Rabbi Scolnic shares his favorite sermons.

Judaism and Drug Addiction

I recently officiated at a funeral at the Hebrew Free Burial Society for a Jewish man who had died from drug addiction. He had forsaken his family decades ago, leaving a trail of pain.

Changing the Narrative

These days, when we think about Israel, we often think about how some people think negatively about Israel. We know that Israel has more than its share of problems, external threats and internal threats. The external threats are countries and groups in the Middle East and elsewhere who are sworn to destroy Israel. They are always an immediate threat to Israel’s survival. The internal issues are socio-economic and religious. We know all this.

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?

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.

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