Thursday, May 29, 2008

New Signs Going Up At Agriprocessors After $holom Rubashkin'$ Trial! ** Yudi Kolko New CEO!**


John A. Challenger said...

Two qualified candidates have sent in their resumes for consideration. They each have extensive experience in operation management of a meat plant.

1]Meyer Miller-Chicago, IL
2] Israel Shapiro-Baltimore, MD

Agriproccessors was unfortunately unwilling to pay relocation expenses for my best candidate Moish Finkel.

Rubashkin Fresser said...

How did UOJ get that snapshot of Lubinsky's tefillin zekkel?

Leib Pinter's 1st cousin bails out Skverrer Thief said...


Rabbi granted bail
By Dana Gloger
A CHAREDI rabbi was granted bail on appeal at London’s High Court last week, after he was originally denied it by magistrates.

The American government is seeking to extradite Avrum Friesel, 55, on 19 fraud charges, allegedly committed in late 1980s and early 1990s. The charges relate to his time as town clerk of New Square Town in New York, a Chasidic community of the Skverer sect.

He moved to Stamford Hill, London, in 1999, and was arrested in April this year.

Although the strictly Orthodox community has put up over £1 million of sureties, Rabbi Friesel was denied bail by Westminster Magistrates last month. The prosecution argued that he might abscond if bailed and suggested that the Stamford Hill community had knowingly protected him.

His barristers, Gary Grant and Jonathan Goldberg QC, argued that the sureties had been offered by independent people who did not know of his past. They said they had received many letters from people in the Charedi community, including Rabbi Avraham Pinter, attesting to Rabbi Friesel’s good character and his teaching work with disabled children.

Mr Goldberg said: “It is an extraordinary story, which has echoes of Jean Valjean and Les Miserables, in the way he has come into a strange community and achieved such a good reputation despite his hidden past.”

Boro Park Putz Shimon Taub said...


An actress who played Tony Soprano's maid on the hit HBO series "The Sopranos" until she was the victim of a vicious assault has been pushed out of her Brooklyn loft, the Daily News has learned.

Katalin Pota, who played housekeeper Lilliana, signed an agreement last November in Brooklyn Housing Court to move out after the state Health Department stopped subsidizing her $1,300 rent in Williamsburg.

The reason: Owner Simon Taub, who drew ire after a judge allowed him to build a wall at the center of his Borough Park mansion to separate him from his wife, has no certificate of occupancy for the Grand St. building.

"I signed under duress, without an attorney," said Pota, a Hungarian-born actress whose rent was subsidized by the state after she was hurt in 2001 while trying to protect a friend from New Jersey underworld thugs.

"I'm homeless," Pota added. "This is endangering the welfare of a disabled person. I need a subsidized space to recover. I am an artist, I want to recover. I worked all my life."

A former painter and musician, Pota lived with friends until March 2004, when she signed a lease with Taub, who has about 40 illegal residential rentals, and owes $68,000 in fines, according to Buildings Department records.

A Brooklyn judge in November promised to give Pota more time if she had trouble finding a new place, or if the Health Department did not restore her subsidy. The subsidy has not been restored, and she had to leave her apartment on May 14.

The Health Department declined to comment.

Pota says she has been harassed by Taub, faces more surgery and has nowhere to move while regaining her health. She also said Taub threatened to break her front door lock, an allegation Taub denies.

"I didn't touch [Pota's] lock," said Taub, who said his estranged wife, Chana, has been supporting Pota's struggle. "My wife is working against me for a tenant who doesn't pay rent. The bottom line is a person has to pay rent."


Avrohom Avrohom, Vayomer Hineni said...


A 33-year-old man pleaded not guilty at Salford Magistrates’ Court last week to a string of sex offences. Avraham Avraham, of (Manchester) Higher Broughton, Salford, faces seven charges of indecent exposure, said to have taken place between September last year and January of this year in Broughton Park and Whitefield. He was bailed to appear again in June.

"Uncle Morris" Talansky said...


A haggard Talansky arrived at JFK Airport last night flanked by his lawyer Neil Sher and an entourage of seven.

He repeatedly refused to comment on his testimony.


Anonymous said...

the rabbinic corruption is just abhoring and disgusting. see this blog site about rabbi schachter,ORA and the jewish press adding more sinas chinam in klal yisroel. http://lukeford.net/blog/?p=3110
we need moshiach now!!!!

Anonymous said...

Make these 21 signatures 21,000


1 David Adelsberg
2 Eric Creizman
3 Jason Snyder
4 Lili Chen Thank you for putting this petition up. Agriprocessors and the OU are shandas to the Jewish community.
5 Steven Feldman
6 John K. Diamond
7 Catherine Manna As one family that is practicing Orthodox judaism, this is the very reason for our my change and becomming Vegitarian/vegan! I had no Idea !!! and it is morally, wrong against all of what Torah and Hashem stands for!! Love , goodness, kindness and compassion!! These practices, are definitly not Gods ways! No way!! I choose to be on Gods side I choose Compassion, I choose Kindness, I choose to life!! This indeed was the biggest wake up call we have witnessed today!! May it be our finall call! God willing Baruch Hashem C
8 Shemirah Brachah
9 Claudia Gaspar Orthodox Judaism must face a renewal immediately and Chabad rabbis be investigated in depth
10 Lionel Friedberg
11 Rabbi Elchanan Weinbach
12 arthur poletti What will everyone do when meat is removed from the food chain?
13 Jampa Williams AgriProcessors have shamed themselves and the Jewish people, and they have betrayed the most essential values of Judaism and human decency. I am outraged and appalled. Such abuses must cease, immediately!
14 Rina Deych, RN As long as animals are raised in misery on factory farms and brutally tortured to death at abominations like AgriProcessors, the only Kosher diet is a plant-based one. Vegan diets are better for human health, the planet, and, of course, the animals.
15 ruth
16 Sherri G. White I am not Jewish, but I am a citizen of Postville, Iowa, and have heard first hand about some of the attrocities that have occurred at Agri. I take pleasure in signing this petition! I surely hope the Rubashkins can be stopped-
17 David Siegel
18 Daniel Ebel The OU can plain kiss my butt!
19 Paula Lasersohn
20 Anonymous
21 Dena

Anonymous said...

Stop Rubashkin, Belsky & the OU !!!


The petition

Do we really answer to a higher authority?

On May 12, 2008, 389 illegal immigrant workers were detained by federal officials at the AgriProcessors plant in Postville, Iowa, in the largest enforcement action ever carried out by immigration officials at a workplace. As of May 23, 260 of those workers were sentenced for working at the meatpacking plant for working under false documents. Allegations against the company filed in affidavits by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials also include the physical abuse of workers, payment of wages well below minimum wage and the production of methamphetamines at a lab located at the plant. Other allegations by workers include child labor and sexual abuse. In addition, AgriProcessors has been investigated and cited in the past for environmental and animal cruelty claims. AgriProcessors is the largest kosher meatpacking company in the United States, producing an estimated 60% of all kosher meat in the U.S. and 40% of all kosher poultry. AgriProcessors products are sold under many different brand names, including Rubashkin's and Aaron's Best, as well as in butcher shops and kosher markets without any brand name. Chances are, if you have bought kosher meat, then you have eaten meat produced by AgriProcessors.

We, the undersigned, are shocked and dismayed at the conditions and situation at the AgriProcessors plant in Postville, Iowa and at the response (or lack thereof) of the Orthodox Union (OU), which certifies AgriProcessors' meat as kosher. The entire episode has brought shame on the Orthodox community.

We find it unacceptable that human beings and animals are mistreated to provide us with our kosher food and that, as Rabbi Menachem Genack, head of the OU's kashrut certification division has stated, as long as the slaughter of animals is done in accordance with Jewish law, the OU will not consider terminating their kosher certification of a corporation's products unless the corporation itself is convicted of crimes. The OU is paid for its certification by the very companies it is certifying, an inherent conflict of interest that we believe has clouded the OU's judgment in this case.

We believe that the imprimatur of kosher certification should not be based merely on the type of animal and the manner of slaughter but the overall manner with which a corporation treats its animals, employees and customers.
The events and allegations going back years at AgriProcessors' plants raise many troubling questions, including: Where were the OU's mashgichim (kosher supervisors) at the Postville plant? Either the mashgichim were not present, which calls into question the basic kashrut supervision of the plant, or they were present and turned a blind eye to the abuses of animals and human beings which calls into question their basic humanity and ability to be trusted with such an important responsibility as assuring the kashrut of our kosher meat supply.

While as a legal matter individuals and corporations are innocent until proven guilty, we as citizens and consumers are not required to give such presumption of innocence. We believe that the OU should suspend their certification of AgriProcessors' meat and poultry pending the outcome of the government and OU investigation into the company's business practices.

Accordingly, we demand that:

1. All local butchers and supermarkets immediately cease carrying any of AgriProcessors' products and that all synagogues refuse to allow caterers who use AgriProcessors' products to make use of the synagogues' facilities. The fact the AgriProcessors' various plants around the world, including in countries with less stringent government regulations than in the United States, provide an estimated 60% of the kosher meat and 40% of the kosher poultry should not factor into this decision one iota.

2. Menachem Genack immediately step down as head of the OU's kosher certification division and that the OU immediately initiate a review of all AgriProcessors plants and OU's own internal procedure for kosher certification. The OU makes a lot of money certifying AgriProcessors' products and must go the extra mile to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest in this situation. The failure of the OU's mashgichim to notice or report the activities at the Postville plant indicates a failure of leadership at the top of the OU's kashrut division that can only be remedied by a change of leadership.

3. All kosher certification agencies adopt rules and regulations requiring humane treatment of animals and employees as a precondition to obtaining kosher certification for any products.

As the old saying goes, you are what you eat. Now that we know what goes on at AgriProcessors' plants, if we continue to eat their products, what does that make us?

Please send this petition or a link to this website to anyone you know who may be interested in signing and also print a copy and give it to your local kosher market and synagogue. Through our actions we can send a signal to our so-called leadership that we will not stand for such abuses any longer.

Sign the petition

Anonymous said...

i am just concerened that we lose are focus and concentrate on rubashkin while we forget about kolko mondorowitz shea fishman yeedle werdiger pinter and the torah temimia and ner yishmael and aguda ( with the shmuxh shafran as spokesperson )

he and kolko should spend time to get aqaunted

lets focus on protecting womwn and kids

Ombudsman said...

"the strictly Orthodox community has put up over £1 million of sureties"

That's over $2 million in US dollars. More than double the oylam goylem raised for Mutterperl. All for some grubbe goniv.

"UOJ" - "The Un-Orthodox Jew" said...

Above Anon:

Please understand that the "gedoile rabbonim" corruption permitted Kolko, Mondrowitz, Eisemann....etc. to happen, as they are permitting and have permitted the purveyors of non-kosher meat to happen. The KAJ withdrew their endorsement from Rubashkin because they were CERTAIN tarfus was being sold as glatt kosher!

We will never lose focus....we need to root out the malignant cancer called gedolim or rabbonim or kashruth supervisors that are stinking, rotten, no good SOBs.

Then we may have a shot at saving Yiddishkeit. Until then, the Belsky's, Genacks, The entire Agudath Israel leadership...., will destroy everything our zeides were moser nefesh for!

Ombudsman said...

I wonder if there's something else going on. The only apparent incentive the OU has to keep grubbing for their money pot (now at $100 million per annum and growing) is to fund programs in other OU divisions.

Why oh why are Genack and company so desperate to cover up for every two bit shyster who pays dues like Rubashkin and the "French Bastards" from Le Marais? There is too much transparency and adherence to legal protocol with the likes of Nabisco or Unilever for kickbacks and under the table "mezuman" to be involved. But could it be that the others are illegally lining the pockets of greedy OU officials?

Give Genack a Piece of your Mind! said...

Dunno about his OU email address but here is how to reach him from his shul website:

Rabbi Menachem Genack


Complain to Genacks Shul about Abetting the Rubashkin Criminals! said...

Dr. Arthur Schwartz

Vice President:
Dr. Edward Boylan

Vice President:
Mr. Robert Lunzer

Main telephone: (201) 567-9420

Email: shomreiemunah@verizon.net

Steve Savitsky said...

UOJ sure is a demanding guy. First he demands I turf out Belsky and now Genack. Why doesn't he ask me to clean out the whole place while he's at it?

Boruch said...


It's true that the fish stinks from the head. A pashut observation is in order here, there are many qualified and ehriliche Rabbonim who could step up and help recreate order in our world. Why don't we work on getting them to the forefront and push these bankrupt and corrupt individuals out of the picture. Are we, the goy kodesh, enabling these people? Shtikah iz modeh.

Moish Finkel said...

I heard Rubashkin is getting chickens from my source in Puerto Rico to make up for the shortfall. The bum should pay me royalties!

"UOJ" - "The Un-Orthodox Jew" said...

Since Rav Yaakov Kaminetzky ztvk"l wryly told me - perhaps - he would trust the OU for "salt" only, I have come to believe that the OU is nothing more than a corrupt Enron.

I believe as well - that they will bring down themselves with their arrogance, support of felons, and word games.

I'm in contact with various CEOs of major food corporations - The Belsky thing with Kolko has caused them pause - I believe the Rubashkin thing has the potential to tear apart the OU at the seams.

We'll see.

Most Rabbonim Today are Cowards said...

UOJ, I am not currently on the payroll of any kashrus organization nor have I ever worked for the Chof-K, but R' Yudel Shain believes that the Chof-K is the best and most honest of a very bad lot of the national hashgochos. Perhaps you could swing some business their way.

The OK is just as bad as the OU if not worse for the Levys being directly involved with mafia tactics in both the kashrus & sexual crimes arena.

"UOJ" - "The Un-Orthodox Jew" said...

I'm working feverishly with many good rabbonim. They tell me if they come out publicly, whether against the OU (kashrus), or on the huge child rape problem by other rabbis - both perpertrated against boys and girls (and women - many Tendlers out there) - their lives as they know it would be over. No jobs, no shidduchim for their kids!

My shoulders are not that broad to accept such responsibility. All I can do is beg and plead with them that Klal Yisroel needs them to come forward!

"UOJ" - "The Un-Orthodox Jew" said...

Regarding the Chof-K! Berel Levy turned Chabadnik/Moshiachist. I do not know what Don Levy holds.

I'm of the belief that Chabad has "similarities" with Judaism and Christianity - therefore, even before I turned Vegetarian, I never ate Rubashkin.

Most Rabbonim Today are Cowards said...

"Regarding the Chof-K! Berel Levy turned Chabadnik/Moshiachist."

The Levy family is actually the OK Labs based in Crown Hts.

Chof-K is Senter & Rosenbaum based in Teaneck, NJ.

Israel Belsky said...

"No jobs, no shidduchim for their kids!"

I'd see to it they wouldn't even get a stint as a Rubashkin truck driver.

"UOJ" - "The Un-Orthodox Jew" said...

My error. R' Yudel can be certainly relied on. I do not know Senter and Rosenbaum.

For the record, I'm of the firm belief, that unless the baalei batim of slaughterhouses and food and meat stores are true yirei Hashem, and can be trusted in every facet of halacha, they have NO ne'emanut on kashrus. NONE!

They'll get you one way or the other. All the warnings on Finkel were there for some 10 years, and NOT ONE RAV did anything other than fress his tarfus!

Exclusively Meal Mart said...

Weissmandel, who was last seen hallucinating that Rubashkin is the victim of anti-Semites, is also the official posek of OK Labs.

The Levys paid for Weissmandel's new Nitra-Monsey bais midrash.

Zushe Blech is Weissmandel's shik yingle and they are shutfim on covering the tarfus scandal at Monsey's Kyo restaurant.

"UOJ" - "The Un-Orthodox Jew" said...


May 30, 2008
Kosher Home, Sweet Home
Webcast Video

Kosher Home, Sweet Home – WEBCAST VIDEO

In this singular and invaluable webcast presentation, OU Kashruth’s internationally-renowned Poskim bring their immense knowledge and understanding to bear on practical issues in the kosher kitchen. Numerous relevant topics are discussed, such as: How do I use an conventional oven for dairy and meat? How about a microwave? Or a sink? How do I reheat food on Shabbos? Do disposable containers need Tevilah? Tune in to this tour de force in which timeless halachos are applied to timely day-to-day questions. This webcast was recorded live at the OU’s headquarters in New York on May 29, 2008.

Yesterday’s outstanding Kosher Kitchen Webcast is now posted. It is chock full of practical halacha for the kosher kitchen. The positive feedback keeps pouring in. Be sure to share with your friends and communities! Many have asked to be informed ….

View it now at: http://www.ouradio.org/ouradio/channel/C301/

Lakewood Talmid said...

One caveat about the Chof-K. They do utilize some very questionable kulos like allowing Jewish owned bakeries to bake on Shabbos. R' Yudel is correct however that they are brutally honest and will not try to hide anything from you like the liars at the OU.

Lakewood Talmid said...

The OU seminar is pathetic. They were bragging about their due dilligence for making sure flounder or some other fish has scales. What hypocrisy! The OU (along with most other hashgochos) are using dubious kulos to allow herring with no simonim. The only outlet in America that sells herring that you know for sure is kosher because they source the real thing with the skin still attached is Schwartz's Appetizing. You can find them on 16th Ave in Boro Park and inside Gourmet Glatt in Cedarhurst. R' Yudel warns everyone not to touch any other brand of herring. Kiddush club fressers take heed.

"UOJ" - "The Un-Orthodox Jew" said...

No one should rely on such a mind-bending kulo to bake on Shabbos. That means there's no mashgiach on the premises or the baal habayis is not there either.

Who issued such a twisted kulo? We saw what happened in Flatbush - I forget the name of the store - who was cooking/baking on Shabbos and the workers brought in tarfus.

I was privy to information years ago - where the FRUM baal habayis ran out of chicken for a big gvirisher function - he sent his goy head-waiter to buy Pepperidge Farm chickens.

Enough already with these crazy kulos.

Rubashkin provided Meth to keep workers awake? said...


Methamphetamine, more commonly known as crystal meth, is illegal in the United States. The popular nightclub drug gives users a sense of energy and euphoria that can last for hours.

Agriprocessors employees told investigators that sometimes they were required to work nighttime shifts of 12 hours or more.

According to the document, a former supervisor at the plant-identified only as Source #1 -- told investigators that some 80 percent of the workforce was illegal.

The source also said he believed rabbis responsible for kosher supervision entered the United States from Canada without proper immigration documents.

The affidavit says the government has probable cause to believe that an Agriprocessors supervisor assisted workers in acquiring fake documents in exchange for a cut of the proceeds.

Lakewood Talmid said...

There are actually several hashgochos, especially out of town, that allow baking on Shabbos or even Yom Kippur. Especially when the owner is a goy, they don't have much of a problem with it. In even more cases, the hashgocho allows Shabbos operation but their shtempel may not appear on those batches.

I assume the Chof K is at least sending someone to check up even on Shabbos. The problem bakeries under Chof K that I am aware of are located in Manhattan and can easily be accessed by foot from a number of shuls. Hashgochos that are aware of this problem do not allow these Chof K brands to be used.

As far as cooking on Shabbos, there are rabbonim in Queens that are not Vaad members and do not eat from that hashgocho. One rov there alleges to me that the Vaad, which is at best described as "out to lunch", has no clue. Bishul and most anything else goes with caterers at shul kiddushim.

Fact Checker said...


Pepperidge Farm, founded by a shiksa married to a Jew named Rudkin, only makes one chicken product in the form of pot pies.

Maybe those were Perdue chickens.

Is there a Belsky in the house? said...

"Who issued such a twisted kulo?"

Anonymous said...


Gumshoe said...

"even before I turned Vegetarian, I never ate Rubashkin."

Would UOJ eat meat if he had access to a private G-d fearing shochet?

Yankel Applegrad said...

At no time was my chushev mechutan Finkel selling tarfus. It's lies, plain simple lies. It's a made up story by bloggers like VIN, YWN, and UOJ.

As Rabbi Solomon said it's more important what goes out of your mouth, than what comes in it.

McDonalds anyone????

"UOJ" - "The Un-Orthodox Jew" said...

Maybe those were Perdue chickens
Correct! Got my tarfus confused.

"UOJ" - "The Un-Orthodox Jew" said...

Would UOJ eat meat if he had access to a private G-d fearing shochet?

When I was learning Yore Deah, the masmich/rosh yeshiva told us to go to a shlocthoiz. I asked him to come with us - he refused "oib ich gay - vel ich ken kain mul nit essen flaish - If I go - I will never again be able to eat meat."

Meaning...clearly - he could only eat meat because of a cheskas kashrus on the shochtim - but once he became aware of the goings on - he was certain that there would be no more cheskas kashrus to rely on.

I stopped eating meat and chicken -
I feel much better physically and emotionally. A person I revere by legend - stopped eating meat after the Holocaust because he said -there was enough killing and relied on "dagim v'chol maatamim" for Shabbos. In matter of fact - in the Peta propaganda leaflets they quote him. (I despise the Peta organization BTW..although they are correct in defending animals against undue abuse.)

So R' Gumshoe...the answer is no. I'm doing just fine eating fish - I guess that makes me a semi-vegetarian...and all the fruit, vegetables and food from the legume families.

Timtum Lev said...

How can you blame all our "gedolim" for their screwed up actions?

Dovid Cohen
Family Neuberger
Fat Lippy Margolis
Shea Fishman
Moish Possick
Family Pinter
Mattisyahu Solomon

All these fressers ate Finkel's Puerto Rican chickens.

LVF said...

Come on uoj, A good peice of spare ribs or veal, how can you give that up???

Any news on mondrowitz, I have not seen anything in the israeli media about his supreme court appeal, for his extradition.

I've got news for you said...

It sounds scandalous that the Chof K allows Shabbos bread baking because you don't know that the OU is even worse.

Consider this ...

The OU has bread designated as "pas Yisroel" that was baked on Shabbos in a Jewish owned bakery - beyodayim by a Jewish baker!

A lady in Brooklyn makes pita that is very popular with some restaurants like J II. She told the Flatbush Vaad that she is shomer Shabbos. When the Vaad found out she is married to a goy and celebrates X-Mas mit a tree, they dropped her. The greedy OU wanted her business but were afraid of a backlash from the heimisher crowd in Brooklyn. They conducted an assessment to consider any possible damage to their "stellar" reputation and emerged confidant they would "be fine" (sounds like Kolko's arrogant lawyer Scott Tulman). In fact, almost no one complained. What they did was a slap in the face to the Vaad who were prevented from upholding nominal kashrus standards in their own backyard!

Arthur said...

I assume that you are working under the premise,guilty until proven innocent. By your pictures posted in connection with Rubashkin it would seem that you feel that this is not really a kashrus issue but a knock Chabad issue.When the Monsey kashrus scandal occurred did you also make it
into a denominational issue rather then a kashrus one?

Bad News for Eckstein said...


This site copies the YeshivaWorld format exactly but they are pushing a specific type of propaganda, namely to tout Oorah because it is probably run by them.

Arthur said...

To quote a writer on another blog. " Go to the corner of McDonald & Church on any morning and try hiring an illegal worker for less than $10-$12 an hour! They are not stupid, they make cheshbeines and if Rubashkin was paying them less than they could get elsewhere, they would not work for him, not a one of them, never mind hundreds! For those of of you that had no experience in hiring these types of workers, you need to understand, they are here in the US of A to earn as much as possible, spend as little as possible and send the rest home to Mexico or Guatemala. If, combined with living expenses Rubashkin covered, they would be sending home less than from another job in another city, they'd be gone in a flash! Therefore, by definition, it is impossible "to take advantage" of them.

Now, is working in a meat-packing plant an ideal upwardly-mobile career? Definitely not. But does that mean that it should be called abuse? Not if you have an objective bone in your body! If this is abuse, then the whole society has to revise its views on work and market realities, not just one Agri...

As to all the allegations of OSHA and safety violations and reports of "workers without fingers", why don't you people find out what Agri's "experience modification" rating is for Workmen's Comp Insurance? That will tell you if their facility has a higher than average occurrence of of work-related injuries. I somehow doubt if any of the "defenders of the workers" bothered to do so. Also, please tell me if you know anyone that was ever inspected by OSHA and was found with zero violations! It is virtually impossible! If you as much as missing one safety poster of the right size posted in the right place, you face fines!

Elo mai? They hired illegals and broke "dina demalchusa"? Cry me a river, morons! What about the other 11,999,630 illegals that were not arrested two weeks ago? Yes, the ones hired by everyone else, the ones that make everything you stuff your pasty-white faces with, the ones that build every house you mefunokim put your fat asses to sleep in, the ones that clean after you lazy that only know how to shop? Hiring those and living off their toil is not against "dina demalchusa"?

And the worst shfichas domim of all – מה עניין שמיטה אצל הר סיני ? – what's it all got to do with "kashrus concerns" you lowlifes keep bringing up again and again? You have an issue with kashrus? Why don't you worry about the kashrus of the shit you eat on your fancy vacations when no one is looking? And, most importantly, why don't you address the "kashrus concerns" with those that are responsible for kashrus - the certifying authorities. I will tell you why you don't - you care about real kashrus like I care about a faryoriker shnei.

Scott Tulman said...

Yeah, you don't just have to get things done BEFORE Shabbos. ON Shabbos is perfect too! Don't be medayek so much in my words.

Arthur said...

Another quote.
"I think that if someone wants to work and someone else wants to hire him, at terms that are agreeable to both, they have the right to do business no matter which side of an arbitrary line either of them was born. I feel no shame at all to be the child and grandchild of people who crossed illegally from the USSR to Poland, and I see no moral difference between those laws and the ones that Agri is alleged to have broken.

I agree that the USA has to patrol its borders to keep terrorists and violent criminals from crossing; but honest people who mean nobody harm, and want nothing but to work and earn some money to support their families, I find it hard to believe they are doing wrong by crossing the border illegally, and I certainly don't think it's any business of employers to become policemen and enforce the laws. If you get caught, well, that's the risk you took, and you have to pay the penalty, but that doesn't make what you did wrong.

And the same applies to minimum wage laws. If two people agree on terms, it's none of anybody's business to interfere. If someone's labor is not worth the arbitrary minimum laid down by some bureaucrat, then his choice is to accept less than that amount or not to work at all. I do not believe any malchusa has the right to force someone into unemployment by forbidding them to work for what they can get. That is not dina demalchusa, it's chamsonusa demalchusa, and it deserved to be treated with contempt.

All other allegations that have been hurled at Agri are too bizarre to be taken seriously. Nobody really believes they were running a meth lab, or that they beat people up, or that they knowingly allowed supervisors to extort sexual favors from workers. Those are pure blood libels, and any decent person will ignore them.

So yes, I say that even if Agri proves to be guilty of everything it's been plausibly accused of, they're still perfectly all right. But even if you disagree, and think that they may have violated dina demalchusa, that is such a minor halacha that it pales into insignificance next to the serious averos being done by the lynch mob who are out to destroy them. Deliberately harming a yid's parnossah, calling for a boycott, is 100 times worse than breaking the heilige "law of the land".

And yes, wearing a beard is far more important than the "law of the land". Davening with a minyan three times a day is more important than the "law of the land". Cholov Yisroel is more important than the "law of the land". So don't come all high and mighty with your shock and horror that laws might have been broken; even if all the plausible allegations are proven, the Rubashkins will remain far better people and far better Jews than all their critics."

Messianism for Dummies said...

What Arthur doesn't grasp is that while there are corrupt individuals in all groups, it's only the retarded Lubavs who hold heretical beliefs about being delivered by a dead man who they deem to elevate to some kind of deity and kiss his idolatrous image before going nighty-night.

Arthur = Moishe Rubashkin? said...

Moishe, go get ready for Shabbos you Putz! And try not to physically assault anyone on the way you violent and foul mouthed bastard.

So this is not abuse?:

Throwing meat & profane insults at human beings

Blindfolding them with duct tape & torturing them with meat hooks

Pushing 13 year old children to work 17 hour shifts with or without crystal meth to keep them going.

Anonymous said...

Who's Moishe Possik?

Rubashkin Truck Driver said...

The Feds once rounded up all the muchachos hanging around McDonald & Church.

The other pick up points are:

Williamsburg, female only, where Chassidish veiber get Hispanic women to clean for them. The senioritas know which Hungarian bitches are abusive and don't pay and ignore their offers.

Corner of Fort Hamilton Pkwy & 38th St for the Pollocks and other Eastern Europeans.

There are a lot of illegal Irish and Israelis around too but they can get work without moping around street corners.

Kashrus Insider said...

There are some rabbonim from both the YU and yeshivish crowds who are seriously investigating the Methamphetamines issue. They suspect that Rubashkin was not only using illegal drugs to pump up exhausted workers but that they may have used it to shtup downer cows that otherwise cannot stand up to be shechted. This is not only a serious tarfus concern but a Federal offense to boot.

UOJ, we need your help to put an end to this grand scale fraud by Rubashkin, Lubinsky and the OU. We don't know if there is anyone besides Chaimowitz that can buy Rubashkin's operation.

Son of Boog said...

How many illegal Mexicans are building Scheinerman's new shul?

"UOJ" - "The Un-Orthodox Jew" said...


I remember telling friends when the Kolko story broke, and people were concerned that it was not getting traction fast enough, I assured them that it would take a life of its own - at its own pace. Similarly, I believe, Torah Temimah will cease to exist sometime in the future, atleast under present management, in it's present form.

I'm certain the same applies to Rubashkin. Time will take them out, as it should. Who steps in to take it over? I don't have a clue.

The Rubashkin issue, Arthur, is not a Chabad issue per se, but it is a factor. Believing in the Yushka Rebbe is tantamount to Shabbtai Tzvi-ism - Judaism-like, but NOT Judaism.

Ask the KAJ why they felt the need to distance themselves from Rubashkin.

They are not trustworthy as Jews, and certainly NOT trustworthy as humans!

Arthur said...

messianisim for dummies said
" it's only the retarded Lubavs who hold heretical beliefs about being delivered by a dead man who they deem to elevate to some kind of deity and kiss his idolatrous image before going nighty-night.".Well,well,look at what comes creeping out of the woodwork the minute you mention Lubavitch or Chabad.I'm sure you must have checked Shmiras Haloshen before you wrote your complimentry response and and proves my point that this is not a Kashrus issue but a bash Lubavitch one.As to the one who thinks I'm Rushkin,Halivai.I'd be a lot richer.I'm not even distantly related to them. Have these allegations that you accuse Rubashkin of been proven yet?These accusations are snowballing by the hour.If this keeps up they will be accused of being the brains behind 9/11.

Arthur said...

I'm not going to go into a discussion about what you refer to as the Yoshke Rebbi issue because I don't see the relevince to Agri.Agri is a privately owned firm that happens to be owned Lubavitchers.The family performs tremendous amounts of Gemilas Chasodim and are definitely not meshichistim.Neither am I and contrary to what you think and a lot of your bloggers do, most of lubavitchers are not.So lets cut the c... and stop with these canards and blood libles against thousand of shomrei Torah and Mitzvos.

Arthur = Moishe Rubashkin? said...

"As to the one who thinks I'm (Moishe) Ru(ba)shkin,Halivai.I'd be a lot richer."

Yeah, "halivai" to go back to jail you stupid moron.

Also, Rav Schach knew hilchos loshon hora better than anyone when he knew his duty to bash Lubavitchers in public.

Deconstructing Arthur's Hogwash said...

Many poskim tackle the issue about a large number of Chabad followers being closet Meshichistim. UOJ and the street mob did not manufacture this idea. Probably most Lubies believe that Messiah kefirah but won't 'fess up because they are afraid to scare away donations and BT candidates.

Arthur's the one who needs to cut the crap. Who gives a rat's tuchess if the Rubashkins are doing "chesed" with money they steal from consumers who think they are eating glatt kosher meat or taxpayers who paid to clean up the toxic cess pool in the aftermath of Moishie Rubashkin's arson in Allentown, PA.

Even Belsky has some kind of standard said...

Just to prove what a fraud Menachem Genack is.

Belsky announced in public that he stopped eating Rubashkin. This was after he spilled the beans in Reisman's shul about the truck accident with the 9000 chickens that became sofek treif. Weissmandel made sure the shipment didn't go under his label and dumped it in the OU's lap without doing his duty & warning them.

The most pathetic thing of all is that R' Yisroel Reisman looked like a tipesh that Kehillah Ka$h-R-US still uses Rubashkin so he got up the next week and said things aren't as bad as Belsky made it. To the best of my knowledge, R' Yisroel Reisman won't eat Rubashkin either so his defense of and association with Kehillah is an outrage.

Bob Dole copies UOJ said...


There are miserable creatures like you in every administration who don't have the guts to speak up or quit if there are disagreements with the boss or colleagues. No, your type soaks up the benefits of power, revels in the limelight for years, then quits, and spurred on by greed, cashes in with a scathing critique.

In my nearly 36 years of public service I've known of a few like you. No doubt you will "clean up" as the liberal anti-Bush press will promote your belated concerns with wild enthusiasm. When the money starts rolling in you should donate it to a worthy cause, something like, "Biting The Hand That Fed Me." Another thought is to weasel your way back into the White House if a Democrat is elected. That would provide a good set up for a second book deal in a few years.

I have no intention of reading your "exposé" because if all these awful things were happening, and perhaps some may have been, you should have spoken up publicly like a man, or quit your cushy, high profile job. That would have taken integrity and courage but then you would have had credibility and your complaints could have been aired objectively. You're a hot ticket now but don't you, deep down, feel like a total ingrate?


steve said...


Who is watching the labeling and shipping? When 70% of the meat coming out of the slaughterhouse should be treife, how can anyone be sure that what they are getting is actually kosher? Why because Rabbi Weissmandel said so? He's not concerned with the treife meat. He is strictly relying on the integrity of the owner. That's where we have our machloikes. You trust them, WE DON'T! Not when millions of dollars are at stake (pun intended). The KAJ doesn't trust them anymore either, that's why they refuse to affix their logo on the product anymore. So even if the shochtim are pure Jews without any meshichist tendencies (highly unlikely) and the "kosher" meat is strictly k'das v'din, we still cannot trust what we are eating. Add to that the humane issues and the health issues (529 page USDA report slamming Rubashkin for everything from salmonella issues, to chickens covered with feces to mad cow disease), there is no way in the world a g-d fearing Jew should be eating this crap.

Anonymous said...

...Meanwhile, while we talk about kashrus, the teacher fired by HAFTR for alleged misdeeds with under=age girls can seek employment elsewhere, and harm untold numbers of jewish girls, because no one will name who this teacher was, nor follow the law and report the person to the authorities...and the journalists and others involved pat themselves on the pat for a job well done...
who are we kidding?

steve said...

RUBASHKIN-SHOMER NAFSHO YIRCHAK MEHEM (the products and the family)

Arthur said...

I have been a avid follower of your blog for quite a while.I think that the issues you bring up and your opinions about them are right on target.However your type of blog attracts a large amount of professional haters and wackos.The kind that think or say "don't confuse with the facts, my mind is made up"
I'm not going to attempt to respond to their vile attacks on the Rebbi ZT"L and Chabad in general because it won't make an iota of difference to these haters,but I do find that most of the bashers had issues with Lubavitch way before the Rebbi's ptirah.
By the way your "friend" Kolko worked for me as a counselor when I was head counselor at camp Gan Yisroel many moons ago.He was a virulent hater of Chabad and was quite vocal about it at the time, and look what happened to the self righteous SOB.
My doubts with this whole Rubashkin story is that we have set ourselves up as policeman,judge,jury and executioners.The only thing we are sure of at this time is the illegal alien issue. All the other issues are still in abeyance.This whole attack on Agri seems to be, at least to me,a lynch mob situation.If all these other accusations turn out to be false then we will all be guilty of shfichas dam mamosh.What I do know is that without Agri the price of kosher meat will be sky high and I am a firm believer in not bighting the hand that feeds me.There are a lot of factors at play here.Peta,the Mafia run butchers union,the Conservitive so called hechser are behind mos of these allegations
Lets not make this a Lubavitch,issue,Mossiach Rebbi issue or some other inane issue.If the allegations turn to be true then I will be in the front lines together with you and everyone else to close them down.
What I'm saying is lets put this on hold till all the facts come out rather then lynch them outright.
Just in case you think that I am a Rubashkin as some luny blogger claims, I don't have the remotest familial relationship with them.I barely know them personally.The closest contact I've had with them is eating in the Crown restraunt, which is owned by Rubaskin,on 13th Ave.many years ago as a bochur.My uncle Z"L who was a lubavitcher chosid and a Rosh Hayishiva in Torah Vidaas.
Enough said.

Arthur said...

As to the individual who brings proof from "Harav" Shach about speaking lashon Hora ,that's what I would expect from him.He was a hater to.He had been a non entity Rosh Hayishiva in some Mizrachi school after which he gave a proba shiur at the Lubavitcher yeshiva in Kfar Chabad where a Bochur who is now a choshever Rosh Hayisheva himself,made mincemeat out of him.He was obviously not hired.Only then did he go to Ponviezh and joined the roster of so called "gedolim".As a result he had an ongoing hatred for Lubavitch till his dieing day.Oooo am I gonna get flack for this.

Arthur said...

As to why KAJ removed their hechsher,I did some research and came up with the following article taken from rhe Jewish Forward.
"POSTVILLE, IA — A conflict between supervising rabbis at an embattled kosher slaughterhouse has become public, opening a window into the usually closed world of kashrut certification.

Rabbis who represent K’hal Adath Jeshurun, a small ultra-Orthodox community based in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan, have announced that they will not continue to certify products at the huge AgriProcessors slaughterhouse in Postville, Iowa, because, they said, another rabbi is restricting their access to the slaughtering process. Months of negotiations between KAJ and AgriProcessors fell through at the end of last month.

“We are fully cognizant of the momentous repercussions that our decision entails and can assure that we have not taken it lightly,” the rabbis wrote in a letter to AgriProcessors.

Kosher certification for meat is a complicated process that often involves rabbis from several Orthodox communities taking turns at enforcing slightly different standards of shchita, or kosher slaughtering practice. Members of one congregation will not necessarily eat meat that has been certified by a rabbi from a different congregation.

Because of its size, the AgriProcessors plant requires a great deal of rabbinic supervision; one estimate holds that about 70 rabbis — including slaughterers, or shochtim, and overseers, or mashgichim — help to maintain standards at the company. As a result, a designated head rabbi is placed in charge of certification, and a “super-mashgiach” manages the entire process on the ground. Some organizations, including the Orthodox Union, frequently delegate their oversight of the slaughter to that mashgiach, who is entrusted with upholding the specific standards of each congregation.

Until two years ago, the head rabbi at AgriProcessors was Rabbi Chaim Kohn, who is affiliated with KAJ. Kohn played an important role in the scandal that resulted when People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals castigated AgriProcessors for the practice of ripping out live cows’ throats, which some say is condoned by kosher law.

“Kohn helped PETA to understand that the practice did not violate humane standards,” KAJ president Eric Erlbach said.

Kohn left AgriProcessors shortly after the PETA scandal and was replaced by Menachem Weissmandl, who leads a small community in Monsey, N.Y., known as Nitra, after its birthplace in Hungary.

Here, accounts diverge. According to Erlbach, Kohn was pushed out for reasons connected to conflicts with Weissmandl and the Rubashkin family, which owns AgriProcessors. According to Erlbach, upon taking over, Weissmandl quickly hired a new super-mashgiach on his own payroll and began restricting other rabbis’ access to the slaughterhouse.

“From the time that he took over, we have had less and less control over what was going on, less and less ability to supervise,” Erlbach said. “Our certification is based on our ability to supervise the process. We are not willing to cede that control to Rabbi Weissmandl or to anybody else.”

Weissmandl, for his part, claims that the current super-mashgiach was jointly hired by all the rabbis who are involved with supervision at AgriProcessors, including representatives of KAJ, and that the congregation later made an unreasonable demand: that there be a rabbi with the same amount of authority as the super-mashgiach who would oversee only slaughter performed by KAJ standards and report only to KAJ.

“I did everything possible to have a good working relationship with KAJ,” Weissmandl said. “But the Rubashkins and I felt it would not make sense to have two rabbis running the place.”

KAJ and AgriProcessors began negotiating the issue last October, but on December 28, KAJ leaders sent a letter to AgriProcessors announcing that they would “terminate… supervision of all AgriProcessors’ operations” in April.

AgriProcessors responded publicly with a press release that did not mention KAJ by name but suggested that the company had voluntarily terminated the relationship in order to “consolidate its kashrus supervision” behind the O.U. and Weissmandl. AgriProcessors could not be reached for comment.

It is unclear how much of an impact KAJ’s rescinding its certification will have on AgriProcessors’ sales. The company is huge, and the community is relatively small, although it is possible that the KAJ certification holds prestige for those outside Washington Heights"
It's interesting to note that even though the the the decision that KAJ would would leave Agri took place at the end of Dec.,the actual removal of the hechsher did not take place until the following April.If this would have been a Kahsrus issue then KAJ would have certainly removed their hechsher immediatly.

Deconstructing Arthur's Hogwash said...

Now that we know that Arthur is the probably related to Rav Rivkin from Torah Vodaas or whichever other Lubav chossid, I understand where he is coming from, although I don't believe the old Rav Rivkin himself would attack maran Harav Schach ztl.

The only people who do attack Rav Schach are various disgruntled Lubav wackos and Chaim Shaulson.

Rav Schach was a maggid shiur in Kletzk and already a big name in learning before the war. Bochurim from the Mir and elsewhere would take long train rides to speak to him in learning. There are alter Litvaks still alive who will attest to this.

If Arthur wants to mock those with less than illustrious shtellers, I don't think he wants to get into the career of Rav Rivkin's son in St. Louis, in the "State of Misery".

Deconstructing Arthur's Hogwash said...

Oh wow, Arthur has come to the "scholarly" conclusion that there are no kashrus issues at Rubashkin based on an old newspaper article that was written while the cover up was in full swing and BEFORE the secret letter from KAJ to Rubashkin was leaked, a cover up that KAJ itself was keen on assisting.

Next he will present the letter from Willy Wiesner and infamous words of Aron Twerski to "prove" that Kolko and Margulies are "innocent" as well.

If it Quacks likes Genack the Cover up is on track said...


"This issue of undocumented workers in plants is not a Rubashkins’ story, it’s an American story," said Rabbi Menachem Genack, who spoke Tuesday night at the Jewish Center of Teaneck to some 80 listeners. "It is standard in many manufacturing facilities that workers have documentation but are not legal."

Genack, of Cong. Shomrei Emunah in Englewood, said that a faulty American immigration policy was creating these problems, which, he added, are widespread in factories across the country. He said that he did not know if the Rubashkins, the Brooklyn-based Lubavitcher family that owns Agriprocessors, were aware of workers’ falsified documents, but he urged members of the audience to be patient as the investigations continue.

"We have to see where the facts take us," he said.

Because of the number of federal agencies responsible for overseeing the plant, Genack said that the most serious charges involving physical abuse of workers are unlikely to be true. Likewise, he dismissed allegations that workers ran a methamphetamine lab on the premises.

If the company hires independent management, then the OU is unlikely to withdraw its supervision, even if the Rubashkins are found liable, Genack said.

According to Eli Rosenfeld, a spokesman for Empire Poultry who was at Tuesday night’s gathering, that company has increased its production and seen "a noticeable increase" in orders in the past two weeks. Despite fears of shortages or price gouging, Rosenfeld said Empire does not anticipate a price hike. Genack said Agriprocessors has enough inventory to avoid a "dramatic change" in prices but calls for a boycott — which have come from a number of Jewish organizations — could change that.

Quack Quack Genack said...

Yeah, they ran out of meat in Houston and other cities and New York had a shortage of chicken wings, because as Genack & Lubinsky inform us, Rubashkin has "enough inventory".

OU Crony Watch said...

Has anyone contacted Wal-Mart, Pathmark, Shoprite and other major customers of Rubashkin's "Iowa Best" brand to inform them it would be prudent to switch to other beef producers like Cargill? It would be horrible for their businesses if they ran out of meat because of Rubashkin's current supply situation. Besides what fresser would want to risk Salmonella and Mad Cow Disease?

Menachem "Katchka" Genack said...

There were plenty of chicken wings. Aron Twerski informs me that when Dougie's bought out all the available stock before Memorial Day, it was a big order for Margo who is trying to hog them all to himself.

Meat Industry Insider said...

Effective today, June 1st, Alle raised prices on all meat products.

If Genack can't find beef to put on his table for a reasonable price, there is plenty of crow for him to eat.

Ombudsman said...

The OU is obviously resorting to scare mongering as shown by Genack's speech in Teaneck.

You want to play Moral Leader and stop eating Rubashkin? You're going to pay through the nose for it.

No mention of any achrayus that falls on the OU's shoulders.

What sick people. It's shocking that they are going ahead with this immoral charade when even Belsky has bailed out.

Ombudsman said...

Does Arthur expect to be taken seriously with his silly arguments?

There were not many opportunties in the early days of Palestine and then Israel. Rav Elyashev worked at the Rabbanut.

We have also heard these juvenile claims before that some bochur at some yeshiva "made micemeat" of or supposedly shlogged up the maggid shiur. Most often it's some am haaretz who doesn't have a clue. The rebbe doesn't even bother answering such ridiculous outbursts which the fools take as further proof they are right.

The rebbe of the Chofetz Chaim, R' Nochumke Kaplan, was forced by unfortunate circumstances to be a melamed in some little village. He was much greater than his talmid.

Anonymous said...

My father is alter Monsey yid. I was telling him about Arthur’s comments, and he started to laugh.

He said Finkel also was a staunch hater of Lubavitch. He was well known by the Rebbi for slashing tires of the mitzvah tank of Monsey, to make sure children should as he put it “not be exposed to that cult leader”. The boys came in another van after the rosh chodesh farbrengen and the Rebbi stayed with them for a long time. The Rebbi and Rav Hutner both said that he will eventually give up yiddishkeit because of his chutzpah. He made a big deal how he won’t let Rubashkin meats into his store, look what he gave instead.

He said Finkel was always talking bad about Lubavitch. He used to refuse to make a MiShebairach for Lubavitch cholim. The Rebbi found out about this and made a personal MiShebairach for that choileh. A few months later Finkel’s oldest son became seriously ill. Every specialist tried to help to no avail and things were looking bleak. Until a famous rosh chodesh farbrengen when a young boy came over to the Rebbi to ask for Finkel’s refuah. He was healthy again before the next rosh chodesh farbrengen.The Rebbi had strong feelings towards this son. He said “This boy’s actions will bring Moshiach, he will influence many through his actions and hashpaah as much as his father will turn people away from hashem. The son will be zoiheh to a kisser shem toiv”.

For those who want to bash the Rebbi and his Chassidim be careful. His zechusim still protect his Chassidim and true oivdei hashem.

Yudi Kolko said...

Hey Arthur, you forgot to say I'm also anti UOJ, anti going to jail, anti keeping my hands off kids, anti taking money under the table from Margo, anti hundcuffing guys with beards, and anti anything that normal people would expect from a rabbi or human being.

Just thought you'd like to know.

Arthur said...

"If Arthur wants to mock those with less than illustrious shtellers, I don't think he wants to get into the career of Rav Rivkin's son in St. Louis, in the "State of Misery" Yes I do want to do want "to get into the the career of rav Rivkins son in St.Louis".If your referring to the fact that He's been suffering from a very serious case of Parkinsons and has been bed ridden and in a semi coma for the last couple of years,your really hitting below the belt.
As for Rav Shach,He was a big bal machlokes and had issues with Ger and other Chassidishe kriezen and I stick with my prior statement about him.
About Kolko ,apparently you didn't read what I wrote about him in a previous post.
I really don't know why I respond to the allegations about me,the Rebbi ZT"L and Lubavitch in general.Kol Hamisnavel.......The haters will hate no matter what.
By the way I don't know anything about alleged "secret Letters".If they were secret how come you know about them?If you have access to them I really like to see them.

steve said...

And yes, wearing a beard is far more important than the "law of the land"

No Arthur, it goes like this: If you are wearing a beard, you better be sure that you keep the law of the land. Otherwise you are causing a chillul hashem. The beard doesn't raise you above the law. It just adds responsibilty in that all of your words and actions are scrutinized by the public. That's why if one is going to cheat in business or molest children, he should shave his beard and take off his hat and kippa. At least it will minimize his crimes a bit in that the chillul hashem factor will not be so great.

Anonymous said...

state of the Jews says...

from the Jerusalem Post, by Samuel Freedman

In the Diaspora: 'Treif' as swine

As the Havdala ritual serves to remind us, Judaism sanctifies separation. We separate holy days from ordinary days, Shabbat from the rest of the week, light from darkness, purity from impurity.

There is one sort of division, however, that Judaism refuses to hallow. That is the disengagement of cause and effect. If anything, our holy texts, prophetic injunctions, historical memory and rabbinic interpretations all tell us that cause inevitably leads to effect, and in forms as catastrophic as the defeat of
kingdoms, the destruction of temples, the imposition of exiles.

The stakes admittedly are not nearly so existential in the matter of the Agriprocessors slaughterhouse and the American Jews who both operate and
patronize it - the largest kosher meat plant in the nation. Still, the moral and ethical questions remain real, present, and pressing.

Should it not matter to us that the meat we buy and consume, ostensibly for the purpose of fulfilling a religious obligation or at least reifying a sense of
Jewish community, is coming from a scandalous source? Just what does the separation between kosher and treif mean or matter if kosher depends on the exploitation and endangerment of the human beings who do the supposedly Godly work of preparing our food?

As a good deal of American Jewry already knows, federal authorities earlier this month raided the Agriprocessors plant in Postville, Iowa, and arrested more than
300 workers on suspicion of being illegal immigrants. Scores of them have already been sentenced to jail and lined up for deportation in an assembly-line version of criminal justice.

The last thing I would condemn Agriprocessors for is hiring immigrants who have fake Social Security cards or work permits. The United States' unconscionable
immigration policy - its refusal to make the common-sense reforms variously proposed by President Bush, John McCain and Edward Kennedy over the past few
years - enables this kind of shadow economy, especially in arduous industries like meat-processing.

Similarly, I cannot get terribly worked up by the earlier attacks on Agriprocessors by the animal-rights group PETA for the company's slaughtering
practices. No matter how Judaism tries to create the fiction of compassionate slaughter, no such thing can exist. There is no kind way to kill an animal for food; we're not talking about hospice here. To be an omnivore, as I am, means to accept a brutal hierarchy among the species.

THE IMPORTANCE of the recent immigration raid is that it has laid bare a Jewish hypocrisy on the subject of humans rather than cows, lambs and chickens. Between
the PETA criticisms four years ago and the federal sweep on May 12,
Agriprocessors has repeatedly abrogated basic standards of health and safety for its workers. It has fought against their right to join a union, and failed to
provide them training in Spanish, their native tongue. It has, if recent allegations prove correct, forced them to work overtime shifts without overtime pay. Taken together, these labor practices evoke the Triangle Shirtwaist

A chronology of the Agriprocessors controversy by a reliable, impartial source - the Des Moines Register, Iowa's respected statewide newspaper - cites a pattern since early 2006 of workplace-safety violations, pollution, contaminated food,
product recalls, and unsanitary conditions including rodent infestation.

Even before the recent raid, one Brooklyn-based va'ad had withdrawn its endorsement from Agriprocessors' brands, and activists in the Conservative
rabbinate had begun promoting the concept of a hechsher tzedek, a "justice certification" that takes into account how a food company treats its employees.

Now, in the wake of the arrests, the Conservative movement's associations of rabbis and congregations have called for a not-quite-boycott of meat from
Agriprocessors, which is owned by a prominent Lubavitcher hassidic family, the Rubashkins. The Rabbinical Assembly and the United Synagogue of Conservative
Judaism issued a formal statement advising members to "evaluate whether it is appropriate to consume Rubashkin products until this situation is addressed."

THAT CAREFULLY parsed statement strikes me as appropriate. As much as a formal boycott would potentially wield greater power, I have a wariness of that weapon,
one so indiscriminate that it can serve the idealism of Cesar Chavez with non-union grape-growers or the bigotry of Sonny Carson with Korean-owned stores in black neighborhoods.

Besides, the decision to patronize Agriprocessors rightly resides with the individual conscience. Reading the other day through the manuscript of the historian Jonathan Sarna's excellent forthcoming book, A Time to Every Purpose:
Letters to a Young Jew, I was struck by the phrase he cites from the ancient Jewish philosopher Philo of Alexandria: "the practice of virtue."

What are many of the mitzvot, and the broader, more secular sense of Jewish values, than such practice? We cannot know the provenance of every item we buy, but when we know, shouldn't we act on that knowledge? The proliferation of "fair trade" products such as coffee and of no-sweatshop college apparel offer just two examples of the market bending to a collection of personal consumer decisions, inspired by organized public advocacy.

The most significant consequence of the Agriprocessors raid is not, as certain articles in Jewish newspapers have suggested, that a meat shortage could result
from the plant's loss of one-third of its workforce. What we should care more about is what we have learned about how our kosher meat gets from hoof to market.

There is a difference between law and justice, and there is a difference between following every requirement of kosher slaughter and treating the people involved
inhumanly. Or is the moral of the Agriprocessors story that it is permissible to abuse a worker as long as he or she isn't a Jew?

I can only tell you what I have done. Several months ago, I was clicking my way through Freshdirect.com, the online supermarket I use for most of my food shopping. I happened to notice a notation on the kosher meat screen - many of
the products came from Agriprocessors under names like "Aaron's Choice." Since
then, I have engaged in my own form of separation, buying my meat from a local butcher.

Agriprocessors, of course, has more to worry about than my flyspeck worth of lost income. This meat plant, a very public element of the Lubavitcher hassidim, can do plenty of damage to the sect's positive reputation among Jews. As a journalistic observer of American Jewry, I've seen and admired the energetic,
sincere inreach of the Chabad movement; I serve on the faculty advisory board to Chabad at Columbia University, where I teach. If the image of Chabad becomes something out of The Jungle, then that will be a grievous but entirely self-inflicted wound.

Last week, the chief executive officer of Agriprocessors, Sholom Rubashkin,announced he would resign. Still, his father, Aaron Rubashkin, remains the owner
of the plant, which can only make one wonder about the prospects for a true housecleaning.

Until that day comes, I can only say that, for me, the putatively kosher meat from Agriprocessors will be as treif as swine.

Boruch said...

I can remember my bubbe telling me how she would buy a chicken on the Lower East Side, bring it to the butcher where the shochet would slaughter it. She would watch the shochet check the chicken and watch the Rabbi check the knife before each slaughter. She would take home the chicken, to Brooklyn, soak it and salt it to complete the process. I don't know how many perutim I left out, but I do know that, the gross gesheft, many bubbes and mommas out there haven't got a clue. When it comes to laundry, they haven't got a clue. When it comes to raising a child, they run to the therapist or to the psychologist. WE WILL FALL WHEN WE OUTSOURCE OUR LIVES. Bubbe knew in 1930 and 1940 that outsourcing was the yeter hara. What happened?

spacedoutBT said...

Will "anonymous" who kvetched about the teacher who got fired quietly from HAFTR please do something about what he/she knows??/

spacedoutBT said...

The Vilna Gaon mentioned in his writngs about the presence of Eruv Ravniks who attempt to dominate Jewish communal institutions and proceed to bring them down. Rav Avigdor Miller z"l tried gently to persuade certain individuals to leave Chinuch. Would the GRA have been so gentle?

Arthur said...

To Steve,
I see that you get around the blogs because I didn't write anything about beards on UOJ.I did write about the importance of having a beard on that other blog but I was not the one that said thats it's more important then dina dmalchusa.

Arthur said...

To anonymous who posted the article from the Jerusalem Post here is a response on talkback to the article.
" 4. In most places in the US, especially whith large Latino populations, such raids would be considered unconscionable.
The very people who gloat over this raid, and claim moral superiority, would never vote for a congressional candidate who advocated this in California, NY, Florida or Texas. Oh yes there are other allegations, but where are the proofs? Those are likely excuses for pulling off this raid, unique in contemporary history. Not that employing illegals is desirable, but please, spare us the sanctimony."

Anonymous said...


This is the first time i was shown your blog, and I was just blown away!!
although im familiar with 90% of the junk going on in our community, I have one question to you: Why are YOU in the "bloteh? surely someone who has such a sick fascination with shmutz shares in it vicariously to some degree, albeit from far. A person who has the time to think up such shtuss, is obviously going to cover it up and say its in the name of community "good"..and you now what? b'mokom shel machshavto shel adom,shom hu!"

This seems to be your involvement for the betterment of the community!!??

I am convinced that if you would really care about the improvemt of the community, you would NOT have time for such shtuss, but would be out there volunteering ,or assisting in some form or other, or even G-D forbid, going to a shiur and learning!

When the brothers threw yosef into the pit, it says "v'habor raik, ein bo mayim".and chazal ask: why the repitive statement? surely saying the the pit was empty would have been enough..but they add "because nature abhores a vacuum. When a persons head is empy then Akravim, snakes, and vermin enter..'nuf said.

may I humbly suggest that you begin using your precious hours, minutes,and days,to do some positive good for the klall..get your hands wet on truly using the gifts Hashem gave you and stop Squandering your life.Remember: life is not a rehearsal-its the real thing and you dont get to do it again!!