January 5, 2023
12 Tevet 5783

This Week

Friday, January 6, 2023
14 Tevet 5783
Shabbat Evening Worship at 6:45 PM

Service Leader: Rabbi Lisa Goldstein
Musical Accompaniment: Rabbi Lisa Goldstein

Join us here on Zoom
or on 

Josh and Mariana Alvarez - January 3 - 11 years!

Of Blessed Memory

Diana Samuels - dear friend of Wendy Drezek and many others
in our community

Bessie Sopher - mother of Sondra Singer

Sunday, January 8, 2023
15 Tevet 5783

Kesher resumes 9:30 AM
Torah Reading
Vayechi: Genesis 47:28-50:26

Shalom Friends, 
I think most of you who belong to the greatest club on earth – the Grandparents Club – would agree that grandchildren are the absolute BEST reward for having raised our children. We were privileged to have our daughter Missy, son-in-law Rob, and grandson AJ, visiting us for three weeks in December, and it was a little slice of heaven!

Our patriarch, Jacob, understood the importance of grandchildren also, as we learn in this week’s Torah portion, Vayechi – the concluding portion of the book of Genesis. Jacob, realizing he is about to die, gathers his twelve sons to receive a blessing. But first, Jacob calls upon two of his grandchildren ― Joseph's sons Ephraim and Menashe ― to receive blessings. Why would Jacob place priority on blessing grandchildren over children? You can read Parashat Vayechi here.

The commentators explain (and every grandparent knows) that even more than the joy of having children is the joy of having grandchildren. Why is this so?

Most creatures in the world have parent-child relationships ― whether it is a mother lion protecting her cubs or a mother bird feeding her young. But only the human being has a concept of grandchildren, of perpetuation beyond a single generation. This is an effect of our spiritual soul which is rooted in infinity. Being a grandparent therefore connects us deeply to our uniqueness as human beings.

There is further significance to Jacob's blessings.

One of the most beautiful customs in Jewish life is for parents to bless their children at the start of the Friday night Shabbat meal. Girls receive the blessing: "May God make you like the matriarchs Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah." Boys, meanwhile, are blessed "to be like Ephraim and Menashe."

What happened to the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob?! Why were Ephraim and Menashe chosen instead as the subjects of this important tradition?

Ephraim and Menashe were the first set of Jewish brothers who did not fight. Abraham's two sons ― Isaac and Ishmael ― could not get along, and their disagreement forms the basis of the Arab-Israeli conflict until today. The next generation of Isaac's two sons ― Jacob and Esau ― were so contentious that Esau repeatedly sought to kill Jacob and instructed his descendants to do the same. And even the next generation of Jacob's sons sold Joseph into slavery in Egypt.

Ephraim and Menashe represent a break from this pattern. This explains why Jacob purposely switched his hands, blessing the younger Ephraim before the older Menashe. And when he did, Menashe did not object. Jacob wished to emphasize the point that with these siblings, there was no rivalry.
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
We are hiring an Administrative Assistant.

This is a part-time, 12-15 hours/week,
contract (1099) position. It is mostly remote, with an occasional need to be on-site (i.e. High Holy Days).
For job description and application information, click

Introduction to Judaism
Class has started but you can still join us - REGISTER TODAY!
Wednesdays from 7-8:30 pm, beginning January 4
Fee: $180 non-members, no charge for members
This 12-week course introduces the basics of Jewish thought through the study of  holidays, theology, lifecycle events, prayer, Israel, and history. Anyone interested in exploring Jewish life, including interfaith couples, non-Jews considering conversion, and Jews looking for adult-level basics, will find it meaningful. Taught by Rabbi Lisa Goldstein, classes will include a mix of interactive study, discussion, and practical experiences.
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?
Intermediate Hebrew Reading for Adults 
Wednesdays from 6:00-6:55 pm 
beginning January 11 for 12 sessions
Fee: $72 non-members, no charge for members

This is the continuation of Hebrew Reading for Beginners. You know the Hebrew letters and vowels and can read Hebrew words. You want to learn to read the prayers more fluently and understand what they mean. This is the class for you! In addition to getting lots of reading practice, we'll learn prayer vocabulary and the (VERY) basic building blocks of Hebrew grammar.

Textbook: Aleph Isn't Enough

The Wellness Institute invites you to join them for this parenting and mental health event:

7:00-8:30 PM CST

We know that a parent's effectiveness in lovingly setting limits with their child directly impacts their child's overall well-being, yet most parents struggle with this.

Dr. Brenner is a leading parenting expert whose "connect before you correct" method has helped countless parents build a strong relationship with their children as a foundation of understanding and trust for effective connection and limit-setting with their child.

For questions and scholarships, email
Produced by the Wellness Institute, a division of the Rohr Jewish Learning Institute (JLI)

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.

Oneg Shabbat is a great way to shmooze with and get to know fellow members and guests on Friday nights!
We are Grateful to...
...Carrell Miller - for her gift in memory of Monroe Miller
...Kim Martinez - for her gift to Congregation Shalom
...Barbara Silverstein - for her gift in memory of Jane Prather

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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