In The Community

Community – Week of September 11, 2021

September 11, 2021 – 4 Tishrei 5782

Candle Lighting 6:59 pm
Shabbos Concludes 8:00 pm

Parshas Vayelech
Shabbos Shuvah

Deuteronomy 31:1 – 31:30
Hosea 14:2 – 10
Micah 7:18 -20

Stone Chumash pp. 1094 – 1099
Stone Chumash pp. 1204 -1205

This bulletin is lovingly sponsored by Nancy Stenn, your new Synagogue Administrator. May the NHBZ community, family and friends have a safe, happy and healthy New Year and may you each be inscribed and sealed in the Book of Life.


Erev Shabbos, Friday, September 10, 2021

  • 6:55 pm Mincha, Kabbalat Shabbat, Ma’ariv
  • 6:59 pm Candle Lighting

Shabbos, Saturday, August 21, 2021

  • 9:00 am Shachris followed by Musaf
  • 6:50 pm Mincha, Shalosh Seudos, Ma’ariv
  • 8:00 pm Shabbos concludes

 Thank You for Leading Services 

  • Pesukei D’Zimra: Howard Sandler
  • Shacharis: TBA
  • Leyning: TBA
  • Haftorah: TBA 
  • Sermon: Rabbi Ze’ev Smason 
  • Musaf: TBA

Yom Kippur – Annual Canned Food Drive – Wednesday, September 15

As in the past, we’re conducting a food drive for the Jewish Food Pantry. Please bring your non-perishable, canned or boxed food items to the lobby when you arrive for Kol Nidre on September 15.

We ask everyone to bring an amount of food that would be at least equal to the amount you would eat during the time of the Yom Kippur fast.

Erev Yom Kippur • September 15, 2021 • 9 Tishrei 5782

Candle lighting at home before 6:51 pm (No candle lighting at NHBZ). Fast begins at 7:09 pm.

Erev Yom Kippur, Wednesday, September 15

  • 1:30 pm Mincha
  • 6:51 pm or earlier Candle lighting (at home)
  • 6:20 pm Take out Torahs
  • 6:25 pm Kol Nidre
  • 9:00 pm Ma’ariv Concludes

Yom Kippur • September 16, 2021 • 10 Tishrei 5782

Fast Concludes after Shofar is Sounded

Torah Portion Leviticus 16:1–17
Maftir Numbers 29:7–11
Haftorah Isaiah 57:14–58:14

Machzor pp. 202
Machzor p. 206
Machzor pp. 207-208

Stone Chumash pp. 636-645
Stone Chumash pp. 894-895
Stone Chumash pp. 1237-1238

Yom Kippur, Thursday, September 16

• 8:30 am Shachris

Pesukei D’Zimra: Menachem Szus
Sermon: Rabbi Ze’ev Smason
Shacharis: Elie Needle
Musaf: Rabbi Avi Okin
Leyning: Elie Needle
Neila: Elie Needle
Haftorah: Kenny Bressler

  • 10:00 am Learners’ Service
  • 6:30 pm Neila
  • TBD Children’s Service
  • 7:40 pm Ma’ariv
  • 11:15 am Drasha
  • 7:55 pm Havdalah
  • 11:45 am Yizkor
  • 8:00 pm Shofar sounded
  • 12:30 pm Musaf
  • After Shofar Fast concludes
  • 5:00 pm Mincha

Congregation News

Simchas for the Week of August 12 – August 21


Ayelet Smason September 12
Rebecca Goldman September 14
Sheilah Gross September 14
Robert Schnurman September 17
Jackie Berkin September 18
Marcela Morgensztern September 18

On-going Covid Guidelines Shul Policy *Please see important update*

NHBZ requires that all people praying inside the shul show proof of vaccination. You may show your vaccination card to Rabbi Smason before the holidays or as you enter the shul. If we have no proof of vaccination, you are welcome to join services from the Kaiser Terrace on the West side of the synagogue.

Masks are required of all inside attendees (age 3 and older); masks are strongly encouraged for those outside, too. Children above age 13 have the same vaccination requirements as adults.

Please enter the synagogue from the South entrance (near Logos School).

May this be a year of good health. May this be a year of peace. With our efforts and cooperation, may we help end this pandemic. L’Shana Tova.


Coming Soon

  • Sunday, September 12 – Family Tashlich Program
  • Sunday, September 19 – Edible Sukkah Event
  • Monday, November 15 – “14 Days Living in Eshkol, Israel”
  • Sunday, December 12 – 116th Anniversary Event


  • Online Classes
  • Every Shabbos, 9:15 am – Learners Service with Rabbi David (On Hiatus)
  • Every Shabbos, 10:15 am – Starting Points with Rabbi Smason
  • Every Wednesday, 12:15 pm – Pirkei Avos Class with Rabbi Smason (On Hiatus*)
  • Every Thursday, 7:30 pm – Mishmar Learning with Rabbi Okin
  • Every Sunday, 9:00 – Teen Schmooze with Rabbi Okin

* Due to the Holidays, Rabbi Smason’s Wednesday classes will pause for September. Next class: October 6, 2021.

Family Tashlich BBQ and Program Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021

Come play, eat and learn with NHBZ Young Families! Everyone invited.
See flyer for details.

High Holiday Parking

Parking will be available on the Logos School Parking Lot. Please ONLY park in the spaces closest to the synagogue. Someone will be there to guide you. Thank you to Logos School!!!!

NHBZ – Yom Kippur Appeal – 2021 – 5781

Psalm 100 enjoins us to “Ivdu et Hashem B’simcha”, which translates to “Serve Hashem with Joy”.

During the last year, plus, that mitzvah has been very challenging to fulfill. We continue to calculate each step we make, as individuals, as families, as a congregation, as a nation, and as a whole world.

Nevertheless, at our shul, we decided from the outset that, together with being medically responsible, we would press on and find ways to move the needle on the great compass, as far forward as possible and to do so with creativity and joy.

One year ago, we hired Rav Okin to be our Assistant Rabbi in charge of young family and youth and singles programming. This year we hired both a new bookkeeper, Hindy Anton, and Nancy Stenn, our new Shul Administrator. Together with Rabbi Smason and our other staff, they form a dynamic team, who truly believes in our shul’s mission. They are of course, always complemented by our tremendous team of volunteers.

Menachem Szus

Many new members have joined us, in all age groups. Most recently we have been joined by a family whose children represent the fifth generation of NHBZ members. Our youth programming and young adults programming is accelerating, and I am very optimistic about our shul’s future.

All of the above could not and would not be possible, without your generous donations and gifts to your shul. I am reaching out to you to fulfill the mitzva of Tzedaka at this propitious moment of the Jewish year cycle. Please donate generously to your shul so that we can continue with our missions of in-reach and outreach and make sure that no Jew is left behind. There are many ways that you can donate and also have friends and relatives be recognized in the process. Let’s together fulfill the mitzva of “Ivdu et Hashem B’simcha”

Shana Tova and G’mar Chatima Tova
Menachem Szus, Shul President.

“Everyone, age 3 and older, wears a mask in the shul. Adults (age 13 and older) must also show proof of vaccination to the Rabbi. Health and safety, first!”

Rabbi Okin’s High Holiday Message

What is Missing from Avinu Malkeinu?

One of the most iconic Tefillos (“Prayers”) of the High Holiday Season is known as ‘Avinu Malkeinu.’ It is a series of supplications that are directed to Hashem, where each line begins with the couplet “Avinu Malkeinu- Our Father, Our King.” This couplet touches on two of the dynamics that describe how Jews connect to the Creator of the World. One is that we interact with Hashem like a son does to a father, and this is referred to with the word Avinu. In the other, we interact with Hashem like a subject would to a king, and this is referred to with the word Malkeinu.

However, there seems to be something missing from the phrase Avinu Malkeinu. The Rambam (Laws of Repentance 10:3) says that the highest level of connection to God is akin to the love that a husband has to his wife. As this position is widely accepted in Rabbinic literature, why are we not mentioning that paradigm here? Why not say, “Isheinu, Avinu, Malkeinu- Our Spouse, Our Father, Our King?”

It is because during Rosh Hashanah, the 10 Days of Teshuvah, on Yom Kippur, and the other times in which Avinu Malkeinu is recited throughout the year, we are standing humbly before the Almighty. We acknowledge that these special days have a serious nature to them. We recognize that we are being evaluated as part of the determination as to what the upcoming year will look like. We realize that the best way to endeavor to have a good year is to stand before God and resolve that we can do better.

We beseech Hashem to give us a better year than we may deserve, and to give us life, blessing, health, prosperity — in short, to give us only good. We do not mention this spousal relationship on Rosh Hashanah because we do not get complacent or feel entitled when we ask Hashem for a year of blessing, because we are likely asking for much more than we deserve.

During the 10 Days of Repentance and on Yom Kippur, we need to recognize that if there is a need to ask for forgiveness, then we have allowed our relationship with the Almighty to deteriorate. We have not made our relationship with God the most important factor in our life, although we should have. We know that we do not always include God in the picture when we make a decision. Deep down, we understand that God is providing us with many more opportunities and blessings than we deserve. Yom Kippur, the opportunity to begin our new year with a clean slate, is one of the best of those amazing opportunities.

We do not mention the idea of Isheinu — that Hashem is our spouse — during these times because we need to realize that we have to own up to our mistakes and our failings if we want to be as close to God as we wish to be. It is up to us to use the upcoming year to reconnect with Hashem and to strengthen our bond with Him.

May God help us to connect to Him during the 10 Days of Repentance and may we all feel close to Hashem throughout the year.

Youth Programming

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 .


Israeli Olive Oil

Get ready to place your orders! Once again, we can support an Israeli business and eat well while doing it! Yes, you can adopt an olive tree! See attached flyer for details.

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.

Men’s Mikvah Use at The Staenberg Building for Yomim Noraim

HOURS: 6:30 am-4:00 pm erev Yom Kippur (there will be 2 slots per time period)
10:30 am-4:30 pm erev Succos
9:30 am-4:30 pm Hoshana Rabba

“FREE” FOR SON’S OF KLEI KODESH (pre-bar mitzvah age)

Schedule here for Erev Yom Kippur:

Please: wear a mask; bring your own towel; pay the attendant and sign in.

Please contact Lynda Cohen (314) 795-3982 with questions.

Learning at NHBZ

Vayelech – by Rabbi Smason

Vayelech opens with Moses walking through the Jewish camp on the final day of his life to say goodbye to his beloved people. He teaches them the mitzvah of Hakel, the once-in-seven years gathering of the entire nation to hear the king read certain passages from the Torah. G-d commands that a special Torah, written by Moses, be placed by the Levites at the side of the Holy Ark to bear witness against Israel if they were to ever deviate from its teachings.

Shabbos Shuvah – by Rabbi Smason

The Shabbos between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur is called Shabbos Shuvah, Shabbos of Return because its special haftarah reading begins with the words Shuvah Yisrael “Return O Israel,” from the prophecy of Hoshea. It is also referred to as Shabbos Teshuvah because it falls during the Ten Days of Repentance.

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.

Yom Kippur Learner’s Service & Class

With great joy and excitement, we announce this year’s learner’s service and class. Please join us for an Educational Service with Rabbi David Thursday, September 16, 2021 10 am – 12:30 pm

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:

September 11: Mistakes We Need to Stop Making

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