Ted Roberts – The Scribbler on the Roof

Culinary Jews – People of the Kitchen

By TED ROBERTS, the SCRIBBLER ON THE ROOF

We Jews are often called the “People of the Book”. But our detractors call us the People of the Kitchen. I consider that a compliment. Even our courting habits are affected. “Hey, can you cook?” asks the potential groom. This was not...
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A bris in Passaic

By TED ROBERTS, the SCRIBBLER ON THE ROOF

“And I will establish my covenant between me and you and I will multiply you exceedingly. . . and I will make you exceedingly fruitful.”  So spoke G-d to Abraham.  “What Covenant?” thinks a bewildered Abraham, who likes the...
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Fathers, You Must Mark the Trail

By TED ROBERTS, the SCRIBBLER ON THE ROOF

“If Oedipus Rex had taken that kid to the ballgame more often, we wouldn’t have had all that trouble.”

                           — Ancient Greek Historian

OK, so my good friend, Herb,...
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Besht: The Baal Shem Tov’s midnight visitor

By TED ROBERTS, THE SCRIBBLER ON THE ROOF

The followers of the Baal Shem Tov love to tell of his courage in facing up to his opponents. The holy man, they used to say, could walk among wolves without drawing a deep breath. But the most epic confrontation of his...
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Don’t Forget the Women

By TED ROBERTS, the SCRIBBLER ON THE ROOF

Have you ever noticed in our Chumash the huge positive prejudice toward women?  It’s hard to miss – and yet there’s a wave of scholars and kibitzers who criticize us for our denigration of the female species.

A silly judgment that...
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Chanukah and Christmas: A Study in Ecumenicism

By TED ROBERTS, the SCRIBBLER ON THE ROOF 

Chanukah and Christmas have many similarities: They both fall in December. They both delight the merchant classes. They’re both lighthearted holidays that don’t sufficiently emphasize their religious and historical origins. And both festivals love light.  

Jews light candles. Christians...
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Dybbuks Don’t Wait for Halloween

By TED ROBERTS, the SCRIBBLER ON THE ROOF

All well-informed Jews know what a dybbuk is. An evil imp, a ghost, a soul stealer. They take many forms. Remember last week you dropped the grocery bag spilling five pounds of sugar, two dozen eggs, and two pounds of flour –...
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Those low-rent Sinai booths

By TED ROBERTS, the SCRIBBLER ON THE ROOF

It’s a big mitzvah, you know, to “dwell in booths for  That’s what they tell us in Leviticus: Chapter 23.  As usual, we’re at the mercy of the translation.  It doesn’t mean “booths” like phone booths or kissing booths.  It means the huts, tents, and...
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He Goat: Yom Kippur’s Prima Donna

By TED ROBERTS, the SCRIBBLER ON THE ROOF

Rosh Hashanah marks the birthday of the world – the anniversary of its creation. First, say our sages, the Creator made heaven and earth. Now on earth’s birthday He wants a birthday gift from us. No, not the trinkets we hand each...
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The world from my cat’s point of view

By TED ROBERTS, the SCRIBBLER ON THE ROOF

Why do we Jews have less pets than our Christian neighbors? Maybe this explains it. The cat talks: “What do they expect from me? I caught three mice last week. Of course, since mama died two weeks after I was born, I...
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