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 Krauthammer

- Joy Krauthammer

Today was my 4th sighting of Bunny Rabbit. (See today's photo.) Is it because I used to call my young daughter, Bunny Rabbit (now shortened to 'Bun'), that I now have a visiting bunny in my garden? It really makes me happy and I smile. I don't think it makes the bunny happy that I see it. (Him or her, I don't know.) Why do I think that?  Because the bunny freezes when I get near at 8 yards away, with camera in my hand. This is the 3rd time I've seen Bunny this week in my back yard. Today's visit was early at 7 AM and he left through a side fence, dashing past succulents and under the flowering passion fruit vine.  The other day I tried following Bunny with a camera and he jumped quickly away and out through the front wrought iron gate. The first time was several weeks ago when I saw Bunny in the front yard as I drove into my driveway late one evening, after 9 PM. My car lights caught the vision. Excited, I sat still in the car. I thought maybe the animal was a giant gopher or opossum, but after it moved following its freeze, it jumped! I knew.  I wonder how often Bunny is here.

I see Bunny munching on my little patches of green grass. I'm not sure if he discovered my few berries on the vine, low to the ground. I don't think it is eating the new leaves on my baby fig trees. I don't think Bunny eats the oranges or grapefruits on the tree. Is he waiting for the figs to ripen? So why does Bunny like it here? I'm glad Bunny is not in my friend Edith's garden, because she grows lots of lettuce for herself. The other day, I went into a grocery and ordered freshly made carrot juice. Bunny didn't show so I drank the whole juice myself.

For Bunny, I am afraid of the overhead hawks. Luckily, lately last few years, I have not seen the unwelcome hungry coyotes which were always present. I called my neighbors and no one claimed ownership of Bunny. One said they'd seen a couple rabbits on the hill where we live. He's so cute. My daughter said he'd make a good pet. When ducks flew in here to my garden a few years ago and swam in my spa, I considered them my pets because I fed them and they came close.

When I was a child my older sister, Arielle, was given a bunny as a present from a Staten Island cousin, Paul Bell, z'l.  I loved the bunny. I called it Bunny Boy.  My younger sister, Faye, and I played with Bunny Boy. (See B/W photo)  Later I was told Bunny Boy was a girl. My dad built it a cage. My mother gave away our pet.

May my bunny be blessed with good health and happy humans. :)
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Bunny Boy, Joy & Faye
1952 ? NY
Brick in top photo covers the newest gopher hole. Amazing how much dirt is pushed out from the tunnels. :(

Yesterday's photo. Seeing Faye and I with Bunny Boy in our back yard garden where we grew up in Queens, NY, is a pleasure. We are sitting next to what had been a beautiful giant weeping willow tree, until the neighbor complained about it (afraid it would fall on his garage. ) Our dad, z'l, made a table out of its trunk. Not the same.

I'm so excited that last night when Aviva (who is visiting) drove me back home close to midnight following the cousins' Chanukah party, our car lights in the driveway caught sight of BUNNY, who jumped zigzag on the grass. It was the very location where I had first seen Bunny in the spring. Bunny was in our vision for at least a minute and that gave the greatest pleasure to me especially since I hadn't seen Bunny since earlier in summer. What I love is that Aviva, too, got to enjoy the wild uncommon sighting. What a treat.
- Joy 


Bunny Returns

Front Yard Bunny
© Joy Krauthammer  

I'm sooo excited that this morning a wild bunny was in my garden and has returned. I expect that again there will be lots of bunny pellet poop, and plants nibbled. I haven't seen Bunny since last spring, and I've been really upset that the hawk overhead and the coyote in my yard aren't friendly.  (The daily gopher needs to be extradited!)  So here's Bunny. She finally hopped into the sun for a moment to be photographed before running off when she saw me.  This is my 'photo safari'.  
 - Joy Krauthammer

Bunny and Froggy Meet
© Joy Krauthammer  


AriellaShira Lewis and her gemsbok shofar. Lower left shows it before fabrication. 
Top left shows her using the tip of the horn as a pua (striker) to run across the ridges
 on the horn to use it as a rythmic instrument.
©  Joy Krauthammer

-  Joy Krauthammer

With JOY IN THE MORNING, I shot the photos of AriellaShira and her newly created Gemsbok Shofar.

My thoughts below are reprinted from THE HEARING SHOFAR

Joy Krauthammer, MBA said...

Joyous Purim wisdom, double Adar 5751

As a temple musician-- a passionate performing percussionist and sound healer, I share with you that the Purim grogger, festive ritual noise maker (used to drown out Haman's name in Megillat Esther reading), is similar to a GEMSBOK SHOFAR. A Purim rattle is twirled and spins round the handle, and causes a thin flat piece of wood to flick over (‘to and fro’) a NOTCHED cog wheel set in a frame, making a noise. By cutting off, separating several inches of the slightly curved, black, smooth pointy tip of the long Gemsbok's horn, to create an opening for the shofar mouthpiece, it is revealed that this horn tip can be used as an 'offering'-- as a percussion scraper on the set of natural raised ridges of rings encircling the brown wide end of the raw, rough, splintery Gemsbok horn.

When rubbed in ‘to and fro’ motion with a PUA *, on the thick transverse rings, rasping percussive sounds are created and ‘heard’ on the horn, as on the grogger. Could it be that the shofar was a signaling instrument in alerting the Persian Jews that they could be saved from the king's edict in Shushan during the reign of Queen Esther, thus making the horn also a culturally authentic grogger? Hearing the Megillah and Shofar are both mitzvot.

Ethnic scraper percussion rhythmic instruments are spiritually used in most world cultures for sacred moments. (Scrapers and shofars are in LA’s Howard Ethnic Instrument Collection, Watts Tower Arts Center.) Performing world-beat percussion, I use a frog shaped wood guiro (Vietnamese or Thai), and also a Gemsbok-like guiro (Latin American) made from hollow gourd, aka calabazo, with parallel carved out grooves, along with a fragrant sage branch stick PUA, a scraper/wand, to make long and short raspy, ratchet (and croaking) sounds.

Biblical Miriyahm HaNeviah, the Prophetess, a percussionist, Shemot, Exodus 15:20, was also known as "Puah"*, Exodus, 1:15, a mid-wife, who sang soft cooing sounds as she gently rocked ‘to and fro’ and stroked with her voice and hand-- like a wand, the baby boys she saved from Pharaoh's edict against the Jews. Gemara Sotah 11a. As Puah with (po'ah) she drowned out the sounds of the murder edict.

My friend, and ritual teaching partner, ARIELLASHIRA LEWIS created with Michael Chusid's (Hearing Shofar) guidance her GEMSBOK shofar for rituals, by carving the opening, the hollow 'inside' mouth piece. She is a healer, and a Ba’alat Tekiah/shofar blower for Simchat Chochmah ceremonies (www.simchatchochmah.blogspot.com), and for women's Rosh Chodesh/New Moon rituals, as is traditional. With her soulful breath/Ruach, and holy kavanah/intention, AriellaShira beautifully and with awesome rich sustained sound, plays her new Shofar. AriellaShira created this personal ceremonial tool during her Simchat Chochmah, and shamanic journey. I think her shofar is from a female Gemsbok.

AriellaShira joyously demonstrated to me, as she stroked her new Gemsbok horn's wide end and long length of ridges of rings with her PUA/wand--horn tip, that she transformed her Shofar to be used in holy ritual and ceremony, also into a scraper PERCUSSION instrument. AriellaShira fashioned the horn’s cut tip into her wand for her musical playing pleasure. (See photo collage of AriellaShira playing her Gemsbok shofar as a wind and percussion instrument. http://hearingshofar.blogspot.com/ 2011-02-21) AriellaShira Lewis, from South Africa where the Gemsbok roam, informed me that Gemsbok is pronounced with a gutteral 'ch', ‘Ch’emsbok’. The sacrificial ram, the 'offering' in Torah's Genesis 22:13 Akeidah, may have been crying out for us to hear, "Use me, don't abuse me. I shall make music for you."

BlesSings for magical healing sounds, health, wholeness, shalom and joy,
JOY Krauthammer
Serve G*d With Joy

What excites is that I can create a PUA/wand from a Gemsbok horn, and play the shofar as percussion. This will enhance and amplify my spiritual playing. See my earlier COMMENT on AriellaShira Lewis regarding this transformational experience.

I love that the PUA is also a name, PUAH, for Miriyahm HaNeviah. Exodus 1:15. This connection is meaningful to me-- joining woman's voice in Torah to percussion.

I include PUAH teachings shared from one of my rebbes, Rahmiel Hayyim Drizin:

'Puah'  This was Miriam (called Puah) because she cried and talked and cooed to the newborn infant in the manner of women who soothe a crying infant. Puah is an expression of crying out, similar to “Like a travailing woman will I cry " (Isa. 42:14). Rashi on Sotah 11a explains that she played with the infant to soothe and amuse him. Rashi to Shemot 1:15, citing Gemara Sotah 11a

‘Pu'ah’ is Miriam; and why was her name called Puah? Because she cried out (po'ah) to the child and brought it forth. Another explanation of Pu'ah is that she used to cry out through the Holy Spirit and say: ‘My mother will bear a son who will be the savior of Israel’. Sotah 11a
~ ~ ~

During the High Holidays, 1995, Makom Ohr Shalom held services at UCLA. Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi (Aleph and Jewish Renewal movement founder) officiated with Cantor Monty Turner. (I am one of their musicians.) Reb Zalman knew that I was trained by my husband, Marcel Krauthammer, z'l, in blowing shofar. I felt good that I could play all the ritual notes. Prior to Rosh Hashanah, Michael Chusid demonstrated to me another technique for blowing shofar that I continue to share when teaching others to play.

Reb Zalman, during the Days of Awe service, called upon me to come to the bima and play my shofar and "to represent the women of the world". He was aware that a major international conference on women had just finished in China. He wanted that powerful energy to come through the voice of the ram. With great kavanah, I sounded the shofar for the congregation.

As a mitzvah, and in my husband's zechut/merit, I continue to play shofar, even over the telephone, especially for those Jewish friends who miss my husband playing shofar for them. May his soul continue to have an ilui neshamah/soul elevation.

Have a joyous Adar and
BlesSings for hearing shofar, rhythm, having gratitude, health, shalom and joy,
JOY Krauthammer
Serve G*d With Joy