Rabbi Menachem Meir Wiessmandl has a novel excuse for not telling the truth about the work stoppage staged by Agriprocessors ritual slaughterers and mashgichim (supervising rabbis) Wednesday.
Lynda Waddington of the Iowa Independent got this quote from Rabbi Wiessmandl:
According to Rabbi Menachem Weissmandl, however, information surrounding the recent compensation spat between management and Jewish employees at the plant falls so squarely within the sacred that it cannot be discussed.
“As the supervising rabbi for all glatt kosher meat and strictly kosher poultry at the Agriprocessors plant in Postville, I am responsible for the well-being of the slaughterers (shochtim) and supervising (mashgichim) rabbis,” said Weissmandl in an e-mail to Iowa Independent on Thursday. “To protect the integrity of the kashruth, their relationship is strictly with us. Under no circumstances can we permit that this relationship be compromised and thus is off limits to outside scrutiny, as is prescribed by Jewish law.”
Delivered by Menachem Lubinsky, president of the marketing firm Lubicom and a spokesman for Agriprocessors, the statements from Weissmandl came in response to an inquiry submitted by Iowa Independent in relation to Jewish workers walking off the job Wednesday.…
Iowa Independent requested more information from Lubinsky regarding the upcoming Postville visit and a clarification of the role played Weissmandl during the Wednesday negotiations. In addition, we asked for confirmation on information provided to us by residents of Postville and workers at Agriprocessors regarding the status of Rabbis that have taken employment at the plant in the wake of the raid as well as those who have left employment. The final two requests were for a clarification of the role Sholom Rubashkin, former president at the Postville operation and son of Agriprocessors founder Aaron Rubashkin, and a request for a face-to-face interview with various members of plant management. All were ignored.
“The rabbis and shochtim under our jurisdiction are hand-picked pious Orthodox Jews who are fully committed to the observance of the highest level of kashruth at the plant,” Weissmandl said in closing.