The Melbourne event was chaired by Rabbi Chaim Zvi Groner, who emphasized the need for heightened sincerity when davening and the importance of achdus. This was followed by the heartfelt recitation of several kapitlach of Tehillim led by Rabbi Opman.
Rabbi Zvi Telsner spoke about the legendary kindness of the Rubashkin family, something they were already famous for over a century ago. Providing one specific example, Rabbi Telsner recounted that when Rav Yitzchok Dov Koppelman lived in Samarkand in the 1940s, basic necessities were so scarce that he couldn’t even obtain a pair of pants. It was the Rubashkin family who provided him with one, and when recounting this incident many years later, Rav Koppelman concluded that “no bad could possibly occur to the Rubashkin family.”
The next speaker was Dayan Katz, who emphasized the importance of helping our brethren in their hour of need. Dayan Katz echoed the concern of many prominent rabbonim in the United States that the initial efforts directed against the Rubashkin family were led by special interest groups who sought to attack the institution of kashrus.
Dayan Katz was followed by the main speaker of the evening, Meir Simcha Rubashkin, the 24-year-old son of Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin. He began by noting how heartwarming it was for him to attend a unity gathering in support of his father on the other side of the world.
In the minutes that followed, Meir Simcha provided a brief but jarring account of the travesty of justice that his father has been experiencing. He recounted how, in the most recent developments, defense lawyers successfully sued the U.S. Federal Government in order to obtain documents pertaining to the raid and its aftermath. Under normal circumstances, such documentation would have immediately been made available to the defense as part of standard procedure. These documents were finally released under the “Freedom of Information Act,” and they prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the judge who presided over the case, Judge Linda R. Reade of the U.S. District Court of Northern Iowa, was actively involved in planning various
aspects of the infamous raid at Agriprocessors.
Even more revealing, related Meir Simcha, is the fact that the U.S. government blacked out large sections of these documents in order to prevent the defense from discovering any further details. When the defense presented its appeal, which centered on the judge’s perceived lack of impartiality, Judge Reade presided over the appeal herself, and she ruled that she had been impartial. The defense referred the matter to a hearing before the U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, but in another bizarre twist, it emerged that two of the three judges presiding over the final appeal would sit in on another case earlier in the morning, with the very same Judge Reade whose partiality they would decide on later in the day. Due to the late hour, Meir Simcha wrapped up his remarks, reminding everyone to place their faith in Hashem.
To help support the legal battle in affording Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin’s right to a fair trial, visit www.justiceforsholom.org.