Sholom Mordechai’s Seder Behind Bars


rubashkin3[Donate link below.] Speaking fast, Sholom Rubashkin managed to cover most of Maggid during the 55 minutes allotted to him for visits during the Seder. The former manager of the kosher slaughterhouse Agriprocessors is allowed visitors until 9 p.m. Р55 minutes after sundown in Cedar Rapids, Iowa Рso he tried to cover as much of the Seder as possible in that time frame.

Mendel Baron and Shmuel Vishedsky, both 19, spent the first two days of Pesach in Cedar Rapids and joined Mr. Rubashkin for the beginning of the sedarim.

The two bochurim, who are currently learning the Postville Yeshivah, are registered prison chaplains and are entitled to meet privately with prisoners. Other visitors must speak though a gate separating them from the inmate.

“This is a true honor,” Vishedsky told Hamodia, Lbecause in my opinion we are dealing with a man who is above nature. His emunah and bitachon, and the chessed that he does with people puts him above nature.”

Baron and Vishedsky became prison chaplains about two weeks after Mr. Rubashkin was arrested in November at the conclusion of his bank fraud trial.

Although they visited him as often as possible, until now they could not come on Shabbos because of the strictly enforced prison rule that all visitors must sign in before and after the visit.

Due to the intervention of Rabbi Mendel Katz that rule was waived for the sedarim. The director of Aleph Institute, an organization that provides aid for Jewish prisoners, called the two boys a day before Pesach to tell them of the rule change.

Baron, who was reached while spending bein hazmanim with his family in Miami, and Vishedsky, who was in Brooklyn, immediately flew out to Iowa.

They both say they did not regret their changed plans.

“Sholom Mordechai made [the Hagaddah] come alive,” said Vishedsky. “It was the most meaningful Pesach I ever had,” added Baron.

“In general a clergyman comes to a prisoner to make sure that he doesn’t lose hope, he doesn’t commit suicide, but over here he was uplifting us,” said Vishedsky. “Everything he was reading he applied to his own personal situation.”

Please continue to daven for Reb Shalom Mordechai ben Rivkah.

Significant funds must still be raised for the legal defense. Anyone who can help out and lend support should take a moment to send a donation to the Pidyon Shvuyim Fund. The help of Yidden across the globe is severely needed.

You can easily donate by clicking on the following link:


Alternatively, you can mail contributions to:

Pidyon Shvuyim Fund

53 Olympia Lane

Monsey NY 10952

{By Yochonon Donn, Hamodia}

{ Newscenter}


  1. Wow! I am impressed by the bochurim who would leave the comfort of their own homes to spend a seder in jail wtih R. Sholom Rubashkin, may Hashem send him a yeshuah now. That is real mesirus nefesh. Yasher Koach!