Friday, September 30th 2022   |

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.

Fathers, you’re never too old to inspire

By TED ROBERTS, the SCRIBBLER ON THE ROOF

I used to be a father. I still am, and now I’m a grandfather, too. But it’s a load I can handle because the job description is just about identical. It calls for inspiration – of young minds and young hearts; especially grandkids who are remote and therefore consider themselves safe from my constant inspirational messages.

Yes, despite TV and video games...

Poor, overworked Elijah

By TED ROBERTS, the SCRIBBLER ON THE ROOF

“Is it time already?” said the slim, gray-haired man in jeans and the “Pesach Is Coming” T-shirt.

“Certainly,” boomed the voice from the cloud. “TRADITION, you know. Tomorrow night is the first night of Pesach.”

“But sir, I’ve been doing this for 3200 years. It was easy at first. Maybe 8000 households. I downed a few barrels of wine. But now, even...

Children cheer for Purim

By TED ROBERTS, the SCRIBBLER ON THE ROOF

On a cloudless, heavenly morning, well before the Almighty turned the dust of the earth into man, He announced the Holydays to the assembled Heavenly Hosts. The angels listened solemnly, especially to Yom Kippur. And after a few moments of meditation they burst into a perfectly sublime harmonious Hallelujah. The Holydays were fashioned; a string of pearls to decorate creation.

There was...

Wedding Trends

By TED ROBERTS, the SCRIBBLER ON THE ROOF

Financial analysts tell us there’s no need to worry about the future of the agricultural sector. Forget cotton, corn, soybeans, and other unpredictable crops. They have a new bumper crop – as old as mankind, itself. Weddings.

Have you noticed this new trend? I tell you this in case the thought crosses your short, but navigable mind. You say you’re already married?...

The Missing Gift – Love

By TED ROBERTS, the SCRIBBLER ON THE ROOF

It had been a busy time 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 earth dwelled...

Come see the parade

By TED ROBERTS, the SCRIBBLER ON THE ROOF

Trends, like friends, come and go. 1. Chewing gum is out of style. 2. Men rarely smoke cigars. And in the old days, cigars were a social icebreaker. “Have a cigar, pal,” started many a friendship. 3. And come to think of it, I don’t believe as many men wear after shaving lotion as formerly. 4. Grandparents no longer live “above the...

If I were Pope

By TED ROBERTS, the SCRIBBLER ON THE ROOF

Science, culture, civilization – call it what you will – has conquered the flames of faith. Can anyone doubt this? How many of us who will end up in Heaven or Hell continue to believe in a world to come?

Two of the three Abrahamic religions – roughly half of the world’s population – have pacified their enthusiasm. Goodness, knowledge, culture have...

Tu B’Shevat Time

By TED ROBERTS, the SCRIBBLER ON THE ROOF

Tu B’Shevat, Tu B’Shevat,

I like you a lot.

Tu B’Shevat.

No tears, no fasting.

Only wonder at G-d’s plot.

Tu B’Shevat, degraded, diminished, and deluded by Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Pesach, as we all know, is the New Year of Trees. It’s one of the holidays, as we all know, that is not in the Torah, but found its origins...

Black Friday

By TED ROBERTS, the SCRIBBLER ON THE ROOF

Why do they call it Black Friday? This Friday after Thanksgiving, when drunk with turkey parts and cranberry sauce, we run out of the house and into the nearest retailer of whatever strikes our fancy. But why Black Friday? Why not Bright Friday?

Why the condemnation of the material charms of America? It’s an inspiring experience to take a foreigner to a...

Pillars of Judaism

By TED ROBERTS, the SCRIBBLER ON THE ROOF

Some say that Judaism stands, in order of sanctity, on the bedrock of the Ten Commandments complimented by the Torah and the Talmud. The Decalogue – those two stone tablets that Moses carried down the mountaintop – is the foundation stone. It’s about deeds, not intentions – not inclinations – not feelings, not even faith.

Overall, Judaism even encourages skepticism. You doubt me? Ask Abraham,...