Category Archives: Crime

The Lies Of Kosher Today Exposed

I wrote two weeks ago that the claim made by Kosher Today that OSHA had inspected Rubashkin’s Postville, Iowa plant and given the plant a clean bill of health, was most likely false. I pointed out that the man who made that claim, Rabbi Asher Zeilingold, was unreliable, and that he has a close business relationship with Rubashkin. I called OSHA and Iowa state officials and reported that no official visit was made by Federal or State Plan OSHA, and that the only possible "inspection" that could have taken place would been a consult done through the state’s consultancy program, which is not an inspection and has no bearing on what plant practices were before it or after it, but even this seemed unlikely.

The Forward has picked up this story (although it did not bother to give this blog a hat tip), and it did the one thing that I could not do – ask Rabbi Asher Zeilingold what the truth is. Here is what Rabbi Zeilingold told the Forward this week:

…Zeilingold, who is paid to provide kosher certification for the meat
at AgriProcessors, was an early defender of the company when the
original allegations appeared in the Forward. In Kosher Today,
Zeilingold said that the Conservative task force was “delighted to
accept all the lies and slander of the Forward article as absolute
truth because it gave them a pretext by which they could gain entry
into AgriProcessors and other plants positing as the champions of
‘kashrut’ and the rights of workers.”

Zeilingold’s
Conservative counterpart, Rabbi Morris Allen, was not contacted for the
Kosher Today article, but Allen’s synagogue did write a letter to the
publication, defending their religious leader.

“That
Rabbi Allen’s efforts — which are of no financial benefit to him — are
attacked by fellow Jews who also believe in the sanctity of kosher laws
is unfair and misguided,” the letter said.

In
addition to the criticism of Allen, Zeilingold told Kosher Today that
an official for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration had
visited AgriProcessors and gave him a report praising the company’s
labor practices.

Reached this week, Zeilingold
said he could not release the OSHA report; however, he did say that the
OSHA official was not working in an official capacity when he made his
visit,
but rather as a “private consultant.”

My understanding is OSHA would like to find this "OSHA official" and discipline him. OSHA regional head Charles "Chuck" Adkins told me he wanted to find the man because no one has the right to represent OSHA unless he is on official business. "I want to put the hammer down on him," Adkins said.

Rabbi Asher Zeilingold’s veracity can further be determined by reading the data posted here.

[I should also note that Rabbi Zeilingold is the rabbi who excommunicated me.]

UPDATE: 2-8-07– I have now
confirmed the "OSHA inspection" was done by an employee of Federal OSHA
on his own time. It was not a full inspection, was not sanctioned or
approved by OSHA, and was arranged by Rabbi Zeilingold’s friend Carlos Carbonera (this
"inspector" is a friend of Carbonera’s). OSHA’s regional head Chuck
Adkins told me again today that he will "bring the hammer down" on anyone,
this inspector included, who uses OSHA’s name without permission. He
also pointed out that what this inspector did was a violation of
OSHA’s "internal rules and regulations."

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6 Comments

Filed under Chabad Theology, Crime, Haredim, Kosher Business?, Kosher Meat Scandal, Rubashkin Worker Abuse

Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein and Child Sexual Abuse

According to Luke Ford, Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein, a haredi, LA-based rabbi and polemicist, has this to say about blogs and abuse:

“Halakhicly, you should not read blogs. It is not our business to punish people. Vengeance is not a Jewish idea except for in a court of law.”

“In some cases, a cover-up is not the worst thing.”

“Discretion is not the worst thing.”

“Cities should put together a special law court, beit din, for issues of abuse. Chicago put together a special beit din for issues of abuse. I guess there will be such a thing in Los Angeles.”

“Journalistic exposure is a last resort. The zeal to go after an accused abuser [often leads to bad results].”

While it is true Adlerstein dismisses the idea that halakha forbids going to police or warning others about abusers, his "solution" to the abuse problem is foolish at best. This type of "solution" is what gave us 40 years of Rabbi Yehuda Kolko’s abuse, and Kolko is not a lone example.

But one piece of Rabbi Adlerstein’s advice is good. He holds blogs should not be read. I suggest you all take him up on that by refusing to read the blog he and his fellow abuse coverup expert Avi Shafran write for.

6 Comments

Filed under Crime, Haredim, Mikva Abuse

Mohel Who Maimed Baby Is Baby’s Father

Vos Iz Neias reports that the mohel in this sad story turns out to be the baby’s own father. Was he licensed? Trained? Experienced? I doubt it. I also doubt he was – or is – sane. Perhaps that insanity will keep him out of jail …

2 Comments

Filed under Circumcision Controversy, Crime, Haredim, Israel

Settlers At Play Again …

This video was taken in Hebron. The voices are of international observers there to protect Palestinian families from out of control settlers like this.

We need to make a choice. Behavior like this cannot be tolerated; neither can the atmosphere that causes it. Settlers teach their children hatred. It is true this is in part a reaction to the Intifada, but it is noxious, nonetheless. It is destroying Israel from within, and making Judaism not much different than the long line of fascist ideologies that oppressed us. If this type of behavior is the price of keeping Hebron, we must give it up. No piece of land, no matter how holy, is worth this.

[Hat Tip: Neo-Conservaguy.]

18 Comments

Filed under Crime, Israel, Modern Orthodoxy

Rabbis: It’s The Fault Of Provocative Women, Not Ill Behaved Men

According to Arutz Sheva, our dear rabbis of the reconstituted ‘sanhedrin’ have this to say about former Justice Minister Haim Ramon’s conviction for sexual harassment:

The Ramon verdict is a judicial evil, said the rabbis. “After the complainant’s picture was published as it was published,” they said, “there is no reason to expect different behavior on the part of the defendant, in a society in which there is no fear of God and moral restraint.”

Got that, ladies? According to the rabbis, if you’re too pretty, if your blouse is too tight or your skirt too short, it’s your fault. Judaism, meet Stone Age.

[Hat Tip: Pilegesh.org.]

37 Comments

Filed under Crime, Israel, Jewish Leadership

The Legal Wrangling Over Seperate Haredi Busses Continues

Remember the woman who was beaten on an Egged bus by haredim because she refused to move to the rear? A good update on the story from yesterday’s Globe and Mail:

…"There’s a concept in Jewish law which is that silence is acquiescence.
And when the rabbinical leaders hear about a store being burned down .
. . when people are being sprayed with bleach on the street because
their clothes are not considered modest enough, when women are being
beaten on buses, when these things are going on and the rabbinical
leaders say nothing, there is an appearance that it is condoned," Ms.
Shear said in a telephone interview from her home in Canada,
emphasizing that she respects Haredi values but regards the violence as
a tragedy that cannot be ignored. "I’ve come under a lot of heat for
publicizing this. But I’ve stood my ground."…

"It’s more relaxing, because the males are in the front and they
leave me alone," said Rachel Orlowick, a Toronto-born religious Israeli
on the mehadrin No. 36 bus in Jerusalem this week. Yet even as
she speaks, the heavily pregnant Ms. Orlowick grabs at a handrail as
she casts around for a seat in the crowded rear, though there are
several places open at the front.

But secular passengers have reported being harassed or kicked off
for what other passengers deem inappropriate dress, and even modestly
dressed women have been verbally abused for refusing to board through a
rear entrance and sit at the back.

The prominent Israeli-American author Naomi Ragen, an Orthodox Jew
and women’s rights activist, says she, too, has been verbally abused
and physically threatened for refusing to relinquish a front seat, and
is now petitioning the Supreme Court along with four other women for a
review of the practice. At the least, they are asking that segregated
buses be well marked and run only in parallel with regular buses.…

I believe Mrs. Orlowick is the wife of an Aish HaTorah rabbi. Women to the rear – something Aish most certainly does not tell new recruits.

7 Comments

Filed under Crime, Haredim, Israel

Bad Neighbors

A haredi family in Brooklyn, in a mixed Jewish and Italian neighborhood, wants to build a synagogue on a site where a home stands. The haredim go to the city and get a permit for interior demolition, meaning the shell and basic structure of the building would remain as is. The haredim then proceed to tear down the entire building, leaving a heap of rubble on the lot where their new synagogue will one day stand. The city lets them get away with this serious code violation, in part because haredim control much of the local community council.

But there is more to this story. Before demolition, the haredim’s architect hired a private contractor to check the building for asbestos, a dangerous substance that would need to be removed before demolition. Asbestos was found. A report containing this information was filed by the architect with the city. Haredim demolish the home anyway, without removing the asbestos,, and for about one year, dust containing that asbestos has filled the air of the neighborhood.

Three weeks ago, a local resident who had worked with and been poisoned by asbestos years before, saw asbestos on the property. He called the city. The city sent out inspectors, closed the site, issued a stop work order, and fined the haredim $10,000.

Dina d’malchuta dina, the law of the land is the law, except, it seems all to often, if you are haredi-connected.

CBS-2 TV News has their investigation of this sorry affair posted. The worse part is the potential danger to the neighborhoods children, Italians and Jews alike.

The rabbi of this synagogue, Kehillah L’Dovid, appears to be named Schick. His wife is Goldy Schick. Are they related to Marvin Schick?

7 Comments

Filed under Crime, Haredim