Rabbi Scolnic shares his favorite sermons.

Hamilton and The Stories of Our Patriarchs

I ask every Bar or Bat Mitzvah to suggest a topic for my sermon for their ceremony. Recently, Levi Weinstein asked me to talk about his favorite musical, Hamilton, and so my challenge was to weave this groundbreaking show with the stories in Genesis that we were reading during those weeks.

Roast Greetings, Videos and Picture Albums

Click the triangle on the picture to view the Digital Program.


Click on the following links to view the slide show or individual pictures in the albums.


Click the triangle on the picture to view and listen to videos of the Roast. After the first video opens, click on the loop symbol  to view all 12 videos in order.



My Song At My Roast

We recently had an event called Roast the Rabbi. I hope that it will not sound bad if I say that it was a great night in every way. We had nearly 300 people and they were all smiling and laughing. The committee worked very hard for a long time and every detail was perfect. At the end of the evening, I never said a word, but my grandson Avi, in a tuxedo that matched mine, responded for me, rebutting his brother Alexander’s biting indictment of my humor. I sang this song to him, but really to thank everyone who was there:

G-d Bless America or Is Our Flag Still There?

God bless America, land that I love
Stand beside her and guide her
Through the night with the light from above

From the mountains to the prairies
To the oceans white with foam
God bless America, my home sweet home

Lox and The Meaning of Jewish Identity, or Off On The Road To Morroco

Do you know what the oldest word is?

I mean the oldest word in any language known to humankind.

You might guess “Mama,” or “Dada,” or “Baba,” but you’d be wrong.

The answer is a word that would not have been in my first thousand guesses. I ask you again: What is the oldest word in any language known to us that has continued to be used with the same pronunciation and meaning for 8000 years straight? Are you ready?

Thy Sea Is So Great And My Boat Is So Small

I’m visiting someone who’s in a rehab facility because she’s addicted to a prescription drug. She tells me that she’s doing a little better, and she’s thinking about a prayer that they gave her in one of the groups. She reads me a few lines:

Thy sea, O G-d, so great,
My boat so small.

Thy winds, O G-d, so strong,
So slight my sail.

Thy world, O G-d, so fierce,
And I so frail.

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