Congregation Beth El
   ק״ק בית אל

Congregation Blog

Dear Congregants and Friends,

Services for the coming week:

  • Friday night, 7pm, Kabbalat Shabbat
  • Saturday, 9am, Shabbat morning service
  • Saturday, 10am, Children’s Shabbat Service
  • Wednesday night 6:30pm – PURIM!  Including appetizer & dessert potluck (dairy or pareve), megilla reading, and a Purim puppet play presented by the religious school students.

From the Cantor:

This Shabbat we have an opportunity to perform an extra mitzvah, in addition to the mitzvot of Shabbat, and that is to “Remember what ‘Amalek did to you on your way out of Egypt”.  The Rabbis decreed that this week’s additional reading, Zachor, is one of the 613 commandments of the Torah-all the more reason to make a special effort to attend services this weekend.  Remembrance is actually one of the key values of our Tradition.  We are commanded to “Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy”, and to remember many other things as well.  We remember those who are no longer with us, on the yahrtzheit, the anniversary of their passing.  Remembrance alone is not enough, though.  We must remember certain things so that those memories can inspire us in the present.  Please come this Shabbat at 7PM Friday and 9AM Saturday, as we explore what we are to remember, and why.

Shabbat Shalom.

Please join us Friday night at 7PM and Saturday morning at 9AM for Shabbat services.  There will also be a children’s service beginning at approximately 10:30 AM.

From the Cantor:

Some 1000 years ago, the great commentator Rash”i said that the Torah could have begun in the Book of Exodus, but that the preceding parts were necessary for background.  Indeed, the Book of Genesis can almost stand alone.  While most of the Torah is the story of the People of Israel, the Book of Genesis is mainly the story of the family of Avraham Avinu, our ancestor Abraham.  Just as the Torah finishes with words of blessing-the last parashah of the Torah is called V’zot Hab’rachah, “This is the blessing…”, our parashah this week, Vayehi, is one of blessing.  In our parashah, the patriarch Ya’kov/Yisrael blesses his children before his death, with words that are echoed by Moshe in his blessing.  The saga of one family is about to turn into the saga of a people.  May God bless us with the blessings of our ancestor Yisrael, as well as the blessings of our Teacher Moshe.  Shabbat Shalom.
Cantor Yitzhak Ben-Moshe
8902 Mesa Drive
Austin, TX 78759
Religious school classes resume next Monday, January 9.

image via

Dear Congregants & Guests,

Please note that we have weekly shabbat services Friday November 4th at 7pm and Shabbat morning, November 5, starting at 9 am with the Torah service at 9:45 am.

Children’s services will be at 11 am.

We look forward to seeing you all and please be sure to HOLD THE DATE: November 13 at 4pm for the Beth El Annual meeting and cookout!  Don’t miss this yearly event.

This week’s parshah is Lekh L’kha, in which our ancestors Avram and Sarai (later Avraham and Sarah) first make the move to the Promised Land, the Land that would become Israel.  Avram is told by God to leave everything that is familiar and comfortable to go to a place which he has never seen.  This is the first of Avraham’s ten trials, and like the last, the Binding of Isaac, involves a great leap of faith.  Because this parshah speaks of the first ‘aliyah, going up to the Land of Israel, it is customary in Israeli synagogues to honor new ‘olim, immigrants, on this Shabbat.

May our Land and our People know peace and prosperity, on this and on every Shabbat.

Cantor Yitzhak Ben-Moshe

8902 Mesa Drive

Austin, TX 78759

Once again this year, Morah Betsy will be leading a service for 6-12 year old students on the First Day of Rosh Hashanah (Thursday 9/29/11) at approximately 10:30 AM.  We will pray, have a Torah service with the congregation’s brand new student Torah scroll, read the Torah readings in English, discuss the prayers, and blow shofar.

We will also join the adult service in the sanctuary briefly for the sounding of the shofar there.

For our prayers and Torah selection, we will using the Tiku Shofar Machzor, kindly loaned to us from Congregation Agudas Achim, and we hope to use it again on Yom Kippur.