Congregation Tiferet Israel 

Austin, TX

7 Sivan 5783 -- May 27, 2023

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Austin Community Eruv

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Rabbi's Reflections

-The Gift of Torah, the Gift of Peoplehood-

The festival of Shavuot is quickly approaching. Our tradition refers to Shavuot as the “Time of the giving of our Torah.” Many communities have various customs to mark this momentous event. One wide-spread custom among the Jewish people is to stay up until the early morning hours learning Torah on the first night of Shavuot in what is called, “Tikun Leil Shavuot,” literally, “the Fixing of Shavuot Night.” According to the Midrash, the reason we do this is because, “God came first [to Mount Sinai] as the verse states, ‘On the third day, in the morning.’ It also says, ‘On the third morning God descended before the eyes of the nation.’ The Jews were sleeping all night, because the sleep of Atzeret is very sweet and the night is short. Rabbi Yudan said that even the fleas did not bite them. God came to meet them but found the Jewish people sleeping! He began to wake them with fanfare, as the verse says, ‘On the third day, in the morning, there were sounds and thunder.’ Moshe woke up the people and brought them out before the King of kings, the Holy One, Blessed is He” (Shir HaShirim Rabbah 1:12). 

Thus, the “fixing” we do on the first night of Shavuot is the fixing of the mistake our ancestors made by sleeping in on the very day they were meant to receive the Torah. Can you imagine a bride or a groom sleeping in on their wedding day! So, we stay up all night learning, increasing our enthusiasm and anticipation for the moment we will meet God at Mount Sinai to receive His Torah anew, not only on time, but early! However, Shavuot is also a time to recognize and celebrate the importance of Gerim, converts. In order to recognize this aspect of Shavuot, many Jewish communities read the Book of Ruth, as Ruth was the first convert to Judaism. What is the connection between the giving of the Torah and converts, and in particular, Ruth? To help answer this question, we should turn to the words of the great Chassidic master Reb Levi Yitzchak of Berdeitchev, who, based on the Midrash and the Zohar, teaches us that first, “God appeared to Esav in order to give him the Torah. He did not want it. But in his refusal, he gave a great gift to the Jewish people. God then went to Yishmael in order to give him the Torah. He also did not want it. But in his refusal, he gave a great gift to the Jewish people. And so it was with every nation. Now behold, we must understand what the gifts the nations who refused the Torah gave to the Jewish people were. The gifts were the holy, precious souls who dwelt among the nations, and upon just hearing that the Torah was being offered, chased after it, and converted into the Jewish people. This is the case of Ruth who was a distinguished soul, as are all the souls of those who convert. But that first, essential soul was that of Ruth, because from Ruth comes King David, and from King David comes the Messiah. Thus, we read the Book of Ruth of Shavuot in order to recall the journey she made, physically and spiritually, from her native people to the Jewish people, all because of her desire to receive the Torah” (Kedushat Levi, Drush l’Shavuot). 

Shavuot is not only the “Time of the giving of our Torah,” it is also the time of receiving all people whose souls desire to receive the Torah too. Those who convert to living lives of Torah are sacred, cherished and special members of the Jewish family, as we say in the Amidah, “On the righteous, on the devout, on the elders of Your people the Family of Israel, on the remnant of their scholars, on the righteous converts and on ourselves.” We place the convert above all others because of their lofty place within the Jewish people. This Shavuot, may we recognize the precious gift of Torah while recognizing the gift of all those holy souls who have joined the Jewish people to live and fulfill it, as it says, “It is a tree of life to all those who grasp her. And whoever holds on to her is happy” (Mishlei 3:18). 

Chag Sameach and 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.  

Thursday, May 25th

Erev Shavuot

Mincha/Maariv.... 8:00PM

Candle Lighting.... 8:06PM

Tikun Leil Shavuot Part I (May 25th)

"The Sixth Chapter of Pirkei Avot: Sherishing the Bible" (10:30PM-11:20PM) Class by Sandy Kress

"The Book of Ruth: Why is it Important and Why Do We Need to Read it on Shavuot? (11:25PM-12:30AM) Class by Larry Smith

Friday, May 26th: Shavuot Day #1


Tikun Leil Shavuot Part II (May 26th)

“Artificial Intelligence: Can a Robot Count for a Minyan?” (5:15PM-6:50PM)

Class by Rabbi Dan

“The First Page of Shulchan Aruch” (6:50PM-7:10PM)

Class by Elan Mogill


Candle Lighting……8:06PM

Saturday, May 27th:

Shavuot Day #2


Youth Services........10:30AM

*Shabbat services will take place in the new JCC building. Please meet in front of Bnai Abraham by 10:20 to talk over to the new room as a group.

Megillat Rut……9:50AM

Yizkor……10:30AM (This is an approximate time)






Weekday Services


(Memorial Day)



Tuesday- Friday



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 Thursday, May 25th.

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:

Sponsor Kiddush!

Thank you Gabriel & Emily Yaffe for sponsoring Kiddush in Honor of Yoshiyahu, Emily & Gabriel's birthdays.

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 June or July, 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! 


Sandra Sack on May 29

Yuval Shavit on May 29

Elizabeth Wander on June 2


Edward Selig & Cathy Schechter

on May 27

Stuart & Suzanne Newberg on May 28

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

please update your profile on our website.

Yahrzeit Remembrances

Beatrice Altman, Mother of Arthur Altman, on Saturday 7 Sivan

Samuel Markowiecki, Grandfather of Karina Schumer, on Saturday 7 Sivan

Sarah Glick Smith, Mother of Larry Smith, on Wednesday 11 Sivan

Charlene Davis, Sister-in-law of Mitch Davis, on Friday 13 Sivan

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 Arthur and Barb Altman for their donation to the Youth Educator Fund In Memory of Lenore Weinberg, Mother of Barb Altman; and to the Chevra Kadisha Fund In Memory of Richard Sack z"l, brother of Marshall Sack.

Thank you to Adam and Ilana Heller, and to Marty and Katie Price, for their donations to the general fund.

Thank you to Offer and Ilana Shavit for

their donation to the Torah 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 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  

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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