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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


Tiferet sh b'Yesod
Kabbalistic Sephirat HaOmer - day 38, 5 weeks and 3 days

Compassion in Bonding

- Joy Krauthammer

Reading in the B'nai Horin newsletter, WHEN GOD IS YOUR THERAPIST, I immediately related to the quotes about "moving from our states or maps of pain to states of maps of joy". Hmm, wonder why. Yet it is true, for me, Joy, because for many years, simplistically, I've been conscious of turning "lemonade into lemons", as others have said publicly about me. Not only lemonade, but transcendence and transformation in a return to joy in Joy.

I'm glad that Rabbi Stan Levy included the NY Times article, "When G*d Is Your Therapist" because I'd never analyzed my life that way, but realize that for me, that concept has certainly been true. I'll share with you:

After my husband, z"l, died over 7 years ago (time does heal), although with friends still a little bit around (they'd done their loyal devoted compassionate, caring and supportive duty at home and hospitals for years when husband was sick, paralyzed, dying and on life-support…) I felt very ALONE. Not lonely, but alone. To prove to myself that I was 'not alone', I made a list of all my friends who were present with me and taped it to the wall adjacent to where I work at home so that I could always see the names and remind myself. I felt ALONE!  For healing grief support, I had a short-term bereavement therapist, beloved local rabbis, and after a few months of constant crying --a local church minister-led grief group (where I was the only person and she kept reminding me that there "is light at the end of the tunnel"), and also a Jewish 'spiritual guide' who blessedly listened in silence to me and my silence or my tears. 

One day, knowing how I felt in deep pain from loss and so ALONE, my Jerusalem Chareidi Rebbe Yosef Ben Shlomo Hakohen, z"l, said to me, "G*d loves you." From that moment, and I wrote the words also on my wall, I never felt alone because I knew that G*d loved me. How simplistic! And I was "a child of the Universe"; I remembered this from the Desiderata, the scroll from 'sixties college days which to this day, still hangs on wall over my bed! Google it.  (One myth says a Jewish person wrote it.) 

In July 1994 at Elat Chayyim, for the first time-- I had spontaneously proclaimed out loud to Rabbi Marcia Prager that "I love G*d". Until the spring of 2006, I'd never heard that G*d loves me. I share with you that when I feel it appropriate, I have in empathy shared this compassionate statement of love with grieving others.

The 'Therapist' article author, T. M. Luhrmann states, that "tragedy, and prayers that apparently go unanswered, can actually strengthen believers' sense of a bond with G*d."

I also never asked G*d for an explanation as to why I, too, the caregiver and wife, had to suffer along with the patient. I had G*d to call out to, scream out to in my garden, cry out to loudly at night when I tried to go to sleep. And G*d listened. I had the Indwelling Presence of Shekhina hold me in Her arms and envelope me so I could finally fall asleep each night. And as I came to understand, a little bit at a later time, revealed were concealed blesSings; answers to the difficult 'why' questions which I hadn't asked, but had felt the pain.

I "hang out with G*d" a lot in my garden, as I did then, during the difficult years filled with medical trauma and pain. I greet G*d, and converse; That's my vocal "therapeutic dimension". I mamash do love singing in prayer to Hashem. Artistically I photograph G*d daily in my garden, and drum with G*d, and I guess that, too, is therapeutic. G*d loves me. How "theologically simple-minded" is that?

This week during the Counting of the Omer as we refine ourselves and head toward Shavuot and the 50th Gate, we are in the Sephirah week of Yesod. Yesod is not only a foundation, a giving and receiving, nurturing, and a connection--a bonding and devotion with people, but also an eternal bonding with the Compassionate One. 

May you be blessed to know that G*d loves you.

BlesSings for health, wholeness, peace, revealed miracles, creativity, discovery, wonder, blooming gardens, majestic sunrises, sighting birds, love and joy,
"Serve G*d With Joy"


Psalms of My Soul

Sephirat HaOmer day 31
Tiferet sh b'Hod


- Joy Krauthammer

In my hillside home, sitting at my computer, a light catches my eye and I glance toward the right. Through the kitchen window, wonderfully surprised, clearly I see the large, full bright orange moon. I am in awe of its beauty and balance as it hangs alone in the sky. I look over my shoulder, and my heart feels full as I gaze upon the moon, like a magnet, and my fingers continue to type.  Even as I watch it, the orange moon is quickly rising, and turning a brighter lighter shade. 

How many photos can I shoot of this round orange object in the night sky that shows up on all my film as a round shape in the dark sky? 

Almost 20 years ago a friend married another friend. Purposefully for a shidduch / marriage, I had introduced them.  I took a photo of the newly weds kissing at night following the afternoon wedding (where I was honorary Chuppah holder). Consciously I moved my body low so that the full moon would be visible closely over their heads. 

Years later I saw the framed photo on their bedroom dresser and commented on it. My friend questioned me, "But what is that circle over our heads?"  I laughed when I recalled how I had adjusted my body low to catch that very high moving scene. I admired my artistry. 

Tonight, once again, I must bend my body low to continue to see the Splendor through the window, as I type with the rising moon, and I am in awe, in Hod.

Baruch Hashem for the glory that is the gift to us in the very visible full moon. My iPhoto library has a zillion shots of moons, hmm, or is that a cheese ball?

Super Full Moon
  © Joy Krauthammer  8.29.2015

~ ~ ~


© Joy Krauthammer 

Prompted by reading poem "Blackwater Pond" by Mary Oliver.


Lake Swim at Sunset

- Joy Krauthammer

Between zones of August late afternoon and early evening, entering the pool, I stop-- stop and stand alone in the water as I drink up, I breathe in the sacred space. My hands drop into the inviting pool swirling handfuls of delight. Water to swim in, immerse myself in calm-- but FIRST I PRAY. This is my salvation, my healing. THANK YOU G*D for this glory. 

From stillness, ripples in water magically manifest as my body makes minute movements.  More radiating ripples expand outwards in abstract complex crossing evolving patterns. A honeycomb gone wild.

Sun meets water. Subdued rainbows of color begin just beyond each ripple.  Quiet serene ecstasy for me.

Not ready to dive into the pool. EH Cold.

Ahh, I DID IT. Slight breeze on my shoulder gives a chill. A few strokes I make to adjust my body and confirm temperature.  It's good. I lap across pool and back heading westerly. I am in a pond, a lake, surrounded by a forest of trees.  Bits of tree leaves, needles, seeds adorn the surface. I love swimming in this lake. I am a child swimming in a lake, mushy underfoot as sunlight pales toward the horizon, disappearing.  I feel at ease and deeply enjoy being far away in this lake with setting sun. Surface water patterns are artistic as if wood carving tools have scooped out top sections of water.

With every stoke I swim, never see nor reach the edge of the lake, yet travel toward the lush green forest of distant old tall palm and pine trees. As the sky loses light, trees turn darker, less defined, and yet strangely, I feel comforted. In the lake I love the dusk. I want to remain here forever.

Voila, transformed from grey clouds, orange formations are born, filling the spheres. Orange penetrates in concentrated intensity. Sunset colors reflect in the lake. How strange to see the reflections of color and trees in lake when the sun is so far away. How can that be?  
I want to savor the sky's palette before it begins to fade. Colored broad bands of diverse widths have my rapt attention and I'm in awe. Do they even care that I am here and witness? How many minutes will they display their aliveness? Soaking in the show, I remain still, standing in the shallow end of lake.

Quickly I decide to leave my lake and forest to photograph the miracle. With damp hands I grab my camera, always ready-- open and from every angle, shoot the powerful and moving scene from the shore.

Outside the enclosed lake and in front of the house I'll see a different array of colored clouds. Swiftly, I push open the big blue heavy wooden gate to escape beyond, where hopefully the sky is less obscured. In wet suit with camera in hand in darkening sky, I have captured G*d's gift as the sun sets. I am satisfied. I am grateful.

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Fig Tree and Hummingbird

Hummingbird on Fig Tree

On this morning of Jan. 17th, it is the 20th anniversary of the terrible Northridge Earthquake.
There is a terrible fire taking homes, 1,700 acres, and the sunrise color is strangely red from the fire.
Today is my husband's, z'l, yahrzeit, Jan. 17,  17 Tevet.  He died 8 years ago.
It is a morning filled with darkness.
I heard the Hummingbird and looked up to the top of the Fig tree, 
this week of Tu B'Shvat, 
and saw the tiny bird, and it made me smile.
Another Hummingbird joined the first for a fleeting moment.
There was light.
© Joy Krauthammer

Fig Tree at Mount Sinai

© Joy Krauthammer

My 32 year old divine magnificent Mission Fig tree at sunrise,
two days before cutting down the entire top of right trunk.
This devoted fig tree must have been at Revelation. 
Understand, feel its holy Essence, its power, loving soul and Source. 
I am trying to save beloved tree from uprooting,
 thus I decided I must take down its whole entire top which will be heavy in the summer. 
Today I stood at its base and I was strong.
Its body and beauty was felled.

I am giving tomorrow on Shabbat at shul to chevre, a tree that was at Sinai.
Now again to honor Tu B'Shvat, Fig tree gives its present to the future.
Dozens of beautiful foot-long, straight and thick barren branches to Lev Eisha women to plant, nurture and grow Fig trees.
I breathe deeply in great sadness and shock of horror at removal of limbs. 
I had to choose longer healthier life for fig tree.