The Scribbler on the Roof
By Ted Roberts
I love a Jewish wedding. No, I don’t cry like the old ladies, but my heart warms up and expands like a kneidlach in simmering soup.
Why? For the simple reason that we’re still here, and there’s every indication that there will be more of us. Our historical survival is one of the proofs that a living G-d rules the world.
It speaks to me of our continuing Jewish lineage — the futility of those historical Hitlers who tried to obliterate our culture and failed.
As the bride circles the groom and the rabbi recites the age-old blessings, which must have worked because we’re still here, I think of the mighty empires that have crumbled when they attacked us.
I think of Spain and its inquisition — a country now on the critically ill list.
I think of the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (Republics? A blatant lie.) A shadow of its former self.
I think of Nazi Germany — those champion Jew-killers and their heaven-sent (with the aid of the allied air forces) blizzard of destruction from the air. Dresden, Cologne, Berlin, Hamburg, Stuttgart — heaps of corpses and ashes. Yes, G-d looked away from the Holocaust, but violently He took His revenge on our murderers.
And don’t forget Rome, which destroyed our Second Temple and then fell prey to barbarians — the instrument of G-d. For does not the Torah tell us that He will use the sword of nations to impose His punishment?
He also tells us that He will curse those who curse us. And bless those who bless us. Witness No. 1, the United States of America.
Not only will Judaism continue to wave its flag of morality, but it will serve the world as its conscience — our usual role, which we often pay for in blood.
But again, these are somber thoughts. Why think of winter’s desolation in the rejuvenation of spring? Why think of the icy gales of January when the returning swallows are bursting into a song of homecoming? And spring means weddings!
As I said, there’s nothing like a Jewish wedding. I’m even a matchmaker (whose services are free). “Sammy,” I say, talking to an old friend, “you know that Greenberg girl is a real prize.”
If he picked up a little Yiddish from his grandparents, I might call her a machayah, which means a cross between a lottery winner and a similar stroke of happiness that falls from the sky.
I’ve got good friends who won’t pick up the phone: “Uh, oh, it’s Ted. He wants to make his wedding pitch; me and Zelda are just good friends. Don’t answer it. You’ll get a 40-minute speech on my contribution to Jewish survival.”
And I have even more in my bag of tricks when I hear that X and Y are close to legitimizing their dalliance with a formal wedding. I give them both a call. No special topic: “Just thinking about you. You and your wedding. And you shouldn’t forget I love weddings, especially when waiters pass through the crowd with those lamb chop appetizers and champagne.”
It rarely fails.
Yes, Romans, Spaniards, Russians and Nazis, we’re still rejoicing over our survival and your dust.
Ted Roberts is a syndicated writer who lives in Huntsville, Ala.