About Me

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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'S POEMS ... "You G*d are the Compassion, the Strength, the Beauty, the Victory, the Splendor, and the Foundation of everything in Heaven and on Earth." (1 Chronicles 1:29) ... I see Your Face in All Nature that I photograph. ... ... http://joys-poems.blogspot.com/ . . . Click "Older Posts" on lower right of each post page for MORE earlier posted stories and art.


Shechina Dwelling
- by Joy Krauthammer

Shechina dwelling
within myself.
A Sacred Space
from which
Creation emerges.


Cymbaling in Pool

- Joy Krauthammer

On the full moon day,
I swam                
away from the rising sun               .
   silently with my cymbals
from the floor of the pool.

in joy I played
each secret stroke,
raising higher
grain sieves, 
ancient frame drums, 
voice of the goddess!

mythic Cybele:
Great Mother goddess

Another round-trip,
between my worlds
reflect above and below;
I swim east
to repeat the
sacred path,
then west
for the rhythmic rite.

Cymbals crashing
awaken Divine joy;
I hear Psalm 150 singing.
((((  ))))

consciousness of divinity
with sacred ritual
purification in the waters.

My shadow,
in the water:
the image,
arms outstretched
my hands hold -- cymbals
I clash them together
each stroke, slowly
from lower left and right
circling up from my sides,
high over my head.
((((  ))))

Can you hear it?
The musical beat
as both sides meet
in shadowed reflection. 

Around again,
more determined,
each lap in the pool,
each stroke
pushing the whorls, 
whirls, swirls of water.
Cymbals clash.
((((  ))))         

Powerful spiritual woman, 
Miriyahm the Prophetess,
timbrel player
striking cymbals
carried beyond the waters.
Marking the pulse of life.
Freedom! Hope!

Leading women:
dancers and drummers
in Divine ecstasy.

I with waves of vibration,
in excitement and glee,
The Source of All Blessings.

With my reflection
I'm alone
in the silence 
of my meditation.

Joy cymbaling self-portrait 
© Joy Krauthammer

Timbrals, Cymbals
water color
© Joy Krauthammer

~ ~ ~ 

Swimming deeper into each form, I began to assimilate the energy of the sacred as mine.
My swimming is a consciousness transforming practice. It is my meditation.
The light of the sun physically and mystically brought to consciousness the aweness of my sacred rite of prayer, my song, which is my rhythmic drumming on frame drum. - Joy Krauthammer

Disclaimer: I recognize goddess as that which was worshipped in ancient times, and even the feminine within myself, but not G*D of my people. - Joy


Cybele known as the goddess, 'Great Mother" in Asia Minor, Greece and Italy.
Cybele known in Babylonia and Syria as Astarte or Ishtar.

"Cybele has frequently been depicted holding a frame drum, which she was known to play. It is considered to be one of her most important symbols, and it is believed to represent the moon. A famous picture exists, showing Cybele holding a frame drum in her left hand, painted red, while in her right hand she holds a lotus bowl, from which a liquid is pouring forth.The lotus bowl, also known as the patera, is believed to represent the great cosmic vulva, from which the water of life continuously pours forth. Many different liquids have been used to represent the water of life, including honey, wine, milk and even blood. Ishtar, an aspect of Cybele, has also been depicted pouring the water of life, as it flowed endlessly, from a jug."




- Joy Krauthammer

Hod, my vessel containing
my essence, my energy, my expression
revealed as I play passionate percussion
in gratitude for the glory of G*d.

Bells ringing, singing in abunDance
in harmony hear
and respond
to my inner vessel of joy.

Joy is my Hod, in the Etz Chayyim
in the Tree of Life.

I dance
soar my soul,
sing, shout my song,
as I serve
the Divine Giver of Life.

My outer garments covering me,
strong deep royal colors, velvet
flowing pomegranate crimson
and splendor of purple painted silks,
sunrise and sunset,
color tones of the Temple.

Hod, receiving and
giving over my loving-kindness
to share sensations,
and my appreciation
for the Light
of the Eternal One.

as if floating,
held in soft waters,
I am in Oneness.

touching molecules
of space all around me,
I stretch my body,
my limbs
as high and wide and full
as my imagination can reach,
my voice as clear
as my channel can be,
my drumming
smoothly connected
to The Source of All BlesSings.

Blessed, I am drummed,
and feel fullness of embrace,
melding into the Waters of Life

My expansiveness
becomes One
with all present.
We receive each other,
reverberate vibrations
of praise to the Compassionate One,
an ecstatic meditation.

With timbrel in hand,
we have walked
through G*d's miraculous parted seas
to our freedom.

We can pray
and give gratitude
for all we can be,
to transcend
beyond ourselves.

Hod brings me
to my radiant community,
playful place
of music for Majesty.

I'm told,
angels are heard
in the tinkle,
the twinkle of my chimes.

Hodu L’Hashem Ki Tov
Ki L’Olam Hasdo, Hodu.
- Psalm 136 Give Thanks To G*d



- Joy Krauthammer

Dance of Netzach sh b'Hod
Dancing forward in the mode

Glory/Hod of Gratitude;
Dance of Life, Chai, Day 18.
Behold, Splendor of soul
will be seen, revealed

as Elul enters. A month
to shine soul,
remove the schmutz.
Dance month of searching --
backwards, forwards -- cleansing, fixing
all within.

not only victory
in physical form --
Dance of warrior in battle,
to win in life, survive a fight.
Instead, a concept:
going forward
with all your might
for Dance of Joy.

Reach out
for what you want
in your soul.
Power of
Dance of forgiveness, of compassion,
of heart.
Dance of understanding, of wisdom
to impart.
Dance of integrity.
Dance of desire.
Stay on the path,
out of the mire.

Dance of Joy. Splendor of joy.
Dance toward what may not be seen.
Vision of Truth, deep
Dance of justice, wide.
Dance of faith, high.
Dance of trust, surrender
toward the Holy One. Blessed Be.
Dance of creativity, dance of passion,
dance of planting, dance of growth,
dance of hope, and dance of connecting love.

Not only war to win!
Sometimes powerfully,
on horses, hooves flying fast from within;
sometimes lightly, gently,
on iridescent hummingbird wings,

all along the Tree of Life, dance!
...and sing out
your abunDance of blesSings, and drum, even hum,
and dance again.

Dance of creativity

This poem understanding came from an important place within me.  I was in retreat with Reb Zalman Schacter-Shalomi and Eve Ilsen on Shavuot at Elat Chayyim, and I realized that my Netzach can be and is used, not only for battle (as with hospital administrations and fighting for life, but after mourning in dancing toward JOY.
Quite a realization for me at that moment.
I thought about how I go forward in life...

The Deronda Review back cover poem & photo
reprinted from "The Deronda Review", a journal of poetry and thought
Vol. IV No. 2 - Winter-Spring 2012



- Joy Krauthammer

I never look to write a poem; they just come...
like butterflies of my mind

You ask if for Shabbat I could "do a poem?"
on the holy Omer Counting "Sephirot of the day"
Tiferet sh b'Yesod

...so I guess not, of course not

or maybe
in my mind
I took flight and
I just did create one.)

Imagine if I go outside
to look for a flower of Creation
the Yesod of the Divine One
it just beckons to me
smiles at me
and I see G*d

the nasturtium
growing at the edge of the earth, low
do I pick one? bright wine toned
and eat one in my organic salad?
as we do at Esalen
high above the cliffs

the edge of Big Sur
place of majesty
where Tiferet reigns.

In exaltation and surprise
in my garden today
I see white Wood Irises
with purple petal interiors
dozens blossomed overnight
tall, appearing
as shadow puppets, a host of
winged butterflies in flight.

One spring
butterflies passed through my garden
a channel for their journey of life
millions for fourteen days
alighting upon my citrus trees
in connection, bonding with me.

Continuing their mission
over my roof, finally
left me on Erev Shabbat

Swarms of pretty Painted Ladies
embracing me
Gracing me
when I needed G*d
They gave me delight
I was in ecstasy, in awe
I couldn't ask for more
all I could do was
stand in centered stillness,
as golden delights brushed past my cheeks
my beating heart
bonded in belief
my desire granted
by the Compassionate One.

Silently, I had wished, yearned
my heart dreaming
to see the migrating butterflies
thousands of miles away

they came to me
a miracle revealed

Caregiving, I could not leave
my paralyzed husband
of blessed memory.

Tiferet sh b'Yesod
is his birthday.

Balance of beauty, Truth
we are gifted by the Creator of Life.
Harmony to begin this 38th day
lead the way
in Tiferet and Yesod
Compassion as our Foundation
join all other Sephirot
within the Etz Chayim, the Tree of Life.
~ ~ ~

Note: The counting of the Omer takes place between Passover and Shavuot, and each day is associated with a specific Kabbalistic combination pair of Sephirot.  For a greater explanation and understanding of this theme, see Rabbi Simon Jacobson's "A Spiritual Guide to the Counting of the Omer," which may be found on http://www.chabad.org/ or http://www.meaningfullife.com/
"Flight of the Sephirot" is a psalm of my soul about G*d totally hearing me and my desire during my time of service as caregiver for G*d. I took care of ONE of G*d's children, z'l.

G*d listened to me and heard my yearning to be with the butterflies and BROUGHT THEM TO ME.

I had no idea that this could happen. Giving me the butterflies in my garden is a pure one time gift of MIRACLE from the Compassionate One.

The Painted Ladies could have had the world as their passage way, their Kriat Yahm Suf, as they left from one home on their survival journey, and they travelled through my opening. I stood outside and welcomed each of them greeting me.

(It was not easy to give up my public life of sharing, to be Caregiver Angel Warrior. I came to the realization that serving ONE was just as important as being present for greater community.)

Talmud says, "And whoever saves a life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world."
- Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 4:8 (37a)

Many times, as a vessel for Hashem, I saved the life of Marcel, z'l, my husband, during his 18 years of metastatic brain cancer. (My intention was to get Marcel to Aviva's wedding, and I did. Marcel went on life-support only three weeks later, following our daughter's honeymoon.)

- Joy Krauthammer



by  Joy Krauthammer

55 inner-city HS senior students
with their English teacher, my sister,
on a day outing to see
live Shakespeare,
truly a treat for students,
who never see professional theatre,

my Gevurah--setting boundaries, and
my Netzach--going forth with endurance
were activated and balanced together
on this 23rd day of Omer Counting.

filled the old yellow school bus.
I re-entered the bus and
noticed my large canvas bag
hand-painted artistically
with my name JOY and
bulging with intermission noshes,
gifts for the kids
I purchased

had been moved
from the second row seat
I had reserved for myself and teacher,
to the front row seat
with boxes and big bus floor hump;

In the aisle
I stood my ground
and stared
at the two burly students
occupying my seats.

I asked if they moved my bag.
Not getting the desired
honest response,
with all my might I rallied
Gevurah and Netzach,
the Sephirotic energy pair of the day.
I told the guy and gal,
"This is MY seat and you have to move."

I had to repeat my statement

All seats taken,
the heavily tattooed bus driver insisted
skinny people become
a third to double seat companions.

On the return ride
the compassionate bus driver
allowed the teacher
as she stood in victory,
to give out more snacks
from my JOY bag
even though the written rules

Too bad I hadn't reserved
my seat for the rocky return trip.



Sephirat HaOmer day 9

by Joy Krauthammer

Oy vey, double trouble
Double Gevurah and me.
I must face it,
my chores lack discipline.

Schedules ignored,
I'd rather be writing
Psalms and adding art.
I'd rather be immersed
in the joyous, serene presence
of G*D.

Auto license frame announces
I'd rather be...
writing, arting, kayaking
drumming, swimming, gardening.

I'll shut down the computer,
begin my taxes, due this week,
after I put away Pesach gear,
cute jumping frogs,
plagues from the Seder table,
that animate faces.

My psalms for Omer,
filled with joy and passion,
will wait.

Schedule time for paper work. 



Mother's Day yum gift
Share with friends and family
Makes me feel happy 

- Joy Krauthammer



Quick back yard bunny
slowly chews grassy twigs bare
for the dove's new nest

- Joy Krauthammer


WISTERIA at Gilla's home
- Joy Krauthammer

This season

I was too late for the wisteria at Hare's home.

I was too early for the wisteria at Lake Balboa.

I saw wisteria baby buds on the trellises overlooking the lake.

I saw a little left over faded white wisteria at Karen's home.

I'm glad I witnessed Gilla's beautiful purple wisteria.

When I grew up in NY, my parents grew wisteria, and I loved it.

Wisteria delights my memory, eyes and heart.

photo collage ©  Joy Krauthammer



- Joy Krauthammer

Blossoming Japanese Cherry trees,
So serene, pretty, pink, peaceful,
Return each year.
I anticipate them.
With joy I welcome them.
They are blessings,
Sent here from Japan.
Japanese people travel from LA
And from far to view them.
The elderly especially come,
Those who remember their childhood.

Annually on Mitzvah Day
Jews plant the trees.
So many cultures visit Lake Balboa.
Inter-connected, we all enjoy the scene each spring.

Sometimes a tree dies.
I wonder why...
Sometimes I bring a friend.
One my age, or an elderly friend, 88 years,
We sit and reflect under the purple wisteria arbor.
We walk around the man-made lake.
Pink trees reflect in the water.
I walk off the cement path to come close.
I touch the delicate soft pink petals.
From the ground, I lift fallen flowers.

Walking on uneven grass
I greet the geese, ducks and birds.
Along the way
I photograph.
In the sun, flowers sparkle,
Sometimes skies are grey.
At times, I kayak in the lake.
I have a license to paddle.
I enjoy the tranquil view from the water.
I love the Japanese Cherry trees
Here in the Valley.

I call others with reminders to visit.
"Maybe 5% Cherry blossoms are open," I report.
"Only 20% blossoms remain!" I warn.
Treasure them. Come.
"There's a lake in the Valley?"
I am questioned.
Visions of beauty, G*d's Splendor to behold.
Let your soul feel full of joy. Come.

The Cherry trees used to open and bloom in April.
Now their show appears earlier, and earlier each year.
The trees have life cycles.
"To everything there is a season." *
Sometimes I see only darker fuscia small buds
And few pretty pink blossoms
Because I arrive too soon;
Sometimes I am too late.
This year I missed them altogether.
A lost opportunity; I was sad.
I hope I learn from my mistake and
Receive G*d's glorious gift to us
Before it is too late.

Sometimes, to enjoy with a loved one,
There is no longer
A "next time".

I share my Cherry trees pictures with you;
Loveliness: sweet, serene, pretty and pink.
It is G*d's divine garden.
I celebrate the awesome Cherry trees
As I do You and you.
I give praise and I am grateful
For the blesSings
In my Garden of Life.

* Ecclesiastes 3:1 (Kohelet)

(Sukkot 2007, 5768)

Poem published by City of Los Angeles, Department of Parks and Recreation. April 2014

Cherry Blossoms (Sakura) and Butterfly, Lake Balboa 
photos © Joy Krauthammer

More Cherry Tree photos:
~ ~ ~ 
Joy's life at LAKE Balboa:

STORY ~ Moe the Turtle:
2 POEMS ~ Cherry Trees:
PHOTOS ~ Lake Balboa

In Japanese culture, the sakura (桜) or cherry blossom is a beloved symbol of hope.