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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



- Joy Krauthammer 

Based on my sadness from loss, which all chevre share from death of Reb David Zeller, z"l, I designed a memorial card, MEMORY FLAME. As soon as Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi shared the saddest news with chevre who were with him last year on Shavuot, I realized I needed to have this card for those of us grieving.

In the center of the Ohr (flame painting I made following a meditation on the Holy Temple), is a glitter gem stone embellished Magen Dovid-shaped lotus flower, a water lily. I thought Reb Dovid would appreciate this flower from his days as a Buddhist Sadhu in India. The lily / sosannim is found in Old Testament in Psalms and sometimes translated by musicologists as "testimony."  Do you see inside the other blue Magen Dovid, is a blue heart?

Enjoy both sides of my Memory Flame card.


Grateful that digital graphic designer, Joe Rudy, helped me with layout and fonts for Memory Flame.
by Joy Krauthammer ©

Yiskor was fast approaching at the Elat Chayyim country retreat center, and there were no memorial candles visible to remember my husband, z"l, thus in my mind I visualized a virtual flame. Hours later this Memory Flame card was mindfully manifested.

The Yiskor teaching was given to us on Shavuot 2007 by Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi. "In memory of loved ones, in each direction, to and from your loved one, z'l, giving and receiving, 'feel Forgiveness, Gratitude, Compassion and Love.' Hold your beloved's hand in your hand."

In locations where candles may not be lit for safety reasons, and in ritual, I and others have used the little Memorial Flame card with my Ohr, flame painting. In all these colors of Ohr "do I see the light" of Reb Zeller. Maybe Reb Zeller's, widow now has the circular double-sided engraved, bronze medallion pendant that I gave to Reb Zeller with these words in Hebrew and English, "In Your Light Do We See Light" (surrounding a Menorah) that he loved to teach and sing. At the Jung Institute, Reb Zeller saw pendant hanging on my neck, liked it, and I immediately removed it and gifted the pendant to him, feeling so good that I could give my Rebbe something he appreciated. On the other side of the pendant, surrounding a Tree of Life, is written, "The Compassionate One Seeks the Heart..."

May Reb Zeller's neshama/ soul be blessed and have a speedy and high aliyah / going up to Shamayim / heaven.

Joy Krauthammer
~ ~ ~

Comfort the Dying

Comfort the Dying

-  Joy Krauthammer 

COMPASSION IN ACTION - Twilight Brigade certificate I found in my files today.

I am posting certificate from my learning 'in preparation for service to the dying'. 

With the death a month ago of my dearest friend, Edith, obm, I felt I was inadequate as a friend.
That does not feel good.  Edith signed every e-mail to me with "Love you forever".

When Edith died I took a workshop with Kalsman Institute (HUC and Cedars-Sinai) on being present for the dying.  Chaplain and Cantor Sue Knight Deautsch, author of Healing Hand, facilitated. I realized and acknowledged that I really knew how to be present, but just had not felt good enough being present with my friend, and wanted "to be better".  Until Edith became unable to speak and hours later went into morphine coma, I was not aware that my dear friend was dying, not even at age 95 in a couple weeks.

Yes, I had shared words of wisdom with Edith a week before, but not because I knew she was dying.
I didn't know until that day that Edith was on hospice, but friends have been on hospital for a year before dying. Edith had had a pacemaker put into her chest weeks earlier but that didn't mean she was dying! Edith was so much stronger and aware with the pacemaker. Now I thought she was 'living'.

Edith invited me to visit specifically because her "music therapist" was coming over that Tuesday afternoon. I asked singing visitor Jerwin about the medical company he was with. "Roze Room Hospice" he said. I was quietly shocked. He asked me in front of Edith about how I knew Edith and what we shared. I did NOT realize this was really the last time I would have intimate time with Edith. I shared how we "loved" each other, and how it manifested. I didn't know that he was guiding me to share and feed Edith goodness about herself.  It was Easter Sunday in a few days when Edith would be surrounded by family, and then the next day in a coma for a few days.

Somehow the family thought I knew that Edith was on hospice because when she was discharged from hospital and rehab. after pacemaker, she had a hospital bed at home.
Clearly that made no sense to me. Edith had weakened in hospital and functioned better having a hospital bed is what I thought. For a couple years Edith had agencies sending help over to help bathe her, and do PT and OT. So this situation was not new with newly hired caregivers. No one told me otherwise, and I was quite upset when I found out too late. As the music therapist left the house I asked him about "hospice" and he replied it was not legal for him to speak about patient. I had written to daughter asking about that and only when it was too late, did I know about hospice reality.

Giving Comfort to the dying includes: 
Preparing self with a smile, not a sad face.
Sharing Love with words and action (I love you), active Listening, Appreciation and Gratitude (thank you), Forgiveness (I forgive you, forgive me) and Vidui, compassion, silence, memories, hope, and sharing that their life had meaning, and the difference that a person had made to me, and in the world, and holding hands, gazing into eyes, empathy, sympathy, connection, and saying Goodbye (closure) are good thoughts to share with the dyingEmptying oneself to be wholly present before entering the loved one's sacred space is holy. Actions include giving permission to the dying to die and to 'Let Go, Let G*d', and to go to the loved ones seen in the “light”, and understanding of Palliative Care, and honoring person's spiritual beliefs. 

 I took the recent workshop because I felt inadequate. Today I discovered this certificate from a course I had 18 years ago. With that, we also did field work, Bikkur Cholim, visiting the sick. 
 18 = L'Chayim = Life.  18 years. I keep having to learn with each death of a loved one.  18 Friends have died in less than 2 years and more before that. I've lost too many dear friends and cousins. Their lives too short, or too pained with sufferening. Yes, at times I have been fully present with the dying, with death that lingered for months, or for minutes just to say Goodbye, and for a short few days last year with my older sister, z"l.

I was looking today for a picture I had drawn 25 years ago, of how I wanted to Serve G*D–a hand on a drum.
I found instead my training certificate from 7 years later, 18 years ago. There are different ways in which we Serve G*d.

As I write this,  I am told of the death last night of a spiritual friend from shul years ago, Sarah. This saddens me that I haven't been in touch for years, that I did not know Sarah was not well at this time, and I couldn't say goodbye or send greetings. Thankfully her cousins were able to visit and say, Goodbye.
~ ~ ~


Compassion in Action - The Twilight Brigade
hereby acknowledges 
Joy Krauthammer
for successfully completing 20 hours of intensive training 
in preparation for service to the dying. 
You bring love, warmth, and an open heart to those in need of comfort. 
You are a light in the darkness. 
Your compassionate presence makes a difference. 
1/9/2000, Los Angeles
Ronnie Kaye and David Kessler

Description of Organization and Population Served: 
The Twilight Brigade, Compassion in Action is a public benefit corporation whose mission is the conviction that no one need die alone. With compassionate care and reassurance, the end of life can be a time of personal growth and healing for the dying individual and his/her loved ones. 
In order to create a volunteer corps capable of delivering excellent service to the dying, we developed a 20-hour intensive training program (required of interns) that combines communication enhancement activities, personal death awareness exercises, and guided imagery. Our unique curriculum educates participants about death and the dying process, teaches important care techniques and methods, dispels common fears and myths surrounding death, raises awareness about the importance of volunteer service, enhances healthcare professionals' skills in caring for dying patients, and inspires others to become more involved within their communities. Services are delivered free of charge to referred individuals who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness or condition.

Goal to increase society's understanding of death and dying as a natural life process, and advocating the importance of quality end-of-lie care for all.