In The Community

Community – Week of December 4, 2021

December 4, 2021 – 30 Kislev 5782

ATTENTION: The Eruv is down for this Shabbos as of publication (Thursday, December 2). Please verify its availability weekly at 314-863-1811.

Candle Lighting 4:21 pm
Shabbos Concludes 5:24 pm

Parshas Mikeitz 
Rosh Chodesh
Maftir (Chanukah)

Genesis 41:1 – 44:17 Numbers 28:9 – 28:15 Numbers 7:42 – 7:47 Zecharia 2:14 – 4:7 Isaiah 66:1, 66:24

1 Samuel 20:18, 20:42

Stone Chumash pp. 222 – 249 Stone Chumash pp. 890 – 892 Stone Chumash p. 770
Stone Chumash pp. 1210 – 1211

We Thank our Generous Sponsors

Libby Sorkin Routman for the Chanukah kiddush doughnuts.
Ronnie, Ilana, Ateret, Yardena and Tekoa Reisler for the other kiddush food, in honor of Dr. David Reisler’s 86th birthday. Mazel Tov!


Erev Shabbos, Friday, December 3, 2021

  • 4:20 pm Mincha, Kabbalat Shabbat, Ma’ariv
  • 4:21 pm Candle Lighting

Shabbos, Saturday, December 4, 2021

  • 9:00 am Shachris followed by Musaf
  • 4:10 pm Mincha, Shalosh Seudos, Ma’ariv
  • 5:29 pm Shabbos concludes

 Thank You for Leading Services 

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

SHABBOS MORNINGS KIDS’ PROGRAMS: 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!

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.

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: What is the origin of Baruch Tihiyeh – “You should be blessed” when someone says Yasher Koach “May Your Strength Be True” to you for davening, chanting haftorah, or other shul related participation? Are there other appropriate times when this is said?

A. The Gemara (Masseches Shabbos 87a) tells us that the source for the phrase of Yasher Koach is God’s response to Moshe breaking the Luchos, the Tablets containing the Ten Commandments (Exodus 34:1), which is alluded to by the word ‘Asher’ in the verse. Our Rabbis tell us that Hashem agreed with Moshe’s reasoning that the Jewish People were not ready to receive the Luchos. The Gemara does not make it clear whether Moshe had a response to God’s Yasher Koach, and it is not clear what the source is for the phrase “Baruch Tihiyeh”. It seems to be an equivalent to returning the blessing, almost a blend of ‘Thank You’ and “You Are Welcome”. It is appropriate to return a blessing to one who paid him the blessing of “Yasher Koach.”

Congregation News

Mazel Tov on Simchas this Week! November 28 – December 4, 2021


Mayer Taller – December 7
Eldad Bialecki – December 9
Dr. Faye Cohen McCary – December 11
David Porter – December 11
Orly Shanker – December 11


Milton & Tammy Sallis – December 7


Coming Soon

  • Sunday, December 5 – Family Chanukah Party
  • Sunday, December 12 – 116th Anniversary Event LIVE & In-Person at the Clayton Plaza
  • Shabbos morning, December 18 – NHBZ is pleased to welcome special guest Rabbi Shmuel Miller, Headmaster of the H.F. Epstein Hebrew Academy


  • 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
    No Teen Schmooze on Dec 5, due to Chanukah party

116th Anniversary Banquet
Clayton Plaza Hotel Information

With the Anniversary Dinner just weeks away, we want to remind you that attendees should be fully vaccinated. The Clayton Plaza Hotel strongly recommends that all its employees be vaccinated, although it does not require them to show proof. All employees, including those serving at our event, are required to wear masks. Stay tuned for updates. We look forward to celebrating with you!

In the Community

Glow of Success for THANKSGIVING DINNER FOR POLICE/FIREFIGHTERS Our team of hardworking and dedicated volunteers was led by Stella Vladimirov, who says:

“As it already started to be our tradition, our synagogue brought Hot Kosher Lunch to Olivette police/firefighters. Many thanks to our shul members who made it possible:

Norma Rubin, Leonid and Stella Vladimirov for cooking main dishes; Jackie Berkin and Bob Kaiser for making desserts; Sallie Volotzky for making a beautiful, oversized Thanksgiving card; Rebbetzin Chani Smason, Rabbi Smason and Rabbi Okin for providing supervision in the kitchen; Dr. Faye Cohen, Brian and Scott McCary for delivering the food.”

Stella Vladimirov

Thank you, one and all, for your generosity in the name of NHBZ!

On-going Covid Guidelines Shul Policy

NHBZ requires that all people attending tefila (prayer services), classes, or other NHBZ programs and activities show proof of vaccination. You may show your vaccination card to Rabbi Smason whenever convenient for you both, or on Shabbos as you enter the shul. Once you have shown Rabbi Smason your vaccination card, there is no need to do so again.

If we have no proof of vaccination, you are welcome to join Shabbos services from the Kaiser Terrace on the West side of the synagogue. You are also welcome to enter the synagogue to ask a question of the rabbis and staff, conduct business in the office, pick up or leave an item, or for any other reason that might last for a brief period of time.

Masks are required of all inside attendees age 3 and older; masks are strongly encouraged for those outside, too. Children aged 12 and older have the same vaccination requirements as adults.

JSU 19th Annual Gala (Virtual Event) December 5

The Jewish Student Union (JSU) pays tribute to Dr. Jay Pepose & Dr. Susan Feigenbaum and Mr. Bob Hardcastle for all they have done to strengthen the St. Louis Jewish Community, its youth in particular. Please visit For more information, please contact or call Rabbi Mike at 314-498-6279.

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 NEW! 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, Sundays No Teen Schmooze Dec. 5

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 on the patio at the back of the NHBZ Sanctuary. Breakfast will be served! For details, contact Rabbi Okin at

Learning at NHBZ

Parashas Mikeitz – By Rabbi Smason

Pharaoh has a two-part dream about seven scrawny cows devouring seven robust cows, followed by seven thin stalks of grain swallowing seven healthy, good ones. When his advisers are unable to adequately interpret the dream, Pharaoh summons Joseph, who had been in prison for a total of twelve years. Ascribing his power of interpretation solely to G-d, Joseph tells Pharaoh that Egypt will first experience seven years of abundant crops, and then will be ravaged by a devastating famine. Pharaoh appoints Joseph as viceroy of Egypt, making him the second most powerful man in the land (this is a source for the sport of tennis in the Torah — we see that Joseph … served in Pharaoh’s court). Joseph’s wife Asnat gives birth to two sons, Menashe and Ephraim, and the years of plenty and famine unfold just as Joseph had predicted. With the famine devastating the land of Canaan (Israel), Joseph’s brothers descend to Egypt to purchase food. When they don’t recognize their royal brother, Joseph sets in motion a plan to determine if the brothers have fully repented for their sin of selling him almost twenty-two years before. Joseph acts detached, accusing them of being spies, and holds Simeon hostage. Joseph then allows the rest of the brothers to go with food to their father on the condition that they return with their youngest brother Benjamin. With great reluctance, Jacob agrees to this condition. Mikeitz concludes with the looming threat that Benjamin will be made a slave to the Egyptian ruler.

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 4 – Chanukah: How to Pick Great Heroes
December 11 – Lend Me an Ear: Are You a Good Listener?
December 18 – EQ: Can We Master Our Emotions?
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 – No Service November 27, 2021

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.

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: