Month: May 2010

Free Rabbi Viener Mp3 on Internet Dangers

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Click the link to download (free, with his permission and encouragement) Rabbi Yosef Viener’s shiur on internet addiction (called “Family Security” or “Internet Filters”).

See here for a written adaptation of that shiur, which was originally published in the Pesach edition of HaModia in the special supplement called, “Kids of Hope.”

Rabbi Viener Internet-filters-mono


Zman – The Rubashkin Story from A-Z

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The cover story in this month’s issue of Zman magazine is about Sholom Rubashkin. Although his story is ostensibly well-known in observant circles, the truth is that many people do not really know what went on and is going on. While other articles on the subject have typically ranged from 2,500-4,000 words, this story is almost 25,000 words! Yes, it’s a load. But it tells the story from A-Z, although in truth one would probably need 250,000 words to do it justice. The article in this month’s Zman was composed by a reporter who went to Iowa for a full week to meet with everyone from Rubashkin (in prison) to the mayor of Postville. The following is an excerpt starting at the beginning of the article, covering the history of the Rubashkins, and stopping just before the troubles begin. Before the excerpt, here is a list of the sub-headings just to give readers a feel of how much material there is to cover.

  • The Whole Truth  The Rubashkin Story
  • The Nazis Arrive
  • The Beginning of Rubashkin’s Meat
  • The Tranquil Iowan Culture
  • Postville – a Brief History
  • Founding a Jewish Presence
  • Run-ins with the Locals
  • Working Out the Differences
  • The Largest Slaughterhouse in the World
  • Troubles Begin
  • Jews Take Over from PETA
  • The Unkosher Kashrus Organization
  • A Systematic Campaign to Ruin Rubashkin’s Name
  • An Al-Qaeda Terror Camp?
  • “La Migra” Appears on the Scene
  • The Unsubstantiated Immigration Accusations
  • Sidebar: A Visit to the Linn County Jail
  • The Military Invasion
  • The Government Comes Down Hard
  • Chaos
  • The Demolition: A Thoroughly Planned Strategy
  • $10 Million Becomes $26 Million
  • Deliberate Destruction of Agriprocessors
  • The Arrest
  • The Raid on the Rubashkin Residence
  • Imprisoned Again
  • Bitachon in all Circumstances
  • Mesiras Nefesh for Yiddishkeit
  • Blaming the Victim
  • No Way to Keep Track of Time
  • Lobbying to be Released for Pesach
  • The One who Came to Give Encouragement Receives it Himself

Aaron (Avrohom Aharon) Rubashkin is the patriarch who first planted the roots of the now well-respected Rubashkin family in the United States, the man who founded the famous Agriprocessors plant in Postville, Iowa. He lives in Boro Park and davens in the Kossoner Beis Medrash on 14th Avenue.

Mesiras nefesh runs in Reb Avrohom Aharon’s blood. His father, Reb Shneur Zalman Yissochor Getzel Rubashkin, lived during the worst of communist Russia’s anti-religious repression. He regularly risked his life to raise his two sons and two daughters as observant Jews.

Reb Avrohom Aharon was born in 1929 in the city of Neville, where his ancestors had dwelt for over 200 years. He remarks that the city once boasted 10,000 Jews, all of whom were Chassidim, mostly Lubavitch. The city was home to 16 shuls, but by the 1930s, the communists had closed all but three, one of which was barely a shack.

In Reb Avrohom Aharon’s office hangs a portrait of his father sporting a long white beard. Reb Avrohom Aharon points to the picture and proudly tells us, “Despite the constant danger, he wore that white beard with pride right through our last day in Russia.”

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Health Care Reform – How will it affect us?

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The following is the full interview with Dr. Mark Levin, one of four doctors we interviewed in the last issue of Zman magazine.

Dr. Mark Levin has been in the medical field for most of his adult life. He is currently in private practice in Bergen County, New Jersey, where he works as a hematologist and oncologist. In addition, he runs a health care consulting business, mostly in the field of oncology. The Castle Connolly Guide to America’s Top Doctors has included him in their listings several times as the top doctor in his particular specialty. His resume includes stints as chief or director of four different institutions. His most recent position was as Acting Chief of Hematology and Oncology at the New Jersey Medical School in Newark, New Jersey. Over the course of his varied medical career, he has authored over 30 academic articles, as well as several books. Today Dr. Levins deals as a consultant with some of the main players in the health care debate: the insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, medical education companies, etc. Through his invovlement with the various sides in this debates, he has gained a wider perspective concerning the pertinent issues. In addition, Dr. Levin’s MBA enables him to analyze the debate also  from the financial and macro-ecnomic perspective.

Zman: Let’s get straight to the point. Is the new health care reform bill a good thing or a bad thing for the United States?

Dr. Levin: It’s a mixed bag. It does not address the core issues that have plagued the health care system until today, but the good news is that it will finally impose some changes on the current system, something which has not really happened before.

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