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Friday night services, November 2 at the regular time of 7 p.m. Please join us for SOLIDARITY SHABBAT as Jews across the country, and indeed around the world, go to their houses of prayer in solidarity with our brothers and sisters who were murdered last shabbat in Pittsburg.

Cantor Ben-Moshe’s Weekly Message:

As we all know, as we were beginning our services last Shabbat morning, horror was unfolding at Congregation Etz Haim in Pittsburgh. An evil gunman, responding to lies and conspiracy theories murdered the early davveners, staining the sanctuary with the blood of the innocent. These martyrs were the most dedicated members of their congregation, the ones who were there regularly to make the minyan.

In their memory, let us resolve to act as they did in their lives. Let us come to services in the spirit of joy and pride, celebrating Shabbat with our community. The gunman meant to terrorize not just the Jews of Pittsburgh, but all Jews everywhere. We can show that we will not give in to fear. Shabbat Shalom.
Hazzan Yitzhak Ben-Moshe

Shabbat candle lighting times are at 6:25 p.m.

Congregation Beth El Friday November 2 at 7 p.m.

CHAI MITZVAH ADULT CLASSES

We look forward to seeing all our participants next Thursday, 11/8 at 7 PM at CBE.

This month’s topic will be Tzedakah.

We encourage you to read the packet ahead of time so you are ready to participate in our discussion.

Also, remember that we will also be sharing your other personal goals.

We look forward to hearing what you are planning for:
*Personal study – on a Jewish topic

*Ritual – a Jewish ritual you would like to begin or more fully participate in
*Social Action Project
We welcome new members to our group. If you were not able to attend last month, but would like to join this time, meet us at Beth El!

See you soon,
Scott Berman & Shereen Ben-Moshe

SISTER HOOD EVENT: On Monday November 5th, we will join the Austin Jewish Book Fest at the J to meet author Iris Martin Cohen as she discusses her book The Little Clan. We’ll have our own table. Please see www.shalomaustin.org/bookfest for more details and of course, let us know if you would like to attend.

Sunday Funday with the BERS this Sunday at 10.

SAVE THE DATE for for the following Sunday, November 11. In conjunction with GLOBAL DAY OF JEWISH LEARNING, we are inviting Jan Hart, celebrated author, who will act out the story of her great grandmother who immigrated to Galveston from Europe over a hundred years ago and talk about her many adventures.

Huge thank you to our Chai Mitzvah Teens who volunteered at the Umlauf Botanical Gardens last Sunday. Tikkun Olam at it’s best! They brought cheer and good will to so many families and we are so grateful to them and to our precious Shereen Ben-moshe who leads the amazing Chai Mitzvah Program.

Rabbi Dr. Peter Tarlow’s weekly Parashat Chaye Sarah
You will find this week’s Torah portion, Chaye-Sarah in the book of Genesis 23:1-25:18. Its name is one of the more ironic titles. Called “Chaye-Sarah meaning the “Life of Sarah” it provides details of Israel’s first matriarch’s death and burial. Having “buried” Sarah the text moves onto her “replacement”. Rebecca will now become Israel’s second matriarch. The text is brutally realistic. We live our lives, we die, and someone else takes our place. Generations come and generations go, and to deny life’s finiteness is to deny reality. The text teaches this lesson both actively and passively. Actively, Isaac carries Rebecca into Sarah’s tent and passively, as we read the text Sarah rapidly fades from our memories and we focus our attention on her replacement Rebecca.
Yet ironically, despite the fact that the people change, each new generation must face the same eternal problems, simply presented to us with new characters and context. Reading this week’s portion makes us realize how names and places change but the dramatic plot that we call life often repeats itself.

One of the central themes found throughout this week’s portion is a concept of commitment transformed into action. It is not style but substance that counts. The text cares less about words than it does about actions. For example, we read of Abraham’s commitment to his wife in seeking for her an appropriate burial site. We also learn about our national commitment in the purchase of the Ma’arat Ha’Machepelah (or Cave of the Multiplication) where the Bible’s first family is to be buried. Finally, we learn of about personal commitments as we study the loving relationship that develops between Isaac and Rebecca.

In every case within this week’s parashah this same theme seeps through: that commitment means having a plan and following through on that plan, that good ideas must be transformed into real actions. The parashah teaches us that commitment is also related to the concept of patience. To be patient is to have the fortitude to stick with a goal even when there are many obstacles along its path.

In the modern world we often suffer from a lack of patience. How often do we demand instant gratification? On the other hand, commitment in the extreme also can lead to our becoming obstinate, to a refusal to seek, when necessary, political and personal compromises.
How do we balance a sense of ethical commitment with the flexibility needed to survive in a dynamic and constantly changing world? One of the Torah’s answers is that the basis for our commitments must be the eternal ethics given to us by G-d. In other words, people change, but that eternal truths in a dynamic and ever-changing world are eternal. What do you think?

Friday night services to inspire and reinvigorate the soul. Same time same place! 7PM with your Beth El Buddies!

Shabbat Morning services, THIS Shabbat morning, October 13, at 9 AM, with the Torah service at approximately 9:45 AM, children’s story time at 10:30 AM, and kidush lunch at 12 noon.
Please let us know if you would like to sponsor upcoming kidush lunches.

Saturday evening at the J – See below for a special Pro-Israel community event.

Sunday October 14 at 12:30 PM at Brushy Creek Park – Beth El picnic and canoeing – details below! 3300 Brushy Creek Rd., Cedar Park, TX 78613

Cantor Ben-Moshe’s Weekly Message:

This week, we are reading Parshat Noah, the story of the Great Flood, as the news reports reflect our Torah. In the past month we have seen devastating floods as a result of Hurricane Florence in the Carolinas, torrential rains have caused the Llano River here in Texas to overflow its banks this past week, and now we are seeing the devastating effects of Hurricane Michael in Northwest Florida. It is all a sobering reminder that the forces of nature remain largely beyond our control. Just as Noah in our parshah, or his Babylonian counterpart Utnapishtim from the Epic of Gilgamesh, sometimes all we can do is ride the storm out. May our spiritual practice and our community help us to weather whatever storm comes our way. Shabbat Shalom.
Hazzan Yitzhak Ben-Moshe

Candle lighting at 6:45 PM

Chai Mitzvah Adult study group!
The first class was amazing.
Not too late to join.

Chai Mitzvah combines study, ritual and social action, providing the framework for a meaningful Jewish journey.

There are five components to the nine-month Chai Mitzvah experience:
Group study – meet monthly with a set curriculum

*Independent study

*Ritual

*Social Action

To learn more, or to join our Chai Mitzvah group, contact Shereen Ben-Moshe, info@bethelaustin.org.

Austin Hosts Christian,Druze and Minority IDF Reservists
on Saturday, October 13 at the JCC at 8 PM.

Friends –You are invited to a very special Zionist event. Come hear these amazing men and women who serve in Israel’s armed forces!

Free and Open to all!

October 14 Beth El & Beth El Religious School Picnic & Canoeing afternoon!

Bushy Creek Lake Park 12:30 PM – bring a dairy or pareve dish to share.

Come celebrate the beginning of Fall! There will be canoes and games.

Everyone’s welcome at Beth El!
Please RSVP

Mama Mia Here we Go Again!

Monday October 22 at the home of Juliette

Join us for a potluck dinner and movie night with the Sisterhood.

Men’s Club BBQ Cookout!

Sunday October 21
CBE @ 2 PM

And for your special listening enjoyment: Fascinating Podcast by
Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks:

https://soundcloud.com/office-of-rabbi-sacks
Phone: 512-231-0266 | Email: info@bethelaustin.org
Web: www.bethelaustin.org

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Friday night services to inspire and reinvigorate the soul. Same time same place! 7PM with your Beth El Buddies!

Shabbat Morning services, THIS Shabbat morning, October 13, at 9 AM, with the Torah service at approximately 9:45 AM, children’s story time at 10:30 AM, and kidush lunch at 12 noon.
Please let us know if you would like to sponsor upcoming kidush lunches.

Saturday evening at the J – See below for a special Pro-Israel community event.

Sunday October 14 at 12:30 PM at Brushy Creek Park – Beth El picnic and canoeing – details below! 3300 Brushy Creek Rd., Cedar Park, TX 78613

Cantor Ben-Moshe’s Weekly Message:

This week, we are reading Parshat Noah, the story of the Great Flood, as the news reports reflect our Torah. In the past month we have seen devastating floods as a result of Hurricane Florence in the Carolinas, torrential rains have caused the Llano River here in Texas to overflow its banks this past week, and now we are seeing the devastating effects of Hurricane Michael in Northwest Florida. It is all a sobering reminder that the forces of nature remain largely beyond our control. Just as Noah in our parshah, or his Babylonian counterpart Utnapishtim from the Epic of Gilgamesh, sometimes all we can do is ride the storm out. May our spiritual practice and our community help us to weather whatever storm comes our way. Shabbat Shalom.
Hazzan Yitzhak Ben-Moshe

Candle lighting at 6:45 PM

Chai Mitzvah Adult study group!
The first class was amazing.
Not too late to join.

Chai Mitzvah combines study, ritual and social action, providing the framework for a meaningful Jewish journey.

There are five components to the nine-month Chai Mitzvah experience:
Group study – meet monthly with a set curriculum

*Independent study

*Ritual

*Social Action

To learn more, or to join our Chai Mitzvah group, contact Shereen Ben-Moshe, info@bethelaustin.org.

Austin Hosts Christian,Druze and Minority IDF Reservists
on Saturday, October 13 at the JCC at 8 PM.

Friends –You are invited to a very special Zionist event. Come hear these amazing men and women who serve in Israel’s armed forces!

Free and Open to all!

October 14 Beth El & Beth El Religious School Picnic & Canoeing afternoon!

Bushy Creek Lake Park 12:30 PM – bring a dairy or pareve dish to share.

Come celebrate the beginning of Fall! There will be canoes and games.

Everyone’s welcome at Beth El!
Please RSVP

Mama Mia Here we Go Again!

Monday October 22 at the home of Juliette

Join us for a potluck dinner and movie night with the Sisterhood.

Men’s Club BBQ Cookout!

Sunday October 21
CBE @ 2 PM

And for your special listening enjoyment: Fascinating Podcast by
Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks:

https://soundcloud.com/office-of-rabbi-sacks

Phone: 512-231-0266 | Email: info@bethelaustin.org
Web: www.bethelaustin.org

Friday night services, TONIGHT October 5, at the regular time of 7 p.m.

Sunday morning at 10 a.m. our BERS continue Sunday Fundays!

We have a really action packed October:

Thursday October 11: Chai mitzvah Adult program. Please read below.

Sunday October 14: Beth El and BERS fall picnic canoe and kayaking afternoon. Details are included below.

October 18 at 7:30 p.m. “Mama Mia Here We Go Again!” Sisterhood movie night at the home of Juliette!

Sunday October 21: Men’s Club Fall BBQ cookout at Beth El at 2 p.m.

Tuesday October 30 Beth El co-sponsoring a movie at the Austin Jewish Film Festival : The Testament.

 Cantor Ben-Moshe’s Weekly Message: 

This week we return to the beginning, reading the first parshah of the Torah, B’reshith.  Our parshah deals with the Creation of the universe, and especially with the creation of humanity.  Interestingly, the common translation of the word בראשית,  “In the beginning”, is technically incorrect.  The correct translation is “in *a* beginning”.  Many commentators have posited that this was merely the latest in a series of creations by the Holy One.  From the point of view of science, this is comprehensible-if before the Big Bang all matter and energy were concentrated in one point, that the material universe is expanding, and that one day entropy will cause the universe to collapse on itself and become a small point again, then perhaps Creation happens again and again.  The constant is the Creator-the One Who makes creation happen.  A truly humbling thought-one that can give some small insight into the vastness and wonder of Creation.  Shabbat Shalom.

Hazzan Yitzhak Ben-Moshe

Shabbat candle lighting times are at 6:53 p.m. 

Sunday School continues this Sunday morning, October 7, at 10 a.m. Last week the children were able to see a real Torah scroll up close, and learn about all the different parts of the Torah, including its “mantel”, “breast plate”, “crown” and “yad”.  The children also made edible Sukkot with healthy parsley “schach”, and in addition, enjoyed the beautiful Beth El sukkah
EXCITING, UPCOMING MEN’S CLUB EVENTS:

October 21 – Fall BBQ at 2:00PM

November 17 – Movie Night at 6:30PM

December 9 – Cook latkes for CBE Hanukkah Party at 4:00 PM

A Personal Journey to Share with Friends

Coming Soon – Join our Chai Mitzvah Adult study group!

Chai Mitzvah combines study, ritual and social action, providing the framework for a meaningful Jewish journey.

There are five components to the nine-month Chai Mitzvah experience:

Group study – meet monthly with a set curriculum

Independent study – choose a Jewish topic you would like to explore

Ritual – choose a ritual or spiritual practice to incorporate into your life

Social Action – either individually or as a group, choose a local volunteer opportunity

Celebrate! At the end of the nine months, acknowledge the journey with a celebration, receive a certificate, and have a tree planted in Israel in your honor through Chai Mitzvah’s partnership with Jewish National Fund.

 

To learn more, or to join our Chai Mitzvah group, contact Shereen Ben-Moshe, info@bethelaustin.org.

STARTING THIS COMING WEEK THURSDAY OCTOBER 11!

SAVE THE DATE!

SPECIAL BETH EL PICNIC & KAYAKING EVENT

SUNDAY OCTOBER 14! Please join us Sunday October 14 at Brushy Creek Park for an afternoon of kayaking and games. Bring a dairy or parev dish to share. Promises to be so much fun! Everyone is welcome! Huge thank you to Shereen Ben-Moshe for organizing this wonderful event, and Families in Nature for sponsoring the canoes.

Rabbi Peter Tarlow’s weekly Parasha:

With the close of the month of Tishre we once again turn to our weekly Torah readings.  The challenge of reading the text yearly and constantly finding new interpretations and meanings to an ancient text is both arduous and exhilarating.  In a sense this constant rereading of the text reminds us that moderns fail when they believe that everything that is old is worthless, that only the new has value.  In ancient texts we find universal insights that present to us classical wisdom.  To quote the book of Kohelet (Ecclesiastes): “Ayin chadash mitachat ha’shemesh” (there is nothing new under the sun).  To be wise then is to ask timeless questions.

This first parashah is called Braysheet (Genesis 1:1- 6:8).  Even the name is open to interpretation. Does the Bible’s first word mean: “In the beginning of..?” or “In a beginning of…?”  What comes after the “of”?  That too is not clear.  This text then reminds us that to be certain is to be foolish; that only G-d knows truth, we know barely an approximation of truth.

We see the brilliance of this proposition in the Hebrew text.  Reading this first parashah in the original Hebrew we soon come to realize that the more we know and the more often we read the text, the less we are certain.  The Hebrew text is written in such a way to be certain that we are never certain, that be alive is to live with doubt and to understand that reality is a process and not a fact.

This week’s parashah contains timeless tales.  The Torah’s first parashah (Braysheet) forces us to ask the most fundamental of questions: How did we get here?  For what purpose did G-d create the universe?  Does free will exist?  Is evil a necessary component of life?

The lessons of Genesis are invaluable for those living in this age of absolute certainties.  We, who live in an age of never-ending media, have come to understand that more news does not mean better news. Often the reality is quite the opposite   Today few of us know what is or is not true.  Have we forgotten that the person presenting “truth” often determines the perception of that truth?

Ours is an age when political discourse has turned ugly and false certainty is ubiquitous. The book of Genesis reminds us that wisdom comes not with answers but with the framing of questions.  How well do you ask questions of others and most importantly of yourself?

In these days of new beginnings, when once again we confront and intellectually struggle with our most ancient and fundamental of texts, let’s take the time to question our assumptions and realize that only G-d has all the answers.

Beth El Partners with the Austin Jewish Film Festival:

The Testament. 7:30 PM

Tuesday, October 30

Regal Arbor 8 @ Great Hills

Director: Amichai Greenberg

Austria, Israel, 2017

Narrative, 96 minutes

Hebrew | German | English | Yiddish (with subtitles)

“A mystery involving a religious historian and his family. He is willing to risk everything to discover the truth.”

Yoel Halberstam, a senior Holocaust researcher, is in the midst of a legal battle with powerful forces in Austria concerning a massacre of Jews that occurred during WWII. An influential family of industrialists on whose land the murder took place is planning a real estate project on the very same property. Yoel suspects that their aim is to bury the affair for good, but he can’t find the conclusive evidence that would stop the project. Meticulous in his quest, Yoel toils in the basement of the Holocaust Institute in Jerusalem.  While investigating the incident, Yoel examines classified testimonies of Holocaust survivors, and he is shocked to discover a testimony he never knew existed—one given by his mother in which she confesses to a substantial secret from her past. With his personal and professional life at stake, Yoel secretly pursues the lead, risking everything—career, wife and son, even his own beliefs—to solve the mystery about his identify. Community Partner: Congregation Beth El.

 

The Austin Jewish Film festival runs from Saturday, October 27 – Friday, November 2 at the Regal Arbor theater, with some additional dates and venues described in the full schedule at AustinJFF.org.

Complete details on all movies, including descriptions, trailers, etc. can be found on the Festival/Films page. Use discount code AFAUSTIN18 for 10% off all tickets and passes purchased online.