In The Community

Community – Week of July 30, 2021

July 30, 2021 – 22 AV 5781

Candle Lighting 7:54 pm
Shabbos Concludes 8:56 pm

Parshas Eikev

Deuteronomy 7:12 – 11:25 
Isaiah 49:14 – 51:3

Stone Chumash pp. 980 – 997
Stone Chumash pp. 1197-1199


Erev Shabbos, Friday, July 23

  • 7:00 pm Mincha, Kabbalat Shabbat, Ma’ariv
  • 7:54 pm Candle Lighting

Shabbos, Saturday, July 24

  • 9:00 am Shachris followed by Musaf
  • 7:30 pm Mincha, Shalosh Seudos, Ma’ariv
  • 8:56 pm Shabbos concludes

Congregation News

Simchas for the Week of July 10 – July 16


Sally Needle August 3
Janet Goldenberg August 4
Julie Eisenberg August 6
Jonah Shifren August 6
Allan Swan August 6


None this week.

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

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

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.


Coming Soon

  • Monday, Nov 15 – “A Day and a Night Living on the Gaza Border”
  • Sunday, December 12 – Save the Date


  • 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

Covid Guidelines

New mask policy

With the renewal of St. Louis City and County mask mandates on July 26th and recommendations from both the CDC and our synagogue’s medical and health advisory team of physicians, 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

Food Service

  • If you are fully vaccinated, you do not need to be ‘socially distanced’ while eating, but we prefer that you eat in small groups of those whom you know are vaccinated.
  • If you are not fully vaccinated, please maintain a ‘social distance’ of at least 3 feet from others (except for those who are in your ‘pod’).
  • All servers must be fully vaccinated and must wear gloves and masks.
  • Servers will distribute pre-packaged food. When getting food from the serving table, please do not gather around the table, but rather, approach the server one at a time.

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

Youth Programming

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 Kaiser Terrace. Social distancing will be observed; bring a mask. Refreshments will be served! For details, contact Rabbi Okin at

Teen Schmooze is on break. Watch for announcements!


A Day and a Night Living on the Gaza Border

Reserve the evening of Monday, November 15 (new date) for a program entitled ‘A Day and a Night Living on the Gaza Border’ 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!

Ask Our Rabbis!

Q: I was studying Torah laws regarding prohibited speech, mostly gleaned from the writings of the Chafetz Chaim. I came across the following law: It is also forbidden to repeat anything about another, even if it is not a negative thing. This is called rechilut. How does this apply to eulogies or honors given when they make speeches about the honoree?

A. Thank you for sharing this important question.

Even positive things said about others have the potential to bring a negative response from someone who might be jealous, or an adversary of a particular person. In other words, upon hearing something positive said about someone, the respondent might say, “Well … he wasn’t perfect. Did you know that he used to do x, y and z?”

At a funeral, though, even adversaries will let their animosity and jealousy lie — if for no other reason than being looked at as being a scoundrel for speaking negatively about the dead. And when it comes to honorees at dinners, I think it’s also understood that for the sake of the benefit of the organization and tzedaka, honorees will be publicly extolled. Therefore, someone who might respond with sarcasm or negative comments would (generally speaking) hold their tongue.

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 Eikev – by Rabbi Smason

Moses continues to encourage the Children of Israel to trust in G-d and in the prosperity and health which will follow if they keep the Torah. If they are careful to observe even those ‘minor’ mitzvos that are usually ‘trampled’ underfoot, he promises that they will be the most blessed of the nations of the Earth. Moses reminds them of their numerous transgressions in the desert, including the mystifying sin of the Golden Calf. Moses describes the bountiful Land of Israel filled with wheat, barley, grapes, figs, and pomegranates, a land of oil-yielding olives and date-honey. He teaches the people the second paragraph of the Shema which stresses the fundamental doctrine of reward for keeping the mitzvos and the consequences of non-compliance. All that G-d requires of us, Moses says, is to love G-d, revere Him, and to observe His Torah. Easier said than done!

Parshas Eikev concludes with the promise that G-d will provide the Jewish people with protection if they observe the laws of the Torah. Many are familiar with the famous phrase (found in this week’s portion), “Man does not live by bread alone.” The less-familiar second half of the verse says, “. . . but by all that comes from the mouth of G-d.” This important idea teaches that physical nourishment and external pleasures aren’t sufficient for a satisfied life. Every human being has spiritual needs that must also be met.

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 7:30 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.f

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:

July 24: What Makes You Laugh?
July 31: How to Conquer Anger

See Rabbi Smason’s page of NHBZ Online Classes for more information.