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15 Tishrei 5784 - September 30, 2023


Rabbi's Reflections

-Just Traveling Through: Lessons from the Sukkah-

The story is told of a wealthy Jew who spent many years trying to get an audience with a renowned rabbi. Finally, the rabbi's shamash (secretary) called the wealthy man, and told him the rabbi was available for a meeting. The wealthy man took the first train to the unassuming town where the rabbi lived. When he arrived at the rabbi’s home, he was shocked to see that he lived in abject poverty - only a straw mattress, a desk, and many books made up his dilapidated hovel. The wealthy man couldn't understand. "Rabbi,” he said, “I've waited so long to see you. You are the Gadol HaDor! Your wisdom is so sought after, so respected and revered that it’s been nearly impossible for even a person of my means to meet you. How can you live like this?" The rabbi replied, "Well, where do you live?" "I live in a mansion with twelve bedrooms, an enormous living room, replete with butlers and servants." "I see," said the rabbi, "and what do you do for a living that affords you such luxury?" "I am a trader. Once or twice a year, I go to the big markets in Warsaw or Krakow, and I buy resources and then sell them throughout the year." "Ah, very good. And tell me, when you travel to Warsaw or Krakow, where do you stay?" "I stay at an inn." "And does your inn have twelve bedrooms?" "No." "Does it have an enormous living room?" "No." "Does it have butlers and servants?" "No, of course not." "Well what does it have?" "I don’t know! It has a simple straw mattress, a desk, a window, if I'm lucky, and maybe a book or two." "So, why don't you insist that it have all the comforts of your home?" "Because I'm just traveling through." "Ah," said the rabbi, "That's how I feel. I'm also just traveling through. I can bear this austere lifestyle, because I know where my true home is.” 

We’re all just traveling through. More than any other holiday, Sukkot teaches us about the importance of realizing that fact – maintaining our focus on what is eternal and essential, rather than ephemeral and excessive. For seven days, we are commanded to leave the comfort and stability of our homes and dwell in sukkot, rickety, feeble booths, as it says, “You shall dwell in booths for a seven-day period…So that your generations will know that I caused the Children of Israel to dwell in booths when I took them out of the land of Egypt; I am the Lord, your God” (Vayikra 23:42-43). While numerous explanations regarding the ultimate purpose of God’s command to dwell in sukkot abound, Rav Moshe Feinstein z’’l offers a unique perspective. Says Rav Moshe, “The generation in the desert, who achieved a very high spiritual level like that of the prophets, and merited the Clouds of Glory, nevertheless also sat in actual booths. The explanation is that they needed to be in the desert for forty years and live a temporal existence and eat the Manna in order to learn to internalize that this world is only a passageway [to the future world] so that when they would enter the Land of Israel, they would not become absorbed in a mundane existence” (Drash Moshe, Drash 22). 

By dwelling in sukkot, flimsy structures of canvas and wood, God taught the Jewish people that despite their great spiritual achievements, they nevertheless needed to learn that nothing in this world lasts forever, and that becoming overly attached to physical things only ensnares one’s heart, mind and soul from pursuing that which is eternal. Thus, by dwelling in sukkot, in the harsh conditions of the desert for forty years, the people could focus, refine and develop their values, faith, priorities and perspectives. Only when the people were grounded in their faith could they then move into the Land of Israel without fear of being distracted and captured by the allures of this world, because this world is merely a portal, a temporary dwelling – a sukkah – preparing us for where our eternity truly lives. 

While it is true, Judaism does not negate this world for the sake of the other, maintaining a healthy balance between this world and the next is nevertheless important for our spiritual development and wellbeing. Therefore, for seven days, we throw ourselves into an unstable, uncontrolled environment, so that we can rethink our priorities, reimagine our goals, reconnect with our Source and ground ourselves in our faith, just as our ancestors did. At the end of the day, we’re all just traveling through. So, let’s go on that journey together, and as we enter the festival of Sukkot, let us commit ourselves “to work with things of space, but to be in love with eternity” (The Sabbath, p 48). 

Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sameach!

-Rabbi Dan

Schedule of Services at B'nai Abraham

Friday Night

Erev Sukkot

Candle Lighting


Mincha & Kabbalat Shabbat/Maariv


Shabbat/Yom Tov Morning

Sukkot Day #1



Youth Services






Candle Lighting

After 7:54PM


Sukkot Day #2







Monday - Friday

Chol Hamoed Sukkot



We encourage everyone to daven privately when unable to attend services. 

CTI Announcements

Please join CTI on Simchat Torah as we honor our members Jay Rubin, with Chatan Torah, and David Chapin, with Chatan Bereshit. These honors celebrate both the ending and the beginning of the Torah, and CTI is delighted to bestow them upon Jay and David for all of their hard work, dedication and generosity to the CTI family.  

Aravot will be distributed the morning of Hoshana Rabbah, Friday October 6th in Shul, during services.

If you have any questions please email Arthur Altman [email protected]

Thank you to the following members and friends of CTI who have donated and/or pledged to this year's High Holiday Appeal. If you have not already pledged or paid, we are including the link to the High Holiday Appeal page for your convenience.

Altman, Arthur & Barb

Carroll, Reese & Sherry Fishman Carroll

Chapin, David & Rita

Clifford, Sean $ Meredith

Davis, Mitch & Patti

Dollinger, Adam & Elena Tsanko

Gerstenhaber, Gary & Karin

Goldberg, Rick & Paz

Goldstein, Leo

Gordon, Elan & Karine

Gould, Vicky

Groveman, Bernard

Guariguata, Andres

Humble, Marshall

Iken, Daniel

Lonsdale, Joe and Tayler

Kamen, Mark & Rhonda

Klein, Efraim

Kron, Jennifer

Magill, Loretta

Marciano, Lionel

Millner, Rabbi Dan & Yael

Newberg, Stuart & Suzanne

Pompa, Alana

Price, Marty & Katie

Rahimi, Lindsay & Erik

Raschkovsky, Isaac & Angela

Refaeli, Jehoda & Hana

Robbins, Reuven & Rosemary Klein Robbins

Rosenthal, Davida

Roth, Ester Malkah

Rubin, Jay & Carol

Schumer, Karina

Shapiro, Eric & Beth

Shavit, Offer & Ilana

Shavit, Yuval

Stone, Louis

Tatham, Henna

Van Keer, Julie

Welter, Samantha

Wolfson, Jake

Woloszko, Jean & Eveline

Thank you Ori and Emmaline Skitel for sponsoring Kiddush in honor of a new beginning in a beautiful community. Thank you very much for the hospitality and warm welcoming!

A BIG THANK YOU to the CTI Community for stepping up to sponsor a Kiddush! It is a special way to help our Chevrah while honoring a loved one for a special event or to commemorate a Yahrtzeit. Your sponsorships have been filling up our kiddush calendar nicely, and we are booked many weeks out at this point.

If you would like to sponsor a kiddush in November or December, please take a look at our calendar and reserve your spot as the calendar continues to fill up quickly! And THANK YOU for supporting CTI and our community with your sponsorship!

Sponsor A Kiddush

Mazel Tov!

  • Liat Refaeli on October 1st (Birthday)
  • Thomas Woloszko on October 3rd (Birthday)
  • Sam Altman on October 4th (Birthday)

Yahrtzeit Remembrances

  • Sarah Slomovic, Mother of Marta Shaftel, on Sunday 16 Tishrei
  • Louis Escovitz, Father of Sandra Sack on Monday 17 Tishrei
  • Regina Gottlieb, Mother of Ester Smith on Thursday 20 Tishrei

May their souls be bound up in the bond of life.

Volunteer Opportunity

CTI is looking for a man or woman to serve as a backup shmira coordinator, to help manage shifts and communicate with the shomrim. Please contact Larry at 512-923-3964 or by email if you are interested or would like more information.

Torah Classes at CTI

Take Your Tanakh Series

Tuesday Night | 7:00pm - The Book of Isaiah

Wednesday Morning | 8:15am - The Book of Job

Click Here for more information on how to join these exciting classes.


Thank you to our anonymous donors.

Thank you to David Chapin, Jay Rubin, Offer Shavit, Joe Lonsdale, Isaac Reitberger, Chuck Kaufman, and Larry Smith for their aliyah donations.

Thank you to Yaron Ismah-Moshe for his aliyah donation and for Refua Shelema for Tsippi Bat Ella / Rachmiel.

Thank you to Offer and Ilana Shavit, Efraim Klein, Mark and Rhonda Kamen, and Larry Smith for their yizkor donations.

Thank you to Adam & Ilana Heller for their

donation in memory of Tali bat Ilana.

Thank you to Isaac Reitberger for his yahrzeit donation.

Thank you to Sam Berg for his donation to the

Chesed Fund In Memory Of Linda Barnett.

Thank you to Barb & Arthur Altman for their donation to the Torah Fund.

Make a Donation

Contact Us!

Rabbi Dan Millner:

[email protected] 

Phone: 512-410-0336 X101

For more contact numbers and emails, visit our website.

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, HaRav 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
  • 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
  • Sheva Eva bat Bella.
  • 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
  • Rachel Tzivia bat Malka
  • Chava Golda bat Leah
  • David Yosef ben Aga
  • Layla Tzohara bat Naomi Rivkeh

 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]  

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