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Joy's Music

Joy's MUSIC site

Story of meeting Reb Shlomo Carlebach

The SECRET of INTENTION - My Drumming

Henayni, I am Here with the Joy of Music
by Joy Krauthammer

Dec. 10, 2006  ~ 19 Kislev 5767

I want to sing my song, and dance my dance. I am joyish. I am a 'simchanic' and a 'shivitinic'. *

I am guided to write this self-review (memoir) and history because yesterday at a conference I listened live to great thinkers and authors: James Redfield (Celestine Prophecy), John Gray (Women are from Venus), Jack Canfield (Chicken Soup), and Rev. Michael Beckwith (LA's Agape Center). Along with the reverend, about a decade ago, I had been to Morocco for the World Sacred Music Festival. These men were all involved with the movie, "The Secret." 

Following "the Secret" movie screening, the panelists spoke about having an 'Attitude of Gratitude', and the 'Law of Attraction'. Thoughts and questions include: Transmute and embrace desire of path of the heart into higher reality to get back in touch with joy. Develop growing and unfolding of where soul is. What do I want to create? What am I doing in fulfilling myself? Think BIG. 

Redfield asked why I chose to be what I am, and what is synchronistic about it all. Snippets include: Heightened intuition (thoughts drop into back of mind) is there to guide us. To stay in the glow, we must let go. (Oneness panel: Let go and transcend sense of separation and disconnection, all negative feelings, anger, anxiety...) Interpret all events as positive. See pattern of learning and the flow of information as Mission. Look at life as a movie. Sacred service beyond egocentric. We are ONE. Golden rule: Always give energy to others. Energy flows through me into my higher self. What you feel, you can heal. More we see, more we live out to tell truth and influence others. 

At the Celebration of Oneness I was in a workshop, "Embodying your Sacred Intentions," with percussionist facilitator, Christo Pellani. He shared: Express your desire for a more flowing life of joyful expression through the integration of intentional and affirmative energy into the cells of our organs. Intuitively I know this. (I acknowledged this when I bought James Redfield's popular, "Celestine Prophecy", but didn't read it after the first couple pages because I felt what he was saying was already me, thus I knew it.) While in workshop, we circled and breathed; we kept our individual intention. Mine was betterment as healer for self and others. I am serving as Sound Healer at Spiritual Unity Movement and at private spiritual gatherings.

I am here following my intentions because my 'dream' many years ago was answered: to share, as spiritual drummer-- the sound of the drum.

I was studying outer spiritual life, and receiving inner spiritual life and holy direction.  Away at a spiritual retreat, I received spiritual guidance from (now Rabbi) Hanna Tiferet Siegel.  During her workshop, on a piece of plain white 8"x10" paper, I drew, tracing next to each other, my right hand and my left hand. I filled in the palms, as directed, with my desires to manifest. This was "The Secret." Put my thought energy into what I want to manifest and ask for it.  I asked The Source of All BlesSings to Shma, hear me.

Right hand-- what I want to receive.  Left hand-- what I want to give to the universe.

For wanting to receive, I drew an African djembe drum. For wanting to give, I wrote music signs and the words, "spiritual music". At that moment of finishing my experiential sketch, a stranger whom I had never before seen, "Miriam Minkoff from Buffalo" (and at that moment I was in Berkeley from LA), walked through the outdoor courtyard and up to me, as I, with hands art work in hand, was leaving the workshop door's threshold. Miriam handed to me her huge African djembe drum which was in her arms, and only said, "Play it, and return it to me when you're through." She walked away and disappeared into the crowd. (There are more miraculous post scripts to this story.)

This is all Hashgachah Pratit / Divine guidance. In the middle of the courtyard of the Theological Seminary was Shoshanna Shoshanna. Walking directly to her, as she sat on a circular wall, I asked her to show me what to do with this large natural skin, wooden djembe drum, which fit very well in my arms' embrace. I recognized Shoshanna from Jerusalem as being Reb Shlomo Carlebach's, zt'l, concert drummer. I had seen Shoshanna in concert different times in Jerusalem, and then met her at the Jerusalem home of the Witts, not realizing that she was the musician whom I had watched on stage. The host sat me down next to Shoshanna.  How fortuitous. How synchronistic. How perfect. 

Now Shoshannah was sitting right there in the center of the Theological Seminary courtyard in Berkeley. In Jerusalem, we had walked back to her home near the famous outdoor market, Machane Yehuda, and danced to her professionally recorded piano music. Shoshanna, the pianist and percussionist had never before danced to her own music, she said. I watched the dance shadows on the white painted old walls. (Years later, an LA friend purchased and played for me in her car, the same music piano tape of Shoshanna's having no idea that I knew Shoshanna.)

I had traveled to Jerusalem to unveil and nurture my "instinct", thinking I had no instinct. At the time, I didn't consciously know "The Secret." I knew there was something on another level that I needed to explore for myself. I was also following a 'message' I received, which was to find and meet Reb Shlomo Carlebach. I read an article about him, from his Berkeley sixties House of Love and Prayer, and that one could find him in Israel. "Benefit for Single Parents", (beshert / meant to be), I read on the banner hanging high over the street, the moment I arrived in Jerusalem, and still in the taxi from the airport. 

In this holy city, in this concert, when for the first time, I had seen and heard Reb Shlomo perform on stage, I had a craving, yearning, fiery desire to be on stage with Reb Shlomo (a man whom I did not know), and was immediately aware of this connecting image. I had received a clear 'message.' Was my consciousness now following 'instinct' and recognizing it?

Every day in Jerusalem, I experienced many instinct stories. I think they became like a concept I'd learned studying crystal attributes and crystal healing with a Master Ho. FATTS is an acronym for:  Focus, Amplify, Transmit, Transform and Store. In Jerusalem, my energies were amplified as I focused on them, and in daily story telling sessions with people I would meet, I transmitted them. Other Hebrew University students gathered around me at lunch time in the Sinatra dining hall (as I ate my favorite shnitzel), listening to my day's spiritual adventures. For me the stories have been transformed to understanding that they are part of my journey in opening to coming closer to G*d and miracles.

I was NOT a musician, but a visual artist; a potter, a weaver. As a child, like other children, with formal training, I played piano, violin, and clarinet in the schools' bands and orchestra.

In Jerusalem at the concert in the huge hall, I thought to myself, all I need is that tiny metal double 'cymbal' played by a musician (Yankele Shemesh) on stage. From the theatre balcony I could barely see it. It was the smallest percussion instrument I could figure out, that I could get away with on stage (to manifest this received message). Small, because who was I? to be playing an instrument, and on the stage with Reb Shlomo Carlebach.

Reb Shlomo Carlebach, Joy Krauthammer, Shirley Perluss
(Ed Rhodes and Jake Jacobs in rear) 
©  Lewis Weinger

I went to Turkey, one of the next stops for me to be part of a Sephardic tour discovering heritage, and synagogue architecture exploration (which I'd studied at Hebrew University). I bought in an Istanbul bazaar, yummy baklava, and belly dancing finger cymbals because I thought the percussive finger zills looked like what I had seen on stage. They looked a little like the wooden castanets that had fascinated me, as a teen, and I'd bought while studying in Spain when I was 18 and before college. Both instruments were worn on fingers, and for resonance, struck against each other. (In Spain, I joyously considered myself to be "Alegria con sangria" / Joy with citrus wine.

I think that what Shlomo's Jerusalem stage musician, Yankele Shemesh was playing, were ting shas. They are not worn on fingers. He had smiled at me in the theatre hallway, as I entered. I did not know who Yankele was, nor did I realize at that moment, that with me, I had Yankele's name in a US newspaper article, and yet was inspired to believe the story was regarding people that I needed to meet in Jerusalem. (That's a whole other immense miracle story...)  Imagine my surprise when during intermission, Yankele introduced himself to me, telling me his name and I showed him the news article from America. Later in America and in Tibet, I bought tingshas (and continually to spiritually play them).

Synchronistic and beshert, that it was Elie (Elyon) Shemesh, Yankele's son, who, with my invite, was living in my hotel room with three of his other friends, while I was studying at Hebrew University. Who knew? I did not know the boys living in my Moriah Hotel room, not even their names.  I just gave them refuge and my room key when I met them at the hotel, because they said they had "no place to be" (when I asked why they were wandering about).  I could see that "the boys" were the age of my young teenage daughter and they shouldn't be wandering about, homeless. I knew no one in Jerusalem.

Ellie, Nacho, Yossi, Yakov

Joy at AHAVA / LOVE sculpture, Israel Museum

The four boys were known as the "MOSHAV BOYS" and as musicians. The newspaper article spoke of the "Moshav." (I discovered later that one boy was my Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi's grandson, Nacho, and Mimi's son. Nacho did recognize the book that I was reading, as his grandfather's book.) The boys were in Jerusalem from their Moshav Me'or Modiin, to be with their Reb Shlomo Carlebach for a Shabbaton, but it was many days before I also found that out. It was the boys who introduced me to Shlomo on our first night with them living with me, and it was then that Shlomo said that, "Mamash" I am "gevaldt". I had mamash, no idea what that meant. I took in the boys, and they had NO idea that my mission in going to Israel was to meet Reb Shlomo, and they took me straight to him where he was doing a bar-mitzvah across town. This is The Secret. G*d had heard me and took me on as a passenger for the journey.
For my Reb Shlomo story, read .

Joy writing at 2 AM in window 
of Mishkenot Sha'ananim,
© Rabbi Devorah Jacobson

Later, while I was still ARTS editor of the monthly Jewish Calendar Magazine (LA's only Jewish magazine), I did write about that adventure. (It has been reprinted in Kol Chevre. I applied, and I'd been accepted (my dream) and stayed as a guest writer in the Jerusalem Foundation's Mishkenot Sha'ananim, Artist's House, in Yemin Moshe, up from the Valley of Hinom where (without a ticket) I could watch concerts from Mishkenot Sha'ananim. I would write until the wee hours of 3 am, cuddled in the old grated window sill area. Awesomely, the window looked out toward the Citadel, City of David. This 'international cultural center' was the first neighborhood building outside the Old City walls and now it was a "locked" community for visiting artists. (Herman Wouk, author of This Is My G*d, 1959, was my next door neighbor which pleased me because growing up, my family had his book at home.) There were over a hundred steps to get to the main street to catch a bus, and I needed to do that most days while studying at Hebrew University.

Until the year Reb Shlomo Carlebach, died (May his memory be for a blesSing), I went on to immediately become Reb Shlomo's drummer when he returned to US for concerts and Torah teachings. My dream--the message I heard, manifested with my kavanah / intention, and I found The Secret. I also discovered my "instinct." Shema.

Great blessings abound and I am filled with gratitude. G*d answered me and gifted me with the responsibility to play for others. If during my deep mourning this year (following the death of my husband, z'l), and I did not want to go out, I had to remember my gift received, and use and share my joy.

Joy Krauthammer on djembe drum 
©  Deborah Alexander

It is not ego that gets me playing; Ego does like recognition. I play because I am moved to play. I move out of the way, and I am drummed. I become a vessel of Divine energy to inspire others to move and feel joy. Others are inspired to come to prayer in synagogue and they are uplifted in prayer by my percussion, as I am told by many. (For the last 20 years, I have studied with many great percussion masters from around the world.) 

When faced with my own dancing alone in a drummers' circle, this is difficult for me to get up and dance, because I am seen. It is easy for me to do this dancing and playing in front of crowds because this is not me, not for me, but for others and I am danced and drummed to inspire others. It is what I had asked for in the sketch of my hands; The Secret.

My insides might want to be dancing for myself, responding to outer music, but so hard to get up and be visible. 

So easy to get up with my insides responding to my insides, have the energy flow, and be a light for others. And then others are attracted and rise and dance.

Years ago, while in a sound meditation with Don Campbell at Esalen Institute in Big Sur, I received a 'message.' (I also saw an image of the Tree of Life while meditating and Don Campbell interrupted my meditation and asked me about the "tree". He some how knew my image.) I didn't act on the message I clearly heard, "Dance and sing." I guess I needed to hear it again. Some days later, during a Reiki healing in a new age shop "Angels" in a valley north of mine, one of the three Reiki healers (none of which I knew) simultaneously working on me, stopped the process to say to me the following. "I hesitate to say this to you, but I have heard a message to give to you, and that is 'You must dance and sing.' "

This is my service to G*d as I "Serve the Holy One With Joy." - Psalm 100:2.

For two decades, as a percussionist, first with a multi-colored ribbonned timbrel in hand, I have led congregations as they have danced through synagogue aisles, and sung. It was not easy being the first one in a shul to get up and dance alone in the empty aisles and inspire, but the dancing took hold. At one shul on High Holidays, Reb Zalman asked us to get us and dance. I listened. Alone, at first, I danced. Even Miriam HaNeviah had the women dancing with her.

My ego tells me that it is not fair that a well known musician gets not only his name publicized in an organization website, but receives also a pay check. Mostly I get neither. Yet, my community loves what I bring to them, and clearly, that is my pay for my avodah and my mitzvot. 

I don't know the ripples from that playing percussion, unless someone shares it with me, and many do. That makes me happy. I am learning to listen, accept, take in and be grateful for the appreciation shown to me by my sharing my energy of joy and light. I am aware of The Secret, and I listen better to my instinct, without needing a passport to a holy land.

Reb Shlomo named me "Tzohara" adding to my names Gila Rena. He proclaimed to the congregation (that later became the Happy Minyan) on Parshat Pekudei, that I am, "Gila Rena Tzohara, Double Joy and Light." With this, I serve the Holy One.

BlesSings to you for double joy and light and manifesting your "secret." 
Joy Krauthammer

* Filled with joy, and filled with seeing G*d before me.

A fun collage


Serve G*d With Joy
as Sound Healer
Gongs, Bells, and Crystal and Tibetan Singing Bowls 
photos and collage © Joy Krauthammer

Collage created for local Councilman's Photo Contest:  Healthy Living

Joy Krauthammer writing in window of Mishkenot Sha'ananim, photo © Rabbi Devorah Jacobson
Reb Shlomo Carlebach, Joy Krauthammer and Shirley Perlus, performing, photo © Lewis Weinger
Joy Krauthammer on djembe drum, photo © Deborah Alexander
~ ~ ~

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Welcome to my sweet memories of Reb Shlomo Carlebach, z'l.
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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, leave a COMMENT below, or call me. ... "Don't Postpone Joy" bear photo montage by Joy. Click to enlarge. BlesSings, Joy