Sholom Rubashkin Deserves Better — And We All Need to Pay Attention

An innocent man is freed. Alan Dershowitz and numerous congressmen, senators and former US attorneys general spanning the entire political spectrum all put their names and reputations on the line for him. Hundreds of thousands of Jews, and many Righteous Gentiles, celebrate around the world. As usual, that doesn’t stop the social justice warriors (what a complete misnomer if ever their were one).

And if that were all that happen, who would care? If PETA wants to go around smearing the kindest and greatest we have, that’s between them and the bird brains they represent. But when people who know better start hemming and hawing for fear of offending those who are perpetually offended, it’s time to respond with the truth.

In fact, since none of the allegations of criminality hold up (we’ll get to that, painstakingly so), the PETA activists have now taken to spreading an outright lies, such as “mistreatment of workers.” This is an especially heinous accusation being that Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin, was not only never accused of mistreating anyone, but was known for paying medical bills of his worker’s children (yes, prosecutors were so shocked by his generosity that they turned over every stone, assuming that he must have been using the children as laborers. This was met with laughter by all workers, the numerous youth organizations that he sponsored generously regardless of religion or creed, and disproven by the very PETA tapes that were used to go after him when one wild bull out of thousands caught itself on a hook in the slaughterhouse).

Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin was the man to work for. Several people who he has helped have recently come forward. A young student who was getting married relayed how Rubashkin gave him thousands for his wedding, a shock as he didn’t even know him at the time. Among those who testified to his great spirit were his workers and none had a bad word to say about him. In fact, it’s the people who are making these claims that did untold damage to his workers, shutting down the plant and ending their employment for months. This is so ridiculous it’s like Josef Goebbels accusing Simon Wiesenthal of being an anti-semite. Of course, this is above the heads of most who’ve taken to discussing the case.

Perhaps most troubling is the cacophony of religious social commentators entering the fray. While many point out that Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin was the victim of nothing less than a modern blood libel (the facts show it and this is the point of the rest of this piece) and while the brilliant and indefatigable Rabbi Yitzchok Schochet has documented how political leader after political leader, including retired attorneys general with little to gain and much to lose, have all put themselves on the line for Rubashkin, others have taken a different course.

There’s an extremely unhealthy desire among PR rabbis to be all things to all people. Rather than tell people the Torah truth, that modern society and philosophy has little to offer in any area (harsh prisons that ruin lives, fomenting of strife within families and hedonism that makes people unproductive and prevents them from succeeding on any level), they seek to “understand all sides of an issue” and pay homage to same. They generally know little Torah, or at least little of its supremacy over modern Western pop-psychology. That doesn’t stop them from prognosticating on all matters of social importance.

Their actions in the Rubashkin case are a disservice. Conrad Black is a man who has dedicated his life to the pursuit of truth, and as a results has made more enemies than even Rubashkin did for dedicating his business to making kosher meat affordable. Having sat on numerous boards (and having paid a price and faced his own high-tech lynching for having raised their ire), he spares no words in calling what the prosecution did in this case demented. Yet these “religious writers” cannot see fit to do the same.

Historian par excellence Conrad Black, Attorneys General from Edwin Meese III to Ramsey Clark (the irony of which likely goes right over the heads of the naysayers), numerous members of Congress and no less a legal professor than Alan Dershowitz have gone to bat for Sholom Rubashkin with nothing to gain for having done so. Not so the socio/religious prognosticators. While freely admitting that they know nothing of the applicable laws, in their ever increasing need to be adored by all and garner influence with the social justice warriors among us, they write that if the social justice network claim that Rubashkin did a crime, then he must have and they accept it, but hey, he is a great man of faith and that’s what’s worth celebrating.

Somebody should tell them that, “you’re great men of faith, despite the fact that you shot Abe Lincoln, are secret Columbian drug lords and are responsible for the Rwandan genocide,” isn’t exactly a compliment. In this case it’s untrue, unwarranted and gives a pass to a modern day blood libel spurred on by PETA and the forerunners of Antifa in the process.

Still, we must refute the allegations head on, even painstakingly so. So let’s go over the facts of the case:

PETA – No Longer Just for Holding Falafel

Let’s start at the very beginning of this sordid, anti-semitic, libel of a case. To do any less is to fail to recognize a modern day Beilis Trial. The talking heads will think I’m exaggerating. They would have given Russia a pass back then too. If “Never Again” means anything, then we must at least look at the fact.

PETA, probably illegally so (all is fair when it comes to saving insomniac squid, oysters with heartburn and apparently now, raging bulls), decided to tape hours of footage of Rubashkin’s plant. Sadly for them, they found no illegalities.

The tapes are actually the best proof that no laws were broken, not even the flimsiest of local ordinances. If they could have caught any infraction in the upkeep or housing of the animals, PETA would have gone to every governmental agency in a 500 mile radius. They did not because they could not. Yet when it comes to going after the murderers of Fluffy the Chicken, one cannot let facts stand in the way of pursuing “justice.”

So all laws and ordinances were followed, which means that the animals wBut what counts is PR, or in their case PS – publicity stunts. And so when one bull out of thousands fell upon a hook meant to draw the blood out of the meat immediately after slaughter (a very beneficial process found almost exclusively in kosher, but obviously only of benefit to humans), the world had to be alerted. That wild animals happen to sometimes jump up and fall was of no consequence. That reams of humanitarian laws were followed was also of no consequence. PETA had video of (one) bull (in ten thousand) falling momentarily on a hook and someone’s got to hang.

Just Who Are PETA

Well, they’re a great and caring organization that in just one recent incident had to pay out almost $50,000 to a family for stealing and “euthanizing” their dog ( And here’s what even the Washington Post, hardly a conservative mouthpiece, has to say about them:

But that’s not all. They’re also the kindred spirits behind the mocking of those who perished in the Holocaust, something that they find comparable to the slaughter of chickens before Yom Kippur. Certain special members of theirs have been known to join in chants in support of Jews in ovens. Fortunately for them, they’ve gained a level of support among the “reasonable” and “even-handed” talking heads in Crown Heights. They’re the same vicious and noxious organization that put pressure on the court, resulting in Rubashkin’s initial 27 year sentence. May the Almighty save all from their hands.

Here’s an op-ed by The Yeshiva World, a website that more often than not takes a moderately socially conservative line. This piece is worth reading, although other pieces on their site are very favorable to the left – Enough said.

When All Else Fails, Turn to Immigration Enforcement

I’d imagine that PETA would lose much of its support if it was found to be working with immigration officials and encouraging the rounding up of Mexican farm workers. Well, since they did just that and bragged about it, please send a copy of this to their donors.

I’m not advocating for the hiring of those who are not allowed to work here. I will say that the every meat processing plant and slaughter house in the country does this in plenty. I will also point out that in the case of the Agriproccessors employees, none had a criminal past and most were family people.

Let’s also remember that Rubashkin did not do any of the hiring. Let’s also recognize that all of them submitted paperwork to the HR director. Rubashkin was also charged and acquitted of any involvement.

I’m not saying that this is right. I am saying that there isn’t a plant that hasn’t done this, Rubashkin’s involvement is a guess at best and when only one in the country is targeted by PETA, something isn’t right.

When Even That Fails, Yell “Bank Fraud”

If someone accidentally overspends on their debit card, that can be considered bank fraud. Likewise, if someone overdraws their account. Accidentally bouncing a check is even worse.

All of these can technically be considered crimes. Calling someone who did this a criminal is another matter entirely.

Rubashkin didn’t bounce a check, so what did happen? Why was anyone neutral who knew anything about the case so vociferous in his defense?

The most serious of the “crimes” was that his company misused the revolving line of credit. The line of credit was supposed to be accessed based on a customer having received the purchased goods. Rubashkin’s company, Agriprocessors would access the line of credit once the purchaser had placed the order, but before it was delivered.

A few crucial points here:

– The line of credit was arranged, managed, accessed and paid off by the CFO, not Rubashkin who had nothing to do with the handling or management of company finances. This was presented in court and the answer of the other side was something to the effect of “it’s his company, so he’s responsible anyway.”

– Even the CFO was likely unaware of the fine print, that this line must be accessed “upon receipt” and not “upon order” of goods.

– The bank lent the funds based on purchase orders, not delivery slips. This pretty much proves the point above.

– The line was maintained in good stead and paid off regularly until the plant was closed down by immigration officials (based on allegations that Rubashkin was formally acquitted of).

There’s also an over 95 year old Packers and Stockyards Act. One of its provisions is that livestock cannot be sold on credit. One runs afoul of said provision if purchasing a bull on Mon. and paying for it with a check the next day.

No one has ever been criminally prosecuted under this act other than Sholom Rubashkin. Companies have been fined for running afoul of other parts of it, but not usually this part, but no one was prosecuted. Sholom Rubashkin was given years in prison for paying for a bull 11 days after he received it.

Agriproccessors needed to be and was mindful of a slew of laws and regulations. That’s why PETA could get them on nothing, even after hours upon hours of secret and probably illegal tape. They were not mindful or knowledgeable of a 1921 act that no one had ever been prosecuted under.

Then there’s the allegation that the value of the plant was inflated. If you based it on 2005 and 2006 sales and not on 2008 (when it was shut down, although this year was used in the argument, being that it predates the actual “inflation” charge), there was no overvaluation. If you base it on the market share, pricing and demands for glatt kosher (a higher level of kosher, based on their being no holes at all in the animal’s lungs) meat, there was no overvaluation. Rubashkin did indeed lower the prices of the entire glatt kosher meat market and that public service was his main drive in business, but it resulted in him having a huge share of the market.

Many consumers specifically demanded Rubashkin meat because of its extra reliability as far as kosher laws were concerned. Restaurants purchased from him because of this customer demand and because of his commitment to comparatively low prices. At one point, the retail market was his. This changed with the PETA onslaught. An application for a bank loan, with legitimate valuations (and no bank just accepted his word for it, so again, the charge doesn’t add up and this area was never even examined at trial) based on 2007 financials would be standard. He did not anticipate an onslaught on his product culminating in a raid on his plant. He also isn’t the person who prepared his financials, but we don’t need to go there, as they are actually legit.

The judge in the case also committed numerous improper acts. She was the judge who signed off on the immigration warrants, a fact that she failed to disclose to the defense. This itself rendered her unfit to oversee the criminal trial.

This was not the worst of it. Her husband owned stock in the private prisons that were used in the raid on Rubashkin’s plant. In fact, he purchased additional stock in the private prison company just 5 days before the immigration raid.
And as for the immigration raid that Linda Reade signed off on, well, Congressowoman Zoe Lofgren termed it “a cattle auction, not a criminal prosecution.”

This isn’t the worst of it either. Linda Reade’s husband was also a partner at the Bradshaw Fowler law firm that worked extensively on the sale of Rubashkin’s plant. In short, the husband of the judge who sentenced Rubashkin to more than the prosecution asked for, profited mightily from the extraordinary raid that his wife had ordered on Rubashkin’s plant, from the stock he purchased 5 days before and from the forced sale of Rubashkin’s plant, due to his wife, the “presiding judge’s” actions.
See and specifically

Bottom line: To say that Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin knowingly committed a crime in this case is nothing more than a disgusting act of libel. The facts alone speak for themselves in disproving it. As such should have been clear just be seeing the list of people who put themselves and their reputations on the line for him.

To Reb Sholom Mordechai and family and all who care:

I can only imagine the pain of, after having being released, having had senators, congressmen, former attorneys general all putting themselves on the line for you, including many who are retired from political life and need no favors, and then seeing the wanton defamation from people who have no knowledge of the case, spewing the most ridiculous spins and making it up as they go. Bear in the mind that the Baal Shem Tov, the Alter Rebbe and others were all false branded criminals or worse by those who had lost their reason.

Also realize that 500 times more people feel and know that you were wronged and that you are right. Pray that those who err so publicly and who would jump to destroy anyone who’s not a fellow traveler in their circus caravan see the light. But recognize in the meantime that anyone with a head or a heart or who just has decent intuition can tell light from darkness, good from bad and smut peddling from innocence.

If you can judge a man by his enemies, then you Sir, so defamed by PETA, the Open-Orthodox social justice warriors, the ham eaters at “Hekhsher Tzedek,” and every other bag of mixed nuts, are a source of light beyond any imagination. Of course, we all knew this. Sometimes it just takes an opponent to prove it.

About the Author
Yomin Postelnik is a writer and lecturer on ethical, societal and religious issues. His writing has been featured in American Thinker, Canada Free Press, the Jewish Press, American Daily Review and other outlets. Postelnik has served as a rabbinical advocate and attained his ordination in 2000. He works closely with community leaders to explain Torah values, fight against misconceptions and slander against religious values.