It one thing to feel bad for someone. One can have a friend who has done wrong and is being punished, and feel bad for him. "Oh, it's too bad Fishel had to go to jail, nebich." It's a normal human feeling and very understandable.
It's quite another to maintain a denial of reality, one so strong as to make it seem as if the person is living in an alternative universe where facts are completely different from this one.
Here's what we know: Sholom Rubashkin was convicted on multiple counts of fraud and theft. He was not convincted on illegal and underage charges but only because while it was evident that the crimes occured there was not enough proof that he was directly responsible.
If his name was Salvatore Rubellez, we'd all be shaking our heads in disgust at his behaviour. The Chareidi crowd would no doubt be pointing out that Torah-true behaviour forbids such actions and isn't great we have this superior set of ethics.
If his name was Sol Rubashkin and he davened at Temple Beth Am twice a year and had no other real contact with Judaism, the Chareidi crowd would be pointing out that Torah-true behaviour forbids such actions and isn't it too bad he isn't Orthodox because then he wouldn't have done such things.
If his name was Shalom Rubashkin and he davened in a Modern Orthodox shul while wearing a small suede kippah, the Chareidi crowd would be pointing out that Torah-true behaviour is limited to their community as evidenced by this MO guy getting into so much trouble.
But his name is Sholom Rubashkin and he wears a black hat. As a result he's committed no crimes becauyse no valid beis din assessed him and he's a victim of baseless persecution, a candidate for pidyon shevuyim and all such other nonsense.
As Pinchas Lipscutz reports, live from that alternative universe:
It is a movement of genuine achdus, a movement fostering nesius ol im chaveireinu, a movement of dikduk b’mitzvos. This is a movement of strengthening emunah and bitachon, a movement which we hope and pray is being mekareiv the geulah.
Really? What dikduk b'mitzvos are we looking at? Not any relevant to the laws of business practice. How about honesty in testimony to a court of law? Not that either it seem. Emunah and bitachon would mean doing one's work honestly and accepting whatever comes because of a reliance in the Ribono shel Olam. Nope, that didn't have here either.
Just last week, a woman called me and related an incident involving her son at Camp Silver Lake. With the recent hot temperatures, campers playing ball wished to take off their tzitzis in order to be a bit cooler. “How can you remove your tzitzis,” this woman’s son asked his friends, “when Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin is moser nefesh to wear his tzitzis?”
How exactly is Rubashkin engaging in mesirus nefesh? His inability to wear tzitzis has nothing to do with anti-Jewish sentiment. No prison guard is looking at him and saying "Jew! Take off your tzitzis! We don't want you observing your commandments here!" They're saying "Dude, there's a standard uniform everyone has to wear, no exceptions including you!" It's quite a different thing, isn't it?
That is the way Sholom Mordechai was brought up: gornit far zich, altz far Torah.
Did Rubashkin actually live that way? His wife's custom sheitl would seem to suggest other
A good man was targeted for prosecution by the U.S. Government, who wasted millions of our tax dollars on an unwarranted two-year persecution against Sholom Mordechai, culminating in a sentence of 27 years.
Ah yes, the old "They're out to get us!" cries of anti-Semitic persecution. When it was Cossack peasants screaming "Death to the Jews" I could believe it. But in the US there is a rule of law. Documented laws, dozens of them, were broken by Rubashkin but Lipshutz seems to have missed that. As per the boy who cried wolf, he's playing a dangerous game. If we scream "anti-Semitism" every time some corrupt Jew breaks the law, who will believe us when it really is a case of Jew-hatred?
It is unquestionably a matter of public record that the Rubashkins were to be boycotted from the business as per government order. The government’s denial of it, and the judge’s confirmation of this lie in the face of so much overwhelming evidence, is an unspeakable outrage
Again, a selective and distorted reporting of the facts. The bottom line is that the judge wants no one who was involved with commiting the crimes that got Argiprocessors into trouble involved with the business' new owners. Letting the foxes run the chicken coop is something most civilized societies understand to be a bad practice.
We are law-abiding citizens. We are honest and G-d-fearing people.
By whose law? Not that of the United States and, if I understand halacha correctly (which I guess I don't) not God's law either. So whose?
You see, this little boy hasn’t been able to kiss his Totty, or have his Totty kiss him, since November, when his Totty was ripped away from him and thrown into jail. When they see Sholom Mordechai during their half-hour visit, Uziel’s father is kept behind a glass panel, because he is so “dangerous.”
Because every other prisoner has, by regulation, to remain behind the glass panel but not Rubashkin. He's special, he's God-fearing so he should be an exception to the rules. So the arrogance that caused this chilul Hashem in the first place rolls along without missing a beat. The little boy in question can't kiss his Totty not because of the "evil" United States justice system but because his father decided that emunah and bitachon mean lying and cheating. Where should the blame be place?