Rubashkin Trial to Begin Tomorrow, Tefillos Needed


rubashkin1A former manager of Postville’s kosher meat plant, R’ Shalom Mordechai Rubashkin, goes on trial beginning tomorrow. R’ Shalom will face 91 charges in a trial that could effectively send him to prison for the rest of his life – a shocking reality in a case of the Federal government railroading a man in unparalleled and unprecedented fashion. The former executive at Agriprocessors Inc. will step into a Sioux Falls, S.D., federal courtroom with his wife, Leah, and their children for a legal struggle that could last four to six weeks.

Rubashkin has prepared for trial “intensely, but also with the peace of mind of a man who knows he will be, G-d willing, fully exonerated,” his son, Getzel Rubashkin, said. “He has been the source of strength and encouragement for those around him, instead of the other way around.”

The trial comes more than a year after federal agents raided Agriprocessors and arrested 389 illegal immigrants.

Rubashkin has pleaded not guilty. He faces a maximum 1,995-year prison sentence if convicted of all 163 charges.

Three lower-level managers – Brent Beebe, Hosam Amara and Zeev Levi – also are named in the indictment with the plant itself. Amara and Levi remain at large; Beebe lives in Postville but will stand trial next year in Cedar Rapids.

Postville residents who helped immigrants in the raid’s aftermath said they plan to follow the trial online.

The trial’s outcome “will affect our community, especially the Jewish community, quite a lot,” said the Rev. Paul Ouderkirk, pastor at St. Bridget’s Catholic Church. “How much of an impact we feel, we don’t yet know.”

Agriprocessors filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in November 2008. The plant was sold to SHF Industries, a new Iowa company headed by Montreal businessman Hershey Friedman.

Some of the charges against Rubashkin are unusual for a federal criminal case, legal scholars said. Prosecutors allege that Rubashkin violated a 2002 order by the U.S. secretary of agriculture to pay cattle providers within 24 hours of a sale. The charge stems from a 1921 law, the U.S. Packers and Stockyards Act. The law requires “prompt payment” to protect livestock producers. Two scholars who studied the law said they had never seen it invoked in a criminal case.

“This is the first time in my life that I’ve heard of that,” said Chris Kelley, a University of Arkansas law school professor.

Defense lawyer Guy Cook of Des Moines has said his client denies all of the charges. Cook said he could not comment because of ethics rules, but he has suggested in court papers that others were responsible for routing the money.

The fraud and immigration trials were supposed to take place in Cedar Rapids. But U.S. District Judge Linda Reade moved the trial to Sioux Falls because of pretrial publicity that she said could influence potential jurors.

The high-profile case has turned contentious at times. Defense lawyers in September filed a motion to dismiss the charges, on grounds that prosecutors abused their power and used grand jury hearings to “lock in” statements by their witnesses.

Reade rejected the claim.

Reade also warned lawyers not to speak with the media during a recent hearing, because of defense statements that prosecutors said amounted to trying Rubashkin in the media.

Prosecutors also have revised their charges against Rubashkin seven times, which defense lawyers and legal experts say is unprecedented.

Getzel Rubashkin said he plans to attend the trial to support his father, a man who “was never too busy to help people whether he was at home, at the office, or on the road.

“Anyone who ‘knows’ my father from media reports does not know him at all,” he said. “The character portrayed was created out of whole cloth, as anyone who knows my father immediately recognizes. … My father is a kind man, dedicated to helping others, be it in the sphere of family, community (both Jewish and non-Jewish) or beyond.”

Read’s previous stories on the Rubashkin care at the following links: here, here, here, here, here, and here.  

Please continue to daven for Sholom Mordechai HaLevi ben Rivkah.

{Des Moines Register, Noam Newscenter/ Newscenter}


  1. clearly the people who make this wesbite are biased in behalf of mr rubashking and dont want to post comments by people who disagree with the call for allocating tefilos. sad really. do your chashuve rabbonim who gave you your ehchsherim know aobut this?

  2. The major issue here is why is Mr Rubashkin charged with employment violations that no-one in the industry was charged with. On Dec 12, 2006, Federal ICE agents raided Swift beef and pork facilities arresting almost 1300 illegals.
    1) The illegals were not charged with the criminal aggravated identity theft as were the 389 illegals arrested at Rubashkin. (The convictions were all overturned later.)
    2) The CEOs were not personally charged with employment violations as Rubashkin was.
    3) No corporate criminal charges were filed as in the case of Rubashkin.
    4) After the Swift raid the authorities did not continue to look for other charges as in the case of Rubashkin.
    5) All information regarding the Dec 12, 2006 “operation wagon train” raid on Swift was deleted from the ICE.GOV website and replaced with the “Rubashkin… …the largest raid of it’s kind” Even though ICE press releases had previously referred to the 6 facility multi-state Swift raid as “the largest raid of it’s kind.” The information is still available on
    6) Original complaint made allegations about drug production and weapons dealing at the plant, yet no drug sniffing dogs nor BATF agents took part in the raid, demostrating the Govt knew such charges were false in the first place.
    7) The orignal complaint states the informant (informant #7) was denied employment numerous times because he could not provide a valid SSN. He was only hired after presenteing an ICE supplied SSN.

    Readers are urged to write their congressmen to ask why the Jew Rubashkin is being treated differently than the CEO’s of Swift or IFCO, both which had almost 1300 illegals arrested at their respective facilities in 2006, no criminal charges were filed against the corporations or the CEO’s, they paid fines vizehu.
    Find your congressman’s names at: