Congregation Tiferet Israel 

Austin, TX

30 Av 5782 -- August 27, 2022

What's the Spiel?

Rosh Chodesh Elul - Parshat Re'eh

Austin Community Eruv
For more information, a map and current status click here.
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Tiferet Israel
PO Box 27254
Austin, TX 78755
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Membership Information

Would you like to become a member of a congregation that feels more like a family?

If so, contact Sarah Wander for more information at membership@tiferetaustin
Rabbi's Reflections

-The Differences that Bind-

When we look at the Jewish community today, the first thing many of us notice is how factious we are. After all, there are Sephardic Jews and Ashkenazic Jews. There are Reform and Conservative Jews. There are Modern Orthodox, Centrist Orthodox and Chassidic Jews. There are secular, cultural and even gastronomical Jews! And so the question we must ask ourselves is, “Is having all of these different groups a good thing?” After all, when we consider all of these different Jewish factions, denominations and identities, it is more common to observe discord and discontent, rather than harmony and happiness. However, if we turn to a verse from this week’s parsha, we may be able to better understand and appreciate the nature of Jewish diversity. 

Parshat Re’eh discusses a wide variety of mitzvot ranging from kashrut (the Jewish dietary laws), to the observance of the Thee Pilgrimage Festivals and basic areas of social responsibility. Yet, in the midst of this mitzvah-medley, we learn the following: “You are children to the Lord your God; you shall not cut yourselves and you shall not make a bald spot between your eyes for a dead person” (Devarim 14:1). Now, in its context, the phrase, “You shall not cut yourselves,” is clearly prohibiting an act of self-mutilation upon experiencing a loss through cutting, as Rashi explains, “You shall not make a cutting or a scratch in your flesh over a dead person in the way that the Amorites do, because you are children of the Omnipresent…” (Rashi on Devarim 14:1). However, the Talmud in Tractate Yevamot 13b-14a, interprets this verse to mean that “not making cuts” also applies to the national body of the Jewish people. Based on this understanding, our Sages devised the dictum, “You shall not form separate sects.” According to Rav Shimshon Raphael Hirsch the admonition not to become fractious means, “Differences of opinion regarding the interpretation of the Torah or regarding the conclusions to be drawn from the Torah must not lead to schisms that would break up the community, with one faction following the exponents of one view, and another faction following the exponents of the other view. Rather, all the differences of opinion shall be settled in accordance with the rules provided by the Torah itself for deciding such disputes. Thereby, uniformity of practice shall be maintained…” (Commentary on Devarim 14:1). Thus, from the words of the Talmud and Rav Hirsch, it seems that differences of opinion, differences in practice and adjudication are problematic, in that these differences could result in schisms.

However, if differences of opinion are so problematic, why then, is the Talmud fraught with them! In fact, the Talmud in Tractate Eruvin 13b teaches us, “For three years there was a dispute between Beit Shammai and Beit Hillel, the former asserting, ‘the halakhah is in agreement with our views,’ and the latter contending, ‘the halakhah is in agreement with our views!’ Then, a heavenly voice announced, ‘These and those, (the words of Beit Shammai and the words of Beit Hillel) are the words of the Living God…but the halakhah is like Beit Hillel!” The Talmud goes on to asks the obvious question: If the both the words of Beit Shammai and Beit Hillel are the words of the Living God, why does the halakhah go in accordance with the view of Beit Hillel? And the Talmud answers: “Because [the students of Beit Hillel] were kindly and modest – they studied their own rulings and those of Beit Shammai, and [what’s more] they were even so [humble] as to mention the opinions of Beit Shammai before their own.” 

Differences in opinion, embracing the diversity exhibited by the Jewish people are Jewish values. However, the differences which bind instead of separate, are differences which never seek to disrespect or disparage the other. 

We in Austin are blessed to have such a diverse Jewish community. And so this Shabbat, let us embrace that diversity by exchanging warm Shabbat greetings with our Reform and Conservative brothers and sisters, by taking a moment to connect with people on our beautiful campus whom we might ordinarily not connect with. Let us accept our differences with respect and love, living the meaning of the Talmud’s words, “These and those are the words of the Living God.” 

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 7:42 PM

Mincha/Kabbalat Shabbat

7:30 PM

Shabbat Morning


9:00 AM

Youth Service

10:30 AM

Shabbat Afternoon/Evening


7:35 PM


8:37 PM



8:30 AM

Weekday Services

Monday - Friday Shacharit

7:05 AM

Kiddush will be sponsored by morning minyan (Clay Templeton) in honor of Rabbi Belsky,

Thank you.

CTI Announcements

The congregation extends its condolences to Steven Golding on the loss of his sister, Linda Barnett, Hinda Feiga Tova bat Gedaliah. May her memory forever serve as a bracha.

As a service to the wider community, the Orthodox Union has researched various online platforms and has organized, collected and curated many key resources in one centralized location for your convenience. Please visit for a wide range of information covering the following areas: Adults, Leadership, Parenting, Seniors & Elders, Technology, Torah and Youth. Check back at as updates will occur regularly.

Visit for more information on how to join these exciting classes:

TYT Tuesday Night 

The Book of Judges

Tuesday 7:00pm

The Book of Judges teaches us about unexpected and underestimated spiritual and political leadership. Prior to the establishment of the Jewish monarchy, the nation was constantly enmeshed in fighting foreign enemies, spiritual and moral backsliding, oppression, as well as tribal in-fighting. It was a vicious cycle. The Judges came about in order to resolve these political, spiritual and moral issues and to set the people on the right track. Who were the Judges of Israel? How were they chosen, and why? While names like Shimshon, Devorah, Gidon and Yeftach may be familiar, their stories, complex personalities and murky legacies require a great deal of study. In this brand new TYT series, we will explore the life and times of the Judges of Israel – who they were, what they did, and what their contributions to Jewish history are all about. You won’t want to miss out on learning about these early leaders of the Jewish people, whose stories and personalities are as captivating as their contributions to the Jewish people are timeless. 

TYT Wednesday Mornings 

The Book of Jonah

Wednesday 8:15am

Come and join the TYT community and learn about the most "successful" Prophet in Jewish history, Jonah! Who was Jonah? Why did he seek to evade his spiritual responsibilities? Did he really think he could run away from God? What were his motivations, fears and concerns? Is his story literally true, or metaphorical? Is there even room in Judaism to read Biblical texts as metaphorical? If so, which texts, and why? In this class, we will explore the life and times of Jonah...and the whale, and come to a better understanding of his mission and why he features so prominently on the holiest day of the Jewish year, Yom Kippur. You really don't want to miss out on a thorough "deep dive" into what is perhaps the most imaginative and enthralling book in the Tanakh! So join us at 8:15am on Wednesdays to find out more about this essential Prophet, whose lessons are as complex as they are eternal.

Questions? Suggestions? Interested in Volunteering? Please contact our Committee Chairpersons. 

Finance Committee: Larry Smith
Fundraising Committee: Daniel Ledeen
Bylaws Committee: Jay Rubin
Education Committee: Sarah Wander
Membership Committee: Alana Pompa
Chesed Committee: Lynn Kane
Kiddush Committee: Henna Tatham
Ritual Committee: Eric Shapiro
For those new to the community, check out this introductory video 
featuring Rabbi Dan and a few of our wonderful CTI community members! 


Harold & Judy Liebowitz on August 29

Larry & Ester Smith on August 30


If you have any birthdays or anniversaries you would

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

Yahrzeit Remembrances

Maurice Woloszko, Father of Jean Woloszko, on Saturday 30 Av

Nathan Hoffman, Father of Sherry Fishman-Carroll, on Monday 2 Elul

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 Myles Shaftel for his aliyah donation.

Thank you to Emily and Gabe Yaffe for their

donation to the Rabbi's Discretionary Fund.

Thank you to Rabbi Dan and Yael Millner for

their donation to the YouthEducator Fund.


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
  • 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
 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

Phone: 512-410-0336 ext 106

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