Ted Roberts – The Scribbler on the Roof

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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Heaven, do we believe?

By TED ROBERTS, the SCRIBBLER ON THE ROOF

I saw my first daffodil a couple of weeks back. First the green shoots exploring a newly bright world. Tentative at first, then a few more. And evidently they decided it beat being buried in the dirt so they celebrated with a...
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Evolution of Grandparents

By TED ROBERTS, the SCRIBBLER ON THE ROOF

As I look back at my grandparents, I’m filled with wonder. Now, I’m a grandparent, too. And by the way, we never called them Bubbe or Zayde. It wasn’t cool then. Only today, for some reason, I don’t understand.

And they showed...
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A supermom gives a moral for Mother’s Day

By TED ROBERTS, the SCRIBBLER ON THE ROOF

Mothers, raising kids is no picnic. That is not news. Besieged parents need all the help they can get. So let me suggest we might benefit from a counseling session with a 17th century matron – a prodigious mother named Gluckel of...
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Revert to dirt – no way!

By TED ROBERTS, the SCRIBBLER ON THE ROOF

He knows not of Spring. So, tell him what warm winds bring. Like peaches and plums, apples and figs. They’ll soon reappear with birds on the wing. Please explain to him about Spring.

The white blossoms of the pear tree...
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Genetically, I’m just a shepherd boy

By TED ROBERTS, the SCRIBBLER ON THE ROOF

I guess I don’t have a green thumb – I think it’s black. I put out thirty dollars and three hours of work for petunias and three weeks later they’re as dead as King Nebuchadnezzar (who can spell his name – right?)....
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