The Matzav Rant: The Power of a Yochid


rabbi-lipschutz-shalom-rubashkin-smallBy Shmuel Miskin

The power of a yochid. It sounds like an overused cliché. And perhaps it is. But it is one that is important for each and every one of us to internalize. It is a lesson we should not forget.

We live in a world where, simply said, it is hard to get things done. There’s beaurocracy, there are cynics wherever you turn, and there are obstacles every step of the way. We can thus easily forget what we can accomplish.

We are fortunate that we have been reminded of the power of yochid. One individual has shown us that ain dovor omeid bifnei haratzon. One yochid has shown us that there are no outside factors to be considered when standing up for the right thing. One yochid has shown us that when we see that something is not right, we must act upon it – even if we must do so all by ourselves.

That yochid is Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz.

He’s done it before and he’s done it remarkably, but the leadership and courage of the Yated Ne’eman publisher in exposing the government’s case against Reb Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin for what it is has reminded us what one person on a mission can achieve.

Today, in May 2010, a good portion of Klal Yisroel, if not the large majority, has recognized that Reb Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin was the target of a witch-hunt. The bail denial and the subsequent recommendation of life by prosecutors have convinced even the cynics and even those with limited knowledge of the circumstances that this case involved more than what met the eye.  

But two years ago, few recognized this. Rabbi Lipschutz did. People called him crazy. They said he’s out of his mind for calling this a travesty of justice. The raid on Agriprocessors and subsequent arrest of Reb Sholom Mordechai barely got a yawn from most people. His jail time was viewed as a fait accompli. Did anyone really care? And if they did, how did they show it?

One person cared. One person deeply cared. And he showed it by throwing his very being into the case. Rabbi Lipschutz recently wrote in an editorial that he was and is consumed by the case. He has spent sleepless nights and endless days pondering and seeking every possible avenue to bring the truth to light and ensure the proper defense of an upstanding, loyal, ethical, and spiritual man who was scapegoated.

He saw what few others saw. He saw what would be revealed to the world 18 months later. He saw a Yid in tzaar and was the lone voice in the wilderness coming to this Yid‘s defense.

Pages upon pages can be written here dissecting this case and analyzing the mind-boggling sequence of events that would have most people even more irate than they are already if they knew of the ins and outs of what has transpired. I, myself, learned about the details only from reading dozens of articles, dozens of legal documents, and doing some probing myself.

At the end of the day, when the book about the Rubashkin case will be written – and one will be written – regardless of the outcome of the current trial and the impending sentencing, one man will be remembered for making sure that the truth was heard. One man will be remembered for his devotion to making sure that this case didn’t get thrown into the heap of countless others involving injustices that no one ever heard about. One man has shown us the latent power and kochos that we each possess.

Kol hamekayeim nefesh achas m’Yisroel k’ilui kiyam olam molei.

Indeed, one man can change the world.

Yes, one man can save the world.

Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz is living proof.

{Shmuel Newscenter}


  1. This is also an expression of what it means to have ahavas yisrael, no matter what ones affiliation. Rabbi Lipshutz was know for his views regarding the philosophy of Lubavitch, however this is theoretical argument. When a Yid was B’tzaar, he was able to see beyond the philosophy; while we may disagree – you are my Jewish Brother, and I will do all I can to help you. If there is one lesson hashem is sending us in this case, it is although we disagree in how to understand Hashem’s Torah, we are all united as members of the nation of Am Yisrael; all arguments are merely that – when it comes to helping one anothere, we are not Chasidim, Misnagdim, Sefardim, Heimish etc., just children of Hashem who stand united.

  2. Rabbi Lipschutz is a yochid b’doro
    Who stood up for mohel Fischer? He did.
    He stood up against Open Orthodoxy? He did
    Who stood up for Rubashkin? He did.
    He is the only corageous voice out there

  3. Herschel Herskowitz? He’s a yochid also who is going against the powers that be, to make a real difference.

  4. I accept R’ Lieff’s challenge in his speech in Flatbush last week challenging anyone to find a chareidi media vehicle who proclaims Rubashkin to be a tzaddik and that he is innocent.

    Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz (and may very well be doing more harm than good by pervasively proclaiming Rubashkins innocence as well as how malicious the prosecution is.

    Does he really think he will accomplish anything (other than throwing red meat to his less-than-informed Yated readership) by antagonizing the judge and the prosecution?

  5. Great article.

    I think it echoes the thoughts of the thousands of people who have been reading Rabbi Lipschutz’s articles and/or have heard him speak at the recent Asifos.

    May HKB”H give him the Koach to continue in this important Avodas Hakodesh, and in the Z’chus of the tremendous Achdus he has created – may we be Zoche to see Yeshuos speedily.

  6. You think that Reb Pinchos did what he did just as haphazardly as you wrote your comment?!

    No! He spent weeks if not months investigating the case, he personally traveled to Iowa and sent other frum writers to investigate.

    It seems that you are the one who is the “less-informed” here because you innocently accept every word that PETA, The Forward or other anti-haredi blog write.

  7. I would like to say this to number 8 . If you take 99 % of US citizens and you open up their file you will find something to charge them with and prosecute them in court . As a yid who should always be don lecaf zechus and stood on har sinai you should take back your comment and rethink what you wrote .

  8. To #8, these self porclaiming agents of change and good may be better off waiting until the case is settled. This is about Sholom Rubashkin, and we must do all we can to end any distractions that take away from the task at hand, which is staying shtiller, and don’t annoy the judge, as is written on Thank you for understanding and taking a step back from the edge of this dangerous cliff.

  9. I was the decing vote in a budget that saved taxpayers a lot of money. One man does make a difference, and one man can save the world. I am that man.

  10. Yated’s Matzav hat to protect their sponsor so comments that don’t agree with the Yated are also not welcome, sorry.

  11. to number 10… Though you wish to demonize me, nowhere in my respectfully written questions did I ever say that I accepted anything from anyone.

    FYI – Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz is the editor of a newspaper with a heavily biased viewpoint.

    He is not an attorney, or does not have first hand knowledge of all aspects of this case, he is not involved with (nor is he at all trained) the Federal Justice system at all.

  12. While an article like this is likely (very likely) well deserved, as a general rule, its better not to talk about people, even a “tzaddik gamur” on a public forum, where there may be people who are not in favor of their views/positions on different matters etc.

  13. I agree 100%. Some of Rubashkin’s defenders do way more harm than good. The rest of the world reads what they say and it can only hurt him and his case.

  14. Beware law enforcers & judges spcificly in Iowa a book will be wriiten and studied in every law school in the nation exposing the INJUSTICE in this case.Its going to hurt your reputation and chance of advancement.

  15. Some of the negative comments here just highlight even more the courageous actions of Rabbi Lipshutz.

    Having detractors does not make you wrong. Having detractors merely means that you are making a difference and people are noticing the difference.

    I have never met Rabbi Lipshutz, and I come from a totally different community than he does. But the man has courage to stand up and speak up in the face of injustice.

    In every situation, it is the few, the Power of One, that makes the difference.

    I have the utmost of respect for his valiant courage and for his very humanity and love for another.

    The negative comments that will invariably follow do not detract from my statement, it merely reinforces once again the singular courage of this man to stand up for what he believes is right.

    May Hashem repay him 100 fold for his actions.

  16. Rabbi Lipshutz is not only to be commended for his work in the here and now, which is absolutely heroic and extraordinary, but history will yet write that he was a trailblazing force in mending fences broken for too long, without any semblance of decent logic.

    The entire world is aching. The Jewish World is tired of all this nonsensical pirud, based on everything but what a Am Chochom V’novon should have a machlokes over.

    Ain Kli Hamachzik es Habaracha Elah H’Sholom. Reb Pinchos is alike the initial Pinchos. He saw the issue and took his spear to it with a vengeance – Totally L’shaim Shomayim.

    May we all be inspired by this special Neshoma. May we all be inspired to put away our petty differences and be one.

    Zechus Harabim, and all generations who preceded the Rabbim of this generation, are now zechusim which Reb Pinchos will own forever. Emes will always win.

  17. to torahis1
    Rabbi Lipshutz never claimed Rubashkin was totally innocent, just innocent of most of the charges. Which is true.
    Now since every human begining with Adam Harishon has sinned, you cannot find any individual that ever walked the face of planet Earth and has not done any wrong.
    What Rabbi Lipshutz has done is put SM Rubashkin’s misdeeds in proportion and not let the people that are terribly judgmental and mean (let them look in the mirror first), naive (they believe anything they read and hear if it is convincing enough), and yes, anti-Semitic (those who are consistently magnifying his deeds and even resorting to lying to have Rubashkin look worse than the potential bomber at Times Square).
    He has written the truth about the case in addition to Rubashkin’s faith in Hashem and his wonderful character. Just because Rubashkin has written the wrong amount of cash flow that Agriprocessor had does not make him into a denom or subtract from the good person he is.
    If misstating the income shows what kind of character a person is, then a good portion of Americans would be labeled monsters. I’m not condoning that act, but neither has anyone a right to bash Rubashkin because of that. People who continue to judge Rubashkin negatively will one day be judged negatively by Hashem. If they have never done anything wrong, then kol hakovod, they have nothing to be worried about.
    One issue of Yated’s reporting that I don’t agree with is that while there is much talk about the how the trial is proceeding there is no analysis of why this case came to be what it is. And I think that is the most crucial issue here. While anti-Semitism has a hand here, I think it is more of an issue with the unions which were the cause of the downfall of Agriprocessor. There needs to be investigative work done here as who are the perpetrators of the downfall of the company and was the judge involved with those who wanted to ruin Rubashkin?
    There are some monsters hiding behind the witch hunt of Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin and they need to be unmasked and their motives unveiled for the world to see.
    Rabbi Lipshutz’s honesty and integrity as an editor is in total contrast with those editors and writers who have lost their conscience in their quest for sensational news. Rabbi Lipshutz is not afraid to stand up for the truth, for a fellow Yid who’s in a tzorah, and for real justice.
    There will come a time where not only will those who were involved in persecution of Rubashkin be judged themselves, but also those who had the ability to voice their opposition to this injustice and have taken the silent course. There will also come a time for judgement for those who have voiced their concerns over the treatment of animals, the treatment of illegal aliens and were silent about the treatment of a Jew.

  18. To Torahis1, shame on you. Why do you care if the judge and the prosecutors are antagonized. They are liars, and this has to be brought out in the open.R’ Pinny is only informing their readership about the true facts. Every American citizen has a right to a “fair” trial, not a trial like R’ Sholom is getting. They trumped up charges here only to benefit their personal agenda.

    FYI, Torahis1, you should know that R’ Pinchus does things only thru eitzos of gedolim. Furthermore, when there were terrible atrocities done to the Yidden in Russia, Reb Yisroel Salanter went to France and used the media to publicize those atrocities. And guess what? it worked!

    Stop worrying so much about the what the Judge and Prosecutor think. I am looking forward to the day when they get the same punishment that Haman got!

  19. After your posts saying that you think these federal employees (judge and prosecutor) should die, are you not afraid that your continued venom will shine even more of a spotlight on you?

    You do know that death threats like those you posted are a crime, don’t you?

    You’re exactly the kind of person that will be responsible of SMR gets a steep prison term. You’re the kind of person who is antagonizing the people of Iowa.

  20. To No. 27 and 28: Since when does hoping constitue a death threat??? Read before you post! Hoping someone gets what they deserve, looking forward to the day when Hashem will take care of our sonim, is not a death threat!!! We Yidden are allowed to daven to Hashem, hope to Hashem, beg Hashem, plead with Hashem. Doing any of those is NOT a death threat!!!!
    No. 27 and 28, you are silly people.