In The Community

Community – Week of January 1, 2022

January 1, 2022 – 28 Teves 5782

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

Candle Lighting 4:31 pm
Shabbos Concludes 5:35 pm

Parshas Vaeira 

Exodus 6:2 – 9:35
Ezekiel 28:25 – 29:21

Stone Chumash pp. 318 – 339
Stone Chumash pp. 1149 – 1150

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

  • David Rubin for dedicating this newsletter and kiddush enhancement to the beloved memory of his mother, Shaindel Bas Dov Ber, z’l 
  • Kenny Bressler “in recognition of Menachem Szus’s awesome Presidential leadership over the past two years” 
  • Dr. Susan Feigenbaum for providing muffins in honor of Dr. Jay Pepose’s birthday (January 9) 


Erev Shabbos, Friday, December 24, 2021

  • 4:25 pm Mincha, Kabbalat Shabbat, Ma’ariv
  • 4:31 pm Candle Lighting

Shabbos, Saturday, December 25, 2021

  • 9:00 am Shachris followed by Musaf
  • 4:15 pm Mincha, Shalosh Seudos, Ma’ariv
  • 5:35 pm Shabbos concludes

Thank You for Leading Services 

Pesukei D’Zimra: Howard Sandler 
Haftorah: TBA 
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!

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! January 1 – January 7, 2022


Dr. Naftali Kadosh January 1
Mark Seigel January 2 
Avraham Smason January 4 
Stanley Goldfader January 6 
Nancy Lisker January 6 


Robert & Kate Friedman January 1 

Project: Information Update 

In the next few weeks, mailings will go out to all members containing contact information, birthday and anniversary dates, and yahrzeits as recorded in our systems. Please check all information carefully, and return the form provided with all updated information. Thank you, in advance, for your cooperation with this important project. 


Coming Soon

  • Shabbos morning, January 8 – Kiddush lunch in honor of NHBZ’s Medical Advisory Team. Please plan to join us. 
  • Saturday night, January 8 – Pizza Night (Carry-out only) 
  • Shabbos, January 22 – Kiddush lunch for Installation of Board and Officers 


  • 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
  • Sunday Mornings, After Shacris – Mishna learning with Rabbi Swindler

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.

In the meantime, please feel free to contact us either by email: or by calling Alan Zarkowsky, committee chair, 314-805-1896. 

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 the Trop, the Cantillation Marks, with which the Torah is read? 

A. Our Rabbis tell us (Nedarim 37b) that the Cantillation Marks that we use when we read the Torah were given to Moshe on Mount Sinai as part of the Oral Torah. This is in addition to the vowelization and structure of the verses. It must be noted that were these aspects of the Hebrew language not passed onto the Jewish People via Moshe, we would have absolutely no idea how to read from a Torah, as the text has no punctuation or cantillation included. When we read the Torah each week, let us reflect on how all aspects of the reading, from the words to the tune, connect us to Hashem. 

Sefer Torah Restoration – GLOW OF SUCCESS

WE DID IT!!! You jumped at the opportunity, and our treasure lives on for the next generation(s)!! 

Thank you to our generous donors: 

  • The Barashes
  • The Granillos 
  • The Berkins
  • The Habers 
  • The Bresslers
  • The Horns 
  • The Cohen/McCarys
  • The Morgenszterns
  • The Pepose/Feigenbaums 
  • Michael Edelstein
  • Sally Needle
  • The Szuses 
  • The Feits
  • The Neudorfs
  • The Tullmans 
  • The Fredmans 

We wish you, your family and loved ones a happy, healthy and prosperous new year! 

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. 

Masks required of all attendees, age 3 and older. Children aged 12 and older have the same vaccination requirements as adults. 

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 Vaeira – By Rabbi Smason

G-d assures Moses that He will indeed redeem the Jewish people from slavery and bring them into the land of Israel. After the Torah presents a detailed genealogy of the tribe of Levi (Moses’ family), Moses and Aaron go before Pharaoh to request a three-day hiatus from work so that the Jewish people can worship G-d in the desert. Moses’ staff is miraculously turned into a snake as a sign of their Divine mission. When the Egyptian sorcerers counter by transforming their staffs into snakes as well, Moses’ staff swallows up theirs. Even so, Pharaoh adamantly refuses to free the Jewish people, and the series of ten gruesome plagues begins. 

The first seven plagues are described in this week’s Torah portion: blood, frogs, lice, a swarm of wild beasts, pestilence, boils, and hail. Moses goes down to the river to speak to the Egyptian king — however, Pharaoh remains in denial (‘in d’Nile’ – get it?) continuing to refuse to free the Jewish people as his heart is hardened. The portion comes to a close in the middle of these momentous events. 

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:

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