Monthly Archives: May 2006

One More Thing …

… With regard to Rabbi Asher Zeilingold’s “investigation” of the alleged worker abuse at Rubashkin’s Postville slaughterhouse. Rabbi Zeilingold is visually impaired, legally blind. He sees shapes, and can distinguish between faces at close range, although he does not see the faces clearly. It would be difficult if not impossible for Rabbi Zeilingold to see fear on the face of a Rubashkin employee, or to see who may be watching from a distance. Would his aidut (testimony) be accepted in a beit din? Without caveat? I don’t know.

I don’t hate Rabbi Z; I don’t even dislike him. I just wish he wouldn’t do crazy things like trying to exonerate Rubashkin with transparently a skewed “investigation.” Teaching his old friend Rabbi Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin about workers’ rights in halakha would be a far more productive endeavor, and one far more befitting his position as a rabbi and morah d’asra. And to drag Casriel into this …

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Filed under Chabad Theology, Crime, Jewish Leadership, Kosher Business?, Kosher Meat Scandal, Lies, Spin and 'Creative' PR

Would You Trust This Man?

A rabbi has two parsonages located less than 6 blocks from each other. One is linked to his Orthodox synagogue. The other is linked to a division of the synagogue and perhaps to a second, fictitious congregation. Would you trust this man?

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Filed under Crime

Rubashkin Innocent, Chabad Rabbi Claims

Chabad Rabbi Asher Zeilingold, the rabbi who called me “Adolf Hitler” and ‘excommunicated’ me, has launched a defense of Rubashkin. Rabbi Zeilingold visited Postville with my (former) friend Carlos Carbonero to “prove” the Forward wrong. In essence, what happened is two hasidic Jews, clearly presenting themselves as such, interviewed workers to determine the truth of the Forward’s story.

The core of the Forward’s argument is the intimidation caused by the large number of illegal alien workers and repeated threats from Rubashkin to turn in dissidents to the Immigration and Naturalization service. To believe Rabbi Zielengold is to believe that workers would tell the truth to representatives of Rubashkin. Rabbi Zielengold gives the hechsher (kosher supervision) to Rubashkin’s non-glatt meat and has had a close business relationship with the Rubashkin family since the plant opened almost 20 years ago. His name is on hundreds of boxes of meat produced daily at the plant, and is known to workers there.

Further, Rubashkin is a former resident of and still is a major donor to Rabbi Zeilingold’s community.

If Rubashkin would close, Rabbi Zeilingold would lose much. Therefore his “testimony” should be suspect. But, as Rubashkin and his rabbis prove on an all too frequent basis, in Chabad-land and haredi-land, truth does not matter.

By the way, the “Dr. Carlos Carbonero” mentioned in the article has a Ph. D. in math, and has no expertise or competence in labor relations, medicine, law or halakha. His sole purpose on the trip, beside driving Rabbi Zeilngold, was to translate from Spanish to English.

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Filed under Chabad Theology, Crime, Haredim, Jewish Leadership, Kosher Business?, Kosher Meat Scandal, Lies, Spin and 'Creative' PR

Rabbi Riskin Cancels Talk At Agunah Conference

The Jerusalem Post reports:

… “Being singled out as the only Orthodox rabbi to speak at the conference would risk having my suggested solutions to the agunot problem disqualified by the rabbinic establishment,” said Riskin.

Agunot, literally “chained,” are women that have separated from their husbands but cannot remarry according to Jewish law because their recalcitrant husbands refuse to grant a writ of divorce known as a get.

“I feel so strongly about the aguna cause that I would speak anywhere. And I often speak at the Shechter Institute or at other Conservative venues. “But on the issue of halachic solutions to agunot I am afraid that appearing in a Conservative context would be counterproductive.

“I am lobbying for solutions to the agunot problem that are within the boundaries of Orthodox Halacha,” explained Riskin, “while the Conservative Movement has positioned itself outside Halacha.”

Riskin recently published A Jewish Woman’s Right to Divorce: A Halakhic History and a Solution for the Agunah, in which he argues for prenuptial agreements and suggests using retroactive annulment of marriages hafka’at nisu’in in special cases.

Rabbi David Golinkin, president of the Schechter Institute, said in response to Riskin’s cancellation that, while he had great respect for Riskin’s work both in Israel and in the Diaspora, Riskin’s decision was “unfortunate.” “Just yesterday morning the rabbi’s secretary said he would be coming,” said Golinkin.

Golinkin said that the Van Leer Institute was purposely chosen to serve as a neutral location so that Orthodox rabbis could participate. Schechter also advertised in the media mentioning Riskin as a participant.

“Some rabbis, and I don’t mean Rabbi Riskin, are more afraid of the haredim than of making certain to serve God and the Jewish people,” Golinkin said, adding that two senior rabbis who serve as rabbinic judges turned down an invitation to the conference. …

Understandable? Yes. But sad.

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Filed under Hessed, Jewish Leadership, Modern Orthodoxy

Google Launches Hebrew Gmail

That’s right, Google launches Hebrew Gmail.

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Filed under Blogs, Israel

Crime In The Name Of Chabad Theology And Religious Zionism

The Jerusalem Post reports:

A crowd of yeshiva students in Yitzhar attacked three police officers on Wednesday afternoon, after the three arrived at the West Bank settlement to look into security arrangements at local schools and yeshivas.

Dichter said he was baffled as to how Israeli society has reached a point where a civilian dares to hit a civil servant.

Approximately 30 people whom police identified as students at a nearby yeshiva hurled rocks at the policemen and at their patrol car, causing severe damage to the vehicle. The police officers, fearing for their lives, fired one warning shot in to the air to disperse the crowd and escape.

The three officers were the district security coordination officer and the Samaria subdistrict security commander, as well as the third non-commissioned officer.

“The patrol was concerned with checking the security of students in the settlement,” said a police officer from the Judea and Samaria District.

Police said that some of the assailants had worn masks to conceal their identities. Police reinforcements were called in, and are currently carrying out searches in order to apprehend the protesters. …

In February, the IDF withdrew a paratrooper company from Yitzhar after a spate of verbal and physical attacks on soldiers guarding the settlement.

A week before the company was withdrawn, 10 masked settlers attacked a soldier guarding Yitzhar, assaulted him physically and verbally, pushed him to the ground, and stole his communication radio set. Following a dialogue between settler leaders and IDF commanders, the radio set was eventually returned.

Hours prior to the incident, settlers from the community punctured all four wheels of the local commander’s jeep.

Last November, settlers in Yitzhar caused $30,000 damage to electronic surveillance equipment installed by the army to enhance the settlers’ security.

It is reasonable to conclude these “students” are the pupils of Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, a well-known Chabad rabbi and extremist.

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Filed under Crime, Israel, Modern Orthodoxy

Rabbi Aaron Rubashkin Abuses Workers

Aaron And Moshe Rubashkin Fraud Nlrb Judges Decision

Rabbi Aaron Rubashkin, owner of AgriProcessors (Aaron’s Best™, Rubashkin’s™, Shor HaBor™, etc.), and his son Rabbi Moshe Rubashkin collected union dues from employees and pocketed the money themselves, rather than turning the funds over to the union as required by law. They got caught. The Forward reported this Friday. (Our report on this was posted 14.5 months ago, on March 13, 2005.)

Here in PDF is the decision finding against the Rubashkins from the National Labor Relations Board, in case you missed it the first time around.

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Filed under Chabad Theology, Crime, Haredim, Jewish Leadership, Kosher Business?, Kosher Meat Scandal, Modern Orthodoxy