Congregation Tiferet Israel 

Austin, TX

10 Nisan 5783 -- April 1, 2023

What's the Spiel?

Shabbat HaGadol - Parshat Tzav

Austin Community Eruv

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Rabbi's Reflections

-Listen for the Meaning Behind the Words-

The story is told of a poor man who once went to visit the Brisker Rav on Erev Pesach. "Rav," the poor man said, "I cannot afford wine for the Four Cups I am obligated to drink tonight at the seder. Is it permissible for one to substitute milk for wine?" The Brisker Rav thought for a moment, reached into his pocket and took out one hundred rubles. The poor man's face lit up with delight. He thanked the Rav and went on his way. The Brisker Rav's wife watched all that had transpired. "Why did you give the man one hundred rubles?" she asked. "Surely fifty would have been more than enough for wine!" "That is true," the Brisker Rav said. "However, he asked if he could substitute milk for wine. That means he cannot afford meat at his seder either. I gave him enough for both."


On the seder night, we do certain things to provoke children, friends and family members to ask questions. We remove and replace the seder plate from the table, we cover and uncover the matzot, and we wash our hands for Urchatz but do not recite a bracha. And, according to the Rambam, we should, "pass out grains and nuts to [the children] and clear the table from in front of them before they have eaten and grab matzah from each other's hands," so that people should wonder at this peculiar behavior and ask, "Why is this night different from all other nights?" (Hilchot Chametz u'Matzah 7:3). Yet, just as important as it is for our loved ones to ask questions, it is just as important for us to really hear what they are truly asking. The poor man in the parable asked the Brisker Rav a simple question. However, the Rav heard the poor man asking something deeper, he listened for the meaning behind the words, and understood his real needs.


We see an example of this sort of careful, active listening during the Maggid portion of the Haggadah, wherein the Wise Child asks, "What is the meaning of the testimonies, statues, and judgments which the Eternal, our God, had commanded us? You shall explain to him all the laws of the Pesach offering: one may not eat dessert after the Pesach offering." The one listening to the Wise Child's question answers him in a rather strange way. While the listener does take the Wise Child's question seriously, guiding him through all of the laws of Pesach, the conclusion of the answer is odd: "One may not eat dessert after the Pesach offering." According to Rabbi Shlomo Riskin in his book, A Haggadah Happening, "The Wise Child has asked several intelligent questions. His approach to life is intellectual. He wants to understand and to reason, and you must instruct him. However, you must also teach him that Judaism is not merely an intellectual pursuit. While he may comprehend the laws cognitively, he should also remember the taste of the matzah (the afikoman). It is not enough only to study Judaism; one must also practice it. And the joy of practicing should be a pleasant taste on the tongue remaining long after the actual performance of the mitzvah" (p 22). Thus, while the Wise Child asks a series of intellectual questions, the listener responds with an insightful answer addressing the Wise Child's emotional and spiritual needs. In other words, the listener hears what the Wise Child is really asking without him actually saying it.


This Pesach, as we sit around our seder tables, as we eagerly listen to the questions of the night fill our homes with joy, let us also carefully, actively listen for what is really being asked, let us patiently hear the real message and the real meaning behind the words. This Pesach, may we all grow closer to our tradition, to Judaism, to each other and to God by listening for the "thin, still voice" contained within each and every question asked, and may the answers we provide speak to the heart of all who inquire.

Shabbat Shalom and Chag Kasher v'Sameach!

  -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 7:31PM

Mincha/Kabbalat Shabbat


Shabbat Morning


9:00 AM

Youth Services


Shabbat Evening








Weekday Services

Monday - Friday




CTI Pesach Schedule 5783 (First Days)

Tuesday, April 4th

Search for Chametz……After 8:27PM

Wednesday, April 5th (Erev Pesach)

Fast of the First Born and Siyum on Sefer Shoftim……After minyan at 7:05AM

Latest Time to eat Chametz……11:27AM

Latest Time to burn Chametz……12:30PM

Candle Lighting……No later than 7:34PM


Begin Seder……After 8:28PM

Chatzot (Midnight)……1:33AM

Thursday, April 6th (1st Day of Pesach)


Candle Lighting……After 8:28PM


Begin Seder……After 8:28PM

Chatzot (Midnight)……1:33AM

Friday, April 7th (2nd Day of Pesach/Erev Shabbat)


Candle Lighting……7:35PM

Mincha/Kabbalat Shabbat/Maariv……7:30PM

Shabbat, April 8th (Chol HaMoed)



Maariv/Yom Tov and Shabbat End……8:31PM

CTI Announcements

Eruv Tavshilin!


When Yom Tov falls on a Friday, as it does this year, there is an allowance to prepare on Yom Tov for the needs of Shabbat on Friday. The process to be followed is called “Eruv Tavshilin.” Before Yom Tov, we take two cooked foods, customarily one baked and one cooked, (a piece of matzah and a hard-boiled egg), and designate them as food for Shabbat, thereby starting (mixing) the Shabbat preparations before the start of Yom Tov.


Both Eruv-foods are held, and the following is recited: “Blessed are You, Lord, our God, King of the Universe, Who has sanctified us with His commandments and has commanded us concerning the mitzvah of eruv.”


Then, the following is said: “Through this eruv may we be permitted to bake, cook, insulate, kindle flame, prepare and do anything necessary on the Festival for the sake of the Sabbath (for ourselves and for all Jews who live in this city).”


The traditional Hebrew/Aramaic text can be found in the ArtScroll Siddur on page 654.


This year an Eruv Tavshilin needs to be prepared before Yom Tov on Wednesday, April 5th.

Please join Rabbi Dan and congregation member Jake Wolfson when they teach electives as part of Shalom Austin’s Yoms program on the evening of April 10.

There is no charge for admission, but please register at:


6-6:45 PM

The Flag of Israel: Religious, Nationalist, or Historical?

Rabbi Dan Millner | Congregation Tiferet Israel

In this class, we will focus on the symbolic significance of the flag of Israel. With its iconic two blue stripes and blue Jewish Star, the flag of Israel has become a uniquely Jewish symbol. Why is the design the way it is? Why are blue and white considered “Jewish colors”? Is there something deeper to its meaning, and what does it mean that a national symbol can become a religious signifier? We will answer these questions and more in what promises to be a fun, educational and compelling class. No previous background is required, and all are welcome! Rabbi Millner is the Rabbi at Congregation Tiferet Israel.

7-7:45 PM

“I Almost Got Ill”: How Two Influential Christians Fought Antisemitism After the Holocaust (And What We Can Learn from Their Efforts)

Dr. J.E. Wolfson | Texas Holocaust, Genocide, and Antisemitism Advisory Commission

As the world has struggled to reckon with the Shoah, interfaith relations between Jews and certain religious communities have undergone dramatic transformations. Among the most pioneering and radical voices to confront the daunting theme of Christian complicity in the Holocaust were two Americans. This session will discuss how a fiery Catholic nun, Sister Rose Thering, and a cerebral Protestant theologian, Franklin H. Littell, shook the pulpits and helped change the perspectives of their respective faith communities regarding the Holocaust, Judaism, and even where Jews belong in the world. With antisemitism rising to alarming levels in our time, the stories, legacies, and lessons of Thering and Littell deserve our attention. Dr. Wolfson is State Coordinator of Education for the Texas Holocaust, Genocide, and Antisemitism Advisory Commission.


For more information, visit

The ladies of CTI had a great time creating papercut art and shmoozing at our most recent Ladies' event Hope you'll join us for the next one!

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:

2022 Tax Statements

Statements of 2022 Charitable Donations are being sent on request

only. If you need a statement, please send a request to Larry Smith


Sponsor Kiddush!

Sponsoring a Kiddush is a lovely way to honor a loved one on their birthday, for an anniversary, to commemorate a Yarhtzeit, or just because you want to help out the community! Please consider sponsoring a Kiddush in April, May or June, and give us the opportunity to thank YOU for 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 Isaiah

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! 


Lauren Churi on April 2

Natalie Ledeen on April 5


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

please update your profile on our website.

Yahrzeit Remembrances

Chaya Sara Weissbuch, mother of Loretta Magill, on Monday 12 Nissan.

Melvin Sack, Father of Marshall Sack, on Wednesday 14 Nissan

Myrna Eunice Marks Rudolph, Mother of Jennifer (Vonne) Kaufman, on Friday 16 Nissan

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 Offer Shavit, Jake Wolfson, Solomon Sultan, and Jay Rubin, for their aliyah donations.

Thank you to the Adelson family for

their donation to the Rabbi's Discretionary Fund

in memory of Sally Adelson.

Thank you to Ben Heyen for his

donation to the General Fund.

Thank you to Arthur and Barbara Altman

for their Maot Chitin donation.

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
  • Jake Wolfson
  • Rachel Tzivia bat Malka

 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

Chesed Committee:

Jeanette Brickman

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