In The Community

Community – Week of July 24, 2021

July 24, 2021 – 15 AV 5781

Candle Lighting 8:01 pm
Shabbos Concludes 9:03 pm

Parshas Va’eschanan

Deuteronomy 3:23 – 7:11 
Isaiah 40:1 – 40:26

Stone Chumash pp. 958 – 979
Stone Chumash PP 1196-1197


  • This bulletin is sponsored by Sam & Shirley Bluestein in honor of the birth of their new great- grandson Shimon Mendell, Simon Miles Peysakovich; parents are Roman & Emma Peysakovich, and grandparents are Ephraim & Michelle Mufson.
  • The ice cream at today’s Kiddush is sponsored by Rachael Pevnick in memory of her beloved husband Teddy, on his Yahrzeit, for all the love he has given her and her family.
  • A belated thank you to Dr. Eliot & Sally Katz for partly sponsoring last week’s pre-Tisha B’Av Shabbos Kiddush Lunch.


Erev Shabbos, Friday, July 23

  • 7:00 pm Mincha, Kabbalat Shabbat, Ma’ariv ⚫ 8:01 pm Candle Lighting

Shabbos, Saturday, July 24

  • 9:00 am Shachris followed by Musaf
  • 7:35 pm Mincha, Shalosh Seudos, Ma’ariv
  • 9:03 pm Shabbos concludes

Congregation News

Simchas for the Week of July 10 – July 16


Craig Feenberg July 24
Benjamin Garmaise July 25


Murray & Joyce Hochberg July 28

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


Coming Soon

  • Sunday, July 25 – BBQ Dinner at Irv Zeid Park Pavillion
  • Thursday, July 29 – Security Training
  • 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.

Congregation-Wide Safety and Security Information and Training

We invite all members to register and attend a Safety and Security training session entitled Entry Point, presented by Community Security Service (CSS). The mission of CSS is “Protecting Jewish Life and Jewish Way of Life”. This is a one-hour virtual training session about the basics of security and how to help protect our community. It is a standalone program, and no background in security is required. This live, interactive, virtual session will be held via Zoom on Thursday, July 29th at 7:45 pm CDT. Watch for the flyer with sign-up instructions.

Covid Guidelines

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.

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 Year in the Life of Magen David Adom VIdeo

If you were not able to attend the special Zoom program with representatives of Magen David Adom (MDA), Israel’s national Emergency Medical Services, on Monday, July 12,
here’s a link to a video of the program:

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: What is an example of a ritual that we assume to be listed in the Bible, but is instead a Rabbinic enactment? What is the purpose for this enactment? Why did the Rabbis make enactments in the first place?

A: There are a number of Jewish rituals that we perform on a regular basis which many people assume to be in the Bible. One example is Netillas Yadayim, the ritual hand-washing procedure that is performed before any meal where bread will be consumed. The Gemara (Chullin 105a) states that this hand-washing is of Rabbinic origin. Rabbi Yaakov ben Asher explains that the reason for this enactment is to ensure that the food which we consume should be done in a state of purity (Tur Orach Chaim 158 based on Chullin 106a). One intent behind this practice is that when the Beis Hamikdash, the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, will be rebuilt, speedily in our days, the Jewish people will automatically eat the sacrificial foods in the proper state of ritual purity, through having ritually washed their hands before eating.

The Rabbis have a mandate to establish Takanos, enactments, in a number of circumstances. Netilas Yadayim is an example of the type of enactment that was established in response to an identified shortcoming in the Mitzvah observance of the Jewish People. In this case, the problem at hand was that the Kohanim were not being careful with the state of their hands when they would eat ritual foods. This was extended to all Jews, but only to meals that contained bread, when the Rabbis determined that a uniform standard was needed for the whole Jewish community to ensure that ritual food was not eaten in a defiled state. The Rambam (Hilchos Brachos 6:2) notes that “this is an ordinance of the sages whose instructions the Torah bids us heed, as it is said ‘According to the law which they will instruct you’ (Devarim 17:11). This is the source of the injunction that the Jewish People follow the prescription of the Sages, which is designed to ensure that we have the best possible relationship with Hashem that we can.

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.

Tu B’Av – extracted from

The 15th of Av is a most mysterious day. A search of the Shulchan Aruch (Code of Jewish Law) reveals no observances or customs for this date, except for the instruction that the tachanun (confession of sins) and similar portions should be omitted from the daily prayers (as is the case with all festive dates), and that one should increase one’s study of Torah, since the nights are beginning to grow longer, and “the night was created for study.”

The Talmud tells us that many years ago, the “daughters of Jerusalem would go dance in the vineyards” on the 15th of Av, and “whoever did not have a wife would go there” to find himself a bride. And the Talmud considers this the greatest festival of the year, with Yom Kippur (!) a close second!

As the “full moon” of the month of Av, it is the festival of the future Redemption, marking the end of the tragedy that marred the first part of the month. Until this day, we held siyumim and gave charity each day to mitigate our sadness and hasten the Redemption. But on the 15th of Av, this is no longer. Forty-five days before Rosh Hashanah , this is also the first day on which we begin to wish each other a ketivah vachatimah tovah, to be signed and sealed for a good year.

Parshas Va’eschanan – by Rabbi Smason

Moses continues his final speech to the Children of Israel. He tells them how he entreated G-d to allow him to enter the land of Israel, but his request was denied. Moses was allowed, however, to see the Promised Land from the peak of Mount Pisgah. Moses appeals to the people to keep the Torah, telling them to neither add to nor subtract from its mitzvos. They are told to always remember the Revelation at Mt. Sinai where every man, woman and child heard the presentation of the Ten Commandments. Moses repeats the Ten Commandments, with subtle differences between this version and that of the Book of Exodus. The Shema, found in this week’s Torah portion, expresses our belief that G-d is One and states our commitment to love and serve Him. It exhorts us to transmit Torah to the next generation, and its laws should be remembered by a ‘sign’ upon one’s hand and forehead(tefillin) and written on the door posts of one’s home (mezuzah). Finally, Moses encourages the people to trust in G-d and remain faithful to the Torah. Intermarriage is prohibited, and the source that Jewish identity is transmitted through the mother is stated.

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.