In The Community

Community – Week of August 7, 2021

August 7, 2021 – 29 AV 5781

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

Parshas Re’eh

Deuteronomy 7:12 – 11:25
Isaiah 49:14 – 51:3
1 Samuel 20:18
1 Samuel 20:42

Stone Chumash pp. 998 – 1023
Stone Chumash pp. 1199
Stone Chumash pp. 1207
Stone Chumash pp. 1208


Erev Shabbos, Friday, July 23

  • 7:00 pm Mincha, Kabbalat Shabbat, Ma’ariv
  • 7:47 pm Candle Lighting

Shabbos, Saturday, July 24

  • 9:00 am Shachris followed by Musaf
    Haftorah by Reuben Tzadok
  • 7:25 pm Mincha, Shalosh Seudos, Ma’ariv
  • 8:49 pm Shabbos concludes

Congregation News

Simchas for the Week of August 7 – August 13


Isaac Amon August 12
Judy Ziegelman August 14


Edward & Helayne Levitt August 7
Dr. Stephen & Myra Radinsky August 7
Jeff & Terri Schnitzer August 8

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

Special Thanks

We thank Don and Julie Eisenberg for their generous donation for Children’s Programming and Services on the High Holidays, in the merit of the complete and speedy recovery of their grandson Luca (Dovid Eliyahu ben Daniella Devorah).

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
  • 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

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

New mask policy

Based on recommendations from the CDC and the Rabbi’s medical and health professional consultants, NHBZ is now requiring everyone ages 5 and over, including those who are vaccinated, to wear a mask indoors. This applies to weekday prayer services, classes and programs, as well as on Shabbos. The exception will be those who are eating and drinking while seated at a food event such as at a Kiddush. While it is no doubt disappointing to revert to this mandatory mask policy, we must continue to do what we can to protect ourselves and others.

Further guidelines will soon be forthcoming.

Rabbi Ze’ev Smason

Temporary Safeguards

  • We are not carrying the Torah around the Sanctuary.
  • Men with an Aliyah do not remain at the Bima for the next Aliyah, but return to their seats.
  • The “choir” is not leading singing from the Bima at the end of services.
  • The last two rows of seats in the sanctuary have every other seat taped off for those who prefer social distancing.


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 and Yom Tov. The St. Louis eruv encompasses parts (but not all) of Olivette, University 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: If there are two identical items on a store shelf, one with a Kashrus symbol and one without the symbol, can I take the one without the symbol on the assumption that they are the same? I looked at the ingredients and I do not see anything different between the two items.

A. According to the Orthodox Union, the Kashrus organization behind the OU symbol, the consumer should only buy the product with the Kashrus symbol. There are a number of reasons why a product may sometimes appear with an OU and sometimes without.

Sometimes different sizes of the same product are made on different production lines or at facilities that are not certified. Similarly, the product without the OU may be manufactured in a non-certified plant. Another possibility is that the product without the OU is from an old batch that was produced prior to OU certification. This rationale applies to all Kashrus symbols and certifying agencies.

Is there something you’ve always wanted to know about Judaism, but were afraid to ask? Email your questions to: and enter ‘Ask Our Rabbis’ as the subject of the email.

Parshas Re’eh – by Rabbi Smason

Moses informs the Jewish people that each of us face a choice: choose to observe G-d’s directions for living (i.e., the Torah) and receive blessings, or choose to ignore G-d and experience estrangement and its consequences. Moses then turns to describing a number of religious, civil and social laws relevant once the Jewish people enter the Promised Land. Included in this listing are:

  • Don’t imitate the abominable ways of the nations surrounding you
  • A false prophet who attempts to entice you to idolatry should be put to death
  • Self-infliction of wounds on the body as a sign of mourning is prohibited
  • As a holy people, refrain from eating ‘non-kosher’ food
  • Be particularly warm-hearted and charitable to our fellow Jews
  • The three pilgrimage festivals (Passover, Shavous and Sukkos) are opportunities to ascend (make aliyah) to Jerusalem and the Temple to celebrate our blessings

The Month of Elul

In the month of Elul we begin to recite Psalm 27 in the Shacharis and Mincha (morning and afternoon) services. Psalm 27 begins with the words “To David: The L-rd is my light and my salvation.” The Midrash tells us that “my light” ( אוֹרִי†) is associated with Rosh Hashanah and “my salvation” (וְיִשְעִי) is associated with Yom Kippur. We also find a later verse in the Psalm, “That He will hide me in His tabernacle . . .” (כִי יִצְפְנֵנִי בְסֻכוֹ), is associated with Sukkos. In this Psalm, King David exclaims: “One thing I ask… is to dwell in the house of G-d all the days of my life.” We focus on the unifying force of G-d in our lives, and strive to increase our connection to Him as we begin the month of Elul. Rosh Chodesh Elul this year is on Sunday and Monday, August 8 & 9.

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 7: Are You Really Living or Just Alive?
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.