Rabbi BenZion FriedmanOverland Park, KansasChabad / Lubavitch
DEPOSITION OF RABBI BENZION FRIEDMAN, a witness taken on behalf of the respondent, before acertified reporter (CSR), pursuant to notice, at the Wyandotte County Law Library, 710 North 7th Street, fifth floor,Kansas City, Kansas.RABBI BENZION FRIEDMAN, being first duly sworn, testified under oath as follows:Attorney Albin: How does one become associated with Chabad?Rabbi Friedman: Being one of my students.Attorney Albin: That is all that is required?Rabbi Friedman: Uh-huh(See Deposition Page 10)Attorney Albin: What happens to persons in the community who ignore your opinion?Rabbi Friedman: It makes for livelier discussion.Attorney Albin: Are they excommunicated?Rabbi Friedman: No.Attorney Albin: Do you tell them they need not come back?Rabbi Friedman: No.Attorney Albin: Have you ever done that to anyone?Rabbi Friedman: No.Attorney Albin: Never told them they didn’t need to come back?Rabbi Friedman: NoAttorney Albin: If a person follows a different interpretation, what happens to then? Let’s say they disagree withyour interpretation of driving on the Sabbath, what happens to them?Rabbi Friedman: In relationship to who, to God?Attorney Albin: To the relationship to coming to the community?Rabbi Friedman: Not a problem.Attorney Albin: So people can come whatever they do?Rabbi Friedman: Yes.Attorney Albin: Sinner or not?Rabbi Friedman: (Witness nods head.)Attorney Albin: And you’ve never disciplined anyone who didn’t follow your opinion?Rabbi Friedman: Discipline in what way? Tell them Halakah says different, perhaps.Attorney Albin: But you never disfellowshipped them?Rabbi Friedman: No.Attorney Albin: Never happened?Rabbi Friedman: No.(See Deposition Page 16)Attorney Albin: Do you know Gary Shayne?Rabbi Friedman: YesAttorney Albin: Where did you meet him?Rabbi Friedman: ChabadAttorney Albin: How did you meet him?Rabbi Friedman: When he moved into town he probably called and came over.Attorney Albin: In fact, you married him and his wife?Rabbi Friedman: YesAttorney Albin: Did you personally deal with her conversion?Rabbi Friedman: YesAttorney Albin: Did you have a long standing relationship with Gary Shayne?Rabbi Friedman: YesAttorney Albin: Was he a member of Chabad?Rabbi Friedman: YesAttorney Albin: Did you ever try and frighten him, or blackmail him into refusing to testify for Robert in a criminal action in which Shlomo was the alleged victim?Rabbi Friedman: NoAttorney Albin: Did you try to?Rabbi Friedman: NoAttorney Albin: Rabbi, I’m going to ask you to listen to this tape.(See Deposition Page 38)Attorney Albin turns on a tape recorder:Gary Shane: Hi, is Rabbi Friedman there?(See Deposition Page 40)Attorney Albin: Who is that speaking?Rabbi Friedman: Gary ShayneAttorney Albin: And he was looking for you; is that correct?Rabbi Friedman: Un-huh.Attorney Albin: Is there another Rabbi Friedman in town?Rabbi Friedman: No(See Deposition Page 40)Attorney Albin turns on a tape recorder:Gary Shayne: You know, if I do testify for Robert XXXX, I’m concerned about my reputation in the community.Rabbi Friedman: I know that.Gary Shayne: I wonder what’s gonna happen? You know, we did talk the other day when I was at work. I’m justreally concerned. I don’t want to be blackballed from the community.(See Deposition Page 41)Gary Shayne: See, I’m concerned about how you will treat me, how Gedalia will treat me, how Rabbi Winebergwill treat me, and I just don’t want to be blackballed and Jenny doesn’t want to be blackballed.Rabbi Friedman: I understand that.(See Deposition Page 43)Rabbi Friedman: We’re really not supposed to discuss the case.Gary Shayne: If I testify, will I be allowed even to come back to Chabad House?Rabbi Friedman: Depends on what you’re gonna say.(See Deposition page 50)Gary Shayne: So you’re saying to me that I will be blackballed then from the community?Rabbi Friedman: It’s very possible.Gary Shayne: I mean, I don’t know what I’m gonna say.Rabbi Friedman: I don’t know what you’re gonna say. If you’re gonna say he’s a nice guy and he never hits hiskids, then that’s bad news.(See Deposition Page 52)Attorney Albin: Rabbi, are you personally involved in this case?Rabbi Friedman: I don’t know what that means.Attorney Albin: Rabbi, I don’t know what a prosecutor would do with this but it sounds amazingly like suborninga witness to me.(See Deposition Page 65)Attorney Albin: Do you ever check out the facts on things?Rabbi Friedman: If I have to.Attorney Albin: Did you do it in this case?Rabbi Friedman: NoAttorney Albin: Did you ever call Robert to ask him if it was true?Rabbi Friedman: No(See Deposition Page 66)Attorney Albin: How are you dealing with situational ethics?Rabbi Friedman: Like?Attorney Albin: Like lying?Rabbi Friedman: Shouldn’t lie.Attorney Albin: Shouldn’t lie. You simply tell him you shouldn’t lie?Rabbi Friedman: But again, there are times when you should lie.Attorney Albin: You can lie to avoid a sin?Rabbi Friedman: Yes(See Deposition Page 72)Attorney Albin: How many lawyers come to you as their teacher?Rabbi Friedman: TenAttorney Albin: And who might those be?Rabbi Friedman: What is the difference?Attorney Albin: Terribly important. I want to know what their names are. I’ve heard you lie when it is important.Rabbi Friedman: BergmanAttorney Albin: I’ll ask Vic whether he does.(See Deposition Page 75)Attorney Albin: In the scripture it says, “Spare the rod and spoil the child.” Do you agree with that part ofscripture? Do you agree with that?Rabbi Friedman: To a certain extent.Attorney Albin: Is it wrong to beat a child?Rabbi Friedman: Yes(See Deposition Page 76)Attorney Albin: Rabbi, we couldn’t help but notice some things that apparently got written up in the paper and wewere really concerned about it and there may not be anything to it but perhaps you can tell us more about this paperthat talks about you and David Sternberg and other people, Frances Sternberg. Tell us what happened in that case.Rabbi Friedman: (Witness nods head.)Attorney Albin: You can’t tell us anymore?Rabbi Friedman: That is it.Attorney Albin: Were you asked to maybe suborn a witness in that case?Rabbi Friedman: I can’t talk about it.(See Deposition Page 88)CERTIFICATEXXXXXa Certified Shorthand Reporter of the State of Kansas, does hereby certify: That prior to being examined,the witness was by me duly sworn; That said deposition was taken down by me in shorthand at the time and placeherein before stated and was thereafter reduced to writing under my direction; That I am not a relative or employeeor attorney or counsel of any of the parties, or a relative or employee of such attorney or counsel, or financiallyinterested in the action. (See Deposition Page 96)A full and complete copy of the above transcript is available for purchase. Please contact us below.
THE DISTRICT COURT OF JOHNSON COUNTY KANSAS CIVIL COURT DEPARTMENT