In The Community

Community – Week of January 8, 2022

January 8, 2022 – 6 Shevat 5782

ATTENTION: The Eruv is up! Please keep the Hotline number handy for future reference. 314-863-1811.

Candle Lighting 4:38 pm
Shabbos Concludes 5:41 pm

Parshas Bo 

Exodus 10:1 – 13:16
Jeremiah 46:13 – 46:28

Stone Chumash pp. 340 – 365
Stone Chumash pp. 1149 – 1151

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

Rachael Pevnick in honor of her new great-granddaughter, the baby’s parents, Brandon & Emily Pevnick, and grandparents Larry & Robin Pevnick. Mazal Tov! 


Erev Shabbos, Friday, January 7, 2022

  • 4:30 pm Mincha, Kabbalat Shabbat, Ma’ariv
  • 4:38 pm Candle Lighting

Shabbos, Saturday, January 8, 2022

  • 9:00 am Shachris followed by Musaf
  • 4:25 pm Mincha, Shalosh Seudos, Ma’ariv
  • 5:41 pm Shabbos concludes

Thank You for Leading Services 

Pesukei D’Zimra: Howard Sandler 
Haftorah: Suprise Guest 
Shacharis: Rabbi Avi Okin 
Sermon: Rabbi Ze’ev Smason 
Leyning: Kenny Bressler 
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 – Kiddush Lunch Postponed

We must postpone our Kiddush lunch. Many of the honorees are not available to attend due to the changing Covid situation. This very important event will be rescheduled as soon as possible. Meanwhile, our heartfelt thanks to all medical personnel and staff. Stay well! 

Mazel Tov on Simchas this Week! January 8 – January 14, 2022


Dr. Stephen Radinsky January 8
Dr. Jay Pepose January 9 
Norman Shore January 11 


Sam & Shirley Bluestein January 12
Larry & Rayna Chervitz January 13 


Coming Soon

  • Saturday night, January 8 – Pizza Night (Carry-out only) 


  • 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

Special Thanks and Appreciation 

NHBZ expresses its deep gratitude and appreciation to Judith Kamien and Scott Biondo whose tireless efforts have helped to secure the safety of our building and community. 

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. 

Sefer Torah Restoration – GLOW OF SUCCESS 

Thank you to our additional donors: 

  • Hal & Ellen Rosen
  • Dr. Arnold Brody
  • Dr. David & Fran Reisler
  • Nicole Levay

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: Does one fulfill the mitzva of bikur cholim (visiting the sick) by “visiting” a sick person (choleh) by electronic means? 

A. There is a consensus among rabbinic authorities that there is moral and mitzva value to “visit” not in person. On the other hand, they all say that if one can come in person, he or she should. 

In order to appreciate both the value of a visit by telecommunication and the preference of in-person, we need to see the goals of bikur cholim. One of the main reasons for visiting the sick is to be moved by his condition and inspired to daven (pray) powerfully for him. Being there in person helps one feel the choleh’s condition more acutely. Another major reason for visiting is seeing to his practical needs. Another element of an in-person visit is psychological encouragement, which often or usually works better in person than by electronic means. 

To a lesser degree, the above-stated goals can be achieved through a visit via telecommunication. And as we have become painfully aware of during the current pandemic, an in-person visit to a choleh may be inadvisable or simply not possible due to health and safety protocols. 

In sum: While we can use modern technology to help significantly in the mitzvah of bikur cholim, it should not turn into a replacement for an in-person personal fulfillment, when such a visit is possible. 

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.)

Learning at NHBZ

Parashas Bo – By Rabbi Smason

This week’s portion begins with the eighth plague that G-d brings upon the Egyptians as the land is covered by locusts, destroying all the remaining crops. After the plague is removed at Pharaoh’s behest, he once again refuses to set free the Jewish people, and the ninth plague of darkness encompasses the land. When that plague ends, Pharaoh becomes even more defiant about not freeing the slaves, at which point Moses warns Pharaoh about the upcoming tenth plague, the death of the firstborn. The Torah then interrupts the narrative with the first mitzvah given to the Jewish people as a nation — the sanctification of Rosh Chodesh (the new month), beginning with the month of Nisan. G-d teaches Moses about the Korban Pesach (Passover offering) and the remainder of the laws of the Passover holiday, which Moses then transmits to the Jewish people. 

At midnight of the appointed night, the plague strikes, with every non-Jewish first-born dying, including Pharaoh’s own son. Pharaoh awakes, running through the streets (presumably while still in his pajamas) to tell Moses that he now consents to send the Jewish people from his country. The children of Israel travel forth in a hurry with the great wealth they have just been given by the Egyptians. The Torah portion concludes with various mitzvos relating to the Exodus. 

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