Rabbi Scolnic shares his favorite sermons.

I recently reviewed The Source by James Michener at a well-attended Men’s Club Breakfast (on December 25th) and I thought I might use my new blog to open a discussion on the book and related matters.

Dear Alexander Rubin Scolnic Dobin,
 I’m reading you this letter on a special day, the day of your b’rit milah, your bris, your circumcision. Thank G-d, you won’t remember today, but I will. It’s the day when we gave you a name.

So I'm fifteen years old and I'm in the car with my father and I'm blaring mad.  I can still feel it: We're on Greentree Road in Bethesda, Maryland and my father is driving me against my will to get a haircut.  It's 1968 and I don't want a haircut.  The Beatles are playing on the radio, singing the song “Help!” My father shuts off the radio, claiming that all this long hair nonsense began with those beach boys and so it was their fault to begin with.
    A man who has always been a smart dresser wears a tie that doesn't match his suit.
    A woman who would never go outside without her hair done and her face looking just right walks into a store without make-up.
    An aunt who was always fastidious about financial matters sends you a birthday check written in pencil.
We are in a high school class in U.S. History, somewhere in Connecticut, 2007. A student says, “The slave trade of Africans to America never really happened.” Other students look at him with curiosity. “Yes,” he says, “this whole subject has been grossly exaggerated by American blacks to explain their difficult experience in this country and to win compassion. Africans really wanted to come to America, eagerly and voluntarily got on ships, and came over here, hiring themselves out on plantations for fair wages and good treatment and better lives.”
So here I am in Israel, at a Karaoke pub inside a hotel, drinking my Pepsi Max, standing outside the window, looking in because I can't stand all of the cigarette smoke.  And these beautiful Israeli kids are having a blast, singing all of the hit songs.  I know a lot of prayers in Hebrew and a lot of traditional Hebrew songs but I don't know any of these Israeli hits.
Go to top