In The Community

Community – Week of December 25, 2021

December 25, 2021 – 21 Teves 5782

ATTENTION: Please call the Eruv hotline at (314) 863-1811 for Eruv status for this Shabbos

Candle Lighting 4:27 pm
Shabbos Concludes 5:30 pm

Parshas Shemos 

Exodus 1:1 – 6:1
Isaiah 27:6 – 28:13; 29:22 – 23

Stone Chumash pp. 268 – 289
Stone Chumash pp. 1146 – 1148

We thank our generous sponsors of this week’s Weekly News and Kiddush

  • Craig and Marsha Feenberg want members to know: “Marsha has been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer (amyloidosis) which is treatable, though not curable. Her spirits and positive attitude have been a vital key in enabling her to cope with this condition. We thank everyone for their prayers and we honestly believe that they have gotten us this far. Love to all, Craig and Marsha”
  • The Feigenbaum/Pepose family “In appreciation for the warmth with which the NHBZ community embraced our sister Pam during her life in St. Louis and the kindnesses shown us upon her passing.”
  • The Rubin family “In honor of Bob Kaiser being named to this year’s list of Super Lawyers”
  • Alan & Vivian Zarkowsky provide cookies in honor of their new granddaughter, Emma Marian


Erev Shabbos, Friday, December 24, 2021

  • 4:20 pm Mincha, Kabbalat Shabbat, Ma’ariv
  • 4:27 pm Candle Lighting

Shabbos, Saturday, December 25, 2021

  • 9:00 am Shachris followed by Musaf
  • 4:15 pm Mincha, Shalosh Seudos, Ma’ariv
  • 5:30 pm Shabbos concludes

Thank You for Leading Services 

Pesukei D’Zimra: Howard Sandler 
Haftorah: Stuart Klamen 
Shacharis: Rabbi Avi Okin 
Sermon: Rabbi Ze’ev Smason 
Leyning: Stuart Klamen 
Musaf: Rabbi Avi Okin

Call for Minyanim

Your attendance is needed. Check-in with Rabbi Smason or Howard Sandler and find a time when you can help. If you would like to receive SMS reminders for your minyan attendance, please send the following information to Name; cell number, and carrier; and times for which you would like reminders.


Every Shabbos, from 10:00 AM until Kiddush is served, NHBZ offers programs for elementary and middle school students. Bring them into the beauty of honoring Shabbos with their community. Families do NOT need to be members of NHBZ to participate. See you Shabbos!

Siyum of Celebration

Due to unforeseen circumstances, the Siyum is postponed until further notice. Please stay tuned for the rescheduled date.

From the Rabbinic Search Committee

As you know, several weeks ago Rabbi Smason informed the congregation of his intention to step down as Rabbi of NHBZ. We join all of our fellow members, and the community at large, in thanking Rabbi Smason for his remarkable leadership and all he has done for our Shul over the last almost 25 years.

The Rabbinic Search Committee has begun its task of seeking the next Rabbi of our Shul. We will actively seek the input of all members and, throughout the process, be as transparent as possible while maintaining the proper confidentiality required.

In the coming weeks, we will detail the process we are starting and invite members to meet with us to learn more about the process and tell us what you are looking for in our new Rabbi.

Ask our Rabbis! 

What is the meaning behind……? Why did my Grandmother always…..? Can you offer a deeper meaning to…..? 

Whatever the question, our Rabbis are here to answer! You may email your questions directly to Rabbi Smason at or contact the rabbis directly. You can also send in a note using the form below, name and email are optional. Let’s make the most out of these learned teachers! 

Ask Our Rabbis 

Q: Why do we still keep two days of Yomtov outside of Israel?

A. What a wonderful question! Many believe that the essence of prayer is to ask for those things we believe we need. While it’s certainly true that HaShem wants us to ask Him to fulfill our needs, a strong case can be made that the central emphasis of Jewish prayer is to express gratitude for those blessings we already have.

Upon reflection, each of us has a very long list of both material and non-material gifts for which we can and should thank the Almighty. It’s so easy to take for granted the multitude of blessings in our life. Many or most of us are blessed with the following: We can walk, talk, see, hear and speak. And for the most part, we have fully functioning bodies with an incredibly complex circulatory system and multiple organs that do the job they’re supposed to do.

We live in homes with heat, air conditioning, and indoor plumbing. With the simple turn of a knob, we have hot and cold water at our disposal, and with the flick of a switch, we have light. We have refrigerators and cabinets stocked with food, and closets and drawers filled with clothing.

More significantly, we have people in our lives who we love, and many who love us. And of course, as Jews, we’re blessed to be part of HaShem’s Chosen Nation, and we have the supreme privilege and responsibility of serving Him and fulfilling our mission to be a Light Unto the Nations.

We have so much to be thankful for. Therefore, to help us focus on the many blessings in our lives and to develop a deeper ‘attitude of gratitude’, Jewish prayer provides us with an opportunity to daily thank HaShem for at least some of those blessings.

Congregation News

We ❤️ Our Medical Advisors

Please join us for Kiddush lunch on January 8, 2022, as we honor and pay tribute to the team of medical advisors who have guided us through this pandemic and kept us up to date and accurately informed about the ever-changing Covid situation.

Mazel Tov on Simchas this Week! December 26 – January 1, 2021


Richard Goldstein December 26
Louis Goldman December 31
Eli Szus December 31


Howard & Phyllis Loiterstein December 26
Craig & Jackie Berkin December 27
Eldad & Danielle Bialecki December 31


Coming Soon

  • Shabbos morning, December 18 – NHBZ is pleased to welcome special guest Rabbi Shmuel Miller, Headmaster of the H.F. Epstein Hebrew Academy
  • Shabbos morning, December 25 – Siyum led by Rabbi Chanan Swider at conclusion of morning service


  • Online Classes
  • Every Shabbos, 9:15 am – Learners Service with Rabbi David
  • Every Shabbos, 10:00 am – Shabbos Morning Kids’ Program
  • Every Shabbos, 10:15 am Starting Points with Rabbi Smason
  • Every Monday, 8:00 pm – St. Louis Kollel Amud-A-Week
  • Every Wednesday, 12:15 pm – Pirkei Avos Class with Rabbi Smason
  • Every Thursday, 7:00 pm – Mishmar Learning with Rabbi Okin
  • Saturday Nights, 7:30 pm – ChillZone with Rabbi Okin
  • Every Sunday, 9:00 – Teen Schmooze with Rabbi Okin

Sefer Torah Restoration

Did you know that we have a treasure? NHBZ is the proud custodian of a Sefer Torah (Torah Scroll), estimated to be approximately 200 years old! This Sefer Torah is unique not only because of its age but also because it was written in Ksav Ha’Ari (as in Nusach Hari!).

The great kabbalist Rabbi Yitzchak Luria (the “Ari”) promoted a script that is called Ksav Ha’Ari. Most Chasidic and kabbalistically-oriented Jewish communities use Sifrei Torah written in the Ksav Ha’Ari style. We at Nusach Hari B’Nai Zion Congregation also cherish our ‘Ari Torah’ because of our synagogue’s proud connection to the great Rabbi Yitzchak Luria.

We recently learned of some necessary repairs to restore this family heirloom to Kosher status. Moreso than other Sifrei Torah, this Sefer Torah is important to restore because it is our history. For those of you whose parents and grandparents (and great-grandparents!) worshipped here, they davened using this Torah.

We are well on our way to raising the $4000 needed for this important project. This is the perfect opportunity to get that year-end deduction from the IRS while preserving our family history. Call the office with your contribution today!

Youth Programming 

Shabbos Morning Kids’ Program, Every Shabbos 

NHBZ offers Shabbos morning programs for elementary and middle school students. Programs are offered every Shabbos, from 10:00 am until Kiddush is served. All program content will be personally designed and coordinated by Rabbi Okin. Families do NOT need to be members of NHBZ to participate. Please contact Rabbi Okin at with any questions. See you on Shabbos! 

ChillZone Saturday nights

Join children from around St. Louis, 5th grade and up, at NHBZ at 7:30 pm on Saturday nights for pizza, fun, and prizes while exploring Judaic topics with Rabbi Okin. Come get in the ChillZone. (Teen Schmooze will resume in the Spring.)

PIZZA NIGHT!!!! – Carry-out only – January 8, 2022

What’s better than Kosher pizza and Saturday night? Cheese pizza or any toppings (onion, mushrooms, green peppers), uncooked or fresh and hot from our oven, $14 per pie. Orders must be placed by Noon, Wednesday, January 5, and prepaid. Please email orders to or call 314-991-2100, ext. 2, and be sure to give us your phone number. First pick-up is 7:30 pm, and then at 10-minute intervals, scheduled as first-come-first-served.

You may pay online here:
All food under the supervision of Rabbi Ze’ev Smason

Learning at NHBZ

Parashas Shemos  – By Rabbi Smason

The book of Exodus begins by describing the gradually increasing enslavement of the Jewish people in Egypt. Pharaoh, fearing the population explosion of the Jews, initially hopes that backbreaking labor would stunt their rapid physical growth. When their birth rate continues to increase he orders the Jewish midwives to kill all baby boys. Moses is born, and when his mother is unable to keep him hidden from the Egyptian authorities any longer she places him in a basket and sends him down the Nile River. He is found by Pharaoh’s daughter and raised in the royal palace, even though she realizes he is a Hebrew. She names him Moshe (Moses) meaning “drawn from the water.” Years later as a grown man, Moses kills an Egyptian who he witnessed beating a Jew. 

Moses flees to the land of Midian and marries Zipporah, the daughter of Jethro, and they have two sons. When Moses is shepherding his father-in-law’s flock, he witnesses the “burning bush” on Chorev (Mt. Sinai) where G-d commands him to lead the Jewish people from Egypt to the land of Israel, which G-d promised to their ancestors. Initially reluctant, Moses is shown three miracles to perform before the Jewish people to prove he was sent by G-d: Changing his staff into a snake, his healthy hand into a leprous one, and water into blood. Moses, accompanied by his brother Aaron, encounters an obstinate Pharaoh. The Egyptian king not only refuses their request for a three-day respite to worship G-d, but declares that the Jews must produce the same quota of bricks as before but without being given straw. The people complain to Moses and Aaron for making their situation worse, but G-d assures Moses that He will force Pharaoh to let the Hebrews leave. 

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.

Upcoming topics:

December 25 – The December Dilemma: Living Jewishly in a Non-Jewish World
January 1 – Welcoming 2022: How to Begin Getting Happier
January 8 – Living Inspired: How Can We “Capture the Wow” in Our Lives?

Rabbi Smason’s Wednesday In-Person Class

Same place, same time, same health and safety rules.

Rabbi David’s Learners’ Service

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

NHBZ Mishmar 

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

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

These along with other NHBZ videos can be found here: ttps://

NHBZ Online Classes

Rabbi Ze’ev Smason will keep you connected during this challenging time. The classes listed below are easy to join and you can drop in on one without having previously attended. All classes are offered through Zoom video conferencing on your computer or smartphone (you do not need to download the Zoom application to see the class) AND through audio only on your telephone.

Instructions to Attend Classes 

For audio through your telephone, connect in one of two ways: 

  1. Preferred option – Call 312-626-6799 which connects you to the ZOOM audio number and will enable you to participate fully, except for the video. Toll Free. 
  2. Or call 314-325-8791 for our old audio connection. We encourage you to use the preferred option since this way might become unavailable soon. 

For Zoom video, each class has a Zoom link shown underlined in blue below. Click or tap on the link, or copy and paste the link into your browser to join the class. 

List of Rabbi Ze’ev Smason’s Zoom Classes

  1. Weekdays, 8:15 am (Sun 9:15 am) ~ New topic “Tehillim Tips: Insights Into Our Prayers”. Sessions are approximately 30 minutes
    Zoom video link:
  2. Monday thru Friday, 3:00 pm – 3:30 pm ~ “King Solomon: His Wisdom, Wealth and Wives”.
    Zoom video link:
  3. Fridays, 8:15 am ~ Discussion of the “Haftorah of the Week” Zoom video link:
Amazon Smile

Do you shop on Amazon?

Signup for Amazon Smile and .5% of your qualified purchase will be donated back to NHBZ 

How it works – it’s as easy as 1-2-3: 

1. Visit and sign in to your Amazon account 

2. Under “Pick your organization, search for “Nusach Hari” 

3. Select “Nusach Hari-Bnai Zion Congregation” 

Start Shopping! Every time you shop, sign in to,  and you will earn $$$ for NHBZ