Rabbi Scolnic shares his favorite sermons.

Baby Story

The baby looked healthy at first. He was born by Caesarean section, and his skin color and breathing looked perfectly healthy. But within two hours of birth, he was having severe seizures. The staff at the Rambaum Medical Center in Haifa, Israel were doing a routine check when they realized that the baby was not well. They transferred him to the neonatal intensive care unit right away.

The Most Dangerous Part of The Human Body

What is the most dangerous part of the human body? A boxer might say our hands. A martial arts expert might say one’s legs. Would anyone say one’s mouth?

How Anakin Skywalker Became Darth Vader

A recent Bar Mitzvah, Caleb Caplan, asked me to give a sermon about Star Wars, and connect it to that week’s reading from the Torah, Shelach Lecha, and I happened to be in the right mood for a personal reason.

The Allen School

The Allen School was the worst school in the Dayton, Ohio system for many years,. Located in the dilapidated inner city, the dropout rate was astronomical. Fifth graders had parole officers.

XENOCIDE

As we are about to celebrate Pesach, I want to think about a word I associate with the High Holidays. On Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, when we repent for our sins and mistakes in the last year, we have a confession called the vidui that uses every letter of the Hebrew alphabet to name a sin or a fault. When the English translators wanted to duplicate this Hebrew acrostic, they did not know what to do with the letter “x”, which does not exist in Hebrew, so they came up with Xenophobia, which is fear of the strange and the alien, fear of the other. At first, people I know mocked this translation, but they don’t mock it any more.

Lies and Truths

It might seem strange that we are at a point in time that we need to talk about telling the truth, but we are clearly at that point in time.

The Torah says: “You must not carry false rumors; you shall not join hands with the guilty to act as a malicious witness.” (Exodus 23:1)

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