Serve G*d With Joy

"Ivdu Et HaShem B'Simcha"
Joy Krauthammer ©

Prayer by Leah Schweitzer


empty us     empty us
of unnecessary fear and hesitation

help us face obstacles,
that may, in the fullness of time
reveal themselves as blessings

empty us
of those clever arguments
those cunning defenses
we think we need
whenever we try
to mask our weaknesses and limitations

empty us
of opinion and judgment
about other people’s business

remind us
that whenever we stray
all we need to do is return

remind us to be mindful
of the courage it sometimes takes
to reach for the highest in us

bless us
with loving family
and caring friends

guide us to tefilah     tzedakah     t’shuvah

take us high     take us deep

keep us thankful

Leah Schweitzer
wishing you and yours a year of health, peace and fulfillment--
Leah and Norm

Sonnet/Prayer by Esther Cameron

Tomorrow -- day of judgment and creation!
Our lives and the world’s life are on the scale.
We shall approach and wait with trepidation
To learn if good or – better -- will prevail.
And You – You wait for us to crown You King,
To hearken, each within their little sphere,
To Your instruction, till Your pathways bring
Us all together, and Your plan appear.
Send us your strength, that we may send You ours
To make Your inward goodness manifest
In shape that can face down the outward powers
That storm this world, our faith and will to test,
Even as we see You through the screen, and hear
Your voice above all noise of lesser fear.
                                                            Esther Cameron

You Are 'Standing Today' by Rav Sholom Brodt

SHOFAR excerpt from Reb Shlomo Carlebach, z'l, on Netzavim/Vayelech
The All of Me

You know friends, life is also a combination of two things. On the one hand I have to do things like everybody else, meaning that there are certain rules which everybody has to do. But then there is something which only I have to do, nobody else can do it. There is one thing which makes me so special. Everybody has something so special which is so deep and this cannot be written down in words. Once a year G-d is revealing to us what we have to do and this happens when we blow the shofar. When we hear this voice of G-d everybody hears what this special thing is that he has to do, and it's not in words.

Anything which has to do with me which everyone else is doing is on the level of details. Keeping Shabbos, putting on tefilin, being good, eat with a fork, don't talk evil about other people, be positive and do this and do that is all very beautiful, but it's all details. Then that one thing which is just 'I' is the all. There is one thing which touches the all of me which is the deepest depths of my existence.

Parshas Nitzavim -
Rav Sholom Brodt, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivat Simchat Shlomo

       "You are all standing today before Hashem your G-d, all of you, your leaders of your tribes, your elders and your officers, every man of Yisrael; your children, your wives and the convert that is in your camp, from the hewer of your wood to the drawer of your water. To pass you through [to enter] in the covenant of Hashem your G-d, and His oath, that Hashem your G-d is cutting with you today. In order that He establish you today unto Himself as a nation, and He will be unto you a G-d, as He has spoken to you and as He has sworn to your ancestors, to Avraham, to Yitzchak and to Yaakov. [Devarim 29:9-12]

       "All of you", that is everyone of us, from our greatest leaders to our most simple, holy simple heart warming wood choppers and thirst quenching water carriers. All of us are standing together, not only those of you who are present here today, but also whoever is not here yet today.

       "Today", our holy Rebbes teach us, refers to Rosh Hashanah, the "day of judgment." All of us, whatever state we are in, in a state of "mochin de'gadlus" higher consciousness or in a state of "mochin de'katnus" small mindedness; in our creative states and in our simple labour states, as leaders, as followers, as woodchoppers, as water carriers, all of us are standing before G-d, TODAY!

       Oh G-d, please embrace us, with a loving embrace, a healing embrace to remember that day when we were standing there all together; to remind us that TODAY too we are standing before You. Give us the strength to embrace You and Your love and truth. Give us please, the strength to return to You, to reaffirm our commitment to You, to our brothers and sisters, to our parents to our holy children and to Your Torah, in joy with strength and love. Please bless us with the quick arrival of Mashiach, in our days, and the rebuilding of Your Holy Temple. Amen Kein Yehi Ratzon.


For this [body of] commandment[s] which I am commanding you today, is not concealed from you nor is it distant. It is not in the skies that you should say, "Who will go up to the skies and take it for us, and tell it to us, so that we can keep it?" Nor is it across the sea, that you should say, "Who will cross to the other side of the sea and fetch it for us, to tell it to us so that we can keep it?" Rather, this thing is very near to you, in your mouth and heart to observe it.      (Devarim 30:11-14)

       The Torah and its mitzvot are not concealed from us, nor is their observance beyond our capabilities. The Talmud says "Ain Hakadosh Baruch Hu ba bitrunya im bree'yotav." G-d does not come in a storm with his creatures - Hashem does not ask us to do something, that we are not capable of doing. Even though at times we feel that we are incapable of withstanding our temptations, like it is impossible to keep the commandments, we need to remember that the very fact Hashem commanded us is proof that we do have the capability to do accordingly.

       The fulfillment of the mitzvot is not equally easy or difficult for each person. Nor is it always equally difficult or easy to do the mitzvot. Life circumstances change every so often, and what was easy yesterday may be very difficult today, and vice versa. We need to know clearly, without any doubts - that every Jew possesses the capability of 'messirut nefesh', the strength and capability to give our lives for the sanctification of Hashem's Name. The Tanya teaches us that not only can we access this phenomenal power of complete devotion to Hashem, when faced with the ultimate choice of turning away from Hashem, or giving our lives for Hashem, we can learn to utilize this great strength to live for G-d each day of our lives. (See Tanya chap. 25) It is in this sense that the Torah is "not distant from you ... Rather, this thing is very near to you, in your mouth and heart to observe it."

       In his commentary on the Tanya (Ch. 25) Rav Steinsaltz explains that it has been said that the difference between the righteous and the one who is not yet righteous can be portrayed as follows: both say "Wait, I'll attend to you soon." The righteous one says this to his 'yetzer hara' - his evil inclination, whereas the one who is not yet righteous in his behaviour says this to his 'yetzer hatov' - his righteous inclination. However every Jew can learn to access and utilize his and her embedded and innate love for Hashem to live and act righteously each day at all times.

       The Sfas Emes explains that "the mitzvah is not concealed from you ... rather, it is very near to you, in your mouth and heart" teaches us that Hashem has given us the ability to relate to both the revealed and hidden aspects of the Torah. The Torah is accessible to us and near to us both in our speech [intellectual understanding] and in our hearts [emotional understanding]. New aspects of the Torah are revealed to us each day via the wisdom of the mind and the understanding of the heart.

       The key for unlocking the wisdom of the Torah and its secrets is found in the performance of the mitzvot - "For the mitzvah is a candle and the Torah is light." Through our doing of the mitzvot we acquire the needed light to learn and understand both the revealed and hidden aspects of the Torah.

       To acquire the light of the Torah and to see clearly in its light we further need to make a blessing both before and after the reading and the study of the Torah - beforehand so that the gateways should be opened for us, and after so that we should have a correct and true understanding of what was revealed to us. (Based on 5664.) 

Have a wonderful Shabbos,
B'ahavah ubivracha
Rav Sholom Brodt

with great sadness
May the memory of the sweeetest neshama Rav Sholom Brodt, z"l, be for a blesSing.
10 Elul 5777 - Sept. 1, 2017
(Levaya motzei Shabbat  12 Elul,  Mount of Olives)

Rav Sholom Brodt
San Fernando Valley, CA
© Joy Krauthammer 

Reb Sholom and friends, the Mallers and Joy Krauthammer
Very blessed that Rav Sholom z"l, accepted my invitation to teach one evening in the San Fernando Valley - Joy

Rav Sholom died 10 Elul 5777 - Sept. 1, 2017   
 Sholom Brodt received semicha on April 13, 1989. He was born on August 2, 1949 and studied in Ner Yisrael in Toronto and at the Chabad Yeshiva Tomchei Temimim in Montreal. He completed a BA in economics at Concordia University in Montreal and an MA in Jewish education at Yeshiva University in Manhattan. He first met Reb Shlomo at a concert in Montreal in 1963, and over the years became close to him especially when Shlomo and Neila were living in Toronto during the late 1970s. Sholom married Judy Tibor, a devoted follower of Reb Shlomo and the couple worked in Montreal in Jewish education. 
(They were living in what used to be the mikvah under bet knesset Ohel Moshe in Nachlaot. (Then they moved to 18 Gilboa St.
In 1988/1989, the Brodts spent a sabbatical year in Jerusalem and Sholom studied in Knesseth Beis Eliezer of Rabbi Yaakov Moshe Poupko. 

One Sunday morning on April 9, 1989, after the Brodts had spent Shabbat at Moshav Me’or Modi’im, Reb Shlomo encountered Sholom and announced: “Sholom, I’m giving you semicha this week, whether you’ll be there or not.” Thus, on April 13, 1989, an official ceremony was held in the Brodt’s apartment in Mekor Baruch, Jerusalem with Shlomo presenting a hand written document with inspirational blessings and lofty aspirations. Using a range of idiomatic themes and associative wordplays intertwined with biblical and rabbinic citations, Shlomo broadened the classical ordination formula of Yoreh Yoreh, Yadin Yadin. He included the discernment of varying shades of truth, judgment in matters pertaining to both physical and monetary holiness and a devotion to all that is good. 

The Brodts came to live in Israel in 1994. [Reb Shlomo died in 1994.]  In 2003, they founded Yeshivat Simchat Shlomo in Nachlaot, Jerusalem – the first full-time Carlebach yeshiva in Israel offering text-based and experiential programs in Talmud, Prayer, Meditation, Kabbalah, Hasidut, and Jewish storytelling.
Rav Sholom was a chassid of The Lubavitch Rebbe.    - Natan Ophir

May Rav Sholom's, z"l, memory be for a blesSing.

New Year 5778, Harav Yitzchak Ginsburgh

New Year 5778, Harav Yitzchak Ginsburgh

New Year’s greeting from Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh

Notes below from video.

Tuf Shin 400+300=700 + Ayin Chet 70+7 = 78  = 778

bakesh shalom TO SERVE PEACE.
THIS is year of redemption

  1. Go away from evil
  2. Do maximum GOOD
  3. Bakesh shalom, Search and request PEACE, pursue peace, ultimate service to Hashem even more than first 2. = 778
5778 Main teaching is heard on video at 1:25:40. 
"Find a good friend. Have a good friend, year of friendship."

Pirkei Avot, make for yourself a mentor, rabbi, invest in a friend. tremendous investment of soul to have a friend, Chaver. How does one find maintain a good friend? 

Search for peace and pursue after it.

"Seek Peace and Pursue It.”   Psalm 34:15, a psalm from our morning liturgy
 – Mi ha-ish hechafetz chayim – bakesh shalom v’rodfehu 
– “Who is the person who wants life, who desires days of seeking good?…
Turn from evil and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.”

Pursuing this topic of FRIENDSHIP, I found the following on internet:

Pirkei Avot chapter 1  Mishna 6(a): Rabbis Versus Friends

BlesSings to find for yourself a good friend in this new year.
I am mamash grateful for my rabbi and my friends in this life. - Joy

New Year 5773, 5774, Harav Yitzchak Ginsburgh

View blog article on Message for New Year 5773, by Harav Yitzchak Ginsburgh

On Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, we traditionally eat foods whose names carry a positive symbolic connotation. Just as we taste foods as positive symbols at the festive table on Rosh Hashanah, so we can find good signs in the year’s number too. As Rosh Hashanah 5773 (ה’ תשע”ג) approaches, let’s take a look at the good signs that this year’s number reveals to us.
Firstly, 773 (תשע”ג) is the numerical value of the phrase, “Open my eyes and I will see wonders [of Your Torah]” (גַּל עֵינַי וְאַבִּיטָה נִפְלָאוֹת [מִתּוֹרָתֶךָ]). Moreover, the initial letters of just the first two words in this phrase, “Open my eyes,” (גַּל עֵינַי) equal 73, thus the sign of the initial letters of the new year 5773 can be interpreted as “May it be a year of Gal Einai” (תְּהֵא שְׁנַת גַּל עֵינַי). We join in King David’s prayer that God will open our eyes to see wonders, both the wonders of the Torah by revealing its most profound secrets, and miraculous wonders with every step that we take by power of the Torah.
The plural “wonders” refers to two types of wonder within God’s wisdom imbued in the Torah. The first is that the Almighty’s own supernal pleasure manifests as the Torah’s wisdom. Pleasure is the most ethereal super-conscious sense of the soul, yet it hiddenly motivates all the soul’s conscious powers. The Creator’s pleasure, as it were, is the motivating force behind creation and God’s guidance of reality. The wonder is that this pleasure itself becomes the Torah’s wisdom and can actually be comprehended in our human minds allowing us in turn to take delight in God.
The second type of wonder is that the Torah’s wisdom descends further and serves to unite between different extremes. We hope and pray that this year we will see true untiy unity amongst Jews, of all hues and opinions.
Another phrase that equals 773 (תשע”ג) is, “My heart tingles with something good” (רָחַשׁ לִבִּי דָּבָר טוֹב). While the verse, “Open my eyes” focuses on eyes and wisdom, this phrase focuses on the heart, tingling with  something good that is about to issue forth from the heart. This phrase calls upon us to initiate a movement in the innermost depths of our heart, bringing with it a profound demand to seek God’s revelation as in the verse, “For Your sake [God] my heart says: ‘Seek My countenance’; Your countenance, God, I shall seek.”
What is the good thing stirring in our heart? The verse continues, “I say: ‘My deeds are for the king, my tongue is a quick writer’s pen.’” All that I do is for the sake of the king, for the sake of Malchut Yisrael (thekingdom ofIsrael), which reveals God’s sovereignty over the world.
This verse is particularly connected with Rosh Hashanah, the day on which we coronate God as King over us, the day on which good thoughts, good words begin to stir, to move, and to flourish within us. Every Rosh Hashanah, a new light descends into the world that has never been experienced before; it is like the birth of a new soul. This is why Rosh Hashanah is a opportune time for the barren to conceive, as the sages teach us that “On Rosh Hashanah, Sarah , Rachel and Chanah conceived.” Indeed, the initials of these three names (רָחֵל חַנָּה שָׂרָה) spell the word “tingles”  (רָחַשׁ).
The most important birth that we anticipate is the birth of Mashiach. He is the subject of “My deeds are for the king,” he is the one to whom this entire psalm is dedicated. Mashiach is the “something good” that will happen to the Jewish people and to the entire world. Furthermore, the word “something” (דָּבָר) in the sages’ terminology, also alludes to a leader, as in the idiom, “A generation has [but] one leader” (דַּבָּר אֶחָד לְדוֹר).
The gematria of ”something good” (דָּבָר טוֹב) is equal to that of the phrase, “this is the thing” (זֶה הַדָּבָר) the introductory words to Moshe Rabbeinu’s prophecy, indicating a clarity and precision in hearing God’s words not merited by any other prophet. The coming of Mashiach unveils the very same level of Divine certitude that can erase all the doubts and delusions plaguing our faith.
Together with our prayers for the revelation of the Torah’s wonders and the miracles in reality they will bring, let us decide to act diligently and conscientiously on behalf of Malchut Yisra’el (the kingdom of Israel) and for true unity amongst Jews that will, God willing, bring about the revelation of Mashiach, speedily and in our days.
With blessings for a good and sweet year and for a ketivah vechatimah tovah (a good inscription and seal) for the entire Jewish people,
Harav Yitzchak Ginsburgh

~ ~ ~

New Year 5774, by Harav Yitzchak Ginsburgh

Love of God and love of Israel
A final and most endeared siman for the new year is that 774 is the value of “eternal (or, worldly) love” .) ַא ֲה ָבה ַר ָּבה ( ”together with “great love ) ַא ֲה ַבת עֹו ָלם(

God’s love for us is both eternal and great. To explain its nature, the giants of Chassidut said that if we could combine all the love felt by all parents towards their children, it would still be nowhere near the love that God has for a single Jew, even if that individual is a sinner.

God’s love for us is complemented by our love of God, as promised by the verse, “You shall love Havayah your God.” Our love of God divides into a number of different levels, the first of which is called “worldly love” (ַא ֲה ַבת עֹו ָלם )—simple and earnest love that dwells in every Jew’s heart and is awakened by contemplating how God gives life to all. One level higher is “great love” (ַא ֲה ָבה ַר ָּבה )—a tremendous yearning for God that allows the soul to transcend the body, granting it a taste of the reality of the World to Come in the form of “pleasurable love” (ַא ֲה ָבה ַּב ַּת ֲענ ּו ִגים ). Still higher is a second form of “eternal love” (ַא ֲה ַבת עֹו ָלם ), whereby love of God becomes our eternal, native state.

The perfection of our love for God manifests in our love of Israel—loving those [the Jewish people] whom our Beloved [God] loves; loving each and every Jew, even if he or she is distant or detached.
Our love of Israel empowers us to give charity, like a constantly flowing river of goodness, fostering our unity as a people and enabling us to perform our communal duties, the three public commandments.

~ ~ ~

Over two decades ago, I used to try to hide in the back corner of rooms where Rav Ginsburgh (visiting America) was teaching males only, because at that time, he did not allow women in the room. Some years ago the Rav changed his policy, he told me when I asked, because "women must also prepare for Mashiach."
BlesSings for the New Year - Joy Krauthammer

Rosh HaShana, Shofar by Yosef Ben Shlomo Hakohen

An inspiring teaching from Reb Yosef Ben Shlomo HaKohen.
editor "Hazon – Our Universal Vision" 

Reb Yosef, z’l, returned his soul to the Holy One on 27 Elul, 5771,  September 25, 2011

A Letter to My Visionary Friends: 

"Dear Friends,

 During ELUL we prepare for Rosh Hashana – the New Year. This is a season of “teshuvah” – spiritual return; thus, during Elul, it customary to blow the shofar at the end of the weekday morning service. The sound of the shofar serves as a reminder to all of us to begin the journey “home” – to our Creator, to our own souls that were created in the image of the Creator, and to the Torah path of our Creator which enables us to fulfill the life-giving purpose of the Divine creation.

The sound of the shofar is a wake-up call, and it is not just a wake-up call to become aware of our personal and collective weaknesses which are preventing us from fulfilling our mission on this earth. The sound of the shofar is to also serve as a wake-up call to become aware of our personal and collective strengths which can enable us to fulfill our mission on earth, as individuals and as a people."

~ ~ ~
Rosh Hashana excerpt:

This sacred and uplifting period gives us the opportunity for heartfelt prayer, spiritual study, and reflection on how we can increase love and goodness in the world. And through praying, celebrating, and feasting with others, we are reminded that we are part of a community which can be a source of life and blessings for others.
May we be blessed with an uplifting year.
Yosef Ben Shlomo Hakohen

~ ~ ~

The Rosh HaShana Revolution
A Teaching by Yosef Ben Shlomo HaKohen z'l, found in his archives.

~ ~ ~

Please make MiSheberach for Reb Yosef, Yosef ben Udal.  - Joy

With great sadness, I share that Yosef Ben Shlomo Hakohen, zt'l, was niftar 27 Elul, 5771.

About Me

My photo
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, leave a COMMENT below, or call me. ... "Don't Postpone Joy" bear photo montage by Joy. Click to enlarge. BlesSings, Joy