Sheriff: We Had A Bit Of An Issue With Rubashkin (Kashrus, Tefillin, Tzitzis)


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The following article is from WHOTV, and is headlined “KICKED OUT: Rubashkin not welcome in Black Hawk County Jail”:

WATERLOO, Ia. – A jury is seated in the trial of former Agriprocessors executive Shalom Rubashkin, but his trip to and from the courthouse will be a long one.

Rubashkin, who was convicted of federal fraud charges and now faces misdemeanor child labor charges, was originally going to stay at the Black Hawk County Jail because it was so close to the courthouse, but his demands proved to be too excessive, so he will instead stay at the Linn County facility in Cedar Rapids.

Black Hawk County Sheriff Tony Thompson says he spent weeks preparing for Rubashkin’s stay. Rubashkin, who is a Hasidic Jew, has certain religious dietary requirements which Thompson says he met. “We certainly did our homework and asked our food vendor to do their homework,” Sheriff Thompson says, “They’re headquartered in Minneapolis, so they got in touch with a synagogue out there and discussed specifically about Hasidic Judaism and what their needs and requirements would be.”

But Thompson says that wasn’t good enough for Rubashkin. “And he looked very blandly at us and said ‘I’ll not eat what you prepared. I will tell you what I am going to eat.’ So right off the bat we knew we had a bit of an issue with him,” the sheriff says.

The demands didn’t stop there, the sheriff says. Rubashkin had to be carried everywhere he went because he refused to walk without his sacred undergarments. Thompson eventually let him have those, but refused to allow a chest full of robes and leather straps that were potentially dangerous.

“For me to kowtow to one inmate’s, uh, I hate to call them needs. I think I’m gonna call them wants. For me to kowtow to an inmates wants when that inmates needs were planned for; they were prepared for, they certainly could have been met, we just weren’t willing or ready to travel down that road.”

Rubashkin is expected to face 25 years to life when he’s sentenced on the federal charges on May 28th.

(Source: WHOTV)


  1. This is a horrible portrayal of him, and all frum Jews in general. Someone should write a letter to both the paper and the jail correcting them, and explaining that he is only asking for the ability to practice his religion.

  2. Well, it is simply obvious that the Sheriff has not done his homework. And the media has put a nice “spin” on this: “chest full of robes and leather straps”!!!
    It wouldn’t take too much time and effort to reach out to an Orthodox prison chaplain and find out the truth.
    But then again, that wouldn’t be as interesting.

  3. Terrible! He wanted to continue observing his religion in jail.

    Imagine if a muslim yemach sh’mom would have been incarcerated & they would have requested a magic carpet etc., they would have bent over backwards for him.

  4. This is so construed and ridiculous. Anyone who knows anything about judaism knows that a man over the age of 13 puts on tefilin every day except for Shabbos and Yom Tov and those straps are not dangerous but holy!

    How utterly foolish and ridiculous to call a tallis or a tallis koton used for praying excessive robes. Would they deny a prayer rug for a moslem? And why can the other county jail accommodate him and they can’t? Are THEY more understanding or do they understand more?

  5. “We certainly did our homework”

    Obviously they did no such thing. “chest full of robes and leather straps that were potentially dangerous”?! Please. This is either incredible ignorance or (as much as I hate to use this term, because it is used way too often) blatant anti-semitism.

  6. I think we should all write nice letters to Ricochet Rabbit & Deputy Droop-Along to let them know we dont appreciate his portrayal of SMR. Let him know you CLEARLY see either his antisemitism or utter stupidity showing.

  7. ‘Imagine if a muslim yemach sh’mom would have been incarcerated & they would have requested a magic carpet etc., they would have bent over backwards for him.’

    Totally untrue! The authorities would never accomadate muslims in a better way than they do Jews!

    This is a malchus shel chesed. SR is lucky that he is not being imprisoned and tried in Europe,

  8. #11 – Do a little bit a of research on
    1) What it is that Rubashkin allegedly did wrong
    2) The despicable way that Rubashkin has been treated
    3) especially compared to others who have committed far worse crimes than those allegedly committed by Rubashkin
    and then come back and tell me what you think.