Congregation Tiferet Israel 

Austin, TX

7 Tevet 5783 -- December 31, 2022

What's the Spiel?

Parshat Vayigash

Austin Community Eruv

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Rabbi's Reflections

-Father Yosef: Learning from the Past-

Like his father, Yosef was also prone to showing favoritism to certain family members. Just as Yaakov bestowed more attention, affection and material gifts to Yosef over his other children, Yosef, too, bestowed more attention, affection and material gifts to Binyamin over his other brothers, as it says, "He passed portions from before him to them, and Binyamin's portion was greater than the portions of all of [his other brothers] fivefold" (Bereshit 43:34). Also, "the sons of Israel [made arrangements to come to Egypt], and Yosef gave them wagons by Pharaoh's word, and he gave them provisions for the journey. To each of them he gave changes of clothing; but to Binyamin he gave three hundred pieces of silver and five changes of clothing" (Ibid., 45:22). Clearly, Yosef is comfortable with openly displaying more concern for one brother over the others, thus making him susceptible to committing the same mistakes his father did. 

However, just as Yosef attempts to resettle his family in a new land, he is also burdened with the task of saving his adopted kingdom from famine's grip. Yosef, now Zaphenat-Paneach, Egypt's revered viceroy and darling wunderkind, must grapple with providing for his family on the one hand, and his fellow Egyptians on the other. Will Yosef repeat the same parental mistakes of his father on a national scale? Will Yosef give more to his family than he will to his fellow Egyptians, both of whom depend on him for their survival? The answer, is no. Yosef carefully and courageously overcomes his predisposition to give more to those he loves most, and treats his family and his adopted nation in the same way in an attempt to spare his family from the same fate he met due to preferential treatment – being envied, hated, rejected and brutalized. How did Yosef accomplish this?


In this week's parshaParshat Vayigash, we learn that when his family settled in the land of Goshen, "Yosef sustained his father and his brothers and all of his father's household with food according to the children" (Ibid., 47:12). According to the Sfrono, this means that, "Even though Yosef was in a position to allocate generous rations to the members of his family, he did not show them any preference and treated them on the basis of need, each family according to the number of souls. As our Sages have stated that at a time when the general population suffers shortage, even those who have ample provisions are to limit themselves" (Sforno on Bereshit 47:12). Thus, we see that Yosef treated both his family and the Egyptians equally. Perhaps, Yosef, who is now the leader and father-figure of two nations, learned that he had to establish, maintain and ensure peace between the Egyptians and the new Jewish inhabitants by not doing what his father had done: conferring equal treatment to all, despite his feelings. But what's more, as the severity of the famine intensifies throughout Egypt, Yosef decides to nationalize private land, as it says, "Yosef purchased all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh, for each of the Egyptians had sold him his field because the famine had become too hard for them; thus the land became the property of Pharaoh" (Bereshit 47:20). Once all of the land in Egypt came under government control, we learn that Yosef "then moved the people, city by city, from one end of the territory of Egypt to the other" (Ibid., 47:21). Why did Yosef do this? According to Rav Hirsch, "For the state to fully realize its newly acquired right, all those who had owned land were ordered to leave the land they had owned. Thus, a complete transfer of population took place...Our Sages point out the impact of this general population transfer on the new arrivals, the family of Yaakov. Henceforth, no Egyptian could look down disdainfully upon them as newcomers, since the Egyptians themselves no longer lived on their native soil" (Commentary on Bereshit 47:21). Here, we learn that not only did Yosef try to establish unity between his family and the Egyptians by not showing favor to one side over the other in terms of provisions, but he also tried to demonstrate equality by reinventing Egypt, in that all were newcomers now. 


Once he found himself in a position of power and responsibility, both to his family and to his country, Yosef made a conscious effort not to show favoritism, thereby avoiding the pitfalls of his past. Yosef, now the leader of two peoples, saw his role as being a unifier and a peacemaker, realizing that unity can only be achieved through fairness to all. Although many years later, the Egyptians would break that unified fellowship with the Jewish people, we can learn from Yosef's actions that once responsibility to provide for both loved ones and strangers is given to an individual, one must endeavor to do all they can to ensure that that care is given so that solidarity, peace and understanding can strengthen the bonds of family and turn strangers into friends. 


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 5:22PM

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-



Fast of Tevet (Tuesday, Jan. 3rd)

Fast Begins




Fast Ends


CTI Announcements

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 Daniel & Natalie Ledeen for sponsoring Kiddush in honor of their 14th anniversary.

Give us the opportunity to thank YOU for kiddush! We have kiddush sponsorships available in December and January. 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! 


Charles Kaufman on December 31

Marshall Humble on January 2

Suzanne Newberg on January 4


Stephen & Marcia Sutter on January 4

Jay & Carol Rubin on January 6

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

please update your profile on our website.

Yahrzeit Remembrances

Minnie Davis, Grandmother of Mitch Davis, on Saturday 7 Tevet

Sol Rubin, Father of Jay Rubin, on Sunday 8 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 to Zvika Ramon for his donation in memory of Emanuel Ben Avraham, and for being so welcoming last Shabbat.

Thank you to Marty and Katie Price and to

Ben Heyen for their donations.

Thank you to Sol Stavchansky for his donations to the Building Fund in Memory of Debbie and Joel Tendler, and in honor of Rabbi Harold and Judy Leibowitz.

Thank you to Eric and Beth Shapiro in memory of Eric's Grandfather z”l Louis Charles Shapiro.

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

 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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