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


from one individual and from life

              © Joy Krauthammer

Dance of Joy

Joy Loves To Dance

Joy Krauthammer
Whirling in Prayer
Marty Cohen Spiegel's Bat Mitzvah

Joy Krauthammer
Dance on Purim

Joy Krauthammer
New Year Prayer Dance
© Shira Solomon


RIPPLE REFLECTIONS 1, #2 and Trailer

- Joy Krauthammer  ©


Although a whole hand, fingers first, plunging into water makes a splash, even the slightest sense of a simple single finger tip touching water, radiates out RIPPLES and delights me. We never know what ripple effect is really created by our own thoughts, words, and deeds. May we be blessed to create and share only good ripples in our universe. 

Ripple reflections for me are a joyous meditation: connection, silence, harmony, vibration, breath, peace, prayer, playfulness, expansiveness, endlessness... I love being in the water exploring and discovering.

I invite you to enter the water and connect to yourself and the flow of life. Enjoy the rhythm, ripples, reflections, shadows, surprises, movement, mandalas, chirping, howling, and sounds of the Crystal and Tibetan singing bowls (that I carried home from Tibet).

"Ripple Reflections" is my very first video, and I'm thrilled it is also with my original music. For me, this video is a Shehecheyanu moment, and just in time for Rosh HaShanah. I dedicate this 'finger art' meditation to my new granddaughter who is having her Hebrew naming at Torah this Shabbat. (She is named for water.) May we be blessed to 'finger paint' together in awe, magic, and wonder of G*d's universe.  In addition, I dedicate this spiritual water meditation to my rebbe, Yosef Ben Shlomo Hakohen, z'l, on his first yahrzeit, 27 Elul. HIs Torah ripples radiate.

I'm very grateful to my beloved 'life guard' Edith who allows me to swim and play each morning in her beautiful pool.  For my new computer creative opportunities, I'm grateful to my caring, smiling, skilled and patient Apple teachers (especially Catherine and Casey who guided me in the editing of this video and sound clips compilation to create, Ripple Reflections 1).  THANK YOU.

Love and BlesSings, 
Joy Krauthammer
26 Elul 5772


These Ripple Reflections resemble the Hebrew letter SAMECH.  
Harav Yitzchak Ginsburgh states, "The circular form of the samech symbolizes the fundamental truth reflected at all levels of Torah and reality: "Their end is enwedged in their beginning and their beginning in their end."

~ ~ ~

Enjoy the UTubes
It is my 'joy in the morning'.


Ripple Reflections #2 With Joy

Ripple Reflections #2 & Floating Flowers Trailer

- Joy Krauthammer  ©

"RIPPLE REFLECTIONS #2 With Joy" is the sequel to Ripple Reflections 1 With Joy.
Please try to watch on a FULL screen.

RR #2 is similar in content and intent; nature gently interacts with human, filled with beauty, sweetness and serenity--a meditation. But RR #2 encompasses more mystery and is more expansive, not as subtle and simple in filming and editing as RR #1. For RR #2, I learned more from Apple trainers and on-line, and patiently used the new editing skills to joyously create with greater vision --an iMovie with lots of cropping and at 9 1/2 minutes, is 5 times longer than #1. I felt that I was back in the 'sixties' and in a candy store. From Lynda.com, I earned a Certificate in iMovie. :)

Dive into the vortex with me and experience the vibrating sound of the gong, crystal and Tibetan singing bowls and chimes, and gurgling waters. Enter the water and connect to yourself and the flow of life. Enjoy rhythm, ripples, reflections, shadows, surprises, movement, mandalas, mystery, chirping and percussive Sounds of Joy. Finger paint with me in awe, magic and wonder of G*d's glorious world.

The song-filled Mockingbird is ever-present, non-stop singing a symphony, and gives me much daily pleasure. At day's end, the bird is covered in sunset's golden color as s/he sits perched atop my highest bush on a hillside slope. The sun offered opportunities to be also in delight with twinkling floating flowers.

Ripple reflections for me are a joyous mesmerizing meditation: connection, silence, harmony, vibration, breath, peace, prayer, playfulness, expansiveness, endlessness. I love being in the water exploring and discovering. (Did you experience the superimposed ripple?)

As a percussionist, it was fun for me to play my fingers in a different rhythm. Always exciting for me whether playing on a drum head or fingertip touching the top of water and watching the concentric circles, shapes and shadows; Some clips feel kaleidoscopic to me. I admit that I mostly subdued the sounds of the rooster, dog, cat, planes, trains, trucks, sirens, and rush-hour traffic. Crystal and Tibetan singing bowls, gongs and chimes I added because I love playing them at water's edge, and for spiritual meditations and healing rituals.

I'm grateful to my beloved 'life guard' Edith who invites me to swim each morning in her magnificent sparkly water. Wanting to express my gratitude, I made "Ripple Reflections" for Edith.

I dedicate "Ripple Reflections #2 With Joy" to my parents, z"l, of blessed memory. Until the late 1960's before Mom died, I watched as she loved the dancing rainbow reflections seen from crystals hanging in her room. Mom and Dad made 'reel' movies, splicing them with tiny tape to edit. A favorite theme was recording how food color looked as it was dropped into bowls of WATER. From Mom, I inherited my first gong and Asian bells. As I finished RR #2, I remembered the pleasure my parents had creating artistic scenes with nature. Sadly, when my mother died young from cancer, my grieving father ripped apart every reel of family and creative movie film. It's been five decades since I witnessed their water movies. I am thankful to my parents for the uplifting artistic inspiration I received.

Are we really seeing what we think we are seeing?

Ceci n'est pas une finger. (Ask Magritte.)

The image is only a shadow of a conducting finger.

We never know what ripple effect is created in the Kabbalistic Four Worlds by our own emotions, thoughts, words and actions. May we be blessed to create and share only good ripples in our universe.

BlesSings, Joy Krauthammer
~ ~ ~


- Joy Krauthammer ©

Parshat Ki Tavo
Moses instructs the people of Israel: When you enter the land that G‑d is giving to you as your eternal heritage, and you settle it and cultivate it, bring the first-ripened fruits (bikkurim) of your orchard to the Holy Temple, and declare your gratitude for all that G‑d has done for you.

Today I have great gratitude and I have picked not the 'first' but probably the last of this season's FIG crop in my garden which I tend for G*d. The figs are not the 'first-ripened fruits' but good to the last drop.  

Maybe there's a few figs left for upcoming days. It is important to me to share and give away in joy the greatest joy-- fantastic figs from my tree. I hire the gardener to bring a ladder and climb it to higher branches to pick figs for me to give away. Even a golf club tip pulling on branches does not work on the earlier heavily pruned shorter branches than prior years. In order to save my 32 year old fig tree, I had to deeply prune and cut the trunk which gave me great trepidation, yet faith. I had even purchased pruning tar for the major cuts to prevent problems.  G*d didn't let me down. 

This last Shabbat I brought a fig leaf huge decorated tray of delicious figs to a shul, Lev Eisha, and they were devoured. I deliver figs to friends and family, and I bring the fresh sweet plump figs to the Apple store to the Apple trainers and Apple Geniuses where I spend time learning. Sometimes I make dozens of individual packages for each favorite trainer but yesterday I brought a big bucket of them for all the many store staff to share; The last they will see of them for another year. People love eating the fresh figs. I bring the fresh picked figs to the local Fire Station # 70. Sometimes someone has never even seen figs before, and ask what they are. They are G*d's sweet gift to us.

~ ~ ~


Sounds of the Shofar Inspire Me

Joy's own hand-made Shofar in Sunny Southern California
Selfie © Joy Krauthammer 


~ JOY Krauthammer

SOUNDS of the SHOFAR (SOS) inspire me to open with a primal blast, the beginning of Elul on day one, Rosh Chodesh, for self-reflection/Cheshbon Hanefesh, knowing I can meet Our Beloved in the field. A serious soul journey lies ahead, and I am inspired to meditate on SOS!

SOS inspire me for the New Year to once again seasonally awaken to my Jewish tradition and heritage, and connect to my faith and beliefs, knowing SOS in the same sequence of blasts are heard around the world.
SOS help me to stimulate others when I play shofar. Friends receiving SOS are a gift to me, and I am further inspired with Chesed to give more and joyously do more mitzvot.
SOS, as I practice playing, inspire me to study Torah and understand more fully.

SOS inspire me to Shma/listen silently to the notes, and more deeply, in awe, and with strong kavannah/intention to be a better Ba'alat Tekiah (as my husband, z'l, taught me when we bought our first shofar in the Old City.)
Sounds of the Shofar inspire me to breathe deeply, expansively --G*d in and out.
SOS inspire me to use tools, instruments of music of my own faith, and to mamash delve deeper and higher into my Judaism.
SOS inspires me to share with pride and joy in interfaith gatherings with my own authentic ancient Jewish instrument of sound-- shofar, in addition to spiritually playing drum/tof and timbrel ala Miriyahm HaNeviah in temples. SOS inspire me to carve my own personal shofar.

The shofar inspires me through grateful breath to connect L'Dor V'Dor with my children and their child; to the Holy One, Mount Moriah, Mount Sinai, and to our People, all the way back to the ram caught in the thicket by its horns (Genesis 22:13); and to our Matriarch, Sarah, who died because of the Akeda/ the Binding. When I save little goats with their horned heads stuck in fences, and I give them freedom--I am inspired. Baruch Hashem.
~ ~ ~

HEARING SHOFAR, The Still Small Voice of the Ram's Horn, 2012-08-19 
post by Michael Chusid  (Thank you, Michael, for this illustrious blog and your dedication to sharing shofar.)
JEWELS OF ELUL VIII in  www.letmypeoplesing.com 
(Yasher Koach, Craig Taubman, in your 8th year sharing Jewels with us all.)

I was inspired to write on this topic because of the daily focus question posted in "Jewels of Elul VIII", 2012
"If you had to name three ways in which the sound of the shofar inspires you, what would they be?"
I dedicate "Sounds of the Shofar" to Reb Yosef Ben Shlomo Hakohen, z'l, whose first yahrzeit (27 Elul) is in three weeks. This will be the first Elul without Reb Yosef, a singer of holy songs. May he hear all the sounds of the shofarot around the world and in heaven.

CREATING MY SHOFAR, another illustrated SHOFAR story:

May all judgements be sweetened
May all prayers be accepted
May we merit to teshuvah shelayma b'simchah
(Thank you, Reb Sarah Leah.)

BlesSing before the shofar is blown
Barukh atah Adonai elokeinu melekh ha’olam, asher kidshanu b’mitzvotav, v’tzivanu lishmo’s kol shofar.
Blessed are You, Hashem our G*d, who makes us holy with mitzvot and gives us the mitzvah of hearing the sound of the shofar.

"Then you shall sound the horn loud; in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month—the day of Atonement—you shall have the horn sounded throughout your land." (Leviticus 25:9)

Grandbaby's first shofar
© AvivaBell Photography

AriellaShira and her Gemsbok Shofar
Seeing my friend immediately after she carved her own shofar,
I was inspired to photograph her.
photos and collage © Joy Krauthammer

Michael Chusid, Ba'al Tekiah (Hearing Shofar)
Joy Krauthammer, percussion
© Mark Reden
Joy Krauthammer, shofar
© Maria  2011
Toddler and shofar
© Joy Krauthammer
Jael Greenleaf, shofarot
© Joy Krauthammer 1992 or 1995
Shofar player and drummers
© Joy Krauthammer

B'nai Horin, Rabbis Stan Levy, Laura Owen
shofarist, Leslie Goldman and friends
© Joy Krauthammer

Rina Daly, shofar
© Joy Krauthammer

Shofar drawn by Pinkas
drawing in Grandma Ethel's home, now in Joy's.
Photo taken and developed by Arielle
Photo of photo drawing by Joy K.
It looks like I enjoy taking photos of shofars.  - Joy Krauthammer

Created My Shofar


In glowing terms I told the visiting SHOFAR FACTORY mavens (Levi from Australia, and Mendel from Brooklyn, as well as my Chabad rabbi) about the Hearing Shofar site and about Shofar Corps!!!  I enjoy reading and contributing thoughts to this expansive shofar site:  http://www.hearingshofar.com

I do own, enjoy, and play daily during Elul, a lovely light pearly colored, curvy shiny smooth shofar that I bought in the Old City. 

One of the mavens' dozen display horns was a Gemsbok; I recognized the earthy, long straight heavily rimmed and rough brown natural horn which can double as a percussion guiro!

Mavens and I arrived in Chabad parking lot at same time for the children's (and "young at heart") workshop.  From their car trunk, they brought in a several small horns for the young kids, and when I asked, they allowed me to look myself through their horn-filled car trunk. Looked like a horn graveyard, not appealing or respectful, but a whole lot of horns piled in to choose from. I didn't want an arbitrary horn.

In their auto trunk were a million small horns; I picked out one; not that I liked it or was drawn to it, didn't even have wonderful curvature, but a slight subtle curve, one flat side, no unwanted holes, and it did fit my hand size. I liked it more than the several others I lifted which did not appeal to me and were rough, flaky, scaly, barely curved, dull, thin or short. They didn't call out to me to take them. A very sad day if this was a pet adoption center.

I made the horn mine by stroking it, turning it over and over, like Torah. Touched the inside, the outside. I really liked the smooth dark pointy horn tip. I expected that the horn inside would smell bad and was surprised that the horn smelled OK.

There was a peculiar partially loose membrane tissue layer inside horn's large opening that I tried many times to remove. I mostly got it out by peeling, picking, scraping, and sanding it away without soaking it in hot water-- which is what I'd been advised to do at home.

I liked the horn's natural outside roughness but the maven said G*d wants us to beautify it and enhance it and do some work for it, so nu, I sanded and sanded. Looked dull, not polished. … I do know about Hiddur Mitzvah. Without being told, I also sanded the new 'to be' mouth piece to a pleasant bevel. 

With a slightly curved hanger wire, I measured the inside length of ram's horn until where it was plugged with core, and made a mark a little further on the outside of horn. Rabbi had earlier made a shorter mark but I liked my longer mark for where tip would be cut off. (Better safe than sorry.)

Wearing a dust mask and heavy gloves, I power sawed off the tip after I had sanded forever. I'd never used a hand power saw but I DID today! Had a trigger and was heavy and I kept pushing deeper and increasing the speed. I was the only one who insisted on doing it myself! I DID IT MYSELF and it looked good! The small cut piece has a beautiful coloring. I kept the 2 1/3" tip. I like the tip but it's too short for a percussion striker. If it was an umbilical cord, I would have buried it in ceremony.

Then, at my request, my rabbi let me drill a bit of the solid small end for the mouthpiece but he did most of the boring which is good so I didn't blow it. I had to participate in my shofar creating! I blew the dust out of hole but barely felt the expelled air. 

When after drilling the rabbi blew it-- now a shofar, and it sounded great! Now my turn. On my own, I said Shehecheyanu.  And ME, I can't get a sound out of it… OK, then I got a nothing / gornisht sound out of it, maybe a newborn baby single tekiah, so I know we both have potential…
oy vey.

Babies come through narrow straights. My rabbi quoted something about "narrow straights…"  What was that?  Mitzrayim? The maven said that I'll practice and get better.

Sanded large irregular open end to get off a small bothersome nubby chunk like nipple on the inside. I feel like the big open end has been circumcised to a new form, and it doesn't feel good. Sorry I let the maven sand off the nubbiness. They were ready to pack up after a couple hours, and were in a hurry so I didn't insist on doing it myself.  (I had let all the little kids go ahead of me.) I worked on another broken notchy place to smooth that out on same open large end.

I went outside the shul, and with consciousness held up with skinny wood skewers my shofar to the large spray can of shellac, noticing the wind direction. I shellacked the shofar to make it shiny because the mavens said that's what you do to make shofar look professional. With the sticks in my hand holding up shofar, it dries without my finger prints all over it, which there are anyway because I like touching it. 
(I like water smoothed rounded black river stones and like them shiny, so I add water or oil to them.)

I wouldn't have shellacked but there were two small scaly rough spots on the outside that would splinter and that refused to smooth out even though I sanded them for over an hour. I didn't have "filler wood" that the maven suggested. ("Not halachic" according to Hearing Shofar.) The more I sanded, the worse they got. Almost sanded to the inside. I added extra shellac to the layered rough spots. (It didn't help.)

What used to be a dull medium brown horn color is now a shiny, very dark mahogany shofar color. (I tried sanding off some shiny shellac and it only leaves unsatisfactory sanding scratchy lines!) Thankfully some of the horn texture where I purposefully only lightly sanded toward the narrow tapered end, is still visible looking like lovely dark and light wind ripples on the ocean sand or water. I don't like dark!

It's my shofar. With kavannah, I MADE IT.  Wish I could blow the notes on it…  I would like to connect to my shofar…

I dedicate my shofar making to my beloved rebbe, Yosef Ben Shlomo Hakohen, z'l, a singer of holy songs. He would have loved it that I made my own shofar. He would have loved it more if I could blow it.  Yosef's first yahrzeit is in 12 days. May he hear all the sounds of the shofarot around the world and in heaven.

© Joy Krauthammer

My Chabad rabbi tells me:
"It works just fine. Keep trying..."

next day. TEKIAH
Listening on the phone to my daughter and her cooing with baby infant and many new sounds, I picked up my new shofar, placed it in my hand, rolled it around to a comfort zone and while continuing to listen on the phone-- made a very long extended crystal clear high blast. I was stunned! Yet I knew it would happen because I wanted it badly and visioned it.  Baruch Hashem
My daughter didn't appreciate the blast and told me to warn her next time. She didn't understand my challenge.

 Blessing before Hearing Shofar  (from Hearing Shofar)

Baruch atah Adonai Elokaynu Melech ha-olam, asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav vitzivanu lishmo-ah kol shofar.

Blessed are you, Eternal One our G*d, Universal Sovereign, who sanctifies us with holy ways and commands us to hear the voice of shofar.

Following first time you hear shofar in Elul or Rosh Hashanah and at other significant occasions:

Baruch atah Adonai Elokaynu Melech ha-olam,
shehecheyanu, v’kiyamanu, v’higiyanu, lazman hazeh.

An 'Artist of Life'

Reprinted from Jewels of Elul VIII, Art of Aging Questions.

 How do you live your life as an art? 
 How does this make a difference as you age?  
 Name 3 ways in which you see your life as art, not science. 

I am an 'Artist of Life

~  Joy Krauthammer

My life as art comes from my heART. 
It beats as a drum 
and it is open 
and flows in abunDance.  
It is open to you.  
It is open to Oneness.   

The Kavannah/intention of my ART I live is uplifting and inspiring, authentic, truthful and joyous.  

ART does not hide; my art shares emotion, feelings, thoughts, beliefs, newness, oldness, nowness and Tiferet/beauty.  

I am pro-active in the creative role of writing, story-telling, sculpting, weaving, carving, potting, painting, planting, singing, dancing, drumming and photographing life.  
My art of life is a train track that travels as a Gemini in many directions, not direct on my journey,  
(and I hope, higher and higher)  
 and picking up passengers along the Tree of Life, my path.  

My Chesed/loving-kindness, sharing, giving, receiving, and Netzach/forward direction is felt and can not be measured (as is "science").  
I instinctively and intuitively know I ARTfully make a difference through my heART.  

ARTfully and heARTfully I am dedicated to being Joy.  
I will arrive at the Gate of Heaven and it shall be known that I was Joy, and not Zusha, nor you.  
Artfully I passionately and purpley infuse my life with love, vitality and joy and fairness.  
If on a measured balance scale, my artist of life being would tip toward Spirit, not science.  
(nor accomplished chores)  

ARTfully I am grateful to be alive in 4 Worlds of spirit, mind, heart and body.   

 Artfully and heARTfully I am grateful for many of the challenges and opportunities  in my life.  
In others, I try to discover and reveal the hidden blesSings.  
If science directed, I would lead in anxiety, not hope and faith.  
I would count my tears of grief, not warmth of joy.  

As I age, when I look back being an 'artist of life', 
I am happily surprised at where I've been, what I've done, how I've done, and with whom, and at what times. 
I have some regrets. 
I offer Brachot/blesSings. I teach how to give blesSings.
As I age, I recognize my mentors, and the transformation 
as I honor the years from mid-life to elder and sage as I become wisdom keeper and mentor. 
In ceremony and empowerment, I celebrated my baby-boomer Simchat Chochmah ~ Joy of Wisdom.

When I was a teen, aside from competitive scored sports where I was 'captain', I had no measurable skills, talents, degrees, but I had a natural innate joyous way of being, a smile and kindness-- I am told 50 years later by people who knew me then, closely or from the distance. 
 I still smile joyously because I am connected to G*D and community, and embrace the sacred in my life.  
As I age, I am more aware of this relationship to the Holy One
and Serving G*d in Joy. 
G*d loves me. I love G*d.

May G*d bless you.

 Heart Art 
Joy Krauthammer ©