I am writing in response to the Chronicle’s opinion piece “Don’t gloat over Rubashkin’s release” (Dec. 29). Your response was far too tame. I was appalled and sickened by the cheering Jewish crowds that greeted him in New York after his release from prison.
Clearly, the punishment — 27 years of incarceration — was excessive, although I cannot find any solid evidence to suggest that anti-Semitism was at the heart of the absurd punishment. I fully accept and endorse the Talmudic concept that Ein adam masshem aztmo rasha; a Jew is forbidden to incriminate himself.
I completely disregard any statements he made in plea bargaining. I also have a hearty skepticism regarding anything reported in the press (with no reflection on the Chronicle).
Having said that, the record is unambiguous. Based on what I have read and learned, Sholom Rubashkin’s company’s kashrus certification flies in the face of all Yiddishkeit. From the Chabad.Org website: “The position of shochet, as a Gd-fearing person of integrity, is a respected one in the Jewish community.” Rubashkin hardly qualifies.
I have serious doubts about anyone who provided and continued to provide the hashgachah (kosher certification) of his products, all the way up to the Orthodox Union. Hashgachah has to mean more than simply that one inspected the knife before its use in ritual slaughter. Anyone who so callously disregards the laws of man and God is not a Gd-fearing person of integrity.
Rubashkin is a disgrace to all and should be treated as such.
Cheering his release, after what I agree was an excessive punishment, demeans all of us, Jew and non-Jew alike.
Evan Dreyer, M.D.