Thursday, December 8th 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.

Virtuous Joseph – Nationmaker

By TED ROBERTS, the SCRIBBLER ON THE ROOF

“Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four  hundred years.”  Genesis 15:13

Have we ever considered that the morality of Joseph, son of Jacob, determined the destiny of the Jewish people? You might even say that the fate of the Judeo-Christian world hinged on the...

Old man Goldfarb

By TED ROBERTS, the SCRIBBLER ON THE ROOF

I am not the bread winner in our family. I WAS the bread winner in our family when I was a serf in the service of industry, but now when we want bread, we go to the pantry on the corner – the bank – where we keep the bread we¹ve saved up over the years

And obviously, I don¹t bring home...

The mystery of Spring

By TED ROBERTS, the SCRIBBLER ON THE ROOF

I have two explanations for the mystery of Spring and I use both of them with my kids.  Well, I used to use them on my kids. But, since my kids are old enough now to drive a car and pay a house note and have kids of their own, they fully comprehend the mechanics of Springtime.

I pontificate to my grandkids....

Modesty and other virtues

By TED ROBERTS, the SCRIBBLER ON THE ROOF

The Bible is full of mysteries. Aside from its poetry, philosophy, theology, history, it’s brimming with mysteries that have baffled the rabbis, theologians, and secular scholars of the ages. Some are well known and have been explored for centuries. Let me pose one,  which slapped my face as I read the familiar story of disobedience by the first newlyweds: Adam and Eve. Such a simple story...

Esther: A threat to the empire

By TED ROBERTS, the SCRIBBLER ON THE ROOF

It is not true that Purim was initiated by our sages for Jewish husbands to get slobbering drunk in the presence of the congregation – though drunkenness is recommended.  And I once attended a Purim festival in New Orleans in which a jazz band constantly cycled the synagogue.  Anything goes on Purim except a poem of praise to Haman.  I won’t bother...

The world’s first newlyweds learn the facts of life

By TED ROBERTS, the SCRIBBLER ON THE ROOF

We 21st Century folks, looking back at Eden, see it as the paradise that our Chumash (Five Books of Moses) describes. No work, no bills, no taxes, none of those miserable New Jersey winters. But a few suspicions prick at our minds. What did they do all day – and another thing hinted in Genesis – how did the newlyweds get along?

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Remember those homemade valentines?

By TED ROBERTS, the SCRIBBLER ON THE ROOF 

Why are women blessed with Post Menstrual Syndrome – socially acceptable depression – anytime the sink stops up; or the world’s will rebels against theirs?

“Yeah,” says my good friend, Herb. “Why shouldn’t a man have the same privileges as a woman? Why can’t we be cranky and irritable, and have a nice cry sometimes? Aren’t we human, too? Won’t a husband...

An analysis of Judah

By TED ROBERTS, the SCRIBBLER ON THE ROOF

If you were a magistrate of the Canaanite District 5 – about 1400 BCE -and Judah came up for judgment, what a test of your judgment there would be. Or put the question on a higher plane. It’s Yom Kippur and you must judge this impure  or mixed cinnamon, sugary sweet-roll-of-a-human-being: a grave decision.

First there is his role with Joseph, his...

The two nincompoops

By TED ROBERTS, the SCRIBBLER ON THE ROOF

Sometimes courtesy must be discarded for efficacy of expression. Pardon my crudity, but John Kerry is an intellectual nincompoop. No, this is not an aphorism of Oscar Wilde’s, but of the vast majority of American Jews or anyone at the 6th grade reading level who bothers to read the newspapers.

Nothing subtle here. Iranian intentions and warlike behavior are well known. For...

Bandit, scholar, son

By TED ROBERTS, the SCRIBBLER ON THE ROOF

Isaac, the Tzadik of Riegle, had just finished his supper of Kasha. Time to study.  His favorite time of night.  Total quiet of the woods, a full stomach, which allowed him to concentrate on Torah.  And best of all, no insistent raps at the door, no visitors.  And believe ithe had plenty out here in the woods – 4 versts from town.

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