Congregation Tiferet Israel 

Austin, TX

 11 Cheshvan 5783 -- November 5, 2022

What's the Spiel?

Parshat Lech Lecha

Austin Community Eruv
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Tiferet Israel
PO Box 27254
Austin, TX 78755
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Membership Information

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Rabbi's Reflections

-Lend an Ear: The Power of Sincerity-

The Torah commands us, “Walk in God’s ways” (Devarim 28:9). How does one do that, exactly?  According to the Talmud, one can perform this mitzvah by emulating the character-traits of God: “Just as He is compassionate and merciful, so too should you be compassionate and merciful” (B. Talmud, Shabbat 133b). The Rambam (Hilchot De’ot 1:5-6) and others say the same. Thus, we can “walk in God’s ways” by following His holy example in our daily interactions with others. Yet, among the numerous middot tovot (good character-traits) we learn from God, is the middah of sincerity – being present, open and willing to hear what others have to say. We often engage others with an agenda – what do we want to get out of this interaction? What do we want to prove, dispel, promote or put down? Sometimes, when we ask people questions, we don’t really hear or want to hear what they have to say. We use interactions as a means of getting our point across. But Parshat Lech-Lecha teaches us that one Godly attribute we should all seek to emulate is the attribute of meeting people on their terms, hearing what they have to say, and doing so with love and sincerity.

Parshat Lech-Lecha introduces us to Hagar, the Egyptian maidservant of Sarai given to Avram in the hopes of bearing a child. Upon seeing that indeed, Hagar had become pregnant, Sarai felt slighted, disrespected and perhaps even envious of Hagar, and as a result, treated her harshly, as it says, “And Sarai afflicted her” (Bereshit 16:6). Due to her mistress’s mistreatment and seeing no other option, Hagar ran away into the wilderness.  And it was in this place of despair and loneliness, hurt and pain, that “An angel of the Lord found her by the spring of water in the wilderness, at the spring on the road to Shur. And he said, ‘Hagar, maidservant of Sarai, from where have you come and where are you going?’” Why open with a question? Couldn’t the angel just have easily said, “Hagar, maidservant of Sarai, return to your mistress!” Yet, the angel approached her softly, and asked her a simple question: “From where have you come?” Why? According to Rashi, the angel “knew where she came from, but he nonetheless asked her in order to give her an opening by which he could enter a conversation with her.” In other words, the angel understood that Hagar just needed to speak, to vent, to let it all out. The angel understood that more important than the solution to her problems, in the moment, was to just listen to her, to let her know that someone cared about her and that her voice was heard and what’s more, that it mattered. The angel just wanted to find a way to give Hagar some space and let her speak for once. Hagar felt that sincerity deeply, and responded to it by saying all of the things that weighed so heavily on her heart – unburdening her soul.

We can learn from this that sometimes, the most important thing we can do for another is to simply be there for them, listen to them, and allow them to say whatever it is they are thinking and feeling. But in order for that to happen, we must approach them softly, and with sincerity. This is a middah tovah we can learn from God, and one we should try to emulate. More important than being right or convincing is being honest and present, open and sincere. If we, like God, can do that, we can forge relationships, create partnerships, heal and comfort those we love and care about, and in so doing, those we love and care about can find the solutions to their dilemmas, and achieve the emotional and spiritual peace they seek. 

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

Candle Lighting

No later than 6:23PM

Mincha/Kabbalat Shabbat


Shabbat Morning


9:00 AM

Youth Service

 10:30 AM

Shabbat Evening


6:15 PM


7:18 PM




Weekday Services




CTI Announcements

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RSVP Here!

Sponsor Kiddush!

We have kiddush sponsorships available for the fall - please help keep the cholent coming and sign up to sponsor an upcoming kiddush.

Sponsor a Kiddush

Visit for more information on how to join these exciting classes:

Torah Classes at CTI!

Take Your Tanakh Series

TYT Tuesday Night - The Book of Judges

Tuesday 7:00pm

TYT Wednesday Mornings - The Book of Jonah

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! 


Blair Altman on November 5

If you have any birthdays or anniversaries you would

like to add, please update your profile on our website.

Yahrzeit Remembrances

Edith Levin, Mother of Reuven Robbins, on Sunday 12 Cheshvan

Roland Miller, Father of Marcia Sutter, on Wednesday 15 Cheshvan

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 Jeanette and Lowell Brickman for their

donation in honor of Henna Tatham.

Thank you to Offer Shavit and Myles Shaftel for their aliyah donations.

Thank you to Basil Herzstein for his aliyah donation in

honor of Rabbi Rebecca Reice and Asher Lazarus.


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, by pressing "Make a Donation" in the sidebar, using the "Donate to CTI" button on the top left of this email, 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
  • 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
  • Yehudit bat Sara
  • Chandal bat Basia
  • Shmuel Dovid bat Malka
  • Anthony Ben Devorah
  • Shayna Leah bat Yehudit
  • Reuven ben Shira
  • Batyah bat Sara
 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  

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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 Director:

Emily Yaffe

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