Today was to have been the day on which Judge Tetley would pronounce his decision on the Province’s appeal of Michael Schmidt’s January 2010 acquittal on 19 raw milk charges. Instead we have news of posponement of that decision, which was made public yesterday. Still, the countdown has its own momentum, and today we bring you what was to have been the last installment of Michael Schmidt’s meditation on the diminishing numbers:
Let me use this last essay to honor ONE person in this amazing journey.
This person has done more for the entire raw milk movement, food freedom movement than anybody else.
This required commitment, dedication, inner clarity and the willingness to break down boundaries and render artfully a decision.
I got to know this person. I did not fear that person either. I respected this person and studied his human side for nearly two years but only in the courtroom.
This was a breathtaking journey of discovery for me to understand the function and role of this person.
There is always the factor of intimidation when you enter a courtroom and there is sitting high up behind the bar a human being which appears to have the power to rule on significant issues before the court.
I never got the idea to do some research on this important person before me until everything was over.
In January 2010 the appointed Justice of the Peace Paul Kowarsky presented an artfully composed dissertation about law, about interpretation of the law, about case law and about credibility, honesty and integrity.
It was a stunning performance which prompted tears, clapping and cheers like in the concert hall but this time in a Newmarket courtroom.
Coming home I received a call from a friend telling me to “google” Paul Kowarsky.
This is the result of my findings:
South African-born Paul Kowarsky has thrilled audiences in concerts and recitals across the world. His magnificent voice has earned him the reputation of being one of today’s finest spinto tenors. From 1980 through May, 2001, Paul Kowarsky served as Senior Cantor of the prestigious Beth Tzedec Congregation in Toronto, the largest Conservative congregation in North America. As Cantor, the outstanding quality of his voice, coupled with his soul-stirring interpretation of traditional Cantorial liturgy, has brought him the highest acclaim of his peers. He is considered one of the foremost Cantors in the world today.
As Concert artist, Kowarsky attracts a capacity crowd. Notable appearances before distinguished audiences throughout the world have engendered enthusiastic praise for his professional artistry, charisma and showmanship. Amongst his credits are concert performances in Cleveland (“Great Cantors of the World in Concert”); the Jerusalem Theatre (International Convention of Cantors); Roy Thomson Hall, Toronto (nationally televised Multifaith programme); Los Angeles (“North America’s Greatest Cantors in Concert”); under the auspices of the American Society for the Advancement of Cantorial Arts, a concert tour of major cities in the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia and Romania, including Leningrad, Minsk, Odessa, Moscow, Belgrade and Bucharest; Logan Hall, London, England, and most recently at the Coliseum of the CNE in Toronto in “The Night of a Lifetime.”
In addition to Cantorial, Chassidic, Israeli, and Yiddish music, Kowarsky’s extensive repertoire includes Grand Opera, popular English, Italian and Neapolitan songs, German lieder and Afrikaans operetta.
Paul Kowarsky has released CD’s and cassettes and he is also featured on a number of video recordings. He has composed numerous liturgical works, which are sung the world over. His books, “Synagogue Music for Cantor and Choir, Volumes I and II, were published by the Toronto Council of Hazzanim. Kowarsky has appeared on national radio and television, and may be heard on the “Voice of Israel” broadcast from Jerusalem.
During his recent Sabbatical World Tour in 1999/2000, Kowarsky appeared as guest Cantor in Stockholm, Prague, Vilnius(Vilna), Kaunus(Kovna), Geneva, Israel, Melbourne, Sydney and Auckland. He also performed with critical acclaim in Budapest, Vienna, Florence and Malta.
Paul Kowarsky holds a Bachelor of Law degree from the University of South Africa and practised as an attorney for a number of years.
In May, 2002, Paul Kowarsky was appointed a Justice of the Peace by the Government of Ontario. He now presides in the Ontario Court of Justice.
Please take the time and click on the following http://www.paulkowarsky.com/sounds/ReconditaArmonia.mp3
I read with growing fascination the Biography of a person who send waves across North America as a judge. And I listened with shivers to the sound of this voice resounding in opera houses and synagoges across the world. Deeply moved I recalled what several people kept telling me prior to my trial: “If you Michael get a Jewish judge you will never win in court because you come from Germany”
Dear friends Kowarsky and I together broke down walls beyond any imagination. We both performed in the courtroom as artists, we both recognized that art is life and life is art. If anyone claims to have won this raw milk battle, I have to say it was my musical friend Kowarsky.
May I thank him for what he did.