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3 Shevat 5784 - January 13, 2024

Parshat Vaera

Rabbi's Reflections

-Great is Your Faithfulness: Belief is a Two-Way Street-

Parshat Va’era marks the beginning of the Jewish people’s redemption from Egypt. As the first seven plagues ravage the land, an obstinate Pharaoh continues to refuse to let the people go. Nonetheless, the process of redemption is anything but straightforward. Despite Moshe’s signs and reassurances, the Jewish people struggle to believe in the light of a new day, as the presence of the shepherd-prophet has resulted in nothing but harsher burdens, as it says, “they would not listen to Moshe, their spirits crushed by cruel bondage” (Shemot 6:9). Seeing how his well-intentioned actions have adversely impacted the very people he loves, Moshe becomes disheartened, doubting his own ability to accomplish the task, as it says, “The Israelites will not listen to me; how then will Pharaoh heed me?” (Ibid., 6:12). God then speaks to Moshe, telling him, “I am the Lord, speak to Pharaoh king of Egypt all that I will tell you” (Ibid., 6:29). What is God trying to tell a dejected Moshe? How does hearing “I am the Lord” serve as any kind of encouragement?

According to Rashi, “I am the Lord” means, “I have the ability to send you and to fulfill My mission.” God does not make mistakes. God does not select the “wrong” individual to fulfill His purposes. Even when we doubt ourselves, God has faith us. Thus, God is telling Moshe, “Moshe, do you really believe I don’t think you can do this? Do you really believe that I am setting you up for failure? Moshe, I am the Lord! Is there anything beyond Me? You will succeed because I have chosen you for this task. If you believe in Me, then you have to know that I believe in you. Now, speak to Pharaoh.” To have faith in God means that we also have to believe that God has faith in us.

Every morning, we recite “Modei Ani.” It is a beautiful prayer, thanking God for returning our souls to us: “I thank You, living and eternal King, for giving me back my soul in mercy. Great is Your faithfulness.” We might think that God returns our souls to us because of our great faith in Him. But no! God restores our souls because of His great faith in us: “Great is Your faithfulness.” Faith that today, we will accomplish our missions! Faith that today, we will succeed in our callings! Faith that today, we will finally understand that every task we have been given has been assigned to us, uniquely, by the One Who believes so totally in our success that it is impossible to doubt our own abilities. This Shabbat, let us reflect on this most powerful and inspiring truth: To believe in God is to believe that God believes in you!

Shabbat Shalom!

-Rabbi Dan

Schedule of Services at B'nai Abraham

Friday Night

Candle Lighting


Mincha & Kabbalat Shabbat





Youth Services









Monday (Federal Holiday)



Tuesday - Friday



CTI Announcements

2023 Tax Statements

Statements of 2023 Charitable Donations are being sent on request only. If you need a statement, please send a request to Larry Smith at [email protected].

Special Shabbat Message: A Texan Volunteer For Israel

Reflections by Eddie Selig

Please join us this Shabbat to hear words of chizuk (encouragement) and inspiration from our member, Eddie Selig, who has twice volunteered with the Volunteers for Israel.

This past summer, Eddie Selig participated in the Sar-El/Volunteers for Israel (VFI) program for two weeks. He was assigned to Matzrap, a medical logistics army base associated with Tel HaShomer in Tel Aviv, where his cohort was responsible for helping to process medical supplies for the IDF - checking for expired medicines, repackaging medical equipment and field packs, and also recycling equipment. Shortly after October 7th, Eddie received an email from the VFI President in which he said that he needed to show Israelis that we support them and invited other VFI volunteers to join him by volunteering again. To that end, Eddie initiated the process to participate and went again on November 19 for 2 weeks - the first week he was assigned to Hetzerim Airbase, just south of Ber Sheva, where his group packaged food bags for the soldiers, and the second week he was assigned to Matzrap again, performing similar tasks that he did in July. 

Join us on Sunday, January 14 from 5:00PM to 6:30PM at Congregation Tiferet Israel to learn about the vital work of the Ach Gadol (Big Brother) Lone Soldier Organization in Israel. 

Ach Gadol focuses on supporting Lone Soldiers during their IDF service. It does so through a unique mentorship model, pairing volunteers (all former Lone Soldiers) with those on active duty. Ach Gadol provides the young men and women with one-on-one personal guidance, essential support, and a life-long network. The ongoing war in Israel has brought considerable challenges for Lone Soldiers - and has made Ach Gadol’s work more meaningful, impactful, and necessary than ever.

We will have the honor of hearing from the CEO of Ach Gadol, Daniel Aharon, along with Maj. (Res.) Hadas, an Ethiopian and Bedouin officer of distinction, and Staff Sgt. (Res.) Vitaly, who spent three months fighting in Ukraine before drafting to IDF reserve duty in October, will share their unique experiences, including how the current war has impacted their lives and the lives of thousands of Lone Soldiers.

Admission is free, but we ask that people register in advance. Register Here!

Email Arthur Altman at [email protected] if you have any questions.

Destigmatizing Suicide

Stan Zimmerman, writer for The Golden Girls, Roseanne, Gilmore Girls, brings to life the last words written in letters by individuals lost to suicide — including celebrities, veterans, kids that were bullied, LGBTQ, and the clinically depressed — and those who have survived suicide attempts. Since its acclaimed first performance at the Hollywood Fringe Festival in 2015, the play has traveled across the country, raising awareness and offering hope for suicide prevention.

January 20 - 7:30 PM

Doug Smith Performance Center

206 W 2nd Street Georgetown

*Talkback to follow

Buy Tickets!

January 21 - 3:00 PM

Gloria & Harvey Evans Performance Center at the Dell JCC

Austin 7300 Hart Lane Austin

*Talkback to follow

Buy Tickets!

Israel in Its Land: The Archeological Evidence


Rabbi Harold Liebowitz earned his PhD at the University of Pennsylvania, his MA at New York University and his BA and Rabbinic Ordination under Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik at Yeshiva University. A longtime professor of Middle Eastern Studies and Biblical History and Archeology at UT, he also taught at Bar-Ilan University, Baltimore Hebrew College, Duke University and Temple University and has published extensively on a wide range of subjects, including archeology, art, and daily life in the ancient Near East.

Harold and his wife Judy are founding members of Congregation Tiferet Israel.


7:00-7:30 PM Schmooze & Nosh

7:30-8:30 PM Learn & Q&A

8:30-9:00 PM Schmooze & Nosh S'more

Tell America's Leaders to Stand with Israel!

Anti-Israel activists are calling members of Congress. Make your pro-Israel voice heard by calling your elected officials to make clear you stand with our ally Israel against Hamas terrorism!

Support Israel

Shalom Austin Emergency Campaign.


Friends of the Israel Defense Forces

Israel American Council

At War: Heal Israel Now

Thank you Vicky Gould for sponsoring Kiddush in loving memory of the first yahrzeit of her husband, Jan Gould zl.

If you would like to sponsor a Kiddush in February, March or beyond, please take a look at our calendar and reserve your spot! THANK YOU for supporting CTI and our community with your sponsorship! Also a big thank you to the many people who help with kiddush prep and cleanup!!! Your efforts are very much appreciated! 

Sponsor A Kiddush

Mazel Tov!

  • Sandy & Camille Kress, Anniversary on January 13
  • Charles Radin, Birthday on January 15
  • Adam Hoffman, Birthday on January 16
  • J.E. Wolfson, Birthday on January 17
  • Maxwell Wander, Birthday on January 19
  • Jennifer Kron, Birthday on January 19

*Please update your shulcloud account with birthdays, anniversaries, and Yahrtzeits to make sure they're highlighted in the Spiel. If you have any questions on how to do so email [email protected]*

Yahrtzeit Remembrances

  • Samuel Steiger, Father of Elaine Orent, on Sunday 4 Shevat
  • Minnie Shapiro, Grandmother of Eric Shapiro, on Sunday 4 Shevat
  • Jan Gould, Husband of Vicky Gould, on Thursday 8 Shevat

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 for Rick Goldberg, David Chapin, Offer Shavit, and Ron Yakov for their aliyah donation.

Thank you to our anonymous donors.

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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
  • 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)
  • Fivel ben Sarah HaLevi
  • Adam ben Chanah
  • Rafael ben Sheindal Leah
  • Aharon Asher ben Chaya Naomi
  • Esther Malka Fraida bat Serel Chaya Raiza
  • 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
  • Rachel Tzivia bat Malka
  • Chava Golda bat Leah
  • David Yosef ben Aga
  • Layla Tzohara bat Naomi Rivkeh
  • Shimon Yaakov ben Sarah

 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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