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

Fall's Fallen Red Leaves

- Joy Krauthammer

Fall's fallen red leaves
make my heart skip a beat
and my feet 
skip in joy.

© Joy Krauthammer

Early morning,
silly I feel 
jumping into the little pile of leaves
moist with evening's foggy dew.

Autumn 2013 

Fall's fallen foliage
peak in redness.
Please peek at picture.

Sharing the only red leaves
I've encountered in LA.

love and blesSings, Joy

© Joy Krauthammer

Love lone Liquidambar styraciflua, 
sweet gum tree in Santa Monica.
Five pointed leaves turn crimson, flutter down. 
Their fruit-- spiky, prikly hard round pods,
hang over my parked car.

On a thick foggy fall,
early Sunday morning
as I squat on the damp ground
and photograph beauty,
walkers go silently past.

Do they see the brilliant red leaves
 solely on this tree?

- Joy Krauthammer
~ ~ ~



Tomato Harvest in the Morning

Harvesting 90 years young Edith's tomatoes at end of summer and before Yom Kippur,
 is a blesSing for me.
And then she gave all of them to me to share with my sister!
© Joy Krauthammer

Morning's Joy-Filled Deep Delights

Bird and flower photos taken in Adar 5773 during experience of
"Morning's Deep Delights".
All photos and collages © Joy Krauthammer

Nature represents to me the Face of G*d, and I help to reveal the Holy One.

 "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)

Bird photos and collage © Joy Krauthammer

Morning's Deep Delights

- Joy Krauthammer  

My heart swells, exploding with joy as I greet my garden this morning, as my garden greets me.  Home after being away for the weekend, I am grateful to again be in my garden. My hillside eastern distant view is fog-filled today like an Asian landscape, and no mountains are visible. They will return.

This morning the garden Hawk is shouting noisily as it flies overhead, not even soaring, but intent on flying far.

The cute little Hummingbird with its long beak is perched on her tallest branch of the fig tree, budding with new spring, bright green leaf growth and teensy baby figs the size of peas! It's Shehecheyanu* praise time. The bright morning sun illuminates the dazzling iridescent Peacock-colored feathers of Hummers back. Her wings quickly flutter and she then continues quietly to sit doing her observant morning meditation before flying off for nectar. Hummer returns throughout each of the days to her 18 foot high look-out point. As I photograph the beautiful jewel-hued feathers I'm careful not to fall down the slope.

Nearby and within view of each other, Ms. Mockingbird, singing her continuous sweetest symphony of song sits on her favorite perch on the highest prickly branch of huge Pyracantha bush growing on the top of northern slope high above my Citrus trees and Fig tree.

Every day I am so blessed to see my friends. My smile from deep inside reaches out, spreading, stretching across my face; yes, ear to ear. No need to contain joy, I call out, "Thank you G*d, I love you."

Two new golden Daffodils, the pair side by side and amongst the growing artichoke plants, face the east near edge of slope. (The little Paper-Whites have already blossomed and are dried.) Careful not to slip down steep side, I crouch down low to see closely inside their faces facing the rising sun.  Luckily this year, although we need them, rains had not pounded down, dirtying in the earth, a lone daffodil's pretty face. One Daffodil, the first, had already visited adjacent to the lengthy massive purple Hardenbergia vine along the southerly wrought-iron strong fence. Ms. Hardenbergia (looking like tiny baby purple wisterias) has been giving me the greatest blooming pleasure last couple weeks but sadly they too are finishing. I've never seen another Hardenbergia in Los Angeles.

The season's first beautiful blended red and white, delicious fragrant Double Delight rose (a favorite child) is opening her bud to majestic form. I am in love with you. I breathe You in deeply. How much can my heart accept? Toward my down slope I see the yellow Freesias, low to the ground; a dozen buds on a straight slender single stem accompany the opening of the first delicate face with millions more of the stems to come alive and then curve down with their weight. The Freesia bulbs increase while my beloved Daffodil bulbs decrease from the many dozens I'd lovingly planted in years past.

Beyond the Freezias I look over the southern facing fence and witness the welcome wild native purple Lupines. I am so blessed to have them, and I am so happy to greet them but they are too far for me to closely embrace their purple joy. My zoom lens will bring Lupines closer to me. Last spring, walking on the slope, I spread their collected seeds not to leave to chance the purple flowering on the hillside. Seeds pop out from crisp curly dried brown pods. After the winter rains, in anticipation for flowers, I search out their clover-like leaves for evidence of future joy.  

For brand new birthing I am sooo excited to see under the pruned and mostly barren fig tree, my opening orange Clivias. One thick stem cluster has appeared in joy with two more tight clusters readying to slowly open. I am so grateful that the Clivia transplant from the front garden I did a few years ago has succeeded. The hiding clusters used to visit in January and now flowering is beginning of March. The garden is confused by strange weather patterns.

Standing at the high fence and looking down the southern slope admiring the purple Lupines, across the street in the distance I see a woman rummaging in the neighbor's trash as it sits on the curb waiting for Monday morning pick-up. This scene I don't like. I think she will explore my garbage next and sure enough she crosses the street... In my cozy warm purple pajamas I go outside the front door and ask what the middle-aged stranger was doing in the neighbor's trash. "Bottles to collect for cash". I open my recycle blue bin to see what I can give to her. Yalanda is walking a neighbor's dog, as she works full-time down the street, she says, for a "mean woman." I listen and share compassion. I tell Yalanda she is fortunate because while working as a day house cleaner for the couple and their teen child, she gets to be outside on a beautiful morning and walk the cute little dog. 

Yalanda admires my perky blooms. I go inside to get my pruners and cut tall red flowers for her. I ask if she has a garden. Speaking a little Spanish, I tell Yalanda that I learned from my parents to share the garden that comes from G*d. I explain that my young flourishing succulent garden (good for drought areas) has also come from little cuttings gifted to me. I cut each of the flowering succulent varieties for Yolanda to also plant in her garden. Receiving her gratitude, I also pull out and give Yalanda rooted babies to grow the same amazing red strange flowers that she is admiring. Lagartijas, Lizards I think they are called, flower in the sun, not really in the house. I know as I've had them when I was a child. These flowers had come from my father's, z"l, OBM, Florida garden 35 years ago. (Hummingbirds enjoy their tubular blossoms.) Next year Yalanda will have her own new colorful garden. We share smiles and say to each other, "I love you".

* Baruch Ata Yah, Elokeinu Ruach Ha'Olam, Shehecheyanu V'chi'imanu, V'higiyanu Lazman Hazeh.
Blessed are You, G*d, Spirit of the universe, who has granted us life, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this season/occasion.
Talmud (Berachot 54a, Pesakhim 7b, Sukkah 46a, etc.

Golden Daffodils
Red Bryophyllum, Kalanchoe (Lagarhito)
 photos and collage © Joy Krauthammer

Grape Muscari
4" tall
© Joy Krauthammer 
Mexican Sage
© Joy Krauthammer
 Freesia photos and collage
© Joy Krauthammer

  flower by seed
© Joy Krauthammer

 © Joy Krauthammer

Purple Lupines
 photos and collage © Joy Krauthammer

Pretty purple
 © Joy Krauthammer
Intoxicating purple scent
 © Joy Krauthammer

Double Delight rose
 photos and collage © Joy Krauthammer

Ms. Hummingbird
at least 20' high in fig tree
 © Joy Krauthammer
Figtree branch and fig size of pea
 © Joy Krauthammer

Misty Morning Facing East from Joy's Garden
 © Joy Krauthammer

 photos and collage © Joy Krauthammer
Passion Fruit maturing on vine
 © Joy Krauthammer
Dandelion weed in Bermuda grass
 © Joy Krauthammer
Menacing Hawk who lives by garden and usually soars.
 © Joy Krauthammer 

Orange Tree and blossoms
photos and collage © Joy Krauthammer

© Joy Krauthammer
Grapefruit and Valencia Orange trees
 © Joy Krauthammer
Grapefruit and Valencia Orange trees 33+ years
I planted for daughter's 2nd birthday
© Joy Krauthammer

My gorgeous garden flowering Aeonium succulent
planted about 30 years ago.
(Adjacent to green Agave Attenuata)
I also have "Zwartkop" Aeonium, all dark purple leaves.
Aeonium Altropurpeum with yellow flowers, dark Aeonium Zwartkop and Agave Attenuata
© Joy Krauthammer

Lagartijos, Rose Pink "viviparous" Kalanchoe succulent
© Joy Krauthammer
Aeonium Arboreum Altropurpeum flower
yellow flower detail each 1/2 inch diameter.

 © Joy Krauthammer
Aeonium flower cone spikes
spikes about 10" tall
on arboreum Altropurpeum.
 © Joy Krauthammer...
Purple Weed 1/4" flower
© Joy Krauthammer
 © Joy Krauthammer

What is this low yellow flower?
 © Joy Krauthammer
Fig tree birthing babies
photos and collage
 © Joy Krauthammer

For more Garden of Joy photos filled with RAINDROPS in Adar

~ ~ ~

Ripple Reflections

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


- 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 ripples effect are 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 and 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, suprises, 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.) Together, may we be blessed to 'finger paint' 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 '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, Ripple Reflections 1).  THANK YOU.

Love and BlesSings, 
JOY Krauthammer
26 Elul

These ripples 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."

HUMMERS in Edith's Garden

HUMMERS in Edith's Garden

Regularly, Edith cooks and strains Hummingbird food and refills her Hummingbird feeders. 
Frequently following my early morning summer swims in Edith's pool, to be helpful, I take four feeders down from porch high hooks and  
later replace them high up with the once again, newly cleaned and filled feeders.
About 20 Hummingbirds were present when I shot these photos. It amazes me that they sit at length, leisurely eating/drinking because I had learned that Hummers don't stop flying! 
The orange tailed Hummer is the bully; chases all others away from eating.
These Hummers trust Edith, and stay longer when the cat and dog are not around.
The Hummers even go to feeding locations when feeders have been moved elsewhere, looking for the feeders.
I wish I could see Hummingbird tongues sucking up the sugary water.
With Joy In The Morning, I could sit here all day with Edith watching the Hummers.

© Joy Krauthammer 



Palm HeART

Palm HeART
Edith's Garden

© Joy Krauthammer  

Each morning after swimming in Edith's pool, I get to pick juicy red fruit of the vine.

SHIN TREE by Edith's Pool

SHIN * TREE by Edith's Pool

- Joy Krauthammer  © 2012

This morning at 7:30 am, as most mornings for the last 3 weeks, I've been blessed to swim again in Edith's pool this summer, and 89 year old Edith continues to serve as my excellent Life Guard.  With her sitting at the edge of the pool, I never experience anything but absolute joy. With high Valley temperatures, I'm grateful for the warm water once my body gets immediately acclimated following the few moments of body entry chill. 

What I call the Shin* Tree gives me much pleasure. Many shots I've taken of the mature three palms only five feet from where I enter the pool, but this morning I focused on the little fig tree growing in the middle of the bottom of the very tall three palms where they join in joy. There's a couple of other plants also in the center; a baby palm and another plant, maybe another tree. Usually I photograph looking up to the top of the tree with big bunches of dates hanging and large fronds, and with beautiful blue sky behind.

The fig probably caught my attention because only this last week has my fig tree offered me luscious ripe dark purple figs. Because I pruned so severely this last January for Tu B'Shvat (birthday of the trees holiday), it has taken longer for the fig tree to regrow new branches and to manifest its bounty. (I gave away all the small branches for people to grow their own fig trees, hundreds.) The figs are now also higher and harder to reach because of the powerful pruning I needed to do to save the heavily laden branches from totally toppling the trunk. In sadness, I feared that I might have lost my 31 year-old magnificent mother tree but she survived the surgery.

I share this "joy in the morning" with you.  Since Tisha B'Av (a day and three weeks period of mourning Jewish tragedies that befell us at this time of Av over the centuries) is now over, I can again feel great pleasure in the pool. Sometimes I consciously limit my swimming to only exercise and health. Yesterday I prayed so long and deeply on the steps before entering the pool, that I forgot my intention to swim and when Edith came outside to greet me, I was still praying and dry, and alloted swim time was disappearing. Yesterday was tomato juice ** making morning for Edith, so I could not stay too long.

Last week I experienced a new vision in the pool. I was a set of oars; kayak oars. My arms became oars and I was happy when I realized this. Sadly, I have not kayaked since over a year ago. Even in Costa Rica this year, I didn't get to kayak.  As you may know from my other posts, other years, in the pool I've been cymbals, a seahorse, a turtle and a cello, but last week I was oars!  I shape-shift. Many times I imagine that I'm in a lake, especially when there are leaves and palm seeds floating on the pool surface.  Edith's pool is a great place of visualization and holy meditation for me.

Today like many mornings, from inside the pool I look up at Edith sitting in the old grey plastic chair and see the morning sun shining from the East through her beautiful wavy white hair. I sometimes wish that I had my camera in the pool, at the deep end where she sits near by, because there is more shade. With another new good camera, I don't think I'll risk it. Did you see my fun water ripple shots from last summer? I love standing on the pool steps and jiggling my hands or knees in the water so that waves form and make wavy water reflections and I meditate on them and become mesmerized. 

Lola, Edith's large black lab continues to doggie paddle swim with me, chasing after her green tennis ball that Edith pitches far out to the pool or garden for Lola's exercise.  

The hummingbirds continue to visit. Edith saw ten today. They are too fast for me to count as they fly over to suck in through their long thin beaks, her specially made sugar food mixture in the four hummingbird hanging feeds. The dragon fly visits in the pool as I swim, as does an occasional wasp flying by or floating on the water. And of course, Edith's garden grows and feeds her family and guests, and I luck out this week with ripe red large yummy tomatoes. I used to eat them on the spot standing in the dirt, but now I carry them home to eat each bite with basil leaves on the plant that sits on my kitchen counter. It's my third basil plant from Trader Joes; For my birthday, Edith gifted me with the second basil. Most amazing about this plant is that every time I add water to the pot, the leaves exude a strong basil aroma, so I keep watering it for that pleasure. 

I save some of the tomato loot to share with my sister, Faye. Yesterday I shared fresh lichee nuts with Edith. It's a rare treat to find them in the grocery. I also love to share my figs with Edith because her fig tree is still young.  (I love sharing my figs with everyone!) I'm greatly grateful to have dear Edith in my life. I love her.

A week after posting the above, Raul the tree climber ("a monkey"), came by with his spiky climbing shoes, ropes and electric saw, and cut off most of the palm fronds from 5 tall trees, leaving the trees looking very different, naked.  Edith's trees and Edith's huge furry cat have all been shaved this week.

* Shin is a letter in the Hebrew alphabet which appears to visibly have 3 legs joined together. Shin is also a letter that represents a name of G*d, Shadai, thus I love what I call "Shin trees"; trees that look like Shins. Shad is also the Hebrew word for breast. G*d can be compared to a loving breast filled with mother's milk flowing to us when we yearn and there is a 'let down' of the milk.
August 6, 2012

Excerpt from Chabad's Tanya Iggeret HaKodesh, beginning of Epistle 8

Now, the descent of this illumination downwards to this world, is called “G‑d’s kindness,”
For though this illumination is drawn down as a response to the divine service of the Jew, it outshines it out of all proportion. Its bestowal upon the lower worlds is thus truly an act of “G‑d’s kindness,”
המכונה בשם מים, היורדים ממקום גבוה למקום נמוך כו׳
which is referred to as water(10 Zohar II, 175b) for it descends from a high place to a low place....(11Cf. Tikkunei Zohar 69:105a)

“G‑d’s kindness” is drawn down through man’s “arousal initiated from below.” It is thus the coin that one gives a pauper that grants the giver the gift of “beholding G‑d’s face” — the internal aspect of G‑dliness — during prayer. In this way, man’s kindness and tzedakah elicit G‑d’s kindness and tzedakah. - Chabad

To read more about Edith, my dear friend and life guard:
I shot photos of the tall palm trees reflecting in the pool, and also baby tomatoes, and I include them in collage in "Swim Time". 

Shin Tree, Brandeis Bardin 
from a fire, giant magnificent tree adjacent to House of the Book
burnt down leaving Shin tree trunk.
Joy Krauthammer  © 

Shin Tree, Brandeis Bardin
along a path during an early morning walk
Joy Krauthammer  © 

Edith's Tomato Juice, as she calls it, or Andaluz Gazpacho, as I call it.
Either way, it tastes heavenly
Joy Krauthammer  ©  2012


Bon Bon Cat

Bon Bon Cat

by Joy Krauthammer ©

Bon Bon, Annie's cat, has been living with Edith for a few months. Today was the first time I had interacted with Bon Bon. She doesn't like new people, is what I'd been told because she'd been abused in her earlier years. It was morning swimming time for me at Edith's and I was surprised that Bon Bon came outdoors to the garden by Edith's pool. I decided to jump right in and greet Bon Bon, or rather allow Bon Bon to meet me. I carefully walked slowly over to the standing huge grey cat with very long thick hair and I said, HI.  Cat looked at me, and meowed and I also meowed and we continued the conversation. She came closer and closer. Did NOT run away.  I extended my right arm and put out my open hand. Bon Bon came over and smelled my fingers as I expected. I had passed the Bon Bon test. I felt good because an animal liked me and maybe trusted me. I tried patting Bon Bon's head between her ears but that didn't go over as well, and we both retreated. Since we were sort of friends, I took photos of Bon Bon. Here's one of sitting Bon Bon a moment before I stroked her head and she walked away back into the house.

Bon Bon, one week after the above post, received a new furdo, and if she were a dog, would look like a poodle. I need a photo of her tail.  She still likes me, and especially likes when I stroke under her chin. Bon Bon loves to roll around on ground in front of me. Babies should roll this easily.

are taken within a couple minutes of each other as she quickly moves with many more faces. 
Send this cat down the catwalk; She's beautiful with many moods.
Why didn't I use a video?

Joy Krauthammer ©

Joy Krauthammer ©

Bon Bon AKA Sparkles or Caty, one year later 2013

Joy Krauthammer ©

Joy Krauthammer ©

Joy Krauthammer ©

Joy Krauthammer ©

Joy Krauthammer ©

Joy Krauthammer ©

Joy Krauthammer ©