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August 07, 2008

The Company That Gores

You all know the story, based on a mishna. An ox gores. It gores again, And again. At what point is the owner (and the ox) judged to be doing intentional rather than accidental damage?

In what has to be one of the best summaries of the ongoing Agriprocessors scandal, the Forward asks that question – not about oxen, but about…

…Agriprocessors:

Judging Character — And Kashrut
Editorial
Thu. Aug 07, 2008


The Babylonian Talmud features a lengthy, oft-quoted discussion of the liability incurred by an individual whose ox gores another person’s livestock. If the ox has never gored before, the owner may claim it was an unforeseen accident and pay only half the injured party’s losses. Likewise for the second and third offense. With a fourth attack, however, the ox is deemed mu’ad, or “forewarned.” The owner is then fully liable. He can no longer claim he didn’t know.

The lesson of the recidivist ox is one of the first and most memorable taught to schoolchildren when they begin their Talmud studies. The narrative is easy to follow, and the moral is clear-cut. It teaches, or should teach, that individuals are responsible for their actions — not just in principle, but also directly and quantifiably liable; not only for what they do, but also for what they fail to do and what they fail to anticipate. No one may traffic with a mu’ad and claim not to have known.

A memorable lesson for most, but seemingly forgotten by the distinguished rabbis and communal functionaries who paid a quick visit last week to Postville, Iowa. They had come to inspect the controversial kosher slaughterhouse owned by Agriprocessors, Inc., which faces widespread allegations of abusive and dangerous working conditions. The rabbis spent three hours touring the plant, met briefly with local Christian clergy and social activists, and gave the operation a clean bill of health. They found no evidence, as one rabbi put it afterward, to suggest that “someone should not buy things from Agriprocessors.”

Well, no — not based on what you might find in a three-hour walkthrough arranged and paid for by the company. But that’s not enough. When your target is mu’ad, you have to consider the whole record. And Agriprocessors and its owners are most assuredly mu’ad.

A three-hour tour could not uncover the extensive, “egregious” child labor

violations that the Iowa state labor commissioner reported to the state attorney general just five days after the rabbis left town. The labor commissioner said he had “never seen anything like it” in his 30 years in the field, according to JTA. He recommended that the allegations be prosecuted “to the fullest extent of the law.” But it took him months to gather the facts. Three hours wouldn’t suffice.

Three hours wouldn’t turn up the voluminous evidence of abuse gathered by the Forward when we first broke the Agriprocessors story two years ago. We found compelling indications of sexual harassment, shorted wages, favoritism and bribery in work assignments, inadequate safety training and horrific work accidents in the place we called a “Kosher Jungle.” But our reporter spent a week in Postville, interviewing current and former workers, merchants, officials and community leaders. He visited homes and viewed pay stubs, rent receipts and food and medical bills. Our staff spent months more on the phone with federal and state officials, academics, food industry experts and others. It took us more than three hours.

If the rabbis didn’t want to believe us, they could have consulted the public record — the archive of complaints brought and fines imposed on the company by state and federal authorities, year after year, for health, safety, food contamination and environmental pollution violations.

Well, we are reminded, meatpacking is a notoriously messy business. That’s true. What’s different about Agriprocessors is the sheer scope and scale of it all. The immigration raid last May, mounted by 16 different federal, state and local government agencies, was described by authorities as the largest such raid ever mounted against one firm. The child labor charges reported this month are described by officials and experts as unusual if not unique in scale for a single firm. And so it goes, in one category after another.

This is a company that is, by any reasonable standard, what the Talmud would call mu’ad.

This newspaper has been roundly criticized in the past two years for supposedly mixing apples and oranges — questioning the company’s kosher certification because of its behavior in areas unrelated to the dietary rules. But they’re not unrelated. As Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld wrote in The New York Times last week, character is critical in judging kosher food. If a supervisor or operator routinely violates some essential religious laws, how can he be trusted to enforce other laws? Restaurants and butcher shops in this country cannot receive Orthodox kosher certification if they do business on the Sabbath. Hotels in Israel lose their certification if they host unapproved forms of entertainment. Character counts, not just precision slaughtering.

The rabbis who visited Postville appear to disagree. They concluded, judging by their public statements, that the facility passes muster. That is, whatever allegations may have been made, they do not merit serious attention — nothing deeper than a quick walkthrough. They said, in effect, that this is an ox without a record.

But there is a long record. Agriprocessors is one of a network of businesses owned by the Rubashkin family, a large, tight-knit clan identified with the Lubavitch community in Brooklyn. The operations, like the family, may be considered a package.

The family patriarch and company founder, Aaron Rubashkin, came here from the Soviet Union in 1945 and opened a kosher butcher shop. In time the shop became Agriprocessors, the country’s largest — and dominant — kosher meat producer, run for many years by Aaron’s son Sholom Rubashkin.

While Sholom ran the meat business, his brother Moshe operated a string of ventures, mainly in textiles and real estate, mostly in partnership with other relatives. One of the most colorful was a textile mill he ran in Allentown, Pa., but closed in 2000. A year after shutting it down, Moshe was convicted of failing to obtain workers’ compensation insurance after a former employee was denied benefits. While on probation, he ended up with a conviction for bank fraud due to some checks that he wrote. He was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison and got out on parole in 2005.

Shortly after release, he was elected president of the Crown Heights Jewish Community Council, a government funded agency closely controlled by the Lubavitch community.

Meanwhile, the plant in Allentown was gathering dust and debts. It owed $200,000 to the Environmental Protection Agency for cleaning up hazardous chemicals housed there, and was about to be seized by the city for back taxes, according to public records. In April 2005, the plant was heavily damaged in a fire that was ruled arson. Three more fires, still unexplained, finished it off over the next few months. Chemicals that were stored on site caused the fire to blow out of control, allegedly endangering firefighters. In 2007, Moshe was convicted of illegally housing hazardous chemical waste, while his son Sholom — nephew of the Postville executive — was convicted of lying about who owned the property. They await sentencing.

Back in Postville, the elder Sholom was facing questioning in connection with another alleged arson-fraud scheme. Beginning in the late 1990s, Agriprocessors began receiving payments from a Brooklyn pharmaceutical firm, some $3 million, in return for which the meat company provided, Sholom said in a deposition, “nothing.” The Brooklyn firm, Allou Distributors, declared bankruptcy in 2003, shortly after its warehouse burned down. Prosecutors suspected that the owner, Herman Jacobowitz, a member of another Hasidic community, had been laundering company funds; the payments to Agriprocessors were suspected of being part of the scheme, according to The Des Moines Register. Jacobowitz was eventually convicted of trying to bribe a fire marshal to declare the fire an accident rather than arson, and sentenced to 15 years in prison. Agriprocessors agreed to pay $1.4 million in civil restitution but was never charged criminally.

One of the most telling judgments passed on the family was rendered way back in 1995 by the National Labor Relations Board. Moshe and father Aaron owned a textile firm in New Jersey that was found guilty of deducting union dues from employees’ paychecks but failing to hand over the money to the union for at least three years running, a violation of the National Labor Relations Act. The administrative law judge who ruled against the Rubashkins recommended that their attorney be suspended for his behavior in delaying the case. The board itself, hearing the case on appeal, commented in its ruling that the “Respondent” — named in documents as the textile firm and its owners — “has a proclivity for violating the Act and has previously been found to have engaged in identical conduct.”

That, it appears, is the government’s way of saying they are mu’ad.

The question that must be answered now by inspectors and consumers of kosher meat is what standards should be applied in measuring character — specifically the character of an actor entrusted with supplying most of this nation’s kosher meat — and just how hard to look.

All that's really missing is Agriprocessors Humane Slaughter violations, and some of the shady behavior of other members of the extended Rubashkin family.

So, why is it that a company that gores still has kosher certification from the OU and several haredi organizations?

Because the OU and these haredi organizations are corrupt?

That is a question Orthodox Jews need to ask, thoroughly investigate, and answer.

[Hat Tip: Stephen Mendelsohn.]

Comments

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This editorial is built around a Talmudic concept, but somehow dropped those standards by casually, in one sentence, asking the reader to accept that the actions of an individual should be used to judge a family. As a "package." Not a Talmudic concept, nor one that would hold much water by any logical standard.

Mu'ad is a term which signifies the fact that past performance increases the liability of the owner due to the fact that he can no longer consider his animal docile, and is responsible to maintain a higher standard of vigilance.

These past incidents were factual incidents, which had been processed by a Beis Din which found that the animal did certain damage under certain circumstances. After three times, the animal is considered a Mu'ad when it is in those specific circumstances.

The Forward would like to label Agri as a Mu'ad based not on established facts, but on investigations, on allegations, on stories. The writer would like the public to consider Agri scofflaws based on normal business disputes and normal business regulation.

The Talmud would assuredly not consider the operations or the family as a package. It does not even consider the animal itself as a package, instead compartmentalizing its behavior and restricting the status of Mu'ad to only the set of circumstances in which the animal had gored in the past. Yet the Forward would enlist this concept in support of an argument which seeks to consider an entire family as a "package."

The Talmud would assuredly not consider Agriprocessors a Mu'ad and to enlist its support in this argument is a cynical use of a holy text to further personal agendas.

I don't think the Rubashkins should lecture anyone on cynical use of things that are holy.

Getzel also comments here as if Agri has not been fined vast sums of money for a plethora of safety violations.

A very fair objection, G.R. It would have better if the author had left out the sloppy use of Talmud in this article.

I don't mean to get lomdish here but the Acharonim learn that it is not the derech of a shor hamuad to shtoyss a davar kavuah. Considering that Agri has violated just about every law possible in the industrial realm, Getzel may be correct that Agri hot nisht kain din shor hamuad, nor obber for reasons he never imagined!

Ín kashrus we rely on the premise of Eid Eichad Neeman B'issurim. However, when there is no neemanus, the premise is Eid Eichad Neeman Lehachil Neveilos Utreifos.

With such damning evidence, I completely fail to understand why the Rubashkin crime family are still at large. Those involved with the Postville "massacre" should have been indicted and held without bail awaiting trial by now. (Anyone have the chutzpah to explain why they're not a flight risk?)

I'm guessing that the oh-so-holy Rabbi Balkany has had to line a whole load of G.O.P. coffers to keep this whole house of cards from toppling over and put a bunch of black-coated Brooklyn hoods behind bars. I look forward to searching the next FEC filings for hard evidence...

If Getzel is so bent on refuting the Forward piece, why doesn't he address the other issues raised like the money laundering?

PRJ is pulling the same partisan stunt as Shmarya. The facts are that Balkany was as busy paying off Democraps as he was GOP figures.

The Forward missed another one.

The young Shmuel Rubashkin of Postville was on trial in Brooklyn criminal court this past erev Rosh Hashanah for "weapons trafficking / possession". The case number was excerpted from the State website by UOJ & Rabbi Shain's blogs. Shortly afterward the record disappeared from the public domain without a trace. UOJ suspects that "Uncle Milton" Balkany, Professor Twerski or one of the other usual suspects who can make records just vanish had a hand in it after the matter was publicized.

>>UOJ suspects that "Uncle Milton" Balkany, Professor Twerski or one of the other usual suspects who can make records just vanish had a hand in it after the matter was publicized.>>

Don't suppose you'd care to provide something to support the "fact" that the UOJ so suspect AND that they refer to Rabbi Balkany as "Uncle Milton"?

No?

Getzel,
Seems that the Forward's lomdish editorial really got to you. You're actually trying to learn up why your family's company is not really a "muad."
Give it up. It made for a very nice context: this is a company which has broken the law many, many times, in many diffferent ways(arson; failing to obtain workers insurance; bank fraud/bad check writing; violating the NLRB) and, if the allegations before us now are any indication, there are suddenly many more violations: child labor; illegal alien hiring; fraudulent government documents; refusal to pay OT and regular time; physical abuse of workers...I can't keep up with all the allegations. It's a job for Superman.
Getzel, this is indeed a "muad": your family's company has broken so many laws, over such a long period of time, they are on notice, we are on notice, that this is simply not a trustworthy company in the least. The fact that some rabbis walked through a plant, in 3 hours (!), on your dime, and that's just about all the investigation they did, proves how wise the Torah is when it forbids bribery, since it blinds the eyes of the learned and distorts the wise of the righteous. These were learned and righteous men who were blinded by your bribery. Noone is listening to them. Their report is a joke. The faster you understand this the better.
BTW, you're a much better flack than 5WPR. Keep up your comments. We love ripping them apart.

++"Uncle Milton" Balkany++

Let me add - I have no lost love for Rabbi Balkany or his long stream of actions that would make the far right of the Israeli rabbinate to say "NU?", but in spite of all the accusations (and yes, plea bargains!) he is an ordained rabbi.

And the idea that he can make public records disappear is laughable. Public funds - a matter of record - I concede the point, but RECORDS?

++on your dime,++

shmuel - when an acceptable inspection team IS decided upon and agreed to by both sides - who do you think should cover the cost of THEIR trips and inspections?

UOJ himself wrote a comment to that effect I don't have time to search for it.

"Uncle Milton" or the more endearing "Uncle Milty" is an old joke among UOJ's readership going back 3 or 4 years. The readers were always kibbutzing around that when Kolko, Margulies and Applegrad are sent to prison, Balkany will make all kinds of arrangements to make their stay more comfortable.

UOJ knows of specific incidents where other records have been removed like that of a Torah Umesorah honcho. There is also a case where I am familiar with the details. Some creep in Brooklyn connected to Mendel Epstein also had his record disappear. I saw it on the website and couldn't believe my eyes when someone notified me it was gone.

"who do you think should cover the cost of THEIR trips and inspections?"

There are honest rabbis willing to pay their own pay but Rubashkin won't let them in.

rebitzman,
when the OU finally gets around to taking away Rubashkin's hechser, who will reimburse us for the dishes we had to throw out and the time we spent kashering our kitchens, pots and silverware.

I must say it's turning out to be a productive mishmar night.

It's time to pick apart Getzel's mistaken understanding of the Gemara in Sotah 48 that he uses as "proof" that OU / Rubashkin cruelty to animals is somehow sanctioned by the Talmud.

Getzel made it sound like a cruel practice was stopped only because it would cause a blemish, he did not tell you that the Gemara also mentions that the hitting of the animal was the practice of idolators. Is it any wonder then that it was stopped?

The Tiferes Tzion explains that originally, a miracle took place with every sacrifice in that the animal went willingly to slaughter. After the Tzedukim became numerous, the animals started struggling instinctively. This is the reason why people felt compelled to strike the animals. Rebbi Yochanan who stopped the practice would no doubt be appalled if the OU and Rubashkin were around in his day.

Getzel should be more careful in which practices he chooses to defend.

The Sefer Mincha Chareivah is still bothered how there could be any abuse of animals at all until the practice was stopped. He explains as follows ...

Rav Yaakov Emden does not understand where the calf fits in to schedule of sacrifices. The SMC thinks that "egel" here is not a calf but rather something done very quickly, as "egel" in Maseches Brochos 18 means quick. The SMC believes it was a smaller animal and there was a way of doing an incision very quickly that inflicted very little pain, but even this was stopped.

You see, in the history of the Jewish people, rabbis have always been concerned about not causing suffering to animals, that is until Rubashkin and the rabbis on his payroll came along.

The desecration of G-d's name coming out of Postville is overwhelming.

++There are honest rabbis willing to pay their own pay but Rubashkin won't let them in.++

Yeah - I saw where you did.

++when the OU finally gets around to taking away Rubashkin's hechser, who will reimburse us for the dishes we had to throw out and the time we spent kashering our kitchens, pots and silverware.++

I'll turn it around - who doyou WANT to have to pay for it?

I say we are fortunate to have a genuine flesh and blood member of the recidivist rubash-in crime family regularly comment here. Finallaly I understand the stigma attached to not only slaughter but kosher slaughter, shochtim, and the entire process. I understand this now. No one can engage in this filthy demented business and not become permanently damaged. Is it it any wonder that it attracts the dregs of any society to perform its tasks? Is it surprizing that they try to bend holy books to keep on their path to gelt and riches no matter what the cost to other people, animals, and Yiddishkeit? The tide has begun to turn against them but they are unable to see it.

++UOJ himself wrote a comment to that effect++

Himself?

++I don't have time to search for it.++

No - I'm sure your don't.

rebitzman, how come you s**t in your own nest?

I should have added last night from the pirush Minchas Bikurim on the Tosefta of Sotah that the practice defended by Getzel was also practiced by the Kusim. It speaks volumes of the kashrus standards of Rubashkin & Weissmandel.

I just want to acknowledge Archie Bunker over here. This guy has done some learning. Thanks for your input.
Getzel, your turn.

Archie: OK, my turn. Your arguments are all simply obfuscation and name-dropping and did not advance your argument in the slightest.

I mentioned this Sugya, since it clearly indicates that in the Bais HaMikdash Shchita Munachas was the method used even though it required causing additional pain and discomfort to the animal. In other words, the discomfort caused was not considered unnecessary, since it enabled Shchita Munachas.

The two practices clearly bear this out. The fact that it was similar to the preparatory practices of Avoda Zoro worshipers is not the reason given for its abandonment, but even if it were, the fact remains that additional discomfort to the animal was allowed in order to do Shchita Munachas and discontinued only when other considerations arose.

The quote from Mincha Charaiva does not address the fact that an act of otherwise unnecessary Tzar Ba'alei Chayim was done, and dropped only when other considerations arose.

Your mention of the Kusim was similarly gratuitous. The fact remains that it was also done in the Bais HaMikdash, and it speaks volumes of your position that you find that practice threatening to your position.

My point still stands. Additional discomfort to the animal, caused in order to enable Shchita Munchas, is not considered unnecessary and is not Tzar Ba'alei Chayim.

The Forward editorial was ignorant, not Lomdish. No one with more than a superficial knowledge of the concept of Mu'ad would use it as part of an argument in which he treats a family as a "package."

The laws of Mu'ad compartmentalize the animal itself, for crying out loud.

For the record: The young Shmuel Rubashkin was charged with "weapons trafficking/possession" because someone saw him holding a BB gun, mistook it for a real gun and called the police. The record "disappeared" not because of any "conspiracy" but simply because the judge threw the case out.

Archie, that's strike two for the "suspicious looking court-case" accusations, and so much for your conspiracy theories.

Pot calls the kettle black.

Getzel who did you prepare that comeback with? Is there anyone in Postville who can halt kop in lernen or did you have to put a phone call in to the East Coast? I notice that 10:30 is latest you have ever logged in since your introduction to these pages.

A. The lead up to that Gemara is an account of Rebbi Yochanan battling the tzedukim. It doesn't make much sense that an idolatrous practice that inflicts pain would be continued regardless. Despite your denial, the Mincha Chareivah DOES address the tzaar baalei chaim. He is troubled by it and spells out the word TZAAR. Did you see the sefer inavainik?

B. I did not make up the Kusi reference. I simply quoted the meforshim.

C. Your big defense of occurances in the Beis Hamikdash as the last word does not hold any water. The kehunah was full of Tzeduki infiltrators as the meforshim point out and even the Kohein Gadol was not always one of the good guys.

The Forward staff may not be lamdonim, but they recount the sordid history in and out of Agri that even Getzel does not say is untrue.

++Pot calls the kettle black.++

Do you care to explain that?

++Getzel who did you prepare that comeback with? Is there anyone in Postville who can halt kop in lernen or did you have to put a phone call in to the East Coast?++

Stupid ad hominem attack. Yes, I can learn. Although in this particular discussion all it takes is the ability to see through the smoke.

++I notice that 10:30 is latest you have ever logged in since your introduction to these pages.++

Yea, I work. I sleep. What's the connection?

++A. The lead up to that Gemara is an account of Rebbi Yochanan battling the tzedukim. It doesn't make much sense that an idolatrous practice that inflicts pain would be continued regardless. ++

The Gemara clearly mentions the Avoda Zara when describing the practice, not when discussing why it was stopped. It was stopped because of Sofek Nevailah. Not because of Tzar Ba'alei Chayim.

++Despite your denial, the Mincha Chareivah DOES address the tzaar baalei chaim. He is troubled by it and spells out the word TZAAR. Did you see the sefer inavainik?++

The Mincha Charaiva's answer, as quoted by you "The SMC believes it was a smaller animal and there was a way of doing an incision very quickly that inflicted very little pain, but even this was stopped."

A) Does not explain why even that "very little pain" is acceptable, and

B) only addresses the first practice, but does not address the practice of hitting the animal with a stick to the point that there is a concern of damaging the Krum.

Unfortunately, I do not have a Mincha Charaiva on my bookshelf at work.

++B. I did not make up the Kusi reference. I simply quoted the meforshim.++

I didn't say you did. I simply noted that it was also done in the Bais HaMikdash.

++C. Your big defense of occurances in the Beis Hamikdash as the last word does not hold any water. The kehunah was full of Tzeduki infiltrators as the meforshim point out and even the Kohein Gadol was not always one of the good guys.++

This Sugya does not make the claim that these practices were Tzeduki practices. It clearly indicates the reasons these practices were discontinued.

They are clearly not familiar with Mu'ad, and they recounted a history of business disputes, regulation, and investigations, stories and rumors.

Reb Archie writes: "Rebbi Yochanan who stopped the practice would no doubt be appalled if the OU and Rubashkin were around in his day."

This Yochanan is not a lamdan, let alone a musmach. But I too am appalled by gratuitous cruelty to animals. And you can't accuse me of being some kind of vegan hippie, 'cause I eat meat (and dislike Peta).

Yashar koach, Archie. Reading these posts has been a chinuch for me.

Pot calls the kettle black was in reference to your calling me an obfuscator.

I had a hunch that the Gemara is telling us things between the lines and the Mincha Chareivah confirms it. Don't you get it? The mechaber, Rav Pinchos Epstein ztl, is saying there IS a problem, Getzel. Has anyone ever told you that tzaar baalei chaim is an issur? This inyan plays a role in the outcome of the Gemara.

You also act as if the poshut pshat is the only mehalech which goes against every klal in limud. I would further venture that your rendering cannot be called poshut pshat because you are in effect saying Chazal have no problem tormenting animals.

The fact that the SMC did not spell out every aspect of the tzaar is silly nitpicking on your part.

"This Sugya does not make the claim that these practices were Tzeduki practices."

The meforshim go to great lengths offen ort to describe their practices and the Gemara says befayrush that it was an idoltrous practice.

In wanting to have it both ways you are also contradicting yourself.

Was Shmuely Rubashkin merely guilty of innocently handling a BB gun? Oder yo oder nisht. This is just leravcha demilsa as I am not choshesh him of anything. He could have also been doing a number of things along those lines that are illegal but there was not enough evidence to go to trial. The "BB gun" could have been an air rifle that kills at close range or he could have been holding a BB gun in a threatening manner which is illegal.

While we have no proof against Shmuely, aren't the Rubashkins related to Pinchos Lew, an accused sex offender and convict who is guilty of driving the getaway car when an Agri employee was on an armed robbery spree that left a trail of victims including one paralyzed for life with a bullet lodged in her spine?

There certainly was a conspiracy there when the Chabad machine mobilized to get Lew out of prison scott free.

Using Yiddish terms does not strengthen your point.

++I would further venture that your rendering cannot be called poshut pshat because you are in effect saying Chazal have no problem tormenting animals.++

It can be called Poshut Pshat because it is the meaning of the words, as well as Rashi's understanding.

I am not in effect saying anything of the sort. Tzar Ba'alei Chayim applies when pain is inflicted unnecessarily.

The act of Shchita is not Tzar Ba'alei Chayim because it is in order to eat. And those discomforts were not in order to torment those animals, but to enable Shchita Munachas, thus not Tzar Ba'alei Chayim.

The fact remains that the Gemara does not cite Tzar Ba'alei Chayim as a reason for discontinuing the practice, making my point that Shchita Munachas is important enough that the discomfort caused by the preparation is not considered unnecessary.

The SMC's answer, as I noted, still concedes that a little pain was caused in the practice of cutting between the horns, and he also does not address the practice of striking the animal, or if he does you have not shared that.

You cannot hide behind his answer to claim that the practices were stopped because of Tzar Ba'alei Chayim. Not for the first practice, where he minimizes the Tzar, or for the second, which he/you have not addressed.

++The meforshim go to great lengths offen ort to describe their practices and the Gemara says befayrush that it was an idoltrous practice.++

The Gemara does not call it an idolatrous practice. It says this manner of preparing the cow for slaughter was also used by idolaters and it does not use that point to explain why the practice was stopped.

++While we have no proof against Shmuely, aren't the Rubashkins related to Pinchos Lew, an accused sex offender ++

That is an allegation that follows your Shita, not Halachically defensible, that a family is to be held accountable for the actions of one of its members. However, you are wrong.

Pinchas Lew is not a member of the Rubashkin family, and unless you have a legitimate reason to believe that, you seem to simply be looking for reasons to bring in unrelated and ugly incidents.

As far as Shmuly is concerned, you continue to smear him baselessly L'Ravcha D'Milsa. You have nothing on which to base your "musings," and just because his name is Rubashkin that does not exempt you from common human decency.

++Pinchas Lew is not a member of the Rubashkin family, and unless you have a legitimate reason to believe that, you seem to simply be looking for reasons to bring in unrelated and ugly incidents.++

Archie never lets the facts get in the way for any opportunity to slander folks - and he's perfectly justified in doing so.

It's in the Mishneh - somewhere.

Just ask him!

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/07/nyregion/07body.html?hp

This is from 2003:
Rabbi involved in robbery now accused of exposure
NEW YORK (JTA) -- A North Carolina community, already reeling from the news that a local Chassidic rabbi took part in an armed robbery a decade ago, is now dealing with the rabbi's recent arrest for indecent exposure.

Rabbi Pinchas Lew, 31, of Chapel Hill, was arrested on misdemeanor assault charges on May 16 after a woman accused him of repeatedly touching his genitals in front of her.

The woman, a housekeeper in Lew's home, reportedly said Lew had bolted all the doors and that she feared he planned to assault her. She managed to escape through a back door.

The woman filed a complaint with police two days later and Lew was arrested four weeks after the incident. He was released on a $1,000 bond.

Lew, married with five children, led religious study and frequently held services in his home for college students.

Lew, who could not be reached for comment, has taken a leave of absence from his job. A court hearing is slated for July 9.

Community members had just learned of his conviction for his part in a 1991 Iowa armed robbery. Lew, who drove the getaway car, served 81 days in jail and was sentenced to five years' probation.

It was written about in Stephen Bloom's "Postville: A Clash of Cultures in Heartland America," released last year.

I will continue these discussions on a newer thread.

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