Congregation Tiferet Israel 

Austin, TX

2 Kislev 5783 -- November 26, 2022

What's the Spiel?

Parshat Toldot

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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If so, contact Alana Pompa for more information at

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Rabbi's Reflections

-What Centers You?: Even Eisav Knows-

Parshat Toldot teaches us about two brothers who would forever change the course of Jewish and indeed, world history: Eisav and Yaakov. While Eisav is more concerned with worldly matters, Yaakov focuses on matters of the spirit, mind and heart. One day, Eisav approaches Yaakov, as it says, “And Esav came from the field, and he was faint” (Bereshit 25:29). According to Rav Soloveitchik, “Chazal teach us that the day Eisav sold his birthright was the day that Avraham died. Eisav returned from the field, from the world of business, wealthy and successful – yet the verse testifies that he was tired. He contrasted his life with that of Yaakov, the ‘ish tam,’ who lived a contented life. Suddenly he felt as if all his machinations and striving were purposeless, for naught. The Midrash relates that when Eisav entered and saw Yaakov preparing lentil soup, he asked, ‘What are you cooking?’ Yaakov answered, ‘Today our grandfather Avraham died.’ Eisav retorted in typical fashion that even the righteous Avraham fell victim to death. Although Eisav had no relationship with Avraham, he admitted to Yaakov, ‘I am tired.’ All the material goods in the world did not anchor him or provide security” (Daf Kesher,, Number 522). 

Based on Rav Soloveitchik’s interpretation of the interaction between Eisav and Yaakov it seems that it is spiritualty, not materialism that centers us, that sustains and nurtures us and provides us with meaning. We may exert a great deal of energy and effort running in the rat-race of earthly pursuits – business, wealth, prestige and power, but at the end of the day, striving to achieve material success without having a spiritual center only drains us, and leaves us feeling depleted, dejected and sad, especially when we see people who do have strong and healthy spiritual lives. In other words, “An Eisav will always feel tired and despondent when he sees a Yaakov.” And so it is for all of us. While it is true we must all exert ourselves in worldly affairs to provide for ourselves, our families and communities, we must also endeavor to create our own spiritual centers that give our lives a sense of meaning and wholeness – something no material benefit can compensate. Eisav lived only for the “field,” only for worldly things, and in that world, yes, he was king. But when he saw Yaakov, a man centered around family and faith, a quiet man whose power came not from this world but from beyond, even Eisav, “king of the field” felt like he was missing something. True, he may have brushed that sentimental feeling aside, but he felt it nonetheless, as all Eisav’s do today.

As we celebrate the Thanksgiving weekend, let us take stock what we are thankful for, and as we do, let us also consider what centers us in our lives – family, friends, community, faith, Torah and our unique spiritual connections to HaKadosh Baruch Hu. This Shabbat, may we strive to hold onto our spiritual centers as we make our way in the world. Our spirituality is what sustains us, this Yaakov taught Eisav in that one, brief moment, but it is a lesson Yaakov’s descendants have taken to heart for eternity. 

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 5:12PM

Shabbat Morning


9:00 AM

Shabbat Evening


5:05 PM


6:09 PM




Weekday Services




CTI Announcements

Mazal tov to Emily and Gavi Unger, daughter of Lynn and Jeff Kane and son of Sharon and Jerry Unger, on the birth of a beautiful baby girl, Naomi Chaya! Naomi Chaya was born on November 16th, and mom and baby are doing great! The whole family is so happy and grateful! 

RSVP Here!
RSVP Here!
RSVP Here!

Sponsor Kiddush!

We have kiddush sponsorships available for the Fall & Winter - 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! 


Jeffrey Kane on November 26

Larry Smith on November 26

Daniel Ledeen on November 27

Barb Altman on November 28

Henna E Tatham on November 28

Madeline Rosenberg on November 30

Marcia Sutter on November 30

If you have any birthdays or anniversaries you would

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

Yahrzeit Remembrances

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 Arthur Altman, Eddie Selig and Jake Wolfson for their aliyah donations.

Thank you to Mitch and Patti Davis for their donation in honor

of Henna Tatham and in memory of Bob Tatham.

Thank you to Emily and Gabe Yaffe for their donation to the chesed fund.

Thank you to David Chapin for his donation "in honor of his

first aliyah where I was renamed David Nissim".

Thank you to David Chapin for his donation "for all the overwhelming appreciate and goodwill the congregation has given me after my injury and the loss of my mother."

Thank you to Robert Weiss for his donation "in honor of my gracious Shabbos hosts- Beth and Eric Shapiro and in thanks to Jeanette Brickman for making arrangements for my visit."


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
  • David Chapin
  • 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  

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, and so on.

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

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