Congregation Tiferet Israel 

Austin, TX

12 Tammuz 5783 -- July 1, 2023

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Parshat Chukat-Balak

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Rabbi's Reflections

-There, There: Investing in Our Immortality-

In the first of this week’s double- parsha, Parshat Chukat-Balak, Miriam the Prophetess dies, as it says, “The Children of Israel, the entire assembly, came into the wilderness of Tzin in the first month, and the people settled down in Kadesh. There, Miriam died, and there she was buried” (Bamidbar 20:1). Why does the Torah need to tell us “There Miriam died, and there she was buried?” The second “there” must be necessary to teach us something. But what? According to the Talmud, the second usage of the word “there” teaches us that “the site of her burial was close to the place of her death” (B. Talmud, Moed Katan 28a). Based on this excerpt from the Talmud, the Ohr HaChaim HaKadosh explains, “Seeing that the Torah mentioned the death of this righteous woman, it also was concerned with the honor due to the body of such a righteous woman, stating that she was interred on the spot” (Ohr HaChaim on Bamidbar 20:1). In other words, the Torah wanted us to know that burying a righteous person near the place of their death is a sign on deference and Kavod HaMet (honor bestowed upon the dead). However, the Ohr HaChaim HaKadosh offers yet another answer as to why the word “there” is mentioned twice. In his holy words, “We learned in (the Talmud) Berachot that the righteous are called ‘alive’ even after they have died a physical death. When the Torah said ‘there,’ (a second time), it wanted to remind us that Miriam was ‘dead’ only ‘there,’ that is, only on the earth, whereas she lived on in another place reserved for the souls of the righteous” (Ibid.).

While the Ohr HaChaim HaKadosh explains that the second usage of the word “there” teaches us that although Miriam may have died “there” in a physical sense, her soul lives on in a purely spiritual sense, Rav Hirsch has a slightly different take on how the soul of Miriam lives on, moving away from a purely spiritual understanding to an earthlier and more practical one. According to Rav Hirsch, Miriam’s death shows that “she had completed her mission on earth. Her grave in Kadesh would show future generations that she did not leave this world until the new generation was ready for the future that had been promised to it. During Israel’s long wanderings, filled with so many difficult experiences, the women did not take part in the incidents of defection from God, which resulted from despair. They cheerfully trusted God and devotedly waited for Him, and for this reason they were not included in the fateful decree of death in the wilderness. Now, mothers and grandmothers were about to go up with the new generation to the Promised Land. Bringing with them their personal recollections of the past in Egypt and of the journey in the wilderness under God’s guidance, they could refresh the souls of their grandchildren and great-grandchildren from the spiritual wellspring of their experiences with God. The fact that these Jewish women were so deeply imbued with the Jewish spirit may be ascribed in no small part to Miriam, who set them a shining example as a prophetess…What made Miriam into Miriam…did not die when Miriam…died. Just as [her] work lives on forever in [her] nation, [her] true essence is eternal: it has now departed transient earthliness and returned to God, the Source of all life” (Commentary on Bamidbar 20:1).

Rav Hirsch is saying something very deep. Yes, Miriam died “there,” at Kadesh, physically, but her spiritual legacy lived on in the hearts and minds of the Jewish women she inspired. It was by her superior example that the Jewish women did not enter into the traps of rebellion, complaining, fear and irreverence. It was by Miriam’s example that the women maintained faith in God when their male counterparts doubted and ridiculed. It was by Miriam’s example that the same women who left Egypt with timbrels in their hands could enter Eretz Yisrael. Miriam’s spiritual legacy of faith, devotion, piety, leadership and love lived on in the hearts and minds of the Jewish women, who would in turn, transmit those same qualities and attributes to the next generation. In this way, Miriam’s legacy, her essence continued to live on through the lives of the Jewish women she led and inspired.

A righteous person never really dies, as Rav Hirsch writes, “Truly, the death of a tzaddik offers convincing proof of immortality. For only one who is spiritually blind would identify the tzaddik with his or her corpse, which lies inert…How can one identify the corpse with what only a short time before had employed thought and will with spiritual strength and moral power? Only one who is blind would not see that the corpse of a tzaddik is merely the garment of a person departed - and cast aside his or her cloak” (Ibid.), 

Perhaps, the second “there” used to describe the death of Miriam is, as the Ohr HaChaim HaKadosh writes, to teach us that she lives on in the spiritual realm. Perhaps. But maybe, it is as Rav Hirsch notes, that Miriam lives on beyond the earthy confines of her resting place because her legacy inspired, and continues to inspire generations of Jewish women to hold fast to the example she set. The death of Miriam was an inestimable loss on a physical level to the Jewish people. However, we can take solace in knowing that by living lives consistent with her message and model, we can continue to feel her presence among us. This Shabbat, let us reflect on how we will give over our legacies to future generations. This Shabbat, let us consider how the way we act and live here and now will influence the way others will act and live in the future. Our immortality depends on the way we live our lives today. This Shabbat, may we all think about what we are doing to invest in our immortality, in our legacies here and now, so that future generations will live their lives by our examples, and achieve their material and spiritual success based upon the strong moral foundations we have set. 

Shabbat Shalom!

-Rabbi Dan

Schedule of Services at B'nai Abraham

We encourage everyone to daven privately when unable to attend services. Use the private time to connect to Hashem. Public prayer definitely adds to our prayer experience. Yet we also have the capacity to create a profoundly meaningful private experience with the Divine. Let us seek such an experience in the coming days.  

Friday Evening, June 30th


Mincha & Kabbalat Shabbat


Candle Lighting

Saturday, July 1st







Sunday, July 2nd



Weekday Services



*Tuesday (Federal Holiday)*

8:30 AM

Wednesday- Friday


*Fast of Tammuz*

(Shiva Asar b'Tammuz)

Thursday (7/6/23)

Fast Begins: 5:22AM

Shacharit: 7:05AM

Fast Ends: 9:07PM

CTI Announcements

CTI is excited to welcome Shoshana Mitzman, the JNF-Makom liaison and the Director of Partnerships at Makom, Israel’s largest national organization that develops communities from all sectors of society, creating leaders, volunteers, educators, and a future generation of doers throughout Israel. MAKOM’s network of communities is positively changing Israeli society, focusing on empowering and revitalizing towns and villages across the Negev & Galilee.


Shoshana was born in America but has lived in Israel most of her life. She is a respected scholar and nonprofit leader, who earned her master’s degree from Case Western Reserve University and has developed her career by working in managing, consulting, and development for various nonprofits. Shosh volunteers in a variety of areas and is a passionate advocate for developing the frontier of Israel and planning for her future.



About MAKOM Communities & JNF: 

By motivating scores of Israelis to move to the North & South, Jewish National Fund-USA is shaping the landscape of Israel through partnerships with Israeli NGOs and local community leaders. Crucial to this effort is MAKOM, a network of 250 diverse groups led by 18,000 volunteers, who impact 500,000+ Israelis annually. By providing culture, education, welfare, and employment programming, MAKOM helps all citizens feel connected to their unique cultures and interests in the in the periphery.

*Members, please renew your membership by filling out the form linked below. Renewal is not automatic and it's important that the form is filled out and we get updated information

Renew Your Membership for 2023-2024!
RSVP Here!

CTI is looking for a man or woman to serve as a backup shmira coordinator for when Larry Smith is out of town of otherwise unavailable. This involves a couple of hours of training to learn how to set up and manage shifts and communicate with the shomrim. Please contact Larry at 512-923-3964 or by email at [email protected] if you are interested or would like more information.

If you are new to the community and want more information about Austin Shmira, here is a link to their website:

Sponsor Kiddush!

Thank you David & Rita Chapin for sponsoring Kiddush in loving memory of David's father, N. Jerome Chapin, z'l on his Yahrzeit

Sponsoring a Kiddush is a lovely way to honor a loved one on their birthday, for an anniversary, to commemorate a Yarhtzeit, or just because you want to help out the community! Please consider sponsoring a Kiddush in August or September and give us the opportunity to thank YOU for kiddush! 

Sponsor a Kiddush


Click Here! for more information on how to join these exciting classes:

Torah Classes at CTI!

Take Your Tanakh Series

TYT Tuesday Night - The Book of Isaiah

Tuesday 7:00pm

TYT Wednesday Mornings - The Book of Job

Wednesday 8:15am

For those new to the community, check out this introductory video 
featuring Rabbi Dan and a few of our wonderful CTI community members! 


Samuel Wander on July 3

Alana Pompa on July 4


Charles & Jennifer (Vonne) Kaufman on July 4

Reuven Robbins & Rosemary Klein-Robbins on July 4

If you have any birthdays or anniversaries you would like to add,

please update your profile on our website.

Yahrzeit Remembrances

N. Jerome Chapin, Father of David Chapin, on Saturday 12 Tammuz

Eliot Price, Father of Marty Price, on Wednesday 16 Tammuz

Esther Price, Mother of Marty Price on Friday 18 Tammuz

Nettie Liebowitz, Mother of Harold Liebowitz, on Friday 18 Tammuz

May their souls be bound up in the bond of life.

If you have a Yahrzeit that you would like the congregation to acknowledge, or if you have a correction that needs to be made, please update your profile on our website.


Thank you to our anonymous donors.

Thank you to Ben Heyen for his donation

to the General Fund.

Thank you to Todd Shandelman and

Offer Shavit for their aliyah donations.

Thank you to Gabe and Emily Yaffe for

their donation in honor of Beth & Eric Shapiro,

for being great hosts and friends.

We encourage you to use electronic payments by credit card or eCheck through CTI's website at when fulfilling the mitzvah of giving Tzedakah to mark family events and milestones, including Yahrzeits, and in honor of CTI and our community. 


Spiel sponsorships are now available for a donation of $18. Advertise your business or dedicate an issue of the spiel in memory of a loved one or to celebrate a Simcha.

Contact admin for more details. 

Donations can be made via our website at or by sending your check to:

Tiferet Israel P.O. Box 27254, Austin, TX 78755. Please make check payable to Tiferet Israel and please indicate what the donation is for. 

Refuah Shelayma to: 
  • Shoshana Yael bat Sarah
  • Allene Novy-Portnoy; Hannah Bassa bat Sarah Osnat 
  • Avshalom ben Hannah Bassa
  • Cindy Newman 
  • Janet Goldberg; Shayna Masha bat Chasha Mina
  • Ken Friedman
  • Rebecca Millner; Rivkah bat Shoshana
  • Sheina Ruchel bat Henya Leah
  • Tzvi David ben Rivka Golda
  • Yoel Simcha ben Chaya Risha 
  • Sulta bat Nedgma
  • Zvi Aharon ben Bayla
  • Yaira bat Sarah
  • Tamar bat Chaya
  • Ilana bat Gheita
  • HaRav Avram Meir ben Eli Yosef v'Shira Chanah.
  • Rabbi Harold Liebowitz, Ha Rav Chaim Alter ben Necha. 
  • Baruch Akiva Ben Rivka
  • Miriam bat Helen
  • Rivka Michal bat Sarah Chana
  • Lori Garza 
  • Yisroel Natan ben Sarah
  • Masha Gitil bas Chaya Yita
  • Allen Levinson; Avraham Yitzchak ben Gittel
  • Moshe ben Reizel
  • Sandra Freed
  • David Chapin
  • Avigail Malkah bat Devorah
  • David Moshe ben Sylvia
  • Shoshana bat Yocheved
  • Miriam bat Rachel v'Mordechai
  • Alta Shoshana bat Shulamit
  • Meir Psachia ben Tziril
  • Geni Berman Abitbol
  • Beilya Golda bat Leah
  • Yosef Yehoshua ben Sarah
  • Jonathan Malawer (Yosef ben Bracha)
  • Bowie Alarcon
  • Fivel ben Sarah HaLevi
  • Adam ben Chanah
  • Rafael ben Sheindal Leah
  • Aharon Asher ben Chaya Naomi
  • Esther Malka Fraida bat Serel Chaya Raiza
  • Kalev Boaz Chai ben Aliza
  • Esther Reva bat Malka
  • Avraham ben Rut
  • Peter Janson, Fievel ben Devorah
  • Sheva Eva bat Bella.
  • Dorit Iken, Dorit Chana bat Orah
  • Moshe ben Rut
  • Shulkah Malka bat Tziporah
  • Chandal bat Basia
  • Shmuel Dovid bat Malka
  • Anthony Ben Devorah
  • Shayna Leah bat Yehudit
  • Reuven ben Shira
  • Batyah bat Sara
  • Akiva ben Sara
  • Jake Wolfson
  • Rachel Tzivia bat Malka
  • Rachel Golda bat Leah

 Wishing all Cholei Yisrael a Refuah Shlayma. 

Dear Tiferet Friends, 

If you placed a name on the Refuah Shelayma list and G-d willing the person is well, 

please let us know. Also, if you have a friend or family member who needs 

prayers for healing, again please let us know at [email protected]  

Using the CTI Website

Logging in is easy via the login button at the top of the web page. Your login ID is your email address. Once logged in, many of the fields are pre-filled for you, to make it easier and quicker to register for an event or make a donation.

But that's not all! You will also have access to the online Member Directory, the CTI Bylaws, the minutes of Board meetings and the President,Treasurer and Rabbi Reports and other documents, all under the Resources tab. With more coming all the time!

If you have any questions or comments about the website, please contact our webmaster at [email protected].

Contact Us!

On the web:


Dan Millner: [email protected] 

Phone: 512-410-0336 ext 101


Alana Pompa: [email protected]  

Phone: 512-410-0336 ext 102

Vice President:

Sarah Wander [email protected] 


Chuck Kaufman, [email protected]


Sarah Church Carroll 

[email protected] 

Phone: 512-410-0336 ext 103


Larry Smith [email protected]  

Phone: 512-923-3964


Alana Pompa 

[email protected] 

Phone: 512-410-0336 ext 106

Kiddush Committee:

Beth Shapiro [email protected]

Youth Educator:

Emily Yaffe [email protected]

Chesed Committee:

Jeanette Brickman [email protected]

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