In The Community

Community – Week of October 23, 2021

October 23, 2021 – 17 Cheshvan 5782

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

Leonard & Fran Alper in honor of their Wedding Anniversary, and to welcome the Rabbis of the St. Louis Kollel.

The Bressler and Szus Families in honor of Leo Bressler’s 99th birthday. Mazel Tov!

Candle Lighting 5:55 pm
Shabbos Concludes 6:56 pm

We are thrilled to welcome the St. Louis Kollel Rabbis to NHBZ

A heartfelt THANK YOU and Bruchim Habaim for honoring us by
leading services this Shabbos.

Torah Portion Vayera 

Genesis 18:1 – 21:24
2 Kings 4:1–4:37 

Stone Chumash pp. 78 – 105
Stone Chumash pp. 1134-1136

ATTENTION: Is the Eruv down for this Shabbos?  As of publication (Thursday, September 30), the Eruv is DOWN for this Shabbos. Please be sure to verify its availability weekly. Before Shabbos, call the Eruv Hotline at 314-863-1811. 


Erev Shabbos, Friday, October 22, 2021

  • 5:55 pm Mincha, Kabbalat Shabbat, Ma’ariv
  • 5:55 pm Candle Lighting

Shabbos, Saturday, October 23, 2021

  • 9:00 am Shachris followed by Musaf
  • 5:35 pm Mincha, Shalosh Seudos, Ma’ariv
  • 6:56 pm Shabbos concludes

 Thank You for Leading Services 

  • Pesukei D’Zimra: Menachem Szus
  • Shacharis: Rabbi Binyomin Tajerstein
  • Leyning: Rabbi Yaakov Berkowitz(joining Kenny Bressler)
  • Haftorah: Rabbi Eliyahu Chaim Goldstone
  • Sermon: Rabbi Yaakov Berkowitz
  • Musaf: Rabbi Yaakov Berkowitz

We also welcome: Rabbis Dovid Miller, Avi Bin-Nun, Chezky Freund & Zevi Farkas

WHO NEEDS CARTOONS? Starting THIS SHABBOS MORNING, NHBZ offers Saturday morning programs for elementary and middle school students. Programs every Shabbos, from 10:00, am until Kiddush is served. Program content is personally designed and coordinated by Rabbi Okin. Families do NOT need to be members of NHBZ to participate. See you Saturday!

GOT QUESTIONS?? 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: If we wanted to learn how to do Havdalah, including the appropriate melodies, what would be the best way for us to go about it?

A: Havdalah is an important aspect of the Shabbos and Holiday experience. It is beyond the scope of this answer to describe the step-by-step process. Please check out the links below for articles and videos that elaborate on these ideas.

It is important to reflect on the purpose of Havdalah. The Rambam (Hilchos Shabbos 29:1) says that as part of the Mitzvah of Shabbos, the Torah requires one to make a verbal expression of the sanctity and holiness of Shabbos when it begins and when it concludes. The procedure at the beginning of Shabbos is called Kiddush, Sanctification, and the procedure at the end of Shabbos is known as Havdalah, Separation. As with many Mitzvos, we elevate statements and blessings by reciting them over a cup of wine, which is the procedure for both Kiddush and Havdalah.

Here is one thought about the significance of Havdalah. By formally concluding Shabbos and Yom Tov, we are acknowledging the sanctity and holiness of the time that has just concluded. This better allows us to bring the holiness with us into the week ahead.

How to Make Havdalah
Deeper Meaning Behind Havdalah
Video Guide to making Havdalah (No music)
Musical Rendition of Havdalah

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


Marvin Greenberg October 26
Robin Rickerman October 27


Leonard & Fran Alper October 29
Irwin & Rosalind Rosen October 30


FINAL DAY TO ORDER is WEDNESDAY, October 27. Place your orders today! You may order directly at, or through the Office, by phone (314-991-2100, ext. 2) or email ( Don’t miss out on this win-win opportunity!


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 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

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. We will publish the nominees for this year’s election when they are announced to the Board.

Current Status of the Special Gifts Campaign

I would like to thank all of you who helped and continue to assist in this important effort. The project this summer went longer than we expected, which prevented the scheduling of a planned event to extend appreciation to those members of the Shul who have contributed to the Campaign. 

Rather than continue the Special Gifts Campaign (“the SGC”), which would conflict with our Yizkor Appeal and the efforts involved with the Annual Dinner, the Executive Committee has agreed to defer the continuation of the SGC until after the first of the year. 

I appreciate your understanding. Know that the funds generated by the Campaign will go a long way to ensure the future of Nusach Hari. 

Jay B. Umansky
Committee Chair 

St. Louis Kollel Amud-A-Week at NHBZ

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

Dollar-A-Day Pushke Campaign

Thank you for your continuing participation in the NHBZ Pushke campaign. You will recall that the program calls for the collection of the Pushkes every three months and our returning the now empty Pushkes back to you to continue the ongoing cycle of daily contributions. The third cycle is now set to conclude Friday, October 29. At that time or a few days before, please drop off your Pushke at the shul office. The contents will be emptied, credited to your account and the now-empty Pushke immediately returned to you for continued future use. Please call in advance (314-991-2100, Ext 2) to schedule drop off or to arrange for us to pick up the Pushke at your home. Another convenient option is to send in a cheque for the amount saved in the Pushke.

All those returning Pushkes by Friday, October 29 will have their name entered in a drawing for a $25 Target gift card to be held shortly after the return date.

Call for Minyanim

We have several of our “regulars” traveling or otherwise unavailable for the next several weeks. Your attendance is needed, please. Please contact Howard Sandler at (314) 409-7266.

Weekly News Deadline⏰

Gentle Readers, The deadline for submissions to the NHBZ Weekly News is Tuesday, 12:00 Noon. Items received after 2:00 pm Tuesdays will NOT be included in that week’s publication. Your attention to and cooperation with this is greatly appreciated. Yours truly, the Weekly News Team.

STL Jewish Book Festival Event

Please join Natan Sharansky and Gil Troy as they discuss their co-written memoir of Sharansky’s Never Alone: Prison, Politics and My People, dealing with Mr. Sharansky’s years in Soviet prison. The event takes place Sunday, November 7, 2021, at 7:00 pm. Reserve your space for either online or in-person attendance. Tickets are available at

Mikvah Dedication

The community is invited to the Chanukas Habayis Dedication of the Staenberg Family Mikvah Building! Mark your calendars for October 31, 2021, at 1:00pm. Please see the flyer attached to this Weekly News for additional information. Mazel Tov!

Rabbi Okin – Vacation

Rabbi Okin will be out of the office from Wednesday, October 27 through Tuesday, November 2. He will return to work on Wednesday, November 3, 2021. Enjoy your time off, Rabbi! We will have PLENTY for you to do when you return.

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. 

As we now enter the post-Holiday period, here’s to good health, a year of peace, and prosperity. With our efforts and cooperation, may we help end this pandemic. 

Youth Programming 

Shabbos Morning Kids’ Program, Saturdays 

Who wants to watch cartoons when we can have fun with friends and spend time with Rabbi Okin and other great counselors?! NHBZ is excited to launch its Shabbos Morning programming! 

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 is BACK, 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

IT’S (almost) HAVDALATHON TIME! Saturday Night, November 13

What’s a Havdalathon, you ask? It’s a roaring good time for the whole family! Under the guidance of Rabbi Okin, we will learn how to transition out of Shabbos. Learn HOW and WHY we do what we do.

If the learning is not enough, there is also PIZZA and CRAFTS (each family will decorate its own Havdalah set) and SONGS and FUN. Open to all – NHBZ membership not required.

Mark your calendars and watch the Weekly News and emails for updates and to RSVP. Sponsorship opportunities are available!

Learning at NHBZ

Parashas Vayera – By Rabbi Smason

The parsha begins with Abraham’s incredible display of chesed (kindness) to three angels who appear as men. This, despite extreme discomfort from his recent bris milah (circumcision). The angels declare that Sarah will give birth to her first child at the age of 90 when Abraham would be 100. Later, Abraham pleads to G-d on behalf of the cities of Sodom and Gemorrah.

However, the cities are soon destroyed, but not before the angels save Abraham’s nephew Lot and his family from destruction. Later the parsha describes how Sarah is abducted by Avimelech, the king of Gerar, who did not realize she was married. G-d responds by striking him with a plague which prevents him from touching her. Sarah conceives and gives birth to Isaac, and Abraham makes a huge celebration. Sarah sees Ishmael (Abraham’s son from Hagar) as a menace to her own son’s spiritual well-being and asks Abraham to expel Ishmael and Hagar. The Torah portion concludes with the akeidah, Abraham’s tenth and final test, in which he shows his willingness to comply with G-d’s command to bring his beloved son Isaac as an offering.

After the expulsion, their first two sons, Cain and Abel, each bring an offering to G-d. In jealousy, Cain kills his brother, and G-d sends him into exile to wander the face of the earth. The Torah then gives a genealogy of the first ten generations of the world, beginning with Adam and leading up to the birth of Noah and his three sons. 

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, 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. 


Israeli Olive Oil – JUST 1 WEEK LEFT TO ORDER!

Place your orders! To participate in this awesome opportunity is simple:

  • Go to the website:
    The website will instruct you to click on a button to order either 3 or 6 bottles of oil and sill explain how you can get your name placed on your own tree in Israel.
  • You will also make your payment on the website. The bottles will be sent to NHBZ and we will contact you to pick them up.
  • If you prefer to pay by check or cash, please call Nancy (314-991-2100, ext. 2) or email (
  • Please contact Margo Tzadok at for any questions.

14 Days Living in Eshkol, Israel

Reserve the evening of Monday, November 15 for a program entitled “14 Days Living in Eshkol, Israel” 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.

Trib-ute (trib’yoot) 

A gift, payment, declaration, or other acknowledgment of gratitude, respect, or admiration. 

Make a tribute honor someone’s Simcha or good health or a loved one’s memory. 

Call Nancy in the office to make a tribute – 314-991-2100, ext 2. 

Tributes will be listed monthly in the NHBZ Weekly News.