Congregation Tiferet Israel 

Austin, TX

28 Sivan 5783 -- June 17, 2023

What's the Spiel?

Shabbat Mevarchim - Parshat Sh'lach

Austin Community Eruv

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for more information: [email protected]

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Rabbi's Reflections

-Techelet: A Symbol of Service-

At the end of Parshat Shelach, the Jewish people are given the mitzvah of tzitzit, as it says, “It shall be tzitzit for you, and you shall see it and you shall remember all the commandments of the Lord and perform them. And you shall not stray after your hearts and after your eyes after which you stray” (Bamidbar 15:39). Why were the Jewish people given this particular mitzvah? What is the significance of connecting tzitzit, or fringes, to our clothing? To help answer this question, I would like to turn to the words of the Torah, which teach us that after Avraham Avinu helped the king of Sodom win a decisive war in order to rescue his nephew Lot, “The king of Sodom said to Avram, ‘Give me the captives and take the spoils for yourself.’ Avram said to the king of Sodom, ‘I lift my hand to the Lord, God, the Most High, Maker of the heaven and the earth, if so much as a thread to a shoe-strap; or if I shall take from anything of yours! So you shall not say, ‘It is I who made Avram rich!’” (Bereshit 14:21-3). 

According to the Talmud, “Rava said, ‘As a reward for our father Avraham having said, ‘I will not take a thread of a shoe-strap,’ his descendants were worthy to receive two commandments: Techelet (the sky-blue thread on tzitzit), and the strap of the tefillin. Now, as for the strap of the tefillin, [the blessing bestowed upon its account] is clear, for it is written, ‘And all the peoples of the earth shall see that the Name of the Lord is called upon you; and they shall be in awe of you’ (Devarim 28:20). Rebbe Eliezer the Great says, ‘This refers to the tefillin worn upon the head, but what [is the blessing bestowed upon the account] of techelet?’ It has been taught, ‘Rebbe Meir says, ‘Why is blue singled out from all the varieties of colors?’ Because blue resembles the color of the sea, and the sea resembles the color of the sky, and the sky resembles the color of a sapphire, and a sapphire resembles the color of the Throne of Glory” (B. Talmud, Chullin 89a). Thus, by wearing the techelet in tzitzit, we are constantly reminded of God’s presence. But more than that, Tosfot in Menachot 43b, teach us, “The reason the Talmud compares a seal of clay (worn by servants) to tzitzit is because such seals are made for servants (in order to identify whose servant they are), and tzitzit testify that the Jewish people are the servants of God, and belong to Him.” By wearing tzitzit, we remind ourselves that not only should we remember the mitzvot and do them, not only should we always be aware of God’s presence, but what’s more, wearing tzitzit reminds us that we belong to God, and that when others see us wearing them, we serve as living, walking testaments to God’s existence. 

This Shabbat, as we consider the value and the meaning of tzitzit, let us remember that we, as Jews, are all living, breathing demonstrations of God’s Hand in His world. May we always comport ourselves with the dignity, grace and nobility God expects of us as His servants, and may our holy example serve to inspire all those around us to realize that they too, belong to their Creator. 

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 Evening, June 16th


Mincha & Kabbalat Shabbat


Candle Lighting

Saturday, June 17th







Sunday, June 18th



Weekday Services

Monday (Federal Holiday)



Tueday- Friday



CTI Announcements

CTI member

J.E. Wolfson will

be a panelist at Hadassah’s “Addressing Antisemitism Without Fear” program in El Paso on Sunday, June 25 at 3:00 pm (Austin/Central Time). Register to view the event live on Zoom.

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 [email protected] 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:

Sponsor Kiddush!

Thank you Yoni & Kimberly Pack-Cosme for sponsoring Kiddush in honor of the birth of their daughter, Laila Zohara

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 July or August 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! 


Michelle Weiss on June 22


Diane & Charles Radin on June 22

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

please update your profile on our website.

Yahrzeit Remembrances

Albert Gerstenhaber, Father of Gary Gerstenhaber, on Saturday 28 Sivan

Robert Franklin, Brother of Philip Spertus, on Tuesday 1 Tammuz

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.

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
  • Avigail Malkah bat Devorah
  • David Moshe ben Sylvia
  • 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
  • Rachel Golda bat Leah

 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 [email protected]  

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 [email protected].

Contact Us!

On the web:


Dan Millner: [email protected] 

Phone: 512-410-0336 ext 101


Alana Pompa: [email protected]  

Phone: 512-410-0336 ext 102

Vice President:

Sarah Wander [email protected] 


Chuck Kaufman, [email protected]


Sarah Church Carroll 

[email protected] 

Phone: 512-410-0336 ext 103


Larry Smith [email protected]  

Phone: 512-923-3964


Alana Pompa 

[email protected] 

Phone: 512-410-0336 ext 106

Kiddush Committee:

Beth Shapiro [email protected]

Youth Educator:

Emily Yaffe [email protected]

Chesed Committee:

Jeanette Brickman [email protected]

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