The 90th anniversary of Winnie-the-Pooh will take place on October 14, 2016. In its honor, I respectfully submit this speculation on how one of the beloved stories might read if Winnie the Pooh happened to be Jewish.

Chapter 1 ...in which we are introduced to
Morty-the-Pooh and a shofar, and the stories begin

HERE is Edward Bear, coming downstairs now, bump, bump, bump, on the back of his kop, behind Christopher Robin. It is, as far as he knows, the only way of coming downstairs, but sometimes he feels that there really is another way, if only he could stop bumping for a moment and think of it. “Oy, gevalt!”

And then he feels that perhaps there isn't. Anyhow, here he is at the bottom, and ready to be introduced to you. Morty-the-Pooh.

When I first heard his name, I said, just as you are going to say, "But I thought he was a goy?"

"So did I," said Christopher Robin.

"Then you can't call him Morty!"

"Why not?"

"Because Morty is a Jewish name.”

"But that’s just what I’m trying to tell you – Morty-the-Pooh is Jewish!”

“How do you know?”

“Simple. Well, for one thing, he asked for – and received – a Bear Mitzvah.”

Sometimes Morty-the-Pooh likes a nosh of some sort when he comes downstairs, and sometimes he likes to sit quietly in front of the fire a bissel and listen to a story. This evening –

"What about a story?" said Christopher Robin.

"What about a story?" I said.

"Could you very sweetly tell Morty-the-Pooh one?"

"I suppose I could," I said. "What sort of stories does he like?"

"Anything with a little kibbitzing. Because he's that sort of Bear."

"Oh, I see."

"So could you very sweetly?"

"I'll try," I said.

So I tried.

Once upon a time, a very long time ago now, about last Friday, Morty-the-Pooh lived in a forest all by himself under the name of Rabinowitz.

One day when he was out walking, he came to an open place in the middle of the forest, and in the middle of this place was a large oak-tree, and, from the top of the tree, there came a loud meshugener horn-like noise.

Morty-the-Pooh sat down at the foot of the tree, put his head between his paws and began to think.

First of all he said to himself: "That horn-like noise means something. You don't get a horn-like noise like that, just blowing and blowing, without its meaning something. If there's a horn-like noise, somebody's making a horn-like noise, and the only reason for making a horn-like noise that I know of is because you're practicing blowing the shofar."

Then he thought another long time, and said: "And the only reason for practicing blowing the shofar I know of is that you really enjoy playing an ancient musical horn made of ram's horn, used for Jewish religious purposes."

And then he got up, and said: "And by the sound of it, it seems like the person blowing the shofar is challenging me to a shofar blowing contest." So Morty the Pooh began to climb the tree.

He climbed and he climbed and he climbed and as he climbed he sang a little song to himself. It went like this:

I don’t want to be a pest
Just want to compete in the shofar contest
Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur
Blowing the shofar feels so pure

Then he climbed a little further. . . and a little further . . . and then just a little further. By that time he had thought of another song.

Playing the shofar’s not my habit,
I wonder if my challenger’s Piglet or Rabbit,
But they’re not Jewish, nor is Eeyore or Roo,
In fact, I’m the only Pooh I know who’s a Jew

He was getting rather tired by this time, so that is why he sang a Complaining Song. He was nearly there now, and if he just s t o o d o n t h a t branch . . .

Crack !

"Oy vey!" said Morty, as he dropped ten feet on the branch below him.

"If only I hadn't – " he said, as he bounced twenty feet on to the next branch.

And there on that branch was Tigger, Pooh's exuberant, happy, less-than-responsible and sometimes trouble-making tiger friend.

Tigger blowing the shofar, so Morty the Pooh naturally inquired, “Tigger, you’re not a member of the Tribe. What are you doing with a shofar?”

“I got tired of bouncing around so much,” revealed Tigger. “That’s when my friend Yitzhak Shmuel Blatberg suggested I take up the shofar. Now, I’m hooked and thought you’d like it, too, my Judaic bro. Here, I got one for you, too.”

Tigger held out a shofar to Morty, who accepted it gratefully. “Y’know something, Tigger, you’re a real mensch.”

“Thanks, Morty, I don’t know what that is, but it sounds positive.”

So Morty-the-Pooh gave a farewell shofar blow and went round to his friend Christopher Robin, who lived behind a green door in another part of the Forest.

"Shalom, Christopher Robin," he said.

"Good morning, Morty-ther-Pooh," said Christopher.

"I wonder if you've got such a thing as potato latkes about you?"

"Potato latkes?"

"Yes, I just said to myself coming along: 'I wonder if Christopher Robin has such a thing as potato latkes about him?' I just said it to myself, thinking of latkes, and wondering."

"What are potato latkes?" Christopher said.

Morty-the-Pooh looked round to see that nobody was listening, put his paw to his mouth, and said in a deep whisper: Next to honey, they’re my favorite nosh!"

Pooh made an inspection of Christopher Robin’s kitchen and was delighted to find that his friend had all the ingredients on hand for several batches of latkes.

So, Morty-the-Pooh suggested, “Let’s make them together. I’ll teach you how.” So the two friends proceeded to make batch after batch of latkes and set them out on platters on the table, along with bowls of sour cream and applesauce.

Pooh was quite proud of himself, but Christopher Robin said, “We’ll never be able to eat all these latkes ourselves.”

Christopher Robin and Morty-the-Pooh scratched their heads and sat pondering for a long time. And then sat pondering even more after that.

Finally, Pooh got an idea. “Let’s invite all our friends to help us eat the latkes!”

Christopher Robin liked that idea and before long, he and Pooh were seated at the table along with Tigger, Kanga, Roo, Eeyore, Rabbit, Piglet, Owl, and some Heffalumps and Woozles.

While they were all eating, Tigger and Pooh entertained their friends by blowing their shofars.

Morty-the-Pooh wished them all happy Rosh Hashanah, explained what that was, and then excused himself to go look for some honey.