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2 Elul 5783 - August 19, 2023

Parshat Shoftim

Rabbi's Reflections

-The Kohen's Attitude: Inspire Every Day-

In this week’s parsha, Parshat Shoftim, we learn the following: “If a Levite would go from any of the settlements throughout Israel where he has been residing, to the place that the Lord has chosen, he may do so whenever he pleases. He may serve in the name of the Lord, his God, like all his fellow Levites who are there in attendance before the Lord” (Devarim 18: 6-7). What are these verses trying to teach us? First, Rashi explains that these verses are not speaking about a Levite per se, but rather, a Kohen, as the verse states, “He may serve in the name of the Lord, his God.” That being said, he goes on to quote the Talmud (Bava Kamma 109b), saying, “This teaches that a Kohen may come and offer his free-will and obligatory sacrifices even at a time when a priestly shift is in charge to which he does not belong.” 

Every Kohen had a two-week shift requiring him to leave his home and serve in the Beit HaMikdash (kind of like reserve duty). While ministering in the Beit HaMikdash, all of their actions and words would be focused solely on performing their holy tasks, while helping others to fulfill their ritual obligations. One might think, though, that once their term of service has ended, they could just go home and forget all about it. They’re off! They’re free! See you next time! However, here our parsha is telling us that living proper religious lives, serving God with sincerity and love, was not just something the Kohanim reserved for their shifts. Rather, they always sought to serve God, even when they were technically “off the clock.” The Kohanim knew that they were the teachers of their people – the symbols of moral righteousness, the ambassadors of the Most High, and that in order to advance the people spiritually, they had to serve as positive role-models for them, not only when they were ministering in the Beit HaMikdash in an official capacity, but even and especially when they were not. As the Prophet Zecharia says, “If you walk in My paths and keep My charge, you in turn will rule My House and guard My courts, and I will permit you to move about among the immoveable ones” (3:6-7). The Kohanim knew that in order to truly instill a love of serving God with alacrity, honesty and joy, they had to communicate that attitude to the people who were watching them, especially on their “days off.” Thus, the notion of a Kohen going to Jerusalem to bring his own sacrifice when he did not have to be there sends a clear message to all: Serving God is not a job, it is a way of life, it is an attitude, and that service does not just fall upon Kohanim, it falls upon every single Jew. 

It is easy to feel fully invested in something when we are obligated. What is more difficult is to have that same level of enthusiasm for that thing, whatever it is – our work, our spiritual lives, our relationships, when we think we’re “off the clock.” The Kohanim were showing the people that their love for serving God did not depend upon them “being the big shots,” it did not depend upon them being the teachers, the guides, the officials in charge. Rather, their desire for serving God came from the simple love they felt for God as Jews, and by showing that simple love to others by joining the masses in bringing their sacrifices to Jerusalem - even though yes, they were still Kohanim and had an elevated position, they demonstrated the importance of desiring a genuine spiritual life, and the significance of striving for ever greater closeness with God, making a better, healthier, and happier Jewish people.

This Shabbat, as we consider the work we do and the obligations we have, let us ask ourselves, “If no one was watching me, would I still be as committed? If I was not being compensated, would I still care as much?” The Kohanim taught the people that Judaism is not a job, and they are teaching all of us that the way we approach our spiritual lives has an impact on those around us. As Mr. Rogers once said, “Attitudes aren’t taught, they’re caught!”

Shabbat Shalom!

-Rabbi Dan

Schedule of Services at B'nai Abraham

Friday Night

Mincha & Kabbalat Shabbat


Candle Lighting


Shabbat Morning



Shabbat Evening








Monday - Friday



We encourage everyone to daven privately when unable to attend services. 

CTI Announcements

Maftir Yonah Sponsorship for Rabbi Dan

This year, CTI is honoring Rabbi Dan with the Maftir Yonah reading at Mincha on Yom Kippur.

This Haftarah reading is considered to be one of the highest honors a Shul can bestow upon one

of its communal members.

As part of the honor being bestowed up our Rabbi, a number of congregants have graciously agreed to co-sponsor his Aliyah and Haftarah reading with a $200 donation each to

Congregation Tiferet Israel.

These generous congregants include:

  • Arthur and Barb Altman
  • Lowell and Jeanette Brickman
  • David and Rita Chapin
  • Mitch and Patti Davis
  • Adam Dollinger and Elena Tsanko
  • Gary and Karin Gerstenhaber
  • Vicky Gould (in loving memory of Jan Gould z”l)
  • Chuck and Vonne Kaufman
  • Efraim and Sigal Klein
  • Dan and Natalie Ledeen
  • Robert and Susan Millner
  • Erik and Lindsay Rahimi
  • Isaac and Angela Raschkovsky
  • Myles and Marta Shaftel
  • Eric and Beth Shapiro
  • Larry and Ester Smith
  • Phil Spertus
  • Solomon and Devorah Sultan
  • Gabe and Sarah Wander
  • Scott Weingarten

If you would like to learn more information about this opportunity, or join the above sponsors

in co-sponsoring Rabbi Dan’s Aliyah and Haftara reading, please contact Eric Shapiro at

[email protected] for more information.

Thank you to Eric & Beth Shapiro for sponsoring Kiddush in honor of the birthday of their daughter, Ariella and in loving memory of Beth's mother, Renae Theda Peyser, z'l and Beth's grandmother, Celia Peyser, z'l, on their Yahrzeits.

A BIG THANK YOU to the CTI Community for stepping up to sponsor a Kiddush! It is a special way to help our Chevrah while honoring a loved one for a special event or to commemorate a Yahrtzeit. Your sponsorships have been filling up our kiddush calendar nicely, and we are booked many weeks out at this point.

If you would like to sponsor a kiddush in September or October, please take a look at our calendar and reserve your spot as the calendar has been filling up quickly! And THANK YOU for supporting CTI and our community with your sponsorship!

Sponsor A Kiddush

Mazel Tov!

  • Leo Goldstein (Birthday August 19)
  • Ariella Shapiro (Birthday August 19)
  • Reuven Robbins (Birthday August 20)
  • Marshall & Sandra Sack (Anniversary August 20)
  • Camille Kress (Birthday August 22)

Yahrtzeit Remembrances

  • Nathan Hoffman, Father of Sherry Fishman-Carroll on Saturday 2 Elul
  • Irving Rosenberg, Father of Daniel Rosenberg, on Thursday 7 Elul
  • Renae Cohen, Mother of Beth Shapiro, on Friday 8 Elul

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

Volunteer Opportunity

CTI is looking for a man or woman to serve as a backup shmira coordinator, to help manage shifts and communicate with the shomrim. Please contact Larry at 512-923-3964 or by email if you are interested or would like more information.

Torah Classes at CTI

Take Your Tanakh Series

Tuesday Night | 7:00pm - The Book of Isaiah

Wednesday Morning | 8:15am - The Book of Job

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


Thank you to our anonymous donors.

Thank you to Marshall Humble for his aliyah donation.

Thank you to David Chapin for his yahzheit donation.

Thank you to Larry and Ester Smith for their donation to the

Tendler Fund for sponsoring this year's Membership BBQ.

Make a Donation

Contact Us!

Rabbi Dan Millner:

[email protected] 

Phone: 512-410-0336 X101

For more contact numbers and emails, visit our website.

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, HaRav 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
  • 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
  • Sheva Eva bat Bella.
  • 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
  • Rachel Tzivia bat Malka
  • Chava 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]  

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