Should Sholom Rubashkin Receive a Get Out Of Jail Free Card?

The following article appeared on Jweekly.com:

Rabbis call for Rubashkin’s release

Thursday, February 4, 2010

A coalition of rabbis has called for the pre-sentencing release of convicted kosher meat executive Rabbi Sholom Rubashkin.

The coalition of seven Orthodox rabbis, including representatives of the National Council of Young Israel and Agudath Israel of America, issued the call in Washington on behalf of Rubashkin, the former manager of the Agriprocessors kosher meat plant in Postville, Iowa. The rabbis also delivered a signed letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder seeking reconsideration of the case.

Rubashkin was convicted in November on 86 counts of financial fraud and is being held in detention in Iowa pending sentencing. His bail request was denied.

Absent from the coalition was the Orthodox Union, whose kosher supervisory arm certified Agriprocessors. OU officials said that they were asked to participate but, while they support the effort, have decided to pursue the matter quietly. — jta

What is wrong with this picture?

Sholom Rubashkin is a convicted felon.  He still awaits trial for an incredible number of violations of the child labor laws – the child labor laws for God’s sake!

So you have to wonder:  On what grounds are these rabbis demanding his release?  Is it because he is Jewish?  Is it because he is an Orthodox Jew?  Is it because he is a rabbi?  It is because for so many years he supplied the kashrut observing American Jewish community with the lion’s share of its kosher meat supply?  Is it because the Rubashkin family has a history of making major donations to Orthodox – read Lubavitch Hasidic – causes?

As a Jew, and especially as a rabbi, I am outraged by the implication here that this group of rabbis somehow or other feels that they and their ilk are above the laws of the United States of America.  It was painful enough to watch these rabbis and and others stand up and protect this man when all the evidence against him which came to light after that massive ICE raid on his Postville, Iowa plant provided hideous testimony as to how abusive he was to all who worked for him and how grossly he disregarded the laws of the land.  It was painful enough to have such abuses attached to those who supposedly promote Jewish ritual observance.  But enough already!  The man has been found guilty of crimes!  The man will most likely be found guilty of more crimes – heinous crimes; crimes involving the abuse of children for the sake of profit.  Do not smear the image of the Jewish community even further by continuing to insist that we Jews – and especially that those who are particularly ritually observant Jews – are above the law and should not be subject to just punishment for their crimes.

Sholom Rubashkin has done more than enough to tarnish the image of Jews in our contemporary society.  We most certainly do not need the efforts of this group of rabbis to make a bad situation that much worse.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Agriprocessors, Chabad, Hasidism, Iowa, Jewish, Kosher, Lubavitch, Postville, Rabbis

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6 Comments on “Should Sholom Rubashkin Receive a Get Out Of Jail Free Card?”

  1. Allan Ross Says:

    Many of the victims of Rubashkin were also Orthodox/Lubavitch Jews who lost their jobs and had to rely on handouts and charity.

    • ravkarp Says:

      These very same Orthodox / Lubavitch Jews were working within the Agriprocessors organization, with full knowledge of many, if not all, of the abuses which Rubashkin perpetrated on the undocumented workers, and especially on the child laborers, and neither did nor said anything. There is a saying that silence equals assent. While these Orthodox / Lubavitch Agriprocessor employees may not have been directly responsible for these abuses, they most certainly refrained from any actions to put an end to them. That makes them accomplices in these misdeeds.

  2. SmokeEate Says:

    You have to express more your opinion to attract more readers, because just a video or plain text without any personal approach is not that valuable. But it is just form my point of view

    • ravkarp Says:

      Dear SmokeEate,

      I do not understand your critique. I never just publish another person’s work without commenting on that work. I am especially befuddled by your comment considering the posting that you site – “Should Sholom Rubashkin Receive a Get Out of Jail Free Card?” The article I cited was very short. All that followed it was my commentary.

      I thank you for your input and concern. I do invite you to read through my blog postings so that you can better understand my opinions on these issues.

  3. ibelouis Says:

    I really like when people are expressing their opinion and thought. So I like the way you are writing


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