Complimentary tickets should never to be viewed as being as being trivial or insignificant. Aside from generating good will, complimentary tickets might just be the vehicle to show others that they are way off base in their thinking. And so, historical accuracy aside, nothing would make me happier than sending complimentary tickets for next year’s Kosher Chili – Cook off to:

Jeremy Hotz: A fifty something Toronto actor and comedian who has appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Late Show with David Letterman and Comedy Central Presents. In an effort to project humor, Jeremy Hotz proudly announces that “we Jews are chronic Kvetchers” (complainers). I would love  send a complementary ticket  to Jay Hotz to join us at a Chili Cook – Off to show him that the joke is on him. If you want to see kvetching, then you would be well advised to spend your time elsewhere. Those who attend the Chili Cook – Off end up having the time of their lives. Aside from sampling chili which is borderline addictive, those in attendance divide their time between vendors, the silent auction, children’s activities and the food court. Kvetching is the furthest thing from the minds of the attendees. The attendees  are too busy kvelling (beaming with pride).

Decimus Iunius Leveralis aka Juvenal: A late first century – early second century Roman Poet. Among his many writings, Juvenal felt it important to know that Jews are lazy. I wish it were possible for me to invite Juvenal to join us for at least two weeks prior to the Chili Cook – Off to see the time, effort and energy that has been selflessly given by Tiferet members and non-members alike as well as by Jews and non-Jews. If Juvenal can’t devote the time, then perhaps he would be able to join us Saturday night, just hours before the Cook – Off when Tiferet turns into a hot-bed of activity. The moment the flame of the havdallah candle is extinguished, any number of people come into Tiferet to begin preparations, which by definition must take place as close to the event as possible. Deign to ask any of these eager volunteers: “Don’t you have a better way of spending a Saturday night”? Expect them to answer: “It doesn’t get better than the “Chili Cook – Off”. The piece de resistance is the Cook – Off itself, with dozens upon dozens of volunteers rolling up their sleeves, as they tirelessly give of themselves, expecting nothing in return.

Adolph (I can’t bring myself to include his last name): being the racial purist he was, didn’t differentiate. As far as he was concerned a Jew was a Jew. He never looked into differences of beliefs, practices or philosophies. As long as Jews met the ancestry requirements set forth by the Nuremburg laws of 1936, Adolph was satisfied. The devout were herded into the gas chambers with the deniers. Damned be any difference.
Last Sunday, those in attendance saw a wonderfully positive take on the apothegm “a Jew is a Jew”. Jews, from the most liberal to the most pious, were there mingling with both Jew and non-Jew alike. Perhaps, this provides us with yet another reason to proudly proclaim it as a kosher Chili Cook – Off. “Dispersed and spread out” is how Haman characterized us in the Megillah of Esther. Let’s add one more complimentary ticket and send it to Haman. Let him also join us and see how unified and connected we are.  A heart-felt Yasher Koach to all. The Kosher Chili Cook – Off! Incomparable in every way!