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.