Mitzvah Makers

Hi all. Thanks to those of you who visited our website last week: We need people to click and stay for a bit. It is a fairly new website, so the more traffic it has, the easier it will be for folks to find our sweet and small shul when they are searching Google. Check out the videos, and share the website with friends. NOW FOR SOME NEWS YOU CAN USE!Shabbat Shalom and we so look forward to seeing you all tonight at 7 PM via zoom. Please know that we are going back to having a combination of in person and zoom services next week, according to all the health and safety guidelines from the City Of Austin. Please let us know if you are interested in attending in person services. ID: 847 168 183Password: 010620Hazzan Ben-Moshe’sWeekly Message:This week’s parshah, B’ha’aloth’kha, begins with the commandment to make a menorah, a lamp with seven bowls, which is to be lit every night by the Kohanim. This is the Ner Tamid, the Eternal Light. There was always supposed to be light in the Sanctuary, and the priests were responsible for seeing that it stayed lit. This is the last part of the Torah reading on the eighth day of Hanukkah. As a “Kingdom of priests and a holy People”, we are metaphorically responsible for keeping the light kindled. The light which we are to spread is the light of Torah-and especially now, when we see darkness around us, we should spread that light. It is the light of love for all of our fellow humans, without exception. We should do live our lives that we teach Torah-which shares the same root in Hebrew as “or”, light-with our every word and our every action. May God’s light shine through us always. Shabbat Shalom.Hazzan Yitzhak Ben-MosheCandle lighting in Austin at 8:12 PM.Thank you to our amazing Mitzvah Makers Claudia, Sabrina, Frankie, and Shelley for lovingly baking and delivering challah this week. Please let us know if you would like fresh challah on Fridays – we are doing this all summer! Also, also let us know if you would like to help make, or deliver challah. All social distancing guidelines are being followed meticulously. And a huge thank you to our awesome children Mitzvah Maker for making and sending such gorgeous letters to folks in our community! Such acts of chesed make us so proud of our sweet Sunday school children. Here are our beloved Doris and Herschel saying thank you on our zoom services last week.\Sisterhood Book Club via zoom Sunday June 21 (NEW DATE) at 7 PMWe will also be starting a Jewish ethics class this summer inspired by Pirkei Avot (The Ethics of our Sages). The first class is June 16!Join Zoom Meeting the Date. Let’s have a fun afternoon at Town Lake this summer, where each family rents a canoe or kayak and enjoys each other’s company together. The prefect Social Distance event. GONE…..BUT NOT…… Part 3by Jared Brudnohe last thing I wanted to do was to get involved in another major construction project. Gracie and I had talked about that the last major house construction project we were involved in for three years was our last one. So much for that. The house we bought needs some work. Not a lot, but it will take some time. But as I got started on the work I became enthusiastic about it. Fifteen years ago because of various problems I’ve caused in my life, I didn’t have much. I didn’t have any tools, and I hadn’t been involved in carpentry at the level that I like in quite a while. Now I have more tools and equipment than I’ve ever had, and more ability and enthusiasm for the talent that Hashem has given me than ever. The work we did at Beth El was a major part of that journey. I had an immediate family but I didn’t have an extensive one like I do now since marrying Gracie and attending Beth El. Gracie also wanted to return to her hometown for many reasons like family, the beach, the culture. I grew to like Brownsville after our many visits here, and when Gracie began to really pursue living here I thought it was a good idea. I really liked the calmer atmosphere and universally friendly people here. The reality of that initial excitement faded a bit once I realized how much work it would be and all the what if’s along the way. In the course of her looking for a house I began to notice a fair amount of historical restoration going on here, something I’ve been heavily involved in in years past and really love. For many reasons Brownsville is beginning to revive. it was kind of on the down slide when we first began to visit 10 to 12 years ago. Historical restoration has always been how I want to use my experience and talents. I love old stuff. I love making stuff by hand. Old stuff speaks to me about the past and the people of the past and the best part of culture and values of the past. I love the way old things were made with such fine quality with skilled hands. I can be terminally nostalgic at times. Those are some reasons I love being a Jew. Our antiquity is filled with nothing but the finest quality. Our Torah is made physically and spiritually created in the finest unparalleled manner by the finest Creator and craftsman. Just the physical act of making and scribing a Sefer Torah fascinates me. Of course the craftsmanship of our Creator has no equal. I hope to be involved in some of the historical restorations projects here.Gracie and I are on our way to Israel as soon as that becomes possible. Even though our journey has taken us 350 miles south instead of 6000 miles east, moving to Brownsville is on the road to there. Our house is about 2000 sq. ft. It has a small apartment which is separate from the house but attached to it. That gives us the opportunity to leave the main house with Raul and Gracie’s dad and for us to have our own private place so we can come and go as we please. The care that Gracie’s dad needs is even better here for many reasons. He’s eligible for 750 hours of Respite Care which would allow us a little more freedom and give him what he needs. Once we are hopefully approved to make Aliyah then we have a place for caregivers to stay or to rent or for us to return to on occasion.Brownsville historically had a thriving Jewish community. As is so true with smaller cities this is not so true today. However, one again antiquity speaks for itself. The house we bought is just a few blocks from the original Orthodox shul here. This neighborhood used to be full of Jews. I see some of the older houses and imagine perhaps who of our nation built it and used to live there. The original Orthodox synagogue here was interestingly enough named Beth El. it is now since moved and transitioned over the years into a reform congregation. South Padre Island has an Orthodox shul called interestingly enough on a personal level Shoova Yisrael. Return Israel. How appropriate considering Gracie’s and my return to Judaism and Raul and Dad’s return to Brownsville. It’s a congregation of mostly Israeli businessmen serving the tourist trade on the Island. We’ve been there a few times and have always been welcomed warmly. Interestingly enough the Rabbi there is from Tveria and lives a few blocks from the house we rented a few years ago there. I met him a while back and he really made us feel at home. He’s only there certain time of the year. His wife’s family is from Mexico. For us it’s just like spending Shabbat in Israel including the food. So our 350 mile journey south is more on the way of our 6000 mile journey east than we could have expected.