Postville, IA – Court Names New Agriprocessors Plant Overseer

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    Joseph SarachekPostville, IA – The new de facto leader of Agriprocessors Inc. said that he hopes to restart production at the Postville meatpacking plant as soon as possible.

    Joseph Sarachek, a New York bankruptcy lawyer, was appointed by a federal judge to serve as the company’s trustee. The appointment gives him effective control over the business.

    Sarachek was en route to Postville on Monday to tour the plant and try to get a handle on the situation. “Time is of the essence,” he said.

    The company is in bankruptcy, and it suspended production last Monday. Scores of workers have gone without paychecks for at least two weeks. A makeshift food bank has been offering assistance to people since Friday.

    Agriprocessors was Allamakee County’s dominant employer, but it has been struggling to survive since last May, when it was the site of a huge immigration raid. Its former top executive, Sholom Rubashkin, is in jail awaiting trial on federal charges of defrauding the company’s main lender and of helping immigrant workers gain false papers. Several other former managers also face criminal charges, and state officials have proposed millions of dollars in fines.

    The Rubashkin family still owns the business, Sarachek said, “but they’re no longer in control.” A bankruptcy judge named him Agriprocessors’ trustee while the court sorts out how the company’s creditors can collect on the tens of millions of dollars they’re owed.

    Sarachek said the company would be worth more if it were operating. He said he was bringing in two meat-industry experts with experience in kosher meat, which is Agriprocessors’ specialty.

    Sarachek declined to discuss a Rubashkin family lawyer’s prediction last week that the company would be sold soon. However, he said he has heard from several parties expressing interest in a possible purchase.

    Sarachek said he didn’t yet know enough details about the situation to predict when the company would be able to issue paychecks. But he said it’s crucial that the plant have a labor force to restart production.

    Ralph Rosenberg, executive director of the Iowa Civil Rights Division, said several state agencies are helping Postville residents cope with the plant’s closure. For example, he said, the Utilities Board is helping tenants prevent shutoffs of power and water service. Workforce Development officials are helping workers sign up for unemployment benefits. The Department of Human Services is helping people get food stamps and other benefits. The Department of Economic Development gave Postville a $698,000 grant to help residents deal with housing, utilities and other needs.

    Rosenberg has been serving as the governor’s point person in Postville. He said hundreds of families relied on the plant and now need help. He noted that numerous private groups also are assisting. Area churches and community radio station KPVL are providing food. A Minnesota synagogue sent a vanload of kosher food for the many Jewish families that worked at Agriprocessors.

    Rosenberg said state experts also would help Postville leaders plan for a long-term recovery from the crisis.

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    47 COMMENTS

    1. Over Shabos a company came down here to Postville, and too away 5-6 of the 10 new trucks that Agri. bought last year.

      We had one of the workers call police but they said they can’t help us, we also contacted the Sheriffs office and they said the same.

      And you tell me there isn’t bias in all this? Hu?

      • Why is everything discrimination? Perhaps the payments on the trucks were not made and the finance company is reposesing them. That’s what happens when you don’t pay your bills, Jews and Goyim alike.

      • sorry racheal that is called legal reposession of equipment. maybe if the bankruptcy was filed in Iowa and theings were moving faster the judeg could have issued an order against repo. No bias, just good ole capitalism, the same that helped agri grow and sad to say collapse.

      • When a company is in bankruptcy it’s unlawful to take possession of any asset even if it’s a lease (and secured). In all probability the judge will make them return it and may even impose a fine. Reason being why should this creditor have a advantage over any other creditor (even a secured creditor) All the assets get lumped together and then there’s a payout. (only after the lawyers and the court milk out most of the money) No pun intended.

      • Whose? those of the workers, or those of the consuemrs who are no forced to pay ridiculous amounts for meat, all because a frum Yid deceided that he was above the law! And please don’t tell me that everyone else is doing it so it’s ok, because everyone hits their wife that makes it ok, because everyone steals that makes it ok? Get real.

    2. If Rubashkin really cared about Kosher, and not just themselves, they would have gotten rid of the company long ago. Hopefully, the debt will become the new equity (as is typical in bankruptcy) or be bought out by a third party, and a new owner will come in and run the company like a real company instead of a shady little family business. the waronkosher.com website is so obnoxious. This isnt a war on kosher, its a war on bank fraud.

      I wouldn’t worry about the new trucks, it seems like taking them would be a violation of the automatic stay and the creditor will have to return them, at least for now. In the long run though, they probably have a PMSI in the trucks and will get to keep them. I think its time for Jews to wake up and realize that we are not in the Shtetl anymore. If you want to run a multi-million dollar company, its a good idea to try and stay within sight of the boundaries of the law (or maybe even within them).

      • You heard one side of the story and in your eyes he is guilty. Shame on you!!!
        We had such cases of blood libel throug history and this one is in america.
        Any way you are probally from PETA and the likes who probably caused this whole mess.

      • We know where your sympathies lie. Enough of your hate. You don’t know them from Adam but you know that they don’t care about Kosher! Is that why they would send their trucks hundreds of miles out of the way to drop off food for 2 kosher families in an isolated town?

    3. There may be more reposessions if the new Trustee is unable to get the plant into operation. The protection of bankruptcy, as far as I understand does not extend to items which the lender has a secured interest it. So, any vehicles, or equipment which was purchased on credit can be reposessed.

      Bias? Rachel, are you kidding? Is it now bias to take back something when the buyer does not pay the bill. If I don’t pay the car loan on my Toyota, and Toyota repos my car, is it because Toyota are antisemites? Is it because they are misnagdim? Are they biased?

      Is it a “Civil Right” to have trucks without paying for them?
      —-
      What I wonder is will they get the company producing in time to keep customers. Other that a certain core of its customer who will eat their products no matter what, many will look for NEW KASHRUS CERTIFICATION.

      MM Weismandl and the OU may have lost a bit of credibility over AGRI. They both may have made bad decisions on that by staying. I am making no statement as to AGRI’s kashrus. I am only speaking of what the people, their customers, think. Nemonus is ikar in kashrus. Nemonus was certainly lacking here.

      The OU just signed off on MMW? Maybe. But why did MMW stay?

      I was in a store’s meat department, and the only meat they had this week was a brand which only carried the OU. It may have been 100% glatt, and trustworthy. I am not familiar at all with it. But … Two different customers said that they don’t know how they can trust the OU after the OU stayed with AGRI till the end. They left without meat. I still have a few pounds of frozen meat in my fridge. But what do I do when it is gone?

      Tell y’all what, I would like to see multiple hashgochas now, but ONLY if both have their own mashgichim temidim. I don’t care if they trip over each other, and it is a pain in the neck. Deal with it guys. These sign-offs and yoitzai v’nichnas mashgichim do nothing for me.

      I would also like to see mashgichim rotated out frequently. When they move away from home, and are living in a tiny community with those they have to watch over ……

      Whom do we trust today?

      I overheard Shabbos, that some Florida rabbonim want to see a kosher shecht house in Florida. Any chance of that?

      Maybe I just need to start having meat shipped down to me from NY, and buy a larger freezer.

      Can anyone tell me from experience, how does it work to bring meat on a two-day trip using dry ice?

    4. to 09:29 AM Anonymous: Deliberately scheduling confiscation of property for Shabbos is BIAS. Rachel is right on that, and no one questions whether they may keep vehicles that have not been paid for.

      Whatever the Rubashkins may or may not have done that was wrong is not what is being discussed. All of us, even Rubashkin die-hard supporters, are not arguing on that. But, there is a definite pattern of over-reacting on the part of the government, and bias against them.

      Come on. A judge refusing bail to a Jew because any Jew can go to Israel under the law of return? And what will you bashers do when one of you, ch’v’sh, is refused bail based on this precedent?

      The Rubashkins deserve the same fair deal that everyone else gets under the laws of the country. The alleged “crimes” that they are accused of do not deprive them of their rights as citizens.

      Let’s all get behind them, and do whatever we can to help.

      • Rubbish.

        Reposessions are scheduled whenever the repo firm thinks they are most likely to be able to get the vehicles without a fuss. That can be shabbos, that can be Christmas, that can be during a wedding, that can be while the debtor sleeps.

        They want to get in, get the repossessed items, and get out without confrontation.

      • No, actually, it isn’t.

        Courts have held, for example, that a victim has no recourse against the police if they called 911 and the police didn’t respond.

        But more than that, if someone is repossessing a vehicle, the law is on their side. They could call the Sheriff if you tried to stop them with force, but if you call the Sheriff, you will rightly be told that there isn’t anything that they can do about it.

      • Last I checked, the constitution does not guarantee that the police come and solve your problem. The police enforce the law. If the police wouldn’t help, its probably because there was no violation of the law. Its amazing to me how some people lack even the most basic understanding of what a real violation of civil rights entails.

    5. Getting behind them is going to make the chillul hashem much worse. Especially when Rabbis are emailing out the biased plea for help from the family, with the ridiculous designation of this as a war on kosher. By the way, bail was denied because “Prosecutors claimed in a hearing Wednesday that a travel bag packed with passports, and $20,000 in cash and silver coins, were found in Rubashkin’s home.” (quote from numerous news sources). The right of return has nothing to do with it, and it is another indication of how the shameless Rubashkin family is crying antisemitism, etc. They should celebrate this country for allowing them to set up shop and make so much money running a business whose core function is only possible in a country that allows an unprecedented amount of religious freedom. Their downfall is the result of their inability to follow clear US law. If you play with fire, you are going to get burnt.

      Regarding the trucks – Shabbat was not the issue. If the sheriff couldn’t help, then it appears that the seizure was legal. What could they have done during the week, hide the trucks? That would be a further violation of law. In fact, their conduct up until this point shows that they probably would further violate the laws in order to avoid foreclosure. If I was a creditor who didnt keep shabbat, I would also try and get my stuff back on shabbat.

      • Are you Jewish? Do you have any Ruchmonus? Where is your concern for fellow Jews? Are you from PETA, the union? If you are Jewish, you sound like another apologetical liberal Jew.

        Whether the Rubashkins were at fault or not (and I believe they are being persesuted), we have to put all our support behind them. And regarding your comment about he visa and the $20,000 cash, are you that naive or plain stupid. The government confiscated his visa way before they arrested him a second time.

      • You have your facts wrong. Most articles did clearly mention Israel’s Right of Return as (aside from the “travel bag”) the key argument of the prosecution. To support his arguement, he even referred to a trip the defendant made a few years ago to Israel!! That means that any Jew can be denied bail based on that.

    6. First of all, can people here please speak to one another with respect? Just because you disagree with someone doesn’t mean they’re a horrible person. Cut it out already.

      As far as this case goes… people are reading into this a lot more than they should be.

      As someone stated above, there are companies who’s job it is to repossess items. They are hired by the creditor to go get what the debtor has not paid for. The creditor does not tell the company when to do the job. The company decides on a time and date based on when they can expect the least amount of conflict. Keep in mind, these people are often sent into homes to get out big flatscreen tv’s or fancy cars that people do not want to part with but did not pay for… it’s a dangerous job. The fact that they came Saturday is completely irrelevant. The repo company is not Shomer Shabbos and why would you think that they have to be? They have a job to do and they have no connection to either creditor or debtor, they simply do what they’re paid to do. They don’t know it’s shabbos and they don’t care.

      As far as refusing bail on Rubashkin… I can tell that not a lot of people commenting negatively on this have legal experience. When a judge is determining bail there are numerous factors taken into account. First and foremost of course is whether the person is a danger to anyone. I think in this case we agree Mr. Rubashkin is not a violent criminal and is not a danger. The second aspect looked into is whether the person is a “flight risk”. In this case any judge would say that Mr. Rubashkin can be considered a flight risk. Not because he’s Jewish. One has to evaluate the fact that Mr. Rubashkin is a man of considerable wealth (yes even after this stuff) who does have close ties to many people in Israel and elsewhere. This implies that he has the means to flee the country fairly easily and would not have a problem finding somewhere to go. As a judge that is seen as a “flight risk.”

      I’m not sure why people are turning this into more than it is. Relax, review the facts and stop calling each other names.

    7. In NY there are other meat sources other than Rubashkin.

      I know many Yidden in NY area who have never eaten Rubashkin’s meats. But, here is golus shebegolus, outside the NY area, it is difficult to get other sechita.

      First of all, because a certain group who shall remain nameless tells their new baalei teshuva members that they MUST eat ONLY Rubashkin. So, the stores MUST carry AGRI products, as these people and their new followers are a big part of their business. Nothing wrong with that.

      But…. then the AGRI sales force or managers, put heavy-duty pressure on the stores to carry no “competing” sechita. They don’t care in the stores have Hebrew National, for that is not taking away their customers. But they will not allow the stores to carry Alle or other Chassidishe meats!

      When the stores resist this pressure, and the AGRI salesmen find those offending products in the meat cases, the store owners/managers find their AGRI orders were delayed or were short. When they complained why they only received 10 packages of meat, when they ordered 200, they were told offhand remarks like this, “Well, we were short, and did not have enough for everyone, and you do have other suppliers. …” said in a tone of voice making it clear that had they carried no other meat, their shipment would have been complete. All this has been taking place for YEARS, all during a time when there were no shortages of any kind.

      So, what happens is that in many parts of the country, you can’t get any other chassidishe sechita other than AGRI products. Of course AGRI denies this vehemently, since it is a form of restriction of trade, and possibly organized crime, and is illegal, but storekeeper after storekeeper can tell you these stories.

      Stores had to make up their mind. The other suppliers only, or Rubashkin only. But, they needed the Rubashkin for those particular customer who were told, and believe they MUST eat Rubashkin only.

      Unfortunately, some were in neighborhoods where that was only 50% of their business, and losing the other sechita cost them enough business to have to close down!

      See, Rubashkin did bring their kosher meat to many towns and cities, but they drove other sechita out.

      This also caused the local distributors of other sechita to drop the lines, since if they don’t have enough stores to carry it, they can’t affords to inventory it due to spoilage and aging, etc.,

      You people in NY area and a few other similar areas, (Montreal, etc.,) do not know how lucky you are.

    8. #6, there was never any kashrus problem with Agri, so why on earth would you expect the OU to pull their hashgocho? Just because the company was in financial difficulties? Is that what you do when you see a yid in trouble – kick him in the groin? So much for *your* ne’emonus.

      • There were many Kashrus problems with the plant. One of your problems is that you never saw it.

        The OU was embarressed by the Rubashkins many times. Rubashkin promised to stop hooking the trachea, but the PETA video showed otherwise.

        You see nothing wrong in lying to the government, like Moshe Rubashkin. I believe that he was sentenced to 15 months in jail. Where is your rachmanos for him? Where did you protest for him? Is it because he pleaded guilty and you want nothing to do with a convicted felon?

        Unfortunately, ‘haimish’ and ‘crook’ do not go hand in hand. You have to give up one title.

        • Go ahead brag about your ignorance.
          The second the shochet finishes schechitah, the animal is halachically dead. The reason you can’t eat until it stops moving (mifarcheses) is only ma’aras ayin. A goy and not a yid removed the trachea, because if a yid did it it would be a halachic problem of sheya before the miyoot basra. But I’m sure you think you know more than the mashgichim that learned Simla Chadasha hundreds of times.

    9. Enough with the wailing “they broke the law, they broke the law”. Why should we care if they did break the law? Does that make them bad people? The way you people go on it’s as if they’d done some aveira, like maybe told loshon hora, or missed zman krishme. I don’t care whether they did break the law, or they didn’t break the law, it doesn’t change anything. Breaking the law, if they really did so, won’t take a second away from their gan eden, and it won’t take a second away from your gehanim.

      • Becasue dina d’malchuta dina applies when there is no conflicting halachik rule. I am pretty sure there is no halachik rule conflicting with the “Don’t commit bank fraud and white collard crime” of which they stand accused.

        Breaking the law, stealing, lying, bank fraud- yes- that makes them bad people! Even if you want to ignore civil law, al pi din stealing, lying and fraud make them bad people!

        • Oy vey. Since when does DMD create an obligation to obey the law? Where would you get that idea?

          Stealing is certainly wrong, whether there’s a law about it or not. But “fraud” is not so simple. The case against Sholom R is not clear; what he’s alleged to have done seems much like what any business in trouble does. It’s all in the details, and in how you spin them. As for lying, that depends on whether you’ve got a duty to tell the truth in that situation. In most situations there is no duty to tell the truth, and in some cases there is a duty to lie, if telling the truth could harm someone.

          • Again, you are trying to split hairs with perverse ‘halachik’ logic.

            The feds have been building their case for months. They do not want to pull a ‘Delorean’ and have the case fall apart. The judge has had Agri in front of him before.

            Remember ‘Salazar vs Agriprocessors’? That was when Agri decided tat they did not want to pay for the employees while they put on and take off safety gear. They were told before hand that frocks and coats were not included, but when a worker has to put on gear to protect him, the employer must pay for the time spent. This became realy evident when the workers were given 1/2 hour for lunch, the workers took 15 minutes to take off the gear and another 15 minutes to put on the gear. Rubashkin refused to give in and the workers went to court. The referring judge in that case was Scoles, the same judge that refused to grant bail.

            You, milhouse, have already stated that you are proud of beinh ‘heimish’, and that means disobeying laws if they do not hurt anyone. That is not a ‘haimish’ mentality, but a ‘behaimish’ mentality. One blogger called us ‘dina d’malchusa Jew Boys’.

            You want respect? You want us to be sympathetic to the Rubashkin Family? It will be very hard, given their track record of lawbreaking, which they do not deny (they pleaded guilty) .

            Read the other entries. Look at the business practices that they do. Shady, under the table mafia antics. This is who you admire, this is who you revere, this is who is vilified by everyone else.

        • It’s questionable if dinei dimalchusa applies at all, because we do not live in a malchus. If it does apply, it applies ONLY to dinei mumunos. If you speed, if you do not throw your bottles into the recycling, if you hire illegal aliens, that has nothing to do with dinei dimalchusa. and from you pronounciation it looks like you went to a day school or YU but not a real yeshiva. If you get a tivket for the above, you have to pay it. that’s dinei dimalchusa.

    10. Milhouse, your post seems so full of hatred.

      YES, there HAVE been kashrus problems at AGRI. We all know that they deny the problems, and the Rubashkin fans say it is rediculous. But there has been a long list of problems. Going into them here and now is not appropriate.

      But, NONE of the kashrus issues were ever “resolved” completely. There was just smoke screens laid down to cover and change the subject. All those who wanted to bring the matters back up were put down and insulted, just as you insult people’s opinions, like that “Gehanim” remark, or that “your nemonus” remark.

      It has always been like that. If ANYONE has the nerve to “question” anything about Rubashkin, we are labled with all types of evil labels.

    11. They left without meat. I still have a few pounds of frozen meat in my fridge. But what do I do when it is gone?

      EAT CHICKEN!!!! One person has “TAAVAS HAMOMONE” and one person has “TAAVAS BOSOR”

    12. In response to some of the above attacks on those who are not willing to be complicit in the face of massive chillul hashem:

      1) Yes, we can have rachmonos for them. However, Rachmonos doesnt include participation in their attempts to weasel out of justice by claiming discrimination and bringing pressure to bear on the government. Its well known that the cover-up is always worse then the crime, and in this case if the general Jewish population and the Rabbinical leadership appear to accept this type of behavior then the chillul hashem is made much worse. The best response is to appeal for a fair trial and that justice be served. Accusing everyone of anti-semitism is not a good idea.

      2) It is standard procedure for the prosecution to try and get bail denied. They do this because pre-trial confinement is actually usually under worse conditions then post-conviction prison, and it strongly incentivizes the defendant to cut a deal and plea to something in order to get out. Also, it makes mounting a defense much harder and has been shown to prejudice a jury because they can usually tell that someone is coming from pre-trial confinement (although they are not supposed to be able to). Therefore, the fact that the prosecution asks for pre-trial confinement is not due to anti-semitism but rather to standard trial tactics. However, the judge is supposed to be there to prevent prosecutorial overreach and to protect the defendants rights. If the judge denied bail, obviously there was some flight risk that the judge deemed substantial enough to warrant such action. Yes, the government would have taken his passport (its not called a visa). But if you think that would stop him from fleeing if he decided to….

      3) I cant believe that someone Frum would honestly believe that their misconduct doesnt cost them Olam haboh. First of all, look at the Chillul hashem. Second, there are many sources which state that the first question someone is asked when he dies and goes up to heaven is “were you honest in business?” Not whether you said shemah, but whether you were honest in your business. What they are accused of doing is cheating in the extreme. Even if you want to believe that there is no halachic obligation to obey the law in the USA (although there is no basis for permitting such non-compliance in halacha), they are accused of lying to banks in order to get loans. Lying is not permitted. Neither is stealing, and inducing someone to lend you money under false pretenses is stealing. They are accused of filling out false paperwork for immigrants. Again, more lying. And it just goes on…

      Wake up my fellow Jews. We live in golus. Lets learn to follow the law and keep out heads down.

      • Trying to help a fellow Jew who is suffering due to an super-zealous prosecution is not “weaseling out”. In Torah values it is called Pidyon Shvuyim, and is one of the highest values for a Jew. And mind you, in regards to Pidyon Shvuyim, it is not relevant what the allegations are.

      • Some of you clearly seem to believe, like pre WWII Jews in Germany, that Jews should be part of society in every way, including condemning your fellow Jew when guilty of breaking the law. You may think that it’s important that your work mate, a non Jew will look at you more highly if you condemned your fellow Jew. Seems you’re very uninformed and never dealt with the government.

        #1 Esov Soneh L’yakove extends to the American Esov as well. The judge can and has prejudice as well. Some of them just love nabbing an Orthodox successful Jew. There were many cases of illegal immigrants working at companies and it was dealt with very different, including wallmart. Yes, if prosecutors want to bring someone down, they will regardless of how careful you are. They go through every piece of paper with a fine comb and make a big to do of nothing. The fact is Agri could have still been in business if not for them raiding the place. Who has benefited from this whole thing? Do the workers have food to put on their table?

        #2 Pidyon Shvium does not matter at what the Jew did. Many Jews sat in Jail in Europe for proper reasons as well and the Rabbis who we ALL respect did everything to have them released. The Blacks do it all the time, no matter if the person is a murderer, it’s their brother. Cant we be a little b’achdus.

        #3 Regarding evidence the prosecutor has presented, again if you ever dealt with them, you know they have no problem, at all, to lie. It has been proven many times in the past that they plant evidence. They behave like the mafioso.

    13. reply to #22
      are you so niave or just plain old —— ? every company large or small wants only his products on the shelf but its the larger companys that have the larger elbows and can tell the store owenr especally the smaller mom & pop grocery/supermarket.
      and besids wasnt it KEDEM who pressured the store oweners that if they by from the compitition they will not send them there order & almost all competiters either went out of bussiness or sold thire grape juice /wine company to KEDEM

    14. Sorry, but there IS a matter of degree. These storekeepers were not talking about any times when there were genuine shortages of any cut. They were talking about spitefully denying them merchandise as “punishment” for carrying ALLE meats.
      And, NO, we are not talking about coolers or any cases being provided by AGRI.

      I have been in the business, and have had other suppliers trying to elbow the competition’s products to the side, and trying to hog up space on shelves and displays. But, I was always able to tell them, “Keep to the space I give you, or take your crap out of here.” and they back off. Rubashkin does not only not back off, but they want the competitor’s products out of the store or you get no meat and no chickens.

      The store owners felt they were the victims of “mafia-like” pressure, not the pressure of a typical larger supplier.
      It was not a simple preference for a merchant who gave them exclusive business, they were told by the drivers, quietly, that if they did not have the ALLE or Vineland meats and chicken, their shipments would have been complete.

      Rubashkin did not care that customers have preferences of shechitas, and while some NEEDED the shechitas he offered, others NEEDED the shechitas offered by ALLE. Especially in this business it was a really WRONG, Immoral behavior.

      It would be as if the seforim stores were no longer allowed to carry siddurim other that Artscroll. While Artscroll has amazingly wonderful siddurim, there are many of you and me, who NEED siddurim they do not print or sell. We NEED siddurim from Ateres or from Kehot, or others.

      Also, many customers are makpid on splitting chickens before salting. They do not hold from the heter of salting complete, intact, chickens. This is not some new chumra. Study hilchos melicha and you will wonder where the heter came from to begin with to salt an entire chicken without opening it up. Yes, I know Yidden all across the country use rotissierie chichen which is salted whole, but there are a “not too tiny” group who will not eat those chickens for this reason. They do not run around saying it is not kosher. They are not making trouble, or telling you that you are eating treif, they just quietly don’t choose to eat it themselves. We have always had that option …. well, we did have that option before Rubashkin’s behavior.

      In fact, I know of a certain well respected Chabad Head Shaliach who makes, or made, periodic trips to Iowa, to get Rubashkin to salt the chickens this way under his supervision. He would not eat the regular Rubashkin chickens due to his dissatisfaction with their melicha techniques. How do I know? I was the mashgiach when he told me about this, and instructed me that I must use only the cases with his name on a special label, (SPECIAL FOR RABBI XXXX) when we catered his cruise.

      Split salted chickens have never been available from Rubashkin in the stores.
      Vineland does offer this on some of its chicken products. It says right on their pre-packaged chickens that they are split before salting.

      This makes many of us more than willing to pay the higher prices for Vineland, since we CAN’T eat the Rubashkin products that are salted whole. But Rubashkin did not like that, and did not allow the stores to carry even that one item from Vineland.

      They did not care how much they inconvenienced fellow Jews, as long as they could be the only one on the shelves.

      I can tell you personally, that the Rubaskin behavior of trying to be the only one has put stores out of business, and also has caused MANY frum people to have to have meat and chicken shipped in to them. These are Jews who used to be able to buy their meat in the local kosher store, and now can’t since some were closed by the Rubashkin policies, and others kepts the “exclusive Rubashkin” deals offered by AGRI tossing out all competition.

      And, NO, I am not talking about the problems of today. We all know Rubashkin can’t ship anything now. I am talking about the past dozen or more years.

      The Rubashkin family may have been and may still be very charitable in many ways, but their business policies have been cruel to fellow Jews trying to keep kosher, as well as costing small storekeepers their parnasah.

      And, don’t tell me that they brought kosher food to towns across the country. Sure, that did happen in some areas, but in areas where there was already kosher, they created a situation where it became harder to get what you needed, unless you were okay with AGRI products.

    15. In this case, Milhouse, Sholom Mordechais fraud is all too clear. It is NOT behavior that all business do when in trouble. He clearly violated terms agreed to with the banks, and falsely used funds wrong funds to fraudulently obtain loans.

      I have been in business many times. Yes, business is business, but also “right is right and wrong is wrong” and we all know the difference.

      And even if you dray the matter in a way to talk yourself into a heter to deceive a nochri, in this case it was too obvious the kind of Chillul Hashem this would cause. I do not believe he honestly thought he would get away with it. I believe he wanted CASH so when is all topples down, he can come out of it all with some money.

      Is Shlom Rubashkin a moron? I do not believe so. I believe he is a very intelligent person, and knew it was going downhill. He wanted to make sure there was cash available.

      Even forgetting halacha. A bad person is one who does bad things to other people. Rubashkin clearly did bad things to other people and to their businesses. This makes him a bad person.

      Sorry, I know it is not PC to say anyone is “Bad.” We like to say, “He is good person who made a mistake.” or “He is a good person who was a victim of xxxx.”

      But in this case, he was not a good person. He knowingly hurt people. He knowingly hurt other people’s business. He knowingly defrauded banks. He knowingly USED people to further his own needs. He is a bad person.

    16. Oy vey. Since when does DMD create an obligation to obey the law? Where would you get that idea?
      ******************************************************************************
      From the Torah. When Bnai Yisroel wanted to go through Eretz Seir to go to Eretz Yisroel, they sent a messenger to them saying that they will go on R’chov Hamelech, muzzle their animals, AND OBEY ALL THE LAWS OF THE LAND.

      Where is your proof from Shulchan Aruch that we can disobey the laws of the land? Please enlighten all of us.

      Also, while you are at it, please tell us when a goy sees a Jew, like you, disobeying the laws of the land, while everyone else does not, do you think that it is a chhillul Hashem or a Kiddush Hashem? Will said goy be anti-semetic if he sees a Jew blatantly disobeying the laws of the land? Will you be the first one to cry ‘anti-semitism?

    17. “There may be more reposessions if the new Trustee is unable to get the plant into operation. The protection of bankruptcy, as far as I understand does not extend to items which the lender has a secured interest it. So, any vehicles, or equipment which was purchased on credit can be reposessed.”

      This is 100% wrong. Secured creditors still have to get paid, but they have no right to repossess the property themselves.

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