Rabbi Shmuley Unleashed

Rabbi Shmuley Unleashed

The Never-Ending Lynching of Sholom Rubashkin

So much for Christian charity.

Sister Mary McCauley, the former pastoral administrator at St. Bridget’s Catholic Church in Postville, Iowa, who provided support for families affected by the Agriprocessors raid, publicly condemned the complete acquittal of Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin on charges of child labor violations as a tragedy. “I was heartsick,” she declared. “I had to just sit and deal with the heartbreak I was feeling.”


Never mind that a jury deliberated only 12 hours
to reach a verdict exonerating Rubashkin on all 67 counts. Never mind that
Rubashkin, a father of ten with a long of history of charitable acts feeding
the hungry and the poor, has been so demonized in the press that it was practically
impossible for him to receive a fair trial, and still he was found innocent.
The good sister is convinced that the man should have gone down. Her heart
tells her so. The jury be damned.

Funny that.


When I, as a Rabbi and broadcaster, read of the
unending accusations against countless priests and even nuns for molesting
children, and against the Pope himself for covering it up, I went on the air on
my radio show on America’s most listened to station, WABC 77AM in New York
City, and begged my audience to place the allegations in perspective. The Pope
had been tried in a media circus without being given an opportunity to respond
or defend himself. Further, all judgments about the morality of the Church had
to be assessed in the context of the global good it does in running the world’s
largest network of orphanages, hospitals, and schools. Whatever crimes were
committed against children by men and women sworn to G-d’s work were despicable
in the extreme and abomination against all that is decent. And they would have
to be held accountable. But wait before you lynch any innocent man.


I was heavily criticized on the air by my own
devoted listeners, with the angriest calls coming from Christians and Catholics.
‘How can you defend our Church, Rabbi Shmuley? You who promotes family values
and ethics? Do you not understand what these men have done?’

Yes, of course I understood. But allow the
facts to emerge before you disparage the whole of the Church. Don’t paint with
a broad brush. Point a finger only at the Priests who are guilty and refrain
from assailing the papacy itself until you hear more. Amid the caller
onslaught, I stood my ground. All people carry the presumption of innocence
until proven otherwise.


Unless you’re Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin, that
is, in which case even once you’re found completely innocent on charges of
child labor by a jury of your peers you are still guilty.

Senator Obama, campaigning in Iowa to be
President in August 2008 and promising a new era of civil American political
discourse, forgot his commitment when it came to Rubashkin: “When you read
about a meatpacking plant hiring 13-year-olds, 14-year-olds – that is some of
the most dangerous, difficult work there is. They have kids in there wielding
buzz saws and cleavers? It’s ridiculous. And the only reason they’re hiring
these folks is because they want to avoid paying people decent wages and
providing them decent benefits.” The President is a politician and might be
forgiven for pandering for votes, although it would still be encouraging if
now, in light of the acquittal, he would publicly apologize for his slander.
But sister McCauley is a nun consecrated to Christ and has no such excuse.


I have no doubt that the sister is a good woman
who wants to defend immigrant children, even as they admitted under oath to
falsifying their work papers in order to work at Agriprocessors. I agree Sister
Mary that these children were desperate. The cowardice on the part of the
American government in repeatedly failing to address the immigration crises
with serious reforms leads to these tragedies. But does Sister Mary not reserve
even a tiny sliver of her heart for Rubashkin’s ten children, one of whom is
autistic, even as their lives have been turned upside down as their father has
been painted as the anti-Christ?


Let me be clear. I am on record in several
columns as saying that Rubashkin is no hero. He has been found guilty of
financial fraud and will be punished. Whatever good he and his family have done
– and they are justly renowned for their charity and philanthropy – in no way
cancels out his conviction, even if his intentions were to temporarily avert
near-certain bankruptcy that was caused by an INS raid and eventually pay the
bank back. Wearing a yarmulke and a beard, Rubashkin is a public representative
of the Jewish faith and he has let us all down. In our religion there is no
greater sin than desecrating the divine name. No doubt the pain Rubashkin feels
in having done so is more excruciating than anything the penal system can do to
him. He will have to repent of his actions before G-d and man. He will also
have to serve time, tragic as that is for a man with a large family who are now


But the time served must be fair and just. For
goodness sake, stop the never-ending lynching. Treat the man fairly.
Prosecutors, stop portraying him as a monster. Stop the absurdity of demanding
a life sentence. Don’t subvert justice in the name of justice. Six former
Attorney-Generals of the United States have already strongly condemned the
recommendation for a life sentence. Let the insanity end.

On the home page of the Sisters of Charity of the
Blessed Virgin Mary, with whom Sister Mary is affiliated, it declares, “We are
women of steadfast love called to live the mission of Jesus through our core
values of FREEDOM, CHARITY, EDUCATION, and JUSTICE.” Those are values I applaud
and respect. Are you listening sister?


Rabbi Shmuley Boteach is the founder of This
World: The Values Network. His new book is ‘Renewal: A Guide to the
Values-Filled Life.’ (Basic Books) Follow him on Twitter @RabbiShmuley. His
website is

Comments read comments(10)
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d. lapin

posted June 15, 2010 at 1:51 pm

It is not so much the case, as you claim, that “Rubashkin is a public representative of the Jewish faith” as it is that he is of the ORTHODOX Jewish faith, specifically Hasidic, in particular, Lubavitch.
Full disclosure, “America’s Rabbi”: Rubashkin is Lubavitch- as are you: or more accurately, WERE, before the Rebbe kicked you out for disobeying him.
And since Lubavitch teaching holds that Jewish souls are superior to Gentile souls, it can be understood – as Rubashkin apparently did- that there is nothing wrong with mistreating Gentile immigrant laborers, inferior beings that they are, according to such teaching.
So Get off Sister Mary’s case, hypocrite.

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posted June 15, 2010 at 3:15 pm

Part 1 of 2
I know that the St. Bridget’s Catholic Church in Postville, Iowa have labled themselves as the champions for the imigrant workers that were suposedly mistreated by Rubahkin.
But if you folowd they child labor trial, you would have known that Anna McCarthy testified that she witnessed individuals withing the church COACHING illegals to complain and testify of severe abuse by rubashkin – so that it will help them remain in the USA legaly and not be doported.
Is this Charity? Legal? Ethical? And then they attack Rubashkin as the deamon???
Here is the exact quotes and written by Jeff Reinitz of the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier on his live blog during the trial.
Thursday May 27, 2010 9:34
ANA McCARTHY: born in Panama Canal zone, raised in Panama, now a Spanish language translator living in Illinois. Worked for Spanish language TV. Have worked for Mexican consulate and immigration lawyers in the US
“I was just speaking to the people to see what was happening. I wasn’t taping the people. Someone else was taping. went to St. Bridget’s Catholic Church August 21
“spoke to people who said they were former Agripros employees in the rectory. Met Thomas Wash who was meeting with a couple. There was another couple waiting, and I was waiting.”
“U-visas are almost impossible to obtain”
F MONTGOMERY BROWN (defense): if illegal alien found in the US with 3 months of their 18th birthday … have you worked with immigration lawyers re: people seeking residency?
ANA McCARTHY: “yes, including U-visas.
“I was gathering information in order to get an opinion to tell the news networks.”
(going over Thomas Walsh and Jewish Council of Urban affairs working with St. Bridget’s Church. )
“Walsh was having discussions with people about visa issues. He told them if they made claims, they could get legal status in the US.
“I was there to meet with Father Paul and Sister Bradly. I waited by a couple and was talking to them. We could hear what Walsh was saying. He was coaching them, telling them about the rights, what they could do to get legal state. He said they had to say they were being abused by Mr. Rubashkin. told them he was a filthy Jew who became rich at their expense. telling them they could get deported.
“Walsh got upset when he came out and saw me, Father and Sister did nothing. Walsh almost assaulted me. I tried to reach Jewish Council for Urban affairs.
“I complained to Catholic church, referred to Sister Bradly…”

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posted June 16, 2010 at 2:47 pm

It is true that this is an injustice on tha sister’s part. Yet, those of our Jewish Community present and past have made such errors in judgment of other’s. Judging unfairly is part of the human condition it is not limited to any particular religious group. Why, even the irreligious, agnostics and, athiest judge wrongly without good reason.

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posted June 20, 2010 at 12:30 pm

I find it perpetually confusing why
as a society we are so fast to criticize, demean,
and sling “judgements” against other human beings.
Yes, mis-deeds have their consequences and these should
be fairly and humanly delivered. But, why the mentality
of absolute unforgiveness—-I would hate to be one
of these individuals having to judge themselves.
And I will never understand the “need” to bleed the
calls for punishment over the entire citizenry of a
group for the actions of a few.
Smacks of Inquisition……wouldn’t you say?

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Jane L

posted June 20, 2010 at 6:04 pm

I am going to be brutally frank, because I feel it is necessary to do so! How arrogant of Sister McCauley. That she would coach people to lie and exaggerate to gain permanent residence in the US. And, to demonize Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin, while she and the church sit on there hands while children have been sexually abused for generations (and more), to not be outraged and furious and fight with their last breath to put an end to the sexual violation of children, and to all be complicit in keeping it secret and protecting priests and nuns!!! Monstrous evil of the worst kind. When I was a child in catechism classes nuns told us little girls….7, 8, 9, 10 that “if we did not fight rape to the death we would go to hell. And, that we deserved rape is we wore shorts or what she, draped in wool clothing with only her face showing, deemed immodest. I studied Judaism for years and never was there anything anywhere written and said that Jewish souls were superior to gentile souls. I have heard Rabbi Schmuley speak and I am aware of his relationships with Madonna and Michael Jackson, and I do not approve of him taking them into Kabbalah with out the prerequisite learning necessary. “IT” is not a religion, but a segment of religion, and not to be trivialized by R Schmuley and these (in)famous people with his help. Mr. Rubashkin acted shamefully and broke the law, but it would be an injustice to sentence him to life in prison. Personally, I think every priest, nun, rabbi, teacher, coach, relative or stranger who sexually abuses children should be severely punished, be it having surgery to neuter them, or life in prison, or a lesser term with medical intervention (not just psychotherapy since that never works independent of other treatment). They rob those children of life as is should be for them. They are scarred forever. Some may get help quickly and have a near normal life. If you want to compare the real pramatic harm or the sins as named in the either bible, Jewish or Christian, the sexual abusers are greatly more serious than financial fraud. Why is society not recognizing this and demanding justice for the thousands, the tens of thousands or perhaps millions of children.

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posted June 23, 2010 at 6:43 pm

Dear rabbi.
allow me to explain to you some simple facts about secular outrage against religious criminals:
Almost all religious leaders profess a certain pseudo-modesty regarding their beliefs and their work. “don’t mind me, I’m just doing the lord’s bidding”. “I am just a simple man, nominated for the holy task of leading my flock”.
Putting yourself on any pedestal and preaching to other people what they should and shouldn’t do, automatically puts you under greater scrutiny. And please do not insult our intelligence by suggesting that these poor religious leaders are on an errand from god and have no personal stake in these matters. The irony here, which seems to be completely wasted on you, is that if they really were working for god, and if a just god actually existed, it would be that much worse.

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Michael McCarthy

posted September 29, 2011 at 8:13 pm

Judge Callaham became aware that the night prior to Ana McCarthy’s testimony, calls were made from St. Briget’s Catholic Church by the same interpreter that worked for the prosecutor.

In a desperate attempt to obtain information from Ana McCarthy, Violeta contacted a network of people to pose as reporters and lure Ana McCarthy under the pretext of an “interview”.

St. Briget’s nows that there are valid concerns not solely over incriminating tapes.

During the trial Judge Callaham warned St. Briget’s stating that for the first part of the morning, the prosecutor main inquiry was over such tapes. “This whole day started with worry [by the prosecutor], over tapes [taken by Ana McCarthy]. There may be something to all this. Whatever it is doesn’t smell very good…”

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posted October 7, 2012 at 9:34 am

Ana McCarthy never said she was born in the Canal Zone. She said she was born “… In the City of David, Panama…”. She clarified that she was not born in Panama City (FL), but Panama, the country with the Canal…
Ana McCarthy is a licensed interpreter, a licensed Spanish and bilingual teacher. She graduated with a bachelors in General Science and attended law school. She was a news contributor for several (Spanish) news networks and an experienced government negotiator advocating children’s causes. She has declined all interviews for a biography and appears to be retired from public life to raise her adopted children. She is the grand-daughter of Gran Colombia President/Vice-President and Separatist Jose De Obaldia; Panamanian Diplomat, President and Vice-President Jose Domingo De Obaldia; Panamanian Businessman Mair Sitton, and Panamanian Congressman E. Alvarez.

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posted October 7, 2012 at 9:38 am

… In compiling her biography, I found that Univision Spanish news network has featured Ana McCarthy’s biography.

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