Where were they then?

Where were they then?

A natural question that U.S. Attorney Stephanie Rose might conceivably ask upon receiving a petition endorsed by Agudath Israel, National Council of Young Israel, the Rabbinical Council of America, and Chabad, imploring evenhanded justice for Mr. Sholom Rubashkin is, where were these same organizations when the Agriprocessor scandal broke out several years ago?

Recall that the first media exposure was from PETA activists on animal treatment at Agriprocessor. Then over a year later, the scandal morphed into Agriprocessor’s labor conditions. The organizations now publicly endorsing the petition seemed eerily silent, even in the face of such ongoing and expanding media exposure of the scandal. Had their leaders discreetly pursued a just resolution of the issues from the start, and with a zeal to insure punctilious observance of halacha in commercial settings, Mr. Rubashkin might not be in the difficult position he now faces. Instead, a collective stupor seemed to have overcome these organizations, as if they were anesthetized, drugged by the interests of commercialism.

Let us hope and pray that these same religious organizations wake up from their slumber to proactively deal with issues from the outset, instead of after the fact, and after pain and chillul haShem spread.