Congregation Tiferet Israel 

Austin, TX

15 Iyyar 5783 -- May 6, 2023

What's the Spiel?

Parshat Emor

Austin Community Eruv

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Rabbi's Reflections

-The Gift of Every Jew-

In this week's parshaParshat Emor, we learn about the very important commandment not to desecrate the Name of God, as it says, "Speak to Aharon and his sons...and let them not desecrate My holy Name" (Vayikra 22:2). While the prohibition against desecrating the Name of God and the commandment to sanctify the Name of God falls upon every Jew equally, as it says, "You shall not desecrate My holy Name, that I may be sanctified in the midst of the Children of Israel" (Ibid., 32), why, in the former verse is the prohibition against "Chilul HaShem" (Desecrating God's Name) addressed to the Kohanim alone? Surely, all people know very well the tremendous weight and consequence of such a thing! 


To help answer this question, I would like to turn to the words of the Sforno who explains the meaning of the verse as follows: "Let [the Kohanim] not think that on account of their exalted status, the holy things of the people may be considered as profane to them" (Sforno on Vayikra 22:2). In other words, there are numerous degrees of and avenues towards kedusha (holiness), and every person grows in their own kedusha according to their unique abilities and capacities. However, one should not think that because they have achieved a certain place of prestige and power within Jewish society – as a respected Talmid Chacham, an influential benefactor or a pillar of the Jewish community in any form or fashion, that the contributions of others who have not achieved that status are somehow less important or valuable than their own. That is to say, every Jew is commanded to be kadosh, holy, yet every Jew achieves kedusha in their own way, and every way is of value, so long as it serves the purpose of elevating oneself in Torah and spiritual refinement. Thus, the Kohanim, the most exulted, distinguished, elite segment of Jewish society, who merited to have even more mitzvot than the average Jew, were cautioned never to look down upon the offerings of their fellow Jews, specifically because they could not rise to the spiritual heights of the Kohanim in terms of holy service and pedigree. The Kohanim needed to be constantly mindful of the fact that every act of sanctification the Jewish people performed was authorized, and therefore, sanctified by God, Who hallowed them Himself. Therefore, the Kohanim must honor those offerings as well, treat them as highly, seriously and as lovingly as their own, for not to do so would constitute a desecration of God's Name.


When a Jew is trying to be kadosh, trying to learn Torah, develop their mitzvah observance and refine their spiritual life, the most hurtful thing a fellow Jew can do is look down on them because they are not "on their level." Everyone has their own "level," and as long as we continue to strive to improve ourselves as Jews, each stride we take in that effort must be valued, loved and appreciated, especially by those who have achieved a certain status within the community. I remember when I was in yeshiva in Israel, one of my rabbis told us how disappointed he was in himself that he did not finish his five pages of Talmud with Rashi and Tosfot that day. We were astounded. "That's a tremendous amount to learn in one day," we all said. The rabbi replied, "Do not compare yourselves to me. What I can do in one day might take others a whole year. We're all on different rungs of our own spiritual ladders. But if you can do your best each day, that effort is counted as holy an effort as the greatest Talmid Chacham's!" 


This Shabbat, as we reflect on the kedusha each and every one us strive for, as we reflect on the spiritual gifts we offer to God, each in our own way, let us always seek to appreciate and value the gifts of others as being of equal value to our own. May we never judge a fellow Jew based on who they are or what they bring. May we always strive to see the worth in every Jew's contribution, because not to do so would be to look down on God Himself, Chas v'Shalom!  May we always do our best to see the significance in the gifts every person brings to our community, and may we view every Jew as offering something holy, something essential, something of inestimable value and endlessly precious. 


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 Night

Mincha & Kabbalat Shabbat


Candle Lighting


Shabbat Morning



Youth Services


*Shabbat services will take place in the new JCC building. Please meet in front of Bnai Abraham by 10:20 to talk over to the new room as a group.

Shabbat Evening








Weekday Services

Monday - Friday



CTI Announcements

Thank you to Davida Rosenthal, Ben Heyen, Arthur Altman, Josh Rosenberg, Loretta Magill, Rita Chapin, Adam Dollinger, Sarah Swernofsky, and Anita Lavie for volunteering at CTI's booth for Yom Ha'Atzmaut. Thank you to Rebekah Ross for volunteering from the beginning to help plan and make the booth a success.

Austin Jewish Academy Annual Dinner (5/19/23)

Dear CTI Family,

The Austin Jewish Academy (AJA) will be hosting its annual dinner on Friday, May 19th from 5:30pm to 8:00pm. The food will be provided by Palate Catering, under the supervision and certification of Dallas Kosher. All CTI members are invited and encouraged to attend. Please see the link below to sign up and show your support for Jewish education in Austin!

Mazal Tov!

CTI wishes to extend a heartfelt mazal tov to Kaleb Rosenberg on the occasion of his bar mitzvah! Mazal tov to proud parents Joshua and Kendra and sister Ari! CTI is so excited to celebrate with the whole Rosenberg family, and we wish Kaleb brachot, hatzlacha and simcha as he begins his journey into Jewish adulthood. Mazal tov! 

Shavuot Teaching Opportunities!

As the festival of Shavuot approaches, CTI is looking for members who wish to teach on Jewish subjects for our annual Tikkun Leil Shavuot! We will again divide up the learning on May 25th and May 26th. Classes should be about 45 minutes long, and can be on any Jewish topic of interest to the teacher! Please reply to Rabbi Dan at if you are interested no later than Friday, May 19th.

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 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:

RVSP Here!
Register Here!

Sponsor Kiddush!

Thank you Josh Rosenberg and Kendra Fox for sponsoring Kiddush in Honor of Kaleb's Bar Mitzvah

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 June or July, 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! 


Meredith Clifford on May 7

Paz Goldberg on May 7

Yoshiyahu Yaffe on May 8

David Feder on May 10

Caleb Wander on May 12


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

please update your profile on our website.

Yahrzeit Remembrances

Howard Wander, Grandfather of Gabriel Wander, on Tuesday 18 Iyyar

Fannie Gerstenhaber, Grandmother of Gary Gerstenhaber, on Thursday 20 Iyyar

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 Myles Shaftel, Arthur Altman, Isaac Rashkovsky, Jake Wolfson, Jay Rubin, and Liron Hayman, for their aliyah donations.

Thank you to Marty and Katie Price for

their donation to the General Fund.

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: 
  • 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  

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

Contact Us!

On the web:


Dan Millner: 

Phone: 512-410-0336 ext 101


Alana Pompa:  

Phone: 512-410-0336 ext 102

Vice President:

Sarah Wander 


Chuck Kaufman,


Sarah Church Carroll 

Phone: 512-410-0336 ext 103


Larry Smith  

Phone: 512-923-3964


Alana Pompa 

Phone: 512-410-0336 ext 106

Kiddush Committee:

Beth Shapiro

Youth Educator:

Emily Yaffe

Chesed Committee:

Jeanette Brickman

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