done the same.

What surprised me was that as I encountered my tree, unexpectedly and instantaneously a flash of insight came to me: In addition to the expectation of giving my JOY, my pure gift to the tree was my TEARS. MY HOLY TEARS.

Tears come mamash / truly from deep inside of me, from a well of blessings (sustaining me, and measuring, like a barometer), from my heart, from sadness, suffering, mourning the absence of a loved one, grieving, pain, loss, memories mostly; These sublime tears are not from joy. These tears: beyond words, thoughts, insights, come from Emunah / faith, Emet / higher truth, from my neshamah's / soul journey and purpose of destiny.

I knew the tradition that all of the Gates of Heaven are closed since the destruction of the Temple, except for one: the Gate of Tears. Like snow, gentle or hard droplets are mystical intermediaries between heaven and earth, spiritual channeled energy falling out of eyes;
Transmissions of Divine wisdom. Being with strangers, I had tried to restrain myself from crying that week. Mainly, I had dry, silent, stopped up tears. I needed to enter an open gate, and to unlock the emotions, the well of tears.

Wet tears within me have dripped, dropped, trickled, descended, fallen, leaked, flowed, flooded, poured, burst, erupted, deluged, gushed, streamed, spewed, spurted, and broken out, been limitless, bottomless, and really messed my eye glasses, blurring my outer vision! Tears were dried fountains, monuments of salt from inner battles and external wars.

Tears are my transparency. Because from this journey of life and death I can share them with trustful souls who have compassion and chesed / loving kindness for me, and they can witness my tears. The tree--a sharing tree, I believe, has space for my tears and can appreciate them, and maybe even use them, transform them. What can be learned from my tears? Our sages say that, "Tears bathe the soul." My tears are mini- mikvehs. Like rain, tears cleanse me allowing my essence to shine more clearly. My tears are an opening for a release, a 'letting go' of physical expression of my feelings.

Tears are where I 'let G*d in'.

My tears are a gift from my broken and humbled heart, and soul which have been slowly healing; a place where G*d can enter through the 'gate of tears'. What blessings the tears are in their ability to be released, healing, and to unclog my heart! My tears come from memories, love, from sorrow, from brokenness, aloneness, alienation, vulnerability, insecurity, fear, and from facing my future. The past, present and future.

With my tears, my joy balances my soul. Why are tears a gift? The harder I cry out to G*d, the deeper is my joy. Affirming and releasing my essence, I feel more in harmony with HaShem, The Compassionate One. My courageously revealed essence, I realize, is an act of love. The soft gentle tears from my heart is affirmation of my being touched with reminders of life, of vitality. The tears and the joy are what my soul is and expresses.

My tears are a mirror to my soul.

My tears come from an abundance of trials--the challenges that I have been though. Tears are from being triumphant, and from having control removed from me, and from my understanding, acceptance, and need to surrender to G*d. Tears come from compassion and empathy for others. Blurring tears are from blessings, although hidden, to be later revealed. My weeping brings me to wholeness and unity with connection to Oneness, to The Source.

My tears, my holy tears as well as my joy, are my gift.

At the tree, I was given the gift to be present / Henayni, open to the spiritual opportunity in front of me, and to yield to the moment. My initial intention had been to make an offering of joy. Upon arrival at my tree, however, I was given a deeper gift.

I am more transparent to the transcendent flow of sweet Divinity and G*d consciousness within me, through me and around me during my mysterious passage through life.

Through my tears, I have gained clarity and illumination, which is what I had hoped to achieve with my mini visits into the forest. I received insight and truth toward my ‘Age-ing and Sage- ing’. I felt greater inner spiritual expansion and physical renewal. My tears and joy allow Light to enter so I can accept my combined truth of destiny.

In Intensive Care Unit (ICU) waiting rooms, where life' s sacred cycle of death was imminent or happening, I discovered that visible tears of women are equalizing-- the same from people of different ages, races, cultures, beliefs, and of warring nations sitting together in caring and compassion. Tears soften us and we embrace each other finding comfort and encouragement by sharing with others and The Divine One. In mixed bereavement groups, the tears became fewer with a vision of hope for healing with help from the Source of All BlesSings.

"Tears flow up. When you see someone's tears flowing down from their eyes, they are not going down... Gevalt, are they going up--to heaven. Gevalt, are they going up. When somebody is crying, G*d gives you the greatest, deepest privilege, to kiss away their tears."
- Reb Shlomo Carlebach, z"l 

May you be blessed that The Compassionate One has a clear healing path to your heart
through your brokenness, your tears, and your joy.
~ ~ ~

Joy Krauthammer, MBA, a spiritual Jewish woman (a purple loving "holy sister") “Serves G*d in Joy”, is a visual and performing artist (playing timbrels of Miriyahm HaNeviyah in sacred spaces), and is a sound healer, living in Northridge, CA.


Dear Moshe Tov,

I see that a workshop, Bach Flowers and Positive Thinking, is being offered at your Center for Healthy Living in Tsfat, Israel.

I share a personal story with you and for your clients regarding Bach Flower Essences.

This story took place exactly 24 months ago this week 2006, only 11 days before my husband, Marcel, z'l died, 17 Tevet, after being on artificial life support for six months.

As you can imagine, this was a stressful time.
I guess I was beyond stress, because for the prior few months I could not sleep through the night, being woken every night with horrific night mares showing to me the real horrific paralyzing metastatic brain cancer, acute medical issues with the breaking down body being kept alive by 'life'-sustaining machinery. I'm talking lots of medical tubes, etc. Not one night with proper sleep or rest. (In retrospect, it was PTSD at its finest except that it was still current, not 'post' at that moment, even though Marcel had been on life sustaining tubes, on and off, for 18 years begining 1988 when following two back to back brain surgeries, was 'comatose' for three months.)

Days before his death and to care for myself, I was advised to use homeopathic BACH Flower Essences.  Within moments, on the web, I googled that name, took the Bach web test to see which combination of the 36 Essences was right for me. Miraculously (Hashgachah Pratit, G*d's hand), when within minutes of taking the Bach test, I went to the corner health store filled with bottles of concoctions, a blessing awaited me.  

A woman whom I did not yet know, Sona, working in the store, was a holistic homeopath practitioner. Sona had all the dozens of Bach Flower 2" tall dark glass, dropper topped bottles with her in a neatly arranged collection, in a customized black folding zippered bag at her private secluded table at back of store. I introduced myself and gave Sona my completed written answers to the internet's Bach questions that indicated which Essence combination would be best for me.

Asking questions using a small metal cone-shaped swinging pendulum, Sona came up with her own answers. "How could that be" I asked, "that only some of your answers are the same results as my answers when I carefully and truthfully answered on paper?"  Sona responded that she went directly to my 'spiritual guidance', and I was only intellectually answering the questions.

After I purchased for a dollar, a new empty little dark brown dropper bottle, Sona made the personalized concoction for me. Into my personal bottle, there was a drop of this flower, and two drops of that flower, or maybe three or four drops each of the others. Six flower essences were used, and then pure water was added to fill the new dark glass tiny bottle with an 'eye dropper'. Immediately, a few times a day, I began taking on my tongue, a few drops of my personal Essence.

Sona was right on. Beginning the very night, for these last 24 months, I have slept without night mares (although 'day mares' continued).  I cry remembering that needed relief and miracle blessing.

I totally believe in Bach Flower Essences.

I went back to see Sona three months later and she did not recognize me as the sleepless 'zombie' who had gone to her a few months earlier, while I had been married and 'caregiver angel warrior'. On this visit in my deep state of tear-filled mourning the loss of my husband,z"l, Sona concocted for me another potion with 7 different flowers. It was helpful. Seven is G*d's holiest number. I felt cared for.

You may share my true healing story about "Bach Flowers and Positive Thinking".

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

Grateful for my own health returning, and mourning as a widow, I would visit in that health store near me just to leave little meaningful surprise gifts for Sona. 

Shortly after, Sona went on to open her own (new age) homeopathic health store about 30 miles from me, through the San Gabriel Mountains, and to a scenic town I'd never been. I was so grateful to Sona, that as a gift one evening, I drove to her store and set up and played Tibetan Singing Bowls in a healing sound spa meditation for her own clients and other healing practitioners. 

Sona is a blesSing. My 'spiritual guidance' is a blesSing.

~ ~ ~