Congregation Tiferet Israel 

Austin, TX

1 Iyyar 5783 -- April 22, 2023

What's the Spiel?

Parshat Tazria-Metzora

Austin Community Eruv

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Rabbi's Reflections

-Tzara'at: Our Clothes Ourselves-

There are many places in Tanakh which call upon us to open our eyes, our ears and our hearts to the bigger picture of our lives, as it says, "Bring out the people who are blind, yet have eyes, who are deaf, yet have ears" (Yeshiyahu 43:8). Too often, we view life through a narrow lens, seeing only ourselves, our actions and our speech in the way we wish, looking only at that which we want to see, hearing only that which we want to hear. But the truth is, if we go through life's journey unaware of the greater implications our words and actions have on others, we may forfeit our opportunity to correct unproductive, even detrimental behavior, as well as our chance to repair some of the hurt we've caused due our lack of greater vision. And we see an example of the importance of paying attention to the "red-flags" and "warning signs" of how our behavior impacts others from this week's double-parsha.


Parshat Tazria-Metzora continues the Torah's in-depth discussion about the laws of Tumah and Tahara (ritual impurity and purity), specifically focusing on tzara'at, a spiritual malady with severe physical symptoms, caused by one of seven things: "Reckless speech, murder, false oaths, immorality, arrogance, theft, and stinginess" (B. Talmud, Arachin 16a).  Tza'arat contaminates one's body, one's home and even one's clothes, as it says, "If there shall be a tzara'at affliction in a garment, in a woolen garment or a linen garment, or in the warp or the woof of the linen or of the wool...It is a tzara'at affliction, and it shall be shown to the Kohen" (Vayikra 13:47-9).


What is the significance of having tzara'at impact the clothes we wear? The Midrash Tadshe asks this very same question and focuses on the order in which clothing is affected, saying, "Why does a woolen garment precede a linen garment (in the aforementioned verses)? Rather, it is because woolen garments are (usually) worn as outer vestments, removed from the body. However, linen garments are (usually) worn close to the body. Therefore," the Midrash says, "the Holy One, Blessed be He, begins [showing problematic signs] with things that are more distant from the body."


The lesson we can learn from seeing tzara'at contaminate our "outer layers" first before it touches our "inner layers" is a very important one. If we do not realize that our actions and our speech have far reaching implications, if we do not understand that every word we say and every deed we do is connected to us, no matter far removed we may think we are from them, the negative consequences of those words and deeds will ultimately come back to impact our lives in the closest, most intimate ways. 


We should always keep our eyes and our ears open to see and hear the broader implications of the things we and do and say. When we see the warning signs of our behavior appear on the "clothing of our lives," on the "outer garments" of our being, let us heed them, and understand them as opportunities to change our ways and chart new courses for ourselves.


This Shabbat, let us reflect on the idea that before we speak or act, we should always try to consider the people our speech and actions will affect, and how those same words and deeds will affect us. If we can see our lives in their broadest contexts, we will be able to strengthen our personal and professional relationships, our community and ourselves, in order to make a better world for us all. 

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


Shabbat Morning



Youth Services


Shabbat Evening








Weekday Services

Monday - Friday



CTI Announcements

CTI extends its deepest condolences to the family of Peter Janson (Fivel ben Tzur), our beloved community member. May Pete's memory forever serve as a bracha.

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Register 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 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 Beth Steinberg and Sam Glassman for sponsoring Kiddush in loving memory of Beth's mother, Eve Kurtin z"l

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 April, May or June, 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! 


Marta Shaftel on April 24

Kaleb Rosenberg on April 25

Eloise Couch on April 25

Myles Shaftel on April 27


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

please update your profile on our website.

Yahrzeit Remembrances

Goldie Klein, Mother of Rosemary Klein-Robbins on Sunday 2 Iyyar

Eve Kurtin Steinberg, Mother of Beth Steinberg, on Tuesday 4 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 Jeanette and Lowell Brickman for their kiddush donation "in honor of Sherry and Reese Fishman-Carroll, Marshall Humble, Rabbi Dan and Yael Millner, Alana Pompa, Michele and Isaac Reitberger, Beth and Eric Shapiro, and Emily and Gabe Yaffe for their gemiliut chasadim during the Pesach holiday."

Thank you to David and Hillary Kaplan for their donation in honor of Tomer Klein's Pidyon HaBen.

Thank you to J. Kevin & Diane Oncken for their donation to the Youth Educator Fund

in memory of Jan Gould z"l.

Thank you to Arthur and Barb Altman and Jay and Carol Rubin for their yizkor donations.

Thank you to Rita Chapin for her yahrzeit donation in memory of her father Harry Goldberg z"l.

Thank you to David Chapin, Gary Gerstenhaber, Rick Goldberg, and Jay Rubin for their aliyah donations.  

Thank you to Ayal Shavit for his 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

 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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