January 26, 2023
4 Sh'vat 5783

This Week

Friday, January 27, 2023
6 Sh'vat 5783
Shabbat Evening Worship at 6:45 PM

Service Leader: Rabbi Lisa Goldstein
Musical Accompaniment: Mike Stern
D'var Torah: Cobb Mutter

Join us here on Zoom
or on 

Mike Stern - January 28

Of Blessed Memory
Ken Samet - brother of Steve Samet

Sunday, January 29, 2023
8 Sh'vat 5783

Kesher at 9:30 AM
Torah Reading
Bo: Exodus 10:1-13:16

Shalom Friends, 

Imagine this scene: A fifth grade class has been having difficulty getting along with each other. The teacher has set a strict “no bullying” policy. Sammy just can’t help himself from taunting Billy at recess when he trips over his shoelaces. The teacher declares recess over and the entire class returns to the classroom and sits silently for the next ten minutes. They also lose their afternoon recess. “It’s not fair,” another classmate cries out. “Sammy called Billy names. Why are the rest of us being punished?”
The ancient Egyptians could have asked a similar question about the ten plagues. Even though only a small number of Egyptians served as brutal taskmasters, and it was only Pharaoh who enslaved the Israelites and refused to let them go free, ALL the Egyptians suffered the devastation of the plagues. In fact, this week’s Torah portion, Bo, begins with the last four plagues, and describes the final plague – the death of the firstborn, as afflicting everyone, from “the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on the throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the dungeon.” (Ex. 12:29) You can read Parashat Bo here.
We can all understand why Pharaoh had to suffer this punishment; after all, he enslaved and oppressed the Israelites. But why should the firstborn of an Egyptian prisoner – someone who certainly wasn’t in a position to harm anyone – also deserve punishment? What can we learn from this collective punishment?
Perhaps the average Egyptian was not as innocent as we might have thought.
For example, an Egyptian who did not physically beat an Israelite slave also did not speak up or take action against the injustice of slavery that was happening all around him or her.
The collective punishment of the Egyptians reminds us of our collective responsibility to fight oppression and injustice. Just as every Egyptian was ultimately responsible for the injustice that existed in their society, we, too, are responsible for the injustice in our world if we fail to protect the rights and well-being of our fellow human beings. If we know that there is hunger, poverty, and homelessness in the world and we do nothing about it, then these inequities and injustices will continue to exist; we are passively helping to shape a world where human rights abuses go unpunished.
The good news is that there’s something we can do about it. We don’t need to wait until God hardens our hearts – or worse, until we do it ourselves. We may not be as powerful as Pharaoh, however we can still make a difference by simply deciding to act – by giving tzedakah to and volunteering with organizations that fight poverty and protect human rights, by learning about injustice happening around the world, and by teaching others about it, so that they, too, will be informed and inspired to take action.
We are collectively responsible, and the good news is that this responsibility is not only about what we don’t do; it is most importantly about what we CAN do. And when we work together, we make a difference. 

Be sure to join us for Shabbat worship this evening when Cobb Mutter will offer the D'var Torah!
Shabbat shalom,
Rabbi Lisa Goldstein
To add or remove a name to/from our Mi Shebeirach (Prayer for Healing) list, visit our website at

If you or a loved one is in the hospital or ill at home and would appreciate a call or a visit, please let Rabbi Lisa know.
Email:     or call: (210) 474-6082
Welcome to our New Administrative Assistant,
Tamara Verschoyle
Tamara Verschoyle is a San Antonio local who earned her bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from Texas A&M University. She has over 20 years experience working at and volunteering with non-profit organizations. In her free time, Tamara enjoys traveling and camping with her husband and two kids (as skilled drought-busters, they often get rained on during these outdoor excursions). In warmer months, you can find Tamara luring hummingbirds, butterflies and other pollinators to her yard.

Tamara will be helping us with many of our operational tasks, including putting our weekly newsletter and Shabbat bulletin, sending out invoices (watch your email for Q3 invoices coming soon!), sending out yahrzeit, birthday, and anniversary notices/invitations, updating our website and social media, and so much more. You will be able to reach her at

Rabbi Lisa Goldstein - February 14

Adrienne and Ed Chevalier - February 7 
Mazal tov on 18 years!
Prayer: A 3-Part Series
Sundays, 1:30-3:00 pm
In-person at House of Prayer Lutheran Church
10226 Ironside Drive, 78230

Each session will stand on its own;
together, they form a cohesive series.

There is no fee for these classes
January 29 - Why Pray?
What is the purpose of prayer, according to Judaism? What can we hope to achieve? Is God listening? And if we can't know, why bother?
February 26 - Movement in Prayer
When do we bend and bow, stand and sit, go on tiptoes, cover our eyes, and all those other strange movements we see at services? What do they mean, and why do we do them? 
March 26 - The Music of Prayer
How do you decide which music to use for each of the prayers or for each service? Why is the music for High Holy Days so different than for Shabbat? And what's with all the new melodies? Can't we just sing the ones we know already?
Sponsor an Oneg Shabbat!
Do you have a birthday or anniversary coming up in our family? Sponsor an Oneg Shabbat to celebrate your simcha (joyous occasion)! Your donation of $36 helps to cover the cost of wine, baked and paper goods, and soft drinks. If you prefer, bake or purchase brownies, cookies, or cake to donate. If you bring a large batch, we can store them in the freezer for a later date. Please let Sondra Singer know if you can bake.
We are Grateful to...
...Steve Samet for his gift in memory of his brother, Ken Samet.
...Sondra Singer for her gift in memory of her mother, Bessie Sopher.

Send a check to
Congregation Shalom
P.O. Box 700187
San Antonio, TX 78270

or use the link below to donate by credit card
Donate with PayPal or Credit Card
NO FEES with Zelle!
We can now accept payments and donations through Zelle with no fees to either you or to Congregation Shalom!  You can find us by scanning the QR code in this box or by searching Congregation Shalom of San Antonio at
 Congregation Shalom of San Antonio 
PO Box 700187
San Antonio, TX 78270

Congregation Shalom phone number:
(210) 474-6082
Invite a Friend to Join Congregation Shalom
NOW is always the perfect time to become a member of Congregation Shalom! Invite your friends to our joyful and friendly Shabbat services and extend a warm invitation to join our congregation.
Congregation Shalom Membership Applications
If you or someone you know would like to become a member of Congregation Shalom, please contact Rabbi Lisa at or (210) 474-6082 for an application or visit our website.

If you see or experience an act of antisemitism, report it:

Report to ADL (Anti-Defamation League)
Report to JCRC (Jewish Community Relations Council of Jewish Federation of San Antonio)

Jewish Federation of San Antonio partners with the Foundation for Jewish Camp to provide Jewish children up to a $1,000 grant to attend Jewish overnight camp for the first time.  This grant is not need based and there are no financial documents required.

This a first come first serve opportunity with over 150 traditional and specialty programs to chose from throughout the United States.
Information about One Happy Camper and the application can be found at

If you do, or if you know someone who does, please reach out to the Hebrew Free Loan Association of San Antonio. Donations are also very
                          welcome!  Please click
HERE for more information.

Would YOU like to make someone smile?  To sign up to become a Challah Helper and deliver Shabbat goodies to older adults in the community, contact Sandra at, or visit

Jewish Family Service (JFS) has been providing affordable mental health counseling, group therapy, case management, and senior services to the greater San Antonio community and beyond since 1973.

Services are available to all, regardless of age, race, faith, sexual orientation, or economic status.

JFS is able to offer services through the generous support of individual contributors, the The Jewish Federation of San AntonioMethodist Healthcare Ministries, the H.E. Butt Foundation, the San Antonio Area Foundation, and other private funders.

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Congregation Shalom of San Antonio · P.O. Box 700187 · San Antonio, TX 78270 · USA

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