Congregation Tiferet Israel 

Austin, TX

14 Tevet 5783 -- January 7, 2023

What's the Spiel?

Parshat Vayechi

Austin Community Eruv

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Rabbi's Reflections

-Returning to the Pit-

Have you ever experienced a difficult episode in your life, only to return to the scene where it took place, weeks, months, or years later? How did you feel upon revisiting that spot? 


In this week's parshaParshat Vayechi, we learn that Yosef does just that. The Torah tells us that after Yaakov, the last of the Jewish patriarchs died, "Yosef went up [from Egypt] to bury his father, and with him went up all of Pharaoh's servants, the elders of the land of Egypt, and all of Yosef's household, and his brothers, and his father's household... and they held a very great and imposing eulogy..." (Bereshit 50:7-10).  However, the Midrash Tanchuma teaches us that as the brothers were returning to Egypt after burying their father, Yosef made a quick pit stop. Where did he go?


"The brothers saw when they [were returning] from burying their father, that Yosef went to recite a blessing at the pit that his brothers had cast him into, and he recited a blessing over it, just as a person is obligated to recite a blessing at a place where a miracle happened to him or her, "Blessed is the Omnipresent Who performed a miracle for me at this place."


After the death of his father, Yosef can now see that all of the trauma, all of the evil, all of the pain and hardship he endured over the years was ultimately for the good, as it says, "Although you intended me harm, God intended it for good" (Bereshit 50:20). Now that Yosef has this clarity and peace of mind, he feels the need and the ability to return to the very spot where it all began: The pit. He revisits the scene of the crime, and as a way of making peace with his past, as a way of tying together all of the unresolved, loose threads in his life, he recites a blessing at the pit - his quiet act of gaining closure for himself.  


For Yosef, gaining closure not only includes reuniting with his brothers and his father, it also included reuniting with the very place where he felt his life unravel, and by transforming the pit from being a place of curse to a place of blessing, Yosef was able to fully and truly make peace with his troubled past.


This Shabbat, as we conclude the final chapter in the story of Yosef and his brothers, take a moment and ask yourself, "What are the pits in my life that I need to revisit in order to gain closure for myself? Where are those places where I felt tested, where I struggled? How can I transform them into places of blessings?" 


May we all find the strength to return to those "pits," and may we all, like Yosef, find the power and the ability to turn those places of anger, shame, fear and despair, into places of peace and hope for a brighter future, so that we all, like Yosef, may one day be able to say, "God intended it for good."

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 5:27PM

Mincha/Kabbalat Shabbat


Shabbat Morning


9:00 AM

**There will be no Shabbat Youth Services December 24, 31 or January 7**

Shabbat Evening








Weekday Services

-Monday through Friday-



CTI Announcements

RSVP Here!
RSVP Here!
RSVP 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:

It is with incredible excitement that I invite you to this year's 8th Annual IAC National Summit to be held right here, in Austin, at the beautiful Fairmont Hotel from Jan. 19-21st.

The IAC National Summit has become one of the largest, most influential, and most high-profile conferences in the Jewish world. Under the theme "Israel. Together." we will bring together   hundreds    of Israeli Americans, American Jews, and Israelis of all ages. The focus of this gathering will be Israel's 75th anniversary, which will be celebrated as a community this year.

We will be offering a few different shabbat experiences this year, including an orthodox service, a traditional conservative prayer service led by our own Agudas' Rabbi Neil Blumofe, a reform singing     meditations' prayer service, and a gathering of women shared with the women who travelled to Israel with Momentum.

This year we are also offering a unique opportunity for our singles! Bring your children/family members so that they can meet their basheret at our singles event.

Our own Shalom Austin CEO, Rabbi Daniel Septimus, is also a speaker at the summit.

The summit will officially begin at 3pm on Thursday, January 19th at the Austin Fairmont Hotel. Celebrating Israel's 75 years of innovation together with world renown speakers, political figures,   business leaders, artists, and musical performances.

You can register here! 

Please use the following code as an Austin community member and receive 10% off today! Code: ATX10

Food Drive!

We are hosting a Food Drive to support the Shalom Austin Jewish Family Service Food Pantry! Unopened, unexpired, non-perishable food items can be brought to the shul Sunday-Friday and dropped in the black bin with the JFS Food Pantry sign. New, unopened personal hygiene items - like shampoo, diapers, and toothbrushes - are welcome, too.

The JFS Food Pantry serves those in need in the Jewish community and beyond here in Austin.

Sponsor Kiddush!

Thank you Rick & Paz Goldberg for sponsoring Kiddush in honor of Henna Tatham.

Give us the opportunity to thank YOU for kiddush! We have kiddush sponsorships available in February and March. Please help keep the cholent coming and sign up to sponsor an upcoming 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 Judges

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! 


Salen Churi on January 10

Matt Ronen on January 11


Sandy & Camille Kress on January 13

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

please update your profile on our website.

Yahrzeit Remembrances

Benjamin Brener, Father of Lazaro Brener, on Friday 20 Tevet

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 Isaac and Angela Raschkovsky for their donation to the High Holiday appeal.

Thank you to Sandi and Camille Kress for their donation to the RDF in honor of Rabbi Millner's extraordinary teaching.

Thank you to David and Rita Chapin for their donation of Artscroll machzorim for the High Holidays.

Thank you to David Chapin, Chuck Kaufman, and Offer Shavit for their aliyah donations.

Thank you to Jay and Carol Rubin for their donation to the Tendler Fund in honor of

their 29th wedding anniversary.

Thank you to Jay Rubin for his donation in memory of his father Sol Rubin.

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
  • 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

 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

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