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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.

~ ~ ~


  1. Joy,
    I have just read your comments on the Elderwomen Musings site and have come here. Oh, I do love this piece and I love your photos on the other site to which you directed me. Your words will lift me up tonight, and remind me of my own dancing self.
    I have three blog sites other than the Elderwomen site, where I post every couple of weeks with three awesome women. I have not been posting on the other sites (one of which is http://madwomandancing.wordpress.com) for some months due to some very stressful family situations which have consumed much of my time and energy. I look forward to blogging again.
    Thanks so very much for your message on Elderwomen Musings. I am going to pass along your web addresses to a young woman I meet with regularly. She is a jewel and very identified as Jewish. She will love your words and images!
    Ellen Hamilton

    1. Dear Ellen,
      I do hope that I replied at the time you wrote. Thank you for your thoughtful words.
      May you be blessed with a good and joyous, healthy new year 2015.
      I came to this post today to share with a woman in mourning, and I'm glad to see you here.
      BlesSings, Joy


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