In The Community

Community – Week of November 13, 2021

November 13, 2021 – 9 Kislev 5782

ATTENTION: The Eruv is down for this Shabbos As of publication (Thursday, November 11), the Eruv is DOWN for this Shabbos. Please verify its availability weekly at 314-863-1811.

Candle Lighting 5:38 pm
Shabbos Concludes 6:40 pm

Parshas Toldos 

Genesis 25:19 – 28:9
Malachi 1:1–2:7 

Stone Chumash pp. 124 – 143
Stone Chumash pp. 1137-1138


Erev Shabbos, Friday, November 12, 2021

  • 4:30 pm Mincha, Kabbalat Shabbat, Ma’ariv
  • 4:32 pm Candle Lighting

Shabbos, Saturday, November 13, 2021

  • 9:00 am Shachris followed by Musaf
  • 4:15 pm Mincha, Shalosh Seudos, Ma’ariv
  • 5:34 pm Shabbos concludes

 Thank You for Leading Services 

  • Pesukei D’Zimra: TBD
  • Shacharis: Rabbi Avi Okin
  • Leyning: Stuart Klamen
  • Haftorah: Kenny Bressler
  • Sermon: Rabbi Ze’ev Smason
  • Musaf: Rabbi Avi Okin

We thank our Anonymous Sponsors for today’s Kiddush in honor of David Rubin‘s recognition as one of the Best Lawyers in America

Call for Minyanim

Your attendance is needed, please. Check in with Rabbi Smason and find a time when you can help. There is no such thing as too many people attending a minyan. We hope you will join us, soon and often! If you would like to receive SMSM 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: I recently came across a statement that says that mourners are prohibited to learn Torah. I understand that mourning is a time of sorrow, and you should learn Torah in joy. For how long does this prohibition extend? Additionally, many of our prayers contain passages taken directly from Torah sources. So, since a mourner must pray, listen to the Torah reading, etc., how does he or she avoid learning Torah?

A: Your question about the prohibition of mourners learning Torah is an excellent one. The prohibition extends only for the week of shiva. And you’re correct in surmising that the reason for the prohibition is that Torah learning gladdens the heart — an emotion inconsistent with the state a mourner should be in as he or she reflects upon the magnitude of the loss.

As for the question of a mourner during prayer and reciting prayers containing Torah passages, I think there are three components that make it allowable:

  1. gReciting Torah passages relatively quickly and listening to them read aloud don’t constitute the type of Torah study that is prohibited. The real joy from the study of Torah comes from learning of the depth, intricacy, and relevance of the Torah. And even listening to the weekly Torah portion doesn’t bring such joy.
  2. A mourner remains obligated in prayer. Therefore, he must (as an example) say the Shema twice a day. Despite the fact that the Shema consists of three passages from the Torah, the mourner has a separate obligation to recite the Shema.
  3. A mourner IS allowed to study those parts of the Torah that are relevant for shiva, as well as study those parts that are sad. For example, a mourner can study the halachos of mourning, the Book of Lamentations, etc. So … prayers such as kaddish, which bring a spiritual benefit to the departed, can certainly be said even though it and other prayers are Torah thoughts or direct passages from Tenach.

Congregation News

SHABBOS MORNINGS KIDS’ PROGRAMS: Every Shabbos, from 10:00 am until Kiddush is served, NHBZ offers programs for elementary and middle school students. Program content is personally designed and coordinated by Rabbi Okin. Families do NOT need to be members of NHBZ to participate. RSVPs appreciated. See you Shabbos!

Mazel Tov on Simchas for the Week of September 23 – October 2, 2021


Marilyn Liss November – 16
Kenny Bressler November – 17
Michael Minoff November – 19


Jerry & Devy Goldenberg – November 18


Coming Soon

  • Saturday, November 13 – Havdalathon (Motzi Shabbos – Saturday Night)
  • Sunday, November 14 – All Congregation meeting via Zoom
  • Monday, November 15 – “14 Days Living in Eshkol, Israel”
  • Thursday, November 25 – Thanksgiving Parent/Child Learning & Gratitude Program
  • Sunday, December 5 – Family Chanukah Party
  • Sunday, December 12 – 116th Anniversary Event LIVE & In-Person at the Clayton Plaza


  • 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, 7:30 pm – Mishmar Learning with Rabbi Okin
  • Every Sunday, 9:00 – Teen Schmooze with Rabbi Okin

This Week (Nov 13–15)

November 13th 2nd Annual Havdalathon – Light the Night! Motzai Shabbos (Saturday Night) 6:30 pm. Check for details! RSVPs help us plan ahead.

November 14thAnnual Membership Meeting/Election of Officers Sunday, on Zoom. The link will be mailed and emailed to members.

November 15th – “14 Days Living in Eshkol, Israel” Monday

Natalie Klamen Monument Dedication

The Monument dedication for Natalie Klamen will take place on Sunday, November 14 at 2:00 pm at Beth Hamedrosh Hagodol Cemetery, Ladue Road.

Annual Membership Meeting and Election of Officers
Sunday, November 14, 11:00 am

Did you ever wonder how the officers of NHBZ are elected?
Do you want to have a say in the future direction of NHBZ?
Do you want to express your opinions to the Board of Directors?

You are invited to attend the Annual Membership Meeting and Election of Officers on Sunday, November 14, at 11:00 am. We will publish a Zoom link soon.

Each November, we hold a Membership meeting to give a ‘state of the shul’ report and elect officers and members of the Board of Directors. This is an opportunity for you to interact directly with the Rabbis, President, and other officers and Board members about the business of the shul. If you would like to give your opinion, makes suggestions or just listen, this is your chance.

Here is how the election works. We have a nominating committee that consists of all past presidents. That committee deliberates throughout the year, and it comes up with a proposed slate of officers that is presented to the Board of Directors. At the November Membership meeting, the slate is officially nominated, and other nominations are accepted from the floor. You can even nominate yourself. Members in good standing may nominate others and may have the privilege of voting. Nominees must be members in good standing for at least one year at the time of nomination. The Officers and new Board members take office on January 1.

We have eight officers and fifteen Board members. Officers serve for one year, and can be re-elected. Board members serve for three years, with one third of the Board up for election each year. Sometimes we have a vacancy mid-term, and must nominate somebody to fill the remaining time of a term. Here is the slate of nominees for this year’s election (indicated in red or asterisk), along with continuing Board members.

Vice President
Vice President
Vice President
Vice President

*Kenny Bressler
*Jennifer Hartranft
*Stella Vladimirov
*Denny Feit

*Bobby Levine
*Alan Zarkowsky

NHBZ Board of Directors

Term ends 12/31/2022 Caryn Alper
Howard Loiterstein Nancy Belau Rush Margo Tzadok Richard Woolf

Term ends 12/31/2023 Marcie Brook
*Teree Farbstein
*Mike Minoff


Term ends 12/31/2024
*Rhonnie Goldfader
*Joni Kaiser
*Ed Levitt
*Gavriel Matt

2nd Annual HAVDALATHON – Light the Night! Motzai Shabbos, November 13 6:30 PM

Spend this Motzai Shabbos (Saturday night), with friends and the community while learning HOW to transition out of Shabbos!

The Second Annual Havdalathon, “Light the Night!” is fun for the whole family! NHBZ membership is NOT required.

Each family decorates its own Havdalah set. Rabbi Miller will lead us in the musical Havdalah tradition. PIZZA also provided.

Covid precautions are in place. Masks required of all attendees, age 3 and older. Proof of vaccination is required for those 12 and older.

Youth Programming 

Shabbos Morning Kids’ Program, 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! 

Teen Schmooze, Sundays 

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


14 Days Living in Eshkol, Israel – Mark your Calendars! It’s Next Monday!

Monday, November 15 at 7:00 pm at NHBZ is the long-anticipated program, “14 Days Living in Eshkol, Israel.” Two of Israel’s finest uniformed men will offer eyewitness testimonies as seasoned servicemen, husbands, fathers, first responders, and among the brave men and women protecting Israel’s borders.

The presenters are Lieutenant Colonel Keith Isaacson, Head of Security for the Eshkol Region of Israel, which includes over 30 Moshavim and Kibbutzim (cities and towns) adjacent to the Gaza border. He is joined by Captain Dani Gohar, a Ravshatz (watchman on the wall), special ops soldier, and policeman.

Actual video footage of the 14 days of attack in May 2021 will be shown, including rockets, fire balloons and missiles directed toward Israelis. Footage also shows Israel’s measured response and the courage of individual Israelis.

Rabbi Smason will address the gathering, and we will also be honored to hear to the remarks and insights of Irl Solomon, of Friends of Israel, and Pastor Bryan Sharp. We are grateful to Mr. Solomon and Dr. Sharp for enabling us to host this event.

Another special component to the event will be singing, in English and Hebrew, including Caleb Edwards singing “The Holy City”. This is a great opportunity to show your support for Israel, and for the Jewish people.

It is required that all attendees wear a mask; attendees age 12 and older must produce a Covid vaccine card at the Nusach Hari B’nai Zion Synagogue before entry into the event.

In the Community

Torah Prep School of St. Louis – Chanukas Habayis November 14, 10:15 am

Expressing gratitude to Hashem, and celebrating their new home, Torah Prep School of St. Louis invites you to 8136 Groby Road, St. Louis. Doors open at 10:15 am for reception and to tour the building. For more information, visit or call 314-569-2929.

CAMERA on Campus Meetings available November 14-15

The Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) has fellowships available. Their recruiter, Douglas Sandoval will be conducting interviews Nov. 14-15. You may reach him at 213-376-7003, or email More information:

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.

The Glow of Success Special thanks, Margo Tzadok!

The success of this Win-Win campaign bears repeating! Thanks to the dedicated efforts of Margo Tzadok, this year’s MyTree Olive Oil campaign, raised $470 for our Shul, that’s a 47% increase over last year!

“On behalf of the shul, I would like to thank Margo Tzadok for the wonderful work she has done on this project. It is true Chesed on many different levels.”

Menachem Szus, President

St. Louis Kollel Amud-A-Week at NHBZ

Mondays, 8:00 p.m. All men are welcome! See flyer for additional locations and details.

Kosher Thanksgiving for First Responders is ON!

Once again, NHBZ will show its gratitude to our Olivette Police and Firefighters for their superior service. We will provide a traditional Thanksgiving dinner (Kosher, of course) to those who are on call or at the station for the Holiday. Please call Stella Vladimirov at (314) 540-4450 any day after 6 pm with questions.

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 13 and older have the same vaccination requirements as adults. 

Here’s to good health, peace, and prosperity. With our efforts and cooperation, may we help end this pandemic.

Learning at NHBZ

Parashas Vayeitzei – By Rabbi Smason

Jacob escapes from his wicked brother Esau and travels to Charan, where he will stay with his uncle Laban. While spending the night at the future site of the Temple, G-d appears to Jacob in a dream. Rich in symbolism and meaning, the dream depicts a ladder extending from heaven to earth upon which angels are ascending and descending. After arriving in Charan, Jacob meets Laban’s daughter Rachel and agrees to work for Laban for seven years for her hand in marriage. When the wedding night finally arrives, Laban deceives Jacob by substituting his older daughter Leah in Rachel’s place. After waiting a week, Jacob also marries Rachel, but not without being forced to commit to another seven years of labor. Over the next few years Rachel remains barren, while Leah gives birth to six sons and a daughter. Bilhah and Zilpah (the maidservants of Rachel and Leah respectively) each have two sons with Jacob. Finally, Rachel also has a son, Joseph. Jacob becomes very wealthy during his twenty-year stay with Laban, even though his father-in-law continually tries to swindle him. After seeking counsel with his wives, Jacob and his family flee from Laban, who pursues and confronts him, upset that he left without saying goodbye and arrogantly claiming that Jacob stole his idols. Eventually they sign a peace treaty and part ways.

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:

November 6 – Living with Fascination
November 13 – The Antidote to Boredom
November 20 – Thanksgiving: An Attitude of Gratitude
November 27 – Chanukah: Do Miracles Still Happen?

Rabbi Smason’s Wednesday In-Person Class

Same place, same time, same health and safety rules.

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://

Rabbi David’s Learners’ Service 

Every Shabbos at 9:15 am. Just starting out? No worries. Rabbi David teaches the basics of Shabbos prayers. 

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 coming soon! 

Rabbi Smason’s Wednesday In-Person Class will resume Wednesday, October 13, 2021. 

We’re Having a Chanukah Party! – Volunteers and Sponsors Needed

Dust off your dreidels, it’s PARTY TIME!! Sunday, December 5, 12:00 – 3:00 pm
There are a limited number of seats, and NO walk-ins, so RSVP before Sunday, November 21. (Costs increase after 11/21/21). Please see attached flyer for all of the details.

Sponsorships available, $54 – $360.
We also need VOLUNTEERS for the event itself:

  • Set up (the evening before, after Shabbos)
  • Registration/Receiving Table (no money will change
    hands, just checking the RSVP list!)
  • Kitchen food preparation and Clean up
    Please call (314-991-2100, ext. 2) or email ( with your sponsorship or how you would like to volunteer.