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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



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.


  1. Joy,
    I think your essays are gorgeous, moving, honest, neshama writing, and I celebrate you for writing them and having the courage to let someone else (me) edit this one [originally from 1500 to 800 words needed for publication].
    What a bracha!
    Sending you blessings abundant,
    R. Julie Pelc

  2. Thank you, Joy for sharing your beautiful and deep writing.

    "May the blesser be blessed."


    Julie (the other Gila)

    Dear Joy,

    What a moving and inspirational piece. You are so in tune to your journey and express it with awareness, love, free-spirit and much Joy.

    Be Well,

    thank you so much Joy.

    (Rabbi Stan)

    Every Name is a gate -- may they all be open for you and let in much light and JOY


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