Sunday, January 16, 2011

Rubashkin and Pidyon Shuyim - Some Clarity

Five Towns Jewish Times - Rabbi Yair Hoffman

In shul this past week, the recent debate in the pages of the Five Towns Jewish Times between Rabbi Aryeh Zev Ginzberg and Ze’ev Gold became the subject of discussion.  Ze’ev Gold posed the question as to whether the Rubashkin case was really Pidyon Shvuyim or not.  Rabbi Ginzberg had received a ruling from Rav Chaim Kaniefsky Shlita that, indeed, it was full and complete Pidyon Shvuyim.

If so, asked Mr. Gold, why didn’t Rabbi Ginsburg’s shul empty out their Shul building fund?  Rabbi Ginzberg was slightly evasive in his response but did refer Mr. Gold to the ruling of the Aruch haShulchan.  Mr. Gold quoted Rabbonim who ruled that it is not real full-fledged Pidyon Shvuyim.  Rabbi Ginzberg repeated unequivocally that it was complete Pidyon Shvuyim.

What is going on here? [...]


  1. Rabbi Hoffman has negios in working for both a newspaper that profits from ads of Rubashkin's company in South America called Tevya's Ranch and part time as an OU mashgiach.

    Why does he leave out the inyan of chilul Hashem in publicly backing every criminal with a black hat & beard? We understand from the author of this site that Rav Sternbuch has a problem with that. It was poskened by R' Shlomo Zalman Auerbach that bederech klal America is a medina shel chesed that does not persecute the innocent, ergo there is no pidyon shvuyim. It is also repeated in the name of R' Zelig Epstein that criminals should be left in (American) jails where they cannot continue to steal from people and since there is nothing else to do in a jail cell they will be productive by finishing Shas or a large portion thereof.

  2. According to Rabbi Yair Hoffman, Mendy and Heidi (the couple who attempted to take their cleaners to the cleaners on the People's Court for supposedly ruining a supposed expensive custom wig) are also deserving of Pidyon Shvuyim status. We should not squander our sympathy and resources on those who perpetuate Chilul Hashem through their fraudulent activities, be it large or small.

  3. As usual R' Y. Hoffman gives a lot of information,his opinion,but no conclusion.
    His article reminded me a bit of the explanation on about why in their opinion "lift and cut" is not allowed.
    They list a lot of sources which basically state their belief that NO shaver is allowed.
    Then when they finally get to the sources that permit shavers,
    They interpret them in their own view,which(their views)would be invalidated in the face of some very basic questions,and finally offer a very flawed conclusion.
    I understand from the rubashkin case,that rubashkin was a decent guy but without doubt guilty of gross mismanagement and negligence.
    And yes,the 25 year sentence is ridiculous,but he is in a american prison,has access to kosher food,some Books(Seforim),and basic (or more)contact with family,i have not been following the case the closely for some time now,but i would assume that by now he can even pray with a Minyan.
    Sure something should be done to reduce the sentence to something more acceptable,but pidyon Shevuyim?

  4. It's disgusting that Pinchos Lipshutz and the Yated are organizing funds for this criminal's legal defense funds, and Gilad Shalit is sitting in Gaza for 4 1/2 years forgotten. He's a vadai shavui, the one we should be doing everything for; not a criminal like Rubashkin or silly chassidishe boys sitting in Japanese jails for drug smuggling.


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