Week Six, Day Three
Tiferet of Yesod
Reported in Vos Is Neias, Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld, of Ohev Sholom the National Synagogue in Washington, D.C., has called for the Vaad Harabonim of Washington to temporarily suspend Rubashkin’s meat in the stores and caterers that it supervises. So far the Vaad has not responded; it will be interesting to see if they do. Why? A quick view at the comments section might be edifying: Rabbi Herzfeld is dismissed as “a talmid of ‘Rabbi’ Avi Weiss;” apparently in some circles that’s enough to have your smichah be questionable.
But more than that, Rabbi Herzfeld, despite his innovative programming, energy and, let’s face it, success in reviving a dying shul, has not won him the kudos of the local Orthodox leadership. Aside from a minor scrap over his shul taking the name “the National Synagogue,” Rabbi Herzfeld has also put himself outside the pale by becoming the first Orthodox rabbi in DC to join the Washington Board of rabbis and sit down at the table with non-Orthodox rabbis and call them colleagues.
I’d like to think that instead of him being tarred with yet another reason to keep him on the outside of his Orthodox colleagues’ circles, this would be an opportunity for them to show some leadership on this issue, and also offer the opportunity for them to show some spine over politics. Rabbi Herzfeld isn’t the only rabbi out there -Orthodox or Conservative- who is working on trying to get some movement happening, but I do hope that he might help the DC area to move on this matter more effectively.
In other Rubashkin’s news, the CEO of Rubashkin, Sholom Rubashkin, will resign as head of Agriprocessors Inc. after a search for a new CEO is completed