Rabbis Say

"The Jewish New Year is called "Yom HaDin", the Day of Judgment. The deeper meaning here is that it is a day that celebrates our capacity for judgment, to judge our own lives with the guidance of the light from the Divine.

"This work of inner knowledge and good judgment based on insight and wisdom takes work, hard work, and hard traveling on a journey to truth."
- Rabbi Finley
~ ~ ~

Avraham Sutton, a great Chassidic Jerusalem teacher (who visits LA), writes in his book, "Days of Awe, Awesome Days":

"The judgement of Rosh Hashana is not what most people imagine it to be, i.e. punishment. The judgment is more like a measure - a measure of where we are relative to who we really are (our neshama / soul) and what we are really capable of. On Rosh Hashana we are given glimpses of who and what we really are, can be, could be, and will be. It is in this context that we are to see the challenges that we are encountering. It is all part of the package of who we are. Simply put, on Rosh HaShana, HaShem shines a new light into us that has the ability to awaken the deepest potential
sleeping in us."  
~ ~ ~

Rabbi Laibl Wolf’s Rosh HaShannah Message 5767

Rabbi Laibl Wolf’s Rosh HaShannah Message 5767

The Courage of a Smile

The stream or river is a wonderful metaphor for life. Observing a gentle stream on a sunny day instills inner peace and harmony. But there are times when the waters swell, crush, pounding their banks. Like the human, the river can change character and transform from tranquility to torrent, from pacific to menacing threat.

Most of us have experienced life’s gentleness and warmth. But the world is “a’changing”. The threat of dark and turbulent waters engulfing our lives looms near. Terrorism, the dagger at the heart of civilized society, is spreading its tentacles in the global village, creating convulsions politically, economically, and socially. Under such increasing threat, confusion and weakness colors the canvass of our lives.

How do we tame this 21st century monster? To destroy the cancerous growth is an obvious priority. At the cancer’s core lies a cadre of demented, evil, and calculating fanatics who employ sophisticated mechanisms of destruction. This phenomenon has many historical precedents. But the one thing we learn from history is that we learn nothing from history. The solution: prevention is far better than cure.

How do we redesign the seamier and uglier profile of humanity? In the long term, the answer lies not in defensive or invasive operations (necessary as this may be in the sort run to stem the immediate social hemorrhaging). In the long term, prevention and maintenance require two human experiences: joy and personal fulfillment. No-one has lifted his hand in anger when happy, and no-one seeks the other’s assets when fulfilled. It’s that simple – and yet so elusive.

I am a big believer in chaos theory – the multiplier effect, the butterfly effect. The Hassidic founder and master, The Ba’al Shem Tov, taught: the leaf falling off the tree is a designated act of creation that alters the course of history. Everything we say and do (and even think and feel) leaves its signature in the ether of time/space. When we laugh, we produce ‘angels’ of laughter. When we share, we produce ‘angels’ of compassion. In other words, you and I have the capacity to subtly, but definitively, change the face of humanity. Researchers call this the ‘non-local’ field effect. The Frierdicker Rebbe noted that a good thought projected across the other side of the globe leaves a targeted effect, spiritually and materially.

Criminals and terrorists are not born! They are made from the hurt and pain within. But that hurt and pain can be undone – by you. The Lubavitcher Rebbe emphasized many times: a small act of goodness produces a major multiplier effect. A little light dispels the densest darkness. When you and I model kindness, understanding, compassion, happiness, humility – not only do we affect the world with our cosmic signatures, but we instill confidence and hope in those who are in our domain: our families, our clients, our colleagues, our club members, in ways that can only be understood through spiritual insight. Indeed, the ‘non-local’ effects extend even to those who seek our very destruction.

Social malaise doesn’t occur suddenly. Like many illnesses it begins with a diminished immune response mechanism through the three-fold shortcomings – the lack of qualitative nurture, commitment to prevention, and personal discipline.

Now, with the approach of Rosh HaShanna, lies a profound opportunity to become an integral facilitator of social change. Rosh HaShannah is a spiritual dynamic, not just a calendar event. The Kabbalah and its Hassidic teachings inform us that over Rosh HaShannah the creative potential On-High reconfigures – literally. And the new configuration of fate and destiny is dramatically affected by each one of us – through our introspective discoveries plus the commitment to grow, to become a compassionate participant in the radical act of sacred life.

The answer lies in joy (laughter) and fulfillment (radical acceptance).

On the eve of Rosh HaShannah, I ask you to undertake the following simple fivefold personal agenda:

Spend quiet time, without phones or people, introspecting pensively, deeply, thoroughly, and critically – allowing truths about your interpersonal style, your belief systems, your fears, to rise to the surface of consciousness and awareness. Have the courage to look at yourself in your spiritual mirror.

Commit to undoing two of the shortcomings you recognize. But commit with sincerity and depth. Enshrine that commitment by sharing it with a loved one.

Approach someone you may have wronged and humbly and unconditionally seek forgiveness. Bridge the gap and chasm of hurt, through the simplicity of spiritual touch.

Speak to G-d – verbally, uttering real words and sounds. Converse with G-d. Share your aspirations for yourself and the world. Don’t be afraid of your own voice. And don’t be afraid of the Voice that answers you through the exigencies of your life.

Take on a real Mitzva for this coming year. There are Mitzvot for all peoples of the world. Mitzvot are the most powerful spiritual channels for globally neutralizing innate evil. If you have any doubts as to what is the most powerful Mitzva in your life, write to me and I will share with you.

You don’t fight fire with fire. You neutralize fire with water. Fire is Gevurah and water is Hessed. These are the two most powerful emotion tools in our spiritual repertoire. When we make peace, Shalom, in our physical domain, then the angels Gavr’iel (Gevurah) and Micha’el (Hessed) bring peace On-High. When that happens, evil is simply neutralized, without any fight, enmity, war or destruction. The ultimate expression of this is Mashiach. Live your life as if this depends on you alone – because it does! So do it!

Allow yourself to laugh and smile. Even force it. And the world will smile with you.

Allow yourself to accept, and the world will practice acceptance with you. This is the year.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Google Rabbi Wolf for his wisdom.

High Holiday TORAH from Michael Rosenberg, Torah.org

High Holiday TORAH from Michael Rosenberg, Torah.org
(sent out with a list of names; to pray for their needs to be met.)

During the month of Elul it is the custom to blow the shofar at the
conclusion of weekday morning prayers. The primal blast of the ram's horn
is intended to wake us from our lethargy and shake up our hearts. "Rise you
who slumber! Return to me wayward children!" In Elul we are called upon to
make preparations for the coming High Holidays remembering that Teshuva,

Tefila, and Tzedaka ma'avirim es roah ha gezera (Repentance, Prayer, and
Charity can reverse the heavenly decree) and that in this month we are
especially close to the Kadosh Baruch Hu. May we all use this time to great
effect, deepening our awareness of the great Chesed (lovingkindness) the
Kadosh Baruch Hu has bestowed upon us by allowing us, His People, to serve
him in this world to bring about a time of no war, no hatred, no poverty, no
suffering, no death.

Knowing that His Torah is the blue print guiding us towards that goal, may we redouble our efforts to learn at whatever level we can. Knowing that His desire is that we should emulate Him may we redouble our efforts to perform acts of Tzedaka v'Chesed. Knowing that He loves us, his Holy People, may we redouble our efforts to love Him, to love one another, and to love ourselves. In so doing, may we come this year into the
Yomim Nora'im prepared to plead our case and the case of klal Yisroel (All Israel) with a tender heart and purity of purpose. May our earnest prayers open the Gates
of Mercy. May our heartfelt weeping open the Gates of Tears. Avinu
Malkeinu p'sach sha'arei Shomayim l'sfiloseinu. Our Father our King, open
the Gates of Heaven to our prayers!

High Holiday Torahs from Favorite Rebbes. Reb Shlomo

High Holidays -  Favorite Torahs from favorite rebbes

 Reb Shlomo Carlebach zt"l taught a Torah delivered in 1990:
 The month of Elul, according to Sefer Yetzirah, is associated with the left hand and also the letter "yud." This signifies that during the month of Elul, we are 'fixing' our subconscious.
On Yom Kippur, we were asking Hashem to forgive us for the sins that we committed on a conscious level. But then when the end of the year comes around, we realize that though we may have succeeded in fixing our 'external' behaviors, there is still much work to be done on the in-side of our selves. We still need to work at getting the Torah and mitzvot to reach us deeper and deeper within.

As long as we still have anger inside us on a subconscious level, as long as we still have to deal with jealousy and attachment to physical pleasure, the Torah and the mitzvot have not yet reached the deepest depths of our being. It is easier to stop eating non-kosher foods, than to stop having negative thoughts about yourself and others, for example.
The letter "yud" is the smallest letter and it is also a part of every letter (as soon as you put the quill to the parchment, you have already written a "yud"). So the "yud" represents, the innermost point--your innermost point of being a "yid".

The left hand represents your subconscious actions. This means that in the month of Elul, we are able to access the energy needed for doing the inner work, which needs to get done before the year ends. The 'work', which we tried to accomplish on Yom Kippur, on a conscious level, needs to become real on a subconscious level. This is the spiritual task that we need to complete before the year is over.
(Last week in preparation for ELUL, I was glad to davven in Reb Shlomo's NY Carlebach shul. - Joy)
~ ~ ~

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.

Reb Shlomo Carlebach and Shlomo's drummer Joy Krauthammer


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, Exodus 15:20, was also known as "Puah"*, Genesis, Shemot 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 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 (http://www.simchatchochmah.blogspot.com), and for women's Rosh Chodesh/New Moon rituals, as is traditional. With her soulful Ruach/breath 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/Joy of Wisdom ceremony, 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
                  Enjoy http://joyous-chai-lights-march-2011.blogspot.com/ Reply

Joy Krauthammer, MBA11 March, 2011  Before I realized that I, too, can create a Shofar and GEMSBOK horn grogger to use in my spiritual music, I purchased my foot-long Purim grogger in Jerusalem where I also purchased my Shofar. Now I joyously look forward to having the "Hearing Shofar" maven, Michael, guide me in creating my own percussive Shofar.
                  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. Genesis 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 along 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 feminine energy to come through the voice of the ram. With great Kavanah/intention, 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



Joy Krauthammer revised her initial post, above. I have retained both drafts because they each offer different insights that deserve to be shared. MC

Sounds of the Shofar Inspire Me

- Joy Krauthammer


SOUNDS of the SHOFAR (SOS) inspire me to open with a blast, the beginning of Elul on day one, Rosh Chodesh/new moon, for Cheshbon Hanefesh/self-reflection, 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/loving kindness 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/master of shofar (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 – breathe 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/generation to generation 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 (at Elat Chayyim), and I give them freedom–I am inspired. Baruch Hashem.

Of Sound Mindfulness, Rabbi Yael Levy

ELUL teachings from Rabbi Yael Levy, A Way In Jewish Mindfulness, that I appreciate and share:


Of Sound Mindfulness: The Essence of Our Holy Days

SEPTEMBER 17, 2014

Shana Tova Shalom greetings

My BlesSings to you:

Shana Tova 
Shalom greetings
May Peace Prevail In Our World
May our blesSings & good deeds 
be in abunDance 
as the seeds in a pomegranate.
by Joy Krauthammer ©

L'Shana Tova
© Joy Krauthammer 

 © Joy Krauthammer 

© Joy Krauthammer 

Shana Tova U'Metuka
A good and sweet year
© Joy Krauthammer 

The King and Queen Are In The Field
© Joy Krauthammer 

© Joy Krauthammer 

© Joy Krauthammer 

© Joy Krauthammer 

© Joy Krauthammer 

© Joy Krauthammer 

© Joy Krauthammer 

© Joy Krauthammer 

© Joy Krauthammer 


Thoughts Outside and Inside

The High Holy Days In 
Awe, Amend-ment, Align-ment, Atone-ment, Amaze-ment, At One-ment 

Reb Zuscha on his death bed said - 

That on The Day of Judgment, at Heaven's Gate

G*d would ask him -

NOT why he had not been Moses,

but why he had not been Zuscha. 

(We are here on Earth to become who we are meant to be.)


Be faithful to that which exists nowhere but in yourself -
and there make yourself indispensable.

- Andre Gide

It is not our purpose to become each other. 

It is to recognize each other, 

to learn to see the other 
and honor them for what they are.   
- Herman Hesse (1877-1962) "Siddhartha" 

Compassion for others begins
with kindness to ourselves. 
- Pema Chodron

Don't compromise yourself.
You are all you've got.
- Janis Joplin

Something we were withholding made us weak
Until we found it was ourselves.
- Robert Frost

I shall try to remember all this day
That I am a divine creation with infinite possibilities.
- Benjamin Eitelgeorge

Kindness " is more important than ' Wisdom ' -

and the clear recognition of this -

IS the beginning of Wisdom.         
- Theodore Issac Rubin

I was always looking outside myself for strength and confidence,
but it comes from within. 
It is there all the time.
- Anna Freud

There's only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, 
and that's your own self.
- Aldous Huxley

Do not look back in Anger,
 or forward in Fear,
 but look around in Awareness !     
- James Thurber

Ask yourself what you truly want for yourself. 
Are there hindrances behind that gift?
Know that your soul can shine through that gift
and be shared.
In your wisdom and heart of joy, visualize that gift.
Ask others to bless you that you manifest the gift.
Sanctify the desire and ask the Holy One 
to gift you with your vision.
That is the secret, the law of attraction. 
Connect and co-create with G*d.
- Joy Krauthammer

See yourself –
Your shadows, 
and Ripples
- Joy Krauthammer

             ~ ~ ~

It is no help to rush to damn the ending -

without taking time to bless the beginning.

We can do no 'great things' -

just small things with Great Love... 
Bless Beginnings !                            
- Mother Teresa

             ~ ~ ~

Whatever knowledge a human being is given in this world, whatever wisdom, enlightenment or inspiration, it is all only and exclusively for one purpose: To assist him to fix up this world. - Chabad's Daily Dose
Likkutei Sichot, volume 32, page 152, based on Talmud, Shabbat 33b.
    ~ ~ ~

T’shuvah: Let us Turn, Return and Be Turned
During these Days of Awe, we will do the spiritual work of exploring three aspects of T’shuvah. How do we turn away from that which is draining us of Life-force, and turn towards that which is Life-giving? How do we return to a sense of belonging, authenticity and connection to the whole of Creation? How do we surrender to the Great Mystery that is holding us, transforming us and loving us unconditionally? 

~ ~ ~
Welcome to 5777.  Sevens are G*d's Holiest numbers.  - Joy Krauthammer

Ushering in 5777 with hope and optimism. The number 777 has a sweet meaning. In gematria (Hebrew letter math - Hebrew letters have numerical value) that number is equal to the phrase "And they asked for a Gate of Light”. 
~ ~ ~

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