Welcome, Guest! - or
Easy to remember!  »  VinNews.com

Waterloo, IA - Wife Takes Stand at End of Rubashkin Slaughterhouse Trial

Published on: June 1, 2010 03:06 PM
Change text size Text Size  
Bookmark and Share
Leah Rubashkin testifies during her husband Sholom Rubashkin's child labor trial at the Black Hawk County Courthouse in Waterloo, Iowa, on Tuesday, June 1, 2010. Rubashkin faces 83 counts of child labor violations stemming from a May 2008 immigration raid at the Agriprocessors Inc. kosher meatpacking plant in Postville. (MATTHEW PUTNEY / Courier Photo Editor)Leah Rubashkin testifies during her husband Sholom Rubashkin's child labor trial at the Black Hawk County Courthouse in Waterloo, Iowa, on Tuesday, June 1, 2010. Rubashkin faces 83 counts of child labor violations stemming from a May 2008 immigration raid at the Agriprocessors Inc. kosher meatpacking plant in Postville. (MATTHEW PUTNEY / Courier Photo Editor)

Waterloo, IA - Sholom Rubashkin was busy in his job at the Agriprocessors meatpacking plant in Postville and traveled a lot for work, according to his wife.

Advertisement:

Rubashkin, former Agriprocessors executive, is on trial for 83 counts of misdemeanor child labor violations, and his trial resumed Tuesday morning in Black Hawk County District Court with his wife, Leah Rubashkin, taking the stand.

She recounted a list of business and family trips to California, Florida, New York, South Dakota, Canada and Israel her husband took in 2007 through 2008.

Leah Rubashkin, who appears to be one of the defense’s last witnesses, also talked about sneaking in to bring her husband lunch at his office when he was at the Postville plant. She said there were usually three or four people waiting to have meetings with him, and although she could get in, it usually took him 15 to 20 minutes before he could acknowledge her.

Earlier in the trial, former underage workers testifying for the prosecution said they occasionally saw Sholom Rubashkin on the plant floor.

During Tuesday’s testimony, Leah Rubashkin said her husband was sometimes mistaken for his younger brother, Heshy, who also worked at the plant.

Leah Rubashkin told jurors her husband came from a very observant Jewish family and described how her own family started the transition to become more observant when she was around 11 years old.

Asked about her husband’s appearance, Leah Rubashkin said he wears the yarmulke cap to remind him that God is always above him. She said he dons his long black coat daily—- an item some Jewish men only wear on the Sabbath—- because of his dedication. She said the religion forbids him from shaving off his beard.

She said Sholom Rubashkin finished the process of becoming a Rabbi about the time they were married 28 years ago. He worked in his father’s New York butcher shop after they were wed, and the couple did outreach work in Atlanta, Ga., for about year.

They later moved to Minnesota, and for three years Sholom Rubashkin commuted to Postville when his father bought the meatpacking plant there. They then moved to Postville about 17 years ago, she said.

Another defense witness called Tuesday, Rodney Heston, whose company redesigned the industrial refrigeration system at Agriprocessors, also said Sholom Rubashkin was “extremely busy” at his job.

He said it usually took an appointment and an hour of waiting to see the executive when he went to the plant.

Wayne Hecker, who had worked at Agriprocessors, said there was never a formal chain of command at the plant. He said Sholom Rubashkin was in charge of the business side of the operation, and Rubashkin’s brother oversaw sales and production.

Hecker told jurors about an incident where a son or daughter of a supervisor was fired because he or she wasn’t old enough to work in meatpacking operations.

After the lunch break, the defense indicated it didn’t have any more witnesses, and the state didn’t call any rebuttal witnesses.

Judge Nathan Callahan excused the jury at 1:20 p.m., reminding them to not view or read any news accounts of the trial. He asked them to return Thursday at 10 a.m. for closing arguments.

The court still has to finalize the jury instructions with the prosecution and defense.

Callahan also said he will dismiss some of the charges against Rubashkin. The defense had asked the court to throw out charges that listed as victims minors who didn’t testify.

Of the 31 minors named in the charges, five didn’t take the stand. That translated into 16 counts, according to a tally in the defense’s motion.


More of today's headlines

New York - Enjoy hypocrisy? This past weekend you could glut the appetite. On Monday, Israeli ships stopped a flotilla carrying materials that could be used for war... England - The tragic events of Monday morning are, rightly, sending shockwaves around the world – but blaming the IDF alone for the carnage flies in the face of the...

 

Total29

Read Comments (29)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Jun 01, 2010 at 03:24 PM Yippee! Says:

Does this mean the days of all of those ridiculous blood libel claims and rants about imaginary anti-Semitism are finally coming to a close?

2

 Jun 01, 2010 at 03:31 PM Anonymous Says:

May we all wish them Hatlucha and Mazel

3

 Jun 01, 2010 at 03:42 PM Anonymous Says:

I dont understand why they keep on putting the blame on his brother sholem, is he safe? or or dosent he live in the US?

4

 Jun 01, 2010 at 03:54 PM Anonymous Says:

She is an excellent speaker and probably made a great witness. It sounds like the judge is being very liberal toward the defense as a lot of her testimony (i.e. why he wears a yamulke and has an untrimmed beard) would not be admissible in a lot of courts because it is not relevant to the charges of whether or not he knew of underaged workers at the plant.

5

 Jun 01, 2010 at 04:02 PM punch Says:

Reply to #1  
Yippee! Says:

Does this mean the days of all of those ridiculous blood libel claims and rants about imaginary anti-Semitism are finally coming to a close?

let's hope so.
remember to say telhilim for sholom mordecha ben rivka

6

 Jun 01, 2010 at 04:07 PM Anonymous Says:

no not as long as you show signs of anti semitism...

7

 Jun 01, 2010 at 04:09 PM yankee Says:

Reply to #1  
Yippee! Says:

Does this mean the days of all of those ridiculous blood libel claims and rants about imaginary anti-Semitism are finally coming to a close?

Yippee???? what a moron.

8

 Jun 01, 2010 at 04:54 PM Anonymous Says:

What was the point of the Rebbetzin tesifying?

9

 Jun 01, 2010 at 05:05 PM Anonymous Says:

Do you really think the Jury cares that she became a BT at 11 years old?

10

 Jun 01, 2010 at 05:20 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #9  
Anonymous Says:

Do you really think the Jury cares that she became a BT at 11 years old?

I bet they do. We Jews aer really fascinating

11

 Jun 01, 2010 at 05:48 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #9  
Anonymous Says:

Do you really think the Jury cares that she became a BT at 11 years old?

She was trying to show the jury the human side of this tragedy, and that she's not some brainwashed yokel. Everything matters, and the full picture comes across with all those minor details.

12

 Jun 01, 2010 at 06:26 PM Anonymous Says:

The defense is probably trying to establish that he may have looked similar to other "Jews" at the plant and even a little like his brother and that he wasn't there that often which makes it harder for someone to say that Sholom was aware that young workers where working in dangerous jobs. By establishing that he was away alot helps.

13

 Jun 01, 2010 at 07:42 PM Anonymous Says:

It also sounds like this particular judge was willing to allow a certain amount of leeway to allow the defense to present info on the character of the defendant that was not allowed in the federal trial for the benefit of the jury as well as the public.

It is very easy to see the vendetta both the federal and state prosecutors had and still have against SMR. It is also clear that this particular judge recognizes it.

14

 Jun 01, 2010 at 08:11 PM Anonymous Says:

The judge wants to avoid a reversal because of some "procedural" error so has been consistently been giving SMR's counsel the benefit of the doubt and lots of leeway (in contrast to the federal trial where some have questioned the fairness of some of the judge's decisions). Thats the good news. The bad news, however, is that the defense case thusfar has veen very weak and I fear a conviction on at least some of the state charges is likely. Maybe they have some "smoking gun" or "Perry Mason moment" they will bring out at the very end of their case but absent a miracle, it does not look good.

15

 Jun 01, 2010 at 08:39 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #13  
Anonymous Says:

It also sounds like this particular judge was willing to allow a certain amount of leeway to allow the defense to present info on the character of the defendant that was not allowed in the federal trial for the benefit of the jury as well as the public.

It is very easy to see the vendetta both the federal and state prosecutors had and still have against SMR. It is also clear that this particular judge recognizes it.

Guess what. Prosecutors always have vendettas against defendants, particularly in high profile cases.

16

 Jun 01, 2010 at 08:45 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #9  
Anonymous Says:

Do you really think the Jury cares that she became a BT at 11 years old?

Its the whole picture,
A real lovely good family

17

 Jun 01, 2010 at 10:01 PM Pigs Meat Says:

...She said the religion forbids him from shaving off his beard.....

What a crock and a LIE! It is a custom of some 'jews' not to shave a beard.. The actual prohibition is the 5 places on the face. POnce again 'jews' lie and expect others to believe me. This was the downfall of EVE (Chavah ) when she embellished what g-d said. History proves that she made an everlasting mistake. When will these silly 'jews' learn a lesson?

18

 Jun 01, 2010 at 11:47 PM Dovid Says:

Reply to #17  
Pigs Meat Says:

...She said the religion forbids him from shaving off his beard.....

What a crock and a LIE! It is a custom of some 'jews' not to shave a beard.. The actual prohibition is the 5 places on the face. POnce again 'jews' lie and expect others to believe me. This was the downfall of EVE (Chavah ) when she embellished what g-d said. History proves that she made an everlasting mistake. When will these silly 'jews' learn a lesson?

According to the Tzemach Tzedek (3rd Lubavitcher Rebbe) it is forbidden to shave one's beard, as it is forbidden to eat treif. And since Chabad follows the opinion of the Tzemach Tzedek, it is halacha and not a mere custom.

VIN, please keep trolls off the comments. If someone has a genuine comment to make there's a way to do it.

19

 Jun 02, 2010 at 01:05 AM wake up Says:

Reply to #1  
Yippee! Says:

Does this mean the days of all of those ridiculous blood libel claims and rants about imaginary anti-Semitism are finally coming to a close?

"imaginary anti-Semitism" ?! Dear Yippee what else do you call double standards and selective persecution?
Were those immigration laws on the books?-Yes. Were any other farmers / food processing plants shot down because of illegals?-No. And they all employ mostly illegal labor force.
Is misrepresenting your financial state to the bank considered a fraud?-Yes. It would be safe to say that 90% of home buyers are playing these banking tricks; is anyone going to jail?-No. Only big time crooks, those that steal on purpose and in hundreds of millions, get any DA attention - not some guys working to pay up until being prevented from doing so by the very ones trying to persecute them.
Open your eyes - Rubashkin was clearly singled out. Was it because he was a Jew? Was it because some politician tried to extort some money out of him? Was it local KKK or PETA? Probably all of the above.
One thing is clear - no Jew is safe from selective heavy handed persecution in this country. The very least Jews can do is to stand together and not to look for excuses for our enemies.

20

 Jun 02, 2010 at 03:30 AM Tanna Kamma Says:

Reply to #18  
Dovid Says:

According to the Tzemach Tzedek (3rd Lubavitcher Rebbe) it is forbidden to shave one's beard, as it is forbidden to eat treif. And since Chabad follows the opinion of the Tzemach Tzedek, it is halacha and not a mere custom.

VIN, please keep trolls off the comments. If someone has a genuine comment to make there's a way to do it.

Dovid, what do you expect from someone who goes by the title "Pigs Meat" ????
Thanks for the clarification, though.

21

 Jun 02, 2010 at 06:09 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #18  
Dovid Says:

According to the Tzemach Tzedek (3rd Lubavitcher Rebbe) it is forbidden to shave one's beard, as it is forbidden to eat treif. And since Chabad follows the opinion of the Tzemach Tzedek, it is halacha and not a mere custom.

VIN, please keep trolls off the comments. If someone has a genuine comment to make there's a way to do it.

It would be a Lubavitch law, not a Jewish law. There is a distinction.

What Lubavitch does or does not do is up to them. If they are yotze min ha'klal, they can drink 4 cups on the last day of Pesach, call their leader moshiach, whatever, other Yidden are not obligated to listen to them.

You want to make this into a Lubavitch against the world. You want to make this into a Lubavitch elitist thing. Too bad. At close look, I did not see Mrs. Rubashkin covering her shaitl, which is against what Satmar and Belz holds. Accordingly, it is halacha and her hair was not covered properly in public.

22

 Jun 02, 2010 at 09:04 AM mordche yoina Says:

Reply to #3  
Anonymous Says:

I dont understand why they keep on putting the blame on his brother sholem, is he safe? or or dosent he live in the US?

excuse me sir or mam but WHAT THE HECK are you talking about?

23

 Jun 02, 2010 at 09:14 AM can't be.. Says:

Reply to #21  
Anonymous Says:

It would be a Lubavitch law, not a Jewish law. There is a distinction.

What Lubavitch does or does not do is up to them. If they are yotze min ha'klal, they can drink 4 cups on the last day of Pesach, call their leader moshiach, whatever, other Yidden are not obligated to listen to them.

You want to make this into a Lubavitch against the world. You want to make this into a Lubavitch elitist thing. Too bad. At close look, I did not see Mrs. Rubashkin covering her shaitl, which is against what Satmar and Belz holds. Accordingly, it is halacha and her hair was not covered properly in public.

Can it be that a talmid chuchem of you calibre is looking at pictures of women and not only that but actually taking a "closer look"?!
Can't believe it.
But in any case thank you for reminding us and illustrating so vividly about the importance of getting one's tfillin checked by a qualified soifer.
At least as often as prescribed by the Sh''O.
The Lubavitchers do it every Elul, but they are yoitze min haklal...

24

 Jun 02, 2010 at 11:26 AM esther Says:

Reply to #21  
Anonymous Says:

It would be a Lubavitch law, not a Jewish law. There is a distinction.

What Lubavitch does or does not do is up to them. If they are yotze min ha'klal, they can drink 4 cups on the last day of Pesach, call their leader moshiach, whatever, other Yidden are not obligated to listen to them.

You want to make this into a Lubavitch against the world. You want to make this into a Lubavitch elitist thing. Too bad. At close look, I did not see Mrs. Rubashkin covering her shaitl, which is against what Satmar and Belz holds. Accordingly, it is halacha and her hair was not covered properly in public.

hey,look what's going on re ey-a little achdus please.if your rav or rebbe holds a certain way,you are mchuyov to follow that.you know this so please don't make machloches where none exists.i don't need to eat kemach yashan for example, but i respect those that do. P.S, leah was my classmate and she's really a lovely,temimisdik girl.

25

 Jun 02, 2010 at 12:05 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #17  
Pigs Meat Says:

...She said the religion forbids him from shaving off his beard.....

What a crock and a LIE! It is a custom of some 'jews' not to shave a beard.. The actual prohibition is the 5 places on the face. POnce again 'jews' lie and expect others to believe me. This was the downfall of EVE (Chavah ) when she embellished what g-d said. History proves that she made an everlasting mistake. When will these silly 'jews' learn a lesson?

someone is angry! try to find the underlying cause of your anger, it might affect other areas of your life.

26

 Jun 02, 2010 at 01:21 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #4  
Anonymous Says:

She is an excellent speaker and probably made a great witness. It sounds like the judge is being very liberal toward the defense as a lot of her testimony (i.e. why he wears a yamulke and has an untrimmed beard) would not be admissible in a lot of courts because it is not relevant to the charges of whether or not he knew of underaged workers at the plant.

Not relevant as to whether he is guilty or not but highly relevant to the sentence.

27

 Jun 02, 2010 at 01:30 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #21  
Anonymous Says:

It would be a Lubavitch law, not a Jewish law. There is a distinction.

What Lubavitch does or does not do is up to them. If they are yotze min ha'klal, they can drink 4 cups on the last day of Pesach, call their leader moshiach, whatever, other Yidden are not obligated to listen to them.

You want to make this into a Lubavitch against the world. You want to make this into a Lubavitch elitist thing. Too bad. At close look, I did not see Mrs. Rubashkin covering her shaitl, which is against what Satmar and Belz holds. Accordingly, it is halacha and her hair was not covered properly in public.

I am a Belzer and daven only in Belz synagogue.
My wife does not cover her sheitel.
The wife of our gabbe does not cover her sheitel.
The wife of the chief executive of our moisdois does not cover her sheitel
The wife of our high-holidays baal mussafim does not cover her sheitel.
Plenty more.
I cannot speak for Satmar as I have very little connection with them but I know many Satmares including a few relations who do not cover their sheitels.
Many Lubavitchers do not have beards.

28

 Jun 02, 2010 at 05:09 PM elitist thing Says:

Reply to #21  
Anonymous Says:

It would be a Lubavitch law, not a Jewish law. There is a distinction.

What Lubavitch does or does not do is up to them. If they are yotze min ha'klal, they can drink 4 cups on the last day of Pesach, call their leader moshiach, whatever, other Yidden are not obligated to listen to them.

You want to make this into a Lubavitch against the world. You want to make this into a Lubavitch elitist thing. Too bad. At close look, I did not see Mrs. Rubashkin covering her shaitl, which is against what Satmar and Belz holds. Accordingly, it is halacha and her hair was not covered properly in public.

Way to go. "Other Yidden" are not obligated. It's an elitist thing, see?
* Running an undeground cheider in Soviet Russia under the constant threat of being sent to Siberia: elitist Lubavitch thing, we're not obligated
* Moving from the comfort of Brooklyn to Brazilian mountains 1 yr after your chassuna to set-up a shul, mikveh, kindergarten and spend the rest of your life attending to the 25 lost yidden there while subjecting your family to a life of meat once a month, milk every other month, remote on-line schooling for kids, etc etc.: elitist Lubavitch thing, we're not obligated.
* Opening your home every Shabbos / YT, etc. to every Yid with a warm meal, bed, Ahavas Yisroel: elitist Lubavitch thing, we're not obligated
* Walking 2 hrs to a local hospital on R''H to blow shofar for the 5 Jewish patients there: elitist Lubavitch thing, we're not obligated (we prefer to have our nap between mussaf and mincha and we are still yoitze the whole "tshuvo, tzedoko utfilo" thing)...
oy. and don't start me on cholov Yisroel vchu'...so very elitist.

BTW, a friend of mine is in a certain Yeshiva where they *forbid* bochrim to grow beards - would you call that elitist also?

29

 Jun 03, 2010 at 03:28 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #17  
Pigs Meat Says:

...She said the religion forbids him from shaving off his beard.....

What a crock and a LIE! It is a custom of some 'jews' not to shave a beard.. The actual prohibition is the 5 places on the face. POnce again 'jews' lie and expect others to believe me. This was the downfall of EVE (Chavah ) when she embellished what g-d said. History proves that she made an everlasting mistake. When will these silly 'jews' learn a lesson?

Go learn. You have no understanding of Jewish Law. Start with R. Moshe Wiener's definitive Sefer Hadras Ponim Zakan.

30

Sign-in to post a comment

Scroll Up
Advertisements:

Sell your scrap gold and broken jewelry and earn hard cash sell gold today!