As you may have seen, Tablet is joining with Brooklyn’s Congregation Beth Elohim tonight for an event featuring the inimitable Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren. The topic of the evening will be the Israeli-American relationship, followed by a lengthy Q&A with Beth Elohim’s Senior Rabbi Andy Bachman.
Tonight’s special event with Ambassador Oren follows a slightly less important happening, last night’s nationally-televised football game between the Green Bay Packers and the Houston Texans. For those in the know, Rabbi Bachman grew up in Wisconsin and happens to be a huge Packers fan, while I grew up in Houston and have been a loyal, but semi-long-suffering Houston Texans fan.
As two fans do, Rabbi Bachman and I made a little bet on the game. If the Houston Texans won, I would get to ask Ambassador Oren a question of my own choosing on any topic. But if the Packers won, Rabbi Bachman would get the honor.
If you follow pro football then you know that the Green Bay Packers have been a perennial powerhouse for much of the last 15 years, appearing in three Super Bowls (winning two of them) and remaining in contention pretty much every year. They also have arguably the league’s best quarterback in Aaron Rodgers. On the other side, the Houston Texans had never made the playoffs until last year, but started out this year undefeated and have been picked by some to make it all the way to the Super Bowl.
Vegas oddsmakers basically called the game even, picking the Texans by a half-point if the game were to be played on a neutral field. In other words, it should have been a good game. Well, it was not. My beloved Texans were crushed 42-24 in front of my very eyes. Sure, the Texans were facing some big injuries, dealt with some spotty officiating, and had a shorter week to prepare after their Monday night game last week, but I guess I’ll concede that Packers played well and deserve the respect they always seem to get.
Rabbi Bachman has been a gracious winner, reassuring me that he has seen some tough times as a Milwaukee Brewers fan, and forwarded me the question he will ask Ambassador Oren tonight:
Mr. Ambassador: Allow me to bring you back to some truly burning American issues–issues that because of their near total intractability inspired you to serve in the international diplomatic corps. What’s better: A Houston BBQ or a Green Bay Brat & Beer? Discuss.
That Rabbi Bachman sure loves to pick a fight. I guess we’ll find out the answer tonight. If you can make some quick moves, you still might be able to register. Not only is it free, but if you go, you might get to hear the truth about Houston barbeque.
Adam Chandler was previously a staff writer at Tablet. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, Slate, Esquire, New York, and elsewhere. He tweets @allmychandler.