So, the Conservative rabbis charged five months ago with investigating the abuse at Rubashkin’s AgriProcessors plant in Postville are sitting on their findings. Why? I know some of the reasons, perhaps all of them. Soon, I’ll list them. But not now.
Now I will just ask Rabbi Morris Allen and his colleagues one question: What would Rabbi Avraham Yehoshua Heschel have done? You know the answer. Leadership takes courage. Sometimes it involves risk, as well. You can act like Heschel or not – the choice is yours.
Put simply, Heschel had real strength. He took real risks. He stood up for the truth and for what is right and good. He didn’t worry about his popularity or his safety. Perhaps this is because of what happened to his generation in Europe. Perhaps it is simply because he accepted the burden of leadership in its fullest manner.
One thing I can guarantee you. When you all face the beit din shel mayla (and that should be a very long time away), God isn’t going to care much about the price of kosher meat (that is a trial Rubashkin & Co. will surely face and fail) – He’s going to care about the ungodly price paid by those (often illegal) immigrants who produce it.
What would Heschel do? You know the answer. The only real question is, Will you follow in his footsteps?