Thursday, August 7, 2008

Good News From Postville

It seems like somebody there finally realized that this isn't a small store in Boro Park anymore, and that you can't just ignore a mountain of bad news. They organized a mission to Postville and showed them first hand what happens there. I'm happy that there was a mutual understanding; that both the Rubashkins and the broad array of organizations saw the need to join together and get the message out. I'm publishing the Hamodia piece only because somebody was nice enough to send it to me. I understand that Pinchus Lipschutz of the Yated was there too and wrote a very lengthy and supportive report about his trip to the land of the Hawkeye. He's to be commended, as are all of those made the trip.

(click to enlarge)

(click to enlarge)


Friendly Anonymous said...

Pinchus Lipschutz went to Postville together with the Hamodia? I thought the Yated was supposed to be different than the Hamodia?

Fred said...

Tzig..go battle Gil Student...He says none fo these people are wise.

Hirshel Tzig said...

well, not always are they different. This is one such case.

As far as Gil goes, I think he feels compelled to show his MO friends that he's also in on the ethical treatment stuff. He'll snap out of it.

rachmanus said...

Another Jew dead!

Why do these stories keep getting swept under the rug? The frum community has a substance abuse problem. Wake up and address it!

Or is everyone waiting until it happens to MY child?

Anonymous said...

there is a saying, "dont swim/drink downstream from the cows"

that's basicly what the newspapers are feeding us. there are enough criminal charges being prosecuted to make it way too hard to believe that this visit was done from a genuine journalistic standard of investigation.
all yidden are brothers and I wish rubashkin the best but theses too much smoke to believe there's no fire...

Anonymous said...

the hamodia piece is crap. fo read pinny's its far superior.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with those who criticize this trip as being an AP-oriented PR stunt. Nevertheless, it provides propaganda value counter that being put forth by the pro-union, pro-PETA and pro-illegal immigrant sides of the conflict. And it should also help to silence some of the na'arishkeit coming from Yudel's Yuseful Idiots and others of that ilk!

In my mind, however, the recent hiring of a Compliance Officer, a meat industry veteran executive, is a far important development than this Hallmark Special report . Sloppy practices that could pass under-the-radar in a small butcher shop on 18th Avenue and 47th Street will not do when you run the largest kosher mashchatah in the world and have some of the largest supermarket chains in North America as your biggest customers. And make no mistake about it, what has opened AP up to all of its current troubles has been those selfsame sloppy practices.

Yisroel said...

The fact that Mishpacha turned down the opportunity to join this media bonanza shows us which charedi media organ is honest and fair. How can a bunch of Rabbis and wannabe writers pass judgement on a meat packing plant in a few hours, when they can even look at a baby during the bris without getting sick.

Hirshel Tzig said...


how would you know they turned it down?


Anonymous said...

The first time I see Kanois from the MO crowd. what is that Kosher Chazer Fissel(,as they used to call this kind of false behavior) that they are showing us? Gil student and his ilk have a love fest on that subject, they have no problem of Moisar Moman Yisroel Leyad Akum. They never checked if there Cholov Akum Haggen Daiz Ice cream is ethical for thecows and ethical on their wallet, this is simple hatred for a yid with a beard that they felt they have a oppurtunity to show that I the Mo with my lenient torah lifestyle his holier then the the Rubashkin boys.

Arthur said...

All the nay Sayers and Rubashkin bashers have already said that this visit by rabbonim and lay leaders from various factions are pesulem lieidus.They claim that it was all paid for by the Rubashkins and all the people involved are noigem badover and have a vested interest in "kahshering" Agri.
Nothing will satisfy these people.Their out for blood.If the Riboine Shel Oilom himself were to be maiid on the kashrus and honesty of the Rubashkins ,especially now that they've cleaned up their act or are in the midst of doing so,they would probably find some reason to pasul him to.
Some will say that I'm paranoid,but I'm sure that the fact that they are Lubavitcher has been a major factor in this whole smear campaign.

Anonymous said...

Defending your home turf isnt paranoid, the opposite the hatemongers are bloodthirsty for anything that walks in Chabad

schneur said...

Charedi America constantly refers to the USA and its governmental institutions as a Malchus Shel Chesed. And I agree. Yet when this same Malchus shel Chesed which treats its Jews fairly deals with frum Jews all it does is regarded as a "lynch",.
The reports in the Charedi papers do not explain the federal raid, the state of Iowa charges and othr fedeal charges.
Why would a Malchus shel Chesed create a Dreyfus case against a Jewish organization.
After all the same govt allowed the Lubavitcher rebbe to arrive in the uS, helped recover the Lubavitcher Library after the war vechuli vechuli, why did they do that.
If its a malchus shel chesed you can't have it both ways.
And that means dealing ith the Federal charges.

Anonymous said...

If the Riboine Shel Oilom himself were to be maiid on the kashrus and honesty of the Rubashkins, especially now that they've cleaned up their act or are in the midst of doing so,they would probably find some reason to pasul him to.
You mean some of the allegations were true?

Arthur said...

By Nathan Lewin
"In a front-page article asserting that minors had been hired to work in an Iowa kosher meat-packing plant and in an editorial calling the plant the modern equivalent of Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle,” the New York Times joined the media frenzy that has, over the past two months, with very little basis in fact, pilloried AgriProcessors, the country’s leading kosher slaughterer and packer of beef, and driven federal and local law-enforcement personnel to threaten dire consequences to its owner and employees. Insult was heaped on injury when an Orthodox rabbi in Washington, D.C., joined the vigilantes and published an Op-Ed piece in the Times of August 6, claiming that the news accounts “call into question whether the food processed in the plant qualifies as kosher.”

This nationally published challenge to the kashruth of the AgriProcessor product contradicts the unanimous opinion of highly respected and universally recognized kashruth-certifying agencies that have repeatedly endorsed – even while the media attack was ongoing -- the ritual acceptability of AgriProcessors’ product. Nonetheless,

Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld of Ohev Sholom Synagogue in Washington (where the author of this response has been a member for the past 40 years) – a young rabbi who has achieved great success in reviving, for Jewish residents, a neighborhood that had been abandoned by its Jewish population and has electrified the entire Washington Jewish community with innovative programs – raised ”questions” about AgriProcessors’ kashruth in this widely read forum.

Rabbi Herzfeld’s column cites the following three grounds for questioning the religious suitability of AgriProcessors’ meat: First, he says that “there is precedent for declaring something nonkosher on the basis of how employees are treated.” The precedent he cites is that Rabbi Yisroel Salanter, the highly respected 19th century founder of the “Mussar” movement, is, according to Rabbi Herzfeld, “famously believed to have refused to certify a matzo factory as kosher on the grounds that the workers were being treated unfairly.” Rabbi Yisroel Salanter is as gold-plated an authority as one can imagine. If he actually said that unfair treatment of workers renders a product non-kosher, one would have to give that ruling great weight."

Second, Rabbi Herzfeld cites allegations in an affidavit filed by the immigration authorities who raided the AgriProcessor plant in Iowa on May 12 to arrest illegal aliens employed there. He says that the affidavit alleges “that an employee was physically abused by a rabbi on the floor of the plant.” Rabbi Herzfeld says that “this calls into question the reliability and judgment of the rabbi in charge of making sure the food was kosher.” If, in fact, the “rabbi in charge of making sure the food was kosher” did assault an AgriProcessors employee, I would share Rabbi Herzfeld’s doubts regarding that rabbi’s “reliability and judgment” on issues relating to kashruth.

Third, Rabbi Herzfeld points to the arrest of “two workers who oversaw the poultry and beef division” for “helping illegal immigrants falsify documents.” He says that if these supervisors “were willing to break immigration laws, one could reasonably ask whether they would be likely to show the same lack of concern for Jewish dietary laws.” This is a reasonable question if, as one might assume from Rabbi Herzfeld’s description of the arrests, the arrested supervisors had any responsibility whatever for AgriProcessors’ compliance with “Jewish dietary laws.”
But it takes a little digging beneath the surface of Rabbi Herzfeld’s assertions to demonstrate how fallacious they are.

First, the Reb Yisroel Salanter story that he describes as “famous” does not appear in any biography of Rabbi Salanter that I have been able to find. Rabbi Hillel Goldberg’s marvelous history of the Mussar Movement titled “The Fire Within,” which has a comprehensive section on Rabbi Salanter, tells only of his having advised his students that, when they were preparing matzos for Passover, they should not overwork or make excessive demands of the female workers who were kneading the dough and otherwise preparing for the matzo baking. That same account appears in a Hebrew volume titled “Bikkurei Shai,” written by the Chief Rabbi of Givatayim, Israel.

I e-mailed Rabbi Hillel Goldberg to ask him whether he had ever heard that Rabbi Salanter had refused to certify the kashruth of a matzo factory because it was unfair to its workers. He replied that the only story on this subject that he knew of was the one that had appeared in his book. He added that it was not likely that Rabbi Salanter would ever have given a certification (“hashgacha”) on matzo because he “famously” avoided acting as a community rabbi. And I myself wonder whether it is not an anachronism for Rabbi Herzfeld to ascribe to the mid-19th century the community practices of today. At a time when all matzos were being hand-baked (and the rabbinic controversy over the kashruth of machine-made matzos was still several decades in the future), what “matzo factory” was seeking the “certification” of Rabbi Salanter?

Second, a closer look is warranted at Rabbi Herzfeld’s assertion regarding the case of the abusive “rabbi.” Nowhere in the government’s affidavit is any accusation reported against any rabbi whose job was “making sure the food was kosher.” The term “rabbi” is used interchangeably throughout the affidavit with the term “Hasidic Jew.” Obviously, any employee on the floor of the AgriProcessors plant who had a beard and wore a yarmulke was described by the government’s Guatemalan informant as a “rabbi” or “Hasidic Jew.” If one such Jewish employee – with no responsibility for kashruth – abused an employee, it does not “call into question the reliability and judgment of the rabbi in charge of making sure the food was kosher.”

Third is Rabbi Herzfeld’s reliance on the arrest of two supervisors. Would the arrested supervisors – who, one assumes from Rabbi Herzfeld’s question, are either certifying rabbis or, at least, Hasidic Jews responsible in some manner for kashruth --show the same disdain for Jewish dietary laws as for American immigration law? Rabbi Herzfeld does not tell us that the two arrested supervisors were named Juan Carlos Guerrero-Espinoza and Martin De La Rosa-Loera – supervisors at AgriProcessors whose concern or lack of concern for Jewish dietary laws is as irrelevant as one can imagine.

At a time of the year when we recall that vicious reports to authorities led to the destruction of the Temple, Rabbi Herzfeld might take a more careful look at the grounds for his public allegations.

Anonymous said...

Yated is an admitted hack for Rubashkin. Read last week's editorial by R' Lipshitz where he says " after writing many positive articles about the Rubashkin's I decided to go and see for myself, what was actually going on"


Hirshel Tzig said...

Yated a "hack" for a Lubavitcher like Rubashkin? yeah, right.

Could it be that we were wrong about Lipschutz all along, and he really is a mentsh?

I think so!

Anonymous said...

Here's a very accurate description of Hertzfeld.