In The Community

Community – Week of August 14, 2021

August 14, 2021 – 29 AV 5781

Candle Lighting 7:47 pm
Shabbos Concludes 8:49 pm

Parshas Shoftim

Deuteronomy 16:18 – 21:9
Isaiah 51:12 – 52:12

Stone Chumash pp. 1024 – 1045
Stone Chumash pp. 1199-1200


Thanks to Boris & Alla Yasinev for sponsoring Kiddush-Lunch today in honor of the Aufruf of their son, Jonathon, before his marriage to Devorah. Mazel Tov! 

Erev Shabbos, Friday, July 23

  • 7:00 pm Mincha, Kabbalat Shabbat, Ma’ariv
  • 7:39 pm Candle Lighting

Shabbos, Saturday, July 24

  • 9:00 am Shachris followed by Musaf
    Haftorah by Reuben Tzadok
  • 7:20 pm Mincha, Shalosh Seudos, Ma’ariv
  • 8:40 pm Shabbos concludes

 Thank You for Leading Services 

  • Pesukei D’Zimra: Howard Sandler
  • Shacharis: TBA
  • Leyning: Stuart Klamen
  • Haftorah: David Rubin 
  • Sermon: Rabbi Ze’ev Smason 

Congregation News

Simchas for the Week of August 12 – August 21


Bobby Levine August 16 
Michael Morgensztern August 16 
David Rubin August 16
Jacob Levin August 17
Nancy Beleau-Rush August 18 
Marcie Brook August 19 
Rosalind Rosen August 19 
Leonid Vladimirov August 19 


Larry & Shirley Hollander August 14 
Robert & Sandra Abrams August 15
Ari & Lila Belasen August 17
Alan & Janet Haber August 19 
Reuven & Margo Tzadok August 20 
David & Norma Rubin August 21 

Show your friends you care – SEND A TRIBUTE. Call the office at 991-2100 ext 2 or send an email to

Mi Sheberach 

Are you or a loved one in need of some special prayers for healing? Simply provide the person’s English and Hebrew names (including the mother’s Hebrew name), and notify Nancy by calling (314-991-2100, ext. 2) or emailing ( The Mi Sheberach prayer will be said for 30 days. It is customary to make a donation to the Synagogue when requesting a Mi Sheberach. 

We thank Stephen and Myra Radinsky for the lovely Kiddush.

Congratulations again on your 55th Wedding Anniversary! 

Special Gifts Campaign

The Campaign is well underway, and we need your help. The matching effort outlined in the Bulletin over the last few weeks has been a great boost, but to be successful we need 100% participation from all the members of the Shul’s family. While we are scheduling a Phone-a-thon in the coming weeks, that effort should only reach out to the handful of members who may not yet have stepped forward. This is your opportunity. Send a strong message. A vibrant Nusach Hari B’nai Zion is the insurance policy we need to guarantee our children live and thrive Jewishly. Don’t let this fall to others. It is as much your responsibility as mine. Please call the Shul’s office this week to share in this exciting effort. The funds raised will go directly towards programming and activities designed to draw children, young people, and young families into NHBZ. Share in the future of the Shul.

I thank you for your time, your commitment, and your support of NHBZ.

Jay B. Umansky, Chair


Coming Soon

  • Sunday, August 22 – “Preparing for a Sweet New Year”
  • Sunday, August 29 – All-you-can-eat PIZZA NIGHT returns
  • Monday, Nov 15 – “14 Days Living in Eshkol, Israel”
  • Sunday, December 12 – Save the Date


  • Online Classes
  • Every Shabbos, 9:15 am – Learners Service with Rabbi David (On Hiatus)
  • Every Shabbos, 10:15 am – Starting Points with Rabbi Smason
  • Every Wednesday, 12:15 pm – Pirkei Avos Class with Rabbi Smason
  • Every Thursday, 7:30 pm – Mishmar Learning with Rabbi Okin (On Hiatus)

High Holiday Seating

Believe it or not – Rosh Hashanah is just around the corner! All members of NHBZ (not Associate Members) are entitled to their own seat for the High Holidays, so they can come and go as much as needed, and return to their own seat. If you weren’t entirely happy with your seat last year (too noisy? too cold? too close to the front?), you can change it! If you are a new member we can help you pick out a seat to your liking. Please contact Lenny Alper at to review your seating options, or contact Nancy in the office at

Lulav & Esrog Sets

With High Holidays only a few weeks away, it is time to place your orders for Lulav & Esrog sets.

Please email your orders to Nancy at, or call 314-991-2100, ext. 2. Please be sure to leave your name, call back phone number and your order. Prices are as follows:

  • Basic Lulav & Esrog set $50 – Deluxe Lulav & Esrog set $70
  • Standard Lulav & Esrog set $60 – Premium Lulav & Esrog set $85

* All orders must be received and paid for on or before Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021. No exceptions, as order will be placed first thing Friday morning.

Covid Guidelines

New mask policy

The NHBZ Board of Directors voted, on September 10, 2021, that attendance at our shul requires vaccination against COVID-19. Masks must still be worn, and there is still no restriction on the numbers attending. Food will continue to be served indoors. 

Per Dr. Shifren’s recommendations, children under 3 are not required to wear masks, and children under 13 do not require vaccinations. 

Per Rabbi Smason’s requirements, shul members need to show the Rabbi proof of vaccination. 

Yizkor Book of Remembrance 

We will be sending information about this year’s Yizkor Book soon, including last year’s entries, so please watch for it. As in the past, we will request a $10 donation for each name listed (or group of names such as “and family”) in the Book of Remembrance, and an additional $36 donation for each Name Read Aloud during Yizkor. The Book of Remembrance is used on Yizkor throughout the year for Yom Kippur, Shemini Atzeres, Passover and Shavuos. 


An eruv is an enclosure, constructed according to halacha (Jewish law), as a way to permit Jewish residents or visitors to carry certain objects outside their own homes on Shabbos. The St. Louis eruv encompasses parts (but not all) of Olivette, U.City and Clayton. We respectfully request that Shabbos bulletins or any other item not be removed from the synagogue by those who do not live within the eruv. Also, the bulletin contains Divrei Torah (words of Torah) and as such, must not be thrown into the trash. For questions on either or both of these guidelines, please contact Rabbi Smason. 

A note from Rabbi Smason regarding taking food home from Kiddushim and Lunch

Individuals have asked whether the prepackaged food currently being served on Shabbos at our Kiddushim and lunches may be taken home following services or our food events. Our synagogue policy is that no one may take home any food — prepackaged or otherwise — following an NHBZ food event. This rule involves both halachic considerations of items being taken outside the eruv, as well as the synagogue’s need to save reusable food for future food vents. Exceptions can be made on a case-by-case basis only by speaking directly to Rabbi Smason. We thank you for your understanding and cooperation in this matter.

Youth Programming

“Preparing for a Sweet New Year” Join the Young Families program of NHBZ for a fun and tasty event as we prepare for Rosh Hashanah and a sweet new year! Learn about how honeybees produce honey. Enjoy tasting fresh, natural honey, and learning why Jews traditionally have honey on Rosh Hashanah!

8/22 from 1-2 pm (Please RSVP to by 8/16 so we have enough supplies for everyone!). Feel free to contact Rabbi Okin at with any questions.

Teen Schmooze is RETURNING, Sunday, August 29, 2021.

“Teen Schmooze”, a special opportunity just for teens in an informal group setting, is now underway. This program meets every Sunday – middle school students start at 9:00 am, and high school students at 9:30 am. Join us indoors at the back of the NHBZ Sanctuary.

Refreshments will be served! For details, contact Rabbi Okin at .


Israeli Olive Oil

Get ready to place your orders! Once again, we can support Israeli business and to eat well while doing it! Yes, you can adopt an olive tree! Stay tuned for details.

14 Days Living in Eshkol, Israel

Reserve the evening of Monday, November 15 for a program entitled “14 Days Living in Eshkol, Israel” to take place at NHBZ. The program will be presented by Lieutenant Colonel Keith Isaacson and a security official from the Eshkol Region of Israel. We thank Irl Solomon, of Friends of Israel, and Pastor Bryan Sharp for enabling us to host this event.

Learning at NHBZ

Ask Our Rabbis!

Q: I am confused by all the different types of Kaddish said in our prayer services. There is the Mourner’s Kaddish, Rabbi’s Kaddish, Complete Kaddish, Half Kaddish, Discounted Kaddish, Closing-Down-Sale Kaddish. What is going on here?! If Kaddish is supposed to be said in memory of someone, why do we say it throughout the service? 

A: With its mystically powerful words, Kaddish transports a soul upwards, from one level to the next. 

The Mourner’s Kaddish is recited for the departed, to assist in their soul’s journey upward. For eleven months after the passing, the soul ascends gradually to its place of rest. And then each year, on the anniversary of its passing, the soul graduates to an even higher place in Heaven. The Kaddish said down here by the living helps ease the journey of the soul up there. 

A mourner may also recite the Rabbi’s Kaddish following the public study of Torah. The Complete and Half Kaddish are said to provide either a separation or conclusion to the prayer services. Even a non-mourner may recite these forms of Kaddish when leading the service. 

So next time you hear Mourners Kaddish, envisage this: the souls of your loved ones are ascending into heaven. No discounts, only up… up… up. 

Parshas Shoftim – by Rabbi Smason 

Moses proceeds to review the regulations necessary for a civilized society. Local judges and officers were to be appointed in every city, and justice was to be administered righteously and impartially. A bribe of even a small sum is forbidden. The Sanhedrin — the Jewish High Court of seventy-one judges — is to make Torah-based binding decisions on new situations to prevent the fragmentation of the Jewish people. When the Jewish people request a king, the king was not to misuse his power to amass horses, maintain a harem nor accumulate great wealth. To order his priorities and not become haughty he should write a copy of the Torah and carry it with him. When the Jewish people had righteous kings such as David and Solomon, it was a blessing. When we had wicked kings such as Jereboam and Ahav, it was a curse. 

The nation’s conduct in war is mentioned. The Jewish people are told not to be afraid of the enemy, not to destroy any fruit trees in battle, and that they should first give the enemy a chance to make peace. The portion also forbids all forms of superstition and ‘magic’ practiced by the soothsayer. We have no need for such tricks because of our true prophets and faith in G-d. The Jewish people are promised by G-d that He will send prophets to guide them, and Moses explains how a genuine prophet may be distinguished from a false one. 

NHBZ Mishmar – On Hiatus Until August 19th, 2021

Join Rabbi Okin and young men from all over St. Louis for Mishmar, an evening gathering of Torah and Camaraderie on Thursday Nights from 7:30 pm – 8:00 pm. We will meet indoors at the back of the NHBZ sanctuary with a text-based and interactive learning session. If you are interested, join the WhatsApp group with this link:

Rabbi Smason’s Shabbos Shoutout and Rabbi Okin’s Torah Thoughts

Can be found at the YouTube Channel:

Rabbi David’s Learners Service

Every Shabbos at 9:15 am. Just starting out? No worries. Rabbi David teaches the basics of Shabbos prayers.

Rabbi Smason’s Starting Points

Join Rabbi Smason for a 45-minute presentation/discussion of relevant, contemporary topics every Shabbos at 10:15 am in the Feigenbaum-Pepose Multi-Purpose Room. Following is the list of upcoming topics:

August 14: How Do You Measure a Life Well-Lived?
August 21: The Best Advice I Ever (and Never) Got
August 28: (No Starting Points)
September 4: Begin Again – What Can Make This the Best Year Ever?
September 11: Mistakes We Need to Stop Making

See Rabbi Smason’s page of NHBZ Online Classes for more information.