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.