Temple Menorah
by Mariano Shulman, 2001, Argentina
Menorah Mosaic, Kehillat Israel, Pacific Palisades, CA
© Joy Krauthammer 2013

Chanukiyot Gazing, cover photo by Joy Krauthammer ©

Personal Chanukah story by Joy Krauthammer

Thoughts on the Temple Menorah & the Chanukah Menorah

Teaching: Reb Yosef Ben Shlomo Hakohen
Baruch Dayan HaEmet.  Reb Yosef, zt"l,  niftar 27 Elul 5771.
Hazon-Our Universal Vision

"I see and behold - there is a menorah made entirely of gold with its bowl on its top; its seven lamps are upon it, and there are seven ducts for each of the lamps on its top. There are two olive trees over it, one at the right of the bowl and one on its left. I spoke up and said to the angel who was speaking to me, saying, “What are these, my lord?” The angel who was speaking to me answered, and said to me, “Do you not know what these are?” And I said, “No, my lord!” He answered and said to me, stating: “This is the word of the Compassionate One to Zerubabel, saying: ‘Not through the might of arms and not through physical strength, but through My spirit, said the Compassionate One, God of all the hosts of creation.’ ”  (Zechariah 4:2-6)

The oil from the olives enables the Menorah to give light, and this light represents the light of the Divine Teaching, as it is written, “Torah is light” (Proverbs 6:23). In the above prophecy, the Prophet is told to convey the following message regarding the power of this light: Not through the might of arms and not through physical strength, but through My spirit, said the Compassionate One, God of all the hosts of creation.

(Parshat Terumah) Exodus 25:31-40

Instructions for the construction of the Temple Menorah:

31 And thou shalt make a candlestick of pure gold: of beaten work shall the candlestick be made, even its base, and its shaft; its cups, its knops, and its flowers, shall be of one piece with it. 32 And there shall be six branches going out of the sides thereof: three branches of the candlestick out of the one side thereof, and three branches of the candle-stick out of the other side thereof; 33 three cups made like almond-blossoms in one branch, a knop and a flower; and three cups made like almond-blossoms in the other branch, a knop and a flower; so for the six branches going out of the candlestick. 34 And in the candlestick four cups made like almond-blossoms, the knops thereof, and the flowers thereof.

35 And a knop under two branches of one piece with it, and a knop under two branches of one piece with it, and a knop under two branches of one piece with it, for the six branches going out of the candlestick. 36 Their knops and their branches shall be of one piece with it; the whole of it one beaten work of pure gold. 37 And thou shalt make the lamps thereof, seven; and they shall light the lamps thereof, to give light over against it. 38 And the tongs thereof, and the snuffdishes thereof, shall be of pure gold. 39 Of a talent of pure gold shall it be made, with all these vessels. 40 And see that thou make them after their pattern, which is being shown thee in the mount.

Art and photo by Joy Krauthammer 

Ceramic CHANUKIAH glazing
"Hanerot Hallalu Kodesh Hem"
Menorah art by Joy Krauthammer 

Menorahs filled Mogen Dovid
Star created by Joy Krauthammer
photos by Joy Krauthammer

Happy Chanukah collage
© Joy Krauthammer  12.2015

Chanukah BlesSings
May the blesSings of Chanukah light illuminate all your days. 
© Joy Krauthammer 

Happy Chanukah
© Joy Krauthammer 

Chag Sameach 
Hanerot Halalu Kodesh Hem ~ These Lights Are Holy
© Joy Krauthammer 

Eight Lights and Nights of Chanukah
© Joy Krauthammer  2014

May you bless our universe with the illumination of YOUR soul’s light.
© Joy Krauthammer 

© Joy Krauthammer 

Oil Chanukiah
© Joy Krauthammer 

Oil Chanukiah
© Joy Krauthammer 

Oil Chanukiah
© Joy Krauthammer 

ChArt, photos © Joy Krauthammer

ChArt, photos © Joy Krauthammer
 In 5762, years ago while I was Caregiver Angel Warrior, I sketched the Temple Menorah and filled the large art poster-sized paper with lots of teachings on Menorah. 
A challenge for me was getting the lights to point toward the center lamp. 
In retrospect, I think the challenge for me was to be the best Light-filled caregiver 
and to understand the Light, thus I immersed myself in the teachings.
See image. © Joy Krauthammer 
Aharon is instructed, “When you kindle the lamps, towards the center of the Menora shall the seven lamps cast light” (Bamidbar 8:2). The center lamp, to which all of the other branches face, represents the light of Torah.

Menorah ChArt Art
photos © Joy Krauthammer

Reb Shlomo Carlebach, zt"l
photo by Joy Krauthammer 

8th Night of Chanukah
© Joy Krauthammer

First candle with sister
© Joy Krauthammer 

2nd Candle
© Joy Krauthammer 

© Joy Krauthammer 

Chanukah 8 Nights
© Joy Krauthammer 

Chanukah 8 Nights
© Joy Krauthammer 

8th night
© Joy Krauthammer 

8th night
© Joy Krauthammer 

8th night
© Joy Krauthammer 

3rd night
© Joy Krauthammer 

3rd night
© Joy Krauthammer 

4th Candle and blue tree lights, Chabad
© Joy Krauthammer 

Once in our life time 2013
© Joy Krauthammer

Happy Chanukah
The Pluralistic Princess is in the Field
© Joy Krauthammer

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Secrets of the Menorah
with Joy
G*d's Holiest # 7
American Jewish University, Sunday, Dec. 11

Contact Joy Krauthammer: FaceBook or write personally.

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How are you shining your shamash light for a brighter world?
With what blesSings do you shine your light?
Who is a Shamash in your life?
What miracles have you witnessed today?

May you continue to bless our universe with the illumination of YOUR soul’s light.
Sharing your light never decreases your flame and always increases it.

One little candle can light the way to illuminate and brighten others. It all begins with one -- with me, with you, with us. All together may we brighten, enlighten, care, share and love. At this dark time of year -- may we shine and shower each other with love and hopes for peace and serenity.

Sharing many blesSings with YOU. 
Love, Joy


by Joy Krauthammer, Joy to the World

I'm excited that Rav Rahmiel Hayyim Drizin shares his Chanukah teaching with us:

Rav Rahmiel Hayyim was happily at Happy Minyan, Shabbat Vayishash, Dec. 31.

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King Solomon, Shlomo HaMelech wrote in Mishlei (The Book of Proverbs 6:23)
, "Ner Mitzvah v'Torah Or." Mitzvos are lamps and Torah is light.
"Ner Hashem, Nishmat Adam". The Soul of the human being is the lamp of Hashem. (Proverbs 20:27)

"Ki Imecha Mekor Haim Be'orecha Nireh Or." By Your Light shall we see light. (King David's Tehillim/Psalm 36:10)

Above--Jewish light quotes I love, & below--a thought from one of my teachers, and my thoughts.

"The physical lights we ignite during the Festival of Chanukah are a manifestation of the spiritual light we try to light within ourselves and the radiance of our souls, through seeking to do G*d's Will, and pierces the long night of Galus.

 May we all merit a Chanukah full of light of Torah and mitzvos and enjoy the beauty of the lamps with renewed dedication to bring close the day when the true Light of Creation will fill the earth with a brilliance and clarity we have waited for almost 2,000 years.
 Wishing you a Happy, Brilliant Chanukah"
Michael Rosenberg of Torah.org's bikkur cholim: A site where you can request prayers.


Allow the light that we hold within ourselves to be shared and light our universe shining forth to the darkest corners, even to those dark spots within our own hearts & souls.”

- Reb Shlomo Carlebach, z'l, in the name of The Ba'al Shem Tov, said shared light increases and never diminishes.

We, like the Temple's miracle oil, if ever feeling "defiled" can "rededicate" ourselves with light.
 Meditate & gaze upon flames or imagine them at any time, and be connected to the Divine One & to the holiness within you. 
Imagine yourself as a flame, or as the shamash. According to our Sephirot, in the illumination we receive in the image of The Divine One, we have the light of: wisdom, knowledge, compassion / lovingkindness, justice, beauty, endurance, gratitude, joy / passion and peace.

What are the lights in our own lives that offer blessing and warmth?
 What are the sparks that move us forward, pushing us to go beyond our comfort zone and do more? 

May we be blessed with a light-filled Chanukah. Chanukah Same'ach

One love, shalom and abundant blesSings of harmony,
 wholeness, health and joy to you,

- Joy Krauthammer
"Serve G*d With Joy"

"The Divine One is The Source of Joy. To be joyous is to be connected with the Source –
one who is connected to the Source IS joyous!"  -Reb Sholom Brodt
Rav Shulim,
 please pray the menorah flames stay lit.

photos and collage © Joy Krauthammer

love, Joy Krauthammer ©

Chanukah Dreidles
© Joy Krauthammer 

ChArt, photos and collage © Joy Krauthammer

Joy's Blogs for Workshops and bands


Simchat Chochmah
Serve G-d With Joy


Menorah, Mall
© Joy Krauthammer  2016

I feel especially good seeing the Menorah lit in my neighborhood large mall because in 1981 I went to the local major Mall management and told them that I wanted a large Menorah at the mall. There were many red and green decorations for other faiths for customers to appreciate but nothing visible for the Jewish faith and Chanukah was at the same season. Management said to me to get a group behind my personal request. That was easy because I was on the Board of Directors of the Jewish Community Center.
Through Rabbi Joshua Gordon, obm, Director of Valley Chabads, I arranged for Chabad to build the large menorah for greater community to enjoy.  (Now in 2016 that was about 35 years ago.) Rabbis come and light each night. Choirs come and sing. The Menorah is also visible if you look up to the 2nd story from the main mall.
A menorah still stands and that is good. Amayn. 

By 1980 I first arranged for the local Veteran's Administration Medical Center to build a large menorah, the first time the VA ever had a menorah on their grounds, the then Chaplain, Rabbi Joseph Elsant, obm, joyously wrote to me. The Menorah stood in front of the main entrance.  - Joy Krauthammer

Menorah Tree of Life
Stained glass by David and Michelle Pachte-Zuieback
Lopaty Chapel, Valley Beth Shalom
© Joy Krauthammer 

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A Message for Chanukah by Yosef Ben Shlomo Hakohen

Seeing the “Other” through Zion’s Light: A Message for Chanukah

Date:12/05/2010 01:40 AM
Subject:Dear Joy,

Dear Joy, 

I am grateful to Hashem for having you as a friend, as you strive to live your life in the spirit of the attached letter which will be sent to the Hazon list, b'ezras Hashem.
Have a Chodesh Tov and a Freilechen Chanukah,
Seeing the “Other” through Zion’s Light: A Message for Chanukah

Dear Friends,

In this letter, we will discuss a deeper meaning of the following prophetic message to Jerusalem regarding the light of Zion at the dawn of the messianic age:

“Arise! Shine! – For your light has arrived, and the glory of Hashem shines upon you. For, behold, darkness shall cover the earth and a dense cloud the kingdoms; but upon you, Hashem will shine, and His glory shall be seen upon you. Nations will walk by your light; and sovereigns by the glow of your dawn.” (Isaiah 60:1-3)

“Nations will walk by your light” – The commentator, Malbim, explains, “This is the light of the Torah.” A source for this explanation can be found in the following teaching of King Solomon: “Torah is light” (Proverbs 6:23). Torah is the Divine Teaching, and the light of this Teaching shows people the way to walk on this earth. This is why the detailed steps of the Torah path are called “halacha” – the way to walk.

In what way does the light of Torah dispel the “darkness” covering the earth?  A deeper understanding of the nature of this darkness can help us to find an answer to this question. I will therefore share with you a related teaching of a leading 19th century sage known as Chidushei Ha-Rim, who was the Rebbe of the Gerer Chassidim. He comments on the following verse from the Book of Exodus which describes the plague of darkness which struck the Egyptians:

“Moshe stretched forth his hand toward the heavens, and there was a thick darkness throughout the land of Egypt for a three-day period. No one could see his brother...” (Exodus 10:22, 23)

“No one could see his brother” – The Chidushei Ha-Rim writes: “The worst darkness is when a person does not want to see his suffering brother and to extend to him support” (Mayana Shel Torah).

The above interpretation leads to the following insight: A selfish attitude can cause us to be enveloped in a great darkness which prevents us from truly seeing the other. When, however, we walk by the “light of Hashem” – the Torah – we gain an altruistic perspective which enables us to see and value the other.

The idea that the Torah leads to an altruistic awareness of the other can be found in the teachings of two sages, Rabbi Akiva and Ben Azzai, which are cited in the Jerusalem Talmud (Nedarim 9:4). According to Rabbi Akiva, an all-encompassing principle of the Torah is expressed in the following mitzvah:

“You shall love your fellow as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18).

This is an all-encompassing principle, as the path of the Torah helps us to see and love our fellow.

According to Ben Azzai, there is an even greater, all-encompassing principle of the Torah, and it is expressed in the following passage which makes us aware that each “adam” – human being – is created in the Divine image:

This is the book of the descendants of Adam” – on the day that God created Adam, He made him in the likeness of God. He created them male and female, and He blessed them and called their name ‘Adam’ on the day they were created.” (Genesis 5:1,2)

This is an all-encompassing principle, as the path of the Torah helps us to see and respect the Divine image within the other.

What does it mean to be created in the Divine image? In previous letters, we cited the following explanation of the Chofetz Chaim:

“Scripture records (Genesis 1:27) that, ‘God created the human being in His image.’ The commentators take the statement to refer to His attributes. He gave the human soul the capacity to emulate the attributes of Hashem, the Blessed One – to do good and act with loving-kindness with others; moreover, it is written in Scriptures, ‘Hashem is good to all and His compassion is on all His works’ (Psalm 145:9), and “He gives food to all flesh, for His loving-kindness endures forever’ (Psalm 136:25). ”

(The above teaching is cited in the Chofetz Chaim’s work, “Loving Loving-kindness” – Part 2.)

The Torah therefore enables us to see the spiritual potential in each human being to become a loving giver. This awareness can not only cause us to respect the other; it can also lead us to love the other. In this spirit, a leading sage of the 19th century, known as the Alter of Slobodka, would remind his students of the following teaching:

“All human beings are precious, for they contain the image of God. The human being is therefore obligated to honor another person and shower him with loving-kindness, for by doing so he is honoring God. He must also be careful not to embarrass or abuse another person, for by so doing, he is slighting God.” (Sparks of Mussar by Rabbi Chaim E. Zaitchik)

As we discussed in the previous Chanukah letters, the Syrian Greeks and their assimilated Jewish allies sought to impose upon the people of Zion a Hellenist culture which glorified the selfish gratification of our physical drives. This selfish approach encouraged a narcissistic focus on one’s self; moreover, the view of other human beings was actually focused on one’s self, for other human beings were viewed as objects created for one’s own gratification. On a deep level, it was a culture of darkness, for its followers were unable to see others as beloved human beings who were created in the Divine image; in fact, they were unable to see the Divine image within themselves. In addition, the Syrian Greek rulers outlawed the study of Torah – the light of Hashem that enables people to see the Divine image within others and within themselves. The Midrash therefore teaches in the name of Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish:

Our exile under the Greeks was an exile of “darkness” (Genesis Rabbah 2:4).

The light of Hashem has the power to dispel the darkness, and this idea is the message of the following miracle of Chanukah:

After liberating the Temple and removing the idols, the Maccabees wanted to immediately restore the tradition of lighting the Temple Menorah, but all they could find was one small vial of pure olive oil. As the Talmud records (Shabbos 21b), the Syrian-Greeks had contaminated all the flasks of oil that were in the Sanctuary. The Maccabees searched and found only one flask of pure olive oil that had the seal of the “Kohen Gadol” – High Priest. The quantity of oil was only enough for one day, yet, to the amazement of the people who had gathered in the Temple, it continued to give light for eight days! This gave the people the opportunity to prepare fresh pure oil. The sages felt that this was a miracle. And this miracle conveyed the following message for future generations of our people:

No matter how severe the darkness, the Divine light will continue to glow.

On Chanukah, we want to publicize the miracle of the light. The Chanukah lights are therefore lit outside the door of the home, at the entrance of the building, or by a window facing the street. This custom can serve as a reminder that the Divine light is to go out from Zion to the entire world.

Have a light-filled Chanukah,
Yosef Ben Shlomo Hakohen  (See below)

Related Teachings:

1. In Psalm 119, King David expresses his love for the Torah, and in the following verse from this psalm, he says to Hashem:

“Your word is a lamp for my feet, and a light for my path.” (Psalm 119:105)

2. Regarding the light-giving Torah path, King Solomon, the son of David, writes:

“The path of the righteous is like the glow of sunlight, growing until high noon. The way of the wicked is like darkness; they do not know upon what they stumble.” (Proverbs 4:18, 19)

The commentary, Metzudas David, explains the above passage in the following manner: The path of the righteous will have increasing light through their increased understanding of the Torah outlook. The way of the wicked, however, is like darkness, for their mistaken outlook has caused them to wander from the true path; thus, they do not know of what to be wary, and they therefore stumble.

3. Before the nations can walk by the light of the Divine Teaching, we, the people of Zion, must walk by this light. For example, after the Prophet Isaiah described the universal enlightenment of the nations in the era when “Torah will go forth from Zion” (Isaiah 2:3), Isaiah proclaimed to our people:

“O House of Jacob: Come let us walk by the light of Hashem” (Isaiah 2:5).

Through these words, the Prophet Isaiah is revealing that the responsibility of achieving the goal of universal enlightenment begins with us! If we desire to experience the era when all the nations will walk by the light-giving Divine Teaching, then we ourselves must begin to serve as an example. We must therefore walk by the light of Hashem – the Torah and her path of mitzvos (commentary of Radak).

4. Each morning, we chant the following words of prayer:

“May You shine a new light upon Zion, and may we all speedily merit its light.”

Hazon – Our Universal Vision:  www.shemayisrael.com/publicat/hazon   
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Our beloved Reb Yosef, zt'l, was niftar 27 Elul 5771
May his memory be for a blesSing.

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