Why Reb Sholom Mordechai Hasn’t Gotten a Haircut in Five Months

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rubashkin3Highlights of the Flatbush Kinus for Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin

Hundreds of men and women participated in a highly emotional kinus at the Agudath Israel Bais Binyomin in Flatbush on Tuesday night, April 27th, in order to hear words of hisorerus and to recite Tehillim.

The program was organized by Hakhel in an effort to beseech Hashem to inspire the Federal Judge to hand down a lenient sentence in the controversial trial that resulted in a jury convicting Reb Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin, an Orthodox Jewish Chassidic businessmen  on charges of bank fraud and failure to pay cattle owners promptly. Hakhel is a Flatbush-based organization devoted to promoting a greater awareness of Torah-true values in our community.

Operated the Largest Kosher Meat Production Company in the U.S.

Reb Sholom Mordechai was originally arrested on immigration-law violations related to how he operated Agriprocessers, at the time the largest kosher meat and poultry production company in the United States.

Lawyers familiar with the case point out that it clear the prosecutors for the federal government have been overly zealous in pursuing Mr. Rubashkin and have submitted him to considerably more severe restrictions and potential punishment than others convicted in similar cases.

The enormous disparity between the treatment of Mr. Rubashkin and others who committed similar offenses began with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) raid on Agriprocessors (“Agri”) on May 12, 2008, and has continued to this day.

The beis medrash of the Agudath Israel Bais Binyomin was packed and many men had to listen to the kinus from the nearby library. The women’s section was equally packed. Rabbi Chaim Dovid Chaim Zweibel, executive vice president of the Agudath Israel of America began the program by telling those attending the kinus, “We have a big shlichus (mission) tonight. What more can we do? We signed petitions. We made the phone calls and we wrote the letters.”

A Major Undertaking by Jews Across the Nation

Rabbi Zweibel was referring to the major effort being undertaken by Jews across the United States to send messages to the federal judge requesting leniency on the sentence handed to Mr. Rubashkin in connection to his conviction on the above mentioned charges that his lawyers are preparing already to appeal. At the time of the kinus the federal prosecutors were demanding that Mr. chaim-dovid-zweibel-1Rubashkin, the father of 10 children, including one with severe autism who depends on his father be sentenced to life in prison, G-d forbid.

Rabbi Zweibel informed the kinus audience that a special letter had been submitted to the judge who will pass judgment that was signed by six former U.S. Attorney Generals (a presidential cabinet position supervising the U.S. Department of Justice), all stating that the sentence requested by the prosecutors was draconian and way in excess of what such a crime should justify.

“In more than 25 years of my efforts on behalf of the Agudath Israel of America as a shtadlan,” Rabbi Zweibel said, “I have never seen such a major effort as has been undertaken on behalf of Reb Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin.

“If we understand that everything comes from Hashem, why must we be involved in hishtadlus (making a practical effort to help Reb Sholom Mordechai)? The [author of] Chovos Halevovos teaches us that this is what Hashem wants us to do.”

A Possible Double-Edged Sword

Yet, Rabbi Zweibel acknowledged that trying to do our hishtadlus in helping Reb Sholem Mordechai can be a double-edged sword. “For, we have to realize that ultimately we have acknowledge where it all comes down to – our salvation comes only from Hashem.”

Rabbi Zweibel spoke about how especially since the Second World War, the United States has been a unique haven of chesed for the Jewish people, particularly those who survived the horrors of the Holocaust in Europe. But, he said that the manner in which the government has handled its case against Reb Sholem Mordechai and how the United States government under the direction of President Barack Obama is treating the Jewish State of Israel in an increasingly hostile manner is a lesson we must be aware that things are changing.

We Are Also Praying for Ourselves

In gathering at the Agudath Israel Bais Binyomin in the heart of Flatbush, we must realize, Rabbi Zweible hinted darkly that we are being mispallel (praying) not only for Reb Sholem Mordechai Rubashkin, but also for ourselves and our secure future in this country.

After Rabbi Zweibel’s comments, HaRav Shloime Mandel, the Rosh Hayeshiva of the Yeshiva and Mesivta of Brooklyn led the participants of the Flatbush kinus in a heartfelt recitation of Tehillim on behalf of Reb Sholem Mordechai.

HaRav Moshe Tuvia Lieff, the Mora D’Asra of Agudath Israel Bais Binyomin referred to the Chazal that teaches that when Pharaoh wanted to begin his brutal suppression of the Jews, he asked his three primary advisors for their opinion.

lieffBilaam the Rasha urged Pharaoh on and was punished by Hashem mida kineged mida by being killed with the sword later by the Yidden in the Midbar. Yisro was unable to bear the pain and when he tried to advise Pharaoh not to kill the Jews, he saw the rage in the face of the Egyptian ruler and had to flee from the palace.

Yisro’s Special Reward

As a reward, Yisro later became the father-in-law of Moshe Rabbeinu and his offspring would centuries later meet in Chizkas Hagazas section of the Beis Hamikdash and pass judgment on the lineage of the Cohanim.

Iyuv, who sensing the futility of protesting after he saw the reaction of Pharaoh to Yisro simply remained silent. And the Chazal teach us that he was punished even more severely than Bilaam, being subjected to intense and indescribable painful physical ailments and suffering.

This, Rav Lieff said “comes to teach us that as Yiddin we can’t stand quiet and ignore the pain and threat to another Jew. Rav Lieff told the participants in the audience that he has known Reb Sholom Mordechai since they were both young students in elementary school in yeshiva in Brooklyn.

He spoke of Reb Sholom Mordechai’s incredible chesed and his strong commitment to Yiddishkeit despite the difficulties he has had to endure in prison when following his conviction, his request for bail pending sentence was denied.    

Haircuts in Prison

For five months Mr. Rubashkin has been unable to get his hair cut because the prison only give haircuts on Shabbos and they have refused to accommodate his religious beliefs by scheduling a haircut for him on any of the other six days of the week.

Rav Lieff concluded his hisorerus by requesting that everyone in the Kinus continue to keepin mind Mr. Rubashkin and his family in their tefillos.

In a side note to the above report, it should be noted that two days later, the federal prosecutors amended their original request of life in prison to 25 years in prison. No doubt, they were partially shamed by the letter from the six former U.S. Attorney Generals ranging from Ramsey Clark of the Johnson administration to Edwin Meese of the Reagan administration. And also, no doubt, the many prayers of Jews around the world and the histadlus efforts by Jews from all sectors of Klal Yisroel have also contributed to the lesser sentence demands of the federal prosecutors.

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

{Daniel Keren/Noam Amdurski-Matzav.com Newscenter}

10 COMMENTS

  1. “But, he said that the manner in which the government has handled its case against Reb Sholem Mordechai and how the United States government under the direction of President Barack Obama is treating the Jewish(???) State of Israel in an increasingly hostile manner is a lesson we must be aware that things are changing.”
    Mixing those two is a Double-Edged Sword.

  2. It’s probably a good thing that he did not have his hair cut in prison. They probably would have taken off his payos, too!

  3. we are also praying for Reb Sholem because it says that our neshamos are One with HaShem, so we are Am Echod. When we learn how to understand that, then we will have even better achdus…..a skill needed to help be a good Yid and to bring Moshiach tzidkeinu

  4. to #1, ENOUGH ALREADY, we all know that “Israel”, as a “democratic nation”, has nothing to do with Torah-true yiddishkiet, you (and all the others) can stop mentioning it at every given opportunity, that point is that they are still jews, and anything that happens to them DOES affects us also.
    P.S. perhaps a better approach to the subject is that of AHAVAS HABRIOS” as apposed to hate, as we say in pirkei avos: “ohev es habrios umikarvun latorah”

  5. So, if R’ Sholom is being treated in this fashion, why does everybody get hysterical when we call it anti-semitism? what then is it? also, are we still able to email Eric Holder?

    If so, we should continue to email, call and voice our concern. This Judge is waiting for the people to cool down, and mellow, and then she will cholila throw the big bomb.

    Rachmanim, benei Rachmanim, we must continue to daven. Don’t give up. HKBH is waiting for the tefilos. Give money to the pidyon shivuym fund. There is so much money needed.

    And lastly think of sholom all the time, and beg the Aibishter for rachmonus on him, because who knows how long this so to speak “good” country will still be good to us. Apparently black clouds are moving in. Very slowly. May Hashem be merachem on us.

  6. Hey stupid! Know who the president was when Rubashkin’s place was raided? It wasn’t Obama. Know what Obama’s policies on ICE raids are? Didn’t think so. But hey, don’t let the truth confuse you.

  7. The satmer ruv Z”L was once asked if the public should vote for someone in government that’s against the state of israel, he answere NO, BECAUSE IF SOMEONE IS AGAINST THE STATE OF ISRAEL, THEY ARE ANTI-SEMETIC

  8. To straightforward
    I think you overreacting somehow. What I said is, that it is not necessarily healthy for the case of Reb Shalom to mix those two issues. We should mail, email, sign petitions, protest if necessary and overall pray to H.
    Politicizing the case can be very harmful, precisely because in Americans appear to be filled up to the nostrils with Middle East stuff.
    Besides, I understand that it is in stile to blame current president for everything but we have to remember that it was Bush in the White House when Federal Agents Invaded Postville.
    And as the last, Medianas Tzionim is the last identity to learn Ahvas Brios from. You may disagree but don’t scream please.

  9. To: straightforward
    I think you overreacting somehow. What I said is, that it is not necessarily healthy for the case of Reb Shalom to mix those two issues. We should mail, email, sign petitions, protest if necessary and overall pray to H.
    Politicizing the case can be very harmful, precisely because Americans appear to be filled up to the nostrils with Middle East stuff.
    Besides, I understand that it is in style to blame current president for everything but we have to remember that it was Bush in the White House when Federal Agents Invaded Postville.
    And as the last, Medianas Tzionim is the last identity to learn Ahvas Brios from. You may disagree but please don’t scream.
    Editor, please exchange this post with my previous one. Thanks.

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