Friday, September 22nd 2023   |

Ted Roberts – The Scribbler on the Roof (In Memoriam)

THEODORE “TED” ROBERTS was a humorist and writer, who lived in the Deep South of Huntsville, Alabama and wove stories based on his lifelong love of Judaism. Roberts’ collection of columns that ran in the CCJN with his sobriquet “The Scribbler on the Roof,” are archived here in the hopes that reading his homespun brand of Talmud will bring you continued joy and love of Jewish learning and culture. Roberts, 89,  died on March 2, 2020 and was buried in his hometown of Memphis.

The First Prayer – Missing Gift


It had been a busy six days even for the King of the Universe. The earth and all its contents – well, that was accomplishment enough. But the galaxies and the rules governing their orbit – sun, moon, and stars and that concept of infinite space. He was particularly proud of that. Just imagine!

The garden and its two occupants on planet...

A letter to God


We’ve talked before, but I never put it in writing. Initially, I wasn’t comfortable about this. But then I reflected that a frank dialogue with The Master of the Universe, whose creative wand energized the Milky Way and fruit flies and everything in-between, including kvetchers like me, is a well-established Jewish custom. I learned this from Your book. And by the way,...

Ain’t science great?


When it comes to objective, non-biased perceptions of my fellow human beings, I pride myself on my lack of bias.  If three men in plaid Walmart shirts knock me down, kick me passionately in the ribs, and from my battered body remove my wallet – believe it or not – I would not hate the next human being I met wearing a...

A question of jurisdiction


It wasn’t a great place to die in. Naked board walls – in the corner, a wood stove – straw, not rugs, on the floor and a bed that was no more than a pile of rags. If you gotta go, you’d certainly choose a finer departure point.

And Rivka, a loving daughter, was convinced that the old lady in the bed...

Beged Ka’as: His Coat of Anger

By TED ROBERTS, the Scribbler on the Roof

I had an interesting challenge the other day. One of my favorite editors of a Midwest Jewish newspaper, knowing my reputation as a connoisseur of Midrashim, said:  “OK, Ted, what about Beged Ka’as”.

I clearly answered, “Oh yeah, Beged Ka’as”.  Sure Beged Ka’as, which wasn’t a lie, was it, since I had no idea what Beged Ka’as meant, except it could be...

Shavuot – the ignored holiday

By TED ROBERTS, The Scribbler on the Roof

There’s an old Midrash that I just made up that talks about the holidays. They had a party – the holidays that is – and paraded through the synagogue. There was music and much rejoicing.

Yom Kippur was acclaimed the King of the Holiday clan. Each day was called out for special praise and recognition. They danced and sang and flattered each...

Shavuot: A holiday for seven-year-olds too

By TED ROBERTS, the Scribbler on the Roof

My seven year old granddaughter usually visits around Shavuot. She loves to visit her doting grandfather. Naturally. What’s not to like? We eat ice cream. Fudge ripple’s her favorite – our ONLY incompatibility. (Why do kids like their ice cream full of bubble gum, candy, crumbled cookies and various edible toys?)

I tell her stories. I even ride her around the yard...

NOWFE trips into town next month

By TED ROBERTS, The Scibbler on the Roof

Guess what happens on May 22 through May 25? No, it’s not my wife’s birthday.  It’s an event that food lovers and oenophiles (that’s a big word meaning wine lovers – I looked it up) circle on their calendars.

It is the world renowned New Orleans Wine and Food Experience (NOWFE).  A few days looked forward to by us homegrown gourmets like...