Congregation Tiferet Israel 

Austin, TX

16 Kislev 5783 -- December 10, 2022

What's the Spiel?

Parshat Vayishlach

Austin Community Eruv

For more information, a map and current status click here.

Our website

Sign Up to Receive our Emails


Email Rabbi Dan

Email CTI President

Inquire about our Torah School Program

CTI Kashrut Standards

Common Reliable Kosher Certifications Found Locally

Join CTI Youth Newsletter

Donate to CTI

Shop & Support

ArtScroll online

Amazon Smile

Membership Information

Become a member of a congregation that feels like a family!

Contact Alana Pompa

for more information:

Renew Your

Membership Here!

Rabbi's Reflections

-A Glimpse of an Angel: Centering Esav and Ourselves-

Parshat Vayishlach opens on a tense and dramatic note. Yaakov, fearing the impending confrontation with his older brother, Esav, wishes to understand his true intentions. He dispatches a scouting party to gather some intelligence on Esav’s movements, as it says, “Yaakov sent angels ahead of him to his brother Esav, to the land of Seir, the field of Edom” (Bereshit 32:4). When the angels return to Yaakov, they relate their findings and inform him that indeed, Esav “is coming toward you, and four hundred men are with him” (Ibid., 34:7). Upon hearing this news, “Yaakov became frightened and was distressed” (Ibid., 32: 8). In his Commentary on Bereshit, Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik asks a logical question on Yaakov’s reaction to hearing this news from the very mouths of angels. Asks the Rav, “If Yaakov’s entourage included angels ready to take orders, why was Yaakov so fearful of Esav? The Book of Kings describes how one angel destroyed 180,000 of Sennacherib’s army; why was Yaakov so concerned about an army of only 400?” 

According to the Rav, supernatural aid is never provided unless first, human beings pursue every course of action possible in order to help themselves. In other words, “No miracles occur until all natural means are exhausted. The angels would not give assistance as long as Yaakov could handle the situation.” Of course, Yaakov believed he could handle the situation. He divided his camp, sent tributary gifts, and did everything he could to prepare for an armed conflict and save his family. The question then becomes, “Why did Yaakov send angels at all?” What benefit could they add? According to the Rav, Yaakov was not tasking the angels with any supernatural mission. He was not hoping for any divine salvation. Rather, “Yaakov thought it was impossible for a son of Yitzchak and a grandson of Avraham to be spiritually insensitive; that Esav’s road to repentance could not be entirely blocked. Angels were a common sight in Avraham’s and Yitzchak’s homes (Rashi, 19:1). Yaakov hoped that the sight of angels might awaken a feeling of longing in Esav, of nostalgia and contrition.” In other words, the angels were sent in order to help Esav reconnect with his spiritual roots and do teshuva. True, Yaakov may have viewed them as a type of “spiritual insurance” – that after he did all he could do, perhaps the angels could help in that case. Yet, more significantly, Yaakov was concerned for the spiritual welfare of his brother. Yaakov knew that if Esav could merely catch a passing glimpse of the angels, whatever war-like, angry aggression he felt towards his brother would pass away, and his desire repent, relent and reconcile would be more likely. So, the angels were not sent to save Yaakov, they were, in effect, sent to save Esav.

This Shabbat, let us consider those things in our lives which call us back to remembering what’s truly essential about who we are and what’s most important in our lives. Often times, we get so swept up in our emotions, that our better judgment gets clouded. Instead of being carried away by the moment, by the anger and frustration, by feuds and silent-treatments, what if, instead, we saw those “angels” which signaled to us what it is we really care about and love. What if, in the midst of heightened emotion, we caught a glimpse of the love of family and friends, a glimpse of the love of Torah and the values of Judaism we know to be true. How would that change our responses towards those with whom we are challenged by? How would finding our spiritual centers alter our interactions? Perhaps it would soften our stances. Perhaps it would open our hearts. Perhaps, it would enable us to miraculously embrace one another – as Esav did to Yaakov, as Yaakov did to Esav, and finally reconcile. 

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

Micha/Kabbalat Shabbat


Shabbat Morning


9:00 AM

Children's Services


Mincha (Following Kiddush)

12:50 PM

Maariv/Havdalah (At Home)

6:10 PM




Weekday Services




CTI Announcements

RSVP Here!
RSVP Here!

Thank you to Gary & Karin Gerstenhaber for sponsoring Kiddush in honor of the Board and all the folks who are in charge of committees.

Sponsor Kiddush!

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 Couch on December 13

Nicole Greenberg on December 14


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

please update your profile on our website.

Yahrzeit Remembrances

Marjorie Lazarus, Mother of Katie Price, on Monday 18 Kislev

Theresa Wrubel, Mother of Betty Glosser, on Monday 18 Kislev

Sarah Tragerman Rosenberg, Mother of Daniel Rosenberg,

on Tuesday 19 Kislev

Hirsch Orent, Father of Amnon Orent, on Thursday 21 Kislev

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 Rick Goldberg for his

donation to the Rabbi Fund.

Thank you to Julie Van Keer for her donations

in honor of Henna Tatham, and get well

wishes for David Chapin.

Thank you to Offer Shavit for his aliyah donation.

Thank you to Eileen and David Hillson for their donations to the Tendler Fund and General Fund, in Memory of Debbie and Joel Tendler.

Thank you to Jay and Carol Rubin for their donations to the Tendler Fund, and to the General Fund In Honor of Leon Toubin.

Thank you to David Chapin for his Aliyah donation, and for his donation to the General Fund in honor of the morning minyan.

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
  • 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.

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

Facebook  Twitter  Instagram