(JTA) — With a federal judge expected to issue a sentence in his case later this month, former kosher meatpacking executive Sholom Rubashkin expressed regret for his actions last week in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. U.S. District Court Chief Judge Linda Reade reportedly indicated that she will issue her ruling May 27.
At least 10 witnesses spoke on Rubashkin’s behalf, including a psychiatrist who interviewed him in jail. The psychiatrist said Rubashkin expressed regret for the harm he had caused himself and others, the Des Moines Register reported.
Q: This may sound weird, but I think my neighbor is cruel to his pet beagle. I know that if this was a person we were talking about, Jewish law would obligate me to go to the authorities. But this is a DOG. What's my obligation here?
A. You need to pursue this. I say this not merely because I am life-long pet-o-phile, a vegetarian with two cuddly standard poodles. I say this also because it is the right thing to do. Jewish culture has long championed animal rights.
(JTA) -- On the eve of the sentencing hearing for Sholom Rubashkin, his lawyers are denying prosecutors' claims that the former kosher meatpacking executive bribed the mayor of Postville, Iowa.
Accusations that Rubashkin, the ex-Agriprocessors official, bribed Robert Penrod, Postville's mayor from 2006 to 2009, are included in sentencing memos filed by prosecutors in Rubashkin's financial fraud case, according to the Des Moines Register. The Agriprocessors plant in the Iowa town was the site of a federal raid in May 2008.
NEW YORK (JTA) -- The U.S. Department of Justice again has declined to intervene in the sentencing of a convicted kosher meat executive.
Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer wrote in a letter Monday that concerns about the sentencing of former Agriprocessors executive Sholom Rubashkin were best raised with the presiding judge in northern Iowa, Linda Reade, or with local federal prosecutors.
People who do bad things should be punished. It is something we learn in our schools and teach in our synagogues.
But as Jews, we are often conflicted when one of our own commits a crime. While a sense of community may give some the urge to protect a community member, we are embarrassed that the crime has come from someone who carries a Jewish identity. And we are steadfast that those responsible must face the same punishment as everyone else. Advocating for or even anticipating anything less would send the wrong message about our community.